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#2255922 - 04/02/14 12:34 PM The Great Romantic Pedal Wash  
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TwoSnowflakes Offline
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Note to Anonymous Pianists Playing On Solo Piano Compilation Albums: The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal. You do not need to drive your piano to make it go when playing pieces written after the early 1800s. Romantic music will come out even if you don't lead foot the piece from start to finish.

What's more, Schumann may have even intended some of those staccato marks. They might not be typos.

I know, I know. It's insane to even contemplate.

Next week we'll talk about how Not All Brahms Must Sound Schmaltzy. But only when you're ready. I don't want to rock your world too much too soon.

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#2255927 - 04/02/14 12:38 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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How would I get through Beethoven without putting the pedal to the metal???


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#2256013 - 04/02/14 02:50 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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Pedalling is a very interesting topic - one that, while the composer's wishes, if known, must be respected, is somewhat dependent on the quality of the piano. Larger pianos with a lot of resonance and natural sustain need less pedal to ensure a sostenuto line when needed. Sometimes, the only way to get any sound out of a POS is to pedal just about every note.

#2256042 - 04/02/14 03:38 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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The sostenuto pedal allows you to hold some notes even while you play others staccato. Learning to use the sostenuto pedal is a great exercise for learning how to use the sustain (damper) pedal properly, and enables a good pianist to use the latter sparingly.

If you press the sostenuto pedal before you play any notes, it will not make any difference in the sound of the piano, even if you hold it through the entire piece. There just is no point to doing that.


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#2256045 - 04/02/14 03:54 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
Note to Anonymous Pianists Playing On Solo Piano Compilation Albums: The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal. You do not need to drive your piano to make it go when playing pieces written after the early 1800s. Romantic music will come out even if you don't lead foot the piece from start to finish.

What's more, Schumann may have even intended some of those staccato marks. They might not be typos.

I know, I know. It's insane to even contemplate.

Next week we'll talk about how Not All Brahms Must Sound Schmaltzy. But only when you're ready. I don't want to rock your world too much too soon.
This sounds like a rant from an angry teacher who just gave a lesson to some students who overused the pedal. Or maybe from a student who just got yelled at by their teacher for overusing the pedal.

The fact is, however, that the sustaining pedal(not the sostenuto pedal as stated) is and should be used extensively in Romantic music by all great pianists. Of course, one can overdo anything.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/02/14 03:57 PM.
#2256066 - 04/02/14 04:46 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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But given the difference between the pianos available to the romantic composers and the pianos of today, the damper pedal probably should not be used as much as indicated on the score.


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#2256067 - 04/02/14 04:49 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
Note to Anonymous Pianists Playing On Solo Piano Compilation Albums: The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal. You do not need to drive your piano to make it go when playing pieces written after the early 1800s. Romantic music will come out even if you don't lead foot the piece from start to finish.

What's more, Schumann may have even intended some of those staccato marks. They might not be typos.

I know, I know. It's insane to even contemplate.

Next week we'll talk about how Not All Brahms Must Sound Schmaltzy. But only when you're ready. I don't want to rock your world too much too soon.
This sounds like a rant from an angry teacher who just gave a lesson to some students who overused the pedal. Or maybe from a student who just got yelled at by their teacher for overusing the pedal.

The fact is, however, that the sustaining pedal(not the sostenuto pedal as stated) is and should be used extensively in Romantic music by all great pianists. Of course, one can overdo anything.


For me the issue is that the pianos of Chopin's day had much less sustain and resonance than our modern high tension pianos. Chopin could stick his foot on the damper pedal and leave it there for very long phrases without blurring the sound. If I follow the published pedalling for his works on my BB it is horrible. An example - Ballade Op.23, meas. 33 fioritura is marked as pedal throughout the measure. Too blurry.

#2256071 - 04/02/14 04:55 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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Sostenuto is an odd duck. I find a lot of pianos on which it doesn't work correctly, and a lot that never had it in the first place. It was tried by some makers all the way back to the 1840's, but didn't become widely available until the early 20th. century. It seems like a good idea, but not really a marketplace success....


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#2256079 - 04/02/14 05:00 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: JohnSprung]  
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Sostenuto is an odd duck. I find a lot of pianos on which it doesn't work correctly, and a lot that never had it in the first place. It was tried by some makers all the way back to the 1840's, but didn't become widely available until the early 20th. century. It seems like a good idea, but not really a marketplace success....

