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Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys #2743663
06/11/18 03:37 PM
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Roshan Kakiya Offline OP
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Which pieces require the lowest and/or highest keys of a piano that contains 88 keys?

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Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2743688
06/11/18 05:50 PM
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L'escalier du diable.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2743692
06/11/18 05:59 PM
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Robert Muczynski uses the lowest note in at least two pieces - the prelude opus 6 #6 and the Toccata opus 15. That prelude also ends on the highest and lowest Bb, so almost the whole range of the piano.

Sam

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2743730
06/11/18 07:45 PM
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There have been a couple of threads on this before. I will see if I can look them up when I get a chance. But right off the bat I can tell you that there are many pieces that use the bottom note (heck, Scriabin alone wrote many such pieces, and I play two Griffes pieces that use the bottom note), and not so many that use the top note (Tcherepnin for one wrote a few...also Kabalevsky...I play one each of those composer's "high note" pieces).

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Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2743734
06/11/18 08:01 PM
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The highest C is played several times in the last few measures of the piano part of Copland's Billy the Kid Suite.


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Henry F. Miller Pedal Piano, Decker Brothers Concert Grand, Knabe Grand, Chickering 135 Grand, Mathushek Orchestral Square, Baldwin Hamilton, Challis Harpsichord
Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2743757
06/11/18 10:29 PM
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highest Kapustin Etude no 1
lowest Jeux d'eau / L'isle joyeuse

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2743775
06/12/18 12:11 AM
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Ravel's Scarbo (from Gaspard de la nuit) uses the lowest note.

That A and the A# that follows it appear to be used as substitutes for G and G# which (it appears) would have been used if those notes were present. I assume that when performers play on pianos that have extra notes on the bottom, they play the low G and G# rather than the written notes, although I can imagine that some might play the written notes either out of some sense of 'authenticity' or because of thinking that Ravel really meant the A and A#, not just that he wrote them because the G and G# weren't there.

I'd guess that Ravel used the low A in other pieces too (Dan mentioned Jeux d'eau), including maybe in the earlier movements of Gaspard, but Scarbo is the only piece of his that I know has it.

Scriabinfanatic mentioned Scriabin. I've played the last two Sonatas and don't recall the bottom or top notes appearing in them, but I'm not surprised that Scriabin used such notes, including maybe in either of those pieces.

Also, I use the bottom A at the end of Schumann's Kreisleriana, although that's highly questionable (and sort of a wise-guy thing to do) grin and I wouldn't do it in something like a competition. That last passage is a sequence that goes lower and lower, ppp (i.e. super soft), and which would seem to 'want' to end on the G below the lowest note, which didn't exist for Schumann and isn't present on most modern pianos either. Schumann wrote a rise to the G above. So, what I do is, I do go down -- to the low A, which is the lowest note available, and since the dynamic is "ppp," I figure that it will seem as though it's G, because that's the logic of the passage. Of course people who know the piece would know it couldn't be a G, assuming that it's on an 88-key piano, but otherwise, I think very few people would suspect it's a 'wrong' note.

I don't know how often pianists who are playing on a piano with the extra bass notes do go down to low G on that last note rather than up to the one above. I'd guess that most don't.

There's a similar issue, even on 88-key pianos, in pieces by Mozart and Beethoven that were written when keyboards were shorter than they are now, where the passages seemingly were written in an artificial only because the more logical notes didn't exist. Some pianists just follow the written notes; some go up higher to the 'logical' thing.

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2743793
06/12/18 02:13 AM
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Poulenc Toccata ends on the lowest A.


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Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: AZNpiano] #2743794
06/12/18 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Poulenc Toccata ends on the lowest A.

Is that so!!

Funny, I don't see him moving from the middle of the keyboard.... grin


Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2743798
06/12/18 02:48 AM
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Jean Françaix wrote a scherzo that uses the lowest and highest As at the same time.


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Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2743858
06/12/18 10:28 AM
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OK, here is the previous thread I was thinking of on this subject (pieces using highest and lowest keys): http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2078439/1.html And within that thread is a link to another such thread.

Only one such Scriabin piece is mentioned in those threads: the Seventh Sonata, which uses both the highest and lowest notes on the piano. Some additional Scriabin pieces which use the lowest note "A" are: Preludes op. 11 no. 7 and op. 13 no. 2, Etude op. 8 no. 6, and Sonatas number one, six, and eight. Another Scriabin piece which uses the top note "C" on the piano is the Valse op. 38.

Two Charles Griffes pieces I play which use the low "A": Three Preludes (1919), (the first prelude), and the Sonata (I only play the middle movement, which does use the A).

As mentioned in those other threads, there are some Tcherepnin bagatelles (op. 5 no. 10 is the one I play) and a Kabalevsky prelude (op. 5 no. 2, a nifty/fun little piece!) which use the top "C".

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2743862
06/12/18 10:36 AM
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Brahms uses A0 three times in the Rhapsody in G minor, Op. 79, No. 2.
He uses A0 in the third measure from the end of the Intermezzo, Op. 118, No. 1.

