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#1469286 - 07/06/10 01:58 PM Playing piano at the reception
feebeeliszt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 414
Loc: London
I’m recently being invited to a social event NEXT WEDNESDAY. The hostess kindly invited me to play at the reception. I’m currently concentrating on chamber music so I don’t really have many solo pieces ready. Not sure about how long I have to play.


I have Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 3, Bach Partita No. 1 almost ready. I’ve learnt Debussy L’isle Joyeuse and Chopin Revolutionary etude but haven’t played for ages. I started learning Schumann’s Abegg Variations few days ago and maybe able to play 1 or 2 variations by Wed (though it’s weird not to play the whole play completely). Which pieces I should work on?


I have no experience in playing in the reception and completely have no clue on how it will be like. Do you have any tips or suggestions? Thank you so much
_________________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/feebeeliszt
The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, that is where the art resides! - Schnabel

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#1469292 - 07/06/10 02:02 PM Re: Playing piano at the reception [Re: feebeeliszt]
Batuhan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Istanbul
Liebestraum No.3
Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2
Standchen Liszt
Schumann: Scenes from Childhood / Traumerei and der dichter spricht
Also look at beethoven tempest and moonlight sonata mvt 3 and 1
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Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.


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#1469307 - 07/06/10 02:18 PM Re: Playing piano at the reception [Re: Batuhan]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22791
Loc: Oakland
You probably should look in the non-classical area for people's experience there. I would not expect that people will be listening much. You could sight-read some standards; that would be appropriate.
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Semipro Tech

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#1469340 - 07/06/10 03:46 PM Re: Playing piano at the reception [Re: BDB]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18893
Loc: Victoria, BC
feebeejk :

You write about playing at "the reception;" this is the reception for what kind of event: wedding, funeral prize-giving?

Unless this is a reception where you will be performing as a solo performer before an intentionally attentive audience, as BDB says, people won't be listening closely to what you are playing and, in many cases, much classical piano music is not even appropriate for a reception where people are milling around and socializing. You certainly don't want to play pieces that are going to attract attention to you as a piano soloist, and that would eliminate any pieces that have anything virtuosic about them. Like it or not, what most people who organize a reception want at a reception is "(pleasant) background noise."

If you have a few classical pieces in your repertoire that are "unobtrusive"
- Chopin : Nocturne, Op 9, No 2, a few Mazurkas
- Debussy : Clair de Lune, La fille aux cheveux de lin, Reverie
- Schumann : Traumerei,
- Liszt's first, third or fourth Consolotation,
- Mendelssohn's Song Without Words, Op 19, No 1; Op 19, No 4; Op 30, No 3; Op 30, No 6;
- Grieg's Lyric Pieces, Op 12, No 1; Op 38, No 1; Op 38, No 3; Op 38, No 6; Op 43, Nos 2, 3, 4 and 5; Op 54, No 4 (Notturno); Op 62, No 5)

they could quite possibly be appropriate, depending on what kind of reception this event is.

Otherwise, popular standards, Broadway show-tunes are always a good choice for such occasions.

What does the hostess know about your playing that prompted her to invite you to perform?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1469361 - 07/06/10 04:25 PM Re: Playing piano at the reception [Re: BruceD]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4610
Loc: not somewhere over the rainbow
Nobody will listen. Pick up some Chopin nocturnes, slow movements of Beethoven sonatas or other easy listening stuff you can sight read. And make sure you get paid!
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"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."

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#1469378 - 07/06/10 04:44 PM Re: Playing piano at the reception [Re: BruceD]
Chris G Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/09
Posts: 737
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I'm guessing that you are going to be playing background music while the guests are mingling around. If so that is a whole lot easier than performing in front of an audience in a hushed auditorium. I've done the background music thing a few times myself most recently at an informal wedding shower/engagement party. It is really not that stressful and can be very enjoyable because you become part of the event.

I would suggest that you play music that you like - don't try to learn new pieces just for this reception or try to play in a genre that does not come natural to you. There's nothing worse to listen to than the classically trained guy playing Misty. If you love classical music and that is what you do best that is what you should play. You don't have to play the most technically challenging pieces you know, play music you are comfortable with.

For the most part people will not be paying much attention to you, they may be holding a conversation close to you and under these circumstances you will almost certainly make more mistakes you would in the comfort of your own home. Don't worry about it - no-one is going to be counting how many mistakes you make and no-one is going to be judging you critically. You will probably find that at least one person compliments you on your playing after the performance.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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#1469381 - 07/06/10 04:57 PM Re: Playing piano at the reception [Re: Chris G]
Skorpius Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 751
Play scales, lol
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Working On-

Deux Arabesques, Debussy


On Queue-

Danse Russe from Petroushka, Stravinsky
Toccata, Ravel





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#1469424 - 07/06/10 05:57 PM Re: Playing piano at the reception [Re: Chris G]
Carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6889
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Chris G


For the most part people will not be paying much attention to you, they may be holding a conversation close to you and under these circumstances you will almost certainly make more mistakes you would in the comfort of your own home. Don't worry about it - no-one is going to be counting how many mistakes you make and no-one is going to be judging you critically. You will probably find that at least one person compliments you on your playing after the performance.



Sad - but true !!!
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Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1469576 - 07/06/10 11:24 PM Re: Playing piano at the reception [Re: Carey]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4610
Loc: not somewhere over the rainbow
I've played lots of weird stuff for background music, when it's 3+ hours and I'm running out of stuff.. like parts of the Franck violin sonata, sans violin (I had to do it from memory since I didn't think to bring a score.. that was interesting, especially after having wine from the gig people), Chopin second concerto, sans orchestra, few songs sans singers (you kind of include the melody anyway haha) you can do a lot, as long as it sounds nice. How long does it have to be for?

My bf played Pictures for an art gallery reception.. Ummmm.. I guess it worked?
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"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."

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