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Will my birthday gift backfire?

Discussion in 'General' started by bgreenwood, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. bgreenwood

    bgreenwood New Member

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    My wife's birthday is in a few days. In addition to purchasing gifts for her, I also typically do something sentimental for her on her birthday. Something which is usually paid for in time, rather than money. After having fooled around with many of Chopin's Nocturnes, I recently discovered Op.72 and thought I would secretely practice it and perform it for her on her birthday without her having to labor through all the mistakes of practicing the piece.

    That was a month ago, and its coming along nicely. However, yesterday I had "The Pianist" soundtrack playing during dinner and my wife commented that Op.72 is "just too sad to appreciate" or something like that. With her birthday tomorrow, I am in a pinch! If I perform it, she is going to feel embarrassed. But otherwise, my birthday gift this year will be a little below par.

    Thoughts?
    Thanks, Ben
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    As a 'wife' myself, I think your wife would appreciate your 'gift' no matter if it happens to be a piece she does not think is very romantic. On the other hand, you don't want to make her sad on her birthday. Sorry, but you have a pretty good dilema going here...

    I'm not sure how well you can sightread or how quickly you can learn a piece, but if you want to try a different nocture, one that is not overly difficult and is romantic in nature, then I would suggest Op. 15/2, Op. 27/2 (my favorite!), Op. 32/1 - pretty easy except it ends on a minor chord which all of a sudden changes the whole feel of the piece. But you can play it as a major chord which is what I have done because it was marked that way in my book. There is also Op. 37/1 which is pretty easy. Best wishes! :)
     
  3. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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    Wow Ben, I had to break out laughing when I got to the part where your wife reveals her opinion on the work! Why not turn the table and say,
    "You know, I got to thinking about what you said about that Chopin piece, and I was wondering if it were played by another pianisit if you would think the same thing. I want to play it for you right now!"

    Good luck ... let us know how it works out.
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    It's a peculiar thing to say, that a piece is "just too sad to appreciate" - especially when the piece is wistful rather than overtly sad.
    Could it be your spouse is not really attuned to classical music ? Or is she a compulsively cheerful person who does not take to sadness or nostalgia ?

    As Eddy says - go on with it, make her realize this is not sad music. And even if it is, well, sad is beautiful. The sadder the better !
    Nothing beats a good hearty weep now and then :wink:
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I can't believe you said that.... :shock:
     
  6. bgreenwood

    bgreenwood New Member

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    Show must go on

    For better or worse I decided to perform it without bringing up the dinner conversation in any way. I was nervous playing and made a few mistakes but nothing catastrophic. Afterwards, my wife was appreciative and thanked me. For a moment I thought she might not have put it together, but then she finished with "I recognize the song, you said it was Chopin?"
     
  7. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member

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