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Cheating Or Tricks (Read 2730 times)

Offline zhiliang

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Cheating Or Tricks
« on: June 17, 2004, 06:51:34 AM »
I have seen this message on another piano forum. Just want to share with you and also to get your own experiences and opinions on this.

"This is in reply to the last couple of messages regarding Chopin Etude Op. 10 no. 2, and about how some pianists make it easier in spots ("cheat"). I'm sure all great pianists "cheated" in the more difficult pieces, even Horowitz and Cziffra (I can quickly cite examples regarding both those guys, if requested). In fact,
effective cheating is a skill in itself, quite an artform to be sure, and certain "tricks" are often passed down from teacher to student, pianist to pianist, etc. This has become tradition, it is beyond any criticism at this point, it is part of the pianistic legacy. There is nothing ignoble about facillitating a severe spot here and there, if you can get away with it. The pianists in this group will understand me. Have you ever slaved for months, even years over a particular passage, only then to be shown a "trick" that gets you through it? It is a thrill that can only be compared to perhaps hitting the lottery. There is no shame in it, again, as long as you can get away with it, which is not always so easy....."

So have you all have any experiences or instances of tricks or cheats where it really help you overcome a tough spot. I am sure it would be interesting to share it here.

Zhiliang

-- arthur rubinstein --

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #1 on: June 18, 2004, 12:01:20 AM »
Do you mean parts of very difficult works where you don't play what was written down but play it differently because it is beyond your technical ability?  That's cheating and is perhaps a dis-service to the composer's intention.  But I'd be interested in hearing some 'cheats and tricks' for some works.

Offline Bob

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #2 on: June 18, 2004, 12:12:44 AM »
Or just to hear about general strategies for simplifying music?  Maybe some accompanists know tricks? esp. from those orchestral accompaniments.

I've heard of making 8ves into a single line.  


I took a class on orchestration during which the professor had us translating music from piano to orchestra -- There are techniques in each area that sound similiar.  For example, repeated notes in the strings can sound similar to alternating the 3rd and 5th of a chord with the root.  I know this comes up in orchestration books -- D!, I know the prof told us of a book that discussed it....!

A more famous piece -- It's from a Schubert song cycle I think.  The accompaniment part.  It's the song about child who ride with his father on horseback.  The child keeps crying that the boogie man is following them.  At the end, the child is dead.  I can't remember the name.  Anyway, the 8ves are supposed to be difficult.  You can just alternate them, break them up, to simplify it.  

It can disappoint pianists in the audience who come to concerts to hear these difficult passages from famous pieces.


I'd be interested in hearing more ideas on this topic.  I know brass players simplify music all the time on arrangements.

Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline Motrax

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #3 on: June 18, 2004, 03:47:24 AM »
Trills in 3rds can very easily be simplified by alternating single notes and 3rds. So if your trill is CE-BD-CE-BD-etc you could play CE-B-CE-B-etc instead. This works better when the left hand is playing though, so as to mask the fact that your trill is missing something.  ;)

On another note, I don't think you should have to be an absolute purist when it comes to hitting the notes written in the music. People change dinamics, add ritardandos, tenutos, and accents, and even change phrasing - all of which is perfectly acceptable, yet it deviates from what a composer intends all the same. So if you skip a few notes in a large arpeggiato or leave out a note in a chord which is too big for your hand, that isn't such a big deal. Music should live in the present, not in your memory of past performances.

(Hope I made myself clear...)
"I always make sure that the lid over the keyboard is open before I start to play." --  Artur Schnabel, after being asked for the secret of piano playing.

Offline pskim

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #4 on: June 18, 2004, 11:29:00 AM »
I "cheat" all the time.  I'd called it Art of Survival.  I wouldn't call it cheating but being creative enough to get the right "effect".  I really don't think that we have to agonize over a specific difficult passage.  I personally don't mind how the passage is performed as long as you can get the right sound and the effect of the piece.

Offline Hmoll

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #5 on: June 18, 2004, 04:41:54 PM »
Quote
 
A more famous piece -- It's from a Schubert song cycle I think.  The accompaniment part.  It's the song about child who ride with his father on horseback.  The child keeps crying that the boogie man is following them.  At the end, the child is dead.  I can't remember the name.  Anyway, the 8ves are supposed to be difficult.  You can just alternate them, break them up, to simplify it.  



