Favourite composer - Who do you enjoy playing?

Technique, methods and advice for learners

Favourite composer - Who do you enjoy playing?

Beethoven
6
21%
Chopin
8
29%
Mozart
4
14%
J.S. Bach
6
21%
Schubert
0
No votes
Debussy
1
4%
Rachmaninoff
2
7%
Schumann
1
4%
Brahms
0
No votes
Liszt
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 28

Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:46 pm

Just to complicate things, I would add that our choices of favorite composers may often stem from which of their works we have been exposed to. Lots of people love "Fuer Elise" but are completely turned off by the "Hammerklavier" Sonata or the Missa Solemnis. And if all you ever heard of Scriabin, say, was the early preludes, how would you react to the 9th Sonata?

I think one reason some of the great names like Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, etc. are considered great is that they were able to encompass such a broad range of emotions and even styles. So it might be fun to go farther afield into some of these guys' less popular works, such as:

Chopin: The Mazurkas that have no ending; the E major Scherzo; the Fantaisie in F minor.
Beethoven: String Quartet in A minor, Opus 132; slow movement and Fugue from Opus 106 ("Hammerklavier").
Bach: Art of the Fugue.
Liszt: "Gray Clouds" (piano solo).
Debussy: Prelude "Footsteps in the Snow".

Some of these get pretty esoteric and need more than one hearing, but you really get more of a sense of the range and power of their creative abilities.

Dr. Bill.
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Postby Mins Music » Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:44 pm

nrogers wrote:The thing that really taught me to start appreciating Bach was actually listening to his non-keyboard music--the Orchestral Suites, Mass in B Minor, Cantatas, etc.

Completely agree!! I was married to Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No 4 - my favourite piece at the time!! Still love it.

Play it really loud with all the lights off, lying on the floor, and try following the line of one of the instruments.

Still gives me goosebumps! The man was utter genius!

pianolover, what's your favourite piece you're learning at the moment?
"I forget what I was taught, I only remember what I've learnt." - Patrick White, Australian novelist.
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Postby 112-1089851768 » Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:56 pm

I am currently working on Musette in a song book full of selections from Anna Magdalena's notebook...loads of fun :)
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Postby Chris X » Sat Jul 24, 2004 8:44 pm

Dr. Bill Leland wrote:Just to complicate things, I would add that our choices of favorite composers may often stem from which of their works we have been exposed to. Lots of people love "Fuer Elise" but are completely turned off by the "Hammerklavier" Sonata or the Missa Solemnis. And if all you ever heard of Scriabin, say, was the early preludes, how would you react to the 9th Sonata?

I think one reason some of the great names like Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, etc. are considered great is that they were able to encompass such a broad range of emotions and even styles. So it might be fun to go farther afield into some of these guys' less popular works, such as:

Chopin: The Mazurkas that have no ending; the E major Scherzo; the Fantaisie in F minor.
Beethoven: String Quartet in A minor, Opus 132; slow movement and Fugue from Opus 106 ("Hammerklavier").
Bach: Art of the Fugue.
Liszt: "Gray Clouds" (piano solo).
Debussy: Prelude "Footsteps in the Snow".

Some of these get pretty esoteric and need more than one hearing, but you really get more of a sense of the range and power of their creative abilities.

Dr. Bill.

Hi, sorry I have not posted in so long. I just wanted to comment that I absolutely love Chopin's Fantasie in F minor. I myself have always wanted to learn it, but it seems very difficult and complex, in a way like his Ballades.
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:57 am

Yes it is, Chris, and a lot of those longer works are not necessarily harder mechanically but are much more so musically. You have to begin developing a real sense of architecture, make the different sections relate to a whole concept, etc. And you have to hold your own and the audience's concentration throughout--that's one of the hardest things of all.

Dr. Bill
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Postby Chris X » Thu Jul 29, 2004 6:11 pm

Thank you Dr. Bill,

I have kind of a goofy question, but would you reccomend learning the Ballade in G minor. I often listen to the piece while reading the score for fun. Currently it is one of my favorite piano pieces to listen to.

