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Topic: "light" staccato  (Read 6454 times)

Offline pianobabe56

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"light" staccato
on: January 19, 2005, 02:30:34 PM
I'm currently working up the 3rd Movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata for adjudications in March, and I find that I'm struggling in a couple of places:

-In measures 43-56, and 138-151 I find that I'm having trouble rendering those staccatos as 'light' as I'd like them to feel. To me, they sound very harsh and brittle when I play them. I'd like a full tone that doesn't sound so choked, but still a light feel, and I'm having trouble figuring out how to do that.

-In the sections where there's sixteenth notes (ablerti bass-ish) in one hand and the melody in the other, I'm having trouble hushing up the sixteenth notes. I can keep them fairly soft and bring the melody out well, but I'd really appreciate info on how to quiet the sixteenth notes even more.

I'd also be interested in hearing your advice on Beethoven staccatos. I have been taught that his staccatos are fairly relative, and in a recording that my teacher loaned me (Van Cliburn), where there are staccatos in the melody, they are apparently "ignored", which I agree with, but I'd be interested in more insight.

Kind of a tall order, huh?  :D

A bird can soar because he takes himself lightly.

Offline ruthies_groupies

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Re: "light" staccato
Reply #1 on: January 19, 2005, 04:05:29 PM
OMG, get out more. Just play stacatto and have a martini. Its like totally winge winge winge on this webpage. You all need to GET A LIFE like NOW!!!!!

Offline janice

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Re: "light" staccato
Reply #2 on: January 19, 2005, 04:39:26 PM
OMG, get out more. Just play stacatto and have a martini. Its like totally winge winge winge on this webpage. You all need to GET A LIFE like NOW!!!!!

Nils, could you please remove the above post?  If not, know that we will all disregard it, as you obviously do not belong here.  Pianobabe56 has a very valid question.


Co-president of the Bernhard fan club!

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: "light" staccato
Reply #3 on: January 19, 2005, 05:31:41 PM


Nils, could you please remove the above post?  If not, know that we will all disregard it, as you obviously do not belong here.  Pianobabe56 has a very valid question.




Actually, I believe everyones' skills should be put to use properly!  While this post is certainly not the answer we were all looking for, ruthies_groupies would be perfect for searching out beefcake pianists for our calendar!  The rest of us have had no luck there!
So much music, so little time........

Offline Brian Healey

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Re: "light" staccato
Reply #4 on: January 19, 2005, 07:24:12 PM
Quote
Its like totally winge winge winge on this webpage.


What's a winge?



Peace,
Bri

Offline anda

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Re: "light" staccato
Reply #5 on: January 19, 2005, 07:53:58 PM
-In measures 43-56, and 138-151 I find that I'm having trouble rendering those staccatos as 'light' as I'd like them to feel. To me, they sound very harsh and brittle when I play them. I'd like a full tone that doesn't sound so choked, but still a light feel, and I'm having trouble figuring out how to do that.

make sure your arm is playing legato - this is extremely important (otherwise any kind of line you might try to get will be ruined) and that only your fingers actually play staccato. so: keep moving (find yourself your best arm-move for this) and sustain all your arm's weight in the upper part of your arm (for "lightness")

i suggest (for practice only, of course) you play this passage at half tempo trying to play it as legato as possible - this should give you the right move.

Quote
-In the sections where there's sixteenth notes (ablerti bass-ish) in one hand and the melody in the other, I'm having trouble hushing up the sixteenth notes. I can keep them fairly soft and bring the melody out well, but I'd really appreciate info on how to quiet the sixteenth notes even more.

again a problem of arm weight. one advice: play this passage (just lh) on the closed lid of the piano and focus on how your fingers feel. first let the whole arm rest on the tip of the fingers (while playing) then gradually retain your arm weight. when you get to hardly even feeling the wood under your fingers but pregnantly feeling your weight in your upper arm, should be good. one more thing - try not to move your fingers too much - this passage should be played on palm-roll technique (i don't know how it's called in english - that's an approximate translation of mine).

Quote
I'd also be interested in hearing your advice on Beethoven staccatos. I have been taught that his staccatos are fairly relative, and in a recording that my teacher loaned me (Van Cliburn), where there are staccatos in the melody, they are apparently "ignored", which I agree with, but I'd be interested in more insight.

to be analyzed on a per-case basis.

Quote
Kind of a tall order, huh?  :D

especially since my score doesn't have bar numbers  ::)

best luck

Offline pianobabe56

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Re: "light" staccato
Reply #6 on: January 20, 2005, 01:52:57 AM
*laughter* i apologize for making you count measures! And I really appreciate your comments- thank you very much! My next question would be this- how do I retain arm weight without becoming tense? I find that in these sections where I'm having problems keeping it light and soft, my arms are very tense, most likely causing that brittle, harsh sound I described, yet as soon as I focus on relaxing, it becomes sloppy, as if all that weight is being "thrown around" (use a grossly cliche term).
A bird can soar because he takes himself lightly.

Offline anda

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Re: "light" staccato
Reply #7 on: January 20, 2005, 09:26:25 PM
how do I retain arm weight without becoming tense? I find that in these sections where I'm having problems keeping it light and soft, my arms are very tense, most likely causing that brittle, harsh sound I described, yet as soon as I focus on relaxing, it becomes sloppy, as if all that weight is being "thrown around" (use a grossly cliche term).
where exactly are your arms tense - upper part or forearm?

the weight has (very very important) to be retained in the upper part of the arm, because that's where you have the strongest muscles.

i'm not sure how to answer your question... of course there is some tension in the muscles of the upper arm (what's that called?) - something has to carry the weight of the arm. but if you practice this, the arm will get used and will be able to resist longer and longer (don't push it too hard from the begining, if it starts hurting, then stop, get up and walk for a few minutes).

it's the same thing as with legs - there has to be some tension in your legs' muscles if you want to walk: if you were completely relaxed, you would be laying on the floor! and you can't walk indefinitely without your legs starting to hurt at some point. but practice builds endurance.

hope you can understand this.

best luck

Offline pianobabe56

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Re: "light" staccato
Reply #8 on: January 20, 2005, 10:47:26 PM
That made complete sense, and thanks again!
A bird can soar because he takes himself lightly.

Offline nick

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Re: "light" staccato
Reply #9 on: January 22, 2005, 01:14:20 PM


i suggest (for practice only, of course) you play this passage at half tempo trying to play it as legato as possible - this should give you the right mov




I have seen references saying "half speed" many times. I posted a question on what speed this is, but received no ESTIMATED metronome numbers. If the goal speed is say 120, what is the estimated half speed? Not 60 is it?

Nick
 

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