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Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on? (Read 7509 times)

Offline pseudopianist

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I think the title says it all. :)
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Sheet music to download and print: Etudes for Transcendental Technique by Liszt



Sheet music to download and print: Transcendental Etudes by Liszt



Offline DarkWind

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #1 on: March 05, 2005, 04:59:58 PM »
Nothing, to be honest. The fact is, Chopin's Etudes focus on one specific subject, most of the times rather obvious, like the Octave Etude. I wonder what that one might help me with! The Liszt Transcendental Etudes focus more on the etude as a true art form, and generally try to help you learn difficult technical passages as a whole, but something less specific and more just to get an idea of what the repertoire of piano is like. Of course, some can help you out in a specific area, like the 6th with Arpeggios, and the like. Unless we are talking about Lyapunov's Transcendental Etudes, in which case, I really don't know.

Offline Radix

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #2 on: March 05, 2005, 06:48:48 PM »
I believe Liapunov's are much like Liszt's, in the sense that they do not focus on one physical skill.  They're pretty much just immersion into extremely difficult passages and such.

Offline pseudopianist

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #3 on: March 05, 2005, 07:08:17 PM »
Yeah, that would make more sense.

Thanks for your replys
Whisky and Messiaen

Offline thierry13

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #4 on: March 05, 2005, 09:30:00 PM »
Some transcendental etudes focus on some things. Mazeppa : fast 2-4 double notes.
 Feux follet : fast double note. Wild Jagd on the stamina in long big chords jumps.

Offline steinwayguy

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #5 on: March 06, 2005, 06:07:21 AM »
Everything you could imagine.

Offline ralessi

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #6 on: March 08, 2005, 07:07:03 AM »
We just studied Liszt in Piano literature class for the last 3 weeks and they all have a purpose and if you listen to them knowing the purposes, it becomes even more clear...kinda cool actually....
*The first is a warm up...its like..the pianist sits down and wants to check out the piano and plays some chords and arpeggios and scales...sounds like an improvisation..very free and spirited just some brilliant dinkering around. 
*The second one (later given the title "fireworks" by publishers) requires/studies well developed, light wrist technique, being like a caprice with very contrasting dymanics and dissonances whics has strong resemblance to certain passages in the music of Bartok
*The third one is titled "Paysage" or "Landscape."  Requires/studies very legato octave phrasing to make sense of the "fragile poetry." Also requires one to have amazing pedal control. starts with an "exercise for evenness" over a relaxed barcarole accompaniment.  Throughout, ou will hear many chopinesque voicings as well as those of Faure (so listen for it)
*Number 4 is "Mazeppa" requires/studies powerful wrists, well developed octave technique, and crazy, unfaltering endurance.  Not really, double notes like many people think.  It follows the fantastic horseback ride of the Polish noble Mazeppa.  Condemned to death he was tied up and then on to the horse and whipped into flight.  (You can really hear the tragic galloping rhythm after the crazy cadenza.) 
*Number 5 "Feux Follets" needs to be played with "fairy-like lightness of touch, whimsically and breezily" as well as requiring many other technical aspects such as COMPLETE finger ingependancy! for the crazy double-note (VERY LEGATO) passages and such a light left hand. 
*Number 6 "Vision" is really not as hard as many of the others...requiring strength and endurancces as well as even and clear arpeggiations and careful dynamics its suppsed to be performed very meaningfully....suppsed to represend the image/or "vision" of a funeral preocession gradually transformed and grown innto a jubilant hymn of glory. 
*Number 7 "Eroica" is the only Etude that was not really inspired by the technique exercises done by Liszt as a younger musician.  It is simply to resemble a triumphant march of a homecoming hero.  Contains many orchestral effects which require skilful pedal use combined with touch.  Must be performed with very precise rhythm and virtuosity.
*Number 8 "Wild Hunt" is simply a study not only in EXTREMELY loose and POWERFUL wrists and amazingly accurate chord-execution...but MAINLY in the changing, quick rhythmic accentuations...Alfred Cortot referred to this etude as the "etude of audacity and bruvura"
*Number 9 "Ricordanza" is very tender and delicate.  Mainly study in brilliant fingerwork...(Not one of my personal favorites)
*Number 10 "Appassionata" (not given by Liszt) studies great left hand arpeggiation accuracy as well as great phrasing and balance of dymanics. 
*Number 11 "Harmonies du Soir" is very poetic and impressionistic sounding...some calling it the first real "impressionistic" piece.  there is really no sheer virtuostic requirements as it was written  in the interest of Liszt for Pure expression requiring very expressive phrasing.  The piece really opens up throughout into a very luxurious sound resembling the "harmonies of evening"
*NUmber 12  is "Chasse-Neige" the opening melody is split between 2 hands imn a continuous tremolo.  Left hand really gives picture of moaning winds..simply a study in tremolos...they need to be absolutely dead even which makes this one a killer. 

