Susan’s Practice Diary

I have been pondering for a week now what to add and what to take away from my practice list. The New Year is always a great time to evaluate and plan. I have been warming up with Right hand only Chopin Op 10, etude 1 since watching Dominic’s live stream. I have decided to pick up Beethoven op. 2, no. 3 which I started last year, then ended up getting pulled away to other pieces. So I will try now to finish the first two movements, I also started and stopped Scarlatti k132, only worked on the first half of it and I would like to finish it. I will finish the Goldberg Aria and start Tchaikovsky February. I want to bring back Gershwin Prelude 1.  I will go back to practicing a rotating list of finished pieces - I will put “January” on that list, Schubert D899 1 and 3, Debussy Arabesque 1, Chopin Fantasy impromptu. I want to add all the Beethoven sonatas I’ve ever learned but my problem is spreading myself too thin - especially for the amount of practice time I am able to get in. I need to stay focused, but I want to play everything! 

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    • Gail Starr
    • Recently retired MBA (international consumer products/luxury goods/classical music mgt.)
    • Gail_Starr
    • 4 mths ago
    • 1
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    I love your entire list of repertoire!  

     

    I have the SAME problem...there are dozens of pieces I want to learn and it is tough to prioritize.

    Like 1
  • It is a wonderful list, Susan! I have to write my own, but... how difficult to focus in a few pieces and stick with them. Well, I am going to do my practice diary...

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  • https://youtu.be/-VZ8V_WrBso

     A bit of the beginning. I’m in that uncomfortable half memorized stage. Working my way through.

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    • Susan Very beautifully played! 

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    • Susan Beautiful, Susan. I always enjoy listening to this Beethoven sonata and hearing the different ways people interpret the opening pages, with what touch and tempo, etc. Yours is a very beautiful and soul-searching interpretation which I cannot wait to hear develop and flower. Thank you!! :)

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      • Sindre Skarelven
      • Pianist, composer and piano teacher
      • Sindre_Skarelven
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
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      Susan When I hear this opening, it always put me in a great mood and I would guess it brightens everyones day! Thank you for sharing your wonderful playing, you are well on your way! Looking forward to your next post :) 

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    • Sindre Skarelven thank you so much SIndre! Yes I think you are right - it might have been that brightness that drew me to this piece during the pandemic. 

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    • Brother Will Green wow! thank you so much for those encouraging words. You just inspired me to want to practice even more! :)

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    • Jarkko Janhunen thank you for your kind words Jarkko!

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      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
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      Susan It's sound very good, Susan! It is a gorgeous piece. Do you know the Schiff's Beethoven Lectures in Wigmore Hall. Just in case, here you have his comments about this sonata: 

      https://www.theguardian.com/arts/audio/2006/oct/30/andras.schiff.piano.sonata.in.c.op..2.no.3

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    • Juan Carlos Olite thank you for the link and the reminder of that lecture series Juan Carlos! I have listened to his amazing lectures before with other Beethoven sonatas I’ve worked on, but somehow didn’t think to do it yet for this one. I will definitely give it a listen. He is brilliant!

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  • Nice Playing, Susan!! 

     

    You're making encouraging work with those thirds in the beginning, and I'm really happy to see how well positioned your hands throughout the segment you posted. Your left hand looks fantastic throughout the Alberti bass, and your right hand maintains a great bridge in the alternating octaves and between the notes in a slow melody.

     

    What might you think about playing the second theme with a touch of pedal, and a little quieter? And for contrast, how about the short notes in the opening a little shorter? You could try it out and see how you like it, having a really nice jump in your fingers. 

     

    Hilda 

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    • Hilda thanks! I will try that out. :)

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  • Here’s my weekly update on the Beethoven. I had to prop my iPhone up on the edge of the piano today so  it sounds strange the higher I play on the keys. I tried playing the second theme quieter, but it sounds the same dynamic as the forte section following. Not sure if it’s me or the recording situation. I still need to memorize the section I recorded. 

    https://youtu.be/4mbv0F8pZFY

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      • Juan Carlos Olite
      • Philosophy teacher and piano lover
      • Juan_Carlos
      • 3 mths ago
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      Susan Rogers Wonderful work, Susan!

      Perhaps, if you are using the Shure mic with the iPhone you could reduce the "Mic Gain" (in the Motiv App) in order to obtain more dynamic possibilities in the audio input. Well, I am not an expert at all..., but maybe it can be a solution...

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    • Juan Carlos Olite Thank you! I have just been plugging it in. Thanks for the suggestion. I will play around with the app if I continue using the phone. My iPad is acting up - I think the battery needs to be replaced. Sometimes it won’t charge. I may spring for a new one after watching Dominic’s stream about iPad and four score. We shall see.

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