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I have lots of trouble with interpretation

Discussion in 'Technique' started by claudiogut, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. claudiogut

    claudiogut New Member

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    I have a lot of trouble interpreting music. I can play it coldly, automatically, like a machine, but when it comes time to do rubatos and ritardandos and all the things that make a Chopin piece interesting to the listener, I utterly fail.

    For instance, even a very simple piece like Chopin's 19th Waltz in A minor gives me a hard time playing it nicely.

    Can someone recommend resources or ideas or tips to help me out? Obviously I listen to a lot of performances, but unless I specifically try to copy it, I don't know what to do...


    Thanks,

    Claudio
     
  2. rachmaninoff

    rachmaninoff New Member Piano Society Artist

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    ew I have the same problem to.

    a tip is:

    Don't do difficult stuff but play some satie. The fingers are simple but to make it music is very difficult.

    You need to cut a piece in senses. The ending needs to be a bit slower sometimes.

    I hope that this will do!

    I'm a technic freak for me very difficult to let that go
     
  3. johnmar78

    johnmar78 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    claudio, What Raman. said was right. But this is what I would do. Play the tempo in strict time first...aim to get the rhytem correct. and listen to the masters....not to copy. and interpret it with YOUR OWN FEELINGS by means of rubato???. Chopins rubato will come naturally that when you wanted. There is no need to be artificial....trust me. Start with strict time first before you can alter///.
     
  4. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Don't let technical difficulty dominate your practice and performance. If a piece is not technically up to snuff, play it and don't pay attention to the note errors, just let it flow. After such an artistic but messy performance, you must resort to careful, focused, slow practice. Just remember to include, and therefore combine "flow practice", which is usually messy, with technically accurate practice, which can be cold and measured.

    You must somehow find a personal, emotional connection to the music. Let the feelings flow.

    Pete
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    And now for a woman's take on this. (any other women talking here?)

    Get into the music. Feel the hidden story in the notes. All music makes one feel something. Make up a story to the music. Fantasize. Then just let the mood take you away as you play. Hopefully, your music will reflect some of this.
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    This would work for someone who is visual/kinesthetic oriented -gaining feeling from an image

    self knows 8)


    How long have you been playing the piano Mr. Claudiogut and what is your current repertoire.


    http://www.howtolearn.com/styles.html


    Take this test and call self in the morning :wink:
     
  7. claudiogut

    claudiogut New Member

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    I took 5 years of classes starting in 1990. Then I just played by myself and during college I almost totally abandoned it. About two years ago I got back to playing, but I practice on my keyboard, which I've discovered is practically useless in terms of technique because the keys are not weighted. I noticed that when I do play on a real piano, I have trouble with the "pianos" and I play everything "forte". I really sound horrible. I think I should go back to playing the Hanon exercises.

    As for my repertoire... also a frustrated area for me. I used to play Beethoven sonatas, Bach's Italian Concerto, the famous toccatta and fugue, and other large-scale works, but I seem to have forgotten them and now I'm having trouble memorizing new pieces that I learn. Are there any specific exercises for memory?
     
  8. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I experienced a similar break in my studies. Between 1996 and 2000 I didn't study piano seriously and only played a little spinet. In fact, I very nearly quit completely; (I shudder at that thought). When I acquired a baby grand in 2000, my desire was strong but my skills were atrophied. The forty or so pieces I had learned before 1996 had seemingly vanished.

    My first priority was to strengthen and coordinate my playing mechanism. For one year, scales, arpeggios and Hanon dominated my practice sessions. The time in between scale practice was spent relearning my "forgotten" pieces. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself restoring an old piece to working condition in about a tenth the time it took to originally learn it. In late 2001, only after fully redeveloping my faculties, I began to learn some new repertoire.

    Maybe the best way to find what you've lost, is to re-do what you did in the first place. Have you considered taking piano lessons? If you repeat previously succesful practice patterns, you should be able to bounce back pretty fast (inside of two years). Just do what you did from 1990 to '95, when you were taking those classes.

    Piano is like riding a bike. You can get rusty, but you never completely forget what you've learned.

    I hope this helps and good luck!

    Pete
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    you know what the best way to solve this problem is... chamber music!
    playing with other musicians helps realize the importance of decision
    making, planning out and communication...
     
  10. claudiogut

    claudiogut New Member

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    I agree... chamber music would be ideal, but I live in Miami, FL. This is not exactly the most cultured city. I even have trouble finding rock musicians to play guitar with. Apparently this city is all rap and Britney Spears. haha
     
  11. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Then take those hip-hop pieces and transcribe them for a piano, a violin, a cello, and a viola...then produce a record and you can name your group "The Brown 4" :lol:
     
  12. rachmaninoff

    rachmaninoff New Member Piano Society Artist

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    haha yeah but the browns are good :| and the girls are pritty!
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Where does such emotion come from.

    Music is about life. To effectively execute a piece one must identify what in life it is attempting to describe. What mood or character and what emotion does this piece characterize. To understand this underlying intention gives great aid to the expressivity of a performance. Once you have found this, try to imagine when else you have felt or experienced those feelings. Make assosciations, such as this piece is like that pianting by Escher or Chopin is painting in watercolors here.....try to put yourself in those associations while you play. They will naturally govern your expression.
    Also, if all else fails, buy a really nice bottle of wine and suck half of it down while you practice. If nothing else can coerce your passion, than inebriation will melt your inhibitions. :D (I'm only half serious......but maybe you should try it ...)
     
  14. claudiogut

    claudiogut New Member

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    MzrtLvs,

    I agree about "feeling" the music, trying to understand what that particular piece is about... For Chopin works, I think it's a little easier... most of his pieces are melancholic in nature, to begin with. How do you interpret a Haydn sonata? That's just straightforward music with no story or meaning. Or a Schubert waltz? Abstract music on its own, is hard to interpret. But oh well...

    Regarding your wine suggestion... I can't play a single piece when I've had more than a couple of drinks. I found this out as a freshman in college...

    Thanks for your advice.
     
  15. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is so true! A perfect example of this can be seen in disturbing clarity. Lang Lang, free of others' opinions and insights, thoroughly butchered Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodie No. 2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru84UVcP ... ed&search=

    In another instance, conductor and orchestra in control, he gave a truly phenomenal performance of Chopin's E minor concerto.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLXhg9puuj0

    If you can't find a chamber orchestra, play along with a recording; it's a reasonable facsimile. I'm not too proud to admit that when I "got stuck" at a certain point in the Chopin concerto I'm working on, I played along with Pollini's recording. At first I felt silly, but I soon realized anything to break through a plateau is of value.
     
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Claudio;
    Though it is apparant that Chopin is more blatant in his expression, Haydn is full of feelings that are more subtle and dare I say sophisticated for their subtlety. Take for example the famous 45th symphony.....full of humor, the second movement is full of lyric communication, and the finale obviously has a point to communicate. My point is that even in the case of classical music (ie. Mozart, Haydn, early Beethoven, Clementi.....etc.) it is still important to make deviations between the expressive capabilities between passages. What makes the live performance exciting is the fact that it is a human performing rather than some logarithmic player piano. Take a second inquisative look at all of Brendel's Beethoven recordings, Angeli's Mozart, and even Schnabel's early Beethoven. There is much to be found there, maybe not programmatic and blatant exersion, but emotion none-the-less.
    Is it obvious that I'm a romantic?? :)
     

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