This has been one productive year for me so far! Working on sight reading has really helped up the pace at which I devour pieces. Although it’s still August, the weather and I are both switching into Fall mode. Its beautiful and dry out, low 20s C, and I even saw pumpkin spice tea on sale. Seems like fall to me!
My big goal for this season is to work on my performance anxiety and get used to performing for living human beings. I have so many pieces under my belt and I really should start atleast performing for people at home to get used to it. It’s begun to trouble me that people eagerly ask me where I will be performing in the future and I don’t have a good answer to it. Here’s my practice sheet for fall 2014:
Chopin etude op. 10 no.3
It’s been scarely two weeks since I started reading this piece and I’m pleased to see that I’ve been able to keep a solid pace. This is by no means an easy piece but I can tell that it is easier for me to play than I expected it to be. It’s also my second etude now and I’m glad I’m getting back into the Chopin etudes – not just for technique, but I missed Chopin!
I’m sure I will have another new piece come September or October but I have no clue yet as to what it will be. So far, I never end up playing anything that I’ve planned for so I’m just going to leave it up to the Universe for now! 🙂
Beethoven op. 28 no.15 “Pastorale”
I picked this one in May since it was love at first playing for me. Beethoven is just….awesome. Still feels so different to play him. I memorised this piece in a month flat but the real work only starts after. I’m at the stage where I’m mostly done internalising the notes and am working on phrasing and pedalling. And yep, this piece looks easy to read and it is, more or less, but playing it well is…ha! A zillion things to keep track and I’ve probably thought as deeply about pedalling as I do in this piece. It doesn’t help that Beethoven didn’t bother putting a single pedalling indication in the entirety of the piece – but it sounds so beautiful when pedalled right. (I’ve also been referring to an amazing book pedalling throughout all this – will review it soon!)
Rachmaninoff Prelude op. 3 no.2
I surprised myself, again, by picking up this prelude as my ‘easy’ piece. Alright its not really easy, but it is easier than the rest of the stuff I’m playing! I really enjoyed reading this piece – so many easy patterns and things to see. And I was so tired of the key of D major (both my Mozart and Beethoven sonatas somehow are in D!) that I needed a nice minor for a breath of fresh air. And Rach really delivers! The best part is that this piece has served as a nice introduction to Rach for me (it’s his easiest prelude) and it’s made my fingers move differently than in other pieces. The emotions in this one just pour out with the insane ffff dynamics and playing deeply at that volume is all new to me.
I know that a Liszt etude is on the horizon somewhere but Liszt scares me right now. No, really he does. So I’m looking at adding to my collection of Chopin etudes to help me prepare for the insanity that would be Liszt. As long as they aren’t in D major that is! The three on the list thus far are:
-Etude op. 25 no.1
– Etude op. 10 no. 1
– Etude op. 25 no.12
Bach piano Concerto in d minor BWV 1052
And pieces like this one make all my planning just disappear. This one is just so cool – starts out with a bang and it’s just so beautiful. When I first heard it, it felt like it made Bach’s enormous presence simply known and it was awe-inspiring. This isn’t a terribly easy piece to play despite what it sounds like. I did try to sight read it and I kid you not, the Rach prelude and the first page of the Chopin etude (op. 10 no.3) were easier to sight read. But I would still love to be able to play this one day.
That about wraps it up for my fall practice sheet! 🙂