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playing for friends

Discussion in 'General' started by pianolady, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This goes along with the thread in the auditions forum regarding memorized pieces.
    Just wondering - if you were at a party and someone finds out that you play piano and then asks if you would play something (there's a piano in the room) - 1. Would you sit down and play? 2. What would you play?

    My second question is really what I'm more interested in. I used to have a bunch of pieces in my head that I could pull out and play. Now, I have only one Chopin prelude and his 1st Ballade in my head. The Ballade is too long (and serious) for a nice little "show off" piece and the Prelude is okay but even though it’s not a super easy piece, it sounds like it is. My goal for now is to memorize (re-memorize) several more pieces so I'm ready for the next time someone asks me to play. So, again, what do YOU play when you spontaneously play for friends or family?
     
  2. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    1. Yes I would if I have not been drinking ;). If so, my memory is weak.
    2. Today, when memory is weaken, I probably play one or two Chopin Nocturnes (pretty much have his op.9 no.1 and C-sharp minor posth. in my head) followed by a waltz. Perhaps something with Bach (at the moment, have invention 1, 4 and 8 in my head), the Peterson-Berger I just submitted is well known and I used to be able to pull off Chopin's op.10 no.1 but I doubt it is in my memory. Probably, I can play Rach's op.3 no.2 prelude as well. Also, I play a couple of my own compositions and I also sing so if it is a party, the patience to sit and listen is usually not that great so Beatles let it be or something would suite the mood.

    But more common, someone throw a guitar to me and I play and sing a couple of famous swedish pieces. With guitar, it is quite the opposite. The more I drink, the more I remember!
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    1. Yes, and after few glas of wine\beer I do that automatically.

    2. I usually play some imrpovisation, jazz or classical, depends what mood I'm and what kind peopple there is with me. I also play some popular songs (usually first time ever I play them at that moment by ear and that is something I need to avoid untill I make it perfectly :D ). If some more serious stuff, I play Chopin 72. 1 or prelude 4 or like Robert, some of my own compositions. Guitar needs to suffer also when I'm near. :D
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    You are both funny. When I have had too much to drink, my brain remembers but my fingers act like they've never touched a piano before.
     
  5. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Almost forgot, if I get drunk and still decides to play, I can get ideas of improvising non-tonal. People usually drags me off the piano chair but once, someone I have not yet noticed on the party got up to me and said "Must be Schoenberg right?". I nodded with a serious look on my face and continued while he walked away with a proud smile on his face. A bit off topic but...well ;).
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Does that mean that today you are drunk? :lol: (just kidding)

    Beatles is always a good choice.

    Going even more off topic....I picked up a recorder ( I play flute and recorder) when a friend picked up a guitar and started to play Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven. We were outside on my patio and I'm sure we made my neighbors cry.
     
  7. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    BS! Nothing is too long or serious....show off what you got!
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    BS! Nothing is too long or serious....show off what you got![/quote]

    I suppose I could "wow" the crowd with the Presto con fuoco section at the end. But then again, I don't want to scare them away, either.
     
  9. rachmaninoff

    rachmaninoff New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well if they say? play an difficult piece why shouldn't you play it. iI is beautiful, not to long and difficult.
     
  10. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Congratulation, that you have the 1st ballade in your head. It is something I am just working on, will take further long months to have it completely memorized, and even further long months to play it acceptable.

    If you can play the ballade, I would play the ballade. It is not too serious. It is simply a great piece, in my opinion one of the greatest pieces ever written for piano.
    Only a question: which prelude you have in your repertoire?

    I think, it is good to have some repertoire pieces one can play from memory, in case that there is a piano anywhere so to be ready to play something.

    In my case it is the Chopin Fantaisie Impromptus, Chopin Etude 25/1 and some Bach WTC1 pieces I can play from memory. Oh, and small doses of alcohol are not bad at all in my case for performing.

    I know that a Bach fugue does normally nobody bring in ecstasy, especially if I play...
    But Chopin is really appreciated, that is my experience.
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    No. 11 in B Major. It's short and sweet.

    It took me many months, actually more like a year to learn and memorize. I played it for an audience last March ( it was a concert, not a party). Afterwards, someone came up to me, lifted up my hand to look at my fingers, and asked how my littles fingers could do all that. That was the greatest reaction I've ever had after playing for others. This Ballade is my all time favorite Chopin piece too, and I don't even play it that well, but it sure makes an impression on people. Right now, I would just like to memorize easier pieces, or better yet, easy pieces that sound hard.
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think what most people (unless they're classically educated) want to hear is either some virtuoso fireworks (La Campanella, Liebestraum, etc.) or something they know (Mondschein, Clair de Lune, etc). And not too long of course, as they get bored quickly. A combination of these would be ideal. Sort of like the Flight of the Bumblebee. The typical encore piece, in other words.
     
