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Topic: Progressive Pieces  (Read 10415 times)

Offline ryno200sx

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Progressive Pieces
on: April 05, 2005, 07:24:56 AM
Before I begin.....I am new to this forum and I would like to say thank all those who contribute.....I have found your collective advice/tips/experiences to be invaluable. As I said before in another post I feel like I've hit the piano jackpot.  ;D The amount of knowlege here is absolutely amazing. My will to become proficient as a pianist has been strengthened by the information I've found here.

That said, I have read the threads by Bernhard and others regarding a long term plan. At this early point in my studies (I've been playing for about a year) I do not even have 100 pieces that I would like to play, I have closer to 20 or 30 (probably because I haven't been exposed to enough classical music yet). Among them are the following:

-Liszt-Consolation No.3
-Debussy-Reverie
-Scriabin-Op 11-10
-Scriabin-Op 11-5

My question is what is a logical progression to prepare me for these pieces? I took lessons for about a year, but I had to stop temporarily. I want to play these pieces so bad I can taste it, but they seem out of my range right now.

I am definitely motivated but it would motivate me even more to know that I am working on a progression to get me to pieces of the caliber of those mentioned above.

Also, at 27 years old, how long do you think it would take me to get to this level of pieces if I am praticing 30-45 minutes a day?

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Ryno 

Offline bernhard

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #1 on: July 22, 2005, 02:04:06 AM

These pieces are not all that difficult (about grade 6 – 8), yet to a beginner they may seem completely daunting. Each has a certain number of difficulties, the more so, the less experienced the player is.

Have you tried tackling any of these pieces? If so, can you pinpoint what particular difficulties you found? Maybe everything was difficult. Maybe you could manage most of the piece except for two or three bars. If so what was it on those two or three bar that made it completely impossible? Once you know the answers to these questions, it is not difficult to find repertory of quality that will help you get to grips with your difficulties. The more specific the difficulty, the easier and the more appropriate will be the suggestion for a repertory.

Imagine you go to a doctor and say: “Doctor I do not feel very well. I would like to feel well, and I heard you have a number of remedies. Which do you suggest I take?” You get the idea.

But many times beginners do not have even the minimum experience to answer this sort of questions. So I will give some guidelines for Debussy’s “Reverie”, and maybe you will be able to supply more specific information for the other pieces.

Reverie.

Difficulties:

1.   Polyrhythms.
2.   Bringing out the melody over a subdued, arpeggiated figuration.
3.   Pedal use.
4.   Balancing melodic lines in a chorale-like figuration (second part).
5.   Facility to play arpeggios in the left hand.
6.   Facility to play chords, octaves and broken chord/octaves on the right hand.
7.   Maintaining a long melodic line shared between both hands.
8.   Lack of familiarity with “impressionist” music.

Now, you could tackle and master all these difficulties by just working on this piece – rather than wait to acquire these facilities and then play the piece.

On the other hand, it can be demoralising to spend a couple of years struggling with 3 or 4 bars.

So, it is always a good idea to find some piece that is worthwhile musically, and learn it before. This will allow you to acquire the technique necessary to tackle the more difficult piece and at the same time add – in usually a short time – a new piece to your repertory.

So here are some options. Don’t feel that you have to learn all of these before embarking on Reverie. I am giving you choices since I don’t know your tastes or your actual difficulties. They are specific to each of the 8 difficulties above, and I have divide in five levels: level 1 a complete beginner can tackle. Level 5 is just below Reverie itself. For each level I will try to provide at least one piece. As I said, you do not need to learn all these pieces, or even start at level 1. However a complete beginner who came to me in his first lessons and said “I want to learn Reverie”, I would suggest that s/he learned one piece for each level before tackling Reverie (yes, that is right , 40 pieces! But many of them overlap to a certain extent, so it will not be that many in the end).

[to be continued…]
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline bernhard

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #2 on: July 22, 2005, 02:05:07 AM
[…continued from previous post]

Lack of familiarity with “impressionist” music.

There are very few “impressionist” pieces at the “easy” level.

Level 1:

Jon George – “Reflets dans l’eau” – Beautiful piece, with a calm melody over a simple, repetitive arpeggiated pattern. Total beginners can learn this in the same lesson, so easy it is.

