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Topic: Liszt b minor sonata - octaves  (Read 2692 times)

Offline ewalker1

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Liszt b minor sonata - octaves
on: December 16, 2015, 11:02:17 AM
Hello everyone,

I've been playing the Liszt sonata recently, one of my main struggles (mainly for accuracy) are a few cases of double octaves , particularly the ones on page 4/5 or so and the prestissimo ones near the end.

So, if anyone could give me any advice on how to make them more reliable or suggest any supporting études that would help out with this.

Thanks
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Offline distantfieldrelative

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Re: Liszt b minor sonata - octaves
Reply #1 on: December 17, 2015, 10:29:38 AM
More reliable octaves: Be as relaxed as you can manage and play each of the octaves to the bottom of the key bed at a speed that you can manage; slow and steady.

Other etudes: Mazeppa and Eroica (from the transcendental etudes) have plenty of octave passages.
Chopin op.25 no.4, no.10 and op.39
 
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Offline adodd81802

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Re: Liszt b minor sonata - octaves
Reply #2 on: December 17, 2015, 05:08:02 PM
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Offline suethemoon

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Re: Liszt b minor sonata - octaves
Reply #3 on: December 18, 2015, 09:25:04 AM
Those types of tutorials IMO don't really help the more advanced pianist. Considering OP is tackling Liszt Sonata I'm pretty sure he has grasp of function of octaves.
For me, getting fast octaves was just matter of slow practice and building endurance over time.
Currently Learning:
Liszt - Spanish Rhapsody
Brahms - Handel Variations and fugue
Beethoven - Appassionata sonata
Chopin - Etude op 10 no 2

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Liszt b minor sonata - octaves
Reply #4 on: December 18, 2015, 10:42:52 AM
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Offline suethemoon

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Re: Liszt b minor sonata - octaves
Reply #5 on: December 18, 2015, 08:13:18 PM
Well obviously there's a difference between playing just octaves and playing presto octaves in the coda of Liszt. One cannot expect to instantly grasp the octave speed just by a single solution as presented by your video as most likely person understands this concept already.
The reason I mention slow practice and building endurance overtime is that having a fast octave speed with efficient movement is difficult to achieve and just simply takes years and years of practice just like any technique where your capabilities extend larger and larger. The octaves in Liszt Sonata is probably one of the pinnacle examples of fast octaves and for him to expect any sort of easy access is simply naive. Slow practice builds a better foundation as most people become less strict in accuracy/tone when practising faster. Once OP can master playing slow octaves with absolute easy with perfect accuracy (without even touching other notes) with good dynamics then they can build from there. If they already have done this then all I can say is just have patience.
A personal example from myself is when I was practising Hungarian Rhapsody no.6 - Liszt and in the first month I could only substain the octaves for the first page in a decent tempo before succumbing to tension. Over the next few months, just by chipping at the octaves, I can substain the octaves for the entirety with less stress.
Currently Learning:
Liszt - Spanish Rhapsody
Brahms - Handel Variations and fugue
Beethoven - Appassionata sonata
Chopin - Etude op 10 no 2

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Liszt b minor sonata - octaves
Reply #6 on: December 19, 2015, 11:36:26 AM
Minimise hand movement, especially vertical. The hands should always be close to the keyboard. Too much 'in and out' movement when going between white and black notes is also to be avoided. If your wrist starts to stress, stop. There is no point practicing octaves unless your wrists are relaxed. In double octave passages, the counter-intuitive (if you are right-handed!) realisation that the left hand is the guide, not the right, usually makes them a lot easier. Finally, the difficulty with the Liszt sonata closing octaves is that they are somewhat irregular, unlike eg Chopin 25/10. Consequently, if you were looking for a good etude I would suggest Alkan 35/5, Allegro barbaro.
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