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#2034675 - 02/17/13 10:18 AM Help with Vandall's Prelude No.4  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 194
Tech 5 Offline
Full Member
Tech 5  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 194
South Carolina
Hi all,
I'm wondering if anyone on this forum can give some advice on how to produce the intended sound when playing Vandall's Prelude No.4. I now have the notes memorized and feel sure its a matter of timing or proper pedaling or both but I can't seem to get the same beautiful flowing sound that I hear when I listen to it on youtube. I can't seem to get the left and right hands to connect as is required of this piece or so it would appear on the sheet music.

Any advice would be appreciated.


Virginia

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
J.Wooden
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#2034730 - 02/17/13 12:11 PM Re: Help with Vandall's Prelude No.4 [Re: Tech 5]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 291
btcomm Offline
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btcomm  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 291
California
Hi Tech 5 ---

I would say the first thing you should do is slow it down a bit. The video on YouTube that has Bruce Siegel playing is faster than the original recording that Robert Vandall plays. I have Vandall's book of preludes with a CD recording of each piece by Vandall himself and Prelude No.4 is not played quite as fast as Siegel's version. Just a thought.

#2034735 - 02/17/13 12:20 PM Re: Help with Vandall's Prelude No.4 [Re: btcomm]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 194
Tech 5 Offline
Full Member
Tech 5  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 194
South Carolina
Originally Posted by btcomm
Hi Tech 5 ---

I would say the first thing you should do is slow it down a bit. The video on YouTube that has Bruce Siegel playing is faster than the original recording that Robert Vandall plays. I have Vandall's book of preludes with a CD recording of each piece by Vandall himself and Prelude No.4 is not played quite as fast as Siegel's version. Just a thought.


Thanks for the advice. It does flow better when I play it more slowly. Maybe you're right in that there's no way I'll ever be able to play it at the speed and quality that Bruce Siegel does.


Virginia

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
J.Wooden
#2034988 - 02/17/13 09:04 PM Re: Help with Vandall's Prelude No.4 [Re: Tech 5]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014
Bobpickle  Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
I feel that with training, anybody can come to be able to bring to life an interpretation they hear in their head. It's taken me a little over a year to really start to be comfortable with the translation process - and it still takes a lot of hard work.

First of all, even if for but just a small phrase (a short logical section of the piece), work to hear a conception of the piece that you ultimately wish to be able to play. Next, slowly work phrase by phrase (work first/most on hard and/or technically difficult phrases). This is also best first practiced hands separately. Even if you have to practice each phrase at 10% tempo (or slower) at first when combining your two hands, the focus should always be on practicing your ideal interpretation - this is possible, even at first, because of the exaggeratedly slow tempo. Practice each section this way until you can play without mistakes (then force yourself to still practice a little bit more) and in time and with patience, the piece will slowly speed itself up as the hours/days/weeks progress




This is a really good video on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th5ljgUP9lg


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
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#2035108 - 02/18/13 04:01 AM Re: Help with Vandall's Prelude No.4 [Re: Bobpickle]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 194
Tech 5 Offline
Full Member
Tech 5  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 194
South Carolina
Originally Posted by Bobpickle
I feel that with training, anybody can come to be able to bring to life an interpretation they hear in their head. It's taken me a little over a year to really start to be comfortable with the translation process - and it still takes a lot of hard work.

First of all, even if for but just a small phrase (a short logical section of the piece), work to hear a conception of the piece that you ultimately wish to be able to play. Next, slowly work phrase by phrase (work first/most on hard and/or technically difficult phrases). This is also best first practiced hands separately. Even if you have to practice each phrase at 10% tempo (or slower) at first when combining your two hands, the focus should always be on practicing your ideal interpretation - this is possible, even at first, because of the exaggeratedly slow tempo. Practice each section this way until you can play without mistakes (then force yourself to still practice a little bit more) and in time and with patience, the piece will slowly speed itself up as the hours/days/weeks progress.

This is a really good video on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th5ljgUP9lg



Thanks, Bob for your advice and thanks for the video recommendation. I have watched some of JW's videos before but not this particular one. I will try to implement what I've learned from it. I tend to play all the way through a piece because it makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something. However, what I'm accomplishing is playing poorly....so, I'll try to follow the "small section at a time" procedure. Thanks, again.


Virginia

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
J.Wooden
#2035164 - 02/18/13 09:10 AM Re: Help with Vandall's Prelude No.4 [Re: Tech 5]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,391
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,391
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by Tech 5
Originally Posted by btcomm
Hi Tech 5 ---

I would say the first thing you should do is slow it down a bit. The video on YouTube that has Bruce Siegel playing is faster than the original recording that Robert Vandall plays. I have Vandall's book of preludes with a CD recording of each piece by Vandall himself and Prelude No.4 is not played quite as fast as Siegel's version. Just a thought.


Thanks for the advice. It does flow better when I play it more slowly. Maybe you're right in that there's no way I'll ever be able to play it at the speed and quality that Bruce Siegel does.


The fastest way to learn to play fast is to play slowly.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2035367 - 02/18/13 04:33 PM Re: Help with Vandall's Prelude No.4 [Re: Tech 5]  
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,106
PianoStudent88 Online content
4000 Post Club Member
PianoStudent88  Online Content
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,106
Maine
Virginia, as others have said, practice it slowly and take it in pieces. You mentioned that you don't feel like you are transitioning smoothly from the LH to the RH.

Here is how I'm approaching it: You might just take one measure and play it very slowly in a loop, over and over. Listen for evenness and smoothness between the notes. Do they all sound exactly alike in terms of time and dynamics? (Actually, stylistically I prefer to feel that I'm shading off the volume on the last of each set of four eighth notes.). When you like how it sounds, start to play slightly faster. Don't play faster than you can keep it sounding smooth. When in doubt, play it slower.

Do you have a teacher? You want your wrists (and arms and fingers) to be flexible as you move throughout the piece. Tension or rigidity will slow you down, and also get in the way of a fluid sound at any speed. Your teacher should be able to demonstrate this.

When you've gotten comfortable with one measure, go on to the next, looping at a slow speed and only speeding it up as you build fluidity.

Once you've worked through the measures, start linking them up by practicing two measures at a time. E.g. mm.1 and 2 together, then 2 and 3 together, etc. Pay particular attention to making the changes of hand position smoothly and without hesitation. You might practice it blocked, to get very clear on the hand positions, if the changes are a challenge.

Usually when practicing fragments, I practice each fragment along with the first note or notes of the following fragment, but I didn't feel the need to follow that so strictly with this prelude. Working on the flow of each single group one measure at a time, and then practicing the connections two measures at a time, and then more measures at a time, felt like sufficient linkage.

As a personal preference, except for the LH crossover in m. 16, I take all the treble clef notes in the RH. My hand is not phenomenally large, but it's large enough (reach of a ninth) that most of these are easy reaches in one hand for me.


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