Level 2:

Zita Bruzaite - “Dedication to cloud”

Level 3:

Mona Rejino – “Cathedral Echoes”

Level 4:

Delius – “Waltz for a little girl”

Level 5:

Debussy – “Album leaf”. Arguably the easiest piece  Debussy ever wrote – but by no means easy. Once you can do that, you are ready for the rest of his works.

Facility to play arpeggios in the left hand.

Level 1:

Jon George – “Reflets dans L’eau”

Level 2:

Scarlatti – “Sonata k382”

Level 3:

Ludovico Einaudi: “Nefeli” from “I giorni” (Ricordi).

Level 4:

Ludovico Einaudi: “Le onde” from “Le Onde” (Ricordi)
Ludovico Einaudi: “Julia” from “Eden Roc” (Ricordi)
Erik Satie: Gnossiene no. 4

Level 5:

Schubert: Impromptu op. 142 no. 2 (second part)

Balancing melodic lines in a chorale-like figuration (second part).

Level 1:

Czerny: Evening calm

Level 2:

Schumann: “Ein Chorale” from “Album for the young” op. 68 no. 4.
Schumann: “Larghetto” op. 124 no. 13

Level 3:

Chopin prelude Op. 28 no. 20.
Schumann – “Albumblatter I” op. 99 no. 4

Level 4:

Grieg – “Student’s serenade” – Op. 73 no. 6

Level 5:

J. S. Bach – Menuet 2 from Partita no. 1 in Bb

Bringing out the melody over a subdued, arpeggiated figuration.

Level 1:

Alan Hovahness – “Sleeping cat” from “Mr. Purple Poverty book” op 349 no.

Jon George – “Reflets dans l’eau.

Level 2.

Granados – “Dedication” – Op. 1 no. 1
Burgmuller – “The Clear stream” op. 100 no. 7

Level 3.

Ludovico Einaudi – Nefeli.
Adolf Jensen  - “Lied”
 
Level 4.

Ludovico Einaudi: “Le onde” from “Le Onde” (Ricordi)
Ludovico Einaudi: “Julia” from “Eden Roc” (Ricordi)
Fauré – Romance sans paroles no. 3
Satie – Gnossiene no. 4

Level 5.

Schubert – Impromptu op. 142 no. 2 (Trio)

Maintaining a long melodic line shared between both hands.

Level 1.

Schumann – “Wiegenliedchen” – Op. 124 no. 6
Heller – Etude op. 47 no. 15

Level 2.

Burgmuller – “The clear stream” op. 100 no. 7

Level 3.

Ludovico Einaudi – Due tramonti from “Eden Roc” (Ricordi)

Level 4.

Adolf Jensen – “Lied”

Level 5.

Any J. S. Bach 2-voice invention or sinfonia.

Facility to play chords, octaves and broken chord/octaves on the right hand.

Level 1.

Heller – etude op.46 no. 22
Level 2.

Mendelssohn – Christmas piece op. 72 no. 1
Schumann – “Vision” op. 124 no. 14

Level 3.

Mendelssohn – Song without words op. 30 no. 3

Level 4.

Scarlatti – “Sonata K213”

Level 5.

Mendelssohn – Song without words op. 62 no. 3

Polyrhythms.


Level 4.

Delius – Prelude no. 2

Level 5.

Phillip Glass – Overture.


Pedal use.


All of the above.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline illusion

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #3 on: July 23, 2017, 03:04:29 AM
[...]

So, it is always a good idea to find some piece that is worthwhile musically, and learn it before. This will allow you to acquire the technique necessary to tackle the more difficult piece and at the same time add – in usually a short time – a new piece to your repertory.

So here are some options. Don’t feel that you have to learn all of these before embarking on Reverie. I am giving you choices since I don’t know your tastes or your actual difficulties. They are specific to each of the 8 difficulties above, and I have divide in five levels: level 1 a complete beginner can tackle. Level 5 is just below Reverie itself.  [...]


Gosh I miss Bernhard - great advice for someone who is without a superb guide.