Hope i answered your question and maybe you even learned something!

Cheers!
Ricky

Offline pseudopianist

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #7 on: March 08, 2005, 02:58:55 PM »
We just studied Liszt in Piano literature class for the last 3 weeks and they all have a purpose and if you listen to them knowing the purposes, it becomes even more clear...kinda cool actually....
*The first is a warm up...its like..the pianist sits down and wants to check out the piano and plays some chords and arpeggios and scales...sounds like an improvisation..very free and spirited just some brilliant dinkering around. 
*The second one (later given the title "fireworks" by publishers) requires/studies well developed, light wrist technique, being like a caprice with very contrasting dymanics and dissonances whics has strong resemblance to certain passages in the music of Bartok
*The third one is titled "Paysage" or "Landscape."  Requires/studies very legato octave phrasing to make sense of the "fragile poetry." Also requires one to have amazing pedal control. starts with an "exercise for evenness" over a relaxed barcarole accompaniment.  Throughout, ou will hear many chopinesque voicings as well as those of Faure (so listen for it)
*Number 4 is "Mazeppa" requires/studies powerful wrists, well developed octave technique, and crazy, unfaltering endurance.  Not really, double notes like many people think.  It follows the fantastic horseback ride of the Polish noble Mazeppa.  Condemned to death he was tied up and then on to the horse and whipped into flight.  (You can really hear the tragic galloping rhythm after the crazy cadenza.) 
*Number 5 "Feux Follets" needs to be played with "fairy-like lightness of touch, whimsically and breezily" as well as requiring many other technical aspects such as COMPLETE finger ingependancy! for the crazy double-note (VERY LEGATO) passages and such a light left hand. 
*Number 6 "Vision" is really not as hard as many of the others...requiring strength and endurancces as well as even and clear arpeggiations and careful dynamics its suppsed to be performed very meaningfully....suppsed to represend the image/or "vision" of a funeral preocession gradually transformed and grown innto a jubilant hymn of glory. 
*Number 7 "Eroica" is the only Etude that was not really inspired by the technique exercises done by Liszt as a younger musician.  It is simply to resemble a triumphant march of a homecoming hero.  Contains many orchestral effects which require skilful pedal use combined with touch.  Must be performed with very precise rhythm and virtuosity.
*Number 8 "Wild Hunt" is simply a study not only in EXTREMELY loose and POWERFUL wrists and amazingly accurate chord-execution...but MAINLY in the changing, quick rhythmic accentuations...Alfred Cortot referred to this etude as the "etude of audacity and bruvura"
*Number 9 "Ricordanza" is very tender and delicate.  Mainly study in brilliant fingerwork...(Not one of my personal favorites)
*Number 10 "Appassionata" (not given by Liszt) studies great left hand arpeggiation accuracy as well as great phrasing and balance of dymanics. 
*Number 11 "Harmonies du Soir" is very poetic and impressionistic sounding...some calling it the first real "impressionistic" piece.  there is really no sheer virtuostic requirements as it was written  in the interest of Liszt for Pure expression requiring very expressive phrasing.  The piece really opens up throughout into a very luxurious sound resembling the "harmonies of evening"
*NUmber 12  is "Chasse-Neige" the opening melody is split between 2 hands imn a continuous tremolo.  Left hand really gives picture of moaning winds..simply a study in tremolos...they need to be absolutely dead even which makes this one a killer. 

