Wednesday, March 28, 2012

QE Prep, Part I: Repertoire

Preparing for any competition is a daunting process and I must say that thus far, preparing for one as complex as Queen Elisabeth has been very challenging. Figuring out how to balance the extreme amount of repertoire alone is difficult, let alone everything else! For me, the best way to approach everything has been by thoroughly organizing my practicing, performing, instrument maintenance, traveling, and other logistics. That way, you have control over as many things as possible in a situation where anything can happen.

First, I started by organizing my repertoire for the competition. By going through a checklist of each piece, I was able to determine which pieces needed my immediate focus, those that needed review, and those that were in good shape.

New Pieces                                                                         Pieces for Review
-Schumann  Concerto, 1st movement                         -Bach Sonata no. 3 in C major, I & II
-Ysaye Sonata no. 3 "Ballade"                                      -Paganini Caprice no. 24 
-Kissine Caprice (commissioned work)                     -Ravel Tzigane
-Saint-Saens Havanaise                                                -
Faure Sonata

Pieces (currently) in Good Shape
-Bach Sonata no. 3 in C major, III & IV
-Paganini Caprice no. 17 & 23
-Schumann Fantasie
-Mozart Concerto no. 5
-Sibelius Concerto

Next, I created a rough outline of when I would practice and perform each piece, starting with the repertoire which needed immediate focus and moving on to those that needed review. 

Eventually, the schedule incorporates the entire repertoire list and breaks them down into three lists:

“A” List                                                                    “B” List
-Paganini Caprice no. 17                                   -Paganini Caprice no. 23
-Bach  Sonata no. 3 in C Major, I & 1/3 II      
-Bach Sonata no. 3 in C Major, III & 2/3 II 
-Schumann Concerto, 1st movement                -Schumann Concerto, 1st movement
-Ysaye Sonata no. 3 “Ballade”                          
-Ysaye Sonata no. 3 “Ballade”
-Kissine Caprice (commissioned work)          
-Kissine Caprice
-Saint-Saens Havanaise                                      -Ravel Tzigane
-Faure Sonata, 1st movement                            -
Faure Sonata, 2nd & 3rd movements 
-Mozart Concerto, 1st movement                       -Mozart Concerto, 2nd movement  
-Sibelius Concerto, 3rd movement                    -Sibelius Concerto, 1st movement

“C” List
-Paganini Caprice no. 24
-Bach Sonata no. 3 in C Major, IV & 3/3 II
-Schumann Concerto, 1st movement
-Ysaye Sonata no. 3 “Ballade”
-Kissine Caprice (commissioned work)
-Schumann Fantasie
-Faure Sonata, 4th movement
-Mozart Concerto, 3rd movement
-Sibelius Concerto, 2nd movement

The last few days before the competition will focus entirely on the repertoire for the first round, but for a week or so prior to that each day has a designated list of repertoire to practice, one to play through carefully and methodically at a slow tempo, and one to forego. This ensures that an extraordinary amount of repertoire is covered completely every two days! 

This kind of semi-maniacal organization and planning is rather intense, but it has definitely worked for me in the past. Of course, everything should be flexible--a piece might come together much faster than anticipated and not need as much attention, or another piece might take longer to learn and polish.

That's it for the repertoire planning. Next time, travel plans!


No comments:

Post a Comment