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#344771 - 09/29/01 07:39 AM studying a concerto...
shofir Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19
Loc: Israel
I am wondering: how does one study a concerto?
I mean, don't you at least need another pianist to play the orchestra part?

I'v also heard about CD's of just the orchestra part. Is that practical? can you trully sinchronize yourself with a recorded orchestra? what if you make a mistake and want to go back just 4 bars, is that possible with a CD?

thanks
shofir

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#344772 - 09/29/01 10:59 AM Re: studying a concerto...
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18029
Loc: Victoria, BC
Shofir:

One studies a concerto the same way one studies any piano work. Just as you (probably) study a new work in sections, so do you study a concerto in sections. It's only when you need to put the whole thing together that you need the accompaniment of the second piano.

There are recordings - there used to be a label called "Music Minus One" where only the orchestral parts of standard concertos were recorded - that one can use to accompany the solo part. The trouble with that, however, is that if your piano is not tuned to A440 and the piano on the CD is, you might be fighting a pitch battle with the recording. (Some more advanced CD players do allow you to change pitch slightly, but that's a feature not available on all CD players.

If you want to repeat a section and don't have your CD player sitting right next to the piano, then of course the logistics are perhaps more trouble than they're worth, as you have to run back and forth between the piano and the CD player.

The best way is just to work diligently on the solo parts, and then when you have them worked up get together with your teacher - if you have one and s/he has two pianos - to pull the whole thing together.

Otherwise, if you are not going to have the chance to play the concerto with a second piano, studying a concerto can be an exercise in frustration.

Regards,
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Estonia 190

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#344773 - 09/30/01 01:47 PM Re: studying a concerto...
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
Shofir- Are you currently studying a concerto?
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#344774 - 10/02/01 05:22 AM Re: studying a concerto...
shofir Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19
Loc: Israel
No, Amy. I am not currently studying a concerto. But I want to stusy the schumman piano concerto. It is my favorite concerto (right along with grieg's), and in fact, this is the piece that inspired me to start studying the piano. It has always been my dream to be able to play this concerto.

But as Bruce said, since my piano teacher does not have 2 pianos, I don't think I will.

Shofir

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#344775 - 10/02/01 11:21 AM Re: studying a concerto...
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18029
Loc: Victoria, BC
Shofir:

On the other hand ...

Maybe you can put up with the "frustration" of not being able to perform the concerto but still study the solo parts. There is some lovely writing in the Schumann - as there is in the Grieg - and you never know when you might have the chance to work with someone on a second piano.

Just an added second thought ..

Regards,
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Estonia 190

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#344776 - 10/02/01 03:30 PM Re: studying a concerto...
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
I am going to start a concerto as soon as I get a couple solos finished up. I am deciding between the Grieg and the Schumann. Any advice?
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#344777 - 10/02/01 04:45 PM Re: studying a concerto...
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 839
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
This is just a suggestion Amy, but you may also want to consider the keyboard concertos by J.S. Bach. He is really the 'Father' of the keyboard concerto so the historical aspect can be invaluable. Every one of his solo keyboard concertos are masterpieces.

Mozart was also a master in the piano concerto form, and while they may not be as flashy as the Grieg or Schumann, they are truly great works. As with other Mozart works the music sounds deceptively easy when it is in fact very difficult to pull off musically.

I may be biased, but I am of the opinion that the concerto genre saw its pinnacle with Mozart & Beethoven and hasn't been surpassed since.
*ducks from all the flames*
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#344778 - 10/03/01 01:01 PM Re: studying a concerto...
shofir Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19
Loc: Israel
Thanks Bruce,

I don't think I will study just the solo part of the concerto, it just wouldn't be right.
But don't worry, I have not given up. I am thinking about replacing my upright with a grand in a year or so, but now I think I might keep the upright too. That way I'll also be able to play duets.
And, I just might try those "Music minus one" CD's. No one has ever died from a little frustration (well, not yet, anyway... ;\) )


Now, Amy:

The reason I love Schumann's concerto so much, is because it incorporates the piano and the orchestra in the most beutifull way. While in other concerti the piano and the orchestra are two separate beings with two different distinctive roles, I feel that in Schumann's concerto they are one. They complete each other in a wonderful simbiotic way, I have yet heared in any other concerto (and that is why I refuse to study just the piano solo part).
Grieg's concerto is very much like Schumann's in a lot of ways (It is my suspicion that Grieg was influenced by Schmann's concerto when he wrote his (perhaps someone on this forum can verify or dismiss this assumption)), but it is "flashier" (not necessarily in a bad way - a beutiful dramatic cadenza).

Mozart - well, Vid is right. You can't go wrong with Mozart. Especially with his late concerti (no. 20 and on). I think that he truely excels in the slow sections. His andantes and adagios are IMHO the most beutifull in all of the conceti literature (and I have to admit that the slow section of Schumann's concerto is rather poor).

Beethoven - Musically & intellectualy speaking there is no doubt that his concerti are of the highest level, but emotionaly they do not stimulate me as Schumann's and Grieg's do (there are parts at Schumann's concerto where I feel that my whole "insides" are turning and that my heart is swelling and about to explode).

So my advise would be:

If you want to play a truely "Romantic" concerto, go with either Schumann's or Grieg's. Assuming that technically they are of the same level (I am not sure about that), just listen to both of them very carefully and decide which of them you like best (of course my choise would be Schumann's...)
And if you want to play a very very very very nice and beutifull concerto, and this is your first concerto - go with Mozart (no. 20 is a must)


Shofir


PS I am truely sory for all my English mistakes. I find trying to express my thougts and ideas in English rather frustrating. I assure you that had this forum been in Hebrew I would have been far more articulate. I hope you can understand what I was trying to say...

