I will always remember the first fall performance of my choir this year.
When our performance was over, I commented that the piano had been too quiet to support the chorus. I then asked the conductor what the meaning of the word piano was.
The conductor answered that its original name was pianoforte, meaning soft and loud. I agreed with him and said that in the day’s performance the piano had sounded only piano, but not forte; I asked where the forte had been.
Embarrassed, the conductor could not answer.
With a gentle smile on his face, I continued:
I realized in the first item in the programme that you were restraining the accompaniment. You apparently did so because you thought that the piano, if it was too loud, would drown the chorus. You failed to take into account the fact that if the piano accompaniment is restrained, the characteristics of the songs could not be sustained and the intervals would be awkward. But a conductor should be prudent in directing the representation of songs, after carefully studying them from various angles.
My analysis and judgement were correct. The conductor had stressed the representation of the songs and demanded that the pianist lower the volume of the piano so as to subordinate the accompaniment to the songs.
I gave detailed instructions on applying concords, rhythms and various other depiction techniques to a piano accompaniment. Then he told the conductor to improve the accompaniment by restoring the forte.
A week later, we performed again.
The performance, with the improved accompaniment, was a great success.
(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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