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Help me clean up this middle section mess (Read 1028 times)

Online pencilart3

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Help me clean up this middle section mess
« on: March 08, 2016, 05:40:10 PM »
This part of Transcendental Etude 8 is INSANE! INSANITY, I TELL YOU! The first part is butter compared to this! I cannot believe how technically demanding and musically demanding this part is. Well anyway I'm starting to get the notes down (slowly, I admit) but it just sounds like a mess. With less pedal it just sounds worse, chunkier. It seems that Trifanov had a smiliar problem. I hate his interpretation of this piece. Sorry dude. Good thing you don't need or want my approval :D

 Around 30:10

I will attach a sound file of me. This is just a one-try slap-it-on take. I can probably do it better but you will get the point. I want it to sound effortless, clear, clean, and flowing. Like Vadym!

 1:58 in this one. SO amazing.

2:36 is insanely clear and beautiful.

So what should I do? How does Vadym manage to get that sound when no one else does? Especially not me! And what should I do to get more like that?

Thanks for the help :)

p.s. and don't laugh at mine!!!!
youtube.com/noahjohnsonpiano

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Help me clean up this middle section mess
«Reply #1 on: March 08, 2016, 06:51:14 PM »
Practice the rh on its own. Without pedal will be a useful way of seeing how much control you have. Make an issue of playing ALL the melody notes tenuto, if possible holding them for their full duration (it's not easy when the stretch is a tenth). And play them cantabile and espressivo. Do this for a bit and you should find that when you add pedal the melody is more rounded and vocal. It is harder here than in many other passages to bring out the melody, because you need to use the weaker fingers of the hand.

Offline piulento

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Re: Help me clean up this middle section mess
«Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 06:59:45 PM »
I love this part...
Let me start by saying that there's nothing to laugh about - it's not perfect, but it's not terrible. A lot of people think Liszt's etudes are hard only technically, but they forget how deep they are musically. It's totaly natural to get stuck a bit.
I have to admit that I've never read the sheet music for this, so I'm just going by ear, but to me it sound like partly a legato problem, partly an expression problem. I think you're skilled enough to work out the legato issues on your own, so I'll just focus on the expression problem:
Listen to kholodenko's version - listen to how much love he puts into the keys. When he plays the main notes (mainly the top melody) he really puts his arms in the keyboard. I mean he REALLY puts it in. It's like his trying to extract some juice out of the important keys. You should try figuring out how to get the juice out of the main keys yourself, while letting the other sounds resonate naturally (that should make the important parts stick out more, and make the sound less sandy). If you're having trouble with it - don't be afraid to exaggerate a bit in the beginning - it's better to exaggerate a bit and then tone yourself down than to play all of the notes about the same. Also, don't forget that 'piano' is only a relative thing - you can play strongly without making it sound forte. And one last thing - on the left hand, maybe try playing the fast notes a bt more as an expression on precision, instead of as an expression of force. Make it a bit more 'leggiero'.
That's my first impression. It sounds like a lot, but once you're in the right mind set it's easier than it seems. And like I said - you're already on the right path, it's not bad at all. Can't wait to hear the final recording :)

Offline michael_c

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Re: Help me clean up this middle section mess
«Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 07:00:27 PM »
Yes, Vadym plays it fabulously. What is particularly noticeable in the section you are talking about is that he is able to shape the melody while letting the accompanying sixteenth notes ripple on evenly and considerably softer than the melody. He keeps the different layers of melody, accompanying figures and bass at audibly different levels. He also uses the pedal subtly and sparingly, never letting the texture blur.

You are playing the accompanying figures near the same level as the melody. You need to work on the independence of melody and accompaniment when they are being played by the same hand.

Here's something to try. Take the right-hand part of that section and play it with both hands, the right hand playing only the melody and the left playing the accompanying figures. Make the melody sing and try out different dynamics for the accompanying sixteenths. Playing this part with two hands makes it easy to adjust the balance between the two voices and let them be independent. When you have a version that sounds good to you, see if you can copy it when you play the passage as written, only with the right hand.

Eight bars later, when the left hand starts jumping around, use the same technique for the left hand. Play it with both hands alternating and see how light and easy you can make it sound, and how you can bring out little snippets of melody in it. Once again, when you have created a version played with both hands that satisfies you, play it again with the left hand alone and see if you can make it sound just as light and easy as it did with two hands.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Help me clean up this middle section mess
«Reply #4 on: March 08, 2016, 07:04:51 PM »


You are playing the accompanying figures near the same level as the melody. You need to work on the independence of melody and accompaniment when they are being played by the same hand.


Indeed. This is a very important point.


Online pencilart3

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Re: Help me clean up this middle section mess
«Reply #5 on: March 08, 2016, 07:09:11 PM »
It is harder here than in many other passages to bring out the melody, because you need to use the weaker fingers of the hand.

Thanks for the help Ronde! That's really true about the weaker fingers playing the melody, whereas the stronger ones play the accompaniment. I will have to think about that one.... ;D

Also, don't forget that 'piano' is only a relative thing - you can play strongly without making it sound forte. And one last thing - on the left hand, maybe try playing the fast notes a bt more as an expression on precision, instead of as an expression of force. Make it a bit more 'leggiero'.
That's my first impression. It sounds like a lot, but once you're in the right mind set it's easier than it seems. And like I said - you're already on the right path, it's not bad at all. Can't wait to hear the final recording :)

Ah yes, the relative piano. I always forget that. That should be very helpful. In a few minutes I will give it another try with that in mind. Thanks piulento, I will be sure to upload it when I'm done :D

You need to work on the independence of melody and accompaniment when they are being played by the same hand.

Here's something to try.


OHHHH dumb me! It seems so simple that I didn't even consider that. I will try the exercise you mentioned, thank you so much Michael c!

Thanks everyone! Sit tight and I will try again
youtube.com/noahjohnsonpiano

Offline michael_c

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Re: Help me clean up this middle section mess
«Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 07:15:25 PM »
OHHHH dumb me! It seems so simple that I didn't even consider that. I will try the exercise you mentioned, thank you so much Michael c!

I actually pinched that idea from Garrick Ohlsson. I use it often.