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Heller Prelude in C# Minor Op. 81 No. 10

Discussion in 'Works in Progress' started by echoyjeff222, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    This section of the forum seems pretty neglected, so I figured I might post something! I've been working on this piece for 2-3 weeks. It's a short one, but it definitely has a few tricky fingerings. Was hoping for some feedback ... I've basically been teaching myself this piece.

    http://imslp.org/wiki/24_Preludes,_Op.8 ... r,_Stephen)

    ^ Link to the score, although it may be a bit different than mine.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi.
    First - pad the beginning and ending of the recording by about a second; they're both pretty abrupt.
    Second - the RH in the last half of the piece does not sound very confident.
    The dynamics are a little too flat - all "mf" or "mp".
    Lastly: You'll notice that no one has recorded Heller on the site, so stylistic advice might be a little short. I remember playing a few pieces by Heller when I was young because they were always included in the technical books, but never knew anything about him.
    Nice piece, though. It would be interesting to hear more of these.
    I was also surprised at the opus number (81). Looks like Mr. Heller was prolific!
     
  3. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the feedback! I'll get working on that right away.

    Re the dynamics ... I have the soft pedal down quite a bit, mostly because it sounded a bit harsh without it. I've been trying to work on making the fortes not as "clang-y," so I've made them softer as a result. Any techniques for playing louder but not as harsh? Perhaps lifting upward on that note?
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    A nice piece. I think Heller's huge legacy contains some good music, but as with Czerny, his fame for producing tons of didactic pieces works against him and has not made him popular with pianists.
    This is already a convincing interpretation with nice tempo and articulation, but still feels a bit like going through the notes. If you can work a couple of more weeks on it to make it more precise, fluent, and confident, make it really your own, with more dynamics, it will be good and certainly fit for the site.
     
  5. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Here's one I just recorded this morning. I've been working on the dynamics and precision, but I took a listen to the old one and realized that I've sacrificed a good chunk of my tempo - not sure if that's good or not. I find this new one a bit less rushed/frantic, which I suppose is good.

    I might have been playing slower because of the fact that I cut my middle fingernail bed yesterday while chopping vegetables. I was kind of worried about whether I could still play piano or whether I would be disabled for a week or two ... I tried it out today and it was a bit tender, but surprisingly, I was still able to play after some warming up! :D
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That'll teach you to eat vegetables. Now go out and grab yourself a burger :lol:
     
  7. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Fine, fine. Techneut forced me to upload my new recording to the forum instead of PMing him. Haha.

    This is from yesterday ... I've been working on the same things still. Any new things to work on ...?
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Forced you ? I suggested it.
    Maybe why nobody responded recently is because you posted a new version so quickly, and now there is another one. I believe one should take his time to let a performance mature before submitting a new recording, unless it's only a couple of very specific little things that needed correcting. In this case, it is mostly about letting the music emerge from the notes, and that takes time.
     
  9. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well, I'm kind of in a tough position now. I just had my lesson, and my teacher basically said 'sounds great, time to move on!' I've only had this piece for a little under a month, so I'm wondering if this was supposed to be just for reading through and technique ... Thoughts? According to her, I don't need to work on it anymore. :?
     
  10. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    You could just ask your teacher what her expectations were.

    My guess is that your teacher intended to get you up to the "fully learned" stage but not necessarily the "completely internalized and ready to perform in an interesting manner" stage. If you want to get it to that point, it would be worth seeing if your teacher is willing to continue working on it with you.
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    It would depend on age and experience. If you're young and a relative beginner, you play what teacher tells you to, and move on when teacher says so. In a later stage, it should be (also) you driving the lessons, having certain goals and expectations for yourself, asking to perfect a piece best as possible.

    This particular piece sounds now well under control (I can't comment on accuracy but hear no issues). There is work to be done on fluency, articulation, expression, dynamics, and so on. Up to whether you want that or not. Probably best to go with the teacher for now, if you have confidence in her.
     
  12. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    thanks the feedback. I've noticed that my teacher doesn't pick out as much as before. Maybe it's because I'm working harder than before or something, but it seems like she only points out a couple things for me to work on each week. And they're kind of small. I don't know if that's normal or not ... I've been working with her for about 4-5 years now. In high school, I was always busy and so I didn't practice very much ... and so she would have a LOT to say, haha. Now, not so much?

    It seems like she gave me this piece just to be 'learned.' She mentioned that she gave me this piece to work on strength in the fingers or something along those lines, so I'm not going to be performing it anytime soon. I suppose I'll put it away and focus on the Haydn sonata in B minor that I've been learning. I also just started the Brahms Intermezzo Op. 117 No. 3 ... she said it's going to be hard, haha. Have any of you played it?
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes some of us have played that, or even tried their hand at recording it for the site, see http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=808.
    Certainly not easy, Brahms is never easy, even when he does not place great technical demands. His music is just so subtle and requires experience, maturity and wisdom, all that on top of absolute technical mastery. A far cry from the innocuous Heller etude. Good luck, and don't underestimate it !
     
  14. echoyjeff222

    echoyjeff222 Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm excited to play it! I've only played one other Brahms (another Intermezzo), so that's probably why my teacher was hesitant. :lol:
     
  15. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    I've played those three (Op. 117). No. 3 was the hardest in the note-learning stage, but it's usually pretty clear what Brahms is getting at. No. 2 ended up being the most difficult of the set in the long run because it can be interpreted in so many ways. I do think No. 3 is my favorite just because the rhythm is so infectious.
     

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