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Islamey (Read 7625 times)

Offline liszmaninopin

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Islamey
« on: January 24, 2004, 07:18:50 PM »
Why does it seem that whenever I read a cd review where the pianist played Islamey-always the reviewer mentions how difficult this piece is.  I've never actually played it, but just looking at the score, it looks like one needs great octave and repeating note technique, endurance, and the ability to smash the keyboard.  Honestly, I don't know how it got its reputation as the hardest in the literature-at least when there are other pieces out there that require far more musicality, and probably have more varied technical demands.  Am I alone in this opinion of Islamey?

piano sheet music of Islamey - Oriental Fantasy


Offline allchopin

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #1 on: January 25, 2004, 07:23:56 PM »
Well, Islamey is hard, but there are harder out there.  However, Islamey may be one of the toughest popular pieces out there.  Personally, I don't even know why it is popular- it's a marathon of dissonance and useless notes.  I almost see more point in learning Prokofiev's Tocatta.
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Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #2 on: January 25, 2004, 07:25:40 PM »
I don't mind dissonance and useless notes, but I don't think very highly of Islamey.  Just personal taste, I suppose.

Offline chopiabin

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #3 on: January 25, 2004, 07:39:42 PM »
I don't like it musically, but I have Mikhail Pletnev playing it live and it is kinda impressive.

Offline fanaticalpianist

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #4 on: January 25, 2004, 09:57:19 PM »
Yes, to those who don't like Islamey, try out Pletnev, he plays it on another dimension.

Offline e60m5

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #5 on: January 25, 2004, 11:25:31 PM »
It's just because Islamey has that reputation. It is not that hard.

Having said that, it is not easy. I suggest that until one has played the piece in concert, they should refrain from calling Islamey, or any other piece, easy.

I've played Islamey live in concert, and some of you may have seen the video, but I am nothing yet like Pletnev. If anyone's interested in the video, you can still find it here:

http://cafemaru.net/e60m5/islameyhi.wmv

or

http://e60m5.ath.cx/islameyhi.wmv

It takes time to download, though.

AND I AM AWARE that it is not the best of performances. Yet, nowhere did I claim to be the best of pianists. ;p The video was from March 2003, when I was 15 years old.

My personal thoughts on the piece are that if you have the correct technique, Islamey falls from being fiendishly difficult to being manageable. But no matter the technique, it will never be a walk in the park.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #6 on: January 26, 2004, 01:31:13 AM »
Quote
I suggest that until one has played the piece in concert, they should refrain from calling Islamey, or any other piece, easy.


I would like to politely refuse your suggestion. All the pieces ever set for grade one are easy, and I certainly have not performed them in concert!
Ed

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #7 on: January 26, 2004, 01:38:18 AM »
I never meant to call Islamey easy-I simply think that compared with quite a few other pieces, the title "Mt. Everest of the piano" is undeserved.

Offline e60m5

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #8 on: January 26, 2004, 01:57:14 AM »
Oh, I never intended to make it seem like anyone in this thread was calling it easy - of course, I know that you were not.

I agree with you in that Islamey should not be deemed the be-all-and-end-all of difficult repertoire; but having said this, I would like to reiterate that it is not easy.

Offline liszmaninopin

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #9 on: January 26, 2004, 02:00:07 AM »
Since you've played it, was my assessment above good?  That is, that the piece primarily required alot of endurance, combined with strong octave and repeating note technique?  It looks that way from the score (to me, anyway).

Offline e60m5

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #10 on: February 01, 2004, 04:19:46 AM »
It's a fair assessment of the technical difficulties of this piece, which are, while vastly overblown, still nothing to laugh at.

Give it a go, if you will, and don't be scared; you may in the end be surprised. And good luck!

Offline erak

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #11 on: February 01, 2004, 01:52:21 PM »
Which other pieces could you play before you started Islamey? Maybe I can sortof see what level you were at before you started practicing it:). Nice video, btw, it amazed me. Islamey really looks like a finger-fly-all-over-the-place piece.

Offline e60m5

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #12 on: February 20, 2004, 06:08:17 AM »

Before I had started Islamey? Hmm... I was concurrently studying the Rachmaninoff C Minor Concerto, Beethoven Sonata in F Minor Op.57, Chopin Etude Op.10 no.1, and so on. The Balakirev was not comparable in difficulty to the repertoire listed above, though.

Offline elevateme

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #13 on: December 05, 2006, 04:14:31 PM »
For someone who has played both, which is harder? Scarbo or Islamey?
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Offline jericho

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #14 on: December 05, 2006, 04:59:45 PM »
Islamey needs a very solid technique with octaves, double notes and repeated notes which you all need to be able to execute at a very high speed.

However, Scarbo(or even Ondine) is on a different level compared to Islamey. Not only is it more demanding technically, it is also much tougher musically(like most impressionistic pieces).

Since Islamey is pretty shallow, I would suggest any daring(and technically capable) youngster to try it out if you are interested with it. But with Gaspard de la Nuit, technique alone is not enough, one needs to be very mature musically to be able to hande it.

Offline dnephi

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #15 on: December 05, 2006, 05:08:03 PM »
Well, Islamey is hard, but there are harder out there. However, Islamey may be one of the toughest popular pieces out there. Personally, I don't even know why it is popular- it's a marathon of dissonance and useless notes. I almost see more point in learning Prokofiev's Tocatta.
I rather like that Toccata.  I listen to it when I go running.
For us musicians, the music of Beethoven is the pillar of fire and cloud of mist which guided the Israelites through the desert.  (Roughly quoted, Franz Liszt.)

Offline elevateme

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #16 on: December 05, 2006, 06:24:32 PM »
lol keeps you going does it? :) hey paul wee have you learnt scarbo? if so which one did you find harder?
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Offline burstroman

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Re: Islamey
«Reply #17 on: December 06, 2006, 03:49:13 AM »
I'm troubled by many who think that "Islamey" and "La Campanella" are the ultimate works to to be played.  They have their charm, but there are so many works more musically and maybe even more technically challenging that I find there is too little time to spend on these two works.  Excuse my poor English, but it is not my first language.