Piano Forum logo
November 21, 2017, 03:42:40 PM *
   Forum Home   Help Search  


Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition

Pictures at an Exhibition, one of Modest Mussorgsky’s most famous work, is a set of ten pieces originally composed for the piano. The work is also well known in various arrangements with Ravel’s orchestration being the most recorded and performed. Read more >>

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: the last variation of Ah, vous dirai-je  (Read 12309 times)
phil39
PS Silver Member
Jr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 35


« on: April 05, 2007, 12:24:55 AM »

my question is simply, 'how one earth is the left hand played evenly and without tension??'  I've heard all the correct stuff on technique but it doesn't seem to work. It beats me how you can handle a stream of fast notes like this without seizing up in the forearm. surely there's no getting away from the fact your fingers have to work damn hard!  do you rest your left arm with full weight on the keys? do you use a light finger staccato action? don't you have to keep the left hand volume down for a nice texture? if you let the arm 'rest' too much surely the sound would drown out the right?
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

piano sheet music of 12 Variations on
Mozartian
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 697


« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2007, 02:13:31 AM »

Something that's helped me in fast passages is simply to "think" relaxed- it sounds stupid, but it actually helps. Tension is primarily a mental thing, I think- you get so honed in on OMG MUST GO FAST THIS IS SO HARD you just seize up. I know I had a bad attitude towards a certain piece I was assigned recently (a Debussy prelude), and was experiencing extreme stress and exhaustion when practicing it- finally got my attitude right and things are going much better. I'm not suggesting that you're at all like me, but if you're viewing practicing it as a hard and stressful experience, changing your mental outlook may help a lot.

Another thing, try practicing it slowly and lightly legato (it doesnt have to be romantically legato- just lightly connected) until you have it memorized- then try speeding it up. It's much easier to play things quickly when you know where you're going than when you're still trying to read the notes.

Hope this helps! Smiley
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

[lau] 10:01 pm: like in 10/4 i think those little slurs everywhere are pointless for the music, but I understand if it was for improving technique
cloches_de_geneve
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 439


« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2007, 09:23:54 PM »

my question is simply, 'how one earth is the left hand played evenly and without tension??'  I've heard all the correct stuff on technique but it doesn't seem to work. It beats me how you can handle a stream of fast notes like this without seizing up in the forearm. surely there's no getting away from the fact your fingers have to work damn hard!  do you rest your left arm with full weight on the keys? do you use a light finger staccato action? don't you have to keep the left hand volume down for a nice texture? if you let the arm 'rest' too much surely the sound would drown out the right?

What left hand fingering do you use?
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould
phil39
PS Silver Member
Jr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 35


« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2007, 11:08:15 PM »

you may have something there, Mozartian  Smiley. attitude is a lot to do with it i am sure, but i believe a virtuoso playing a difficult passage with ease must be doing something very specific and correct with the piano-playing parts of his/her body which is definable in technical terms. I guess if it could be explained easily and 'bottled' and sold, somebody would make a fortune!
Fingering... good question!  Well for 2 months i started out ignoring the fingering in the edition (Peters), instead doing  a '2nd finger over the top' system, with with the thumb anchored on the octave all the time. It seemed simpler and easier to drill that way. Now i've come to the conclusion the constant 'twisting over' it made me do is causing horrible stress in the tendons.  So i'm using Peters' fingering now, it looks fussier but once learnt hopefully it will reduce tension. Wish me luck!
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
cloches_de_geneve
PS Silver Member
Sr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 439


« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2007, 07:06:20 AM »

Fingering... good question!  Well for 2 months i started out ignoring the fingering in the edition (Peters), instead doing  a '2nd finger over the top' system, with with the thumb anchored on the octave all the time. It seemed simpler and easier to drill that way. Now i've come to the conclusion the constant 'twisting over' it made me do is causing horrible stress in the tendons.  So i'm using Peters' fingering now, it looks fussier but once learnt hopefully it will reduce tension. Wish me luck!

I use the fingering you used originally. For me it works OK, provided that I use some degree of hand rotation. The latter strongly reduces tension and augments speed. For me the bigger problem in this variation is playing the RH trills accurately at high speed.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged

"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould
phil39
PS Silver Member
Jr. Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 35


« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2007, 12:26:30 AM »

i think i've discovered the way to do the trills. first- your arm has to be very relaxed, sitting there throughout the trill with natural weight, secondly - the fingers crisp and lively. if these 2 things come together it gets the desired effect, a nice clean fast trill.
that's probably obvious. the question is how to get into that state?  well i've found that a slow easy arm action, 'sinking down' into the keyboard onto the first note of each trill seems to get my muscles in the right state to execute it. i used to really 'bump' down into the trill and it didn't work. after the trill is finished it's a slow easy arm lift off with loose trailing wrist (it looks stylish for the audience too lol),  then you're in position to go down into the next trill and so on, repeating the cycle through all the trills.
Do you find this post useful? Yes / No
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  


Need more info or help?


Search pianostreet.com - the web's largest resource of information about piano playing:



 
Jump to:  


Most popular classical piano composers:
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

o