PRACTICING A PIANO CONCERTO AT HOME

Posted by: aimar

PRACTICING A PIANO CONCERTO AT HOME - 01/22/13 11:29 AM

Hi everyone,

I have been browsing piano world forums for years, founding every time very interesting stuff. Thanks guys for sharing.

Two weeks ago, my teacher gave me my first piano concerto (Haydn G major), and I wonder how can I practice it at home, I mean are there CDs or audio material with the orchestral part? Is there any other way of practicing at home?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Posted by: Kimsie

Re: [b]PRACTICING A PIANO CONCERTO AT HOME[/b] - 01/22/13 11:38 AM

I would expect that after you learn your part (by itself) your teacher will play the orchestra part with you in your lessons and help you get it together. If you listen to a recording of it a number of times you will get a feel for how the orchestra and the piano fit together and that is helpful. But the most important thing for you do do right now is to learn your part and be sure to use a metronome because if you don't play in time the "orchestra" will have trouble following you.

My son tried using one of those recordings with the orchestra part with his first concerto and it really wasn't very helpful for him because you can't interact with a recording.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: PRACTICING A PIANO CONCERTO AT HOME - 01/22/13 11:40 AM

Learn the orchestral part. Maybe you don't need to play it as well as you can play the solo part, but know how it goes. Know how the orchestral part fits into your piece, too.

Practice the solo part like you would practice your solo pieces. Once you can play it through well, and know how the orchestral part fits into and around it, rehearse it with whomever is playing the orchestral part piano reduction (I assume your teacher). If it's your teacher, that'll probably be in lessons.
Posted by: Tim Adrianson

Re: PRACTICING A PIANO CONCERTO AT HOME - 01/22/13 11:48 AM

There are available a series of "Music-Minus-One" recordings available for Piano Concoertos -- but I don't know whether the Haydn is one of them. You might at least check out that avenue, in addition to the recommendations already posted. Good luck!
Posted by: BruceD

Re: [b]PRACTICING A PIANO CONCERTO AT HOME[/b] - 01/22/13 01:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Kimsie
[...]My son tried using one of those recordings with the orchestra part with his first concerto and it really wasn't very helpful for him because you can't interact with a recording.


While that is certainly true, it is also helpful to work with such recordings because they remind you that you, the soloist, are not always the one who runs the show. Learning to play with a pre-recorded orchestra part gives the practicing pianist a true sense of how to stay with what the orchestra and conductor are doing even while being the soloist in the spotlight.

What OSK says is critical to a successful performance; know the orchestra part well so that you are fully aware of how the solo part fits in with and complements what the orchestra is doing.

Regards,
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: [b]PRACTICING A PIANO CONCERTO AT HOME[/b] - 01/22/13 02:00 PM

We tried MM1 when my son was learning his first concerto movement (Haydn in D). There was a certain virtue in hearing it and in seeing that indeed, you do have to keep an exact tempo. That was a good lesson for a 12 year old. But the drawbacks from MM1, at least at that time, were pretty severe. The tempo was not adjustable beyond the two tempi the disc offered. Unfortunately, one was too slow, and the other was faster than the orchestra with whom he was playing wanted to go.

We solved the problem by having me learn enough of the orchestral part that I could work through the structure of the piece with him.

For an older student, reading through the orchestral part is essential, especially if you cannot work with the second piano part more than intermittently. For the other concertos he learned, that's exactly what he did. And since we downsized to one piano, I couldn't help him rehearse.
Posted by: didyougethathing

Re: [b]PRACTICING A PIANO CONCERTO AT HOME[/b] - 01/22/13 09:11 PM

A bit off-topic, but for those that have used the MM1 series, how does it work when there is a cadenza? Do you somehow have to fit your interpretation of the cadenza to however much blank audio is on the disc before the orchestra comes in? I've always wondered about this.
Posted by: Bogs

Re: [b]PRACTICING A PIANO CONCERTO AT HOME[/b] - 01/23/13 05:46 AM

I think you can download a MIDI file of the concert with only the orchestral part and play it on your computer. This way you can set the desired tempo in the MIDI-player. The downside is that the instruments won't sound like the actual instruments, but will have a "default"[poor piano-'like'?] sound. It can probably be made to sound like the actual orchestra is playing, but you would have to invest in proper samples for each instrument and that can get quite expensive.

If you want to go even further, take a look at Home Concert Extreme and what it can do for you [if you have a digital piano so that you can connect it to a computer]. Here is a list of concerts I found on their website, which unfortunately does not feature the G major concerto, but I'm sure with a little bit of search it can be found on the Internet.

Good luck!
Posted by: debrucey

Re: [b]PRACTICING A PIANO CONCERTO AT HOME[/b] - 01/23/13 09:41 AM

Don't just learn the orchestral reduction part, study the full orchestral score. Get to know the piece inside out.
Posted by: BDB

Re: [b]PRACTICING A PIANO CONCERTO AT HOME[/b] - 01/23/13 10:09 AM

That concerto has only string parts, so you could play it as a piano quintet. Henle sells it that way.
Posted by: arpan70

Re: PRACTICING A PIANO CONCERTO AT HOME - 01/24/13 12:46 AM

Hi,

I haven't played any concerto yet, but I have played some large scale chamber music, so I guess there will be some commonalities with practice technique. So here's what I do: learn the notes of the work and practice it slowly in tempo; listen to recordings to have an understanding of how the other instrument(s) take part in the piece; study the score, looking at how the piano and the other instrument interact. This is important to understand where you should stand out or not; ask your teacher to play the other part on a keyboard where you can choose the instrument sound; and finally work with the instrumentalist and get bullied if it's a violinist.

I guess this could be a bit applicable to practicing a concerto and I hope this helps.

Also, what do you people do when practicing large scale chamber music?