Favorite classical pieces for early intermediate/level 5-7 students?
Here’s my purely subjective favourite intermediate piano rep:
Bach - C major two part invention (BWV 772) Bach - Little preludes (I like the d minor one, bwv 926) Bartok - Dawn Edward Macdowell - To a wild rose Henryk Pachulski - Prelude in C Minor, Op 8, No. 1 Vladimir Rebikov - Miniature Waltz, Op 10 No. 10 Schumann - From Foreign Lands and People Schumann - An Important Event Scriabin - Prelude, Op 2, No. 2 Robert Starer - Sketches in Color - Pink etc. Tchaikovsky - In Church
“After years of performing I’m convinced that achieving “perfection” is about finding the beauty and honesty in the moment (Mozart talked of this). There are no straight lines or perfect circles in nature. Humans are not infallible. It’s often in the cracks and imperfections where real beauty lies. An artist must be willing to show their true selves, the good and the bad. They must be aware of the space where they’re performing, the audience, the instrument, their own mood. Practice, prepare, trust yourself! Trust the audience, trust your instrument and most importantly – trust your intuition!”—George McRae quoted by Graham Fitch Watch What You Say! « Practising The Piano with Graham Fitch
“I think interpretation is trying to liberate what one is unconscious about. When one can let go some things one doesnt know are there - the unexpected things and the surprises in the performance - that’s when its worthwhile. This is also what I appreciate in other performers. When they are masters of their means of expression, this does not exactly interest me. That interests me in a teacher, but in a performer I am interested in what happens behind or in spite of the things the performer consciously wants to do. Maybe I am a little bit of a voyeur, you know, that way. But this is what I love.”—Martha Argerich (via lookdonttouchgirl94)
“Psychological problems probably account for the vast majority of difficulties or discouragements for a musician at every stage of their careers, and most of these should be avoidable. So often it boils down to inflated or distorted egos: the excessive desire to be admired, successful, or praised. There’s a sense in which these desires contain perfectly natural reflexes for us as human beings, both sheer survival techniques and also a matter of common sense and mental stability. But there’s also the potential here for enormous strain and self-destruction. If we walk on to the stage, or into a lesson, with an excessive hunger for approval or adulation we stifle something inside us. Aside from any moral or cultural distaste one might have for boastful, egotistical people, such self-absorption rarely makes sense from a purely practical standpoint. It’s like driving on the highway and looking too closely at the car in the next lane – the lack of perspective is dizzying and dangerous. Or like seeing reality in a mirror – observing ourselves only through the eyes of others and their approval or lack of it. The great pianist, Egon Petri, once said that we would never be nervous if we were humble. It’s not a matter of not caring, or of being a shrinking violet, but of practical mental health.
This is a battle with the self which is never completely won, and each defeat can be a further source of discouragement! I’m certainly far from victory and constantly have to remind myself again and again of these issues. But that bad masterclass, that failed audition, that vicious review, that memory lapse can pass us by unscathed if we can try to transcend the debris of our wounded egos. Whatever musical talent we have, whether great or modest, will flourish better in the larger garden of ultimate reality than in the cramped plant-pots of our own small worlds. To reach beyond ourselves in achievement is an ambition which can best be achieved by looking beyond our ‘selves’. That is after all what ‘ecstasy’ means, to stand outside: not as an ‘outsider’ but as one passionately involved, with a perspective that’s as large as the reality it aims to contemplate.”—StephenHough.com | Writings | Problems Playing the Piano?
Just finished listening to all four Chopin Ballades tonight, after a great lesson. Very piano!
Going to hear Stephen Hough play the Ballades this Sunday in this action-packed program:
Arnold Schönberg: Six Little Pieces, Op. 19 Richard Strauss: Träumerei, Op. 9, No. 4, TrV 127 Richard Wagner: Albumblatt in C Major, WWV 94, “In das Album der Furstin Metternich” Anton Bruckner: Erinnerung in A-flat Major, WAB 117 Johannes Brahms: Seven Fantasies, Op. 116 Fryderyk Chopin: Four Ballades
Every second day or so, in the neighboring house next to mine, someone starts playing music on the piano. And not just regular pieces, beautiful, talented and soulful pieces of music. Fast to slow, slow to fast, highs and lows and everything in between all played so harmoniously. It’s so nice to come home and lay in my room and listen to the piano from the neighboring house. Sometimes It goes on till about 5-7 pm. Sometimes they play through the night. I always try to imagine who’s playing. An old man? A talented toddler? A troubled husband or wife? Might even be a music teacher. I don’t mind who’s playing, because it’s so wonderful to listen to this mysterious piano man. So beautiful.