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Another repertoire opinion request


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#1 sabretooth

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Posted 25 January 2021 - 14:01

Greetings to all.

I am currently working towards a piano ARSM (dipABRSM is a possibility based on workload, but ARSM is where my current focus lies).

I have heard that 3-4 pieces are preferred but I have always favoured shorter pieces with varying styles.

Due to this I have 6 planned however either with an asterisk * can be removed and still be within the accepted time-frame providing my pauses between pieces are carefully planned.

My decision is 3 pieces from the syllabus (meeting the 20-mins from the syllabus rule) and 3 pieces which are own choice to cover the final 10 minutes.

 

From Syllabus:

63. Mozart Adagio in B minor (8:30) - slow piece (Classical)
91. Sculthorpe Night Pieces (7:30) - varying speeds but mainly slow  (20th C - mostly atonal/modal)

81. Scarlatti 2 Sonatas in C K.308/L.359 and K.309/L.454  (4:30) - first is slower, 2nd is faster (Baroque)

Total for these three: 20:30

 

Own choice:

Chopin Waltz in Ab Major op.69 no.1 (grade 8 ABRSM in 1986) (4:00) - fairly slow (Romantic)

* Halffter Habanera (grade 8 ABRSM in 2013-2014) (2:45) - slow/moderate speed (20th C - tonal)

* Martinez Allegro  1st movement from Sonata No. 3 in A (grade 8 ABRSM in 2021-2022) (3:00) - moderate-fast (Classical)

Total for these three: 9:45

 

Total time (not inclusive of breaks) : 30:15

 

Any thoughts on this, keeping in mind that either the Halffter or Martinez can be dropped if required? I'm aware that the majority of the programme is of a slower tempi so I'm hoping the Martinez and faster sections of Night Pieces, with the second Scarlatti will make up for this.

Thanks!


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#2 Orchestra_JJ

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 19:27

Hi Sabretooth,

have just replied to your Mozart Adagio question - so am sorry if I made comments which would now seem irrelevant had I read this question first(!)

I think there is nothing wrong in wanting to stick to shorter works, especially in what is actually a short program. At the end of the day you will be scored on the overall impression you give - as in have you reached the standard that the examiners consider necessary. Therefore I think most of all you need to stick what you feel strongly about - whatever weaknesses you feel you have will come out some way or another... If you play slower works very convincingly then the "speed" of the pieces will not be an issue - and one strong technical work is usually enough to convince an adjudicator if it is played with confidence. Hope this helps!
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#3 sabretooth

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Posted 07 February 2021 - 16:47

Hi Sabretooth,

have just replied to your Mozart Adagio question - so am sorry if I made comments which would now seem irrelevant had I read this question first(!)

I think there is nothing wrong in wanting to stick to shorter works, especially in what is actually a short program. At the end of the day you will be scored on the overall impression you give - as in have you reached the standard that the examiners consider necessary. Therefore I think most of all you need to stick what you feel strongly about - whatever weaknesses you feel you have will come out some way or another... If you play slower works very convincingly then the "speed" of the pieces will not be an issue - and one strong technical work is usually enough to convince an adjudicator if it is played with confidence. Hope this helps!

Hello Orchestra_JJ

 

I would like to thank you for taking the time to respond to my post and the other regarding the Mozart.

I agree with your points and have included a couple of pieces in my performance which I feel will push me somewhat and are currently just a little outside of my comfort zone, with the majority of the repertoire comfortable and, in time, secure.

Of course I am not going to choose anything here which I either do not enjoy playing, nor works against my best interests as a performer. There are times to tackle material such as this and a diploma recital is not one of them!

 

In my other post you mentioned that the Mozart takes nearly a third of the performance and would be adequate to fill a 'Classical' quota. You can see from above that I am for around a third of the performance (Mozart, Martinez) dedicating to Classical, a third (Hallfter, Sculthorpe) dedicating to 20th Century (albeit a mixture of tonal/atonal) and the remaining third split between Baroque (Scarlatti) and Romantic (Chopin). Therefore the mix and programme time covering the musical periods are not an issue.

My biggest issue with this recital is the general speed - mostly slow. I seem to shine best with intricate and delicate at a slower pace. Having said this, I added a couple of faster pieces which I just adore and are certainly not beyond my skillset.

 

Thank you once again.

s


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#4 sabretooth

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 19:37

Bump ^

 

Well after 4 weeks of learning 7 pieces, I feel it is quite distracting flicking between this many pieces and styles. After communicating with fsharpminor in another thread and feeling disenchanted with the prospect of Adagio in B minor (Mozart) due to the dirge-like nature of the piece, I craved something a little more technical or at the very least something a little more interesting.

