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una-corda foot position
#2815263 02/14/19 04:48 PM
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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6KMGcOYHSs0

Following a recent post on the una-corda pedal in the tech forum I became interested in left foot placement on the uc pedal. In many of the professional pianist concerts I have seen the pianist keeps their left foot resting on the uc pedal (right on the sustain). I have found it facilitates my foot work keeping my foot in this position. It took a little while to get used to the balance change but I now can use the uc without thinking about it, just adjusting aurally.
The link above with Lisitsa is typical (the opentopped sandels are not but who knows- they may help). Note this is not the adagio movement where you may expect the uc pedal to be used. What are others' experience with this?

Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 02/14/19 04:49 PM.
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Re: una-corda foot position
Sanfrancisco #2815266 02/14/19 04:53 PM
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For me, it's quite comfortable - and often the case - to rest my left foot on the una corda without using it in a piece.

You might want to post this in the Pianist Corner as well.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: una-corda foot position
Sanfrancisco #2815303 02/14/19 05:41 PM
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Some teachers are quite adamant that the foot should stay flat on the floor unless needed for the u. c. Has to do with balance and posture, I suppose. But, I tend to keep my left foot on that pedal, also.

I knew a local teacher who didn't want the right foot on the damper pedal when it's not being used, say for much of Bach's music. I think that was to break the over-pedaling habit. Those students would really fumble around, putting the foot on and off, if the damper pedal were being used intermittently, however.

Didn't Horowitz always keep both feet on the pedals?



WhoDwaldi
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Re: una-corda foot position
Sanfrancisco #2815422 02/14/19 10:25 PM
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Re Horowitz:

He made liberal use of the una corde pedal and so kept his left foot on it in passages marked ppp through mf, but once he reached f-fff, he pulled his left foot under the bench to give him more leverage in the loud passages. In this YouTube video, go about 16 minutes in and 40 minutes in to see this. He actually lifts himself off the bench slightly when he wants maximum power.

Horowitz played idiosyncratically, like many great pianists. He figured what worked for him to achieve the sound he wanted. The Steinway he played was regulated to his specifications and supposedly had a very light touch and very hard hammers, so it makes sense that he utilized the una corde quite a bit.

When I was young, I was taught to keep my feet off the pedals unless in use. In particular I was told to avoid using the una corde pedal in order to learn to play p-pp by controlling my fingers and arm weight to achieve these dynamics. My teachers postponed teaching proper pedal technique until I was just about out of the beginners stage.

Now, youth long gone, I keep my right foot close to the sustaining pedal but usually keep my left foot in a neutral position several inches from the una corde. I can balance on the bench better that way. If I need the una corde, my left foot can always find it. If I need power for ff-fff, I can move my left foot under the bench.


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Re: una-corda foot position
Sanfrancisco #2816165 02/16/19 01:54 PM
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Here’s what I do: I gently rest my right foot on the sustain pedal and either gently rest my left foot on The Una Corda pedal if I’m going to use it for that piece. If I won’t use it at all, I just put my left foot close by. I can quickly move my left foot under me for more leverage playing fff but in my home I rarely if ever play really loud.

I’ve always adored listening to Horowitz play. The way Horowitz played is pretty idiosyncratic and was also controversial. Watching him play in concert, sadly on TV, not live, I would become somewhat distracted by how he played physically and couldn’t fully concentrate on how he musically interpreted the Masters. However he moved to make the music he played is pretty inconsequential to how beautiful the music was played on that piano.


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Re: una-corda foot position
Sanfrancisco #2816425 02/17/19 03:05 AM
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Watching Tanya Gabrielian tonight I thought of this thread, her left foot was all over the place from side to side and back to front.


David



Re: una-corda foot position
supersport #2816492 02/17/19 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by supersport
Watching Tanya Gabrielian tonight I thought of this thread, her left foot was all over the place from side to side and back to front.

I noticed the same thing-I am sure it was because of this thread that I paid attention to her feet.



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Re: una-corda foot position
Sanfrancisco #2816615 02/17/19 03:20 PM
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FWIW - my (last) teacher, Peter Feuchtwanger stressed sitting, balanced on the tail bone, both feet on the pedals (R->Damper, L->Una Corda). In my experience, it helps me sit for longer periods with my spine upright. There's a picture, "balanced sitting" in "Body Mapping for Pianists" that shows this clearly.

Things get interesting, however, when playing while reading music from a tablet or computer. The pedals that come with AirTurn, e.g., are difficult for me to use, so I bought another which is similar in size, shape, and pressure to activate as a regular (piano) pedal. I put the page turning pedal adjacent to the Una Corda pedal. Sometimes I can do an automobile style toe to toe use, pressing the page turn pedal and returning my left foot to the una corda; other times I find myself lifting the foot somewhat.

Grist for the mills. Good Day to All.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
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Re: una-corda foot position
Sanfrancisco #2816650 02/17/19 04:49 PM
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I use Air Turn and I don't have to think "time to press the pedal now", when I get to the bottom of the page, my left foot automatically taps the pedal. When I play another piano without it my foot still involuntarily taps the nonexistent pedal! Makes no difference if my left foot is resting on the una-corda. When holding a sostenuto note I can't release the pedal without losing the note so I have to tap the screen with my finger to turn the page. I have found the auto page turner to be an enormous plus to the fluidity of playing longer pieces. No more having to memorize the last measure as I fumble to turn the page- I found this to always be distracting. Now it's instantaneous.

Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 02/17/19 04:53 PM.
Re: una-corda foot position
Sanfrancisco #2816668 02/17/19 05:43 PM
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