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The "should I tackle La Campanella" question (Read 11441 times)

Offline wbl24

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The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
« on: July 14, 2012, 12:08:12 PM »
Dear all,

An insane part of my mind wants me to take on Liszt's "La Campanella" etude as part of my repertoire. The sensible part of my mind is hesitant because of all the talk surrounding it as being bloody difficult technically. I need opinions on whether I'm ready. Below is context:

- Got Trinity Guildhall ATCL diploma about four years ago
- Played Grieg Piano Concerto Mvt 1 with school orchestra before Uni
- Piano "hiatus" for the first three years of medschool where my playing intensity has been low
- Pieces tackled in those three years:
x Chopin's Nocturne in C minor Op 48 No 1
x Brahm's Rhapsodies Op 79
x Brahm's Intermezzo Op118 no 2
- Piano currently undergoing a revival, tackling:
x Chopin's "Revolutionary" Etude in C minor
x Debussy Preludes - No 10 and No 4

What are your opinions about starting this piece? Please be honest.

Best regards,
B

Offline pytheamateur

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 09:18:27 PM »
I believe you can make a start with learning the piece under the guidance of a teacher.

La Campanella is on the LTCL syllabus, so it's only one level up from the ATCL which you already have.  Some of the piecees you play are on the LTCL syllabus already.

I'm trying to learn this piece as well and am feeling very excited.  The only obstacle will be if my teacher opposes, in which case I will wait as I don't feel this is a piece I can tackle on my own.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 10:49:58 PM »
Go for it dude!
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #3 on: July 15, 2012, 12:34:08 AM »
I think the greatest technical challenge facing you will be the leaps in the rh opening and later on. If you do not have much lh waltz type pattern experience then it may also cause some challenges here too. Once they are controlled the piece is not so confronting. Everything we do at the piano should feel controlled and somewhat comfortable (or at least innately familiar to our muscular memory), it is easy to feel tense with incorrect technique. Teachers can help guide improvement upon these inefficiencies if the person themselves cannot pinpoint them and is not actively improving upon them in an effective manner. Try to make a habit not to worry about the difficulty of a piece, try to learn it with without putting obstacles in your way.

I think you understand the way to learn music given your education so a teacher would only be necessary if you really feel you cannot construct your own musical/technical program to learn your desired music. If you feel inefficient and slow also seek a teacher for guidance and ensure you get help where you know you need it.
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Offline j_menz

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #4 on: July 15, 2012, 11:27:36 PM »
Go for it.

With your history, you're not likely to injure yourself, so the worst that can happen is you find it too challenging (given your time constratints) and decide to shelve it for a bit, or it just takes you longer than an other piece might. Or, you might find it easier than you expect.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline ajspiano

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #5 on: July 15, 2012, 11:35:52 PM »
Agreed, it does not strike me as being overly problematic for you given your history.

Also - "Try to make a habit not to worry about the difficulty of a piece, try to learn it with without putting obstacles in your way."

Exactly - within reason, no piece is too difficult if we approach it with conscious thought and a patient mind.

Offline danhuyle

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #6 on: July 16, 2012, 11:24:49 AM »
Play it. It's a wonderful piece.

If want to know what I experienced when I started learning La Campanella, have a of read my blog post.

http://www.empowernetwork.com/successwithdan/liszt-transcendental-etude-10-vs-la-campanella/

This is purely my thoughts only.
Perfection itself is imperfection.

Currently practicing
Albeniz Triana
Scriabin Fantaisie Op28
Scriabin All Etudes Op8

Offline wbl24

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #7 on: July 16, 2012, 02:21:56 PM »
Cheers for the input guys! Much appreciate :)

I currently do not have a piano teacher, and I reckon from here on in it'll be a combination of forum opinions, masterclasses and maybe youtube videos (in the distant future) so really, posts like this will help me get better.

I will be approaching this piece with quite a bit of caution and time...maybe a year or two perhaps. Should be fun!

Offline pytheamateur

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 04:39:16 PM »
Cheers for the input guys! Much appreciate :)

I currently do not have a piano teacher, and I reckon from here on in it'll be a combination of forum opinions, masterclasses and maybe youtube videos (in the distant future) so really, posts like this will help me get better.

I will be approaching this piece with quite a bit of caution and time...maybe a year or two perhaps. Should be fun!

Good news!  My teacher has agreed to teach me this piece.  In his view. it is much harder to play a Chopin Etude well than a Liszt one.  I see you played the Revolutionary Etude in the past, so it seems you can start playing La Campanella as well.  If you have any questions or difficulties with the piece, let me know, I can ask my teacher for you.  Good luck!
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline csano

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #9 on: July 24, 2012, 05:16:20 AM »
Good news!  My teacher has agreed to teach me this piece.  In his view. it is much harder to play a Chopin Etude well than a Liszt one.  I see you played the Revolutionary Etude in the past, so it seems you can start playing La Campanella as well.  If you have any questions or difficulties with the piece, let me know, I can ask my teacher for you.  Good luck!
I agree, I can't play any Chopin Etudes except op10 3, but I can play La Campanella.

