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Author Topic: Thalberg Three-hand Technique (Best examples?)  (Read 5505 times)
theodopolis
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« on: November 05, 2006, 04:34:53 PM »

Where are the best examples of this marvellous and quintessentially Romantic technique?

Not being that well acquainted with the Thalberg oeuvre, the most familiar examples to me are Liszt's.

Un Sospiro, of course, jumps immediately to mind, but my favourite use of the three-hand technique is the climax of the Liszt/Bellini Reminiscences de Norma (Particularly in the hands of Bolet)
I'm of the opinion that the Norma fantasy is much more exciting than the Don Juan, and the climax and coda are among the most demonstrative pages of Liszt's ability of piano 'orchestration'.

However, I would like to get acquainted with examples of the technique from the pen of Thalberg himself. Can anyone suggest particular examples of this?

Thanks
Theodopolis

P.S. Earl Wild's treatment of Gershwin's 'Embraceable You'  is another particularly fine 'three-hand' work.
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Does anyone else here think the opening of Liszt's 'Orage' (AdP - Suisse No.5) sounds like the Gymnopedie from Hell?
thierry13
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2006, 11:57:42 PM »

They aren't for 3 hands, simply written on three staves to be easier to read, less dense. Sorabji would be for 10 hands if you count 1 stave = 1 hand. Some Liszt paganini etude would be for one hand, too if I remember well.
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ronde_des_sylphes
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2006, 12:17:03 AM »

The term "three-hand effect" refers to the aural illusion (so to speak) of three hands playing at once, not necessarily to the number of staves involved (in Liszt's Norma, for example, the effect is written only only two staves, similarly here an example from Thalberg: http://www.centrothalberg.it/listacomposizioni.htm )

By coincidence, I have attempted some of Thalberg's output. Generally speaking, three-handed effects are pretty common in his mid-to-high-range opus numbered operatic fantasies. My signature has a youtube link to the second half of his "Moses" fantasy. In this, two distinct three-hand effects occur: the first (less obvious) at 2 minutes in, and the second (similar in nature to that contained in Liszt's Norma) at 4 minutes in. Hopefully, my playing, whilst obviously not of the calibre of Bolet, will give you a reasonable example of this technique as used by Thalberg.
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klavierkonzerte
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2006, 06:33:55 AM »

one of the greatest 3 hands passages, and one of most intense passages written for piano, is in thalbergs trovatore

it's the a minor passage with the decending a minor scale in thirds in the right hand.
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dnephi
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2006, 07:02:06 PM »

one of the greatest 3 hands passages, and one of most intense passages written for piano, is in thalbergs trovatore

it's the a minor passage with the decending a minor scale in thirds in the right hand.
Have you, praytell, both the recording and the heart to share it with us?

I'd very muhch like to hear it.

On topic, have you ever heard of four-hand technique?  Look no further!  Godowsky Study on Chopin Op. 25 No. 1, No.2, not the left hand alone version.  This one involves continuous leaping in opposite both hands. Very difficult, I am told.

Question: Would the middle passagework of the Mazeppa count as this sort of effect? Something more along the lines of the ending of the Scriabin Vers la Flamme? The organ point in Godowsky Passacaglia?

Edit:
I heard it on Naxos, and I was not necessarily impressed very much, although it was a cheap label. 
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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.)
ronde_des_sylphes
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2006, 08:58:18 PM »

To the best of my knowledge, the only recording available of Il trovatore is the Naxos one which you mention, by Francesco Nicolosi (who is a Thalberg specialist). The discography at the Thalberg centre appears to back this up.

Re "four-hand": what about the B major section of Liszt's Robert le Diable? Not that it is outrageously difficult.
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burstroman
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2006, 05:21:47 AM »

A pleasant example is Mendelssohn-Liszt "On Wings of Song".
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