I used to use it on pianos that didn't have enough bass sustain to use half-pedalling effectively. Now that I have a piano with good sustain, I don't use it anymore except when indicated in the score.

#2256083 - 04/02/14 05:03 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: prout]  
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Originally Posted by prout
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
This sounds like a rant from an angry teacher who just gave a lesson to some students who overused the pedal. Or maybe from a student who just got yelled at by their teacher for overusing the pedal.

The fact is, however, that the sustaining pedal(not the sostenuto pedal as stated) is and should be used extensively in Romantic music by all great pianists. Of course, one can overdo anything.


For me the issue is that the pianos of Chopin's day had much less sustain and resonance than our modern high tension pianos. Chopin could stick his foot on the damper pedal and leave it there for very long phrases without blurring the sound. If I follow the published pedalling for his works on my BB it is horrible. An example - Ballade Op.23, meas. 33 fioritura is marked as pedal throughout the measure. Too blurry.
Yes, but I don't think that changes anything I wrote. My guess is that much of Chopin's pedal indications will work quite well on modern pianos. At the least the should always be considered as a possibility.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/02/14 05:06 PM.
#2256095 - 04/02/14 05:25 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by prout
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
This sounds like a rant from an angry teacher who just gave a lesson to some students who overused the pedal. Or maybe from a student who just got yelled at by their teacher for overusing the pedal.

The fact is, however, that the sustaining pedal(not the sostenuto pedal as stated) is and should be used extensively in Romantic music by all great pianists. Of course, one can overdo anything.


For me the issue is that the pianos of Chopin's day had much less sustain and resonance than our modern high tension pianos. Chopin could stick his foot on the damper pedal and leave it there for very long phrases without blurring the sound. If I follow the published pedalling for his works on my BB it is horrible. An example - Ballade Op.23, meas. 33 fioritura is marked as pedal throughout the measure. Too blurry.
Yes, but I don't think that changes anything I wrote. My guess is that much of Chopin's pedal indications will work quite well on modern pianos. At the least the should always be considered as a possibility.


I agree absolutely.

#2256102 - 04/02/14 05:41 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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D'oh, I meant the sustain pedal. I must have sostenuto pedal on the brain from having to use it elsewhere.

#2256112 - 04/02/14 06:13 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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Any reason for this sudden (sort of) rant?

Good pedalling can mean using it everywhere, but still maintaining a clear sound. Gieseking was famous for his pedalling, but his sound is remarkably transparent.


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

#2256167 - 04/02/14 09:34 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: Kuanpiano]  
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Originally Posted by Kuanpiano
Any reason for this sudden (sort of) rant?

Good pedalling can mean using it everywhere, but still maintaining a clear sound. Gieseking was famous for his pedalling, but his sound is remarkably transparent.

A truly great 'peddler' of music. wink

#2256176 - 04/02/14 10:43 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: Kuanpiano]  
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Originally Posted by Kuanpiano
Any reason for this sudden (sort of) rant?

[...]


I, too, am wondering what prompted this.

Regards,


BruceD
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#2256254 - 04/03/14 07:51 AM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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My teachers recommended little or no pedalling in baroque or classical works ("finger-pedalling"), sparse pedalling in Schubert, only enough in Brahms, and even in Debussy/Ravel, economic pedalling and avoiding smearing of harmonies. My "new" instrument however, has a weak treble (no sympathetic strings...they are all damped), and I found that the high treble sounds best with the pedal down (even though there are no dampers there!). So I may have added more pedal lately than I ever have before. Others on this site have warned that some digitals seem to invite over-pedalling (perhaps because of the limited sustain??). So give a break for those not practicing what they preach...today


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#2256255 - 04/03/14 07:54 AM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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I didn't read it as a rant at all. I've had the same reaction after listening to pianists who (though much better than me) rely too much on the sustain pedal.


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#2256294 - 04/03/14 10:15 AM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal.


If only...

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

#2256307 - 04/03/14 11:01 AM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: WellTemperedPizza]  
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Originally Posted by WellTemperedPizza
Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal.


If only...