My concern would be that I have not done a lot of the harder Chopin pieces except the Chopin Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48, no.1. I've studied and practiced it, but it is no where near a performance level. It seemed that my biggest struggle with that piece was the musicality.
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Sat Jul 31, 2004 10:44 am

I played the G minor Ballade at my high school graduation (500 years ago!). That's not bragging--I was nowhere near ready for it technically. But it's a wonderful piece, with many different moods and a rondo form that keeps bringing the main theme back.

Probably the coda is the hardest section--how's your forearm rotation mechanism?

Good idea to listen to great artists play it--try to hear at least three, though, for different ideas. And by all means include Artur Rubinstein.

Dr. Bill.
Technique is 90 per cent from the neck up.
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Postby Chris X » Sat Jul 31, 2004 4:13 pm

I have a live Horrowitz recording, and I listen to it a lot with the score. I have heard other recordings, but I cannot remember the performer.

As for my forarm rotation mechanism, I believe it can definitely use some improvement.

How would you compare the Ballade in G minor in terms of difficulty with the Nocturne in C minor, op. 48, no.1. When I was working on that piece, I did not have as much trouble as I expected with the technical parts of it. What I had the most trouble with was the touch, tone, and musicality.
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Postby 81-1074658942 » Sat Jul 31, 2004 11:38 pm

Hmmm I'm still working on the opus 48 no. 1, and tone is one of the things my teacher talked about just a few days ago. Dr. Bill was right too when he said that you need a sense of architecture for longer pieces. the nocturne is about seven minutes, but that's a good bit longer than most of the other pieces at the recitals I play in. But if you really look at and listen to the music you can find all of these little unifying links through all of the sections. And letting it sink in helps. It makes much more sense now than it did a few months ago.

I just got a Hindemith CD. Sort of out of curiousity. Also because I find some of this modern music to be really fascinating. It just makes you want to stop what you're doing and listen. The more I listen to it, the more it makes sense and I really like it!

I also like finding songs by well known composers that I have never heard, or even heard of. You can find the most amazing things that way! It's a pity that so much is virtually ignored. But then again.. with all of the music out there, it's hard not to ignore some things!
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Postby 80-1091265929 » Mon Aug 02, 2004 2:26 am

favorite composer, chopin all the way, his pieces display a wide array of emotions and his pieces are just so fluid-like that they just flow... and his pieces are robotish, they use clever ways of achieving their musical end that straight nuts and bolts just don't seem to apply wholly to his music(i know they do, but it doesn't seem like it)
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Postby 80-1091265929 » Mon Aug 02, 2004 2:34 am

aren't robotish, oo sillly typing errors(probably more appropiately named forgetting errors :D )
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Postby 77-1075933204 » Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:43 pm

I LOVE CHOPIN!!!!! If only we could time warp and see him play!!! :) :) :)
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Postby cherri, the violin » Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:45 pm

I don't play the piano, but I LOVE RAKHMANINOV!!!!! Unfortunately, he didn't write any violin music.
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Postby 80-1091265929 » Sat Aug 07, 2004 4:56 pm

The nocturne, 48 no1 by chopin... Is it really that hard? I've listened to it and it doesn't sound that hard(compared to ballad 23, holy cow that piece is difficult) except at a few small spots where it sounds like you would have to practice the handwork just a wee bit (seems like 3:30-4:30 seems to be the hardest parts) :)
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Postby 81-1074658942 » Sun Aug 08, 2004 8:23 pm

well the middle part with all of the rapid fire octaves is difficult... and getting the right balance on the doppio movimento section. I mean, It's not THAT hard to bring out th melody then the bass and then have the internal harmony just going, but it IS hard to get a nice tone in the melody and bass when you're doing that. Umm... Basically tone is a big consideration throughout the whole piece. And the sotto voce section is kind of hard because you have to sustain the melody even though it's very slow. You have to watch your phrasing and use a good bit of sleight of hand to roll the chords correctly. And in the beginning you have tone and balance, and suspension of some really long melodic lines. It's just really hard to pull off musically. I think you might be able to see what I'm talking about better if you had the music in front of you.
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