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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Well hello! smile

I'm with you on this piece (and nice little characterization there -- really, folks!), but I hope your view of Chopin has come along since we last talked... ha


What was it before other than not as good as Liszt? ha I've liked Chopin for as long as I've heard Horowitz play him. He's really the only person that brought Chopin to life for me. I guess that was mainly my problem with Chopin. It wasn't enough to be good, you have to have a feel for it that almost no one (two words) has. Just my opinion.

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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Many great pianists have performed Islamey. There are many other pieces that are of similar difficulty or potential as a show piece but they still chose to learn it. So I think for many it has appeal beyond its technical difficulties. I do think it is somewhat overlong.
Many great pianists have performed Grand Galop Chromatique. I mean, really, what kind of argument is that, not that I care to argue?
Actually, I think the number of great pianist who have performed GGC is very small compared to the number who have played Islamey. And I think my reasoning is quite logical.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/10/21 08:46 PM.
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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Well hello! smile
I'm with you on this piece (and nice little characterization there -- really, folks!), but I hope your view of Chopin has come along since we last talked... ha
What was it before other than not as good as Liszt? ha

Exactly. ha

Quote
I've liked Chopin for as long as I've heard Horowitz play him. He's really the only person that brought Chopin to life for me. I guess that was mainly my problem with Chopin. It wasn't enough to be good, you have to have a feel for it that almost no one (two words) has. Just my opinion.

I'm with you also about Horowitz playing Chopin (or almost anything), and I'm hard to please on Chopin too, but not to the point of only liking him if it's Horowitz.

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Originally Posted by scriabinfanatic
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Seeker
....Regarding the passage in question - I've come to believe (and of course I could be wrong) that what makes it hard is not the RH, per se, but that the RH is making those fast movements simultaneous with the LH hand making leaps down to the Db's....
...which brings me to the idea that, at least for me, the REAL difficulty there is the leaps to the Db and then the Db below that, because I have to turn my head slightly so I can SEE where to land....

I haven't played this piece (which is a good thing for us all) ha ....and so I'm not speaking exactly about that passage, because I don't know, but it seems like that's an example of a thing I've talked about.

There have been many passages on which, it turned out, the main difficulty and obstacle was not being clear on where I was looking, and when.
.....part of which was, not being consistent about it.

Especially: If I was practicing slowly, my eyes would go in one particular manner.
If I practiced one hand alone, my eyes would go in another manner.
And when I played the piece for real, it would be still different.

To some extent this has to be so. (pretty much)
But I've found that unless I eventually 'eradicate' that, and come around to forcing myself to 'do my eyes' the same way every time, no matter whether I'm practicing slowly or playing just one hand, then I'm practicing the piece in a different physical way than how I'll be actually playing it -- and it can actually make the playing worse!

It can be essentially working against how I'll be actually playing the piece, by preventing me from getting fully into the physical approach that I'll be using when I actually play the piece, and in fact creating an internal conflict on it, because of all the different physical approaches I'd been doing.

I don't know how true this would be for anyone else, but it's very true for me, and it's a thing I've never (literally never) seen or heard anywhere, by anybody.

That's a pretty good analysis of a difficulty that I've been experiencing with a passage in a Scriabin piece I've been working on. I've been re-learning the 24th Prelude of the op. 11 set for the third time. The last few measures has the left hand playing octaves in leaps of fourths and fifths, in eighth-note triplets, "presto" tempo. On top of that, the right hand has four-note rolled chords that span a 12th...so the pinkie finger has to jump to get that highest note. Both hands need some eyeball attention, but the points that they need it most are in competition with each other. At slow practice tempo, I can jerk my eyes/head fast enough to cover both hands. But when I speed up beyond a certain tempo where I can't do that, it becomes a train-wreck. The only hope seems to be to get one hand able to do its thing blind.

I can recommend trying one other approach. If you make a conscious effort to sit back, upright as possible, and de-focus your eyes from their usual focal point centered, it is possible to see the right and left periphery with your "peripheral" vision. I don't have the world's best eyesight, so, it is difficult for me, and it is also scary. I suspect we all lean forward a bit, strain to focus when working on the sort of passages described here. I have had SOME success with this - it's kind of like Alexander technique, in that it involves realizing when we are putting unnecessary strain/tension on some part of the body beyond what is needed to achieve a particular movement. Finally, I do believe that this will be easier for those with better visual acuity although there are those -- shall I call them outliers -- who can do accurate leaps playing in total darkness. I can safely report that such ability is not one of my gifts.


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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Many great pianists have performed Islamey. There are many other pieces that are of similar difficulty or potential as a show piece but they still chose to learn it. So I think for many it has appeal beyond its technical difficulties. I do think it is somewhat overlong.
Many great pianists have performed Grand Galop Chromatique. I mean, really, what kind of argument is that, not that I care to argue?
Actually, I think the number of great pianist who have performed GGC is very small compared to the number who have played Islamey. And I think my reasoning is quite logical.

It would be logical if you could remove ego, a quality you never seem to think concert pianists have, as if they were above all that. They play the piece for its reputation of difficulty, I think your reasoning is ingenuous.

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Originally Posted by Damon
They play the piece for its reputation of difficulty, I think your reasoning is ingenuous.

Or maybe they like it.

