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Topic: Brahms Exercises Op 51??!!  (Read 2466 times)

Offline rvPianist

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Brahms Exercises Op 51??!!
on: December 19, 2003, 04:33:40 PM
:o...first reaction...

:o...ongoing reaction...

I read some of the posts in another thread - various ppl suggested the Brahms 'Exercises'. I say that with ' ', cuz these look like anything BUT exercises! And especially, very complex towards the latter stages...anyone here who has gotten through at least the most part of this work? Anyone attempt them w/out teacher supervision? I'd love to know how anyone managed the first exercise; hemiola in 3against4, 4against5, 5against6, 6against7...all in scalar passages for both hands together...how is this played while keeping to time? I suppose this is the next logical step, after mastering scales in unison, intervals, contrary, and grand...but quite a leap, nevertheless...

All the other exercises seem like they can be worked out under usual rhythm breakdowns...but the first? Pls help...
music is the thinnest veil that conceals Divinity...

Offline redberry

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Re: Brahms Exercises Op 51??!!
Reply #1 on: December 23, 2003, 01:42:46 AM
I started to practise mostly of these exercises since I was young. Yeah, some of them are pretty difficult and it takes time-just take it easy, practise it slowly and seperate hands and avoid to push beyond the limit....Think how you want to move your arm, motions and not to stiff....

Offline rvPianist

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Re: Brahms Exercises Op 51??!!
Reply #2 on: December 23, 2003, 01:53:14 AM
Quote
I started to practise mostly of these exercises since I was young. Yeah, some of them are pretty difficult and it takes time-just take it easy, practise it slowly and seperate hands and avoid to push beyond the limit....Think how you want to move your arm, motions and not to stiff....


Thanks for the input. But specifically...how to manage the hemiola in exercise 1? 3 against 4, 4 against 5, 5 against 6, 6 against 7, in scales and arpeggios. You've played this work for awhile, so I'm sure you're into the advanced exercises, well past this one. So please lemme know...

Anyone please help... :)
music is the thinnest veil that conceals Divinity...

Offline Goldberg

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IRe: Brahms Exercises Op 51??!!
Reply #3 on: December 23, 2003, 05:57:14 AM
rvPianist, I think this is my first post on this forum but I've been posting pretty frequently on another piano forum that you may have come across (I've been lurking on this one for a few months). Anyway, to get to the point, I haven't played any of the Brahms exercises (in fact, no Brahms at all! Sad, especially after 5 years!) but I recently ran into a similar problem, just today, in Liszt's 6th Paganini etude. I had done most of the etude already, save the very first variation. I'll admit I'm not the most secure person when it comes to rythmic problems, and at first I was somewhat afraid of the triplets-against-16th configurations of this variation. Well, today I got my act together and started working on it, and even finished it after I realized how easy it was. I would recommend doing this: take a metronome and set it at a sloooow setting (I did 40bpm). Take your left hand and do 16th notes for as long as you need to in order to get it completely automatic. During my exercise I had to start over many times, mostly because of frustration when I joined my hands together...Anyway then what I did was counted aloud the triplets (in this case they're in the right hand), and finally when I was ready, I tapped the triplets out on a note above the one I was playing in the left hand. The process actually took a while, but I'd say the key is playing ONE rythm and then counting out the second one. You can even practice away from a piano-simply beat your hands on a table or even your lap.
I hope that was even somewhat helpful to you, and I wish you good luck on your playing!

Offline rvPianist

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Re: Brahms Exercises Op 51??!!
Reply #4 on: December 24, 2003, 01:22:50 PM
Goldberg - thankyou for your suggestion, I'll try the method you prescribed. I'm not sure if you've seen the exercises, since you haven't played Brahms...but the latter parts of exercise 1 involves 5 against 6, 6 against 7...in this case, there's no 'mathematical' breakdown or a verbal formula (like, "not-too-diff-i-cult)...I guess, as you said, it'll take one hand becoming automatic, while the other hand superimposes...

What caught my attention is that after 5 years, you're playing Liszt's Paganini Etudes?! Please tell me more...your experiences, repertoire to date, whether you are with a teacher...I'd really appreciate some input. I'm in a very similar situation as you are in it seems, I just wonder how others like 'me' are doing...

What is the other forum you are posting at?
music is the thinnest veil that conceals Divinity...

Offline Goldberg

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Re: Brahms Exercises Op 51??!!
Reply #5 on: December 24, 2003, 04:36:15 PM
rvPianist, no I have not seen the exercises before, but I hoped that maybe you could apply the method I used for the 3-vs-4 to all of those situations. Like you said, there really isn't much of a mathematical way to separate them so you just end up having to rely on the overall beat of the piece: for instance, make sure you start on the correct beat and end on the correct beat and you'll be fine.
I'm sorry if the last post was unclear, but I'm not yet playing *all* of the Paganini Etudes. Instead, I'm only working on them, but I hope to have them done some point in the middle of next year. I've already finished La Campanella and am working on polishing up no. 6, which I mentioned in my last post. If you're curious, I'm 15, and have only been serious for a year or so now...but let me tell you, it's been a great year!
I'm on my second teacher at Rice University where I take private lessons (as well as theory lessons too-I'm on my third teacher for that! Finally this one seems to be a good match...). My teacher is phenomenal, just phenomenal...he's a Polish man with perfect pitch and an unstoppable sight reading ability as well as an EXTREMELY refined sense of musicality. It makes for some very frustrating lessons, particularly when working on a small phrase from Mozart over and over again, but it's well worth it.
Over this last year I worked steadily on Bach's Goldberg Variations and worked up to about variation 13, meaning of course to finish them all. But, when I changed teachers he wanted to have me build a more stable repertoire and THEN go for the Variations-so I hope to finish those this year. Besides that I've been all over the place-For Beethoven, I did his op. 27 No.1 (eflat major) sonata, I've done several two part inventions and Scarlatti sonatas, Mozart K. 332, about 5 Chopin Nocturnes (though a few could use some re-working I guess), Mazurkas, and Waltzes, and more odds and ends. Of course during this time my technique began to grow like I did not believe, because my old teacher had me doing different exercises and I was working on my own piano concerto that always challenged me with difficult passages.
Anyway, now my situation is that, yes, I'm learning hard pieces for after on 15 years. But I am very patient as I have about 5 or 6 hours of practice time a day, and I take everything slow and hands separate when necessary. So far, it's worked just fine. My repertoire isn't gigantic yet and I've only had one recital in the past 3 years, but I plan to build up my experiences quickly, starting this year.
Anyway I do apologise about this behemoth of a post, I didn't mean to go on forever. I think I blab a lot when I'm tired. But, you asked which other forum I went to? The other forum is wonderful as is this one, and you can find it at PianoWorld (which may just be at pianoworld.com). Now may I ask you about your past in piano?
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