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La Campanella... tips needed ;-) (Read 9260 times)

Offline ASBpiano

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La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
« on: September 30, 2003, 03:12:28 AM »
Hey everyone,

I decided that i'd give La Campanella a shot for fun.  I'll practice it after i've got all my important stuff done...

So, i really don't know how to take on this piece.  I'm sure you're all familiar with it, its a complete beast  ;D

The big 2 octave leaps in the melody are crazy, should i just practice them slow over and over again?  The piece is just totally overwhelming when you try to sight read it.  All i'm looking for is some tips from those who have played the piece...

Thanks a lot!  8)

-ASB

Offline eddie92099

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #1 on: September 30, 2003, 05:30:54 PM »
It is simply a case of playing it slowly at first and gradually getting it up to full speed - it is not as daunting as it first seems. After a while the leaps will become fairly natural, but don't expect to hit every note perfectly at full tempo every time! If any other sections are troubling you don't hesitate to ask for tips - I learnt this piece earlier this year so it is fresh in the memory,
Ed

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #2 on: September 30, 2003, 11:07:13 PM »
Ed is right.  It's been decades since I've messed with this piece, adn I would never dream of perfecting it, but the key for me on the jumps seemed to be that the top note stayed the same.  So I found that with repeated practice my pinky would automatically hit that Dsharp (?) every time, and I just had to aim for my thumbs.  Go slowly at first, and it'll drive you nuts for a while, 'cause you'll miss consatantly, but it'll come after a while.  Can't speak for the other sections.  My trills absolutely suck.
So much music, so little time........

Offline eddie92099

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #3 on: October 01, 2003, 01:26:46 AM »
Alternatively, tune all the notes in the top octave to D sharp!  ;),
Ed

Offline ASBpiano

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #4 on: October 01, 2003, 01:46:16 AM »
Thanks!

Haha nice one Ed  ;D

I had a lot of trouble with Un Sospiro so i doubt this will be much easier... won't hurt to try though  :)

Offline e60m5

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #5 on: October 01, 2003, 02:31:11 AM »
I have not been to this place for a while, and this is the first thread I've clicked on... lol

Well, if you are serious about piano playing and wish to make a career in it, I would only advise you to leave La Campanella alone.

Sure, one may be able to play it, but that is nowhere near what is necessary - to play it incorrect would be to force one's technique and detract from one's style.

One cannot learn the technique of the piece by throwing one's self at the piece. The technique must be ready to be improved and honed, not beaten into one's self from scratch.

However, if it is all in fun, go all for it. It's a lovely piece, despite its technical difficulties, and it's absolutely gorgeous to play.

I know, personally, that I won't be playing La Campanella for a while yet.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #6 on: October 02, 2003, 12:19:35 AM »
I disagree with you. I had played few pieces with similar technical requirements (not saying I hadn't played difficult pieces - just they were a different type of difficult) before I began to learn it, but have since found it very enjoyable to play and also very successful in competitions and concerts. Go for it!
Ed

JohnOgdon

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #7 on: October 13, 2003, 12:38:50 PM »
Just a suggestion, play the busoni arrangement! It sounds 100 times better, and most of the huge leaps are rearranged to make them les hazardous. I have never particularly liked the liszt original. That said, the 1st version of la campanella is excellent, it also has the theme from the 3rd mvt of the paganini d maj violin concerto.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #8 on: October 14, 2003, 06:54:52 PM »
JohnOgdon, have you got the score of the Busoni arrangement? I have the score for Liszt's three editions and Ogdon's recording of the Busoni - but not the Busoni score. If you have a pdf of it or something that would be great,
Ed

Offline jonathandodd

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #9 on: November 01, 2003, 02:11:03 PM »
OK, I'll try and offer some advice as I've just done this piece. First, the melody at the beginning. Try

and move your hand in an 'arc' shape horizontally to the keyboard. To get the action, try waving, as in

waving someone off, then gradually bring your forearm parallel to the floor, and that's the action. This

really helps to bring out the bell like quality needed, as well as allowing your hand to be moving

constantly, necessary to reach notes in plenty time to play them accurately. If you think about playing

individual notes, it kills you, seriously, as you (or at least I) tend to dwell on each note, then have a

big jump to do both accurately and quickly.

For the triplet section that comes next (where the theme is restated) try what my teacher calls 'drawing

in technique' on each of the first notes. Rather than playing the note as you would normally, start with

your second finger extended, then very quickly flick your finger inwards to the plam of your hand,

brushing the key on the way past. Throughout this whole passage, you should keep your hand as extended as

possible to reach the higher notes, which is why this technique comes in handy. Once you've played the

first, note, it is like a 'release', and you play the next two notes very gently with a circular motion.

THe fingering I use is 2-1-5 for each triplet. Do not worry that they may not sound as clear as you would

like them, once you're up to speed it will not matter. Practise this whole action slowly at first, then

speed it up.

For the next bit, where you get the figurations with the three repeated notes, simply use drawing in

technique for all three. Also, do not worry if you cannot play this up to tempo, taking time over it is ok

as well. For the bit at bar 66, try keeping your right hand as close to the keys as possible at all times

if you are finding that hard. IMHO, the LH is the important bit there anyway so the RH can stay quiet.

