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Re: rythm
DragonPianoPlayer #1337682 12/31/09 08:06 AM
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I haven't been able to follow all the above posts completely but are the rhythmical problems/discussions here similar to those that would apply to Schumann's Des Abends?

Quite a while ago I remember asking why Schumann didn't notate that piece in a different rhythm like 6/8. I remember Kreisler gave the answer that made the most sense at the time. Unfortunaltely, I can't remember his explanation.

Re: rythm
pianoloverus #1337691 12/31/09 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I haven't been able to follow all the above posts completely but are the rhythmical problems/discussions here similar to those that would apply to Schumann's Des Abends?

Quite a while ago I remember asking why Schumann didn't notate that piece in a different rhythm like 6/8. I remember Kreisler gave the answer that made the most sense at the time. Unfortunaltely, I can't remember his explanation.


Because clearly (I think) Schumann wanted the piece to feel in 2, not 6 (unfortunately, most people end up playing it in 6 anyway).


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Re: rythm
Mark_C #1337704 12/31/09 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by MarkCannon
Originally Posted by BruceD
....I hear the right hand as two groups of triplets per beat....

In which recording? Everyone's?

I mean, I said I couldn't argue against it, but we gotta know what you're talking about, don't we..... ha

Isn't the essence of polyrhythm that it can be heard and understood in more than one way? To that extent, we can hear it the way we want to hear it.

The Waltz Op. 42 comes to mind, and maybe the first of the Trois Nouvelles Etudes is a better example still. In most editions, it's notated in common time. I wonder if most people tend to hear four beats per measure ... or two ... or three.

Steven

Re: rythm
Mark_C #1337730 12/31/09 09:57 AM
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Cortot explains it the best here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua8BuCEV9ck

Last edited by Keith D Kerman; 12/31/09 09:58 AM.

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Re: rythm
pianoloverus #1337746 12/31/09 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Quite a while ago I remember asking why Schumann didn't notate that piece in a different rhythm like 6/8. I remember Kreisler gave the answer that made the most sense at the time. Unfortunaltely, I can't remember his explanation.


It invites the player to give the melody a floating feeling, drifting outside of the notated meter.

Or at least I think that's what I said. laugh


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Re: rythm
Kreisler #1337775 12/31/09 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Quite a while ago I remember asking why Schumann didn't notate that piece in a different rhythm like 6/8. I remember Kreisler gave the answer that made the most sense at the time. Unfortunaltely, I can't remember his explanation.


It invites the player to give the melody a floating feeling, drifting outside of the notated meter.

Or at least I think that's what I said. laugh


Actually, I think you said something(?)about the bass but I'm not sure.
Is the rhythmical situation in Des Abends related at all to the one in Chopin Op. 25, No.2?

Also any relation to this piece, where Rachmaninov notates triplets in the inner voices but they seemed to be performed at least sometimes in groups of 2? (I don't undertand why sometimes the triplets seemed played as triplets and sometimes in 3 groups of 2)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjiFuafbxt8&feature=related













Re: rythm
DragonPianoPlayer #1337793 12/31/09 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DragonPianoPlayer
How about in Arrau's version?.....
I hear a very subtle interplay between the left hand and right hand in his version.

You know, there could be! I don't really "hear" triplets in the R.H. -- like, if I try to focus solely on the R.H. (which is extremely hard to do) and try to hear it in groups of 3, I just can't, even if I try very hard, which I did -- but yes, "something" is going on there, and I think the way you put it really describes it.

I'm willing to declare Arrau the champ as of now. smile
It's the only one so far that doesn't sound just like a simple/usual 6-against-3.

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Re: rythm
pianoloverus #1337801 12/31/09 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
......are the rhythmical problems/discussions here similar to those that would apply to Schumann's Des Abends?
Quite a while ago I remember asking why Schumann didn't notate that piece in a different rhythm like 6/8. I remember Kreisler gave the answer that made the most sense at the time. Unfortunately, I can't remember his explanation.

