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Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Damon #1482851 07/27/10 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
But what about piano transcriptions of an orchestral piece? Shouldn't one know of the orchestral version? That makes a little more sense to me...


Personally, I don't think it could hurt. I still don't think it's necessary. For my own part, I would never be able to learn operatic transcriptions if I had to listen to the original opera. laugh

Seriously though, why would you think a transcription should be treated differently, unless you wanted the option of disagreeing with the transcriber?



I feel like it would be a good idea in this case to listen to the orchestral version. Then you could get ideas about how to "color" your playing. I mean you can't really tell how to sound like different instruments from a piano score. And you can't get it from the orchestral score either unless you are really familiar with how different instruments sound. Or am I wrong in thinking that you should try to emulate orchestral sounds in piano transcriptions?

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
WinsomeAllegretto #1482868 07/27/10 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by WinsomeAllegretto
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
But what about piano transcriptions of an orchestral piece? Shouldn't one know of the orchestral version? That makes a little more sense to me...


Personally, I don't think it could hurt. I still don't think it's necessary. For my own part, I would never be able to learn operatic transcriptions if I had to listen to the original opera. laugh

Seriously though, why would you think a transcription should be treated differently, unless you wanted the option of disagreeing with the transcriber?



I feel like it would be a good idea in this case to listen to the orchestral version. Then you could get ideas about how to "color" your playing. I mean you can't really tell how to sound like different instruments from a piano score. And you can't get it from the orchestral score either unless you are really familiar with how different instruments sound. Or am I wrong in thinking that you should try to emulate orchestral sounds in piano transcriptions?


Now you just opened a whole other can of worms. I'll just say that, for me, pianos sound like pianos no matter how you play them. I would think a good transcription would provide indication in the score for leading "voices".

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Damon #1482897 07/27/10 10:56 PM
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Personally, I get acquainted with a piece mostly by listening to recordings and exploring what new music there is....if I like a piece a lot I'll listen to it a lot, and maybe I'll end up playing it.

But when studying the piece, I don't listen to recordings. I play by the score, and I try to explore what I can do with the piece. If I'm dried up, can't think of anything else to do, I'll maybe listen to a recording and see how far away my interpretation is from a professional, or to get some ideas, or to just get a fresh perspective. I think even Richter did that, where he listened to Michelangeli's recording of the Brahms Paganini variations while studying them. But it's important to listen with the score in your head, with your own interpretation in mind. An example being that I've listened to Chopin's ballade 1. Recently, I"ve been learning it as a birthday present for a friend, so I learned the notes, studied the score, etc. Built my own interpretation. I come back to Horowitz, Zimmerman, Richter, everybody, and listen to them with my own interpretation and view of the score in mind. I listen to them to see the possiblities of the piece and to see the limitations of my interpretation, and then I go back to study the score again. For some pieces, like the Waldstein, I've listened to it only once or twice again since starting the piece.


Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

Re: Is it less "worthy" to learn a piece only after hearing it?
Canonie #1482975 07/28/10 03:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Canonie
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Also, if you are learning a piano concerto, you SHOULD listen to recordings to hear the orchestra, especially how they interact with the piano, and how the piano plays some of the orchestra's themes and vice versa (WHILE studying score to SEE how it plays out, too).



I don't agree that you SHOULD listen to recordings when playing a concerto. Isn't the score guide enough? Why do we need to rely on a recording for any of these things? I'm not saying recordings are a bad thing (I love them), but reliance on your knowledge and musicianship, technique, etc., is a much better source than any recording.


Well, in the cases I gave, I meant to hear the ORCHESTRA part and to hear the orchestra's interplay with the piano. Does that make a difference or not?

It makes a difference only in that it is more difficult, but you can study everything you need to using the full score, audiation, and playing lines and chords as you need to keep your audiation on track. After enough study the orchestral parts are in your head and you can use your innner orchestra while practising (in the same way as if you had used recordings).

While this is by no means easy! and you have to have some experience with orchestral scores and be familiar with alto clef for viola and other technical issues, it's a wonderful exercise for developing your musicianship.

If you were not familiar with orchestral scores I'd recommend beginning with something like a Mozart concerto.

OSKing - I bet you would be capable of this. Do you think you could if there was a movement of a Mozart concerto that you weren't familiar with? Or would you find it too time consuming to bother?


I think this is great for musicianship and better understanding of the piece. But I have to say, I have doubts that most professional pianists regularly do it to any great degree when learning a concerto. It would be interesting to take a look at their music libraries to see how many full scores they own, rather than just piano reductions of the orchestral parts. I'm thinking that some of the brainier and more scholarly pianists might have a lot of full scores, but it wouldn't be the norm.

And of course, most of us classical music lovers these days have internalized all sorts of orchestral stuff from concertos already, without ever looking at the score, just because we've heard recordings of them so many times. For me, what often happens when looking at a score of music I know, instead of audiating what I see directly, I'll get a memory trigger of the music, so it's actually recognition of something I already know.

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