Thoughts and Updates on Repertoire


Sunday, April 14, 2024:

Currently playing / practicing:

Bizet's Toreador Song from Carmen (piano arrangement)
M. Mosourgssky, Pictures at an Exhibition (select)
The Flight of the Bumblebee, Rimsky-korsakov
L.v. Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 7 third movement
W.A. Mozart, K. 311 (finishing this)
Sunday, April 07, 2024:

Bizet's Carmen is arguably the most famous opera (other than Le Nozze Di Figaro), with recognizable music used in films / shows (notably, "The Bad News Bears"). Oh, and remember the old Simpsons episode where Homer and Bart attend the Carmen opera - "Is that fat enough for you , son" hahaha.

With that said, I'm inclined to work on the Toreador Song. There is no piano score, since this is an orchestral / vocal work. However, there are transcriptions and arrangements out there.
Wednesday, April 03, 2024:

E Minor. What a key. Guess what the next recording / video is haha. I'm not familiar with any pieces in that key, nor there might not be a lot of pieces in that key to begin with. Perhaps D Minor and C# Minor are more prevalent. Either way, minor key pieces tend to have a more dark / fantasy type atmosphere. I enjoy pieces that switch keys within the piece, from Major to Minor. From Minor to Major. From 1 sharp to 7 sharps haha. Liszt and Chopin come to mind.
Sunday, March 31, 2024:

Apparently, K. 498a Sonata most likely belongs to someone named A. E. Muller. I did not know that. I guess it pays to do some research, if a piece is not listed on a composer's wikipedia or whatever.

I erroneously thought it was a W.A. Mozart composition. Certainly, the melody is in the style of the composer. It is melodic and beautiful enough to play or practice it. I'm not sure about uploading it anymore. Most of us probably think of the melody belonging to Mozart than Muller (even if it was composed with similar melodies and rhythms). I don't think Muller would be a "Salieri-type" of composer, taking credit for a composition not his own. Perhaps it was composed just as an influence. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery sometimes.
Tuesday, March 26, 2024:

Practicing / working on:

L.v. Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 7 third movement
Felix Mendelssohn, S
                                A Capriccio (this'll be a fun one)

Monday, February 26, 2024:

So I am actually practicing Mendelssohn's "Scherzo a Capriccio" again. It just beckoned.

The Magic Of Young Raymond Chieng. It is coming.
Sunday, February 25, 2024:

I went back to re-listen / re-watch some Lang Lang Foundation's astounding young pianists. Lu Chen performed the "Winter Wind" Etude on par with Lang Lang, or even better than most grownup performers. I can't even get past the first page yet. I think the Video Game Pianist would play this fine. It's unfortunate that the audio during the Chopin Scherzo was cut off.

I created a new playlist for some of my favorite young scholars of the piano. The future "sounds" bright - pun intended haha.
Thursday, February 22, 2024:

It's nice going back and practicing the "Goldberg Variations" again. It's been on and off. Sometimes, it's refreshing to just go back to light-hearted, inspiring melodies. Deep, emotional ones can be played as outlets of expression or just to channel. But I should take a break from them for awhile.

I'm not sure about the future of this blog - I might just remove it, and jot thoughts on my "Reflections" blog on pieces that I enjoy practicing, playing and uploading / sharing. Perhaps this is no longer a useful endeavor. As long as it keeps my mind and emotional state preoccupied. As long as there is the possibility or potential of even at least only 1 or a few listeners / viewers out there, I'll keep doing it. If not for my own sake. At this stage, uploading to a more public video platform might be too late (since I do not know how to network or socialize, there'll be nobody). But there are only a handful of videos / recording I'd be comfortable uploading (not all).

Self-recording / uploading to share has been more of a learning experience. Listening or watching concert performers and learning from them. And then re-doing the recordings. What I have uploaded is pretty much permanent, or settled now. Not to say they would be performance-ready. I'd have to memorize them as well. Performing is an entirely different ball game. A performer would have to be overcome nerves, and have to concentrate well. There are techniques to relax more - nerves are always going to be there. You'd have to immerse in the music - not rush through it. Take your time, and enjoy as if no one was there. Experience absolutely helps.

I don't select pieces to either prove a point, or because it's technically astounding. There are a lot of pieces that require a lot of practicing. I select pieces that either inspires or moves me to the point where I want to learn it. That should be the point of music. In my opinion. Just as the point of a shelter is to be sheltered haha.
Sunday, February 04, 2024:

The next recordings / uploads: Felix Mendelssohn's Rondo Capricioso and 1 more Rach prelude. The Mendelssohn piece is another epic, fantasy-type piece that I've practiced on and off. It took awhile. For awhile - I wasn't sure if I was going to get back into it. But after Mozart's Fantasia, something re-ignited within. It's a piece that works well if you are really into it. As with any pieces, it's easier to learn if there is the inspiration or motivation.

"Epic" pieces are long pieces that can be technically demanding, but unfold like a story. If you don't memorize them, the page-turning can interrupt the flow (and with long pieces, there are plenty of pages to turn). Unless you have a designated page-turner, or the sheet music not in booklet form. Otherwise - memorization is required for performances. But it is possible to get away with it. I can memorize pieces, but there is no motivation to since this is just a hobby. The most important in sharing music - for the listener to "hear" the interpretation or dynamics / flow of a piece.