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Liszt Mazeppa (Read 8036 times)

Offline ahkow

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Liszt Mazeppa
« on: December 01, 2007, 12:05:33 AM »
Anyone knows how to play the double third semiquavers in the middle stave, where Liszt gave the notorious fingering of 4-2? My teacher asks me to do 4-2 3-1 (For each set). Much as I agree that it's faster and gives an easier jump back to the base, it sounds very murky and uneven. I think Liszt's fingering, though it hinders speed makes the semiquavers naturally even and gives more force. It is also easier to do dynamics with his fingering (As the semiquavers are ascending, we may do a crescendo). Maybe Liszt wasn't thinking of speed when he gave that fingering. Perhaps he was thinking of musicality?

Offline thierry13

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #1 on: December 01, 2007, 12:17:45 AM »
I played whole mazeppa with liszt's fingering (allways 2-4) and it doesn't only work better technically, it's way more musical. Those thirds are supposed to be the steps of the horse running. My teacher played it with 2-4 / 1-3 and when he played for me he used that, but since 2-4 worked for me he let me do it. Just be sure you do not build tension and get a nice sound on each third.

Offline ahkow

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #2 on: December 01, 2007, 12:28:00 AM »
It took me a helluva time to get my 2-4 working properly. Than my teacher said "That's a horrible fingering!" and procceded to make me change to the fingering that your teacher used. anyway, i think that 2-4 1-3 is not always comfortable. sometimes i use 2-4 1-5 in the later parts. And I also think that Liszt's fingering is better.

Offline thierry13

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #3 on: December 01, 2007, 12:42:24 AM »
Where are you studying ? Maybe it would be time to change teacher when having such bad advice with advanced pieces like those.

Offline ahkow

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #4 on: December 01, 2007, 01:00:52 AM »
I'm studying in Singapore. My teacher used to be an advertiser for Steinway and he uses the taubman method.

Offline thierry13

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #5 on: December 01, 2007, 04:13:01 AM »
I'm studying in Singapore. My teacher used to be an advertiser for Steinway and he uses the taubman method.

If you can play things like Mazeppa and Chopin etudes octave really well consider conservatories/universitys or w/e depending on the level you are at currently.

Offline ahkow

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #6 on: December 01, 2007, 04:42:24 AM »
well consider conservatories/universitys or w/e depending on the level you are at currently.

May i know what are w/ e? Actually i found Mazeppa really hard. I tried Octave etude simply because it was all on Octaves which i thought were rather straightforward.. i've tried feux follets and I think that it's easier than Mazeppa(Contrary to popular belief). Maybe its where your strength lies perhaps? And i was only trying out feux follets. So don't ask me about it!!

Offline franzliszt2

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #7 on: December 01, 2007, 02:48:13 PM »
I played mazeppa using 24 24. You have to, I refuse to accept any argument against it. It is possible to do, and it isn't that hard once you get the technique sorted.

You havw to use 24 to stop the piece going to fast, and they must not be legato.

They etude is an etude in arm movement, the whole key to playing this etude is finding the correct movements, you have to decide how to get from each chord, and what movements are most efficient.

The 3rds must be totally clear, and 24 is the only possible way to play fast and non legato.

the 24 forces you to use the arms, using normal 3rds fingererings uses the fingers istead of the arm, and you loose power, but gain speed.

Also, the theme must be the main feature of the music. Thats like the horse, and the 3rds are like the dust after each step. Have you ever watched a horse run in slow motion? There is a moment when all the hooves are off the ground...this is what it should be like when you have just played the last 3rd...your hands are totally free, and have to find the next chord. You have to get the movements perfectly co-ordinated. 

The 3rds must cresendo from the 1st to the last perfectly. If you use legato fingerings, you will bump on the 1st and the 3rd 3rd. and you will get a nasty phrasing.


I found the shape required for the 3rds was important. At first I just played them normally, but that didn't work, it was to weak. I found the you have to make a wedge shape, and keep that shape. And the big key is to keep the arms moving, so the hands do NOT actually cross, they just smoothly pass. You have to decide how to get from the 3rds to the chords. Thats the hard bit.