  13. rachmaninoff

    rachmaninoff New Member Piano Society Artist

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    or some rachmaninoff preludes of etudes tablaux. maybe the un sospiro of liszt. Very nice very difficult :p
     
  14. lol_nl

    lol_nl New Member

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    1. Yes, why not? I take every chance I get to play :).
    2. At the moment I can't play any piece properly... I wish the long and boring holidays were over. I got lazy... :p . When I can play again I will play Liszt's Liebestraum no. 3, Chopin's nocturne no. 1 or 3 or anything by Chopin. Chopin's Waltzes are quite suitable I think.
     
  15. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes! Play it, no doubt, they will appreciate it. Why not take some more preludes in your repertoire. Techneut may be right that people like fireworks, but maybe some prefer too dreamy melodies. Nothing beats prelude No. 17 in that, not even the raindrop prelude (No. 15).

    You played the ballade in a concert and got that reaction? GREAT!!! So do not keep it back before your friends. Although, to keep such piece on performance level will for sure need constant or at least occasional practising effort, but isn't it worth?

    By the way, I would try to have different repertoire pieces also because of different piano situations. On an old worn out detuned upright I would not play such stuff like 1st ballade. In that worst-case situation I myself prefer to play some Bach WTC1 pieces (what I always play during warm-up at home). Even if it is serious detuned, good old Bach works always...
    If you have a good grand available, play your BALLADE!
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    When I hear a badly out of tune upright, it makes me think of old cowboy western movies. There's always a man with a funny shirt sitting at one and playing something perky like a ragtime piece. I used to have Maple Leaf Rag memorized. Maybe this is one to re-memorize.
     
  17. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    You are right with the Maple Leaf Rag!
    If you like to listen to the Maple Leaf Rag played on a stone old upright from 1892 with upper damper mechanism, with my first own tuning attempt (that means, still pretty much out of tune), here it is:

    http://www.mindenblues.family-schmidt-m ... leLeaf.mp3

    On the same side, another great piece "As Time Goes By" from the casablanca movie, played on this old upright. Please note, I did not perfected both pieces, liked only to show originally the results of my first tuning attempt.

    Now, please wish me luck, today evening I will play a bit on the birthday party from my uncle - they requested Chopin (they now I can only play Chopin or Bach ...).
    I will play in that order:
    - waltz op 69/1
    - waltz op 64/2
    - prelude op 28/17
    - Fantaisie Impromptus op 66
    - etude op 25/1

    Hopefully nobody finds it strange that I start with the "Les Adieu" waltz. The order is simple, from easier pieces to difficultier ...
     
  18. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is my favorite waltz. I know it isn't that hard, but it's the first Chopin waltz I ever played in a recital ( I was 12 or 13) and I think it's what hooked me into being a life-long Chopin lover.

    Anyway, I enjoyed listening to your Maple Leaf Rag. Makes me want to go downstairs right now and dig out the book.

    Good luck at the party tonight. Are you playing all those pieces from memory? Why don't you play Maple Leaf for an encore :lol:
     
  19. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes, a great piece, and a good possibility to customize with the keyboard action too, with the dynamic playing. Especially with approaching the soft playing on that action.

    Thanks, but really, there are flaws in the recording, it was only intended to proudly present my first tuning attempt.

    The party and the piano playing went well yesterday evening. I did only play the fantaisie impromptus from memory. However I can play all of them by heart, but had not the courage to play without score. So I more or less stare at the score on such occasions, for the reason to avoid the fear for a lapse of memory.
    To perform the Maple Leaf Rag, I would have needed more preparation, and my uncle asked me to play 10 days ago, so I pulled out the score of the mentioned pieces (which I played on several occassions already) and did only a shorter refresh.
    But you are right, Ragtimes are really good choice for instance if there is a party in a restaurant with an old upright, even if it smells of stale beer... The piano yesterday was a recently tuned baby grand, so there was no need to fall back to "bad piano" pieces...
     
  20. Anonymous

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    for spontanious private performance i love to play the third impromtus from schubert g flat major its a really calm and romantic piece !!!
     

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