Hope i answered your question and maybe you even learned something!

Cheers!
Ricky


That was one really great post. Thank you so much. :)
Whisky and Messiaen

Offline ralessi

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #8 on: March 09, 2005, 01:39:48 AM »
Anytime!

Offline mlsmithz

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #9 on: June 11, 2005, 07:19:57 PM »
Nothing, to be honest. The fact is, Chopin's Etudes focus on one specific subject, most of the times rather obvious, like the Octave Etude. I wonder what that one might help me with! The Liszt Transcendental Etudes focus more on the etude as a true art form, and generally try to help you learn difficult technical passages as a whole, but something less specific and more just to get an idea of what the repertoire of piano is like. Of course, some can help you out in a specific area, like the 6th with Arpeggios, and the like. Unless we are talking about Lyapunov's Transcendental Etudes, in which case, I really don't know.
I apologise for this act of thread necromancy, but I found this topic whilst running a search on Lyapunov's name - his Transcendental Etudes are my favourite obscure pieces, and I've studied the score in depth (I can't play any of them very well as I'm not a serious musician per se).  As is true of the Liszt, the Lyapunov etudes do explore multiple facets of technique, but there are a few which receive special attention in each one.  A few other common links between the two sets include the presence of two major key etudes which are substantially longer than the other four and of a more reflective nature, and the fact that the major key etudes are, on average, not as difficult as the minor key etudes, with one blistering exception (perhaps two in the Lyapunov case).  Anyway, taking the Lyapunov etudes one by one:

No.1 in F-sharp, 'Berceuse', is perhaps technically easier than most of the others, but requires extreme care as far as voicing and colour are concerned (particularly in the second half of the piece), with which it will sound charming and without which it will sound boring.

No.2 in D-sharp minor, 'Ronde des fantomes', in addition to being difficult to read due to its unusual key, requires fast fingerwork and a feather light touch; comparisons with 'Gnomenreigen' are well merited, as this piece also flies about the keyboard with abandon.  Careful control over legato and staccato (as well as mastery of the sort of leaps found in, say, Chopin 25 No.4) is also a must for the secondary theme.  Probably one of the most challenging of the set.

No.3 in B, 'Carillon', shares with some of the Liszt etudes the need for loose yet powerful wrists for the octave chord passages and the right-hand runs as well as the flying leaps in the recapitulation of the hymn tune.  Some care is also needed to emphasise the hymn tune when it appears, be it at the top of rolled chords, as part of the arpeggii in the E-flat major passage (off the beat in the RH and entering in stretto in the two hands), or sandwiched between octaves in the outside voices in the recapitulation.  Not to be underestimated, yet one of the most remarkable in the set.

No.4 in G-sharp minor, 'Terek', once more requires extremely well developed wrist technique in both hands as well as fast fingers for the broken octave passages in the RH, and yet a sensitive touch is also needed for the "Quasi flauto" passage and its re-appearance "Quasi piccolo".  This one also ranks as one of the more challenging in the set.

No.5 in E, 'Nuit d'ete', is very much in the mould of 'Ricordanza' in that it requires tremendous control over voicing and expression as well as loose wrists for the innumerable runs, especially when said runs weave their way around the melody in the recapitulation of the main theme.  Solid control over legato, staccato, and the pedals also comes into play in the "secondary" theme (there's really just one theme but it appears in two quite different guises).

No.6 in C-sharp minor, 'Tempete', I'd venture to say, is not as difficult as most of the others, as long as you have strong fingers, loose wrists, and good octave technique.  The LH stretches in the coda can be difficult to pull off, as can the runs if any double notes show up, but compared to most of the other etudes (especially those in minor keys), it's reasonably accessible.

