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Topic: Fast Virtuoso Passages  (Read 1366 times)

Offline joe_bloggs666

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Fast Virtuoso Passages
on: September 06, 2005, 12:18:21 PM
Are there any techniques people can offer for learning the fast viruoso passages which are so characteristic of the music of Liszt, Chopin and Rachmaninov. I'm a grade 8 pianist (the highest grade in the UK) but i can't get the hang of the really fast bits :P

Alex

Offline franzliszt2

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Re: Fast Virtuoso Passages
Reply #1 on: September 08, 2005, 07:31:25 PM
Look at the diploma sylabuss, which is the next step up from grade 8. There are a lot of difficult pieces on that list which require speed, and are significently more difficult than grade 8, for example Gershwin preludes, or I got rhythm. Also Ravel sonatine has a very fast 3rd mvt. The Bach pieces are very good for speed as well, and helps a lot with mastering music of chopin and Liszt. Once you have reached diploma standered and fell the pieces don;t challenge you tecnically, move onto the LRSM list, which is higher again. On this you will find Chopin Scherzo's, etudes.. Liszt's etudes, Rachmaninoff preludes, and some very fast repertoire.

It takes time to learn to get the speed required for fast virtouso passages, I never really went out of my way to learn to play fast, I just developed through years of Hannon, and Czerny studies. Also my teacher give me pieces which were fast, and then give me faster ones, but very steadily.


The best way I feel to play fast is to completly relax the arms and fingers and just let the notes float of the fingers, and don't actually think I'm playing fast, just concentrate on the relaxation. Play some Chopin preludes, a lot of them are very fast... for example no. 12, and the Bb minor. Also the Dminor for some rapid LH stuff, and some very fast scales and arpeggio's. Also Rachmaninoff's transcription of flight of the bumble bee is very fast. 

Offline nanabush

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Re: Fast Virtuoso Passages
Reply #2 on: September 09, 2005, 02:05:46 AM
To get the technique required to play those, I'd suggest playing the Bach preludes which have steady 16th notes, for example C sharp major, C minor and D major from bk1, there are more which are more difficult but I'm not sure which.  Take a look at those, it'll get ur finger dexterity up and ready for the fast pieces..
Interested in discussing:

-Prokofiev Toccata
-Scriabin Sonata 2

Offline bearzinthehood

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Re: Fast Virtuoso Passages
Reply #3 on: September 10, 2005, 05:20:47 AM
Relaxation is the key.  Learning to "will" your hand loose if you notice it's getting tense is probably the most important skill you can have in terms of technique.  Usually all it takes is just shutting off muscles that you are contracting subconciously and unnecessarily.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Fast Virtuoso Passages
Reply #4 on: September 11, 2005, 12:55:25 AM
Memorise it, see the pattern in it, ask yourself what shape your hand is while playing it and how it changes and how it maintains its relaxed posture, play it over and over again. Play with pauses but play at tempo otherwise, then slowly remove the pauses or rearrange where you put them. Question efficiency of your playing constantly, question WHY this or that is hard. Have a sense of the centre of your hand throughout difficult passages, where is the centre of the hand, where is the most balanced point, do any notes move around this centre? How can I use the center to maintain relaxation and aid memory.
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