Thanks, Bernhard (I can use this example of progressively difficult pieces - i love Debussy's Reverie)

Offline outin

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #4 on: July 23, 2017, 06:05:52 AM
Quote from: bernhard link=topic=7967.msg113579#msg113579
[b
Level 2: [/b]

Scarlatti – “Sonata k382”

Really??



Not that it needs to be quite that fast but it is allegro and alla breve...

Offline keypeg

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #5 on: July 23, 2017, 06:53:26 PM
I could not listen more than 30 seconds to that freight-train race.  How about this:


In any case, what you wrote is beside the point.  Bernhard was talking of particular skills, and where they are found in pieces, so that they can be taught within the piece, instead of as an exercise.  In order for you to be able judge this at all, you would need to know how he is teaching it, in what kinds of stages, toward what kind of outcome.  To simply go by a tempo indication is not a correct way to judge.  This teacher did not teach in any kind of simplistic way.  Also, a teacher cannot possibly give an idea of his full approach, even for appreciation by other teachers who may know what is involved, in such a medium.

edit: I just listened to more of it.  Bernhard talked of arpeggios.  The first ones start at 0:09 - there is a scalar passage, and then more arpeggios, all within a short range, and repeated.

Btw, I hear phrasing and expression in this child's playing.  It was musical.  If the other performance was musical, perhaps my ear missed it.  Since I don't have a "fast ear" did I in fact miss it?

Offline outin

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #6 on: July 23, 2017, 10:16:11 PM
I could not listen more than 30 seconds to that freight-train race.  How about this:


In any case, what you wrote is beside the point.

I have played this piece and my point was that it is quite difficult to be called level 2 and reduce it into an arpeggio study.

It is actually quite amazing how Soyen Lee is able to play that fast and still have phrasing and expression. But I guess it's also a good example on how it can be too difficult for the listener to follow when pieces are played in high tempo.

BTW that kid is on the "level" of playing Chopin etudes, so no wonder he has no trouble with this one.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 12:26:42 AM
I have played this piece and my point was that it is quite difficult to be called level 2 and reduce it into an arpeggio study.
You don't know whether Bernhard has "reduced it" to an arpeggio study, and you don't know what or how he teaches whatever he teaches.   He also did not call the piece level 2 (whatever levels might mean) - he said that he uses it to teach the arpeggios that occur at that level.  I know something about Bernhard as a teacher.  I have often seen that teachers have respect for the judgment of other teachers, and take time to find out more, before rendering quick judgment.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #8 on: July 24, 2017, 02:08:31 AM
There are several things about this  Progressive list that do not make sense, if this is supposed to be skill development in order to play reverie. .....with the grade 5 in each level, according to his explanation easier than Reverie.

 Since we cannot ask Bernhard how he used this list or adapted any of the repertoire, it would be almost impossible for a self learner to use this with any success 

Offline outin

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #9 on: July 24, 2017, 04:00:27 AM
.   He also did not call the piece level 2 (whatever levels might mean) ...

He did exactly that and he also somehow explained what he means with levels, level one being easy enough that a "complete beginner can tackle". He posted his list as advice to a poster here, not as an explanation of his teaching strategy. So it will be judged as that whether you like it or not.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #10 on: July 24, 2017, 04:41:28 AM
He did exactly that and he also somehow explained what he means with levels, level one being easy enough that a "complete beginner can tackle". He posted his list as advice to a poster here, not as an explanation of his teaching strategy.
It is under the title "Facility to play arpeggios in the left hand".  And it is linked to his teaching - how can it be otherwise?  What bothers me is your quick judgment, and assumption that you know exactly what he meant (and judgment on the same).  Again, it is also linked to what and how he teaches it, and it may not be at all how you approached or played it as a student.  I think that a teacher would say "Can you tell me more?" rather than coming up instantly with judgments.

Offline mjames

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #11 on: July 24, 2017, 04:53:15 AM
Since we cannot ask Bernhard how he used this list or adapted any of the repertoire, it would be almost impossible for a self learner to use this with any success  

You don't need to, Bernhard has outlined his teaching methods in multiple posts; you're going to have to sniff out his post history for it. What Keypeg has said is pretty much on point.


(and it works).

