Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Big Recital

You may have noticed that I have a countdown to my "big recital" in my sidebar.

I've never had my own piano recital. I played in student recitals, from about 1977 until 1991, but I've never done my own thing. I was supposed to have a recital in 1992, my senior year of college, but I lost my mind that year and didn't find it in time for the recital. I had planned to play some Debussy, Dett, a Beethoven sonata (Op. 10, No. 1 in C minor), Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu, two Schubert impromptus, a Rachmaninoff prelude, and theKhatchaturian Toccata.

So much for that.

As many of you may already know, I didn't play piano much after 1992 (graduation from college) until a couple of years ago when I moved to the Asheville area. I started taking lessons again, decided I wanted to take piano seriously again, and ... got the idea for a recital.

I'm thinking of it as a music school audition. No, I'm not planning to go to music school. But I'm looking at the types of things music schools require for their auditions, and using those guidelines as I decide what I'll play for my recital.

I'm planning for October 27, by the way. In 2007.

Here's what I'm planning to play (so far):

Something Baroque: Bach, Prelude & Fugue in C# Major

Something Classical: Either a Haydn or Mozart sonata, or an early Beethoven. I think I would prefer an early Beethoven, since Ludwig is my short, misanthropic, deaf soulmate and all.

A Bunch of Romantic Stuff: I'm thinking a couple of Liszt transcriptions, since I'm already working on "Standchen" and it is gorgeous. Also, I'm supposed to be starting Chopin's Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major this fall. If I do a Haydn or Mozart for the classical piece, I'll see about doing a shorter piece by Beethoven, probably a Bagatelle.

Something showy and flashy and modern: No idea what I'll do there. Thinking about Bartok since I like him and all. I think that will be enough for a recital. If it's not, I'll see what else I can do. I certainly don't want to overdo it, though!

Anyway, mark your calendars for October 27, 2007. That date is not set in stone, but I do love the number 27, so it'll be the 27th of some month in late 2007!


robert said...

Hmmmm -- nice program! Some random comments and ideas.

Bach. Can't beat him for a program opener. Very traditional, and I like very traditional!

Classical. I'd go for Mozart. What about K. 332? It's got a first movement that really rattles in his best style, and a third movement that's a crowd pleaser. Alicia de Larrocha has played this one a lot, and always to good effect. If Beethoven -- well, I hope not Op. 13. Played way too much. What about Op. 31.2, one of my own favorites, although not quite early. A last movement that just won't wait!

Romantic. Do you want to take on that Ballade after a year? Maybe! What about Liszt's transcription of Hark...the Lark?

Showy/modern. Dohynani C major Rhapsody has always brought down the house when I've heard it played. Here's a really quirky one -- Bartok's "fly" from the last volume of Mikrokosmos. Done with the right spirit and speed -- no one will have heard it, and all will be entranced.

Linda said...

Hi Waterfall,

Just started reading your blog. I also did everything but a senior recital as a music major many years ago but had gotten married and a baby came sooner than expected. For many years didn't play because there was not enough time to work on it and I couldn't stand hearing myself play badly. For some years didn't even have a piano. But a year ago with my kids now all grown up and more time available for myself I figured it was now or never. I have, like you made a committment to practicing although I am not planning a recital. It has been so rewarding because my work is paying off and I really feel I'm "back in the game''. I am really enjoying reading about how you are approaching practicing. Keep it up and I look foward to following your progess.

Waterfall said...

r: Yes, I agree about Bach. And that C# major prelude is so energizing ... I think it will be a great opening. Plus, it will be nice to start with something (the prelude) that isn't too difficult.

I like K. 332. I've never played an entire sonata--mainly because I've never stayed with a teacher long enough to learn one. I've played the expositions for K. 333, K. 310, and K. 311, and of course K. 545. So, I'll talk with my piano teacher about which would be best for me. It would be nice to start something totally new, but at the same time I'd like to "finish what I started" with at least one of these sonatas.

I've never laid eyes on the sheet music to the Ballade, though I've heard that it's the easiest one (easy being a relative term, I guess). My piano teacher suggested it about a year ago. I was actually going to start it last year, but my teaching job turned out to be a disaster for my practice time. So, the Ballade will be shelved until I'm (much) further along with the pieces I'm learning now.

I'm not familiar with the Dohynani, but I just listened to it on I like it!

Thanks for your helpful suggestions!

linda: Sounds like we have a few things in common. I'm so glad you've started playing again. I started back a couple of years ago and only thought about doing a recital a couple of months ago. Like you, I love that sense of being "back in the game"--I guess I want some sort of medium to share that with others, and also to challenge myself.

Glad you're here!

robert said...


Tried to be helpful, glad I succeeded! I actually took your C# prelude for a spin last nite, since all-black-key-arps are something of a house specialty here. Previously I would have said it would be the last of the 48 preludes I'd learn. Now it has definitely moved up in the ranking. But I'm strange about playing on black teacher probably expected me to shudder when she mentioned Chopin 10.5, but my response "bring it on" (to coin a phrase).

So true about Mozart. I've got precisely the issue you have with started and not finished.

As for Chopin. Your teacher knows best. It is true that in common parlance, B 3 is the least ferocious. But ferocious enough. But it's all very individual. Two examples:

1. Me. In common parlance, Chopin 25.12 is one of the harder etudes. But she gave it to me and it's moving along.

2. One of her other students who's at my level. He really wanted to do B 1, and he is. But, as my teacher said "he'll probably be on it for two years." I'm doing a more gradual approach -- we agreed on a couple more etudes, then a ballade or scherzo, then a couple more etudes, then either Op. 49 or the E minor concerto.