No.7 in A, 'Idylle', is the 'Paysage' of the Lyapunov set - not only does it carry the tempo prescription 'Andantino pastorale', but, while technically one of the easier in the set, it can very easily sound either boring or murky without judicious use of the pedals and a sensitive, expressive touch.  As there are two voices in the RH for most of the piece, the upper of which is usually the melody, this is also an exercise in voicing.

No.8 in F-sharp minor, 'Chant epique', shares with 'Mazeppa' a need for powerful wrists, well-developed octave technique (there's scarcely a bar outside the harplike passages in which at least one hand is not playing octaves), and endurance, but light, fast fingers are also needed to pull off the harplike passages in the introduction and leading into the recapitulation.  Like 'Carillon', it should not be underestimated technically, but it's a fantastic piece if you can play it (and even if you can't but have a recording of it).

No.9 in D, 'Harpes eoliennes', is the 'Chasse-neige' of the Lyapunov set.  As well as an exercise in tremolos (sometimes in both hands at once) and light, fast fingerwork (when the tremolos blend into runs, often split across both hands), there is of course the voicing issue - it's easy to lose the melody in the harps, especially during runs which weave around the tune.

No.10 in B minor, 'Lesghinka', is an extended study in stretches and leaps in both hands; it's perhaps not as difficult as it may sound, but that doesn't mean it's easy either, especially for people with small hands.  Because of the proliferation of stretches and leaps, even during the slower sections, this also requires considerable strength and endurance in both wrists and fingers.  But it's worth it even if only for the triumphant final cascade in B major (the shortest major resolution in any of the Transcendental Etudes).

No.11 in G, 'Ronde des sylphes', is almost a dead ringer for 'Feux-follets' (listen to them side by side and you might think the first piece has simply been transposed into the new key!).  As such, the technical demands are similar - it requires lightning quick yet feather light fingerwork, and independence of the fingers for the double notes (the interval between which changes from one to the next) and the passages when the staccato secondary theme (which mustn't sound too spiky) appears in the top voice.  As with 'Feux-follets', it's a delightful yet technically blistering piece with an "innocent" title, and ranks among the most difficult in the set (it's arguably the toughest major key etude).

No.12 in E minor, 'Elegie en memoire de Francois Liszt', is another mixed bag of technique, but certainly mastery of double octaves is a must.  Independence of the hands is of central importance in the D-flat major section when the RH melody comes before instead of on the beat, and loose wrists and fast fingers are needed to handle the various runs throughout the piece as well as the RH tremolo in the coda.  Judicious use of expression is also needed, since this shares with 'Vision' the overall plan of transforming from a solemn funeral march to a blaze of glory in the major.  As the longest of the Lyapunov etudes (and the longest of all 24 Transcendental Etudes unless one takes 'Ricordanza' particularly slowly), it's also something of an endurance test.  It rounds off the set brilliantly, though, in my opinion.

Offline etudes

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #10 on: June 16, 2005, 10:16:05 PM »
i just know 10th from Lyapunov Etudes


i add something Ralessi that i think no.7 is also study in rhythmic as busoni mentioned in his dovers edition

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Offline pianote

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #11 on: July 03, 2005, 03:25:47 AM »
wild jagd focuses on fast-paced "leaps/jumps" if you will.

Offline Waldszenen

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #12 on: July 03, 2005, 06:25:06 AM »
In short, it's safe to say that whereas Chopin's and Schumann's etudes focus specifically on one technique per etude (or variation in Schumann's case), most of Liszt's etudes focus on mastery of performance as a whole.

In saying that, once you've mastered the Transcendental Etudes, you can attempt just about anything in the piano repertoire.
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Offline opus10no2

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #13 on: March 29, 2007, 07:50:44 AM »
I apologise for this act of thread necromancy, but I found this topic whilst running a search on Lyapunov's name - his Transcendental Etudes are my favourite obscure pieces, and I've studied the score in depth (I can't play any of them very well as I'm not a serious musician per se).  As is true of the Liszt, the Lyapunov etudes do explore multiple facets of technique, but there are a few which receive special attention in each one.  A few other common links between the two sets include the presence of two major key etudes which are substantially longer than the other four and of a more reflective nature, and the fact that the major key etudes are, on average, not as difficult as the minor key etudes, with one blistering exception (perhaps two in the Lyapunov case).  Anyway, taking the Lyapunov etudes one by one:

No.1 in F-sharp, 'Berceuse', is perhaps technically easier than most of the others, but requires extreme care as far as voicing and colour are concerned (particularly in the second half of the piece), with which it will sound charming and without which it will sound boring.