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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Many great pianists have performed Islamey. There are many other pieces that are of similar difficulty or potential as a show piece but they still chose to learn it. So I think for many it has appeal beyond its technical difficulties. I do think it is somewhat overlong.
Many great pianists have performed Grand Galop Chromatique. I mean, really, what kind of argument is that, not that I care to argue?
Actually, I think the number of great pianist who have performed GGC is very small compared to the number who have played Islamey. And I think my reasoning is quite logical.

It would be logical if you could remove ego, a quality you never seem to think concert pianists have, as if they were above all that. They play the piece for its reputation of difficulty, I think your reasoning is ingenuous.


Oh, I dunno. There are so many difficult pieces of music out there. Why should we assume a decision to learn Islamey, reputation or no, is made with a disproportionally strong ego based reasoning?

Mind you, I've always wanted to learn Islamey, and the fact that it's crawling with virtuoso devices seems more an annoyance than an encouragement.

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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Many great pianists have performed Islamey. There are many other pieces that are of similar difficulty or potential as a show piece but they still chose to learn it. So I think for many it has appeal beyond its technical difficulties. I do think it is somewhat overlong.
Many great pianists have performed Grand Galop Chromatique. I mean, really, what kind of argument is that, not that I care to argue?
Actually, I think the number of great pianist who have performed GGC is very small compared to the number who have played Islamey. And I think my reasoning is quite logical.

It would be logical if you could remove ego, a quality you never seem to think concert pianists have, as if they were above all that. They play the piece for its reputation of difficulty, I think your reasoning is ingenuous.
I have no idea where you got the impression that I don't think concert pianists have a big ego. The few times I've written about that topic I've generally said the opposite. As I already commented, there are plenty of other pieces that have a big reputation for difficulty, so if they want to choose a piece to show off because of their ego, there's no reason they have to choose Islamey.

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Why do we care what any pianist, professional or amateur chooses to learn or why they chose it? Surely, we don’t want everyone playing the same music 😝


"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

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I have no idea where you got the impression that I don't think concert pianists have a big ego. The few times I've written about that topic I've generally said the opposite....

Yes -- even I know that! ha

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I can play those octaves at the tempo Paul Barton is playing at (I checked by playing along with the recording). What I realized was that I wasn't moving the thumb at all. Why would you want to, it's such a clumsy digit! I was instead placing my hand in the right position and letting the arm do all the work for me. The chromatic octaves, for instance, fit under one "hand motion" and think of them as a sort of group. The way I played it wouldn't be applicable for a full 4-octave chromatic octave run, but I think this works well enough for the short fragmentary octaves here. Rest your hand in between each of the bursts of octaves.

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Originally Posted by Mark_C
I find that usually there's another (better?) solution besides making one hand do it 'blind.'
What I usually try to work out for such things is, rather than doing it "blind," just before the double leap I do a quick glance at that hand and where it will need to go, so I sort of have that image in my mind, and then quickly switch to look at the other hand. Usually this all happens in just a fraction of a second, like maybe half a second -- but that's all that it needs, and it helps.
The main obstacle on it (or main potential obstacle) is the thing I said before, that it doesn't come naturally to do it that way when practicing slowly or just one hand at a time, and so I have to make myself do the exact same looking, or else I'm practicing a 'habit' that's different from what I'll really need to be doing.

I experimented with what you said in yesterday's practice, and I think it may hold some promise for me, but of course it will take a lot more practice to be sure. Glancing up at the right hand just a tiny moment earlier than I have been does seem to mitigate the viewing collision between hands. And like you said, the advance-image seems to suffice. I tried your peripheral-vision thing too Seeker, and though that has helped me with some pieces, it seems like too much keyboard real-estate in this case.

Another thing that comes up in that same passage of the Scriabin ending is how to play those wide-span rolled chords. In my younger (and more proficient) years, I would use a fingering for example of 1-3-5-2 instead of 1-2-3-5. This eliminated the somewhat awkward and uncomfortable hand stretch, and reassigned the leap at the end to the index finger instead of the pinkie. The downside of course, being a much longer leap for that index finger. I would always do this with wide rolled chords in either hand. My last piano teacher discouraged me from doing this (I recall it coming up in both hands in Chopin op. 10 no. 8), and her advice to me was always good on other things, so I changed that too...with generally positive results.

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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Nice work SiFi!

Thank you, John.

Hey, do you know what happened to our mutual friend (I think) Tyrone Slothrop? He’s been AWOL from this forum for quite some time.


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I haven't heard anything since September. Another mutual friend reports that he's well.

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(We can see on his profile that he was on here last week.)

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Is "Last Seen" the last time someone looked at his profile or the last time he was on the forum?

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Originally Posted by johnstaf
Is "Last Seen" the last time someone looked at his profile or the last time he was on the forum?

Last time on forum


"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

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Is "Last Seen" the last time someone looked at his profile or the last time he was on the forum?

Last time on forum

Ok then, I shall hunt him down via PM! Thanks!


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Originally Posted by SiFi
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Is "Last Seen" the last time someone looked at his profile or the last time he was on the forum?

Last time on forum

Ok then, I shall hunt him down via PM! Thanks!

I've been trying since September. Could you PM me if you get a response?

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Originally Posted by Mark_C
So, all you guys really play the piece!!

Even though I'm dissing the piece, call me impressed. smile

Just wondering if anyone else has a recording they’d be comfortable sharing? I’d love to hear some interpretations that differ from the generally crass professional performances out there!


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