[ October 03, 2001: Message edited by: shofir ]

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#344779 - 10/03/01 04:35 PM Re: studying a concerto...
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
This will be my first concerto but I don't want to do a Mozart because I have studied a lot of Mozart and nothing of Grieg or Schumann. I really want to do something out of the classical or baroque eras. Any others that have not been mentioned that I should listen to?
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#344780 - 10/04/01 11:08 AM Re: studying a concerto...
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Amy,

If it is a 'toss-up' between the Greig & the Schumann, keep in mind that the Schumann is quite a bit more difficult. With the Greig, you get quite a bit of 'bang for the buck' because it looks & sounds more difficult than it is---I would say the Schumann is just the opposite; more difficult than it sounds, though the Schumann would be my choice as far as the music goes---

my $.02

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#344781 - 10/06/01 05:43 PM Re: studying a concerto...
aznlilies2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/01
Posts: 27
Loc: Dallas
Amy, I would say Schumann, but i would also suggest the Ravel G Major. The second movement is extremely lyrical and beautiful while the first has a jazz flavor to some of it.

Also, you may want to consider the Chopin concertos or the Shostakovich 1st.

[ October 06, 2001: Message edited by: aznlilies2001 ]
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#344782 - 10/06/01 07:42 PM Re: studying a concerto...
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
I'll have to start listening to lots more. I've heard a couple Chopin that were pretty nice. I haven't heard the Ravel or the Shostickochsadfjaf (I have no idea how to spell it haha)
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#344783 - 10/06/01 07:43 PM Re: studying a concerto...
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
One more thing....
What do you think about the Camille Saint-Saens no. 2? Has anyone studied that one?
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#344784 - 10/06/01 10:44 PM Re: studying a concerto...
magnezium Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 722
Loc: Singapore
how difficult is the Ravel G? this is one of the most beautiful concertos i've ever heard and i'd love to learn the 2nd movement...

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#344785 - 10/06/01 10:48 PM Re: studying a concerto...
aznlilies2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/01
Posts: 27
Loc: Dallas
 Quote:
Originally posted by magnezium:
how difficult is the Ravel G? this is one of the most beautiful concertos i've ever heard and i'd love to learn the 2nd movement...[/b]


Well, I played this concerto last summer, The 2nd movement is so beautiful, lol. I don't think it's as difficult as the Grieg, but it's about the same level as the 2 Chopin concertos. The middle part in the 1st movement with the trills gave me lots of trouble, but I didn't think that it was tremendously difficult. Beautiful piece, though.
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#344786 - 10/07/01 12:31 AM Re: studying a concerto...
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5315
Loc: McAllen, TX
The Ravel G major is not extremely difficult technically (I would actually go as far as to say that Grieg and Schumann are easily twice as hard as it). There are one or two tricky spots in the third movement, but for the most part the writing falls well under the hand. I actually felt that the hardest part was memorizing the opening solo in the second movement; the weird turns of the bass line kept me guessing forever. It was enormous fun to play and a challenge to put together with the orchestra that I did it with,

Amy, Saint-Saens #2 is quite difficult. I started working on it circa when I was 16 or so, and it was a challenge then and still is now. Romantic concerti are difficult to approach. You probably shouldn't play this one as your first romantic concerto, and definitely not as your first concerto period. Do a Haydn or Mozart concerto, and afterwards play Ravel. Saint-Saens is much more difficult than it sounds.

Edit:

Stay away from the Chopin concerti, also. They are all very, very difficult, almost on par with Rachmaninoff 1st or 2nd

[ October 07, 2001: Message edited by: Brendan ]
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#344787 - 10/07/01 11:50 AM Re: studying a concerto...
aznlilies2001 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/01
Posts: 27
Loc: Dallas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:

Stay away from the Chopin concerti, also. They are all very, very difficult, almost on par with Rachmaninoff 1st or 2nd

[ October 07, 2001: Message edited by: Brendan ][/b]


I personally don't think that the Chopin concerti are on par with the Rachs and Tchaikovsky, and that sort of thing. I started learning the 2nd Chopin concerto when I was 13. It was moderately difficult, but it was easy to put with the orchestra. Chopin basically writes piano solo with whole note changes in the orchestra. Then when the piano part stops, the orchestra gets the main role. I think the Chopin concerto No. 1 is a bit harder, but I'm not sure.
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#344788 - 10/07/01 11:56 AM Re: studying a concerto...
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5315
Loc: McAllen, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by aznlilies2001:


I personally don't think that the Chopin concerti are on par with the Rachs and Tchaikovsky, and that sort of thing. I started learning the 2nd Chopin concerto when I was 13. It was moderately difficult, but it was easy to put with the orchestra. Chopin basically writes piano solo with whole note changes in the orchestra. Then when the piano part stops, the orchestra gets the main role. I think the Chopin concerto No. 1 is a bit harder, but I'm not sure.[/b]


Ensemble-wise, yes they are not difficult to put together, but the solo part is very hard (e minor more so than f minor). I made the comparison to Rachmaninoff because of the extremely varied technical writing in both concerti. Yes, they are not as difficult, but I would be prepared to argue at least the e minor is in the same league.
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