I don't think Liszt wanted this piece to be fast. But you can create the illusion of it being fast by making sure EVERY note is heard, and 24 24 makes this possible. If you want to make the piece sound seriously fast, keep the same speed from start to finish. 1st theme semiquavers, 2nd variation triplets, 3rd 2 quavers, 4th (and hardest) theme 1 quaver. If you keep EXACTLY the same speed, it sounds so fast, and you gain so much momentum.

This piece needs lots and lots of slow practice, but perfect slow practice. It's very hard. If you practice all the movements perfectly, you won't have to worry about speed.


Offline ahkow

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #8 on: December 01, 2007, 03:20:25 PM »
I also think that 24 is the best and its easier to do the dynamics (Crescendo in the 3rds). Like you, i don't find it hard. Using 24 13 makes it very murky. I also had quite some problem getting to the chords from the 3rds. My tr says that your arm has to be high and go down for each set of 3rds.

I also agree that this etude is not meant to be played legato. I believe that Liszt himself used 24, and as in most Romantic pieces, the fingers should not be too far above the keys.

Offline thierry13

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #9 on: December 01, 2007, 09:52:17 PM »
I also think that 24 is the best and its easier to do the dynamics (Crescendo in the 3rds). Like you, i don't find it hard. Using 24 13 makes it very murky. I also had quite some problem getting to the chords from the 3rds. My tr says that your arm has to be high and go down for each set of 3rds.

I also agree that this etude is not meant to be played legato. I believe that Liszt himself used 24, and as in most Romantic pieces, the fingers should not be too far above the keys.

Liszt did use 24 and your fingers should NEVER be too far above the keys. Your teacher is just wrong, your arm as to be low and gets high while you play the thirds, you have to make sure you are sending the thirds forward, and not pulling them, to be sure you get the rigth sound. franzliszt2 is rigth and describe better what I tried to say.

Offline bench warmer

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #10 on: December 01, 2007, 09:56:47 PM »
I read in that multi-volume Liszt biography that Liszt went through all  combination of fingerings for much of his tricky (difficult) passages. When he picked one and had it published, it usually turns out to be the best way to it.

The way the author put it was: If Liszt notated the fingering, don't waste your time looking for a better way to do it. He already did it for you.

A lot of his stuff I played thinking I could figure out my own fingering since it  would suit me better eventually ended up not so.  I ended up using  Liszt's fingering. I got a hard head.

Offline ahkow

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #11 on: December 02, 2007, 12:41:19 AM »
My guess is also that Liszt did choose the easiest fingering. 24 13 just seemed extremely uneconomical to me.

Offline dnephi

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #12 on: December 02, 2007, 04:50:36 AM »
Here's the scoop: it requires a very different technique to play the 24 24 thirds with the right articulation and the speed which it needs.  I don't know of any other pianist who has done 24 24 fingerings at the speed I think it needs.  All the recordings which I've heard do 24-13.  They can do this because they have a ridiculously amazing thirds technique. 

If you don't have that, then 24 24 is your best bet- but it still takes a very solid, completely relaxed, and well-trained wrist to pull them off properly.  If I one day get a videocamera (maybe for Christmas) I could show you guys.

Daniel
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 thierry13

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #13 on: December 02, 2007, 05:34:10 AM »
Here's the scoop: it requires a very different technique to play the 24 24 thirds with the right articulation and the speed which it needs.  I don't know of any other pianist who has done 24 24 fingerings at the speed I think it needs.  All the recordings which I've heard do 24-13.  They can do this because they have a ridiculously amazing thirds technique. 

If you don't have that, then 24 24 is your best bet- but it still takes a very solid, completely relaxed, and well-trained wrist to pull them off properly.  If I one day get a videocamera (maybe for Christmas) I could show you guys.

Daniel

Do you really think it needs to be faster than Berezovsky (the first two versions of the theme)? Because I could play at least the first and second versions of the theme at speeds like those using 24. Of course I could not play it as well as him, and those were the only sections I could play that fast, but those are the only sections where you use 24 anyways.

Offline ahkow

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #14 on: December 02, 2007, 08:18:04 AM »
That's the case for me too. Only thing is that i leap back to the bass too slowly, which makes it sound rather broken

Offline franzliszt2

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #15 on: December 02, 2007, 12:49:14 PM »
I hate the Berezovsky recording. I think it is an unmusical display of stupidity. It isn't that fast, I can do it using 24 24 at that speed very comfortably. And in his you can't even hear the 3rds. I never had an problems with speed of 3rds in this piece, for me the problem were gettign the chords.