Bar 73, the fingering I use in the RH (and for all subsequent repetitions) is 3212-123-1234-123-1234 then

a standard chromatic fingering down. again, keep your fingers close to the keys for speed. Playing

precisely and clearly doesn't matter so much there. Just make sure you know where the 1s come, and you'll

be ok.

Bar 77, the "quasi cadenza" is actually very easy, if you think about it one-semiquaver out. Don't think

about it as it is written (at least not to begin with), think about it as four note descending chromatics,

starting one note higher than the last note of the previous each time. (YOu'll see what I mean when you

play it). EXCEPT for when you hit an E, cos then it goes up to F# instead.

Bar 79, I take the first lower D# in the RH in the left, because it is part of the melody. I do the trill

on 3-5 to avoid losing all strength in 4 for the next page! However, the trill is not as important as the

LH here, so again it's this keep close to the key thing. From bar 87 to 93, I use 1-3-4-3 for all the four

note figurations. This is stronger than 1-4-5-4, although it may not be as convenient at times. ALso,

don't worry so much about the upper three notes, they can be very quiet. This passage should sound like

you have three hands: one playing the left hand, one playing the melody, and one playing a trilly thing at

the top. Try practising the melody on its own, shaping it properly, then apply that to the right hand as

written, without shaping the top bit so much, and keeping the top bit PPP.

Finally the piu mosso...in the second, fourth and sixth bars, do not worry so much about the F#s, C#s and A#s so much. The wavng technique doesn't really work here, as you have those fifths in the way, although it could work for the other leaps. THe major thing is not to get too tense!!! But anway, make sure you go for the melody line and get it correct, if nothing else.

I think from there to 129 is all self explanatory, really, just needs practise and for you to relax all the way through. Also, take time if it helps. eg try phrasing off to the end of bars 104, 106 and 108.

Bar 129 to 133, I use in the left hand 1s for all the upper notes and 5-5-4-5 for the lower notes. This left hand is a circular motion, stressed to begin with then release as you lighten off towards the top, then round to the bottom again. Be careful not to get too thunderous, though, as it may then sound a bit 'bashy'. Try to play it loud, but still with shape and a good tone. It is, after all, only marked FF, not FFF.

One last thing - if you didn't know already, La Campanella means "The Little Bell", so bear that in mind for interpretation.

OK...whirlwind tour there! Wow what a mighty post. I'm actually wondering whether u'll bother to get all the way through, let alone start! Haha oh well, I hope it helps, and good luck with the piece!

Jon

Offline Sketchee

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #10 on: November 05, 2003, 02:26:34 AM »
I disagree with e60m5, but agree with Eddie.  Technique can be learned from pieces such as this. Certainly if we had all the technique from every piece we learned, it would be a less enjoyable experience.  This is an ETUDE afterall.



Sketchee
http://www.sketchee.com [Paintings. Music.]

Offline ilovemusic

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #11 on: December 03, 2003, 12:47:10 PM »
I have also started to work on the piece, although
I have only started to play this year. I REALLY like the
piece, though, and that keeps me going.

I think making the leaps are not harder than the
other difficulties in the piece.  I've started on the
piece in september. And think it will take me at least
a year (if I keep practising as hard as I am doing now)
to play it.

I heard one performance of Cziffra, who buthcers the piece by playing it in 4 minutes I think. I think it souds
much better played in 5:30 or something. Another version by Bolet is much nicer.

Anyway, think for me the harders part is the passage with the trill's one octave higher. I try to do is with 4/5,
but it will take A LOT of practise to control these messures. The end is really cool: thundering away with
those octaves. I am happy Liszt made this !









Offline eddie92099

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #12 on: December 03, 2003, 09:46:08 PM »
Quote
I
Anyway, think for me the harders part is the passage with the trill's one octave higher. I try to do is with 4/5,
but it will take A LOT of practise to control these messures.


If your hand is big enough try using 3/4 - I find it much more effective,
Ed



Offline ilovemusic

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #13 on: December 04, 2003, 12:44:07 PM »
Quote


If your hand is big enough try using 3/4 - I find it much more effective,
Ed




Ah. Now I have to know how big big enough would be..
I can reach C-D over the keys, and C-E with stretching
BUT, my hands are still getting more flexible, if I 'split' I reach 23 cm, but I can not do this actively. I don't know
if that's big enough for the 3/4 scenario...

I find the trill from G to G# particularly tricky, because
one has to stuck in a finger between two black keys.








