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How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. #1690714
06/05/11 12:34 AM
06/05/11 12:34 AM
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JdhPiano924 Offline OP
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I am curious of the technical difficulties of the first movement of the Estampes by Debussy.

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Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: JdhPiano924] #1690721
06/05/11 01:29 AM
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You of all people asking such a question? smile

I think you just set the record for most-advanced-person asking how hard something is....

Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: Mark_C] #1690762
06/05/11 04:35 AM
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Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted by Mark_C
You of all people asking such a question? smile

I think you just set the record for most-advanced-person asking how hard something is....


I was thinking the same.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: JdhPiano924] #1690888
06/05/11 10:32 AM
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It's not bad for your fingers, but bad for your feet; the pedalling and balancing the voices is the main issue, not so much fingerwork.


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

Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: JdhPiano924] #1690980
06/05/11 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jdhampton924
I am curious of the technical difficulties of the first movement of the Estampes by Debussy.


Why not try it and see?


BruceD
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Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: BruceD] #1691032
06/05/11 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by jdhampton924
I am curious of the technical difficulties of the first movement of the Estampes by Debussy.

Why not try it and see?

Exactly.
That's why this kind of question always puzzles me -- and when it comes from a very advanced pianist, it puzzles me utterly.

Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: Mark_C] #1691041
06/05/11 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by jdhampton924
I am curious of the technical difficulties of the first movement of the Estampes by Debussy.

Why not try it and see?

Exactly.
That's why this kind of question always puzzles me -- and when it comes from a very advanced pianist, it puzzles me utterly.


Maybe he just doesn't have the notation in his possession yet. Why not just take the question at face value rather than being so puzzled?

Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: ando] #1691042
06/05/11 04:12 PM
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Because it's dumb. smile

And these days, you don't need to have the sheet music in your possession. You can find it easily online.

Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: Mark_C] #1691044
06/05/11 04:15 PM
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Ok then... A bit harsh, I would have thought.

Btw, I have never gone looking for piano music online. I have all of it as real sheets.

Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: ando] #1691048
06/05/11 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ando
....Btw, I have never gone looking for piano music online. I have all of it as real sheets.

I know that this is off the subject, but....I have good news for you. smile

There's a whole wonderful world right there for you!
Even speaking as someone who much prefers "the real thing" (i.e. actual sheet music), I have found the online scores EXTREMELY helpful.

Usually, in fact, it's about sheet music that I have, but I just want to look up something (like when there's a discussion on this site about the piece) and it's easier and faster to do it on the computer than to go get the score.

And sometimes it's to look at a piece that I didn't know, and maybe to read through it a bit -- and then very often I go and buy the sheet music.

The best-known site for this is IMSLP (International Music Score Library Project). It's an excellent site, and you can find almost any piece there -- usually multiple different editions.

Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: Mark_C] #1691051
06/05/11 04:25 PM
06/05/11 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Because it's dumb. smile

And these days, you don't need to have the sheet music in your possession. You can find it easily online.


Like you, I was surprised at the question, which I think isn't terribly useful. However, the harshness of "dumb" inspires me to play devil's advocate.

Not all difficulty is apparent from looking at the music. Or from reading through a piece, or even spending a few weeks on it. For some pieces, there are some overall difficulties-- getting passages up to speed, or endurance issues, interpretation issues or the challenge of sustaining concentration-- that might not really present themselves until the piece has been studied for a long while. You might get insight on these challenges from someone who has performed the work that you wouldn't get starting out on your own.

That said, since these things vary so much from person to person, who knows how useful these insights might be-- or if they might not even hinder. That's why I don't think it a useful question. But it's not necessarily dumb. smile

-J


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: beet31425] #1691058
06/05/11 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
....That said, since these things vary so much from person to person, who knows how useful these insights might be-- or if they might not even hinder. That's why I don't think it a useful question.....

Yes indeed. That's yet another dimension to it.

I invite you to suggest an alternate word to "dumb." ha
(If you think that was too harsh!) And since you're trying to be precise about the linguistics, you have to make sure that your alternative isn't too mild!! smile

Or at least it has to be less too-mild than 'dumb' was too-harsh! grin

P.S. I didn't mean that he is dumb, just that the question was.
God knows, I've asked some dumb things in my time..... ha

Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: BruceD] #1691084
06/05/11 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by jdhampton924
I am curious of the technical difficulties of the first movement of the Estampes by Debussy.


Why not try it and see?


Playing devil's advocate a bit:

Reading through a piece doesn't always reveal the chief difficulties. I remember when I first learned the Alborada del Gracioso, I started with the repeated notes because they looked the most difficult at first glance. Only when I started getting the piece up to tempo did I realize that there are a few other spots that stubbornly resist improvement.

I can also see where someone, upon reading through the first Ginastera sonata for example, wouldn't find it all that difficult, but having played it, I can pinpoint a few passages that, while not that difficult to learn or read through under tempo, prove extremely difficult to polish and get "just right."


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: JdhPiano924] #1691099
06/05/11 06:18 PM
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^^ Agreed with the responses by Kreisler and Jason, and here's my own example:

What's the hardest part of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody no. 6? Must be those ridiculous octaves in the last section, right? Or those two cadenzas that are super-fast??

