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#2062775 - 04/11/13 06:45 AM Planning Recitals
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
So, I've come to the point in my college career where I need to begin seriously planning a senior recital, which I'm planning to put a date on either in December or in February. Because of the way I've structured my program at school, I'm currently hoping to do a somewhat larger in scale recital where I do a section of solo classical piano music followed by a section of original compositions. I attend a small liberal arts school where I've been lucky enough to combine programs and practically do a double major of piano performance and composition. It's been a great experience and I've learned and incredible amount about music from all my teachers here. I'm eternally grateful for the amount I've grown over the last few years.

But, more to the point - I've never done a formal, solo piano recital. I've played individual pieces for audiences, I've played with large ensembles, I've accompanied singers and musical theater shows, I've played and sung in rock bands, but I've never done a solo piano recital. Obviously, I'll be speaking with my teacher plenty over the next few months to plan things out, but I also wouldn't mind some input from my piano friends here as to order, length, and overal structure of the evening.

My current, first run idea of music and order is something likes this:

Rachmaninoff:
Prelude opus 23 no. 5 in Gm [I feel like this piece makes a WONDERFUL intro]
Prelude opus 32 no 10 in Bm [Here the recital moves to be more "serious"]

Chopin:
Either opus 48 no. 1 in Cm or Opus 27. no 1 in C#m

Beethoven:
Sonata Opus 27 no 1 in Eb Major

Kapustin:
Variations opus 41 [And finally, a fun ending piece for the piano section of the recital]

and possibly as an encore, at the end of the night [so after the composition section]
Liszt:
Un Sospiro

What do you all, more experienced recitalists think? Would that program work well and come across as something that makes sense? I already know about half of the music on there already - I'd have to learn the Gm prelude, the Kapustin Variations, and Un Sospiro, but I feel like each one of these pieces are in my grasp and I'm planning to pick them up over the summer.

I'm also somewhat worried about length of the total concert - right there is somewhere between 42-48 minutes depending on tempos, and I'd LIKE to have at least 30 minutes of compositions performed. Personally, I don't feel like a 75 minute concert + 10 minute intermission is to long, but maybe some will.

I guess I'm just the type of person who plans things that are big WELL in advance, and I want to have a rough plan of how my recital will go before I start the summer, so I can use the extra practice time I'll have to focus on that.

Let me know what you all think of this! My piano ability and anything else like that aside, do you feel like a recital structured like this would work, assuming a professional level with each piece and performance? If not, what would you change or add?
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

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#2062933 - 04/11/13 01:46 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17943
Loc: Victoria, BC
From a standpoint of personal taste, I find the suggested programme a little too heavy in the Romantic tradition, apart from the Kapustin. Even the Beethoven could well be argued to belong to his middle period.

Much, of course, depends on the form and style of your own compositions, but from the standpoint of what you have already chosen from the standard repertoire, I would want some palate-cleansers in there to counteract the overdose of Romanticism. Failing that analogy, a little more variety in the overall musical textures of the recital. Bach, Mozart, Debussy, and/or something from the modern era might be some considerations in place of some of the Romantic-era pieces.

It's hard to state a definitive opinion, however, not knowing the style of your own compositions, as they might well counter-balance what you have already suggested.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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#2062941 - 04/11/13 01:59 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
Hakki Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2467
Ditto Bruce.

And plus, learning new substantial pieces in such a short notice is not advisable.
Just pick some other pieces that you already know well and have studied with your teachers (from Bach, Ravel/Debussy, modern 20th century) to complement the romantic and classical pieces you have already programmed.
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#2062973 - 04/11/13 03:06 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19271
Loc: New York City
Speaking just about the non original part of the concert(not including the encore), I don't find it non balanced. Classical around 15 minutes, Romantic around 15 minutes, 20th century around 7 minutes. The order suggested certainly wouldn't be the order I would like to see. I especially don't like the idea of playing the g minor Prelude as an opener, but I realize people's taste differ greatly about this.

I don't know how I would fit the original compositions in with the rest of the program.

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#2063055 - 04/11/13 06:27 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
Thanks for the input guys. I've got a couple things from the WTC under my belt that I could substitute in somewhere as a palet cleanser, but most of the Baroque and 20th century works I've played are miniatures, not things I'd want to program in a full recital.

