I performed these works on Thursday, December 16, 2010, at a program presented by the Hyechka Music Club and the Tulsa Historical Society:
I performed my first solo piano recital program at the building of Grace Bible Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Friday, August 27, 2010.
After just over a decade of private instruction (my first lessons were in June of 2000), it seemed appropriate to undertake an initial recital. Here are videos of the performances:
Chopin's Ballades are single-movement works for solo piano. The Ballade No. 3 is considered to be the most accessible of the ballades and features the brightest musical sonority, ending in a major key.
Chopin's Scherzos are self-contained works for solo piano. Unlike the scherzi of other composers (which generally feature a spirit of playfulness), Chopin's scherzi incorporate alternating intensity and lyricism for an interesting musical effect.
The Serieuse Variations incorporate a theme and seventeen variations for a broad variety of musical material. Some of the variations incorporate adaptations of the melodic material, while others borrow primarily the harmonic structure of the theme. This dramatic work features moments of serenity.
The Etudes of Chopin are technical studies also intended for use as concert works.
This etude features arpeggiated figures in the right hand and octaves in the left hand.
This is a study in thirds, primarily addressing the right hand but also incorporating melodically interesting material in the left hand.
This etude is an elegy, the most lyrical of the etudes on the program, nicknamed the "Cello" etude.
This etude incorporates chords and melodic lines in the right hand, runs in both hands, and significant musical intensity. It is nicknamed the "Revolutionary" etude.
Long and featuring a broad range of material, this work has a plenitude of notes.
This nationalistic Polish work is one of Chopin's most popular compositions. One of its most prominent technical features is a section of continuous left hand octaves.
Special thanks are due to A. Magno of Haven Media Productions for the videography.
I participated in a two-week violin technique workshop in Dallas, Texas, from May 24 to June 4, 2010. The opportunity to study with three primary teachers and to receive additional input from four secondary assistants (all of whom are advanced students) was beneficial. My schedule having been freed of most general responsibilities during that time, I was able to practice approximately 65 hours over the course of the event.
Time was spent working on fundamental techniques, though advanced material was also discussed. I had originally planned to bring some new music to the workshop, but it seemed advisable to spend the workshop working on further development of skills exploited by the 24th Paganini Caprice. Some progress was made, though further growth is still necessary.
One primary focus of my work was to develop greater consistency in the production of an optimal sound. Some moments of the performance demonstrated glimpses of potential. One benefit of the performance was a further demonstration that I need to perform more frequently, as nervousness tends to diminish the quality of my performances, regardless of circumstances.
Alternate positions of the violin, configurations of the chinrest and shoulder rest, and arrangements of the bow hand, were explored during the workshop. This video (recorded on June 3, 2010) is a representation of the fruit of the intensive program:
While much could be said on the need for improvement, this is a short list of current items for focused work:
Any comments, particularly of the constructively critical variety, are greatly appreciated.
My recent performance of the 24th Paganini Caprice presents a useful baseline for measuring advancement. The necessity of growth is readily apparent from even a cursory analysis of the video, as issues of intonation and clarity abound. Nevertheless, there is a usefulness of sharing a rendition so fraught with flaws.
The technical challenges of the 24th Paganini Caprice are numerous, though they appear throughout the repertoire of the violin and must be mastered for any true command of the instrument. They include:
The concept of the production possibility curve is simple: a limited number of outputs can be made with a finite number of inputs, and allocation of resources to one output necessarily diminishes another output.
If software business and musical skill were formulated into a production possibility curve, my typical configuration would be something like this:
For the next couple of weeks, I plan to attend a violin technique workshop, so my schedule will be significantly shifted toward the production of units of musical skill, yielding a production possibility curve (hopefully) more like this:
I performed the 24th Paganini Caprice in a recital for the first time on 5/21/10.
I had the following preparation:
The performance was better than it deserved to be, but I expect to further develop and perform this work for a long time. This may have been my first performance of the piece, but I do not intend for it to be my last.
What do you think of it? Please share any constructive criticism you may have, for it is greatly appreciated! Growth comes through analysis and correction.
The YouTube clip (alas, the camera did not capture all of the audio and may have damaged the synchronization at points):