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#1955982 - 09/08/12 03:00 PM Bartok - Etude op. 18 nr 3  
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fnork Offline
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Helsinki, Finland
Alright, this is recently started and it seems Bartok wanted to put in as many notes and meter changes as possible in the first pages. The meter changes are mostly in place, the right notes aren't always in place. In any case, would be very happy to hear some feedback on this.

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=47931.0

#1956190 - 09/09/12 12:55 AM Re: Bartok - Etude op. 18 nr 3 [Re: fnork]  
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Kreisler Offline
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Iowa City, IA
Very nice work! I don't play the piece, but it's been a favorite for years and I know how annoyingly awkward it is.

They way I hear it, I think the LH could have a bit more sweep, it's almost too clear. Beware voicing the RH, too - I think the piece is more lyric than it lets on. (The outer sections are sostenuto with lots of slur/phrase indications; the middle section is more leggiero/staccato.)

Definitely makes me want to go practice some Bartok - it's been too long!


"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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#1956219 - 09/09/12 04:58 AM Re: Bartok - Etude op. 18 nr 3 [Re: fnork]  
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fnork Offline
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Thanks a lot for having a listen and commenting wisely! Very useful. I know what you mean with the left hand - I feel that it's a bit of a "modernized version of the revolutionary etude" to some extent (similarly, the cadenza passage in the lyrical 2nd etude in this set always reminds me of the middle section of Chopin's op. 10 nr 3...and melodically, I hear a hint of Brahms op. 118 nr 6 there, as well). As my teacher said, he seems to try out new ways of using that old arpeggio formula, just like Debussy did in his arpeggio etude. At the same time, however, he specifies sempre leggiero for the left hand. So far, I've played this rather dryly, with almost no pedal. It works in its own way, but yes, the sweeping feeling is lost. By the way, I am not sure about your sostenuto remark? The very opening measures and closing measures are "Rubato" of course - but once the left hand pattern comes in and accelerates, Tempo guisto at 100 on the dotted quarter note is what Bartok asks for - the "molto sostenuto" is clearly just for the bars accelerating into Tempo guisto. Now, I don't necessarily play it at exacly 100...Generally speaking, I take Bartok's tempo indications somewhat slower in this set. I'll upload the rest of it at some point...

Yes, go and practice some Bartok! I want to learn the remaining concerti I haven't played (only performed the 3rd so far), but just looking at the score of the 2nd makes me tired. However, I know some very well-known pianists who say that even something like the 2nd concerto felt "easy" comparing with performing the op. 18, heh.

Last edited by fnork; 09/09/12 07:08 AM.
#1956377 - 09/09/12 12:25 PM Re: Bartok - Etude op. 18 nr 3 [Re: fnork]  
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fnork Offline
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Actually, having spent plenty of time today and yesterday with slow practicing, something I've hardly done with this piece at all until now, made me realize how right you are regarding the sweeping left hand and the slurrings/phrase indications. Only after laborious (but rarely tedious) slow practicing do certain aspects of this piece come up to the surface - issues with voicing, timing of crescendi/diminuendi and so on. And like Jerome Lowenthal says - whenever a composer writes "sempre", the one thing they NEVER mean by that is "always". "Sempre leggiero" as a basic touch, sure, but well phrased and paced. And at times more legato-like. This is a funny opus, it just grows on me and every practicing session is interesting!

#1956600 - 09/09/12 08:18 PM Re: Bartok - Etude op. 18 nr 3 [Re: fnork]  
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Tim Adrianson Online content
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That's a pretty neat etude! Considering when it probably was written, it prophesies the sense of boogie-woogie jazz. I've recently ben working on a piece called "Fire Waltz -- Hommage to Bartok", one of the piano "etudes" of contemporary composer Augusta Read Thomas. I never knew what the allusion was until I heard this piece, and it quite clearly evokes the spirit of Etude 18-3 -- a kind of free-form jazz.

Incidentally, I have the score for 18-1 ( never knew that until you posted 18-3) -- is that worth working on?

#1956607 - 09/09/12 08:24 PM Re: Bartok - Etude op. 18 nr 3 [Re: Tim Adrianson]  
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ScriabinAddict Offline
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Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Incidentally, I have the score for 18-1 ( never knew that until you posted 18-3) -- is that worth working on?


Absolutely! But be warned, it's fiendishly difficult (As are the other Bartok Etudes).

#1956614 - 09/09/12 08:37 PM Re: Bartok - Etude op. 18 nr 3 [Re: fnork]  
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Kreisler Offline
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Iowa City, IA
Op. 18 is probably the most difficult of Bartok's solo works (if not the most difficult.) Sonata and Out of Doors are probably in second place along with the Dance Suite transcription, with the Op. 14 Suite and Improvisations coming in a bit after.

All of it is masterful music, and the "easier" works are delightful as well.

Just heard one of my former teachers play a transcription of the Concerto for Orchestra a few months ago, too. Truly amazing music. (Based on the Sandor transcription but with much of his own material as well.)


"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)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
#1956780 - 09/10/12 06:22 AM Re: Bartok - Etude op. 18 nr 3 [Re: fnork]  
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fnork Offline
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fnork  Offline
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The dance suite is probably very challenging indeed, for some reason a lot of pianists I know are playing this lately. Not having heard any great performances of it so far, I keep thinking it's so much less interesting than the orchestral version. I'm VERY curious about the Concerto for Orchestra however! As far as I know though, Sandor just edited it and made a few minor changes (in "unplayable" passages and so on). As far as I recall, the history of the transcription is that it was meant to be choreographed, so there was a need for an orchestral reduction - same as with La Valse.


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