Week 4: Discovering Schubert Month: Reflections and Watch Party

Dear Pianists,

 

I'm excited to share that the date for our Watch Party for Discovering Schubert Month will take place on March 2 at 11:00 AM Pacific Time! I'll soon be in touch with the individuals whose videos I've chosen to feature, to ask for your permission, and to invite you to share a couple words about your piece and your work this month.

 

In this last week of Discovering Schubert Month, I'd like to challenge you to polish up your Schubert piece! Polishing up a performance and tying loose ends pushes me to make an active commitment to the artistic, technical, and presentation details that deepen my relationship to the music. The process of sharing my music with my colleagues, as you have been doing all this month, is an essential part to growth: learning how others hear your playing and react is key to developing an artistic identity. The variety between everyone's playing is what sustains musical performance of these beloved classical works. Learning how to appreciate different performances, pianists, and interpretations helps us build internal understanding of the full range of what we can do at the piano. Just like learning about the world through conversation and interpersonal interactions, we develop our selves both in conjunction and in reaction to others!

 

Here are some reflection questions for you, as well as things about yourself to share, for this week:

 

1. What particular aspects of your playing do you feel that your Schubert piece highlights?

2. What are your musical priorities when you play your Schubert piece?

3. Can you describe a range of qualities that go into creating your ideal Schubert sound? Be as specific as possible!

4. What strengths do you think others hear in your playing?

 

And, last but not least: Feel free to post a final recording of your work. I'll be choosing between the Week 3 and Week 4 posts for the Watch Party videos. And one final prompt to spark some conversation: What was your process for recording the video clips you post on this forum?

 

I'll post my own recording of the Schubert Moment Musicaux No. 4 in the thread below! Thank you all so much for your enthusiastic participation in Discovering Schubert with me! See you on the other side in March, for one of my favorite composers..... Bach!

 

Stay musical,

 

Hilda

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  • This is the first of the recordings that I made previously but this time via Youtube to have all of each Waltz - No 7 in B flat

     

    https://youtu.be/j5UANr63gEg

    Like 3
  • The second one is No 15 in F minor

    https://youtu.be/63RWwibs-8w

    Like 3
      • Anthony Miyake
      • Work with numbers and statistics, but music is my true passion. Piano hobbyist.
      • Anthony_Miyake
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Roy James-Pike , it doesn't seem like either link is working.  Perhaps it's set as "Private"? in which case others besides yourself will not be able to view.

      Like
    • Anthony Miyake Thank you for letting me know.  Yes, I misunderstood the setting.  I have now changed the setting to 'unlisted'.  Please do me a big favour and try the links again and let me know whether they work now, or whether I need to upload them again.

      Like
      • Anthony Miyake
      • Work with numbers and statistics, but music is my true passion. Piano hobbyist.
      • Anthony_Miyake
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Roy James-Pike , both links work now.  So it was just the setting.  Good job on these, especially with the LH.

      Like 1
    • Roy James-Pike Sounds great!

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    • Roy James-Pike Very good, and towards the end, very very good.

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    • Anthony Miyake Thank you and for your help in sorting out a Youtube account!  It's a bit of a process but I now understand it.  Thanks again!

      Like
    • Richard George Littlewood Thank you very much!

      Like
    • Vidhya Bashyam Thank you.  It has taken a while to resolve myself to making recordings and then allowing others to hear them but I am so glad I did it!

      Like
  • I worked on the 4th sonata 2nd movement a bit. Love everyone’s beautiful recordings. 

    Like
    • sorry - had video trouble. 

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  • 1. What particular aspects of your playing do you feel that your Schubert piece highlights?

    Good - the sense of the phrases.  Not so good - trying to play softly sometimes produces nearly no sound at all and the rubato is too much - affected rather than effected 

     

    2. What are your musical priorities when you play your Schubert piece?

    I try not to over-pedal.  I am not sure that I succeed.  The piano is being tuned on Friday so the 'twanging' should go when it's tuned - odd harmonics when the dampers are left open.  It's well overdue. 

    I am going to do try to do less with the dynamics- particularly ff and sf and pp.  They need to be more in keeping with the range of dynamic that would have been possible two hundred years' ago

     

    3. Can you describe a range of qualities that go into creating your ideal Schubert sound? Be as specific as possible!

    Precision and technical security [of which I need more], playing consciously, i.e. not relying on 'muscle memory', which then fails under pressure, understating the nuances so that they are very subtle, and trying to think the emotion rather than over-demonstrating it.

     

    4. What strengths do you think others hear in your playing?

    That's for others to say...

     

    5. What was your process for recording the video clips you post on this forum?

    I have learned so much this month about creative media and am just starting to put it into practice.  I started recording last week [Week 3] - both waltzes with repeats but they were too large to upload by email to myself, so I sent them via the cloud.  They were still too large to upload to TB, I then recorded each half of the waltz without repeats, sent that by email to myself and then uploaded it to TB.

     

    I had some very kind helpful advice from others on TB, Anthony Miyake in particular, who advised setting up a Youtube account, which I did.  I was then able to upload the previous full versions of the waltzes in Week 4. 

     

    My process is (i) record on my IPad, (ii) send it by the cloud to myself (iii) upload it into Youtube (iv) Send it as a link to TB from Youtube.

     

    Recording has been really useful.  It was terrifying at the start.  I recommend anyone who is not doing this to give it a go.  There was lots of failed attempts initially, as all sorts of mistakes came in when I was nervous.  That pointed me to the areas to be practised and to analysing why they were not secure. 

    Like 1
  • I spent another week on the A-minor Sonata, which I love more and more. So here is another upload. This time I recorded in one take. There are quite a few mistakes but I think I managed to get the flow and the drama of the piece going.

    Hilda Huang I find the questions you asked for the forth week excellent but extremely difficult to answer. I will have to think about it a bit more. This whole month for me was a big step. Hearing and watching ( and sharing!) myself in recording  was challenging but I was learning a lot in the process. 
     

    Like 5
    • Andrea Buckland Beautiful work, Andrea! I loved your musicality and the range of emotions that touched me. Wow. Such a beautiful sonata. BRAVA!

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    • Rudelle Gaje thank you very much, dear Rudelle

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      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Andrea Buckland Great job!  And I love your cool wooden wall behind the piano.  It is so warm and inviting (just like your playing).

      Like 1
    • Gail Starr Thank you, dear Gail! We do enjoy living in a wooden house 🙂and you are always welcome if you ever come in this part of the world.

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      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view
      Like
      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Andrea Buckland I would love to get together someday to play 4-hand pieces!

      Like 1
    • Gail Starr YES! Very gladly!

      Like
    • Michael
    • mpetnuch
    • 5 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Sharing my performance version of the first movement. I tried three attempts and I kept making random mistakes in different places. It is so frustrating.  However I felt that this was the best attempt tone wise out of the three.  I took the tempo a bit slower in attempt to try to get better control of my dynamics. It's still to loud over all but I really feel like it's such a big improvement from when I started at the beginning of February. I hope you all can tell all the work I put into this ;)

    Like 6
    • Michael beautiful playing, Michael! Thanks for sharing!

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      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Michael Wonderful job, Michael! It sounds great!

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