Week 2: Amplifying your message!
Hello and welcome to the WEEK TWO Main Thread for this challenge!
Alright everyone - this is the thread where we'll all be posting our daily updates.
Twice a week between January 30 - February 6 I hope to be reading your daily updates in this very thread right here!
Here is this week's assignment!
1. Specify at least ONE aspect of the piece that you love most! (Ideally write this down here in the forum below!)
2. Ask yourself this question: "How do I AMPLIFY the experience of this moment for the audience?"
3. Consider your answer, write it down below, and then let us know how you are trying to implement this!
4. Submit your practice video below!
I love Debussy's piece "L'isle Joyeuse", especially the moment of the climax where the music transposes from A major and then briefly F major and then to B-flat major (measure 236). I need to focus on saving my reserves of energy for this passage, and have a fast speed of attack, plus a rich and explosive Left Hand pinky for that bass!!
Life became busy and practice went by the wayside for a few days! The right balance is not always easy to achieve… Time to refocus and return to the piano… It is hard to put into words why I love Rachmaninov’s Op 16 no 5. The lilt of the base line running through the whole piece and driving it forward. The harmonies he creates. This is an early work, but you can already hear hints of what will come later. The simple, yet achingly beautiful melody line. The push and pull of dynamics that hints at an inner turmoil somehow kept under restraint. The second voice that arrives like a ray of hope in the final section. The simplicity of the writing is deceptive. I am forced to find different colours and textures in my playing in order to make sense of it. And it can be played many different ways within the framework of the score. So (like Bach) there is always room for spontaneity, it is always open to new possibilities and I never get tired of playing it.
I've delayed on posting this week, as my in-house arranger/composer has been super busy and not able to help me work out an interesting arrangement/medley combining "If I Were a Rich Man" and the theme of "Fiddler on the Roof." What I like most about this music is the harmonies - there is a slightly mysterious feeling to them. I mostly want to play the right notes , for that would amplify the experience for the listener more than anything, right!? Other than that, I'd like to find moments where I can bring out certain of these harmonies, especially the ones that have a questioning aspect to them.
My week two update on this short Chopin prelude includes the central slower section which is the part I love the most as it has a bel canto style but also brings in some tenor and bass lines which I am trying to work on and get better balance while still trying to make it sound alive at the same time.
One aspect of the Beethoven Sonata op. 109 (first movement) I love most is the incredibly beautiful beginning. I don't know why it has that powerful effect to create a unique atmosphere. When you look at the score, it seems something very simple but extraordinary effective in terms of expressiveness. And I would like to play it like Emanuel Ax says about the beginning of the Beethoven Sonata "Pastoral" (I remember a masterclass video on youtube), in an inward manner, doing the sound not to be too much present... Work to do for the next week final video.
Hard to post twice a week, but managing time on the weekends. Spent a lot of time trying to figure out if I was doing measures 3 and 4 correctly as Ben said, finally just figured I'd do it the way it came out and hope I'm not doing it too badly. I was trying to amplify a message of hopefulness at the beginning and a bit of sadness at the end. A bit faster at the beginning, slower towards the end. But still too focused on getting all the notes right and the camera doesn't help. I do love the middle section, and after hearing what I'm doing, I need to soften it a whole lot.
My first posting of the second movement of Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata. I recorded it in 3 sections as I have a lot of work still left to do and couldn’t manage it in one uncut recording yet.
Quoting Boris Giltburg from his video on YouTube- “It could be a song from Schubert- it has the same natural flow, the same ease of expression, the same feeling that this melody has always existed…”
Looking forward to spending many more hours with this piece in week 3- it is well worth the effort.