No.2 in D-sharp minor, 'Ronde des fantomes', in addition to being difficult to read due to its unusual key, requires fast fingerwork and a feather light touch; comparisons with 'Gnomenreigen' are well merited, as this piece also flies about the keyboard with abandon.  Careful control over legato and staccato (as well as mastery of the sort of leaps found in, say, Chopin 25 No.4) is also a must for the secondary theme.  Probably one of the most challenging of the set.

No.3 in B, 'Carillon', shares with some of the Liszt etudes the need for loose yet powerful wrists for the octave chord passages and the right-hand runs as well as the flying leaps in the recapitulation of the hymn tune.  Some care is also needed to emphasise the hymn tune when it appears, be it at the top of rolled chords, as part of the arpeggii in the E-flat major passage (off the beat in the RH and entering in stretto in the two hands), or sandwiched between octaves in the outside voices in the recapitulation.  Not to be underestimated, yet one of the most remarkable in the set.

No.4 in G-sharp minor, 'Terek', once more requires extremely well developed wrist technique in both hands as well as fast fingers for the broken octave passages in the RH, and yet a sensitive touch is also needed for the "Quasi flauto" passage and its re-appearance "Quasi piccolo".  This one also ranks as one of the more challenging in the set.

No.5 in E, 'Nuit d'ete', is very much in the mould of 'Ricordanza' in that it requires tremendous control over voicing and expression as well as loose wrists for the innumerable runs, especially when said runs weave their way around the melody in the recapitulation of the main theme.  Solid control over legato, staccato, and the pedals also comes into play in the "secondary" theme (there's really just one theme but it appears in two quite different guises).

No.6 in C-sharp minor, 'Tempete', I'd venture to say, is not as difficult as most of the others, as long as you have strong fingers, loose wrists, and good octave technique.  The LH stretches in the coda can be difficult to pull off, as can the runs if any double notes show up, but compared to most of the other etudes (especially those in minor keys), it's reasonably accessible.

No.7 in A, 'Idylle', is the 'Paysage' of the Lyapunov set - not only does it carry the tempo prescription 'Andantino pastorale', but, while technically one of the easier in the set, it can very easily sound either boring or murky without judicious use of the pedals and a sensitive, expressive touch.  As there are two voices in the RH for most of the piece, the upper of which is usually the melody, this is also an exercise in voicing.

No.8 in F-sharp minor, 'Chant epique', shares with 'Mazeppa' a need for powerful wrists, well-developed octave technique (there's scarcely a bar outside the harplike passages in which at least one hand is not playing octaves), and endurance, but light, fast fingers are also needed to pull off the harplike passages in the introduction and leading into the recapitulation.  Like 'Carillon', it should not be underestimated technically, but it's a fantastic piece if you can play it (and even if you can't but have a recording of it).

No.9 in D, 'Harpes eoliennes', is the 'Chasse-neige' of the Lyapunov set.  As well as an exercise in tremolos (sometimes in both hands at once) and light, fast fingerwork (when the tremolos blend into runs, often split across both hands), there is of course the voicing issue - it's easy to lose the melody in the harps, especially during runs which weave around the tune.

No.10 in B minor, 'Lesghinka', is an extended study in stretches and leaps in both hands; it's perhaps not as difficult as it may sound, but that doesn't mean it's easy either, especially for people with small hands.  Because of the proliferation of stretches and leaps, even during the slower sections, this also requires considerable strength and endurance in both wrists and fingers.  But it's worth it even if only for the triumphant final cascade in B major (the shortest major resolution in any of the Transcendental Etudes).

