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Topic: Dvorak- Slavonic Dances  (Read 3238 times)

Offline dmk

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Dvorak- Slavonic Dances
on: January 16, 2005, 05:01:35 AM
A couple of questions:

1/ RECORDINGS: does anyone know of any good recordings of these works?  I have the Labeque sisters playing these but I would really appreciate any other suggestions.

2/ PRIMO vs SECONDO: we are often told (or at least in Oz) that the primo part is generally given to the more proficient pianist.  With my new duet partner I have been playing secondo (and he is far more technically proficient than I) which suits me to the ground because I much prefer the Big 'chordy' sections often found in secondo parts. 

We play all of Dvorak op 46 and op72 and I have to say, on the whole, the secondo is far more difficult than the primo.  I then thought to other works say Ravel's Mother Goose Suite (for an easy example) and again (think Petit Poucet or Beauty and the Beast) the secondo part is more difficult than the primo (similar siruation in Warlock's Capriol Suite).  So what do others think, is the primo part generally more difficult than the secondo, or do they just require a different 'skill set'?  By that I mean a 'solid and reliable' secondo with a slightly flashier primo???
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Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Dvorak- Slavonic Dances
Reply #1 on: January 16, 2005, 06:10:52 AM
I have done a lot of 4-hands over the years (and those Dvoraks are HARD! - good for you!).  I have found that most pieces divvy up the difficulty betweemn top and bottom quite well - I doin't see an obvious difference in difficulty.  Perhaps this is because I see more "importance" to the bottom part, which to me provides most of the character of the piece, so doing the bottom part well can be difficult - the bottom person usually does the pedalling, and maintains the tempos - so there is extra responsibility there.  I would also be surprised to see the "more technical" pianist be the top player - I would expect it to be the other way around. 

I personally prefer to play the bottom parts.
So much music, so little time........

Offline galonia

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Re: Dvorak- Slavonic Dances
Reply #2 on: January 16, 2005, 08:30:58 AM
I'm from Oz and I've never been told that primo is generally harder than secondo... where did you get that from?

My duet partner (before she quit piano to concentrate on a horse riding career!) and I always split the parts so I played primo and she played secondo.  The reason was that I have a brighter and sweeter singing tone, so it was more appropriate for most music since the melody is often in the higher part.  My partner was more adept at playing chords, and since the secondo parts usually have more chords (due to the accompaniment) it made sense that she played that.

But if I partnered someone else, it would just depend on who is stronger at what.  One of my friends and I sight-read four hands music for fun occasionally, and with her I'm usually doing secondo since I sight-read chords more efficiently than she does.

I'd love to know about good recordings too!  The Slavonic Dances are such fun to play!!!

Offline dmk

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Re: Dvorak- Slavonic Dances
Reply #3 on: January 16, 2005, 09:58:28 AM

I have done a lot of 4-hands over the years (and those Dvoraks are HARD! - good for you!). I have found that most pieces divvy up the difficulty betweemn top and bottom quite well - I doin't see an obvious difference in difficulty. Perhaps this is because I see more "importance" to the bottom part, which to me provides most of the character of the piece, so doing the bottom part well can be difficult - the bottom person usually does the pedalling, and maintains the tempos - so there is extra responsibility there. I would also be surprised to see the "more technical" pianist be the top player - I would expect it to be the other way around.

I personally prefer to play the bottom parts.

sorry, I think I phrased what I was trying to get across really poorly.  From my observations at competitions etc, I have generally observed that the technically flashier pianist plays the primo (you know they are ''flashier' from their solo work, additionally, at a lot of professional development courses that I have been they have suggested a similar idea.  I personally am of the school of thought that they require different types of skills...but I was interested in what others thought about this and their personal experiences.

I usually play secondo because I like all the chords and don't have any trouble pedalling (or maybe I am just power hungry and like to control and maintain the tempo he he he.... ;)) so I am happy for my partner to play the top particularly because he is superb at 'sparkly' passage work and has a brighter tone than I do.  What are others experiences with this??

I'd love to know about good recordings too! The Slavonic Dances are such fun to play!!!

Couldn't agree more, they are all so much fun!!! 

I would also be interested to know which ones others have played and which are their favourites.  Mine are (but I can't think of one I dislike!):

op 46 nos 1,2,7,8

op 72 nos 2,3
"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence"
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Offline anda

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Re: Dvorak- Slavonic Dances
Reply #4 on: January 16, 2005, 01:13:42 PM
i totally dislike playing these! they're not "sooo" hard, but i prefer them played by an orchestra - same as with "peter and the wolf", no matter how good pianist you might be, you can't compete with the colours of all these instruments!

as for primo/secundo and who should be  a better pianist: i think both pianists should be equally good. i have played in many 4-hand or piano duo formulas, but the best ones were definitely those i had when i played with pianists my level. any discrepancy can be heard, and a level discrepancy is more bothering than anything else. with my current partner, we sight-read the work as we sat (primo/secundo) and then we decide who wants to play primo and who wants to play secundo. in our recitals, usually i take secundo for the 1st part of the recital and primo for the 2nd part.
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