GREAT other example. Of course the pieces are extremely different, and I hope people won't be making too much of an analogy because the issues aren't exactly the same......but absolutely.

BTW.....I don't know the answer on Des Abends either, but there had to be something Schumann meant. Besides the fact that it has the extremely unusual meter of 2/8, and despite how the L.H. is pretty clearly 2 beats per measure, it usually sounds like 3, and really I've always heard it in 3, not 2. So, why didn't he just notate it in 3?

I saw Kreisler's later post. Sounds pretty good to me.

I'll be hearing Emmanuel Ax play it on Saturday. We'll see how he does. ha

Re: rythm
Mark_C #1337802 12/31/09 11:30 AM
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Mark,

I think your experience is common. I remember working very hard on this piece to get a triplet feel in the right hand. It would come and go, and then I had it. It felt clearly like triplets, and it sounded to me like triplets. When I played it for others who knew the piece, they could hear it. When I played for others who didn't know the piece, they could only hear it the way you hear it, until I slowed it down and exaggerated everything for them in an extreme way. Then they could hear it. When I played it for them again at tempo, they no longer could hear triplets in the RH.
It is one of the easiest of the etudes to play the notes, and one of the most difficult to play beautifully at speed, especially if you are obsessing about getting others to feel the RH the way you want them to. Some of the patterns lend themselves more obviously to a triplet feel and others don't, so even when I am listening to Cortot's masterful recording, it goes in and out of triplets for me as well. Then, I just listen to the overall effect he creates, and the expression, and I am very satisfied.


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Re: rythm
Thracozaag #1337804 12/31/09 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Thracozaag
[about Schumann's Des Abends].....Because clearly (I think) Schumann wanted the piece to feel in 2, not 6 (unfortunately, most people end up playing it in 6 anyway).

Well sure, that's the logical answer.
But the main question is "why" and how do we achieve it. As I think you sort of meant when you said "in 6," we usually hear it in 3, not 2, don't we? Which would mean that most performers don't do it, and so we don't hear it.

Any idea how you would make it in 2? Not really "do" the melody in the R.H.? Put sort of a stress on the 2nd beat in the L.H.? I'd play around with both of those, but I'm not sure either is a good idea......

Re: rythm
sotto voce #1337814 12/31/09 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by sotto voce
Isn't the essence of polyrhythm that it can be heard and understood in more than one way?.....

I don't think so; it depends. The essence is just that more than one rhythm at a time is going on, and I don't think the usual concept of it includes what you said. But anyway, in the Chopin example, the first couple of replies didn't seem to feel there was any polyrhythm going on, and the main reason I replied was to note that there is, and to point out that this was what legitimately caused the OP to have trouble seeing what was going on. It seemed that people initially were at a loss to see what made it hard for him.

Quote
The Waltz Op. 42 comes to mind.....

Very good other example too. In the waltz there isn't near as much of an issue about expressing the different rhythms in the two hands, but yes, the same basic thing is going on. Most performers do it real well, and while we might not really "hear" any beat of 3 going on, at least in a subtle way we do feel the 3 in the L.H.

Quote
......the first of the Trois Nouvelles Etudes is a better example still. In most editions, it's notated in common time. I wonder if most people tend to hear four beats per measure ... or two ... or three.

I thought it was in "cut time." If it's in common time, then yes, there's some of the same issue, it would perhaps suggest that Chopin means something even more than meets the eye.

Re: rythm
Keith D Kerman #1337815 12/31/09 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Cortot explains it the best here.....

LOL! Maybe he does. smile

Re: rythm
Keith D Kerman #1337820 12/31/09 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
I think your experience is common. I remember working very hard on this piece to get a triplet feel in the right hand. It would come and go, and then I had it. It felt clearly like triplets, and it sounded to me like triplets. When I played it for others who knew the piece, they could hear it. When I played for others who didn't know the piece, they could only hear it the way you hear it, until I slowed it down and exaggerated everything for them in an extreme way. Then they could hear it. When I played it for them again at tempo, they no longer could hear triplets in the RH.
It is one of the easiest of the etudes to play the notes, and one of the most difficult to play beautifully at speed, especially if you are obsessing about getting others to feel the RH the way you want them to. Some of the patterns lend themselves more obviously to a triplet feel and others don't, so even when I am listening to Cortot's masterful recording, it goes in and out of triplets for me as well. Then, I just listen to the overall effect he creates, and the expression, and I am very satisfied.

