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It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!
This concludes my first (but certainly not last!) attempt to studying, memorizing, and trying to record these wonderful four pieces.
As usual, I'd appreciate any feedback, impressions, constructive criticism...
Normally, I refrain from self-critique in an initial post in order not to bias potential feedback. Just let me mention that I noticed these 8 additional bars in the middle part that should not be there. I accidentally took the "wrong turn"...
Very nice job overall, pv! My overall reaction is that the "paint smells fresh"; i.e., this is a piece that you are in the process of assimilating, after having gotten a good handle on the memorization. A couple of general comments:
1 Much like the E Flat Impromptu, I like to hear a very solid insistence on the waltz aspect - a very consistent and unchanging pulse against all the right hand movement. I realize that Schubert ingeniously introduces a "false" cadence at the outset, but even in this section, and the repeat (or maybe especially so), I need to feel the anticipation of the waltz, but more precisely, not the more typical ONE-two-three, but one-TWO..., one-TWO. For obvious reasons, pianists tend to emphasize the right hand figurations, but I need to feel the rhythmic line somewhat more.
2 Unlike the E Flat Impromptu, which maintains the same rhythmic cadence in the "B" section (and which I think pianists tend not to emphasize enough), the "B" section of this Impromptu is to me unquestionably a Schubertian "Lied", with two "verses". I thought you presented the material very well, but, since it has a repeat, I would like much more shaping, and a more expressive, rubato treatment the second time around. I thought the return back to "the waltz" was in general quite convincing, although I thought you slowed up too much at one juncture (can't remember exactly where). Again, I would do some more shaping in the repeat of "A", since the initial material has already been established.
Thanks a lot for listening and sharing your thoughts, Tim! The paint is indeed fresh, to take up your metaphor :-)
I liked you suggestions a lot. For the E flat Impromptu someone has suggested to me to play left hand alone a lot to fix this as the main and steady foundation on top of which the figurations can add. I think the same would also be a good approach for practice here.
In terms of expressivity, I think for Schubert (more so than e.g. for Chopin) it is a very fine line in that ideally the music should feel as it plays itself, "simple" in a very noble sense. Of course, too little rubato makes the result "mechanical", but too much may make it sound "cheap". But I agree that better shaping of phrases should be possible within these bounds.