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Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6 (Read 6943 times)

Offline ryan2189

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Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
« on: February 23, 2009, 12:48:18 AM »
So I have been learning this piece for over six months now and I am at this point where nothing feels like it's improving. There are always these very few small minute things that seem to get better, but as a whole I am not getting anywhere. The most challenging part of this piece is obviously the end Friska section, where there are nothing but octaves. I get so tired and can not play any parts nicely. There have been days and even a whole span of a week where I really thought that I had it, and that I was over that hill and could get this damned piece finished with. I practice tons of rhythms on all the sections, even those that are not in the Friska. But I still don't feel a sense of complete relaxation, or else I would at least be able to get through it. I don't think that I over exemplify my movements, rather I'm trying to be as conservative as possible, because I know that wasting energy is what will cause an even greater decrease in stamina. This piece is depressing me. Since my last lesson, I have been to the practice rooms every day for a good amount of time, and the results are lacking. I have my next lesson on Tuesday and I am nervous because my professor was commenting poorly on my playing last week. I would love to put this piece down for a bit but you see I can't. I am supposed to be playing this is a concert at the end of April and I have nothing else to play instead even if I were to drop the Rhapsody. I would love to be able to play this piece well both for the satisfaction and for the ability to move on and start something new. Can anyone please offer any advice for me?

Offline javacisnotrecognized

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #1 on: February 23, 2009, 02:00:04 AM »
What arm/forearm/hand motions are you using to play the octaves? There's really only one way that works, and alot of ways that don't, most teachers/books advocate a way that doesn't

Offline go12_3

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #2 on: February 23, 2009, 02:33:22 AM »
Just walk away from the piece and work on something else for awhile.  I do that when a piece becomes impossible.  Give it a rest and then try it out, you will find some new insight on what needs to be done.   ;)
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Offline learner of liszt

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009, 03:36:23 AM »
For playing long runs of repeated octaves in the Friska, you might try slightly raising your wrist every few notes, for me this helps keep up speed and stamina.
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Offline ryan2189

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 09:16:45 PM »
What arm/forearm/hand motions are you using to play the octaves? There's really only one way that works, and alot of ways that don't, most teachers/books advocate a way that doesn't

Well for the section where the repeated octaves start to show, I keep a steady forearm, a loose wrist, and I will try to make my hand fall on the main beats of the measure. At that falling point, I try to be as relaxed as possible, for at some points that's what seems to keep me going from measure to measure. I do notice that if I start practicing immediately at the section where the bass octaves show themselves in the left hand, I seem to have less difficult a time. I'm curious as to how I can mimic that motion, because I feel like I'm really close.

Offline javacisnotrecognized

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #5 on: February 23, 2009, 09:23:00 PM »
Try this. Use a forward and upward motion of the upper arm combined with a downward motion of the forearm to play the octave, and a backward and downwards motion of the upper arm combined with an upwards motion of the forearm to release it (And prepare for the next octave).

Check out this video:


At 3:39 - 3:41 you can see clearly how he is doing this with his right arm. Try and copy that. Also, when you play an octave, you want to feel as off your whole arm is bouncing off it to come up, not that you're lifting it.

Offline mkaykov

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #6 on: February 24, 2009, 03:50:40 PM »
very few people can play the Liszt HR 6. I was actually very disappointed with the Horowitz recording.............

I suggest you alternate fingers 5-4, 5-4...........
But then again, I never really worked on this piece, it is a highly specialized form of technique.

Offline general disarray

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #7 on: February 24, 2009, 03:55:29 PM »
very few people can play the Liszt HR 6. I was actually very disappointed with the Horowitz recording.............

I suggest you alternate fingers 5-4, 5-4...........
But then again, I never really worked on this piece, it is a highly specialized form of technique.

Furthermore, I don't think this piece is worth agonizing over.  I love Liszt, but there's much better Liszt than this to sweat over. 

Pianists have the most extensive and beautiful repertoire of any instrument.  Pick a piece that shows off your strengths.  That's what Horowitz and all the other greats did and do.  No one is equally good at every technical trick.  Argerich, for one, complains that she's terrified of Scarlatti because of his trills.  Therefore, she avoids performing him.
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Offline michel dvorsky

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #8 on: February 24, 2009, 06:57:49 PM »
Grynyuk outplays Horowitz, Argerich, ...everyone:

&feature=related
"Sokolov did a SH***Y job of playing Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto." - Perfect_Pitch

Offline general disarray

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #9 on: February 24, 2009, 08:38:55 PM »
Grynyuk outplays Horowitz, Argerich, ...everyone:

&feature=related

Got to hand it to you, you're right.  This is super-human.
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Offline burstroman

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #10 on: February 25, 2009, 10:57:35 PM »
I agree with General Disarray.  There are much better Liszt compositions more worth your efforts.  There are even better and more accessible Hungarian Rhapsodies. ;)

Offline goldentone

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #11 on: February 26, 2009, 06:52:36 AM »
I would try Chang's alternating hands method, where you take a short passage of like a few measures and then play the RH alone, then the LH alone, and continue alternating them.  After four times there should be a noticeable difference.  The brain and the body are assimilating what the resting hand just played, and when the present hand is finished, the passage has been bumped up to another level.  When I tried it out for the first time, I was amazed at the change.  It is quickening.

