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Topic: Technique on fast repeated notes  (Read 3486 times)

Offline kevink

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Technique on fast repeated notes
on: September 26, 2003, 05:31:17 AM
So, I'm working up Liszt "Totentanz"... Was wondering if any of you who have played it (or ran into a similar difficulty as the one I am talking about) could give me some advice.
The right hand has lots of fast, repeating sixteenths in the 'fugato' section...  I have it up to speed (quarter at 138 is as fast as I want to take it), but I am worried that I am not producing as much of a marcato sound as I could.  
My motion has a fair amount of vertical wrist pivot, and my fingers "wipe" the keys; it feels really relaxed and smooth, but at times sounds indistinct.

Should I work for a more marcato sound with that motion, or switch to more of a "pecking" motion (wrist more stable, fingers acting as pistons rising and falling along the same line)?  (this motion is very slow for me presently, and has some tension)

Thanks a lot, guys and ladies...

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #1 on: September 26, 2003, 03:11:44 PM
When I play this section, I make sure the "Dies Irae" theme is very accented (by playing it with the left hand) while the repeated off-beat notes need not be. The three people I have heard play this piece (Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Nelson Freire and Krystian Zimerman) all seem to follow this pattern,
Ed

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #2 on: September 26, 2003, 05:40:33 PM
The Cziffra performance of this magnificent piece of trash, is RIDICULOUS.
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #3 on: September 26, 2003, 06:03:56 PM
The Totentanz is without doubt a truly great piece,
Ed

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #4 on: September 26, 2003, 06:23:51 PM


 As Kramer would say..."ohhhh.....there's doubt, Jerry"
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline meiting

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #5 on: September 26, 2003, 06:30:22 PM
Quote


The Totentanz is without doubt a truly great piece,
Ed


uh.. no. :)
Living for music is a sad state. Living to play music is not.

Offline kevink

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #6 on: September 26, 2003, 09:56:37 PM
Comparatively to Liszt's major concertos, I suppose the Totentanz is lacking in depth; its contrasts are very brief.  It is mainly just a showpiece (and a great one at that!).  But you have to admit, like all of Liszt's works, what he does with the thematic material he gives himself is really magnificent.  The piece has direction and it's logical and when done right it is thrilling...  I think it is a great piece!  But then, of course, I am playing it...

So, anyone want to tell me what motion he uses there?  Balance with the LH isn't the issue...

Thanks everyone.

Also: knowing a little of Liszt's life and his religious leanings, I would think that he at least intended for a piece based on Deus Irae to be a great one.  Seems to me that he would have seen a lot of meaning in the Totentanz that we might overlook.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #7 on: September 27, 2003, 01:02:09 AM
Quote


uh.. no. :)


Uh...yes,
Ed

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #8 on: September 27, 2003, 02:56:04 AM
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Uh...yes,
Ed

::)
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline kevink

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #9 on: September 27, 2003, 05:03:10 AM
Ed, since you played it, any word on what kind of wrist motion/finger motion you used?  Wiping or pecking?  

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #10 on: September 27, 2003, 04:22:49 PM
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Ed, since you played it, any word on what kind of wrist motion/finger motion you used?  Wiping or pecking?  


...not sure quite what you mean here,
Ed

Offline ASBpiano

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #11 on: September 27, 2003, 04:47:05 PM
Not sure if this will be of any help to you especially since I am not familiar with the piece, but I was told that for Liszts "La Campanella" there are the 3 repeated sixteenths on the bottom note of the octave, you "wipe" it with 3-2-1 and then your hand should be ready to play the top note.  Hows your pianos action?  

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #12 on: September 27, 2003, 05:08:49 PM
It is only two repeated 16ths (forgive my americanisation),
Ed

Offline kevink

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #13 on: September 27, 2003, 09:10:14 PM
Quote


...not sure quite what you mean here,
Ed

My motion has a fair amount of vertical wrist pivot, and my fingers "wipe" the keys; it feels really relaxed and smooth, but at times sounds indistinct.

Should I work for a more marcato sound with that motion, or switch to more of a "pecking" motion (wrist more stable, fingers acting as pistons rising and falling along the same line)?  (this motion is very slow for me presently, and has some tension)

Offline kevink

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #14 on: September 27, 2003, 09:14:10 PM
Quote
Not sure if this will be of any help to you especially since I am not familiar with the piece, but I was told that for Liszts "La Campanella" there are the 3 repeated sixteenths on the bottom note of the octave, you "wipe" it with 3-2-1 and then your hand should be ready to play the top note.  Hows your pianos action?  

This is helpful, thanks.  La Campanella has skips that the Totentanz doesn't when it comes to this particular repeated note challenge.
As for piano action, well, I am using practice room pianos at college...  So, to paraphrase Kramer again in this thread, "There is doubt."  However, I have worked on good pianos with this problem, so consider the action a non-issue.
Thanks

Offline kevink

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #15 on: September 27, 2003, 09:20:54 PM
Hey all you guys who dissed Totentanz!  I am calling you out!  Enlighten me as to why it is a "magnificent piece of trash."
Mei-Ting, given that you have played things I probably haven't even heard yet, I am curious to hear your reasons for why this is a poor piece.

Also Thrac I will have to check out Cziffra's record!


...Still looking for replies having to do with my original question, as well.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #16 on: September 27, 2003, 10:47:51 PM
Ah I see what you mean now. I would go for a wiping movement until the theme has been stated, and then when the left hand comes in 'proper', revert to a more piston-like movement,
Ed

debussy_lover

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Re: Technique on fast repeated notes
Reply #17 on: September 28, 2003, 11:29:42 PM
I recommend playing the first  8 bars usuing a contant alternating hand technique. That is, play every 1st, 3rd 5th and 7th 16th with the left hand, and every 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th with the right. This gives you a fabulous martellato sound, and will produce no physical tension.

After that, you have to start using the right hand only for the 16ths. (Well, not really, but arranging things between the hands might be more trouble than it's worth). Anyway, I think your "wiping" techinque is the way to go. My edition recommends 152 to the quarter. For sure nobody is going to be doing any "pecking" at that tempo. I wouldn't attempt to get a martellato effect with your fingers in this passage - you'll just get tense.

Also, don't just stick with the standard repeated note fingering (1234). Rather, explore some other options that might make the section easier. Be creative!
 

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