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

What.....how do you even find something like that?? I just keep staring at it


Poetry is rhythm
#2256309 - 04/03/14 11:05 AM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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That is so cool. The only thing is he doesn't die, which is one solution for those who put the pedal to the metal on a piano.

#2256335 - 04/03/14 12:07 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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Looks like modded GTA5.

#2256339 - 04/03/14 12:09 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: prout]  
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Originally Posted by prout
Sometimes, the only way to get any sound out of a POS is to pedal just about every note.

My friend has one of these pianos. Nailing the pedal to the floor ALMOST gets it to hold a note. Playing a Chopin nocturne is impossible. I'll stick to Bach on that piano.

#2256388 - 04/03/14 01:47 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal.


.... But the damper pedal is maybe a little bit like the clutch pedal on a stick shift car: The skill and finesse is more in how you let them up than in how you push them down, right?



-- J.S.

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#2256391 - 04/03/14 01:58 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: JohnSprung]  
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes
The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal.


.... But the damper pedal is maybe a little bit like the clutch pedal on a stick shift car: The skill and finesse is more in how you let them up than in how you push them down, right?


Well said.

#2256519 - 04/03/14 08:12 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: BruceD]  
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Kuanpiano
Any reason for this sudden (sort of) rant?

[...]


I, too, am wondering what prompted this.

Regards,


LOL, I guess it does seem a little on the hysterical side for me.

Sorry.

It was a frustrating commute to work. I usually listen to music on my way in (surprise, surprise!) and I had searched for a Schumann piece on my streaming service before I started driving. Unfortunately, because traffic was frustratingly bad I then had almost zero opportunity to safely adjust anything so I ended up hearing almost 20 versions of the same piece right in a row, and it just felt like everybody was overpedaling the whole thing and it was just a big ol' overwrought, sappy affair.

I got to work annoyed and a wee bit frustrated, haha.

I'm over it now, lol.

#2256545 - 04/03/14 09:10 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes

It was a frustrating commute to work. I usually listen to music on my way in (surprise, surprise!) and I had searched for a Schumann piece on my streaming service before I started driving. Unfortunately, because traffic was frustratingly bad I then had almost zero opportunity to safely adjust anything so I ended up hearing almost 20 versions of the same piece right in a row, and it just felt like everybody was overpedaling the whole thing and it was just a big ol' overwrought, sappy affair.
If you were listening to professional recordings it is quite unlikely that most everybody, if even any of the pianists, were over pedaling.

What was the piece?


Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/03/14 09:11 PM.
#2256596 - 04/03/14 11:20 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by TwoSnowflakes

It was a frustrating commute to work. I usually listen to music on my way in (surprise, surprise!) and I had searched for a Schumann piece on my streaming service before I started driving. Unfortunately, because traffic was frustratingly bad I then had almost zero opportunity to safely adjust anything so I ended up hearing almost 20 versions of the same piece right in a row, and it just felt like everybody was overpedaling the whole thing and it was just a big ol' overwrought, sappy affair.
If you were listening to professional recordings it is quite unlikely that most everybody, if even any of the pianists, were over pedaling.

What was the piece?



You have a higher opinion of professional pianists than I do. I recall being terribly disturbed by Rudolf Serkin pedaling through the staccato notes in Schubert's D. 960 Sonata.


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#2256879 - 04/04/14 05:40 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: WellTemperedPizza]  
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Well Tempered Pizza,
What I really love are the skid marks...
Are those clips from the Grand(Piano)TheftAuto videogame???
Thanks for the laughs.

Last edited by BWV846; 04/04/14 05:42 PM.

Joseph

"If at first you succeed, try to hide your astonishment."
#2256932 - 04/04/14 07:54 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: BWV846]  
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Originally Posted by BWV846
Well Tempered Pizza,
What I really love are the skid marks...
Are those clips from the Grand(Piano)TheftAuto videogame???
Thanks for the laughs.

You're welcome! Yes, they're from a mod for GTAIV.

#2258480 - 04/08/14 01:58 AM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]  
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IMO Perfect amount of pedal:

[video:youtube]-Nfdve3huIA[/video]

[video:youtube]EjVaE2IiXy0[/video]

[video:youtube]K9fkT-Q9dW4[/video]

Currently attempting to ween myself off of it.


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