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NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
#2906090 10/29/19 02:47 PM
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They all cheat.

Argerich cheated in the repeated descending chords section of Prokofiev's toccata. Brendel cheated a whole passage of Schubert's Wanderer. My ex gf cheated on me with a childhood friend of hers.

So - if one encounters a passage of such outstanding difficulty, that only a specifically shaped hand could execute it properly, and months of practice can be spent on it with no result, shouldn't one stop hacking away at it and simply play a simpler version, sparing so much unnecessary stress? (given, of course, that the changed version wouldn't affect the musical structure.)

Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906093 10/29/19 02:54 PM
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Why, of course!

Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906216 10/29/19 08:11 PM
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No I would never play a simpler version unless the composer explicitly provided an easier "ossia" version. Keep practicing, it takes time but if done right those unsolvable passages become doable.

I do always look for a way to redistribute notes between the hands or redistribute crossovers. Pianists with small hands like me often cannot play the score as the composer suggested. Redistribution isn't cheating, it's adapting the score to my physical span.


With new students Chopin was chiefly anxious to do away with any stiffness in, or cramped, or convulsive movement of the hand, thereby obtaining the first requisite of fine technique "souplesse" (suppleness). -- Carl Mikuli on Chopin the teacher.
Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906219 10/29/19 08:25 PM
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There's cheating and there's cheating.

For some people, playing the opening octaves of Op.111 with two hands is cheating. For others, it's idiotic to risk a fluffed note in the crucial opening of a massive work.

For some people, leaving out a few notes in Rach 3 is fine if your hands are small. No-one will notice (and no-one has noticed). For others, it's sacrilege.....even though Horowitz himself simplified Rach's easier cadenza (and it's very noticeable whistle).

You pays your money and you takes your choice.....


"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: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906227 10/29/19 08:48 PM
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My teacher had a few lessons with Horowitz who admitted he cheated and shared how. If you can do it artfully, why not?


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906228 10/29/19 08:49 PM
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It's like cancelling your concerts, you either feel incredibly guilty, or you don't and life goes on.

Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
newport #2906231 10/29/19 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by newport
It's like cancelling your concerts, you either feel incredibly guilty, or you don't and life goes on.
I don't really agree with you. Cancelling a concert is a black and white, on/off issue. You play or your don't play; you are disappointing your audience and some (most?) might feel guilty about it. Changing or leaving out a few notes to facilitate the flow of the music and preserve its meaning, this is artistry. It is nothing to feel guilty about. If it's done well, the listener might not even notice because they have gotten caught up in the music. IMO, the mission of a musician isn't to be a mechanic; it is to move and involve the listener.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
Fidel #2906249 10/29/19 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Fidel
No I would never play a simpler version unless the composer explicitly provided an easier "ossia" version. Keep practicing, it takes time but if done right those unsolvable passages become doable.


I guess us amateurs have the luxury to think this way...when you make a living from performing it's different.

But maybe it is also good to remind ourselves why we play: To reproduce notes perfectly or to create music for the listeners to enjoy. If it's the latter, it makes little sense to spend months agonizing over a few notes that no-one else will notice...
I used to obsess over things too, but I have learned: When I practice I strive for perfection, but if I have to perform a piece I don't care if I need to make changes as long as it works musically.

Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906251 10/29/19 10:35 PM
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What some people considered cheating isn't exactly what it implies. In music there are arrangements of various pieces. When someone's level of playing is beginner or lower intermediate, you don't expect him/her to get into a Beethoven Sonata right away. I got a book at home Faber "Adult Piano Adventure Classics 2". The book has easy arrangements of Classical favorites including opera themes & symphonies. Playing an easy arrangement of a Chopin Nocturne with the main melody without the intro & difficult runs in between gets you into a Chopin piece. When you're ready to play the full version, you can get the score later.

I worked on a Schubert Serenade from the Faber book in 3 pages with large print. When I'm ready, I'll download the full version.

Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
outo #2906256 10/29/19 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by outo

But maybe it is also good to remind ourselves why we play: To reproduce notes perfectly or to create music for the listeners to enjoy. If it's the latter, it makes little sense to spend months agonizing over a few notes that no-one else will notice...
I used to obsess over things too, but I have learned: When I practice I strive for perfection, but if I have to perform a piece I don't care if I need to make changes as long as it works musically.

