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Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855575
06/04/19 09:25 PM
06/04/19 09:25 PM
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Living_tribunal Offline OP
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I've been practicing this specific measure quite a bit with 5-4-2-1 and it's of course very very choppy even with pedal. In order to get a better legato sound, do you kind of slide the fourth finger when trying moving the wrist right to left? If I raise my hand that's when things get choppy but am getting better speed with more of a slide.

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Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855738
06/05/19 11:32 AM
06/05/19 11:32 AM
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Moo :) Offline
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I printed the piece today to see for myself. I did not have much difficulty in the left hand . I could do 5 - 4 - 2 -1 - 2- 4 - 5 for the opening bars. In bar 5 there is a slightly bigger jump and you have to jump quickly from the 5th to the 4th. I found it doable. The main difficulty I had was also bar 5 but it was the rhythm I needed to practice not the left hand. The rhythm may need some practice at full speed with the quaver right hand against the triplet left. If its choppy and uneven in the left it may be you are playing too fast too soon. I do pivot with the 4th on some, but on the bar 5 it was more of jump from the 5 to the 4 as the gap was too large. Perhaps you are a bit slow on the 5 to 4 jumping. The alternative fingering if this jump is too difficult I used was 5 -1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 4. I'm not sure if this would be the most efficient to use and I am unsure of the best finger to use in this piece. It would be different for different people and this is just a suggestion. As using the most efficient fingering in the left is pretty critical to this piece I would take this to my teacher to get fingering suggestions before investing too much time learning. Good luck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HoVGL0wQBI

Last edited by Moo :); 06/05/19 11:35 AM.
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855750
06/05/19 12:05 PM
06/05/19 12:05 PM
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Moo :) Offline
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I just read you had only 5 months lessons. Is it? Maybe I've misunderstood but if this is the case I think this be too much of a struggle for you. If you want to start Mendelssohn people normally start with something like this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p-lnBD4uhM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RJ9vHBZIFs

op 117 seems an odd piece to play for the first Mendlessohn. Why did your teacher suggest this so early? I've had almost 15 years of lessons so this I think would explain the difference in what we find difficult. In my experience the faster Mendelssohn pieces are very much harder than the slow. I have only more recently got the dexterity to play some of the faster ones.. Hope I havent put you off but just intrigued by the choice.

Last edited by Moo :); 06/05/19 12:09 PM.
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Moo :)] #2855754
06/05/19 12:13 PM
06/05/19 12:13 PM
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Living_tribunal Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
I just read you had only 5 months lessons. Is it? Maybe I've misunderstood but if this is the case I think this be too much of a struggle for you. If you want to start Mendelssohn people normally start with something like this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p-lnBD4uhM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RJ9vHBZIFs

op 117 seems an odd piece to play for the first Mendlessohn. Why did your teacher suggest this so early? I've had almost 15 years of lessons so this I think would explain the difference in what we find difficult. In my experience the faster Mendelssohn pieces are very much harder than the slow. I have only more recently got the dexterity to play some of the faster ones.. Hope I havent put you off but just intrigued by the choice.


The rhythm is indeed another difficult component of this piece. I'm now able to play the first few measures very slow but approaching it less from the mindset of matching up the bass and treble notes and more so in sound patterns.

Regarding the difficulty of the piece for my stage, I can understand how it seems pretty early and agree to a certain extent. My instructor has been very aggressive with progression since the first time I met him. I had been playing one month when I had my first lesson and he gave me Mozarts Sonata Facile k545 (on top of two handed/two octave scales/arpeggios for eminor! for that weeks practice).

We have maintained this very aggressive practice regiment and while I don't have the cleanest most polished pieces once completed, my development has come along quite fast. I now have a few Chopin Waltzes and Mazurkas under my belt and am feeling more comfortable with difficult material.

I am now learning two pieces at a time, a one month piece and a more difficult three month piece. Albumblatt 117 is my three month piece so I'm going to take my time learning it.

I really like how he approaches development as learning pieces outside of your skill range force you to develop certain technique very fast. My left handed arpeggios and ability to make large jumps will be much better because of grinding this piece out.

I initially approached him with two mendelssohn pieces, songs without words no.2 in f minor or albumblatt 117. Songs without words no.2 was a bit too difficult so we decided on albumblatt.

I'm just going to spend the next two weeks or so about an hour a day on simply handling the left hand and slowly incorporate the easy right hand.



Last edited by Living_tribunal; 06/05/19 12:18 PM.
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855774
06/05/19 01:15 PM
06/05/19 01:15 PM
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Moo :) Offline
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Did you mean no 2 f sharp minor ?

