December 15, 2007 at 4:19 pm #86934carl-swansonParticipant
Saul- I can’t tell you how much I was practicing that variation. And very early on I got it so I could play it at the tempo I wanted and could play it with no mistakes. But because it’s a left hand variation and I’m not left handed, I could never get to the point where I could sit down cold and play it. I always needed to work on it for 5 minutes or so to get it back up to performance level. I never had to do that with the right hand variation. I wanted to use that piece on a recital about 2 years ago and I found I was spending an inordinate amount of time on that one variation, so I just threw in the towel and took it off the program. Several people suggested I perform the piece leaving out that variation, which could have easily been done and to be honest would sound fine. But that idea bothered me so I didn’t do it.December 25, 2007 at 3:19 am #86935
Well, I had to do the same to perform it. I had to spend extra time on the left hand, at least until the last month. I think it’s normal. Now, I am working up Salzedo’s Variations, and I have spent years working it up, then putting it away again. This time I can see it through, I think. Was it worth it? Well… I was actually trying to finish Ballade this year, finally, and the Variations perked up and said, do us first. So I am. I think. They’re not quite as taxing as Flight, which I did last year. Is any of it worth it? If it isn’t, then it isn’t worth it to perform, period. You have to believe that, or there’s no point in going on. It’s hard enough to have faith in what we do. I only do it now because I know I might not be able to in ten more years or less. Although, I do hope to make my Carnegie Hall debut by the time I’m 90, like Horczowski, but with medical advances, it may come to be. That said, the Handel was not written for harp, and that’s sometimes the trouble with transcriptions. At least with pieces by people like Salzedo or myself, you hopefully think it must be possible to pull it off.December 28, 2007 at 8:06 pm #86936
I realized we may not be talking about the same editions of the Handel, which would also make a difference.December 28, 2007 at 8:26 pm #86937barbara-brundageParticipant
I’d have to agree with Saul, regardless of which transcription. It’s just an awkward variation on the harp. Try playing the left hand with the right hand–it still feels cumbersome. it just falls in a range on the harp where the strings make it more difficult to achieve the requisite lightness of the ornamentation.January 15, 2008 at 7:33 am #86938
In my humble opinion, go out and commit to playing it, at the speed that you can play it. And just concentrate on playing it well, musically and cleanly. and you will probably find that the adrenalin will get pumping and you will come up a bit in performance anyway. And the next time you perform it in public, it will be to tempo.
So much of performance is building blocks. No one that plays a wonderful work at a dazzling speed – did it like that the first time they played it in public. They only get it up there to the dazzling heights gradually, performing it in public many many times.
I reckon that is the only way to get tricky works up to dazzling speeds in performance is to…. perform them. Accept the speed you can play it and go for it. It may be slightly under tempo, it may not be perfect, but its the only way you will get it to the stage that you are happy with it in the long run.
Just my opinion.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.