Discovering Schubert Month: Piano Community Challenge!

Hey Everyone 👋 Hilda here!

 

Do you have questions or This month, February 2022, feel free to post questions, enthusiasms, and other content on this general discussion thread about our latest piano community challenge, Schubert Discovery Month. This is a place to chat with fellow participants about topics that don't belong in the main updates thread or rules thread.

 

  • Do you have a piano question inspired by the challenge?
  • Do you have repertoire observations?
  • Or are you just looking to chat with fellow pianists about Schubert and music and piano?

 

This is what this thread is for 😎


Feel free to discuss anything about this challenge that doesn't fit in any of the other threads. You are also welcome to start your own thread, if you prefer!

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  • I’d love to heave repertoire suggestions for intermediate players💖

    Like 3
    • Shaw-Jiun Wang Hi! Here's a website that I found that is pretty helpful in getting ideas! https://www.pianolibrary.org/difficulty/schubert/

      You can then proceed to IMSLP.org and find the scores to match so you can watch the score as you listen. Personally, I'm going to work on D718 which is a 2 page waltz. You should join me, it's pretty accessible, and VERY beautiful!

      Like 3
    • Georgia M Sears thank you!! I am taking a close look💕

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

      Georgia M Sears Wow!  This is EXACTLY what I needed.  What a great find!

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

      Gail Starr Georgia M Sears Uh oh,  The Impromptu I picked is at much higher level than I had hoped.  But, I'll give it a shot anyway...

      Like
  • Hello Hilda, I tried to post something on the Feedback area but all the sessions are booked at the moment.  It's about fingering in scales.  I watched again this month the very good class with Penelope Roskell where she talks about alternative fingering in scales to pass the thumb under the fourth finger on a black note rather than on a white note.  She uses the LH of D major as an example starting on 2.  It is very comfortable.  I have gone through all of the major and minor scales to track down where the 4th/thumb issue arises and have come up with the following alternative fingerings for the LH, following Penny's position: D maj and A maj [starting on 2] and G and F [starting on 3].  The minors: A min starting on 3 in the LH and G min starting on 2 in the LH, F min starting on 2 and using 3 on A flat.  D minor has a possibility of more comfortable fingering by starting on 5 but using the 4 instead of 3 on the B flat.  C min - both hands starting on 2 and using 4 on the E flat in both hands.  I hope my notes are accurate!  Any thoughts!  Dominic will love this?

    Like 2
      • Hilda Huang
      • Concert Pianist and tonebase Piano Community Lead
      • Hilda
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Roy James-Pike Hi Roy, I think these are great issues to bring up. Actually, in Jazz Piano, blues scales are often divided into 1-4 + 1-2 for a six note scale. This sometimes results in a fourth finger playing a black key. If you find it comfortable, I think that's a great sign: that means that your fourth finger is extending well to the black key and that you have an open palm. GREAT! I'd be curious to hear what Dominic Cheli  thinks!

      Like 1
    • Hilda Thanks Hilda.  For information, I have never before played all of the scales and often I avoided hands together.  It is interesting to me that putting the hands together in scales has been less troublesome than expected, which might be due to having spent much more time on separate hands than one would do usually.  Last month's practice diary included playing 3 major and 3 minor scales each week, so I went through all of the scales over a four week period.  I shall update my practice diary this weekend but it will include a fortnight on the following scales, all of which use 4 on a black note: Majors - E, B, B flat, E flat, A flat, D flat, F#, and C, this has to use 4 on a white note, of course; Minors - E, B, B flat, E flat, F#, C#, and G#.  I shall then add in the remaining scales using the alternative fingering in the following fortnight, if Dominic agrees. Dominic   

      Like 1
  • I am planning on exploring Schubert's Impromptu #1 Op 90, which I spent many hours yesterday examining and practicing.  Never played this before, and it might be a bit over ambitious to choose this piece but I love it so much. I haven't played Schubert in years and forgot about his mesmerizing melodies.  The score which I have does not include any sustain pedaling indications.  My biggest question is: is there a score which has a good set of ideas on how to do the correct pedaling?  I am exploring possibilities of my own.  I am used to playing a lot of D. Scarlatti so I tend to use sustain pedaling very sparingly for clarity.  A couple of YouTube recordings show an artist using the pedaling but it is hard to discern.  My biggest area of ignorance is correct pedaling for the Romantic composers.  

