Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chopin Overload

Before I ramble about my latest practicing-bits, let me make a little apology/disclaimer:

As of right now, my mp3 files are hosted on my desktop. Said desktop makes a dandy little server for transferring files back and forth, but if the power flickers, or comcast sucks, or someone accidentally leaves their work VPN connected, it's suddenly a Bad Little Server. No Cookie. Apologies for the difficulties with downloading - I beg you to bear with me a try again if you fail the first time. Getting better hosting is next-next on my "piano-related todos," right after "get a better recording setup."

Right, back on topic. As the title of this post suggests, I've currently got more Chopin on my plate than I entirely intended to. Predictable, knowing the type of music I like best, but it was fairly amusing to catalog the things I'm working on and realize that 75% of the pieces I'm working seriously on are all Chopin. Heh. For the moment I've got 4 pieces I'm working on pretty actively: a Sibelius and 3 Chopins. The Sibelius is a piece called Romance, that I spent a good portion of my senior year working on, and is easily the most gorgeous thing I've ever had the privilege to play. I've rambled about it before, I think, so that's enough on it for the moment.

The other 3 pieces are kind of an interesting progression - you're going to have to bear with nicknames for them since I don't have the keys/opus numbers memorized. One is a piece I learned in high school (henceforth Old Chopin), one is a piece my mother used to play (Historical Chopin), and one is (sort of) entirely new (Bemani Chopin). I swear I didn't realize the second two were Chopin until I'd already resolved to play them. Really.

Old Chopin doesn't need much said about it. It's pretty and it has some entertaining runs - who needs triplets when you have seventeenth-er...ets? There's actually a bit in the middle that kind of bugs me, but the rest is nice enough to make up for it.

Historical Chopin has been an interesting experience, because while I've never played it I know how it goes backwards and forwards from listening to my mom play it when I was little. This one's short, just one page of notes, but it's made of big chords! And by "big" I mean "Lisa's tiny hands have issues reaching a few of them." The same could be said for Romance, though, so I'll manage. Surely if my mom's fingers could reach them, mine can too. This one will probably be the next piece I post, since my only issue with it right now is that I screw it up whenever I try to play the first line as Fortissimo as the music wants me to. Don't as me why my fingers are convinced that playing it more loudly should be problematic.

"Why in the world would you call the last Chopin piece 'Bemani Chopin,' Lisa?" I can hear you crying in bafflement! This one was actually pretty funny - I was hanging around minding my own business when the background music playing somewhere started sounding... really oddly familiar. I was completely befuddled for a minute or two - my brain absolutely could not reconcile the piano being played with the level of familiarity. Then my feet started feeling twitchy, and I realized it was Kakumei from Dance Dace Revolution and IIDX. Yes, I'm a geek, I know. A whole lot of Bemani music is based off of classical-type-stuff (ex: Vivaldi's Winter is V) but this one caught me off guard. I managed to track down the case for the CD being played so I could get the sheet music... and of course it turns out to be another Chopin: Etude in C minor (opus 10, no. 12 as it happens - I had to remember this one so I could find it again!) or rather "The Revolutionary Etude." Practicing it so far has been... really, really hard. This is the first time in 7 years that I've tried to work on a completely new piece with very little reference for how it should sound. It's painful. I also suck at site reading, and easily lose my place amongst all of the accidentals in this piece. Still, I think it'll be really fun to play once I start getting it down, so I'm going to stick with it.

Goodness, I nearly think I've rambled quite enough. As a parting note, a little birdy told me that I'll be getting daily comments spam if I don't upload pictures of my gorgeous piano soon, so look for those next week. I promise!

1 comment:

DGL said...

I'm guessing your piano pictures are rather like the Emperor's new clothes: fools are unable to see them.

I keep looking, seeing nothing. My long-lived fear is confirmed: I am, indeed, a fool.