Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicClassical · 10 years ago

Could you help me improve my playing of Schubert's Op. 90 No.4?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a1mkwLzP9A

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Did you like how I played it, and besides the obvious criticisms of "don't miss so many notes," how could I improve it on a more emotional level and just make it sound better.

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  • Peter
    Lv 4
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Kudos on putting yourself out there for us to watch on youtube; that takes some guts! Ok, on to my comments:

    I think missing notes are the least of your worries at this point. You're still playing off the music, so this piece must be fairly new for you, and most of the notes were there regardless. However, I must point out that you appeared to have learned a wrong note along the way. In measures 58, 60, 228, and 230, that is a D-flat in the melody, not a D natural. Playing a natural changes the tonality there from minor (which it is supposed to be) to major, so make sure that you go back over it and relearn those measures with D-flat.

    Here is a score with measure numbers in case yours doesn't have them:

    http://imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/a/a8/IMSLP38...

    Musically, I feel you still have a ways to go. Again, seeing you read off of the score tells me that you aren't quite comfortable with this piece yet, and it's coming through as just the notes for the most part. Memorize this as soon as possible so that you can better concentrate on what you want to do musically and less on what note comes next; I think you'll find that to be a great help.

    Try your best to give some sort of shape to the melody lines, especially the ones marked with slurs. Take measures 5-6 for example. In the edition I provided above, they're even marked with hairpin dynamics (crescendo and decrescendo). There needs to be some sort of direction to that melody, and swelling in the middle is a perfect way to do it. If you're already trying to do this sort of thing, do even more. Often what we think we are doing doesn't come out even close to as much as we thought it would.

    Every line in this piece needs to be given some sort of shape and direction to keep it interesting; otherwise it comes off as a rather dull etude. In the B section of the piece, make sure that any melody notes that are slurred are being slurred by way of your fingers, not the pedal. By this I mean don't put down the pedal and let that connect sounds for you; use your fingers to play legato as the difference in sound is evident to a trained listener. Bear in mind this does not apply to notes under a slur that are also marked staccato. Those are meant to be disconnected as far as the fingers are concerned.

    Increasing your dynamic range would also be a big help to you. I felt like most of this piece was performed at a mezzo-forte, but there are plenty of opportunities to vary your dynamic colors. If something is repeated, don't play it the same way twice. Rather, try a different dynamic the second time around, but make sure that dynamic makes sense. You have to paint your own characters here as Schubert has given you a lot of repetition; this piece doesn't really play itself like some of his other works.

    Don't be afraid to use rubato! There are parts of this piece that call for a little slowing down and speeding back up. The connections between the sections especially call for it, for if you bulldoze through them they make little sense. Trying to keep strict time in this impromptu, or any impromptu really, takes away that improvised feeling that they are meant to have.

    Hope that helps!

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    That was an emotional journey as it is.

    That Schubert was one hell of a composer.

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  • J
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    sorry i dont know jackshit about piano playing Jerry, but i do know that you are damn good at it

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