 

My new ARSM programme therefore looks like this:

 

Mozart - Piano Sonata No. 7, K. 309 in C major (three movements)  (est-18 mins) - classical

 

Following this very melodic and somewhat lively piece, is the mostly-subdued and fairly atonal:

Sculthorpe Night Pieces (est-7.5 mins) - 20th century

 

Finally this leads into a Romantic own-choice piece which is on the lighter side:

Chopin Waltz in Ab Major op.69 no.1 (grade 8 ABRSM in 1986) (est-4 mins) -romantic

 

No. of pieces: 3

Total time (not including breaks between pieces) : 29:30

 

I feel this workload is much more manageable and likely more focused without too many piece changes and duplicates of styles/genres.

 

Thanks to @fsharpminor and @Orchestra_JJ

 

s


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#5 fsharpminor

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 21:51

Yeah thats fine.  Actually when I did  ALCM in 1963, teacher had me learn two pieces in each of three lists. So I learnt 6 pieces right up to exam and chose the best.

 from each part .   Mozart K309 was the reserve sonata to Beethoven Op10 No 2, which I scored 17/20 for.    I dont know the Sculthorpe, maybe thats something new I should try.  (My other pieces were Bach and Mendelssohn)


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#6 sabretooth

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 08:01

Just checking in some 9-10 months later to state that I achieved ARSM with the repertoire above (Mozart K309, Sculthorpe, Chopin op.69 no.1) and am now looking forward to learning some new material which will eventually turn into a dipABRSM repertoire. No rush on this one.

Thank you to everyone who offered advice and support during my journey :)

s
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#7 dorfmouse

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 09:16

Congratulations! How did you find the experience of playing a half hour of repertoire as opposed to the G8 experience?
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#8 sabretooth

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 12:28

Thank you :)
It was more exhausting than I expected it to be quite honestly and very humbling.
I did this without a teacher as a self-study project and it's reminded me that outside opinion and professional critique is important when working at something like this.
The next will definitely be done with guidance from a suitable teacher, even if only occasionally.
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#9 dorfmouse

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 12:59

Very brave! Did you get useful feedback on your performance?
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#10 sabretooth

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 14:04

The main thing I've taken away is that I should never play any Mozart ever again :D
Just kidding of course, but I do feel the comments were fair, however definitely do not sugar-coat the situation so on first inspection they seemed quite harsh.
I came back to it an hour later and read them again. There was a lot of useful information there, most of which I knew, a little I didn't and I'm sure I will find this valuable moving forward.

If there is one thing I wish was a little different it would be the way the marks are presented. As it stands there are 30 for the pieces itself and 20 for the performance. I understand why they cannot suggest X marks per piece - namely that they do not know how many pieces there will be.
I do think there must be an element of 'mark each piece out of 30 then divide total by number of pieces to get the average' and if this is true I would have loved to have seen which pieces scored higher than others, but alas this is not to be.
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#11 dorfmouse

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 15:04

Don't get too discouraged by the Mozart. My teacher feels he's one of the hardest composers to play in correct style and hesitates to play him in public.
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#12 fsharpminor

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 16:17

Don't get too discouraged by the Mozart. My teacher feels he's one of the hardest composers to play in correct style and hesitates to play him in public.

Very true,  I never did Mozart for any exams for that reason.  Different examiners have different views on interpretation of Mozart, particularly  with regard to phrasing and ornamentation.


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#13 Grotrian

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 17:11

I would echo what others have already said about Mozart and add that the sheer simplicity/clarity of Mozart means that it is hard to "hide". And the older I grow the more I realize that Mozart's music especially his later works almost require life experience to bring out the depths of emotion hidden in the apparently simple melodies.


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#14 fsharpminor

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 20:47

Whilst I have played all the Sonatas at various ties, for me Mozart's real masterpiece is the late Rondo in A Minor , quite difficult both from the point of view of notes, fingering and especially correct interpretation. 


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#15 AdLibitum

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Posted 14 December 2021 - 09:06

Don't get too discouraged by the Mozart. My teacher feels he's one of the hardest composers to play in correct style and hesitates to play him in public.

Along the same lines, my teacher says that everyone will hear a wrong note in Mozart but no one will hear a wrong note in Debussy!

Sabretooth, congratulations on your achievement! Very impressive, especially without a teacher.
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