    The second item on this impromptu is tempo changes. Here too, I use rubato very sparingly due to my main specialty with Scarlatti. How to use tempo changes with Schubert would be wonderful live presentation. 

    A third observation with this impromptu is the dynamic (loud vs soft) independence between the left and right hands. It's a challenge with lots of repeated notes to vary the dynamics to create appropriate drama. 

    My main concentration in 2022 is Beethoven and Scarlatti, but this Schubert diversion is quite nice. Some of his melodies I may be able to use for violin practice as well. 

    Like 1
      • Anthony Miyake
      • Work with numbers and statistics, but music is my true passion. Piano hobbyist.
      • Anthony_Miyake
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Jeffrey Segor , I had the same question regarding the use of the sustain pedal when playing Schubert and found this informative live event hosted by Dominic: https://app.tonebase.co/piano/live/player/sustain-pedal-schubert-piano

      Like 1
    • Anthony Miyake Wonderful. Perfect. This is a good start.  Thanks.  Schubert is in this interesting period where the pianos were still evolving.  

      Like 1
    • Hilda Huang
    • Concert Pianist and tonebase Piano Community Lead
    • Hilda
    • 11 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Anthony Miyake Jeffrey Segor Those are great questions about pedaling - and the subject of pedaling during Schubert’s time is fascinating because the fortepiano’s pedals are so many more than on the modern pedal! I also led a livestream a few days ago about finger pedaling - something that one can use in conjunction with sustain / damper pedaling to exercise greater control on fine grain shaping and legato. 

     

    https://app.tonebase.co/piano/live/player/finger-pedaling

    Like 1
    • Hilda There is a special pedaling I came up with in Schubert's Impromptu Op 90 #1 starting in measures 124 which seems rather effective (very targeted pedaling). I will post an example of this from my YouTube channel (on the Schubert thread) and see what you think.  It is not completely absent of sustain pedal but I use it very sparingly to bring out an idea.  

      Also, for the opening theme of this piece it dawned on me an idea of a woman having a dialog with a man where the first part of the soft melody is more refined (soft with no chords) and the response (in forte with chords) is a bit more staccato and stronger.  I hope to record an example of what I mean.  This just popped into my head while practicing it.  It gave me a better idea how to express this theme. Sort of a contrast between a female's and male's voice in conversation. It is weird how this imagery popped into my head while playing it. 

      I am glad of the Schubert focus this month. I have long not played his pieces and forgot how wonderful they are to play. My focus this year will be Scarlatti, Beethoven and Schubert. 

      The Schubert Impromptu Op 90 #1 is working well for my violin lessons too, my violin teacher loves it and I am working out a 2-violin version. 

      Like 1
      • Anthony Miyake
      • Work with numbers and statistics, but music is my true passion. Piano hobbyist.
      • Anthony_Miyake
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Hilda , thanks, Hilda.  Yes, I watched your live stream event on finger-pedaling and thought your examples were great at showing how the technique is applied with different musical passages. 

      Like
    • Monika Tusnady
    • The Retired French Teacher
    • Monikainfrance
    • 11 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi Hilda, Have you set a date for the Watch Party? 

    It seems that many people are having a wonderful time learning their special Schubert piece. What a joy to listen to their selections and, above all, read their reflections. The questions for Week 2 really brought our some deep thoughts that may never have been shared otherwise. 

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      • Hilda Huang
      • Concert Pianist and tonebase Piano Community Lead
      • Hilda
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Monika Tusnady We haven't yet set a date for the watch party, but that will come up in upcoming conversation very soon with the LIVE team. We'll be sure to make a clear post in the Schubert Discovery Month forum so that you can find the date.

      Like
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