Exactly my point.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
thepianoplayer416 #2906259 10/29/19 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
[...]
I worked on a Schubert Serenade from the Faber book in 3 pages with large print. When I'm ready, I'll download the full version.


... and then you'll discover that it is not a piano piece at all, but that the original is a German Lied for voice and piano. That said, there are arrangements - all sorts of them at many levels of difficulty - for piano solo.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906288 10/30/19 03:27 AM
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[Linked Image]


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
Animisha #2906289 10/30/19 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
[Linked Image]


Lol. LOVE it!


TH
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Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906290 10/30/19 03:41 AM
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Haha!

Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906301 10/30/19 04:55 AM
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Me too - I cheat. If I really want to play something and some passages are too difficult, then I cheat. I usually 'fix' things in subsequent playings, but on the other hand, if it's just too difficult (some Rachmaninov, nice tune, impossible for my fingers) then the cheat stays. I reckon it's a skill in itself smile


regards
Pete
Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906360 10/30/19 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by NervousWreck123
So - if one encounters a passage of such outstanding difficulty, that only a specifically shaped hand could execute it properly, and months of practice can be spent on it with no result, shouldn't one stop hacking away at it and simply play a simpler version, sparing so much unnecessary stress? (given, of course, that the changed version wouldn't affect the musical structure.)

I think as an amateur pianists, you can do what you feel like. If you want to play a certain piece, and there are a few passages that are too difficult, by all means simplify! If you'll perform, you can write in the program

Masterpiece by Mastercomposer
Arr: NervousWreck123


That will look good! smile


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
*
... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
Animisha #2906362 10/30/19 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by NervousWreck123
So - if one encounters a passage of such outstanding difficulty, that only a specifically shaped hand could execute it properly, and months of practice can be spent on it with no result, shouldn't one stop hacking away at it and simply play a simpler version, sparing so much unnecessary stress? (given, of course, that the changed version wouldn't affect the musical structure.)

I think as an amateur pianists, you can do what you feel like. If you want to play a certain piece, and there are a few passages that are too difficult, by all means simplify! If you'll perform, you can write in the program

Masterpiece by Mastercomposer
Arr: NervousWreck123


That will look good! smile


Never been roasted quite like that on this forum; that's refreshing

P.S. never quite been an amateur pianist

Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906399 10/30/19 10:23 AM
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Here's the thing: does the cheating still convey the composer's intent or enhance the meaning of the work?

Most everybody cheats the rapid double note runs at the end of Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto; some people just play glissandi with their thumbs, others use their fist to roll right through. Neither is what Prokofiev wrote but the effect is similar and thus the cheating isn't a big deal.

Many pianists also cheat on the octave glissandos in pieces like Beethoven's Op.53 by separating between the hands. I feel this is justified as well because the effect and difficulty of octave glissandi changes with each piano. Octave glissandi may be painful or even impossible to execute on pianos with heavy actions; in Beethoven's time virtually every piano was built with a very light action so this was not an issue. So that's another place where cheating seems to be OK.

Conversely, I recently had a discussion with somebody who was splitting some of the leaps in La Campanella between the hands, saying that this was more "efficient". Liszt wrote La Campanella as a study on leaps, does it not defeat the purpose of learning the etude if you make the leaps easier?

Similar situations appear in the openings of Beethoven's Op.106 and Op.111. A lot of the virtuosic effect is lost when you split these jumps between the hands.


Last edited by achoo42; 10/30/19 10:25 AM.
Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906444 10/30/19 12:47 PM
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I think it's becoming more common to play gliss in the Waldstein. I don't suppose it's cheating to play normal octaves, as the sound is really obvious, and Beethoven didn't actually write gliss. Maybe he meant conventional octaves at impossible speed...

Re: NervousWreck's Nervous Thought of the Day: Cheating
CianistAndPomposer #2906447 10/30/19 12:54 PM
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It's just music, not some sort of sacred divinity thing.

The way some people worships the written notes is to me so much anti artistic as those who find acceptable and natural that some painted works are valued millions of $

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