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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:35 pm 
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I don't have much to add here other than to wish you the best in your endeavor, and I hope you make it to the competition. Keep us posted!!

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:36 am 
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Radar wrote:
I don't have much to add here other than to wish you the best in your endeavor, and I hope you make it to the competition. Keep us posted!!


Thank you, Radar. I will

btw - did you used to watch M*A*S*H? :)

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:11 am 
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hyenal wrote:
One thing which I don't like in that competition is the rule that you must play at least one piece of Mendelssohn or Schumann or Chopin or Liszt in each round :roll: What is with Beethoven, Mozart or Rach?

2009 was the year of Mendelssohn's 200th birthday. 2010 is the year of Chopin's and Schumann's 200th birthdays. 2011 will be the year of Liszt's 200th birthday. :wink:

Oh, and good luck Monica! I hope you get in. I could never do something like that.

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Thanks, Theresa! :)


But now I need some advice. I'm having second thoughts on the repertoire I chose to play for the first round. I've asked the organizers and they said I could change my list if I want to, providing it is before they print the program. What I need help with is this: Do you think it is better to play three shorter and not-too-difficult pieces that you can play well? Or would it be better to play one longer piece that is really hard so you probably won't play it that well?

So this is an S.O.S. call to all you guys and gals - I am once again agonizing over this, and I very much value your opinions. Please tell me what you think I should do.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:34 pm 
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Location: Piemonte, Italy
pianolady wrote:
Do you think it is better to play three shorter and not-too-difficult pieces that you can play well? Or would it be better to play one longer piece that is really hard so you probably won't play it that well?


To me, there's no question at all. Always play what you can play well, difficult or not. (I'm dying of curiosity to know which pieces they are...)

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"A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking" - Anonymous

Alfonso Bertazzi, amateur pianist.


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:57 pm 
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Location: Rochester NY
pianolady wrote:
Radar wrote:
I don't have much to add here other than to wish you the best in your endeavor, and I hope you make it to the competition. Keep us posted!!


Thank you, Radar. I will

btw - did you used to watch M*A*S*H? :)

I did watch Mash but that's not where I got the nick name from, I was a radar technician in the Navy and my name if Ray. They called me Radar Ray for a while then it just got shortened to Radar.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:29 pm 
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Location: Germany
alf wrote:
pianolady wrote:
Do you think it is better to play three shorter and not-too-difficult pieces that you can play well? Or would it be better to play one longer piece that is really hard so you probably won't play it that well?


To me, there's no question at all. Always play what you can play well, difficult or not. (I'm dying of curiosity to know which pieces they are...)

I'd like to say: Ditto! (and I'm dying, too...)

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Hye-Jin Lee
"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:03 pm 
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Quote:
Do you think it is better to play three shorter and not-too-difficult pieces that you can play well? Or would it be better to play one longer piece that is really hard so you probably won't play it that well?

Monica, I don't know what the requirements are for your competition, but here are some guidelines from former judges:

1. Formal works always carry more weight over the less formal works.
2. Typically longer works are weighed more heavily over shorter works.
3. Shorter and more technically challenging works carry more weight over the longer and less technical works.
4. One long and difficult work carries more weight than multiple short and less difficult pieces.
5. Almost every competition requires a Mozart or Beethoven Sonata, and a Chopin Etude(s).
6. Certain works in the piano repertoire are a "real world" measure of greatness of a pianist's debut: Beethoven Sonatas; Chopin Preludes Op. 28, Etudes; works of Liszt.
7. Make sure you know all the pertinent requirements of the competition, judges, piano, hall.

Whatever you're worrying about now, just REELLAAAAXX........ If there are multiple rounds in the competition, then you don't need to show up to a race in a Ferrari in the first round of the competition. The first round will screen out the one's who will make mistakes. Keep it simple, predictable, and clean. Save the most difficult repertoire for the final round.

