Week Two: Joie de musique!

Hello and welcome to the WEEK TWO Main Thread for this challenge! 馃ぉ

 


Alright everyone - this is the thread where we'll all be posting our daily updates.     

Make sure you've read the rules before replying (<- click)

 

Twice a week between May 16 - 23 I hope to be reading your daily updates in this very thread right here!     


Please use the following format when commenting (feel free to copy & paste!):     

  • Piece you worked on:
  • One thing you found easy:
  • One thing you found difficult:
  • (Optional): a video of you performing it!

Sample daily update:     

  • Piece you worked on: Ravel's Prelude
  • One thing you found easy: Learning the notes, and rhythms were rather straight-forward, and not challenging!
  • One thing you found difficult: Shifting the Hands was a bit tricky to get smooth!

Feel free to make these updates as short or long as you wish! 

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  • Hi everyone,

    For week two I worked on the opening movement from Ravel's Sonatine. This is a piece which I studied a number of years ago with my piano teacher, however it was both challenging and nice to practice it again for France month on Tonebase.

    • Piece you worked on: Ravel - Sonatine I (Modere)
    • One thing you found easy: I must admit there are no easy aspects to Ravel however I think the overall mood of the piece returned to me relatively better than other parts. 
    • One thing you found difficult: Balancing the melodic voices and in particular the top / soprano melody which is awkward with the rapid harmonies in the middle voices and which are a bit tricky in terms of hand positions. Frequent changes of tempo and shade also make this challenging. I was also trying to resist using too much pedal, even though its a tricky balance.

    I would love to learn more of the Sonatine later in this year and the last movement is a technical challenge which I would like to take on.

     

    Derek

    Like 8
    • Gail Starr thank you so much Gail! Yes I certainly found the opening part tricky to revisit, and had to "let go" a bit rather than treat it as a strict Etude! 

      Like
    • Juan Carlos Olite thank you! 

      Like
    • Jeff
    • Jeff
    • 4 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi All,

     

    I took a mini-break from practising the Etude today and started going through some of the other works by Alkan.  I found this piece at the end of Esquisses Op. 63, it's a stand alone piece that was not written into any part of the 4 volumes.  Alkan titled it "Laus Deo" ( Praise be to God).  The entire opus was published in 1861, a year before Debussy's birth and more than a decade before Ravel's, yet the harmony soundscape transcended ancient and modern approach.  Previous to this challenge I have never played Alkan before but I am slowly understanding why Busoni ranked Alkan amongst the greatest composers like Chopin, Liszt, Schumann and Brahms.

    Like 7
    • Jeff Hi Jeff, It says here that the video is private, so I can鈥檛 watch it. Maybe you have to do something with the privacy settings? 

      Like 2
      • Jeff
      • Jeff
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Sindre Skarelven Hi Sindre, thanks for the heads-up... I just changed the setting in Youtube, had no idea it was set as private lol.  

      Like 2
    • Jeff Very interesting to hear this piece! I would never have guessed it was published in 1861! You have made me very curious about this composer. Nice playing, thank you for posting :) 

      Like 2
    • Jeff really interesting piece and sounds good there! Thanks for sharing it.

      Like 1
    • Jeff wow! I loved that. Thank you for sharing, and for the information. I also have not played anything by Alkan before. Fascinating.

      Like 1
      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Sindre Skarelven What a wonderful discovery!  I need to learn more about Alkan also.

      Like 1
      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Jeff Amazing music, Jeff! Thank you for sharing it!

      Like
    • Piece you worked on: Ravel's Prelude
    • One thing you found easy: Learning the notes, and rhythms were rather straight-forward, and not challenging!
    • One thing you found difficult: Shifting the Hands was a bit tricky to get smooth!
      Above I just copied and pasted the example from the rules, because it was exactly my experience! :)
    • I really love this piece! So many tasty sounds. Thank you to Dominic for introducing me to it!

    I missed out last week with just too many unexpected situations keeping me from getting to the piano or even checking in. I am looking forward to catching up on everyone鈥檚 posts over the next few days.

    Like 8
    • Susan Rogers Lovely performance! It鈥檚 a beautiful piece with many tasty sounds, as you say :) 

      Like 2
    • Susan Rogers Very nice! Love hearing all these new pieces!

      Like 2
    • Vidhya Bashyam thank you. Yes, I also love being introduced to all these pieces that are new to me!

      Like 1
    • Sindre Skarelven  thank you!  :)

      Like 1
    • Susan Rogers beautiful playing, Susan!

      Like 2
    • Susan Rogers that was really nice and the sounds were very rich and colorful! 

      Like 2
    • Andrea Buckland thank you! :)

      Like 1
    • Derek McConville thank you so much!

      Like 1
      • Gail Starr
      • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
      • Gail_Starr
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Susan Rogers You totally communicate every tasty morsel of Ravel-ness in your video!  It does have a bit of the Sonatina flavor, doesn't it?

      Like 1
    • Gail Starr  thank you so much Gail! I will listen for that鈥 thought I detected a hint of jazz :)

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

      Susan Rogers Beautiful performance, Susan! Thank you for sharing it!

      Like
      • Jenny
      • Jenny.1
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Susan Rogers Oh this is wonderful to hear. I'm learning this piece too, and enjoying it very much. Your performance is sounding lovely already! 馃檪

      Like 1
    • Jenny thank you! It is a little gem of a piece, isn鈥檛 it?

      Like
    • Jeff
    • Jeff
    • 4 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi all,

     

    I made a practice video of the first 2 pages of the etude today.  

    • Piece you worked on: Alkan Op 35. no 5
    • One thing you found easy:   The main theme is very catch after hearing it a few times and is easy to memorise
    • One thing you found difficult:  Taking a video of myself playing.  I found it very distracting and added to my stage anxiety. LOL.  I purposely played at a slower speed for the video recording but I still kept messing up the notes and found it hard not to accelerate as the piece progressed.
    Like 5
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