No.11 in G, 'Ronde des sylphes', is almost a dead ringer for 'Feux-follets' (listen to them side by side and you might think the first piece has simply been transposed into the new key!).  As such, the technical demands are similar - it requires lightning quick yet feather light fingerwork, and independence of the fingers for the double notes (the interval between which changes from one to the next) and the passages when the staccato secondary theme (which mustn't sound too spiky) appears in the top voice.  As with 'Feux-follets', it's a delightful yet technically blistering piece with an "innocent" title, and ranks among the most difficult in the set (it's arguably the toughest major key etude).

No.12 in E minor, 'Elegie en memoire de Francois Liszt', is another mixed bag of technique, but certainly mastery of double octaves is a must.  Independence of the hands is of central importance in the D-flat major section when the RH melody comes before instead of on the beat, and loose wrists and fast fingers are needed to handle the various runs throughout the piece as well as the RH tremolo in the coda.  Judicious use of expression is also needed, since this shares with 'Vision' the overall plan of transforming from a solemn funeral march to a blaze of glory in the major.  As the longest of the Lyapunov etudes (and the longest of all 24 Transcendental Etudes unless one takes 'Ricordanza' particularly slowly), it's also something of an endurance test.  It rounds off the set brilliantly, though, in my opinion.

Very useful post, I plan to study these etudes, I've only realised how wonderful they all are.

4, 6, 10, and 12 are favourites thus far.
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Offline clavicembalisticum

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #14 on: March 29, 2007, 12:22:55 PM »
I apologise for this act of thread necromancy

Not a problem, and your post was quite a meticulous approach. Such diligent postings should be present more often around here (and everywhere imvho). Note that we play mostly the music of long defunct composers (at times), so we are already performing acts of resurrection.

I would give this a 10/10, as with ralessi's, for being brief and complete.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #15 on: April 01, 2007, 10:03:37 AM »


Video of the second Liapunov Transcendental Etude .. excellent playing, I think;

Offline pianogeek_cz

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #16 on: April 01, 2007, 03:40:18 PM »
Whee that's beautiful! But being d sharp minor... killer... Why didn't he write it a semitone lower??  ::)
Be'ein Tachbulot Yipol Am Veteshua Berov Yoetz (Without cunning a nation shall fall, [But] Salvation Come By Many Good Counsels)

Offline kriskicksass

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #17 on: April 01, 2007, 05:01:30 PM »
Whee that's beautiful! But being d sharp minor... killer... Why didn't he write it a semitone lower??  ::)

A semitone lower? Why? Just write the **** thing in E-flat minor and save our eyes!

Offline mephisto

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #18 on: April 01, 2007, 06:00:21 PM »
Whee that's beautiful! But being d sharp minor... killer... Why didn't he write it a semitone lower??  ::)

Is d sharp minor more difficult than other scales? Or do you mean that it is difficult to read due to of all the sharps?

Offline pianogeek_cz

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #19 on: April 02, 2007, 07:11:23 PM »
Don't know about you, but for me, reading d sharp minor is for some unknown reason twice as hard as virtually any other key. Really don't ask me why (I don't know!), a sharp minor is a non-issue, g sharp minor as well, but the blasted d sharp minor is just so confusing...

As for the scale - well, it's over all the black keys, shouldn't be a problem...

 ::) I have a feeling we've strayed slightly off-topic...
Be'ein Tachbulot Yipol Am Veteshua Berov Yoetz (Without cunning a nation shall fall, [But] Salvation Come By Many Good Counsels)

Offline bflatminor24

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Re: Transcendental etudes. What technique does each etude focus on?
«Reply #20 on: April 02, 2007, 08:17:51 PM »
Yeah D# minor is a pregnant dog.
My favorite piano pieces - Liszt Sonata in B minor, Beethoven's Hammerklavier, Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, Alkan's Op. 39 Etudes, Scriabin's Sonata-Fantaisie, Godowsky's Passacaglia in B minor.