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Playing with a stretched open hand should be avoided, if possible. And by using the pedal, it can be avoided. I have been playing this since my very early teens and always religiously held onto the top note but very recently, have realised that it serves no purpose and that I can play the accompaniment with non-isolated fingers and a closed hand. And it feels so much better!
The fact that professionals do something doesn't mean amateurs should emulate them. After all, they have been practising eight hours a days since their early childhood and their bodies are more habituated to movements that for the rest of us would be potentially harmful.
I think part of the answer depends on hand size. Those with fairly large hands might not find it uncomfortable or difficult to play with a stretched open hand in this piece but those with a smaller hand might benefit. I just tried it on the piano after not playing it for 50 years and realized my natural or comfortable tendency is to hold the top note only part of the time. I think the note can held with the pedal or both the finger and pedal so I'm half taking back what I said a few posts ago haha.
Thank you for the tips. I am finding it difficult to do the suggestions and improving slowly. I am not sure why I am struggling with it. Does anyone have any tips ? I decided not to play it for a recital as I cant see it being ready for 2 weeks so am not in a rush now.
Moo, singing tone is a myth. The only variables when playing a single note is volume and duration. So as pianists, we have to create the illusion of singing tone.
One other observation. Each melody note is pedaled, so why are you hanging onto it? By keep your fifth finger in place, you are subjecting the rest of the hand to unnecessary tension and twisting that makes control of the accompaniment harder.
There's an awful lot of psychology in making music. The pianist does a whole lot of things that have no effect whatsoever on his actual output. When did you last see a pianist sitting bolt upright making no unnecessary movements or facial expressions? But these grimaces contortions and cuddling of notes have a profound effect on how the performer himself experiences the music. So although Waxwing is (almost) correct in his analysis of the physics, maybe holding down a note unnecessarily can make better sense of the music as experienced by the performer. And if he is happier with his music maybe his actual output will be happier too.
I am holding the notes with the pedal because my teacher has taught me to play holding the notes down and not to let go and hold notes with the pedal. My teacher has given me some advise on shaping the melody yesterday. He explained that the time signature is odd, 4 minum in a a bar, with very long bars. So rather than it sounding like 8 crotchet beats it should sound like 4 minums beats. So when I have 4 crotchets in a row to play them (louder, softer, louder, softer). I found it very helpful. Thanks.
Moo, I think it not a good idea to look for tips here, as you say. But I would also counsel you not to be too accepting of your teacher, or any teacher. To quote Neil Stannard: "If a student asks why he or she should do something a certain way, and the teacher doesn't have an answer, the student should ask for his money back!" Ask him what is the justification for holding onto a note when it is being pedaled in any case, given the strain it puts on your hand which in turn affects the evenness of the accompaniment.
I think in future I'm going to rely on my teacher tips and not post progress videos again online. I think I just get inpatient. But thanks for the tips.
That's a shame because you pick such nice pieces! I have the D935 impromptus but not the D899. No 3 is really nice and I'm sure you'll get there with it. It's on my list..... Thanks for posting - much appreciated.