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

Yikes! What possessed you to pick these two after 5 months ? And your teacher encourages this progression ? It sounds like a method of madness to me. It takes many years to play the pieces you are trying to play. I sort of regret giving you advice as I genuinely dont think you should be playing these. frown. If you want to build a house you need to spend learning basics and working on the foundations.

Last edited by Moo :); 06/05/19 01:16 PM.
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Moo :)] #2855777
06/05/19 01:26 PM
06/05/19 01:26 PM
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Living_tribunal Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Moo :)
Did you mean no 2 f sharp minor ?

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

Yikes! What possessed you to pick these two after 5 months ? And your teacher encourages this progression ? It sounds like a method of madness to me. It takes many years to play the pieces you are trying to play. I sort of regret giving you advice as I genuinely dont think you should be playing these. frown. If you want to build a house you need to spend learning basics and working on the foundations.



I'm a big Mendelssohn fan and my instructor has been wanting me to diversify my repertoire away from Chopin. I've been on a Mazurka binge recently as it's been perfect practice for me. With Mazurkas, you can memorize the piece in a few days and then focus on the dynamics and musicality. I love Chopin so much, I probably listen to 4-5 hours of Chopin a day. So I brought him those two pieces to put him at ease and he said let's do Albumblatt.

I am going to continue learning Mazurkas as it's working out so well and many of the pieces are coming together at this point but I am looking for a little more of a challenge from another composer. I really want to keep the focus on romantic pieces instead of classical. This limits the available repertoire but I am going to try Albumblatt 117. My instructor thinks I'm ready for it and I'm starting to get the left hand movement down. If it looks outside of my skillset in about a month or so I might move on. We've been increasing the difficulty every piece and it's been working out well so far so we'll see. This is a slightly larger leap but I have 3 months to work on it.

The way I view it is tackling these pieces force you to develop the technique required to play them. If I have to sit there and play the first few measures with just my left hand for a few dozen hours, then I'm walking away learning a lot more. There are so many things to learn from every piece.

Last edited by Living_tribunal; 06/05/19 01:30 PM.
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2855795
06/05/19 02:14 PM
06/05/19 02:14 PM
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Moo :) Offline
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I think diversify your repertoire is a very good suggestion. I have played too many Mendelssohn so have diversified to other composers. I have been playing Rachmaninoff pieces but my approach to my teacher is to get a few books and say what will you recommend. I then pick from the suggestions. I think this works better than you picking. If you wanted two suggestion I think my two pieces would have been better options which I still think would be stretch pieces at your level. So my issue was only with the piece choice which I think is too hard for only 5 months. I think at best you can achieve is a very slow rendition of the piece with such limited experience and you'll probably spend most of this time learning the basic notes and simple patterns. If you learn this way perhaps it works but it is a very slow process. After 3 months I doubt it is the most enjoyable or best way to learn. I wish you luck however.

Last edited by Moo :); 06/05/19 02:16 PM.
Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Moo :)] #2855841
06/05/19 05:07 PM
06/05/19 05:07 PM
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Living_tribunal Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by Moo :)
I think diversify your repertoire is a very good suggestion. I have played too many Mendelssohn so have diversified to other composers. I have been playing Rachmaninoff pieces but my approach to my teacher is to get a few books and say what will you recommend. I then pick from the suggestions. I think this works better than you picking. If you wanted two suggestion I think my two pieces would have been better options which I still think would be stretch pieces at your level. So my issue was only with the piece choice which I think is too hard for only 5 months. I think at best you can achieve is a very slow rendition of the piece with such limited experience and you'll probably spend most of this time learning the basic notes and simple patterns. If you learn this way perhaps it works but it is a very slow process. After 3 months I doubt it is the most enjoyable or best way to learn. I wish you luck however.



I appreciate the feedback. However given the progression so far, I think I'm going to stick with what my instructor has been doing. Every piece we've decided on has been outside of my league and ultimately has lead to much faster development and enjoyment from myself. I'm already beginning to feel comfortable with the first few measures so we'll see how it goes. My time will continue to be split between mazurkas and this piece.

Re: Tips & Approach for Mendelssohn Albumblatt Op. 117? [Re: Living_tribunal] #2856124
06/06/19 03:17 PM
06/06/19 03:17 PM
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Living_tribunal Offline OP
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So the 5-4-2-1 fingering for that fifth measure is starting to work out. Now that I'm doing both hands together, I'm noticing that your fourth finger will just naturally glide over to the c when you're mentally trying to maintain the tempo. I think if I just keep at it, it will get smoother and that gap will become less noticeable. Starting to incorporate peddle and it kind of sounds decent.

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