Pianoloverus, what order would you like to see? I liked the idea of the Gm prelude to open because it's energetic, powerful, shows command of the instrument, generally a crowd pleaser, and isn't "heavy" listening right at the start. But, I posted here because I've never put together a recital before and would love to see more thoughts than my own on the subject of content and order!

For fitting the compositions in, I was basically planning to have two separate halves of the recital. The first half would be me playing solo piano, then intermission. When people came back, there would be another four pieces performed by people besides me, including a piano duo, a modified piano trio [classic instruments, add elec. guitar and drum set], and a large mixed ensemble piece, and maybe a small art song I wrote that I rather enjoy.
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

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#2063060 - 04/11/13 06:42 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19271
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic

Pianoloverus, what order would you like to see? I liked the idea of the Gm prelude to open because it's energetic, powerful, shows command of the instrument, generally a crowd pleaser, and isn't "heavy" listening right at the start. But, I posted here because I've never put together a recital before and would love to see more thoughts than my own on the subject of content and order!
Very few(if any) recitals I've been to in the last 50 years have opened with a short, brilliant, relatively lightweight piece like the g minor Prelude. For my tastes there's no reason an opening piece has to have the characteristics you mentioned unless perhaps if you're going to be playing to an audience who usually wouldn't be attending a classical recital.

I can think of many orders but they would all be for a solo recital without the original compositions.

1. Chopin, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Kapustin
2. Beethoven, Chopin, Rach, Kapustin
3. Chopin, Kapustin, Rach, Beethoven

etc. Or if you want to begin with the Rach, I would play the b minor Prelude first.

Here are the 24 recital programs from the upcoming IKIF for this summer so you can get an idea of programs I would find more typical in terms of the order of pieces.
http://ikif.org/schedule.aspx



Edited by pianoloverus (04/11/13 06:56 PM)

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#2063534 - 04/12/13 03:00 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
I don't understand the viewpoint on "too heavy" on one style. Do all the programs need to emulate some kind of large buffet? Themed recitals are great. I just saw someone do the last 3 Beethoven sonatas as a graduating recital. It's such a great project!

I think it's fine, YOU have to be comfortable with it.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2063536 - 04/12/13 03:02 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
And forgot to mention, how responsible to be planning so far ahead! I have a recital in a month and still have not handed in a program..... Haha....
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2063543 - 04/12/13 03:17 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2139
Loc: Canada
I think the issue isn't so much with the romantic pieces, just they all have a similar mood. They all open quietly, have a dramatic middle portion, then all close quietly. Of the Rachmaninoff and Chopin, none of them really make good "finishers", which leaves your Kapustin to close the recital. The problem now is that you don't have something to sort of ease your audience into the mood - most of the rest of your pieces sort of just drop the audience into a dark mood.

Though after thinking a bit more....the C# minor nocturne might be a good way to open.
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin - Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante
Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2063587 - 04/12/13 04:15 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: Kuanpiano]
AldenH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: Hakki


And plus, learning new substantial pieces in such a short notice is not advisable.


Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
And forgot to mention, how responsible to be planning so far ahead! I have a recital in a month and still have not handed in a program..... Haha....


What an interesting contrast of opinions. Not precisely the same thing, and both parties have different musical perspectives (both of which are different than that of the OP), but the divergence is worth emphasizing.

Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano

Though after thinking a bit more....the C# minor nocturne might be a good way to open.


I fully agree! The opening of this nocturne feels to me like a definitive example of easing into a mood; very mysterious and premonitory.


Edited by AldenH (04/12/13 04:17 PM)

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#2064078 - 04/13/13 03:19 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Well I have stuff I'm just not sure what to program. I also will probably need to learn something 10 minutes.....
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2064161 - 04/13/13 06:37 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/30/12
Posts: 254
Loc: San Diego, California
So, funny coincidence, I just got asked to play a 30 minute recital on Friday! I went through my rep and picked the ones I can most easily have performance ready in a week, and here is what I've come up with. This would be approximately in order for the performance.

Chopin Nocturne in Fm, Opus 55. No 1.
Beethoven Sonata Opus 27 no 1 in Eb
Chopin √Čtude in Fm, opus 25 no 2.
Rachmaninoff Prelude in Bm opus 32 no 10.