The song is called "Erlkonig."  It's probably the most difficult vocal accompaniment. Anyone who has to play it has a few work-arounds. The Liszt trascription is actually easier, IMO.

A lot of people do not play the last couple pages of the Prok. 8th sonata as written.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #6 on: June 18, 2004, 05:18:12 PM »
Quote


The song is called "Erlkonig."  It's probably the most difficult vocal accompaniment. Anyone who has to play it has a few work-arounds. The Liszt trascription is actually easier, IMO.

A lot of people do not play the last couple pages of the Prok. 8th sonata as written.


 Ain't that the truth.  I've seen quite a bit of cheating and faking in my day...from the quite clever to the just plain stupid (and lazy).

koji
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline pianojems

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #7 on: June 29, 2004, 05:48:17 PM »
I don't think there is anythig wrong with cheating as long as you do it tastefully, and without taking away from the composers intentions. This definitely helps people with small and limited hands to play a full repertore.
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Offline newsgroupeuan

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #8 on: June 29, 2004, 06:45:04 PM »
Cheating is fine with me on two conditions:

1)  No-one notices it
2)  It doesn't defeat the purpose of the piece e.g. an etude

Offline DarkWind

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #9 on: July 01, 2004, 05:56:42 AM »
Only time I cheated was in Jeux D'eau with some left hand passages. Richter cheated badly in Feux Follets...

Offline cziffra

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #10 on: July 02, 2004, 06:29:46 PM »
just to make sure no one brings this up as a possibility, Richter does NOT cheat for op 10 :4 on the Richter the Enigma video- i went through in freeze frame (i had to be basically upside down to see properly) and he's playing each note

also, incase someone brings this up too, cziffra does not cheat in the hungarian rhapsody no 6, he plays every octave, he simply alternates between
545454
111111
i guess that would fall under the tricks category- except, i've tried it, it doesn't really seem to help THAT much- i don't know how cziffra does it so fast


What it all comes down to is that one does not play the piano with one’s fingers; one plays the piano with one’s mind.-  Glenn Gould

Offline chromatickler

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #11 on: July 12, 2004, 01:22:42 PM »
Quote
just to make sure no one brings this up as a possibility, Richter does NOT cheat for op 10 :4 on the Richter the Enigma video- i went through in freeze frame (i had to be basically upside down to see properly) and he's playing each note
That is one of the most insane performances of anything, ever. 1 minute and 31 seconds.  :o

Offline thracozaag

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #12 on: July 12, 2004, 04:05:46 PM »
Quote
just to make sure no one brings this up as a possibility, Richter does NOT cheat for op 10 :4 on the Richter the Enigma video- i went through in freeze frame (i had to be basically upside down to see properly) and he's playing each note

also, incase someone brings this up too, cziffra does not cheat in the hungarian rhapsody no 6, he plays every octave, he simply alternates between
545454
111111
i guess that would fall under the tricks category- except, i've tried it, it doesn't really seem to help THAT much- i don't know how cziffra does it so fast




Richter doesn't cheat, but it is kinda fakey.

koji
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline argerich_smitten

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #13 on: July 13, 2004, 05:21:55 AM »
I don't know how many of you are aware, but those "glissandi" (is this spelled correctly?  my spelling is abominable) at the end of Prokofiev's 3rd concerto are actaully marked as pairs of notes in which the pianist is supposed to play a 'scale' where each finger pushes down 2 notes by playing in the cracks of the keys.  Naturally, most pianists cheat and play glissandi.  

on  another note (alluding to the first post), I don't think one should 'cheat' when practicing a chopin etude.  They are after all technical studies.  If you have to perform it and can't play it as written so be it, but why cheat when practicing a technical exercise?

Offline trunks

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Re: Cheating Or Tricks
«Reply #14 on: July 20, 2004, 12:22:46 AM »
I don't think there exists the issue of 'cheating'. As long as you can deliver the music effectively, whatever methods will be valid.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist