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#2141760 - 08/31/13 11:05 AM Comment/critique my competition program, please!
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1801
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
With a competition coming up soon, it's a bit insane that the last pieces in this puzzle in terms of programming weren't in place until one or two days ago. Here's the deal - I'm taking part in a competition open to ALL instrumentalists. People sent in tapes, and after listening to the tapes anonymously, a panel selected six instrumentalists to take part. The repertoire is entirely free-choice - two rounds a la 30 minutes each, so, the trouble hasn't so much been filling out the program. The main problem has been finding ways of being stylistically diverse yet consistent, finding ways to say a lot within those time constraints. Here's what I finally decided, and I doubt anything will change from now on. Still, I'd be happy to hear thoughts and impressions on the programming as such, which I decided to give the working-title "From french baroque to finnish modernism"...Be sure to hear some recordings of these things very soon in the recordings section.

Semifinal:

Magnus Lindberg - Jubilee nr 1 (2000)
Chopin - Berceuse
Ravel - Gaspard de la nuit

Final:

Beethoven - Sonata op. 78 in F# major
Szymanowski - Nausicaa from "Metopes" op 29
Medtner - Skazka op 26 nr 3 in F minor
Rameau - Les tendres plaintes
Couperin - Les Barricades mysterieuses
Debussy - from etudes book 1: thirds, octaves, 8 fingers


Well?

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#2141763 - 08/31/13 11:08 AM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1801
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
I had the program planned pretty much this way already weeks ago, but decided to do a minor change the other day - bring back the wonderful Debussy thirds study to my fingers quickly (HARD piece!) and skip one mazurka by Roman Maciejewski (the one I've posted here before) which was to be played before the Szymanowski piece. It's quite enough with 6 composers in 30 minutes I guess, besides, this seems to flow a bit better. Now I just need to learn the pieces that are still, ahem, new...

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#2141782 - 08/31/13 11:42 AM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4535
Loc: in the past
I think it's a very cool program! Rep that doesn't get much exposure usually. My only thought is, I hope they don't think it's TOO much variety for 30 minutes in the final - but variety seems to be preferred at competitions anyway.
_________________________

'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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#2141786 - 08/31/13 11:50 AM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
First, congratulations on getting into the semifinals!

I think the program sounds, and looks, wonderful. I'd love to come hear you play this, if you ever do it in a hall somewhere.

There's plenty of stylistic diversity, and you've managed to pick a lot of things that are seldom played yet still show off what you can do. The judges will be grateful for that, I'm sure. Nobody plays that particular Beethoven in contests, and it's a very good piece. I would also choose it as an opener as the 1st movement is not physically demanding at all. You can just sit back, listen, and calm down for a few minutes to get used to the hall. Your idea of the Rameau/Couperin is a great and pointed contrast to the Szymanowksi and Medtner. It's almost like a sorbet course to clean the palate after the meat. People also don't play the Debussy études enough, and they are all wonderful. They make a great closing set.

I can't help but think you'll make a good impression if these are all your strong points.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2141791 - 08/31/13 11:56 AM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
To the extent I can judge a program where I don't know most of the pieces ha .....it looks to me like an excellent program, and just as importantly, CONGRATS for having already passed what seems like a very tough step in being picked to be among the 6!
(I see that Greg beat me to it on that!) grin

(Hey Greg, I see that you talked about the opening of the Beethoven too! But I swear I didn't copy off of you....) ha

BTW, assuming you get into the final, be sure to make love with each and every chord of that intro to the Beethoven. smile
It will be a great beginning to the round.

The reason I say it at all: I don't know if you're prone to this, but I think that with the stress situation of a competition, it's easy to sort of just 'go through the motions' for a bit when we first start playing, especially if the passage is 'easy.' But hitting that first F# chord beautifully and lovingly -- and staying on it for the exact right amount of time -- is a (sort of) simple kind of thing that can make judges immediately sit up and take notice.


Edited by Mark_C (08/31/13 12:00 PM)

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#2141794 - 08/31/13 12:00 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: Pogorelich.]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1801
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Thanks for the comments so far!

Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
My only thought is, I hope they don't think it's TOO much variety for 30 minutes in the final - but variety seems to be preferred at competitions anyway.

Yes indeed, I spent a lot of time thinking the same, and others told me to focus on more music by fewer composers (as in, do the whole "Metopes" by Szymanowski - but, there's already a 'similar' triptych in the first round...). Still, Rameau/Couperin/Debussy are very much the same "family", and thinking of it, now that I've added the thirds study by Debussy then there are three fairly "substantial" pieces (Beethoven, Szymanowski and Debussy) and then three more or less short pieces inbetween. I think any ear can handle it...though the Szymanowski and the Debussy are on the noisier side, and perhaps not what one expects from those composers normally!

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#2141795 - 08/31/13 12:04 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: Mark_C]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1801
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
BTW, assuming you get into the final, be sure to make love with each and every chord of that intro to the Beethoven. smile
It will be a great beginning to the round.

The reason I say it at all: I don't know if you're prone to this, but I think that with the stress situation of a competition, it's easy to sort of just 'go through the motions' for a bit when we first start playing, especially if the passage is 'easy.' But hitting that first F# chord beautifully and lovingly -- and staying on it for the exact right amount of time -- is a (sort of) simple kind of thing that can make judges immediately sit up and take notice.

Extremely true! As for Greg's comment on the op 78, I agree on everything except that it's an easy thing to start off a round with! And back to your point, the main problem right now is keeping everything in the fingers at once (especially since there are quite a few of the not-too-easy pieces as Gaspard, Debussy etudes, Szymanowski etc), but ideally, from now on I should devote all my attention to beautiful sound, phrasing, sinking into each chord well in op 78, etc etc...If something like that opening is mediocre, it doesn't matter much that the runs in the second movement are clean! Oh, doesn't matter actually - they never are, anyway laugh

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#2141796 - 08/31/13 12:07 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1801
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
I guess I should add that the jury is, of course, also multi-instrumental. There's a pianist, a violinist/conductor (more active as the latter), a singer, a clarinetist, and a former boss of an opera house - also a pianist/repetiteur. My piano teacher was somewhat shocked/surprised to see my program choices, but as I explained that it's all free-choice and that I won't be playing for a bunch of pianists but a jury of various musicians, he understood that it was a bit different from the average piano competition.
Thanks again for the feedback so far!

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#2141798 - 08/31/13 12:13 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1423
What a journey! I love it. It's eclectic and original but not odd or random or forcefully so, if that makes sense. Great contrasts and I can't wait to hear your recordings!
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suite BWV 814 No. 3
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Tchaikovsky, Mars: Chante de l'alouette Op. 37a No. 3

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#2141828 - 08/31/13 01:27 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19640
Loc: New York City
I'm familiar with all the pieces except the Szymanowski and the Lindberg. I think they're all terrific pieces.

I especially like the Fairy Tale you chose. This was the first Fairy Tale I ever heard(live in concert at the Mannes IKIF), and I immediately fell in love with it and began listening to other Fairy Tales. I never really understood why many seem to claim that Medtner requires many hearings to appreciate since so many of the FT have beautiful melodies and seem immediately appealing. Maybe they're talking about some of the Sonatas?

In terms of the programs, the second one has too many composers for my personal taste, but I understand that many would not agree and that a competition program isn't necessarily the same as a recital program. I can't imagine that the number of composers would be the slightest detriment to your results.


Edited by pianoloverus (08/31/13 03:10 PM)

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#2141858 - 08/31/13 03:08 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: Mark_C]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Mark,

"(Hey Greg, I see that you talked about the opening of the Beethoven too! But I swear I didn't copy off of you....)"

A good idea always bears repeating.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2141865 - 08/31/13 03:30 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: laguna_greg]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1801
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
A good idea always bears repeating.

Beethoven surely knew that! Repeating BOTH parts is essential for the first movement IMO - a teacher recently told me that a Leeds-competition-winning student of his managed to play this sonata in 8 minutes by skipping all repeats...well...sure, they say one can skip repeats in competitions, but still, the piece is sort of not the same without them.

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#2141872 - 08/31/13 03:43 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
fnork (what does that stand for, I wonder?).

That was something of a joke about Mark repeating what I'd written before him, not so much that the repeats should be taken in that piece. In a very circuitous way, I was congratulating myself.

And what do the rules say about taking repeats? They should spell that out for you.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2141879 - 08/31/13 04:04 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: laguna_greg]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
(deleted)

Originally I did a long post about the opening of the Beethoven but then decided it was a mistake to do it on here. I'll re-post it later as a separate thread.


Edited by Mark_C (08/31/13 04:38 PM)

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#2141932 - 08/31/13 06:47 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: laguna_greg]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1801
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
That was something of a joke about Mark repeating what I'd written before him, not so much that the repeats should be taken in that piece. In a very circuitous way, I was congratulating myself.

Yes indeed, but in the light of the other Beethoven thread and what was being discussed here too, I took the opportunity to take the words out of your intended context wink

Quote:
And what do the rules say about taking repeats? They should spell that out for you.

I can do what I want. So, I do repeats, of course.

Quote:
fnork (what does that stand for, I wonder?).

An excellent question! It's a long story that I shouldn't bother you too much with. In short, a swedish pop singer that happened to be an acquaintance of a relative of mine recorded songs amateurishly with himself on guitar and piano occasionally, in addition to singing. This was before he got famous, and the recordings were only available among a few of his friends. I got a hold of the tape, one song was called Fnork and it was about an imaginary creature, a friendly one. I liked the song and have used it as a mysterious username ever since, since nobody would be able to trace it. Hope I didn't spoil the mystery now, but really, it's no biggie wink

Though, I just found this entry in the urban dictionary, quite interesting!

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fnork

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#2141937 - 08/31/13 06:57 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
That's a wonderful story!

...and by all means, disencontext away (if one can say it like that).
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2142006 - 08/31/13 10:46 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: fnork
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
fnork (what does that stand for, I wonder?).

An excellent question! It's a long story....

I had wondered that myself.

All I could think of (and it even almost made sense, since you're in a country that's sort of near this stuff, I suppose) was "Fjord" with a couple of typos. grin

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#2142014 - 08/31/13 10:58 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: Mark_C]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: fnork
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
fnork (what does that stand for, I wonder?).

An excellent question! It's a long story....

I had wondered that myself.

All I could think of (and it even almost made sense, since you're in a country that's sort of near this stuff, I suppose) was "Fjord" with a couple of typos. grin


I hadn't thought of that...I LOVE the fjords...
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2142018 - 08/31/13 11:14 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
D. S. F. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 144
This sounds like a great competition. I love the freedom, and I think you'll do great with that program. I would love to hear it! And that's a very cool story about your name. And I enjoyed the Fjords last summer in a 10 day day tour of Scandinavia.
_________________________
Music does not have to be understood;
It has to be listened to.
- Hermann Scherchen.

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#2142033 - 08/31/13 11:52 PM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Hey Fnork,

I don't know if I or anybody here has said so, but we ALL want you to win 1st prize!

We DO!!! AND WE THINK YOU CAN!!!!!
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2142106 - 09/01/13 04:09 AM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2472
Loc: France
Good morning, this one sounds like a good-spirited competition, and your program seems to come from the heart. Give it your best!

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#2142122 - 09/01/13 05:21 AM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1277
Loc: Stockholms lšn, Sverige
The programme is fantastic. I look forward to hearing the recordings as well as a particular event this September wink


M.

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#2142216 - 09/01/13 11:10 AM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: Mark_C]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1801
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: fnork
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
fnork (what does that stand for, I wonder?).

An excellent question! It's a long story....

I had wondered that myself.

Schh, don't tell anyone that I told you guys! Fnork is a friendly but secretive creature, who certainly wouldn't be happy to know that he's in the spotlight somewhere smile

Regarding misunderstandings and guesses, I've had a few over the years - the one on fjords was new, though, haha!

Back to practicing...

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#2142592 - 09/02/13 12:42 AM Re: Comment/critique my competition program, please! [Re: fnork]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6159
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Excellent choice (also because of its originality) - if I could come I would. There are even a couple of pieces that would be new to me, and this would be exciting. smile
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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