When you're on stage, there is no guarantee that you'll play 3 shorter and easier pieces better than 1 longer and more difficult one. From a judging standpoint, it will weigh less heavily in your favor. Statistically, I'd say you have a better chance to play 3 shorter and simpler pieces better than 1 longer and more difficult one. In some circumstances, when you play a group of seemingly easier pieces, it may be more difficult to excel on every piece equally in public, because I think we psychologically prepare ourselves differently with easier pieces, and there is also an issue with consistency. Years ago, I was faced with a similar situation in deciding which Beethoven Sonata to play in the final round. I chose the easier one. I was told that it was the deciding factor in my placement. The pianists who placed 1st and 2nd clearly played the more difficult sonatas brilliantly. However, had I chosen a more difficult sonata, and didn't play it well, I would have dropped down considerably from 3rd. Well, even still... Not bad for Jerry's kids?! :P

In the meantime, pick and chose various passages within your repertoire to make sure your fingering and fluidity is intact to remove any doubts. Make sure your muscle memory in the fingers is just as confident as the notes in your brain. Remain calm, collective, patient, and focus intently - live vicariously in the state of mind of the composer when you're playing for them on stage - allow yourself to feed the music as if you were the composer. Don't worry about nerves, every pianist in that hall will have it. The difference lies in how you allow yourself to be free in spirit, and yet not allow your focus to wander under pressure. Try practicing with distractions and noises to practice on your focus - it will help you maintain that essential focus in the event you do have an unexpected distraction. Competitions are respective to one's cumulative musical experience - you're an avid recorder of music, great pianist, and all that hard labor will show... At the very end, you will do amazing things that will even surprise yourself... Save us a front row seat! :)

Good Luck!

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"Nobility of spirit has more to do with simplicity than ostentation, wisdom rather than wealth, commitment rather than ambition." ~Riccardo Muti


Last edited by 88man on Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:18 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:06 pm 
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Posts: 844
Location: Germany
alf wrote:
hyenal wrote:
One thing which I don't like in that competition is the rule that you must play at least one piece of Mendelssohn or Schumann or Chopin or Liszt in each round :roll: What is with Beethoven, Mozart or Rach?


That rule changes everytime. This year they celebrate the 1809-11 MSCL anniversary. Two years ago you had to play Beethoven, Haydn or Mozart in the first round. In 2012, who knows?


Terez wrote:
2009 was the year of Mendelssohn's 200th birthday. 2010 is the year of Chopin's and Schumann's 200th birthdays. 2011 will be the year of Liszt's 200th birthday. :wink:

Aha! So it is. It didn't occur to me that Liszt has his anniversary soon. But it's a bit strange that a biannual competition made it a rule of one year which involves three years (2009-2011), if its rule is always based on anniversaries of composers.
Anyway I had thought this competition is so romantic tendentious that it's obiously not for me. Among those three Schumann is the only one I have real sympathy with. I never really liked Mendelssohn and Liszt. I think Chopin is a wonderful composer, but somehow I seem to have no talent for his music :roll:
BTW Alfonso, are you planning to participate in such a competition, or have you already done? I bet you will do really well :D

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Hye-Jin Lee
"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 844
Location: Germany
88man wrote:
Quote:
Do you think it is better to play three shorter and not-too-difficult pieces that you can play well? Or would it be better to play one longer piece that is really hard so you probably won't play it that well?

Monica, I don't know what the requirements are for your competition, but here are some guidelines from former judges:

1. Formal works always carry more weight over the less formal works.
2. Typically longer works are weighed more heavily over shorter works.
3. Shorter and more technically challenging works carry more weight over the longer and less technical works.
4. One long and difficult work carries more weight than multiple short and less difficult pieces.
5. Almost every competition requires a Mozart or Beethoven Sonata, and a Chopin Etude(s).
6. Certain works in the piano repertoire are a "real world" measure of greatness of a pianist's debut: Beethoven Sonatas; Chopin Preludes Op. 28, Etudes; works of Liszt.


... The first round will screen out the one's who will make mistakes. ...

Wow, you have a lot informations and your own experiences as well! Thanks for sharing.
But are all of those elements equally valid for an amateur competition, too?

88man wrote:
... Try practicing with distractions and noises to practice on your focus - it will help.