Which recordings have you heard dnephi? I have never heard a good recording of this piece. I would love to hear one though.

Offline ahkow

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #16 on: December 02, 2007, 02:47:29 PM »
The 3rds in this piece are rather straightforward if you use Liszt's fingering of 24 24. But if you use 24 13 i feel that it's much harder. I have not really heard a good recording of this piece too. Arrau's perhaps. It's on the slow side though. My problem is about leaping back to the bass once you have completed your 3rds.

Offline thierry13

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #17 on: December 03, 2007, 03:49:35 AM »
I hate the Berezovsky recording. I think it is an unmusical display of stupidity. It isn't that fast, I can do it using 24 24 at that speed very comfortably. And in his you can't even hear the 3rds. I never had an problems with speed of 3rds in this piece, for me the problem were gettign the chords.

Which recordings have you heard dnephi? I have never heard a good recording of this piece. I would love to hear one though.

Agreed and same for me ... Berezovsky is a different style of performing this piece that I can appreciate tough ... but it still is not really what it was meant to be.

Offline viking

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #18 on: December 03, 2007, 04:04:49 AM »
Listen to Janina Fialkowska's set.....unbelievable!

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #19 on: December 04, 2007, 01:19:15 AM »
I echo 24 is completely correct musically and technically. If you feel it's hindering the speed you haven't got it yet. This is hardly however the most difficult aspect of the etude ;)
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Offline dnephi

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #20 on: December 04, 2007, 02:31:11 PM »
I echo 24 is completely correct musically and technically. If you feel it's hindering the speed you haven't got it yet. This is hardly however the most difficult aspect of the etude ;)
I think it clearly is, in the sense that that passage requires the very fastest chord and leap execution with the greatest accuracy.
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 cloches_de_geneve

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #21 on: December 04, 2007, 06:18:49 PM »
The way the author put it was: If Liszt notated the fingering, don't waste your time looking for a better way to do it. He already did it for you.
A lot of his stuff I played thinking I could figure out my own fingering since it  would suit me better eventually ended up not so.  I ended up using  Liszt's fingering. I got a hard head.

In the various Liszt pieces I have played, I have always been struck by just how excellent Liszt's fingerings are. In the rare instances I though I had a smarter fingering, I was proved wrong later on and came back to Liszt's.

In sum, then, I can only concur: NEVER EVER MESS WITH A LISZT FINGERING!!!
"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

Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #22 on: December 04, 2007, 06:20:27 PM »
.
"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

Offline franzliszt2

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #23 on: December 05, 2007, 11:23:55 AM »
If speed is an issue with a piece like this you are nowhere near ready to play it.

Offline hetman

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #24 on: May 29, 2013, 07:49:20 PM »
In my opinion the best Mazeppa recording I ever heard was, amazingly (or maybe not so amazing...) by the bodybuilder-beefcake pianist Tzimon Barto! It was the most forceful and balanced, with the most lyrical interpretation of the arpeggios symbolizing the death of the horse, and it did not compromise in any way on the transcendental, hyper-romantic nature of the piece. That I lost this CD makes me very unhappy.

Offline danhuyle

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #25 on: May 30, 2013, 11:52:13 AM »
Here's another thread talking about the exact same topic of Mazeppa

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=51152.0

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Offline chopin2015

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Re: Liszt Mazeppa
«Reply #26 on: May 31, 2013, 07:16:02 AM »
Liszt is not from the future. I believe technique has developed more since his writing and those very classic scores of his etudes. He was very busy, I doubt he really wrote 1 fingering for the entire piece unpurpose...it may use 42 but the whole challenge of that middle part is the 3rds/4ths and then the inbetweens middle which spans close to the octave melody...and so forth. You have to figure out which note of the 3rd or 4th is more important to the harmony in the bar or the melody, and execute according to what makes those sounds but most imoortantly, in a way that applies to you as a pianist. Does the fingering suit you? I think sometimes, it is just as important to like the fingering as it is to like just the music if you are going to be playing it. You can't hesitate...
You are not Liszt... ::)
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