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Topic: questions about mazeppa  (Read 1766 times)

Offline rob47

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questions about mazeppa
on: October 11, 2005, 08:54:46 PM
I just started this piece n have some questions as I am sans teacher for a month or two.

Can anyone recommend 2 fingerings for the LH in the cadeza ad libitum? I'm using the only one remotely comfortable i can think of right now that facilitates a high velocity, but it is still awkard. So I figure if you recommend 2 at least one will be differnet than mine.

Also whats the deal with ignoring Liszt's 2-4 2-4 suggestions? I'd say its ok in recital; in a competition would the jury actually care?

Thanks.
"Phenomenon 1 is me"
-Alexis Weissenberg

Offline lisztisforkids

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Re: questions about mazeppa
Reply #1 on: October 12, 2005, 12:19:35 AM
Also whats the deal with ignoring Liszt's 2-4 2-4 suggestions? I'd say its ok in recital; in a competition would the jury actually care?

Thanks.

Because doing the 2-4 2-4 fingering is impossible. Kudos to you if you can do it! This is one my favorite piano pieces, and one of the only Liszt pieces i like. I dont think the competition jury would care if you could pull it off as long as it sounded good.
we make God in mans image

Offline pita bread

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Re: questions about mazeppa
Reply #2 on: October 12, 2005, 01:25:35 AM
The 2-4 fingering isn't impossible. Doesn't Pavel use it in the Liszt Competition video?

Offline stevie

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Re: questions about mazeppa
Reply #3 on: October 12, 2005, 01:39:10 AM
The 2-4 fingering isn't impossible. Doesn't Pavel use it in the Liszt Competition video?

no, he doesnt, but the horsef*cker did

Offline pita bread

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Re: questions about mazeppa
Reply #4 on: October 12, 2005, 06:07:56 AM
Any chance of you posting that video?

Offline rob47

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Re: questions about mazeppa
Reply #5 on: October 17, 2005, 04:30:45 AM
I've found after a couple days that 2-4 2-4 is very effective and again should never have doubted Liszt.

Also for the LH I found a terrific fingering from one of my friends which puts less strain on the index finger having to reach to the f natural.  Reaching to to the Bflat is unavoidable but much more comfortable when using the thumb on f natural.

Anyway thanks for the input
"Phenomenon 1 is me"
-Alexis Weissenberg

Offline stevie

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Re: questions about mazeppa
Reply #6 on: October 18, 2005, 02:31:12 PM
Any chance of you posting that video?

minimal chance

this is randomly one of my favourite pieces, im gonna give it a try, with rob's helpful advice

Offline ramseytheii

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Re: questions about mazeppa
Reply #7 on: May 28, 2006, 05:08:52 PM
Because doing the 2-4 2-4 fingering is impossible. Kudos to you if you can do it! This is one my favorite piano pieces, and one of the only Liszt pieces i like. I dont think the competition jury would care if you could pull it off as long as it sounded good.

I don't think its impossible, in a lot of pieces Liszt demands consecutive thirds with the 4-2 fingering.  The trick to playing these thirds is not twisting the hand up trying to reach all the different thirds with two sticking out one direction and 4 sticking out the other, but rather using your whole body to move to the best position to play the thirds comfortably.

This is an amazing piece, and I think liszt was using "technique painting" in addition to "tone painting."  The pianist, playing Mazeppa, has to throw (well not exaggerated, but you can feel it) his body left and right.  The LH and RH parts are written in huge circular motions (see the Berezovsky video of the last statement of the theme, Animato) just as if a horse was bucking up and down and running in circles. 

Does anyone have a translation of the Hugo poem?

Walter Ramsey

Offline emmdoubleew

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Re: questions about mazeppa
Reply #8 on: May 28, 2006, 05:30:19 PM
I've found after a couple days that 2-4 2-4 is very effective and again should never have doubted Liszt.


Liszt fingering is counter-intuitive, but it revolutionized piano technique for a reason.

The trick to the 2-4 fingering is playing the thirds in a way that you have the shape frozen into a claw in your hand, so all you have to do is drop your hand int he right place rather than concentrate on playing the notes, then you can get really fast thirds.

Offline pianiststrongbad

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Re: questions about mazeppa
Reply #9 on: May 28, 2006, 05:37:37 PM
Hi I just posted a video and a recording of my recital, and this piece was in it.  I used the 24,24 fingering.  Far from perfect I'll admit, but I think it was pretty effective overall.
Just in case if you are interested the video can be found here:
https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,17947.0.html
Audio can be found here: https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,17966.0.html

Translation of the poem (not sure who translated):

Mazeppa

I.

Behold this Mazeppa, o’erpowered by minions,
Writhe vainly beneath the implacable pinions
His limbs that surround.
To a fiery steed from the Asian mosses
That, chafing and fuming, its main wildly tosses,
The victim is bound.

He turns in the toils like a serpent in madness,
And when his tormentors have feasted in gladness
Upon his despair,
When bound to his sinister saddle, poor creature,
With brow dropping sweat and with foam on each feature
His eyes redly glare:

A shout- and the unwilling centaur is hieing,
The flight of the steeds of Apollo outvieing,
O’er mountain and plain;
The sand cloud behind him e’er deep’ning and heigt’ning,
The track of a storm pierced by flashes of lightning;
A mad hurricane.

