The great masters have always said that in playing the piano self-listening is one of the most importan skills (and a difficult one). But what should you listen to? How to listen?
It is very important that things do not stay very general but start making sense and become concrete. If tasks and ideas become clear it is possible to work with them with full awareness. And I am trying to open up the theme a bit.
Briefly – you can only knowingly change things that you are aware of. But any kind of development needs change and mostly intelligent change. So without awareness there is no intelligent and knowingly directed development.
Even if you improve through unconscious practicing – how can you be sure that the skills (they would be mostly mechanical here) would remain in time if you are not aware of them?
In my opinion awareness is the key to constant and stable development process.
The painting is made by Viktoria Sikk, my mother. She is my first piano teacher and also a painter.
I think the piece is often played too fast. The tempo or character marking by Mr. Prokofiev is -andante tranquillo-. It means in Italian – calmly walking or calmly going.
And in my opinion the character markings can not be compared with metronome exactly. Often metronomes show, that if it is andante it should be this or that fast on the metronome. I think it is a strange approach.
When played in a slower tempo, the piece can have a lot of nuances and colors that could get lost otherwise when played in a faster tempo.
Dedicated to my online students.
The sixth piece in the one year piano course.
The piece is especially written for playing before Beethoven’s “Für Elise”. It needs similar technical skills as “Für Elise” but is an easier version.
It would not be good and respectful in my opinion to use such great music as “Für Elise” for practicing purely piano technique and using it as an exercise. So this piece gives an oppurtinity to master the technical skills and then pay more attention to music in playing “Für Elise”.
If you can see the situation from outside and you are not too overwhelmed by emotions or whatever unstable forces, the picture that you see is much clearer. In a way observing the situation as one wide whole connects the piece of music (art) with very different parts in your brain – rationality, experiences, emotions, physical movements and so on. While observing you can compare and connect the piece with your whole mental being.
Mr. Andras Schiff can be truly considered as a great value pianist. The intellectual aristocracy pours out from everything you can see him doing, in my opinion. I am not giving a biography about him, because everybody can find out it with little effort. I better point out things that can lead to new and interesting discoveries.
András Schiff plays Bach: French Suites, French Overture