Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Who's Online Now
118 registered members (36251, akc42, bilb, Bobby Badd, Akaitsuki, Bachus, Abdol, Balezin Dmitry, 23 invisible), 1,397 guests, and 7 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? #2854997
06/02/19 06:49 PM
06/02/19 06:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
L
Living_tribunal Offline OP
Full Member
Living_tribunal  Offline OP
Full Member
L

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
My instructor thinks I need to diversify my repertoire away from Chopin (and I sadly agree). I'm a major Mendelssohn fan and want to learn a few pieces of his.

I decided on Albumblatt 117 in E-minor which is a very catchy and passionate piece. As with most all Mendelssohn pieces, the left hand is incredibly active performing perpetual bass line arpeggios. I swear that Mendelssohn must have been left handed at times.

I'm struggling with maintaining smooth legato with the left hand, especially with how far you're expected to stretch between your 3rd and 4th fingers. I won't sit here and complain about my smaller hands but do want to see how others have approached this piece and if they took their own path in terms of fingering.

Any feedback is helpful!

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855003
06/02/19 07:03 PM
06/02/19 07:03 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,250
Florida
dogperson Offline

Silver Subscriber
dogperson  Offline

Silver Subscriber
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,250
Florida
Can you list some of the measures numbers where you are having a problem?

Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855006
06/02/19 07:21 PM
06/02/19 07:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,954
Dublin
johnstaf Online crying
1000 Post Club Member
johnstaf  Online Crying
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,954
Dublin
Originally Posted by Living_tribunal
My instructor thinks I need to diversify my repertoire away from Chopin (and I sadly agree). I'm a major Mendelssohn fan and want to learn a few pieces of his.

I decided on Albumblatt 117 in E-minor which is a very catchy and passionate piece. As with most all Mendelssohn pieces, the left hand is incredibly active performing perpetual bass line arpeggios. I swear that Mendelssohn must have been left handed at times.

I'm struggling with maintaining smooth legato with the left hand, especially with how far you're expected to stretch between your 3rd and 4th fingers. I won't sit here and complain about my smaller hands but do want to see how others have approached this piece and if they took their own path in terms of fingering.

Any feedback is helpful!


Maybe I don't understand, but would most of the 3-4 in the LH be covered by pedal?

Stretching between the fingers at speed can lead to all sorts of problems. In this piece I would keep the LH in a fairly natural position and move the hand from left to right position each finger. With this technique, fast arpeggio playing becomes much easier, but you do have to practise it quite a bit before it becomes natural.

It's also a good idea, if the music allows, to keep the thumb gently touching the index finger initially. When you tell your hand to do this, it overrides the unconscious message to reach with the thumb before moving the hand. Sometimes it's necessary to reach, but not in the LH of this piece, unless there's the odd bit here and there.

Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855007
06/02/19 07:23 PM
06/02/19 07:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
L
Living_tribunal Offline OP
Full Member
Living_tribunal  Offline OP
Full Member
L

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Yes, I just started sight reading it yesterday and the first measure where things start to get stretched is 5. If you use the recommended fingering (only provided in the first measure of this score) you're going from E2 to C3 to F3# with your 5th, 3rd, and 2nd fingers respectively. I'm having issues really keeping legato smooth going from E2 to C3 and also that F3# with finger 2. I've tried to find videos with a top down view of pianists playing this piece and can't find one. From the side angles it looks like they are maintaining this fingering throughout the score.

This specific measure is also difficult going back down as it's both unnatural and hard to reset with the starting E.

I can place my thumb on that C and use 3 on the F# and 2/1 on the A but I don't think that will work for the tempo that's required.

Last edited by Living_tribunal; 06/02/19 07:33 PM.
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: johnstaf] #2855009
06/02/19 07:30 PM
06/02/19 07:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
L
Living_tribunal Offline OP
Full Member
Living_tribunal  Offline OP
Full Member
L

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
That's what I've been doing for the easier measures (the first three for example). You don't have to worry about resetting the starting E as there is a natural gap every time you start so after you make the first hop it's smooth sailing with the wrists.

Most of the other measures are difficult even with good wrist movement. I think other pianists are able to land their finger on the further notes fast enough so the gap is unnoticeable with good pedalling.

Last edited by Living_tribunal; 06/02/19 07:31 PM.
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855010
06/02/19 07:32 PM
06/02/19 07:32 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,250
Florida
dogperson Offline

Silver Subscriber
dogperson  Offline

Silver Subscriber
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,250
Florida
Measure 5: I would do 51 3 1 3 5 and then repeat. These are two separate phrases do I would not have a problem with the repeat ‘5’; just be careful that two 5’s in a row are not ‘bumped’ (from C back down to E)


Last edited by dogperson; 06/02/19 07:35 PM.