I found this advise really interesting, cause I always play better in such a situation than in very quiet surroundings. It's like reading a difficult book in a noisy subway. I found that made me always more concentrate. :roll:

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Hye-Jin Lee
"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:53 am 
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Posts: 1167
Location: Piemonte, Italy
hyenal wrote:
Aha! So it is. It didn't occur to me that Liszt has his anniversary soon. But it's a bit strange that a biannual competition made it a rule of one year which involves three years (2009-2011), if its rule is always based on anniversaries of composers.


In 2009 IPAC Berlin was not held, nor will be in 2011, hence the accumulation of anniversaries in the current edition. Also, I believe that those four composers offer all together quite a wide choice -after all you can pick out whatever piece you like, a mazurka, a valse, a song without words, an easy piece from the Years of Pilgrimage, it is just a token if you cannot or don't want to play the Liszt Sonata or the Carnaval.

hyenal wrote:
I think Chopin is a wonderful composer, but somehow I seem to have no talent for his music :roll:


Submit some Chopin and we'll see. :P



hyenal wrote:

BTW Alfonso, are you planning to participate in such a competition, or have you already done? I bet you will do really well :D


In a very distant future I might even try. :lol:

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"A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking" - Anonymous

Alfonso Bertazzi, amateur pianist.


Last edited by alf on Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:54 am 
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Location: Gulfport, MS, USA
hyenal wrote:
I think Chopin is a wonderful composer, but somehow I seem to have no talent for his music :roll:

It's not just you - even the professionals have a hard time truly empathizing with Chopin. Glenn Gould comes to mind. Oddly, he said he only played Chopin 'for himself', and there was implication in other areas that he tended to play with the most abandon when alone. I mean...he claimed to not really like Chopin, but if you don't like a composer, why play his music for yourself? :lol: And his interpretation of the b minor sonata was, just like he said, quite 'straight'. He keeps a tight lid on dynamic fluctuation, and plays with a nearly perfect Chopin rubato, though this is also tightly controlled. The latter makes me wish he had played more Chopin, because I really value that talent in pianists, but the former is a problem, I think. Also, most professionals who did record Chopin are disappointing to me.

I have come to my own peace with Chopin, I think. I know I can't play his music like he did, but it still moves me.

I think that maybe the emphasis on these birthday composers comes in the same year because of the novelty of the situation. Unlike with Bach, Handel, and Scarlatti, who were all born in the same year (they celebrated 300 in 1985).....Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, and Schumann all knew each other. They were friends, and they were enemies. :lol: They had a lot to say about each other in their memoirs, including letters. Also, for a piano competition, these four are particularly important, as they are the most consistently popular composers of that generation, the generation that shaped the maturity of the piano, as a solo instrument (Mendelssohn less consistently popular, but there has been a resurgence of Mendelssohn interest in the last half century or so). Their generation was the generation of the piano recital, the master class, and the dawn of memorizing for performance, and pianistic virtuosity reached its elegiac height then also, particularly through the technique of Chopin and Liszt. We all favor one of them over the others, or maybe two, but I think that is why the competition gives a choice.

_________________
"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:56 pm 
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Great tips, George. Thank you for that! This competition is more relaxed than other competitions. There are no requirements as to repertoire except that participants should not play music that is too unfamiliar. Apart from there being time limits, that's it!


And Alfonso and Hye-Jin - I'm glad you said what you did - I think I will stick with my original plan and play three shorter pieces. Without giving out all details - I can tell you that for the first round I chose a short Mozart sonata movement, one Chopin mazurka, and one Mompou Cancion & Danza. Here is my thinking for this, so feel free to tell me if you if think it's dumb - I'm still open for suggestions: First of all - there is a ten minute time limit. I wanted to put down Granados Goyescase no. 2 - there is practically every technical and musical aspect in the piece that I figured it would cover all bases. However, I tried and tried and could not get it in under ten minutes. So then I switched gears and went the route of shorter pieces. The three I chose clock in at 9 minutes, 45 seconds. I was worried about what would happen if I inadvertently go over by a few seconds, so I asked the organizers if a giant hook would come out and yank me off the piano bench and they said no - a few seconds would be ok, but only a few seconds. And then the tone and mood of the pieces I chose was something I carefully considered. You wouldn't know this about me, but when I have company over for dinner parties or whatever, the dinner music I choose fits the kind of mood I want for the party and also what I think most of my guests like. So in this case, my three pieces are each upbeat and end in either a soft pretty chord, or a loud exuberant chord. I want my performance to end in an upbeat way, sort of leave an uplifting impression. Now that I look at my entire list for all three rounds, it seems none of the pieces I chose are 'dark' or 'sad' pieces (except for one other Chopin mazurka). btw- I recently considered playing the Chopin Barcarolle for the first round, and that's what got me rethinking all this. But you guys know how I play - I don't think I could get this piece any better than it did for my PS recording.