Offline snafflemoose

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #14 on: December 26, 2003, 02:49:35 AM »
Coming late but you may find this useful! I don't know how big your hands are, but I choose to take all the top D sharps with the 4th finger rather than the fifth.  When I first played like that to my college professor his jaw dropped but I took that fingering then and still take it when I play the piece now.  It's far more secure for me; everyone is different though, and you may not feel that it works.  Certainly give it a try though! ;D

Offline BoliverAllmon

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #15 on: December 26, 2003, 02:53:05 AM »
this could actually work. most people like to use the 4th finger on black key octaves.

boliver

Offline eddie92099

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #16 on: December 26, 2003, 07:29:33 AM »
I think I will give that a go today,
Ed

Offline chopiabin

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #17 on: December 30, 2003, 10:33:51 AM »
You guys inspired me to start this piece (along with a DVD of Evgeny Kissin playing it), and now I'm obsessed! I got the first 2 and some odd pages (rh only so far) pretty quickly, but I'm scared about the later, more treacherous variations. This piece is awesome!

Offline eddie92099

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #18 on: December 30, 2003, 02:09:49 PM »
In my opinion, the hardest variation is the first. If you can do that, then you can do it all  :),
Ed

Offline erak

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #19 on: December 30, 2003, 11:23:49 PM »
Ed, seriously?? :o. Yay! *goes out and practice the rest of La Campanella*

Offline trunks

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #20 on: April 18, 2004, 01:01:20 AM »
Quote
Just a suggestion, play the busoni arrangement! It sounds 100 times better, and most of the huge leaps are rearranged to make them les hazardous. I have never particularly liked the liszt original. That said, the 1st version of la campanella is excellent, it also has the theme from the 3rd mvt of the paganini d maj violin concerto.

I happen to have a Duo-Art piano roll reproduction on a vinyl LP recording of Busoni himself playing his own arrangement of Liszt La Campanella. And yes that is a very good arrangement, and the ending bar is enormously more spectacular than Liszt's own.

I have yet to locate the score for this arrangement, however . . .::)
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline DarkWind

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #21 on: April 18, 2004, 01:26:07 AM »
Quote
In my opinion, the hardest variation is the first. If you can do that, then you can do it all  :),
Ed


In my opinion, it's the reverse. I think the first variation is really easy, at least when you get to know it. The second part gets harder because you have to keep playing that d sharp in three different octaves in a very steady and quick progression, which adds a pretty annoying difficulty.  Then comes the two note one octave higher note part broken into triplets, which is undeniably the easiest part. The hard one is around page 10, in the copy from www.sheetmusicarchive.net . But the ending is the hardest. My left hand can't grip around the quick octaves.

Rob47

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #22 on: April 18, 2004, 02:06:08 AM »
Hey
Has anyone played the The Grande Fantasie on Camapanella?  I'm starting that and could use some tips, and still haven't heard a recording of it ( i can't come up with 60$ to buy leslie howards recording)...but I've read the score a million times and can see where the campanella tune is in all its variations but theres pages and pages of other stuff which looks a bit tricky and wonder what tips could be given?

Thansk
ROb

Offline jon

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #23 on: December 13, 2004, 03:16:12 AM »
Well i decided to bring this topic up again because i was wondering what the fingering should be for some places.Five pages into the song (i think this is the cadenza section?) it has chromatic scales which are easy to do but then going down the scale the notes double back and are repeated.What is the best fingering for this section?Also right after the doubling back going down there is a doubling back going up.Is this done with both hands with the left hand following the right hand up the scale?

Offline bravuraoctaves

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #24 on: December 13, 2004, 05:04:28 PM »
I once tried the going up bit out of curiosity.

I used both hands, 3333333333333 all the way.

I tried it with different fingerings,  but this one I prefer, if a bit weird.

Offline hodi

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #25 on: December 13, 2004, 10:27:56 PM »
i don't know why even wasting your time on this piece
it isn't bad, it just lacks a musical depth, it has a nice theme no more than that.


Offline musicsdarkangel

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #26 on: December 14, 2004, 04:54:55 AM »
Hey everyone,

I decided that i'd give La Campanella a shot for fun.  I'll practice it after i've got all my important stuff done...

So, i really don't know how to take on this piece.  I'm sure you're all familiar with it, its a complete beast  ;D

The big 2 octave leaps in the melody are crazy, should i just practice them slow over and over again?  The piece is just totally overwhelming when you try to sight read it.  All i'm looking for is some tips from those who have played the piece...

Thanks a lot!  8)

-ASB

I have almost completed la Campanella, and let me tell you, you are right that it is a beast.

In all honesty, the two octave leaps are one of the easiest parts in the piece.  When it comes to working on those leaps, make sure that your thumb is curved (that you aren't stretching it out to hit the lower keys), and practice slowly (of course). 

Be as light as you can be in pretty much all of the piece that isn't marked F - FF.  The key to mastering this work is to let it come easily to you, to use as little of the key as possible, and to lift your fingers minimally while playing.

If you ever want good practice techniques on a specific part of the piece, please e-mail me kingsha@yahoo.com .  I'd be more than glad to help.

Offline bravuraoctaves

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Re: La Campanella... tips needed ;-)
«Reply #27 on: December 14, 2004, 07:11:07 PM »
i don't know why even wasting your time on this piece
it isn't bad, it just lacks a musical depth, it has a nice theme no more than that.


It's fun!!

The strange thing is, I didn't get stuck on the giant leaps, but some bits are extremely awkward.



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