I've been waiting because I don't think we know necessarily what the problem actually is. At least it's not clear to me. I know this piece extremely well because it's one of the few that my teacher and I decided to milk it for everything we could. It has three main sections, and there are different challenges in the 2nd and third, where the rhythm changes, and if you are working at a more advanced level, some choices of pedal near the end to bring out this and that.
I wasn't able to understand what was meant here:
Some of the notes look like “Bs” and Cs” stacked in top of each other. I thought the top note might be an “E” but further on the “E” is clearly recognizable.
For example, either a note is B, or it isn't a B - but if Mils was given a blurry copy, maybe the notes literally are hard to see. That was one possibility. It could be anything else.
One thing about this piece is that the LH is not very diatonic. That is, the notes are not those of the key signature. If you are used to playing diatonic music, it might throw you. Measure 12
has Cb Eb
played in thirds. There .... you have "B and E" piano-wise. That is to say, Cb is the piano key that we push for B. They are "enharmonic equivalents (different spelling for the same piano key and sound). I can well imagine that this may be the puzzlement.
If this is the problem: The LH keeps going down by half steps, both notes. If you simply do that whenever they change, or notice the pattern, most of that battle is won. For example:
m. 1- 2 C Eb
m. 3 B D (B is a half step lower than the C, D is a half step lower than the Eb - you've moved to two keys to the left of where you were)
m. 4 Bb Db --- Both of these notes are a half step lower than the previous two
m. 5 A C--- same thing
m. 6 Ab Cb --- same thing. The Ab Cb could have been written G# B .... there's one of those Cb's
m. 7 G Bb -- still same pattern
m. 8 breaks the pattern ... your G goes down to Gb but Bb remains - you now have a major 3rd instead of minor thirds . .... then the FA does that same half step slide down
m. 9 completes that cycle with Eb G
m.1 - 9 is a long downward slide by half steps in the LH, underneath the melody. All the triads are minor thirds, so that when it changes to M3 in m. 8 and 9, it adds a new mood and also helps conclude this part. For me it's like walking in the woods in shade and suddenly there's a sunny spot of a clearing.
m. 10 - 13 do the same pattern in the LH, You lose the thirds as of m. 14 but the "chromatic slides" are still in there. (I don't think "chromatic slide" is any kind of official term, but it describes what is happening in the music).
I have no idea whether the odd looking Cb - which can throw someone if they're not used to it - is the problem.
I still have my recording on SoundCloud, if that helps to hear the chromatic descent (LH going down by half steps).https://soundcloud.com/usernewtothis/ivan-nov-3-2014-mp3
The rhythmic challenge (for me, then) in the 2nd part is here - I have a recording because I was checking it with my teacher at the time.https://soundcloud.com/usernewtothis/ivan-idea-short-mp3-1
You have the timing between the two hands playing different kinds of rhythm and I pedaled twice per measure. You can let go of the bottom note early, which allows the hand to move more freely. (My version does not have pedal marks because I was also encouraged to learn to make pedal decisions).