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Zlata Chochieva is one of the most interesting musicians of her generation, with her breathtaking technique and musicality as well as with her choice of repertoire. "(re)creations", her latest CD, offers an exquisite collection of transcriptions by her great heroes, Rachmaninoff, Liszt and Friedman, and in the title lies the secret of this special art form, so closely related to the piano. Read more >>

Topic: Preparatory pieces for Pictures At An Exhibition?  (Read 1199 times)

Offline joe_mama

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Preparatory pieces for Pictures At An Exhibition?
on: March 26, 2020, 06:03:15 PM
So I've fallen in love with Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition, and have made some attempts at playing. However there are some things that I don't think have the technique for yet. Specifically, left hand dexterity and trills for Gnomus, and octaves for both Baba Yaga and The Great Gate. Does anyone have pieces that could help me improve these techniques?

Offline ttortaro

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Re: Preparatory pieces for Pictures At An Exhibition?
Reply #1 on: March 27, 2020, 12:10:04 AM
chopin op25 n 10 and op10 n 12

Offline afarmboysforte

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Re: Preparatory pieces for Pictures At An Exhibition?
Reply #2 on: March 27, 2020, 04:54:45 PM
Pictures is such a great set of pieces! Definitely understand why you've fallen in love with it. More than any specific technique, I find this set to be a test of endurance, sound, and interpretive skill. To me, this just requires having played the piano and its repertoire for a while so that you know how to "play" in any situation.

I grew up in the school of thought that didn't mind learning techniques through learning a piece rather than having to learn an etude/prep piece for every specific technique. I have found this to be pretty efficient and not at all detrimental for my technique. For example, to respond to Ttortaro, I would find learning the octave etude by chopin to have very little application if my goal was to make it through Mussorgsky. The Chopin would indeed teach you legato octaves, endurance, and many other things, but the technique in the Mussorgsky I find to be a bit different (I have only read through the chopin, so that is a caveat). If I were you, I would just extract those techniques from the mussorgsky and treat them as an exercise.

Rather than prep for a large piece by taking the challenges piecewise, I tend to learn some prepatory works by the composer to get a feel for their style. (I learned the Brahms op 76 set before tackling the 1st concerto, for example) Mussorgsky has a vast swath of solo piano rep out there that barely gets touched, so it might be a good idea to explore some of the smaller pieces to get an idea of his musical language (which I don't find to be too hard to grasp). Also, I don't know your musical background, so if you aren't used to performing a big set of pieces that takes a lot of stamina (like a concerto, sonata, etc.) this might not be the piece to start with.

Best of Luck!
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