Will the Tempest blow me away?

Posted by: Deerwood Dad

Will the Tempest blow me away? - 10/28/09 12:11 PM

I'm an adult "re-beginner". I spent a number of years studying organ (from about age 9 or 10 through college), but not "very" seriously (like any other "kid", I practiced when I could and more or less to avoid the shame and embarassment of appearing to have made little or no progress at my lessons). In college, I wasn't a music major, just took private lessons for a few credits. When my organ career ended, I was studing Bach trio sonatas, more basic preludes/fugues (from Bach's complete organ works), Buxtehude, some French compositions (Franck, Louis Vierne, Messiaen), Brahms and a hodge podge of other things. My repetroire wasn't very large, but my technical skills were "developing". It all pretty much ended in 1979.

Fast forward almost 30 years. I have been taking piano lessons now for about 2.5 years at a local conservatory, and have finished working on things like Rachmaninoff's C# Minor Prelude, a few movements of Bach's Fifth French Suite, the third movement of Bach's Italian Concerto, etc. I'm starting to work on Beethoven's 32 C Minor Variations (as a technique builder), and similar pieces. My touch and technique continue to improve, but I have a long long way to go and always will. It's a lifelong affair. This is all a long-winded bit of background.

My instructor is asking what I want to do next. I am thinking about biting off something big (like a Beethoven Sonata). Am I about to go into too deep an end of the pool here? As I look at the Tempest Sonata (for example), the notes don't look "that" complicated (like, e.g., Rach's G minor prelude which pretty much scares the H out of me), but am wondering what you all think? The third movement of the Tempest is, in my opinion, has an ethereal beauty to it. How much skill does it take to do a composition like this justice?

OK, let me have it. I can take it.
Posted by: HomeInMyShoes

Re: Will the Tempest blow me away? - 10/28/09 01:56 PM

It might blow you away, but there's no harm in taking a bite, chewing it over for a bit to see how it tastes and then spit it out and re-evaluate in another half year. You can always put it back on the shelf and come back to it in another year. I've started biting off bits and pieces of Opus 28 (Sonata in D, Pastoral). I'm in love with the fun of the Andante middle section, but have bit off a bit of the opening movement as well. I suck at it, but I'm better at it now than I was a few years ago. I'll probably go at it for a couple of months off and on and then reshelve it and come back to it in another year and see where the smaller pieces I work on have gotten me.

You can always start with a few slow movements and work towards the faster movements. There's lots of trickiness in Beethoven, but you know that.

Outside of the Beethoven, I've been working on Mendelssohn op. 19, no. 2, 4, op. 30, no. 6. Schumann op. 15, no. 4, 8. Gives me some shorter stuff I might actually get reasonably complete.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Will the Tempest blow me away? - 10/28/09 03:11 PM

If you can play the middle section of the Rachmaninoff c# minor, you can play the 3rd movement of Tempest.

I agree, it's absolutely gorgeous.

The first movement I've found more difficult.


Mel
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Will the Tempest blow me away? - 10/28/09 05:29 PM

Some of the pieces you're playing are certainly advanced. I would ask you teacher. I think the hardest technical part of the Tempest is the triplets in the first movement but I don't know the piece that well. I certainly think it's harder than the g minor Prelude(only the half page starting in E flat is very hard IMO).