[Feedback needed] Chopin nocturne op9, performing in 2 weeks

September 15, 2019, 10:49 PM · https://clyp.it/yt2dgpam?token=b9c0c299f7505ff068924cf08e4a4d40

Context: I've been learning for over 1 year. I'll perform this piece in 2 weeks at my music school informal recital, but I'm not happy with my sound. I already got many suggestions from my teacher, but since the performing date is so close, I'd like some more feedback on what I can do to improve in the next 2 weeks.

If you think it sounds too horrible, worst-case scenario, I can cancel the performance and save this piece for the next performance opportunity.

Replies (4)

Edited: September 16, 2019, 7:45 AM · Thanks for sharing this with us Daniel! Assuming you are a beginner, this is quite impressive for such a short time playing the violin. A lot of the fundamentals are in place, and you shouldn't feel like you can't perform this unless you personally are not feeling up to it.

It's interesting you say you're not happy with your sound, because your bow technique sounds fine to me. I think the two major things that are holding you back are intonation and vibrato. As far as the intonation goes, very few of the notes are out of tune on their own accord. In other words, your notes from the recording are generally in the acceptable range of what those notes are supposed to be. The issue is that every note you play is at a different point in that acceptable range (in addition to the few that aren't in that range), so it sounds out of tune to the listener. In other words, the notes aren't in tune with each other. I think learning to narrow that range on each note is key. It takes lots of practice/discipline in addition to ear training to teach yourself when you're hitting the sweet-spot of the note vs. being on the edge of that acceptable range.

In terms of vibrato, it tends to be too slow (and narrow at times). As a general rule, if you can easily count the number of oscillations you're creating when you vibrate, the vibrato is too slow and loses its intended effect of beautifying the music. At this point, I can sometimes hear that you are vibrating, but it is not doing too much for your music making, and a really good vibrato can take you up 10 levels of playing.

These are not issues that are easily resolved, and addressing them takes months/years. Please don't feel discouraged - everyone struggles through these issues or has at some point in their development on the violin. I hope this helps and that I didn't contradict anything your teacher has said - they definitely know best when it comes to your playing.

September 16, 2019, 6:48 AM · Daniel, this is very good, given that you play the violin only for 1 year. If you are going to perform this on a recital where also other beginning or intermediate students are going to perform, I promise you will not be the odd man out, on the contrary I would say! Enjoy the performance opportunity!
September 16, 2019, 7:04 AM · I agree with Jean: it is very good after 1 year of practice. Although it does not sound like an advanced or professional performance, your playing has many good qualities that it takes years for most people to achieve. An opportunity to show your good work and inspire others, Daniel.
Edited: September 16, 2019, 7:38 AM · You're doing fine for a year's work. Perform it. It's good experience and you won't scandalize anyone with your playing. You sound good. That first high C# -- enjoy it a little more. Listen to pianists playing this piece (good ones like Rubinstein and Horowitz), and see how they phrase the melismatic stuff (turns). After you perform it, set it aside for a year, then pick it up again. Why? To prove to yourself how far you've come in that time. I predict you'll be blown away by how much better you play it and how much more easily.


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