"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: dogperson] #2855012
06/02/19 07:34 PM
06/02/19 07:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
L
Living_tribunal Offline OP
Full Member
Living_tribunal  Offline OP
Full Member
L

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by dogperson
Measure 5: I would do 51 3 1 3 5 and then repeat. These are two separate phrases do I would not have s problem with the repeat; just be careful that two 5’s in s row are not ‘bumped’ (from C back down to E)




I think that's the only way to do it tbh although I might opt for finger 2 on the peak A as it's faster. .

Regardless, this will be exceptional left handed arpeggio practice!

Last edited by Living_tribunal; 06/02/19 07:37 PM.
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855020
06/02/19 08:05 PM
06/02/19 08:05 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,954
Dublin
johnstaf Online crying
1000 Post Club Member
johnstaf  Online Crying
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,954
Dublin
Originally Posted by Living_tribunal

I think that's the only way to do it tbh


I wonder why I bother sometimes.

Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855021
06/02/19 08:20 PM
06/02/19 08:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,108
M
Moo :) Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Moo :)  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
M

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,108
I have played a lot of Mendelssohn. I don’t think this sort of left hand is very common in his pieces. I have played a piece by his sister which has this pattern

https://youtu.be/ti1eZ2B63Ro

Although I have not played this my suggestion at high speed you need very simple fingerings. legato would done via the pedal. You can collect the hand as you go up and down. Collecting 5th as you go up and thumb as you go down.

Why not 5 4 2 1 2 4 5 for measure 5?

Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855022
06/02/19 08:23 PM
06/02/19 08:23 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,250
Florida
dogperson Offline

Silver Subscriber
dogperson  Offline

Silver Subscriber
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,250
Florida
Originally Posted by Living_tribunal
Originally Posted by dogperson
Measure 5: I would do 51 3 1 3 5 and then repeat. These are two separate phrases do I would not have s problem with the repeat; just be careful that two 5’s in s row are not ‘bumped’ (from C back down to E)




I think that's the only way to do it tbh although I might opt for finger 2 on the peak A as it's faster. .

Regardless, this will be exceptional left handed arpeggio practice!



The 2nd finger on the A creates an awkward stretch between the 2 and 3.

Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: johnstaf] #2855023
06/02/19 08:26 PM
06/02/19 08:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
L
Living_tribunal Offline OP
Full Member
Living_tribunal  Offline OP
Full Member
L

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by Living_tribunal

I think that's the only way to do it tbh


I wonder why I bother sometimes.



Your input was appreciated without a doubt and applicable in many measures of the piece. Watching professionals, they don't seem to crossover with the thumb handling this arpeggio however. This is on par with the recommended fingering at the start of the piece. Also, pedal can't fix choppy left hand, very smooth and fast legato is required for the bass in this piece. The gap from the E to C would be a bit cringey.

I think all things considered I'm going to have to use my thumb to cross over for now until I get a better understanding of the piece. I'll try to find some videos for how this specific measure is handled as switching from no thumb cross-over to using thumb in the more difficult measures could lead to consistency issues.

Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855027
06/02/19 08:35 PM
06/02/19 08:35 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,108
M
Moo :) Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Moo :)  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
M

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,108
I would suggest that you take this difficulty to your teacher. It is easy to go from a 5th for a bottom E to a 4th for a C but you need to move your hand rather than stretch. The pedal will legato so you let go of the 5th. If you can’t do this then wait until your teacher shows you. You won’t be able to play up to speed if you choose unnecessary complicated fingering. Good luck.

Last edited by Moo :); 06/02/19 08:39 PM.
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Moo :)] #2855029
06/02/19 08:40 PM
06/02/19 08:40 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
L
Living_tribunal Offline OP
Full Member
Living_tribunal  Offline OP
Full Member
L

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
That's interesting, most of my favorite Mendelssohn pieces; most everything in Songs Without Words, Op 104bb no 3, 104b no1 from his etudes, variations serieuses, his Caprices, his scherzos, etc. all have very strong left hands.

The fingering you provided is definitely what the score recommends and what others are doing but I just worry that the gap between E2 and B3/C3 would be too noticeable, even with pedal. You have to move the fingers so fast to hide it and get it sounding smooth. I'm wondering if I should take the time to really get your fingering down smooth or cross over with the thumb. I think crossing over with the thumb will be too slow once things come together and I'm in the polishing phase of the piece.

Looking at the other measures, they seem pretty straight forward and completely doable with the recommended fingerings so I might just go for it. If I can't stick it well with the fifth then I'll cheat a little bit with the pedal and crossing the thumb over (keeping what Brahms said about how he doesn't care how people play his pieces as long as they can play them in the back of my head).

Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Moo :)] #2855030
06/02/19 08:41 PM
06/02/19 08:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
L
Living_tribunal Offline OP
Full Member
Living_tribunal  Offline OP
Full Member
L

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by Moo :)
I would suggest that you take this difficulty to your teacher. It is easy to go from a 5th for a bottom E to a 4th for a C but you need to move your hand rather than stretch. The pedal will legato so you let go of the 5th. If you can’t do this then wait until your teacher shows you. You won’t be able to play up to speed if you choose unnecessary complicated fingering. Good luck.


Sound advice.

Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855031
06/02/19 08:43 PM
06/02/19 08:43 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,473
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
pianoloverus  Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,473
New York City
You may get some fingering ideas from this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdg9_NbYCcQ

These two have a much better close up of the LH:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXCErI_nDf8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh55Ic0vYlY

Last edited by pianoloverus; 06/02/19 08:45 PM.
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: pianoloverus] #2855032
06/02/19 08:45 PM
06/02/19 08:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
L
Living_tribunal Offline OP
Full Member
Living_tribunal  Offline OP
Full Member
L

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
You may get some fingering ideas from this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdg9_NbYCcQ

This one has a much better close up of the LH:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXCErI_nDf8



EXACTLY what I was looking for. I really appreciate you sending these!

Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855034
06/02/19 08:51 PM
06/02/19 08:51 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,108
M
Moo :) Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Moo :)  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
M

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,108
I had this same pattern of up down arpeggios over an octave in nocturne in the link above. I don’t remember Mendelssohn having a similar pattern in songs without words. But it is about moving the hand, collecting the 5th going up and the thumb going down helps. My teacher had to teach me to collect the thumb as it was something I had to practice a lot to be able to do. In the end you go up and down in a wave 🌊 the notes are smooth and it flows. I would suggest you go to your teacher.

Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Moo :)] #2855037
06/02/19 08:54 PM
06/02/19 08:54 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
L
Living_tribunal Offline OP
Full Member
Living_tribunal  Offline OP
Full Member
L

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by Moo :)
I had this same pattern of up down arpeggios over an octave in nocturne in the link above. I don’t remember Mendelssohn having a similar pattern in songs without words. But it is about moving the hand, collecting the 5th going up and the thumb going down helps. My teacher had to teach me to collect the thumb as it was something I had to practice a lot to be able to do. In the end you go up and down in a wave 🌊 the notes are smooth and it flows. I would suggest you go to your teacher.




I'm unsure about him utilizing a similar pattern but he has a very strong left hand in general. His basslines are kind of insane in so many of his pieces.

This specific piece will be very good practice as I'm weak with my left hand. The arpeggios remind of the quick little ones in measure 11 of Mozart Sonata Facila k545 except a lot harder haha.

Learning this will be tricky and I really appreciate the advice.

Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855073
06/02/19 11:33 PM
06/02/19 11:33 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 147
Detroit
F
Fidel Offline
Full Member
Fidel  Offline
Full Member
F

Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 147
Detroit
I've never played this piece nor am I at a piano atm...

This kind of open arpeggio pattern is common. I was taught to finger* it as 5 4 2 1 2 4, 5. This requires pedal, a shift and roll. And a shift requires a lift. With practice this is fast and legato but I'm not going to lie, you need someone to show you how to do it. It is an advanced technique that assumes a total lack of tension. If you stretch & tense it will sound like carp.

* I have small hands but my teacher said hand size is not issue here because you're shifting. She was right.


"the lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne." -- Chaucer.
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Fidel] #2855296
06/03/19 07:52 PM
06/03/19 07:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
L
Living_tribunal Offline OP
Full Member
Living_tribunal  Offline OP
Full Member
L

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by Fidel
I've never played this piece nor am I at a piano atm...

This kind of open arpeggio pattern is common. I was taught to finger* it as 5 4 2 1 2 4, 5. This requires pedal, a shift and roll. And a shift requires a lift. With practice this is fast and legato but I'm not going to lie, you need someone to show you how to do it. It is an advanced technique that assumes a total lack of tension. If you stretch & tense it will sound like carp.

* I have small hands but my teacher said hand size is not issue here because you're shifting. She was right.



I agree with you here. I'm starting to play more pieces where hand size is kind of an issue but I don't think this will be one of those times.

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  BB Player 

(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Bechstein
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Taking a break from a piece?
by Parcival. 08/17/19 10:20 AM
Have this ever happened to you?
by PianoStartsAt33. 08/17/19 02:30 AM
Question about Henle font
by JoelW. 08/16/19 11:06 PM
What's Hot!!
PIANO TEACHERS Please read this!
-------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics193,578
Posts2,859,643
Members94,172
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1