They fly.  Helter-skelter they rush through the valley,
Like tempests that out of rock fastnesses sally,
Or levin’s dread flash;
Then faded in mist to a speck without motion,
Then melted away like the froth of the ocean
That wild breakers dash.

They fly.  Empty space is behind and before them;
The boundless horizon, the sky arching o’er them,
They plunge ever through:
Their feet are like wings.  See the forest, the fountain,
The village, the castle, the long chain of mountain
All reel on the view!

And if the poor wretch in unconscious convulsion
But struggle, the horse with a fiercer impulsion
Outstripping the blast,
Dashes into a dessert vast, trackless, and arid,
Extending before them, a sand plain unvaried,
Earth’s mantle so vast.

Strangle colours the wavering landscape is wearing;
The forest, the cloud-castles, madly go tearing,
And whirl on their base.
The peaks where the sunbeam a passage just forces
He sees; the next moment a herd of wild horses
Gives noisily chase.

O the sky, where night’s footsteps already are nearing!
Its oceans of cloud with yet more clouds appearing
To melt in their hold;
The sun with its sharp prow dividing those billows
Which turn at its glorious touch into pillows
Of satin and gold.

His eye gleams and flickers, his matted locks wander,
His head sinks: what splashes of blood are those yonder
On bramble and stone?
The cords on his swollen limbs biting yet deeper,
And like a lithe serpent or venomous creeper
Contracting their zone.

The horse, neither bridle nor bit on him feeling,
Flies ever; red drops o’er the victim are stealing;
His whole body bleeds.
Alas! To the wild horses foaming and champing,
That followed with manes erect, neighing and stamping,
A crow-flight succeeds.

The raven, the horn’d owl with eyes round and hollow,
The osprey and eagle from battle-field follow,
Through daylight alarm.
The carrion crow and the vulture so bloody,
Which plunges ‘mid corpses its neck bare and ruddy,
Just like a bare arm.

All hasten to swell the procession so dreary,
And many a league from the holm or the eyrie
They follow this man.
Mazeppa, scarce hearing what sound the air sunders,
Looks up; who can that be unfolding, he wonders,
A mighty black fan?

The gloomy night falls with no stars penetrating;
More keen is the chase in impatience awaiting
Until his breath quit;
As a strange and mysterious whirlwind he fears them,
They flash and are gone, then in darkness he hears them
Confusedly flit.
Then after three days of this course wild and frantic,
Through rivers of ice, plains and forests gigantic,
The horse sinks and dies;
His limbs quiver faintly his struggles are over,
And once more the birds of prey circle and hover
Where low the prince lies.

Behold him there naked, blood-stained and despairing,
All red, like the foliage of autumn preparing
To wither and fall.
The birds hanging o’er him now soaring like rockets,
Now dropping again to tear out of their sockets
Each tear-smarting ball.

Yet mark! That poor sufferer, gasping and moaning,
To-morrow the Cossacks of Ukraine atoning,
Will hail as their king;
And soon in his might o’er the battle-tide rolling,
His thousands he’ll sway, and a harvest consoling
To vultures will fling.

No more in obscurity destined to languish,
The rule of a kingdom will solace his anguish
A crown on his brow:
To royal Mazeppa the hordes Asiatic
Will shout their devotion in fervour ecstatic,
And low to earth bow.

II.

So when a poor mortal whose brains the gods addle
O Pegasus! Finds himself bound to thy saddle,
His fate is as meet.
Away from the world- from all real existence,
Thou bearest him upward, despite his resistance,
On metrical feet!

Thou tak’st him o’er deserts, o’er mountains in legions,
Grey-hoary, thro’ oceans and into the regions
Right up in the clouds;
A thousand base spirits his progress unshaken
Arouses, press round him and stare as they waken,
In insolent crowds.

He traverses, soaring on fiery pinions,
All fields of creation, all spirit dominions
And Drains Heaven dry:
Thro’ darkness and storm, or ‘mid stars brightly gleaming
See Peagasus’ tail like a comet is streaming
Across the whole sky.

The six moons of Herschel, the ringed horizon
Of Saturn, the pole whose white forehead bedizen
The weird Northern lights,
All views he: for him in this flight never ending
The infinite bounds of his vision extending,
Yield fresh Pisgah sights.

Who can know, save the angels amid whom he dashes,
What anguish he suffers and what mystic flashes
Illumine his sight?
What fiery darts lend his spirit their fuel,
And Ah! What nocturnal wings icy and cruel
Extinguish the light?

He cries out with terror, in agony gasping,
Yet ever the neck of his hippogriff clasping,
They heavenward spring;
Each leap that he takes with fresh woe is attended:
He totters- falls lifeless- the struggle is ended-
We hail him then king!

Victor Hugo.

Offline emmdoubleew

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Re: questions about mazeppa
Reply #10 on: May 28, 2006, 05:51:06 PM
If i haven't already done so, I congratulate you on your Mazeppa strongbad, it's a bit sloppy at times, but you have my repsect.

The poem sounds hilariously better in French.
 

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