Thursday, February 8, 2007

I Need an Intermediate Piece

Deborah wants me to pick out an intermediate piece to start learning next week. I went to the ARCT Syllabus guide that Robert so graciously sent me and looked up all of the pieces that I considered "intermediate." They were mostly Grade 6 and Grade 7. Not intermediate enough.

I looked up my Beethoven Sonatina in G, my most recent intermediate piece. It's a Grade 3--a very early intermediate. So I'm looking for something in the Grade 4-5 category. And I'd kind of like to work on one of those pieces that everyone loves to hear--Fur Elise, Chopin's Em prelude, the Brahms waltz in Ab--all pieces I learned in junior high, but pieces that I'd like to re-learn, and learn to play well, and not like my junior-high self, whose heart wasn't in the music. And they are pieces I love, and that others love hearing as well.

Hmm. Fur Elise is Grade 7. The Chopin Prelude is Grade 8. The Brahms Waltz is Grade 8. Too advanced for an intermediate piece? I'll talk it over with Deborah.

I looked up my C# major prelude and fugue and couldn't find them at first. They're in the "Performer's ARCT." My Liszt isn't in there, but I would put it at a Grade 10, since the Consolation No. 3, which I learned in college, is a Grade 9, and is much more basic than "Standchen."

So I guess I'm better than I thought. Or more advanced, at least. But I still need an intermediate piece.

I also made a BIG realization last night as I dug through all of my old music from junior high and earlier. I found another reason that I hated piano back then. Nearly everything I learned was 20th century, mostly things like Kabalevsky and Bartok. I don't dislike either, and sometimes I really get in the mood for Bartok ... but a steady diet of it for a 13-year-old? (I can see why my teacher gave me these pieces. But I can also see why I dreaded practices and lessons both back then.)

3 comments:

  1. You are, Waterfall (more advanced than you think). Just like I am. Maybe if we keep telling each other that, we'll start believing it about ourselves.

    Intermediate, eh? I've got some ideas. Do you have the volume Intermediate Classics to Moderns? Is a keeper. From it, I might suggest their selection of the Granados Valses Poeticos. They're gorgeous. In fact, the whole set is and you might seriously consider it.

    Brahms? Don't do those Waltzes. Head for Op. 118. The A major Intermezzo, or the F Major Romanza. Doesn't suit? How about MacDowell's Scotch Poem? Or the Echo from JSB's French Overture?

    I'm not saying this casually. I've played all of these, and memorized some. Would these hands lie to you?

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  2. I used to have the Intermediate Classics to Moderns (with the orange cover, right?), and I thought I still had it, but I can't find it anywhere. I bought it for fun years ago. I'll order another copy. I can't imagine what I've done with it.

    I'll consider the Granados. No JSB--as much as I love him, I need to broaden my studies a bit. Many of my beginner/intermediate pieces have been JSB, and I've done several inventions/sinfoniae and now the P&F ... something like Granados, or something late Romantic/modern should be good.

    Thanks for the input! And for reminding me about Classics to Moderns.

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  3. Orange cover it is, Waterfall! And not a clinker in there -- check out the Sibelius also. On Granados -- I'll be surprised if you're not hooked. You ought to hear de Larrocha's recording -- it's what got me, long before I ever played them.

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