My repertoire IS fairly romantic heavy, and I recognize this performance would be reflecting that, but I also had to pick what I feel most comfortable performing in a week's notice. The only other thing I could bring up in a weeks time is a couple Bach Inventions, which I just don't think for the mood of the rest of the pieces at all.

Think that would work alright? I want to end with the Rach (its one of my favorite things ive ever played and right now is definitely my MOST performace ready piece) the others could move around. I'll be performing for a somewhat non-classically inclined audience, and will likely be speaking a little bit inbetween pieces a little bit. I've considered adding Claire De Lune to this as well because it tends to be a favorite piece for the less serious classical listener.
_________________________
Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

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#2064167 - 04/13/13 06:52 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19271
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: TrueMusic

Think that would work alright? I want to end with the Rach...
Ending a recital with a piece that ends very quietly may work if it is a more major work(for example Schumann Davidsbundler or Beethoven Op. 111), but for me it doesn't work with a short Rach Prelude that ends very softly. I would end with the most major piece which also ends more with a bang...the Beethoven Sonata. OTOH I think whatever makes you the most comfortable is probably the most important factor.

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#2064248 - 04/13/13 10:25 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: Pogorelich.]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2139
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Well I have stuff I'm just not sure what to program. I also will probably need to learn something 10 minutes.....

Just make it longer, find a violinist friend and toss in the Franck sonata!! Soo good!!
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin - Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante
Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2064257 - 04/13/13 10:57 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
mermilylumpkin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 121
I also am of the school of thought that your program doesn't need to be a "buffet" of styles (I like this word choice by the previous poster). Is there anything that unites these selections in your mind? I don't think the common thread needs to necessarily be apparent just from the titles, but perhaps there's something coherent about the entire selection that you can communicate to your audience. Like little themes and hints. Instead of it just being a mish mash of different music. I've never put together a recital but if I did, I think this is how I'd approach it.

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#2067370 - 04/19/13 10:49 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1381
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
All I have to say is that I love to have a short opener on a program, something you can just throw away. That way, you open with something really solid and/or easy, walk off, get a drink, calm down, and walk back on to play something big when your attention is really available to you. It helps you pace yourself, and not squander your energy too early. Also, you'll listen better once you've heard yourself in the hall when it's full of people, and you're used to it.

As far as the "buffet" goes, getting variety and contrast into a long program is always a problem. If everything sound too much the same, it's hard to get people to sit still for a full hour and listen. After all, it's nothing but music for an evening. The more contrast, the better!

And I loved giving February recitals when I was in school! Nobody else was doing anything, and you could book the hall when you wanted.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2067563 - 04/20/13 10:53 AM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: Kuanpiano]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Well I have stuff I'm just not sure what to program. I also will probably need to learn something 10 minutes.....

Just make it longer, find a violinist friend and toss in the Franck sonata!! Soo good!!


I didn't think we were designing a recipe for "how to kill Angelina" hahhaaahahahahah
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2067565 - 04/20/13 10:57 AM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: laguna_greg]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg


As far as the "buffet" goes, getting variety and contrast into a long program is always a problem. If everything sound too much the same, it's hard to get people to sit still for a full hour and listen. After all, it's nothing but music for an evening. The more contrast, the better!


I don't think it's hard to get people to sit and listen for an hour of the same style at all.. it just has to be good... Gil Shaham did an all-Bach program at my school that was sold out. Trifonov just did a solidly romantic program, including Liszt sonata, Rach Chopin variations and Scriabin 2, a friend of mine has done the last 3 Beethoven sonatas for quite a while now and always has a good audience...

15 minutes of my next recital is classical, and 45 romantic. I think if the thought process is there behind each work and it's played well (let's HOPE hahaha), then it doesn't matter.


Edited by Pogorelich. (04/20/13 10:57 AM)
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2067611 - 04/20/13 01:26 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
mermilylumpkin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 121
I think if they are showing up at a piano recital in the first place, I'd give them the benefit of the doubt in terms of their attention span and play what you think would be a compelling program rather than what you think will keep them awake til the end.

If they don't like classical music in the first place, they may not notice who is romantic and who is impressionistic and who is baroque anyway if you go out of your way.

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#2067620 - 04/20/13 01:55 PM Re: Planning Recitals [Re: TrueMusic]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
If they don't like classical music they probably wouldn't show up haha
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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