The hardest part for me wasn't the beginning leaps, in fact it was the easiest part, because with practice, you will never mess up.

1) The trills on the right hand
2) The leaps on both hands at the end
3) The end, pretty hard

Oh, I'm assuming you are talking about the 1852(might be wrong year) version, not the 1838

Offline pytheamateur

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #10 on: July 24, 2012, 10:01:53 AM »
I agree, I can't play any Chopin Etudes except op10 3, but I can play La Campanella.
Oh, I'm assuming you are talking about the 1852(might be wrong year) version, not the 1838

Yes, I'm talking about the later and more popular version.  In other words, NOT the following version:



For some reason I just don't like this earlier version.  Which one do you reckon is harder?

Back to the Chopin point, my teacher said the repetitive nature within a Chopin Etude actually makes it harder.  With Liszt, the varying texture actually provides a break and rest.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline csano

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #11 on: July 24, 2012, 02:43:54 PM »
Yes, I'm talking about the later and more popular version.  In other words, NOT the following version:



For some reason I just don't like this earlier version.  Which one do you reckon is harder?

Back to the Chopin point, my teacher said the repetitive nature within a Chopin Etude actually makes it harder.  With Liszt, the varying texture actually provides a break and rest.

I agree with your teacher, Chopin Etudes are definitely harder in general. Liszt etudes always practice several aspects (in this case, leaps, playing same notes rapidly, trills with 12 and 34/35, chromatic scales, and octaves)
while most Chopin etudes generally practice one main aspect.

The earlier version is a lot harder, I've tried playing it and gave up on the second theme:
(1:43 ~ 3:48)
especially the part in 3:23 the right hand is impossible.

Oh, and I like the earlier version more because it has another theme to it, and IMO La Campanella gets boring after hearing tons of different variations of it.

Offline david456103

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #12 on: July 25, 2012, 01:58:34 AM »
Beware that Campanella is VERY intimidating. I played the Heroic Polonaise and Concert Paraphrase of Rigoletto before I had the confidence to give Campanella a try. The pieces you listed are great, but that's no guarantee that you will be successful with campanella. If you do decide to play campanella, then I recommend a LOT of slow practice, hands separate, and fingering detective work to really feel the piece(it is extremely obvious if you miss the jumps during a performance, and that can destroy the performance). This piece can injure you if you work too hard at it, so if you ever feel extremely sore stop practicing it and come back to it a few hours later or something. The good thing about the piece is that there is almost nothing to it in terms of musicality, so once you have the technique down you are good.

Offline werq34ac

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #13 on: July 25, 2012, 03:58:11 PM »
I'd say if you did the Grieg, then it might be possible. You might find it somewhat more difficult than anything you've ever played, but I think it's manageable. You might be better off learning another Liszt piece first. Why practice something incredibly difficult for 6 months when you can build up to it by learning another piece first and then having had the experience, taking only 3-4 months learning said difficult piece? Then you'll have that difficult piece PLUS another good piece in only a slightly longer amount of time.
Ravel Jeux D'eau
Brahms 118/2
Liszt Concerto 1
Rachmaninoff/Kreisler Liebesleid

Offline soultrap

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Re: The "should I tackle La Campanella" question
«Reply #14 on: June 04, 2017, 03:20:02 PM »
Dear all,

An insane part of my mind wants me to take on Liszt's "La Campanella" etude as part of my repertoire. The sensible part of my mind is hesitant because of all the talk surrounding it as being bloody difficult technically. I need opinions on whether I'm ready. Below is context:

- Got Trinity Guildhall ATCL diploma about four years ago
- Played Grieg Piano Concerto Mvt 1 with school orchestra before Uni
- Piano "hiatus" for the first three years of medschool where my playing intensity has been low
- Pieces tackled in those three years:
x Chopin's Nocturne in C minor Op 48 No 1
x Brahm's Rhapsodies Op 79
x Brahm's Intermezzo Op118 no 2
- Piano currently undergoing a revival, tackling:
x Chopin's "Revolutionary" Etude in C minor
x Debussy Preludes - No 10 and No 4

What are your opinions about starting this piece? Please be honest.

Best regards,
B

Sorry if Iím really late. Youíre not insane. from my personal experience, I jumped from Chopin Etudes No.4&5 straight to La Campanella. Last two pages, was no problem. They sound intensely overpowering scary complicated, like Ďhellí, but its not that difficult. If your had can reach up to a ninth, octaves are no problem.

HOWEVER.

second half of the 4th page from the end is incredibly difficult with the octave jumping passages. The 3rd from the last page, with the leaps of both hands is intensely difficult as well. The first page is not exactly a cakewalk either.

If you still havenít tackled it, you should. If you have, ignore my post.

La Campanella is difficult in terms of:
Octave passages, Huge, up to 2 octave leaps, intense trills, hand movement, coordination between the hands, having to play both the melody and trills at times.
Pieces I'm working on:
Beethoven op. 109
Chopin Etudes op.10
Tchaikovsky Seasons June & October
Tchaikovsky Russian scherzo op. 1 no. 1
Tchaikovsky concerto 1
Mozart K 488
Rachmaninoff sonata 2