Grieg uses A0 in the opening of the A minor Piano Concerto, Op. 16 and again in the first movement cadenza.
He uses A0 in the last measure of Schmetterling (Butterfly), Op. 43, No. 1

Regards,

Last edited by BruceD; 06/12/18 10:37 AM.

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Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: BruceD] #2743866
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Bruce: In the Grieg, isn't it just in the orchestra, not the piano?

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Mark_C] #2743870
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Bruce: In the Grieg, isn't it just in the orchestra, not the piano?

The opening piano flourish uses the bottom A at the start of the two-handed upward arpeggio.

BTW, apart from the Ligeti piece I mentioned earlier, there are other contemporary works that hit the notes at both ends of the keyboard in the same piece, like Carl Vine's Piano Sonata No.2 which ends with a mighty ffff A minor chord that includes the lowest note. (Why Vine, who's Australian, didn't write for the Stuart & Sons with extended notes at both ends is a mystery.....). His Sonata No.1 starts with a "silent" chord that uses the lowest A. And it also hits the highest C eventually.

I don't play Messiaen (too boring), but I believe quite a few works of his use the extreme notes too, though not in the same piece as far as I know.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2743882
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I saw a concert of modern South American music a while back. One of the pieces had the highest and lowest notes repeated over and over (quite obnoxiously from what I remember).

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Mark_C] #2743890
06/12/18 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Bruce: In the Grieg, isn't it just in the orchestra, not the piano?


No; after the opening downward octave passage, there is an ascending broken arpeggio A-minor upward flourish (measure 4) that starts on A0.

Regards,


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Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2744017
06/12/18 11:27 PM
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Liszt's Dante Sonata, according to Leslie Howard, was the first work to use the lowest note on the modern piano.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB59i99Wxc4

At 14:06

Last edited by pianojosh23; 06/12/18 11:28 PM.
Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: pianojosh23] #2744080
06/13/18 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by pianojosh23
Liszt's Dante Sonata, according to Leslie Howard, was the first work to use the lowest note on the modern piano.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB59i99Wxc4

At 14:06


I had read the same thing.

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2744127
06/13/18 11:29 AM
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I got close yesterday. Paderewski nocturne ends on low b flat. It’s almost A, right? laugh

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2744719
06/15/18 04:03 PM
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Prokofiev’s Third Concerto ends on the highest C.

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2744729
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Originally Posted by Roshan Kakiya
Which pieces require the lowest and/or highest keys of a piano that contains 88 keys?


What will you be using this information for?


Bösendorfer 170
Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Lakeviewsteve] #2744732
06/15/18 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lakeviewsteve
What will you be using this information for?


http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...pianos-contain-88-keys.html#Post2743364.

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2744760
06/15/18 09:29 PM
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Alain Morisod's "Le Petit Garçon au Piano" uses the top C, and could have used the D above to keep a particular phrase consistent.


What do snowflakes and Chickerings have in common? There are no two exactly alike!
Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2745758
06/19/18 11:13 PM
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The Ossia cadenza in Rachmaninoff's 3rd concerto, first movement uses the lowest note of the piano.

It's a fairly easy note to hit. The notes a few measures before and a few measures after it? Not so much.

Last edited by computerpro3; 06/19/18 11:18 PM.
Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2745981
06/21/18 02:23 AM
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Debussy : prelude from pour le Piano ends on an atpeggiated chord that starts at A0

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2745982
06/21/18 02:54 AM
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I'm just now learning "Une Barque sur la Ocean", and Ravel uses the lowest note on the keyboard, A, actually written as G#, which doesn't exist on my 88 keyboard.


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Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2745990
06/21/18 04:43 AM
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Olivier Messiaen's "Neumes rythmiques" has a recurring motif which uses the bottom A, B flat and B as well as high G, G sharp and A.

The last movement of Ravel's "Sonatine" asks for bottom A in one bar.

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2754166
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Ooh. Just started De Falla’s Canto de los Remeros del Volga, and it has repeated satisfying digs into that low A.

I’d never heard this piece before. I bought it in a music store in Madrid last year in a book of six De Falla pieces that had something else I was looking for (“Canción”) and am only now looking through what else I bought. And they’re all treasures.

Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2754199
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Ravel was mentioned for Jeux D’eau and Gaspard. The third movement of the Sonatine also has bottom A.

Jeux D’eau arguably calls for the G# below bottom A but that wasn’t available to him. (I realize that’s controversial)


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Re: Pieces that require the highest and/or lowest piano keys [Re: Roshan Kakiya] #2754256
07/28/18 02:01 AM
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Ginastera Sonata 1, last movement. Maybe the others too, I don't remember.

Ravel Left Hand Concerto, not sure if that was mentioned already or not.

EDIT: I think he also uses it in the Concerto in G, first movement? I should remember, I played the thing!

Last edited by Orange Soda King; 07/28/18 02:02 AM.
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