Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Giorni - My Recital #15 Entry

Last Friday, with about 7 hours to spare, I submitted this file to the Pianoworld Adult Beginner's Forum Online Recital server. The recording is 6 minutes, 50 seconds long, so go ahead and grab it now, if you are curious, then read on.

Box.net link

I Giorni - Always Wanted to Play Piano

I have a lot of thoughts on this, and they are all over the place. So rather than try to build them together in a coherent narrative, I have instead decided to interview myself. Which is a sloppy way of connecting disconnected thoughts, but hey, maybe it will work out. We'll see.

Q: Hi, Aw2pp, thanks for taking time out with us today. So, to get started, why I Giorni?
A: Glad to be here. After playing I Due Fiumi for the June recital, I took some time with my Alfred's pieces, trying to make up some lost ground there. And for about 6 weeks, I did make progress, completing about one piece per week. But before long, the idea of having to put together an acceptable recital piece began to loom large, and none of the Alfred's pieces seemed suitable. So I started looking around, and I Giorni seemed like the most logical next step in the Einaudi catalog.

Q: So it's only Einaudi pieces for you, in terms of recital entries?
A: Not at all. I envy folks who submit Bach minuets and inventions, ragtime pieces, Chopin preludes, and obscure jazz selections. I just can't play any of that. Until then, these Einaudi pieces represent, to me, the best mix of interesting / approachable music out there. Some day soon, I will submit something else, but this wasn't the time.

Q: I see that yours is the longest entry in this quarter's recital. How does that make you feel?

A: It's not supposed to be that long. It's more a matter of me not being able to play it quite up to the correct tempo. So if anything, I guess I am a little embarrassed.

Q: How was it learning I Giorni?
A: Not bad. It didn't take more than a week or so to get it recognizable, then another week to be able to play it the whole week through. There were a couple of sections I had to play over and over, and never quite got there... and I'm short a few BPM on the tempo. But this is my first experience with extended runs of simultaneous 8th notes on both hands, my first 16th notes, and first time playing 8th notes with two fingers on the same hand at the same time. If that makes any sense.

Q: Not really, but we'll move on. Anything you wish you had done differently?

A: Well, sure. I think this particular recording has a very weak finish, with a number of hesitations and missed notes in the last 90 seconds or so. I'd like to have those back, but since the first 5 minutes are fairly clean, I'm good with the result, all things considered.

Q: What's next?
A: Well, back to Alfred's for awhile. I know that, at this point, there is no way I can finish Alfred's Book 2 this year. But if I make some good progress this Fall, I might be done with it some time in the Spring. And of course, the next ABF Recital is right before Thanksgiving, so I will have to have something polished by then. Maybe Nefeli, maybe a Bach piece, I don't know. But whatever I decide on, I will use it as a carrot for making progress in Alfred's.

Q: Huh?
A: That is, I am going to try to keep focus on making technical progress, doing my lessons, and improving my skills. If I get through, say, 5 or 6 Alfred's pieces, maybe I'll start picking through the stack of fun things then. I figure as I progress technically, I should be able to pick up new fun pieces more quickly, and perhaps broaden the range of things I am able to play. Nothing against Einaudi, but there is a world of music out there, and most of it is beyond my ability at this point.

Q: Ok, then. Don't you have a real job or something? You should probably get back to that.
A: You're right. Later.

- Aw2pp, native Hawaiian.


Anonymous said...

Very pretty. I think you play it well. There were some parts the sounded like they must have been tough to put together, and you handled them quite nicely. I like it!

Nancy said...

Very nicely played. After hearing your last recital piece I went out and bought the book :) I haven't played anything in it yet, as I got sucked into the Canon in D song - the one in Alfred #2 and the other one a slightly more complicated version.

Always Wanted to Play Piano said...

Thanks, y'all.

Nancy, you are a bit further along than I am, so some of the Einaudi pieces will come together more quickly for you than they did me. But if you are looking for something to get started with, I would recommend I Due Fiumi. Then maybe Stella del Mattino (which, come to think of it, I might dust off and try again). Anthony B played that as a recital piece a few months back, and did a great job.

Not that you asked, come to think of it.

Nancy said...

LOL. I appreciate the insight into the songs in the book. It has a lot of songs!

I start lessons again in Sept; so we'll see what my teacher has to say about balancing my Alfred #2 or #3 studies with other things. (she might say I'm not done with #2 which is fine with me, we skipped about 6 songs at the end to get to Canon in D). I'm contemplating doing the National Music Certification Program partly because I think it'd be interesting to see how I'm doing on that type of judging and also to show my daughter it's not a super-scary thing to go through. She's in Faber Piano Adventures 2A right now. Anyways; all of this means I'll have lots of great pieces to pick from in the coming year.

Just curious - did you pick the Einaudi yourself, or did your teacher suggest it for you?