Piano performance has always been a part of my life. For a while, I was disconnected with it due to the unexpected public health crisis and various other issues in my personal life. This “Notturno” by Edvard Grieg was the piece to get me back on a stage, after four years. As a result, it is very close to my heart. This piece brings to mind nostalgia, like you’re remembering a fond memory, though slightly fuzzy due to time.  Although I am sure I drove my family mad playing this piece over and over, I always enjoy hearing it again.

Romantic pieces have always been a favorite of mine, mostly Chopin, Schumann, and now, Grieg. Notturno is a unique piece, almost feeling impressionistic at times. Grieg’s unique Norwegian style makes this piece even more entertaining to hear. I very much enjoyed learning and playing it, even if it made me want to throw something at times. The payoff was certainly worth it.

The first time I heard this piece, I wanted to master it. The unique rhythm and flowing melodies drew me to it. The piece provides much opportunity for expression. My recommendation for anyone who wants to learn this piece is to take it slow. The notes themselves aren’t difficult, but the rhythm can be frustrating. Each section is equally important and interesting, and it makes for a beautiful narrative that is rewarding to conquer.

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Machiko Saegusa-Cole
Machiko Saegusa-Cole(@machiko-saegusa-cole)
2 months ago

Picture I love the picture you chose for this piece. Very nostalgic, quiet but beautiful, simple but complex, leaving you with deeper thoughts. Great choice. Intro Thank you for sharing your story! I giggled reading it, especially the part about you making your family mad by playing it over and over, and how you wanted to throw some things at times. Made me remember my young days of practicing difficult pieces! And you are right, the payoff is more than worth it! I am so happy to hear that this piece brought you back to piano performance! Performance I love the way you eased into the nostalgic melody. Beautiful job in shaping the base lines and trill section! The transition before the return of the A section, (I believe it is the piu mosso section) continue to work on voicing the top in the right hand, I know it is difficult to make those 4ths legato.. And try adding a bigger swell into the climax! Enjoy the rolls as the piece begins to close leading to coda (maybe roll a little slower?), and don’t forget to breathe during the full measure rests. Overall a very beautiful and heartfelt performance and I… Read more »

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
4 months ago

What a treat, Lola, for you to introduce one of the loveliest of the Grieg pieces to a wider audience. It’s obvious that you love this piece and that you love to perform. I also love this piece, especially the part that slowly moves into a trill – it sounds like the night call of a bird. Since this is a Nocturne, that is very appropriate, isn’t it? You can be proud of this wonderful presentation!

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
4 months ago

I felt the romantic influence in this piece so strongly… like a love affair with all the ups and downs. Beautifully played.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
4 months ago

Hello, Lola. It was romantic and best for a serenade. Well played.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Lola Mestas
3 months ago

You are welcome, Lola.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
3 months ago

Hello, Lola, what a lovely piece of music and so beautifully played. I agree with Julie’s comment about the trill sounding like the call of a bird. This piece certainly covers an extensive range of notes, I can imagine it being quite exhausting to practise to get it to perfection. Well done.

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Annika Joshi
Annika Joshi(@annika-joshi)
3 months ago

Thank you so much for introducing this beautiful piece to me! I loved your interpretation and the image you chose to represent it – It brought so many lovely images to my mind!

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Yash Mehta
Yash Mehta(@yash-mehta)
3 months ago

I love how you mastered the rhythm and the dynamics were just amazing.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
3 months ago

Hello again Lola – I’m asking everyone about how they made their recording, as we prepare for the second piano contest. Did you use a phone? How did you set it up? The quality of light in your presentation is beautiful – what time of day did you record? Do you have any tips for everyone on getting the best sound and video quality? Be sure and check back to see everyone’s answers. We’re all learning together!

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Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
Reply to  Lola Mestas
3 months ago

Interesting, Lola. I actually loved the light in your recording. But maybe the brightness made it harder for you to see? What time of day do you think is best for recording?

Myles Spencer
Myles Spencer(@myles-spencer)
3 months ago

Hello Lola, thank you for sharing this beautiful piece with us. It was so calming and serenading. I heard what you wrote about it feeling romantic at times and impressionist at others. I felt that is was a perfect blend and was something I enjoyed hearing as you played.

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