Great post, well said. I'm glad anyway that people aren't any longer making out like there's just no issue. smile

Even knowing the piece, I'm not able to hear the triplets when it's at tempo, not even in the Arrau recording which I think gives the greatest impression of "something going on." I think the Cortot gives the best impression of just total continuity, which after all may have been the main thing Chopin was going for.

Which I suppose is what WR said. smile

Re: rythm
Mark_C #1337823 12/31/09 12:06 PM
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WR,

I tried to edit my earlier reply but couldn't.
As per my above post to Keith, I decided you had it basically right. smile

I still mean all that little stuff I said, but I think it's quite possible Chopin's main intention was to convey what you said -- and I think the Cortot performance basically does exactly that.

Re: rythm
Mark_C #1337864 12/31/09 01:00 PM
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Chopin’s Etude Opus 25-2 (senza ped)

The time signature could have been 12/8 ... 12 representing the number of 8th-notes per measure ... instead Chopin’s signature is 4-time with each treble beat split into triplets.

Too many get into a hobgoblin flap at the sight of triplets ... and yet the treble is merely a continuous flowing single note outline ... 12 notes per measure against a regular 6-note chime by the LH.

Measures 1-18 get repeated at m20-37 ... Chopin uses a set LH note pattern ... the six notes follow a similar format with repeating notes at a and b ...

- a b - - a b

Here is a MIDI diagram of the opening 40 measures ... underlining the unbroken flow of the RH outline and supported by the regular pulse of the set LH rhythm.

[Linked Image]


Re: rythm
btb #1337871 12/31/09 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by btb
.....Too many get into a hobgoblin flap at the sight of triplets ... and yet the treble is merely a continuous flowing single note outline ... 12 notes per measure against a regular 6-note chime by the LH.

You're wrong. smile

If that were true, Chopin wouldn't have wasted his ink and time to write it as he did.
You're ignoring the fact that he went out of his way to do an unusual indication.

As per what WR and Keith said, that might be essentially the desired effect. But you're not right about the basic thing being simple in the way that you said.

Re: rythm
Mark_C #1337938 12/31/09 02:37 PM
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WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD!!!!!!!!


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Re: rythm
Horowitzian #1338030 12/31/09 05:26 PM
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Did anyone check out my spoilers on the first page?

Re: rythm
Horowitzian #1338104 12/31/09 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Horowitzian
WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD!!!!!!!!

It is -- if you can understand it.

Re: rythm
Mark_C #1338122 12/31/09 07:25 PM
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Without reading ALL of the posts above, I wonder if this is part of the problem: in the non-piano musical world I come from, a triplet isn't just any old three notes with a slur over them, it's three notes whose value is written as for instance, a value of 1.5 beats (say, three eighth notes), but which cover only 1 beat (a quarter note).

I never heard what I would call three full-value slurred notes called a "triplet" until I started piano. And in my world, a slur isn't really a phrasing mark as it is in piano, but a direct indication to blend the three notes together in one bowing or breath (something you can't do on a piano).

From the bowed instrument perspective, I'd call this two pairs of slurred notes, each given it's normal value, not a "triplet" as other are calling it. And I'd play them three-notes legato, a slight break, and three more notes legato again, but all with normal values and beat relationships.

In short, I think using the word "triplet" is confusing the issue but degrading it's usage to simply mean any three notes. At least outside of the piano world it would be.

Or do y'all call ten slurred notes a "decilet", for short. :-)

Last edited by Michael Darnton; 12/31/09 07:28 PM.
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