I agree a lot with your useful comments, Mark, save one. hands-separate practice is a nuisance when you're wanting to dig into a piece (particularly one that you enjoy), but is worth it in the clarity of music and memorization that results. I've learned pieces both ways - some with hands-separate practice and some without - and the pieces that I learned best were undoubtedly the ones that received the hands-separate treatment. The pieces on which I practiced hands-separate I can now play in my head, play one hand only in my head or on the piano, and play under pressure (a big accomplishment for me
) - in short, I've got a much better grasp on them interpretively and technically than the other pieces.
I hope you don't think I'm being contentious, but since the thread poster is going to be playing in a recital very soon, it's especially important that he get's his music down well and does so in quick fashion. In my opinion, the shortest and best road is one that invariably involves hands-separate practice.