 
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Offline javacisnotrecognized

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #12 on: February 26, 2009, 07:09:25 AM »
I would try Chang's alternating hands method, where you take a short passage of like a few measures and then play the RH alone, then the LH alone, and continue alternating them.  After four times there should be a noticeable difference.  The brain and the body are assimilating what the resting hand just played, and when the present hand is finished, the passage has been bumped up to another level.  When I tried it out for the first time, I was amazed at the change.  It is quickening.

 

You have to be really careful with this technique. The weak hand can bring the strong one down just as easily as the strong hand can bring the weak hand one up if you're too careless.

Offline ryan2189

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #13 on: March 05, 2009, 05:11:51 AM »
Thank you all. Remarkably, in my last lesson my whole problem was analyzed extensively. My problem was that my thumb was very stiff. In turn, that tightness followed all the way up my forearm. So I drilled my way through the correct technique and now the difference is like night and day. I had to really shift the weight onto my pinkie and now my thumb has a nice, fluid, relaxed motion. But now I am fairly confident that the concert will go just fine now.

Offline m

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #14 on: March 05, 2009, 04:14:22 PM »
Thank you all. Remarkably, in my last lesson my whole problem was analyzed extensively. My problem was that my thumb was very stiff. In turn, that tightness followed all the way up my forearm. So I drilled my way through the correct technique and now the difference is like night and day. I had to really shift the weight onto my pinkie and now my thumb has a nice, fluid, relaxed motion. But now I am fairly confident that the concert will go just fine now.

I've been playing this Rhapsody since I was a kid. Indeed, the most important here is completely relaxed thumb and your whole arm should feel completely relazed (almost like a dust rag). One of the main problems there is many people use technique highly inefficiently, with much more movement than needed. Make sure your fingers are SUPER-GLUED to the keys, without wasting any time for getting off the keys.
Another major mistake is people usually play it loudly, like an oktave excersise, with beginning on forte, and the forte part on forte-fortissimo. Instead, the octaves should be extremely light, sweet, and leggiero all the way through. You will need calculate very precisely the amount of acceleration and large scale creschendo, when you stay piano for the most of the 4th movement. Here is the link to my favorite performance of this piece by phenomenal virtuoso V. Bakk, who unfortunately passed away way too early. The lightness and precision of touch along with precise calculation creates quite an effect:
&feature=related

Best, M

Offline Petter

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #15 on: March 05, 2009, 11:22:39 PM »
Looks like he´s only using his left index finger, interesting...
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Offline general disarray

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #16 on: March 06, 2009, 04:27:53 PM »
Here is the link to my favorite performance of this piece by phenomenal virtuoso V. Bakk, who unfortunately passed away way too early. The lightness and precision of touch along with precise calculation creates quite an effect:
&feature=related

Best, M

Wow.  This is REAL artistry.  I listened to his Third Ballade, as well.  I've never heard playing with this much personality and originality that doesn't violate the composer's intentions.  Beautiful. 
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Offline jgallag

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #17 on: March 12, 2009, 07:47:16 PM »
Got to hand it to you, you're right.  This is super-human.

My teacher can play this just as fast, and, of course, hearing it live beats the youtube video quality. She gets a standing ovation each time she performs it. Her name is Dr. Jennifer Hayghe, of Ithaca College.

I can ask her how she does it for you. She's really good with explaining technique, at least, I feel like I'm making a lot of progress with her.

Offline michel dvorsky

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Re: Argh Im not getting anywhere in Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6
«Reply #18 on: March 28, 2009, 09:18:38 PM »
I've been playing this Rhapsody since I was a kid. Indeed, the most important here is completely relaxed thumb and your whole arm should feel completely relazed (almost like a dust rag). One of the main problems there is many people use technique highly inefficiently, with much more movement than needed. Make sure your fingers are SUPER-GLUED to the keys, without wasting any time for getting off the keys.
Another major mistake is people usually play it loudly, like an oktave excersise, with beginning on forte, and the forte part on forte-fortissimo. Instead, the octaves should be extremely light, sweet, and leggiero all the way through. You will need calculate very precisely the amount of acceleration and large scale creschendo, when you stay piano for the most of the 4th movement. Here is the link to my favorite performance of this piece by phenomenal virtuoso V. Bakk, who unfortunately passed away way too early. The lightness and precision of touch along with precise calculation creates quite an effect:
&feature=related

Best, M

Great performance!! Sounds like an entirely different piece.  Electric!
"Sokolov did a SH***Y job of playing Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto." - Perfect_Pitch