The order of pieces for a recital

Posted by: DonaldLee

The order of pieces for a recital - 11/15/12 09:17 AM

Hello all!

I've just gotten an exciting request from my piano professor. He wants me to give a full length recital at the end of the year because of the progress that I've made so far. I have several pieces in my repertoire right now, but I have no idea how to make a cohesive program out of them. Pieces that I've learned so far this semester include:

Sonata #1- Ginastera
Sonata #26- Beethoven
Impromptu no. 3 op. 142- Schubert
Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2- Liszt with an original cadenza
Prelude & Fugue no. 20 (WTCII)- Bach

That alone is a little over an hour's worth of music. I also have these in my repertoire from high school:

Prelude op. 23 no. 5- Rach
La Campanella- Liszt
Concert Paraphrase on the Turkish March- Volodos
Ballade- Debussy

Now, I'll be learning another 1-2 hours worth of music next semester, but I wouldn't want to perform it then. Do you all think that there's a decent program amongst all of these vastly different pieces? I was thinking maybe:

Prelude op. 23 no. 5
Prelude and Fugue no. 20
Beethoven Sonata
*intermission*
Ginastera Sonata
Schubert Impromptu
Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2

La campanella and the Turkish March for potential encores

What do you all think?

Donald Lee
Posted by: fledgehog

Re: The order of pieces for a recital - 11/15/12 05:08 PM

I would put the P&F first. Not everyone likes convention, so you may not want to do that but I just think the program would look nicer that way.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The order of pieces for a recital - 11/15/12 05:16 PM

I think the hungarian rhapsody would work well first.
Posted by: Arghhh

Re: The order of pieces for a recital - 11/15/12 07:24 PM

I would perform at least some of what you're learning next semester because of the time involved with maintaining and bringing your old stuff up to your new level. 1-2 hours of new music plus putting on a recital is would take too much practice time.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The order of pieces for a recital - 11/15/12 07:57 PM

I would recommend playing your program as is but omitting the Rachmaninov Prelude. I don't think single Rach Prelude make sense anywhere in a recital except an encore.

You could add a piece between the Bach and Beethoven, The only one in your list I would use is the Debussy. Or maybe you could change the order in the first half and do Debussy, Bach, Beethoven?
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The order of pieces for a recital - 11/15/12 07:59 PM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
I think the hungarian rhapsody would work well first.
Although I think Lisitsa did that(?) at her Albert Hall recital and one of the pianists at the Mannes IKIF did this last summer, I don't really see the point.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: The order of pieces for a recital - 11/15/12 08:10 PM

She did it with No. 12. I think it works because they work very well as overtures. Pieces that allow the audience to relax and get into the zone without having to concentrate too hard as the music isn't particularly profound or sophisticated. If you listen to Lisitsa's preconcert talk I think she justifies her choice very well.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: The order of pieces for a recital - 11/16/12 05:42 AM

Originally Posted By: debrucey
She did it with No. 12. I think it works because they work very well as overtures. Pieces that allow the audience to relax and get into the zone without having to concentrate too hard as the music isn't particularly profound or sophisticated. If you listen to Lisitsa's preconcert talk I think she justifies her choice very well.


Yes, she played it as a 'prelude' to her main course, in order to allow photographers to click and flash away so that when the serious stuff got underway (starting with Mozart), everyone would be settled down. The HR was left out of the CD because of the noisy clicking, but it's on the DVD.

Lang Lang did the same when he appeared on stage at a rock venue, engulfed by fake smoke.....(goodness knows how he still played all the right notes.... grin).
Posted by: pv88

Re: The order of pieces for a recital - 11/16/12 06:53 AM

Speaking of VL, here is a good reason she is one of the greatest virtuosos living today, as her virtuosity serves the music and not the player...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCucnn-95nY

Too many other pianists are "out for speed!"
Posted by: DonaldLee

Re: The order of pieces for a recital - 11/16/12 10:02 AM

I wanted to make sure I opened with something that's easy to swallow, like the Rach. I know that it's popular to open with a prelude and fugue, but I've never understood why. Why is this such a common practice?
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: The order of pieces for a recital - 11/16/12 11:00 AM

Originally Posted By: DonaldLee
I wanted to make sure I opened with something that's easy to swallow, like the Rach. I know that it's popular to open with a prelude and fugue, but I've never understood why. Why is this such a common practice?
Probably because for a long time many recitals were more or less done in historical order. That's not so popular now and perhaps considered old fashioned, but I'm not sure your pieces work in some other order(obviously just my opinion). I think the problem with playing a single short piece by one composer is that it makes the program look like a grab bag of pieces with no unity. It's extremely rare in my recital going experience to hear a program with a single short piece a composer.

I checked out the 25+ concerts at last summer's IKIF and only around 2 programs had a single short piece by a composer.
http://www.ikif.org/schedule.aspx