I did put down the Goyescas for round two along with one other piece - that round is twenty minutes. And the third round is 30 minutes - I have a bunch of pieces down for that one. But really, I doubt I will even get that far. I would love to make into round two, but I'm not confident of making it passed round one.

So....any thoughts?

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:02 pm 
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Location: Germany
alf wrote:
In 2009 IPAC Berlin was not held, nor will be in 2011, hence the accumulation of anniversaries in the current edition. Also, I believe that those four composers offer all together quite a wide choice -after all you can pick out whatever piece you like, a mazurka, a valse, a song without words, an easy piece from the Years of Pilgrimage, it is just a token if you cannot or don't want to play the Liszt Sonata or the Carnaval.

I'm a bit too young to be eligible to take part in the IPAC 2010 anyway, but this year is really not for me. I cannot say there is any piece among those easier pieces than Liszt sonata ect. which I really want to play or can confidently play :( Maybe most of my pieces in recent years are far from the "standard" repertoires. I have to learn more "standards" and to take more interest in them, in order to realize my dream (participating in a competition) someday :roll:

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"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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 Post subject: Re: piano competition
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:13 pm 
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Terez wrote:
I think that maybe the emphasis on these birthday composers comes in the same year because of the novelty of the situation. Unlike with Bach, Handel, and Scarlatti, who were all born in the same year (they celebrated 300 in 1985).....Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, and Schumann all knew each other. They were friends, and they were enemies. :lol: They had a lot to say about each other in their memoirs, including letters. Also, for a piano competition, these four are particularly important, as they are the most consistently popular composers of that generation, the generation that shaped the maturity of the piano, as a solo instrument (Mendelssohn less consistently popular, but there has been a resurgence of Mendelssohn interest in the last half century or so). Their generation was the generation of the piano recital, the master class, and the dawn of memorizing for performance, and pianistic virtuosity reached its elegiac height then also, particularly through the technique of Chopin and Liszt. We all favor one of them over the others, or maybe two, but I think that is why the competition gives a choice.

Your explanation is really convincing, Terez. Now I cannot blame the organizers any more :lol:
Quote:
It's not just you - even the professionals have a hard time truly empathizing with Chopin. Glenn Gould comes to mind. Oddly, he said he only played Chopin 'for himself', and there was implication in other areas that he tended to play with the most abandon when alone. I mean...he claimed to not really like Chopin, but if you don't like a composer, why play his music for yourself? :lol: And his interpretation of the b minor sonata was, just like he said, quite 'straight'. He keeps a tight lid on dynamic fluctuation, and plays with a nearly perfect Chopin rubato, though this is also tightly controlled. The latter makes me wish he had played more Chopin, because I really value that talent in pianists, but the former is a problem, I think.

I'm afraid to lead this post to too Off-topic, but can you help me in understanding what a perfect Chopin rubato is? (Sorry for my ignorance again :oops: )
Quote:
Also, most professionals who did record Chopin are disappointing to me.

Even though I cannot say I have enough experience with Chopin, I have been nearly always disappointed by the famous ones, too. But recently I borrowed the Chopin CD of Hamelin (http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=7818341) form our city library and found it really good.
Quote:
I have come to my own peace with Chopin, I think. I know I can't play his music like he did, but it still moves me.

Yes, I saw that in your recital :wink:

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"The love for music. The respect for the composer. The desire to express something that reaches and moves the listener." (Montserrat Caballé about her main motivation for becoming a singer)


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