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I'm now working on the first movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata. So far, so good. For me, the trickiest part is bringing out the melody with the 5th finger while not making it and the first note of the accompaniment sound like an octave. I've had to suspend lessons until I retire in June because I have so little time for practicing in order to justify the cost of lessons. During my last lesson, my teacher suggested hitting the top melody note a fraction of a second before the bottom accompaniment note, which works but that too is tricky to make it sound good, so I'd like to learn other techniques for bringing out certain notes in a passage--basically how to develop dynamic independence between fingers.
I've found over the years that the key (no pun intended) to bringing out the melody in a piece has always been in the mind. Many years ago when I was learning Mendelssohn's "Duetto", one of his "Songs Without Words" which contains not one but two melodic voices (one in the tenor register), my teacher suggested mentally zeroing in on the melody line while I was playing it, and - assuming I had practised the piece enough first! - pretty much letting the rest take care of itself, which worked very well. Improving finger independence by regular and persistent technical practice (scales, arpeggios, other exercises) and by playing as much Bach as possible also helps, ditto equipping yourself with the best piano you can afford, but concentrating hard on the melody in your mind is maybe the single most effective thing you can do to help yourself achieve the effect you're after.

Good luck.
 

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I find a good tip in that respect is not to worry about it at all to begin with. Take one step at a time - concentrate on simply learning the piece first, then work on polishing the polyphony when the basics are in place.
 

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Practising a 10 minute mini-programme on the piano which I'll be performing at a Baroque concert later this year to help raise funds for a local early music group which does great work with children and adults who have special needs. I'm not playing anything technically knotty as I won't have enough time meanwhile to work it up to concert standard, and the whole thing's just a bit of fun anyway: Bach (Prelude in F sharp from Bk.1 of the 48 and Sarabande from French Suite no.1 in D minor) and Scarlatti Sonata in A major K322.
 

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Mozart Piano Sonata no. 12 K 432. I prefer the first edition version vs. the less elaborate autigraph. Most of the differences effect the second movement, but the small tweaks in the outer movements are improvements as well. The last movement is a bit tricky, but it is falling into place.
My favourite Mozart sonata. Small point: it's K332 - you never know when you might need the details for a recital programme. ;)
 

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Not necessarily. TBH I'm not normally a fan of trying to play something which is way beyond one's current technical level. If your teacher's happy to take you through it I guess that that's OK, but please make sure you follow his or her instructions to the letter.
 

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Interesting post and it's great you've come back to the piano.

Based on my own experience, while I wasn't at your level back in the day I can't help wondering if - frustrating as it may be - you might benefit from taking things right back to basics technically. I had lessons from the age of 5 to the age of 18, then stopped them when I went to university but always carried on playing. Three years ago, after a 46-year break, I decided as a retirement project to go back to lessons and my teacher, having heard me play a Chopin Etude (op.25/1) and Nocturne (op.15/1) as well as some Bach, put me straight back on scales for months! She felt my playing had something to commend it but had become pretty "splashy" during those self-directed years. Three years on almost to the day, I bless her decision and the fact that I managed to make myself stick with it. My playing has greatly improved and I'm now playing stuff (Chopin Fantaisie-Impromptu, Rachmaninov prelude in G minor etc.) which I'd only have played *at* before. Just a thought.

Welcome back anyway!
 

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My current piano teacher likes to work through things rather than at things. In some ways, it's good as it develops flexibility; in other ways it doesn't help as much with technique.

I've been currently working through the ABRSM Mozart Sonatas for Pianoforte. I've got up to the Sonata in A minor, K. 310. I'm not entirely in sympathy with this sort of music compared to the Baroque which makes it more of a challenge. The move to a more harmonic style with lots of arpeggios and patterned bass figures makes for a number of technical challenges.
My teacher's the same. I like her and we get on well, but in addition to what you (rightly) say I feel it actually narrows one's repertoire, as it makes it harder to get pieces into long-term memory. As far as playing goes I also prefer Baroque music (whereas for listening Mozart's my favourite composer of them all) but I've covered K331 and - a personal favourite - K332 with her and I do think they've done good things for my technique.

In terms of current repertoire I've sort of moved in mike's direction as my Easter holiday assignment is Alec Templeton's "Bach Goes To Town - Prelude and Fugue in Swing". :)
 
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