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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Hough
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:48 pm 
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andrew wrote:

Ok. Two comments/suggestions.

1. If you are going to play an (already memorised) piece from the score in concert, do yourself a big favour, and practice it with the score. Retain the memorisation by all means, but having run through it repeatedly from the score means you are far less likely to get lost in the event of accidents.

I strongly agree with you here!


andrew wrote:
2. I strongly believe that if you have a memory lapse, don't go back. Go forward. Mentally select a nearby bar which constitutes something structurally significant (this shouldn't be too difficult if you have thought about the architecture of the piece and if you keep calm). Find a way to connect, harmonically or melodically, even rhythmically, wherever you currently are at on the piano to that bar, join them up and continue. It looks much more convincing to an audience than stopping and starting. Half of the time they won't even know! (Disclaimer: I'm good at improvisation, so the process seems easier to me than maybe it actually is).

Good tip. Next time I have to perform, I'll practice improvising in random places - if that's even possible. I'm not a good improviser. I'm also afraid I would randomly start playing "Misty" because that's what I always play when I'm just screwing around.

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Hough
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:23 pm 
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Location: Illinois
Andrew,

That is a good article. Thanx for posting it.

Over that past several years, every time that I would consider getting a program together to perform locally, I find myself holding back because of the need for all of that memory. Then I would consider just doing it using the score, but my past training has some how put in the back of my mind that that is somehow cheating. After reading that I article, I don't think that I will feel the guilt so much.

One good point in his case for using the score is that it allows one to create and perform a larger variety of programs rather than getting stuck just performing a few pieces.

Y'all make a good point about practicing a memorized piece with the score in advance. I have often noticed in the past how much more difficult it often is to play a piece that I have had memorized (but has faded over time) from the score. On a similar note, I have found it sometimes difficult to learn a piece from one edition and then playing from a different one for some reason. The crazy thing is that the measures are not in the "right" place on the page and I get lost or it just looks strange.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Hough
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:43 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
RSPIll wrote:
I have found it sometimes difficult to learn a piece from one edition and then playing from a different one for some reason. The crazy thing is that the measures are not in the "right" place on the page and I get lost or it just looks strange.


That makes perfect sense and is my experience also. It's very confusing to your sub- or semi-conscious spatial memory of the piece on the page, to say nothing of introducing page turns in unexpected places! Even same edition, different binding scenarios where left hand pages end up on the right and vice versa can be pretty disorientating.


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Hough
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:30 pm 
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Hye-Jin, I'm not sure if you are going to read this, but I saw Stephen Hough play yesterday afternoon in Chicago. He was not part of my regular subscription series, but when I learned he was coming to Chicago, I splurged and purchased one more concert. I’m glad I did, because it turned out to be one of my favorite concerts to date.

In case anyone else is interested, this was his program: Beethoven - Sonata in C-sharp Minor, (Moonlight), Hough - Sonata for Piano (broken branches), Scriabin - Sonata No. 5 in F-sharp Major, Op. 53, Liszt - Sonata in B Minor

It’s been a while since I have watched/listened to anyone play the Moonlight – the last movement is certainly fun to watch! And he did a bang-up job on it too!

Next up was his own composition, "Broken Branches". A very interesting set; I liked the sound of it – some real neat harmonies and such. I found it a little ironic that this was the only time in which he read from the score on the piano. He wrote the music, so you’d think he’d remember what he wrote. Perhaps it is still so new that it hasn’t had time to fully sink into his memory yet...

I was not familiar with the Scriabin piece, but I liked it. At times I heard some jazzy-sounding chords.

The Liszt Sonata – of course I’ve heard this piece many times, but have to say that I so much enjoyed Hough’s playing of it. Not sure if I was in a good place in my mind, like it was a good piano-listening day because the stars were aligned correctly or what, but his playing moved me like I’ve never been moved before. I can’t really explain it.

He played two encores, both Chopin! The first was the Waltz in A-flat, Op. 69, no. 1. This was the very first Chopin piece I ever played and have a recording of it on the site. But WOW I loved the way Hough played it!! He did some different things that I had not considered before – I really think I have to redo my version now. The second encore was the ever-popular Nocturne Op. 9, no. 2, which happens to be the nocturne I like the least! I guess I’m so tired of it and can barely stand listening to it anymore. But Hough’s playing made it much more bearable.

Overall, Hough has wonderful technique. He can play so delicately and inserts so much character into the music that for me it was like hearing this music for the first time.

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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
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Hough
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:04 am 
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A great 2nd half! I love the Scriabin 5!

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 Post subject: Re: Stephen Hough
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:01 am 
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Location: Germany
Hi Monica, thank you for the nice concert review! I read your post some time ago, but had no chance to reply... Sorry about that. I submitted a chapter of my dissertation on last Saturday and I decided to be free for today :lol:
Just from the recital program of Hough I guess it was a very interesting reital. It includes very important sonatas for the piano, even though I don't know his own composition. I would like to hear him live, but he doesn't come to my area. I envy you Monica that you live in such a big city where so many celebrated pianists gave concerts.

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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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