Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Festive Dance

I had a lot of fun learning this little piece. I had a maddening time trying to get a perfect recording (you know me). Instead, I leave you with this perfectly acceptable, yet subtly flawed version of this faintly Slavic thing-a-ma-bob. link

Festive Dance - Aw2pp

Technically, I was done with this last week, but wanted to grab a recording before moving on. My Alfred's pieces are (at the risk of incurring the wrath of the angry piano gods) easy these days. I am able to pick them up in maybe 2 or 3 hours (which, these days, still translates to a full week... not getting much bench time with our new busy Fall schedule). I know Hava Nagila looms shortly in the distance, and that is certain to take me a week or three. But for now, I am putting one lesson after another in my rear view mirror.

To make up for this, PT has assigned me some of her standard stuff. So I am working on a Clementi Sonatina. Without going into too much detail at this point, it's a real pain. In the Alfred's stuff, the LH mainly plays chords or simple repetitive patterns. In the Einaudi pieces I have learned, where the LH is often playing a repeating bass line, allowing one hand (sometimes both) to go on auto-pilot. Not so this classical stuff, where I have to pay very close attention to what both hands are doing. And, uh, well, I can't. At all. So this could take awhile.

- Aw2pp, keeping it between the ditches.


pdxknitterati/MicheleLB said...

Which Clementi sonatina? There are patterns there in the LH, too!

Always Wanted to Play Piano said...

opus 36 number 1. Have you played it?

pdxknitterati/MicheleLB said...

Yes, a long time ago! I just sat down and played through it, not well, but it was like meeting up with an old friend.

So, the first movement is in C, and most of your LH single notes are going to be C or G (I or V, tonic or dominant). There are a couple chords that are played Alberti bass style but if you look at the notes you're playing, it's just a broken chord, alternating notes (measures 9, 11, 32, 34). There's a different kind of broken chord at the end of the first and second sections (G and C).

The right hand is a love affair with the key of C. Did you notice that the first two measures are just the notes of the C chord? Lots of scale runs in the RH, great finger excercises. Lots of octaves (C to C, A to A, D to D, F to F).

Wow, that was a lot of piano-speak for someone who hasn't played much in the last year!

Have your teacher explain sonata form for you, if she hasn't already. Exposition of the themes in the first section, development at the beginning of the second section, recapitulation, done. It helps to know what to expect.

Have fun!

Always Wanted to Play Piano said...

So to be sure I am hearing you right...

There are patterns here, and therefore I will get to the point of increased familiarity (if not "auto-pilot") simply with time. Yes?

PT told me last night it typically takes her students 3-6 months to get their first Sonatinas behind them.

pdxknitterati/MicheleLB said...

Partly it's knowing what notes make sense in the key that you're in, and partly it's that your hand learns via muscle memory, how certain things are played: Alberti bass, octave leaps, arpeggiated chords.

Are you going to play all three movements?

Always Wanted to Play Piano said...

probably just the movement for the November ABF recital, but yes, all three eventually.