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Postby MindenBlues » Sat May 10, 2008 11:23 am

Monica, you can say what you will, but to me it sounded really well. You got big strong sounds out of the piano and soft tones too, you played with lots of dynamic and tasteful rubato.

What I will say, I am sure the listeners enjoyed your playing. And that is what counts.

Don't think too much on what could be improved. Better think on the applause you got - with fully right! Was there anybody who could play better?

The problem you have I know very well too. That inner voice what says that one has it plays so often so much better. On the final Sunday last year I had a terrible performance - it was during my holiday on the Isle of Ruegen in Germany. I practised organ playing in the church there, and the pastor asked me to play the church service some days later. I agreed and as opener I played the little g minor fugue from Bach (what is on the site here, and what I normally can play from memory). I got strong stage fright, and as I saw that the audience was unexpected large, and they told me before that the bishop was in the audience too. And my wife and some friends (they were at holiday too there) listened too... What happened? In the middle of the fugue I got a black out, came out of the notes, out of my dreams, tried to play some random tones only to try to come in again. This did not happen, so I incoherent added the last bar of the fugue. The rest pieces went satisfactorilly, although I played with tears and ice cold shaky hands. The score of the fugue I put in the cabinet. Maybe in 5 years or so, I will pull it out again. Will not hear that fugue anymore...

What I am asking only, I think you played by memory. Why do you have the score in front? The piano sounds better to me (as player) if the music stand is down, also it looks cooler I think.

Another point to the idea not to think on the audience while playing or your curtain idea:
Well, that sounds good. But the problem is, you can't practise that. During practising nobody is listening to you. My teacher suggested me another approach. That is to imagine during practising to perform with lots of people in front. And to try to transform an eventually upcoming bad feeling because of that in something what says more "wow, is'nt it nice that the people can listening to a wonderful Chopin I can present them?". That means, to practise the thinking on a performance, but to try to think on something positive instead something negative along with that.
The good thing on that approach is that it can be practised very well.

Since there are two major events for me this year (one for piano - my aunt turns 70 in July, and I can imagine how much will be there), and my examination of the 2-years-organ course to get a small diploma for church services (called "C-Schein" in Germany), I am in need too for something what eases the stage fright I usually have.

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Postby pianolady » Sat May 10, 2008 12:51 pm

Olaf, have you ever tried drugs? I don't mean 'recreational' drugs, but prescription drugs? There is something called a 'beta' blocker, which I don't know what that is, and then there is another kind (can't think of the name) that I tried. For me, it didn't work. About a year ago, I took one pill at the lowest dosage and I was just as nervous as ever. Then for an experiment before this recent recital, I doubled the dosage and took two pills to see how I would feel. Well...I didn't feel anything because it knocked me out. I fell right to sleep. Needless to say, I did not do this for the actual recital and don't know if I'll ever try drugs again. But I hear that some people do well with them.

Sorry about your bad church-playing episode. If it makes you feel better, I think that perhaps the audience did not know what happened, because to me when I hear the organist playing something, he or she can just simply hold down long chords and it's like that is supposed to be the way it goes. The music (sound) on an organ keeps ringing. (not sure that makes sense) I think I would rather mess up on an organ than on piano.

although I played with tears and ice cold shaky hands.
That is heart-wrenching. :cry: All these things that our audience does not know!

Why do you have the score in front? The piano sounds better to me (as player) if the music stand is down, also it looks cooler I think.
You're right. I did have the piece memorized and never once looked up at the score. I don't know why I put it up there. It was a very last second decision (and a stupid one). I never have put the music stand down. Can't hurt to try it.

Thanks for your interesting thoughts and ideas. And good luck in your upcoming performances. I'm sure you will do fine. Can you record them and let us listen?
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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Postby Terez » Sun May 11, 2008 12:44 am

Monica, on the stage where I usually play at my school, it's possible to turn the piano so that it's not exactly parallel to the front of the's pointed in a bit, so that the people in the audience can see me better! :lol: But I can't see them! ;)

Where I played for the voice student, the voice teachers arranged it to where I had no choice but to see everybody. :(

And yes, this anonymous audition you speak of is common - they do it for the bands at my school.
"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin

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Postby MindenBlues » Sun May 11, 2008 8:39 am

@ Monica:
No, I never took those prescription drugs (the other kind I know partly, but only if I play for myself (it dimish the concentration in my case), so it will not help for performance). I know from a professional percussionist in an orchestra, that he takes beta blockers for every performance, but did not tried out myself.

Regarding recording of a performance - I do find it looks a bit strange if I put microphone stands and the recording gear for a birthday party. Maybe I buy such an Edirol thing, that looks so much more discrete, that would be a solution. It is in my case probably the Berceuse and Waltz 70/1 (Chopin, of course), and the Schubert-Arpeggione (viola-sonata together with my Cousin). I will place it here too if it is worthy enough, let's see.

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