Offline outin

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #12 on: July 24, 2017, 05:12:43 AM
It is under the title "Facility to play arpeggios in the left hand".  And it is linked to his teaching - how can it be otherwise?  What bothers me is your quick judgment, and assumption that you know exactly what he meant (and judgment on the same).  Again, it is also linked to what and how he teaches it, and it may not be at all how you approached or played it as a student.  I think that a teacher would say "Can you tell me more?" rather than coming up instantly with judgments.

It seems to me you jumped into conclusions about "quick judgement" yourself. This is not even the first time the difficultyof this sonata has come up.

I have read enough of Bernhard's posts here to know something about his teaching philosophy and methods and that we share an enthusiasm on Scarlatti sonatas as teaching material. He has posted lists of sonatas in order of difficulty, which I find very useful. But I also think he has sometimes misjudged the difficulty of an individual sonata and this is one of those cases. Why you feel the need to jump into his defense without actual experience on that piece is beyond me. I am sure Bernhard can live with some critical review of his posts in addition to the praise he often receives here.

If the aim is to play this piece decently and in a way that it was intended by the composer IM (somewhat educated)O it's in the wrong slot, that's all.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #13 on: July 24, 2017, 06:42:56 AM
You don't need to, Bernhard has outlined his teaching methods in multiple posts; you're going to have to sniff out his post history for it. What Keypeg has said is pretty much on point.


(and it works).


I have read bernhard's posts for many hours, but in my opinion, this one cannot be used by self learner as Bernhard is not around to answer questions about the difficulty ratingthat he provided,  please look at the repertoire listed, can you honestly tell me that all of these are easier than Debussy Reverie?   That is the  hypothesis   

Unless you can do that, this discussion is not on point.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #14 on: July 24, 2017, 06:52:20 AM
Duplicate

Offline keypeg

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #15 on: July 24, 2017, 07:37:44 AM
It seems to me you jumped into conclusions about "quick judgement" yourself.
I did not conclude quick judgment.  I observed it.
Quote
This is not even the first time the difficulty of this sonata has come up.
Except that it is not about the difficulty of the sonata.  It is about using the sonata for a particular skill.
Quote
Why you feel the need to jump into his defense without actual experience on that piece is beyond me.
I did not "jump in".  I posted.  And it was not in defense of anyone.
Quote
If the aim is to play this piece decently and in a way that it was intended by the composer IM (somewhat educated)O it's in the wrong slot, that's all.
That may not have been the aim.

Offline mjames

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #16 on: July 24, 2017, 08:33:39 AM
please look at the repertoire listed, can you honestly tell me that all of these are easier than Debussy Reverie?   That is the  hypothesis  

Uh, yes? That includes the scarlatti too. Don't get what the big deal is, everything in that list is completely accessible to a beginner and they're totally capable of playing it decently.

Only reason I wouldn't recommend the list is because most of it is boring. lol

Offline outin

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #17 on: July 24, 2017, 09:02:42 AM
Uh, yes? That includes the scarlatti too. Don't get what the big deal is, everything in that list is completely accessible to a beginner and they're totally capable of playing it decently.
That was amusing, lol

Offline mjames

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #18 on: July 24, 2017, 09:08:01 AM
That was amusing, lol

Thanks, I aim to impress.

Offline outin

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #19 on: July 24, 2017, 09:08:50 AM
I did not conclude quick judgment.  I observed it.Except that it is not about the difficulty of the sonata.  It is about using the sonata for a particular skill.I did not "jump in".  I posted.  And it was not in defense of anyone.That may not have been the aim.

And how were you able to observe me making my judgement? Spy cam?

Using that sonata for that specific skill for a near beginner is exactly to reduce it into an exercise in LH arpeggios which I do not approve but obviously cannot prevent...

Offline mjames

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #20 on: July 24, 2017, 09:35:11 AM


Using that sonata for that specific skill for a near beginner is exactly to reduce it into an exercise in LH arpeggios

Eh, no.

Offline outin

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Re: Progressive Pieces
Reply #21 on: July 24, 2017, 11:57:30 AM
Eh, no.


You are free to disagree...






If you don't mind being wrong ;)
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