Nope...somehow this page (the short presto in C sharp major) is turning out to be the hardest of them all...and it's not something you'll realize by listening to a recording or reading the score.
[Linked Image]

Last edited by Kuanpiano; 06/05/11 06:19 PM.

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Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: Kreisler] #1691219
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
Playing devil's advocate a bit:

Reading through a piece doesn't always reveal the chief difficulties. I remember when I first learned the Alborada del Gracioso, I started with the repeated notes because they looked the most difficult at first glance. Only when I started getting the piece up to tempo did I realize that there are a few other spots that stubbornly resist improvement.

I can also see where someone, upon reading through the first Ginastera sonata for example, wouldn't find it all that difficult, but having played it, I can pinpoint a few passages that, while not that difficult to learn or read through under tempo, prove extremely difficult to polish and get "just right."

As an advanced player, wouldn't you want to find that out for yourself, and in your own way?



(Let me take a 'wild swing' at your answer: YES.) ha

Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: JdhPiano924] #1691874
06/07/11 09:03 AM
06/07/11 09:03 AM
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Excuse me for butting in after only making a handful of previous posts:

But, I was excited when I saw this topic, because I was expecting to see a discussion between all of the people on this board whose ability and opinions I greatly admire on the technical and musical challenges posed by this work. I am thinking of starting work on it myself, so that would have been very enlightening.

I very much doubt that when the OP asked his question, he was really looking for an arbitrary quantitative measure of the difficulty. I think he wanted to start a discussion in which he and the rest of us could have learned something from the experiences of others who have already worked on it.

Unfortunately, that discussion did not happen. The question was deemed stupid. The OP has resolved to never ask such a stupid question again. I have learned nothing. An opportunity has been lost.

Sorry everyone, just my opinion.

K.


Last edited by Okiikahuna; 06/07/11 09:15 AM.
Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: Okiikahuna] #1691878
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Originally Posted by Okiikahuna


Instead the whole thing got shut down because his question was deemed stupid.


Yes, and since he hasn't been back to post since then, one wonders whether he has been driven away by such a harsh reception. I really hope not.

Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: ando] #1691883
06/07/11 09:25 AM
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Well, jdhampton has been a regular poster here for a good while now, and I've noticed sometimes he's gone for a little while at a time, so I don't think he's been driven away by this thread.

And yes, I know many people here (sometimes me) get aggravated by threads like these, but I feel it IS worth discussing. Maybe I would have worded it slightly different, like "For those who have played this piece, what are some insights/pieces of advice you can give to me? How easily/quickly did you learn this piece? How difficult did you find it compared to some other pieces in your rep?" You know, asking people here for their personal experience. That seems to go over a little better.

Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: Kreisler] #1691946
06/07/11 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by jdhampton924
I am curious of the technical difficulties of the first movement of the Estampes by Debussy.


Why not try it and see?


Playing devil's advocate a bit:

Reading through a piece doesn't always reveal the chief difficulties. I remember when I first learned the Alborada del Gracioso, I started with the repeated notes because they looked the most difficult at first glance. Only when I started getting the piece up to tempo did I realize that there are a few other spots that stubbornly resist improvement.

I can also see where someone, upon reading through the first Ginastera sonata for example, wouldn't find it all that difficult, but having played it, I can pinpoint a few passages that, while not that difficult to learn or read through under tempo, prove extremely difficult to polish and get "just right."


The problem with this generalized discussion is that each of us comes to a new piece with our own set of experiences, our own technical and musical conceptions. So passages that might seem difficult to one person are not necessarily difficult for another, or they might be difficult in a different way.

My first step with a new piece is to read through and mark the places that seem the most complex. That's where I start work; I figure it out until it isn't difficult anymore.

A violinist friend once told me about a lesson she had with Milstein in which she complained about how difficult a certain passage was. He replied that nothing is difficult when you know how. Simplistic, I know, but it's an underlying truth that is often shunted aside. If a passage feels difficult, even though it may sound great, it still hasn't been solved.


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Re: How technically difficult is Estampes: Pagodes by Debussy. [Re: ando] #1691962
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Originally Posted by ando
....one wonders whether he has been driven away by such a harsh reception. I really hope not.

I hope not too.

Just for the record smile the reason for what I said wasn't because of being annoyed, nor to insult anyone. And remember, when we post, we're not just answering the OP, we're talking to the community. Yes, in a couple of the later replies (when the OP wasn't participating -- he hadn't come back), I started having a little 'fun' with it, with other people, and that was a mistake. I could have done better with that, and I'm sorry about it.

But the reason for the gist of my replies was for the OP (and maybe other readers) to gain something. IMO they gain close to nothing from this particular subject being addressed exactly as asked. What they might learn is that they can't really learn much of anything from what others say about how hard the piece is, and that they have the capability with their own eyes and hands to find the answer for themselves. I'm pretty certain that the OP does, and actually I think we insult him more by telling him how hard something is than by assuring him that he has the ability to see it for himself.

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