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#482594 - 08/29/01 05:25 PM La Campanella  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3
music Offline
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music  Offline
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Posts: 3
I have absolutely fallen in LOVE with this piece. Besides the fact that it's devilishly hard, I've not been able to get through the first page without a tense hand from all the big leaps in the right. Any practicing tips and technique for a painfree performance?

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#482595 - 08/29/01 05:54 PM Re: La Campanella  
Joined: Jun 2001
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ryan Offline
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ryan  Offline
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Colorado
For leaps? Throw your hand at the notes instead of placing it. Placing it builds tension, throwing it keeps everything relaxed. Your accuracy will suffer at first when you start throwing your hand, but you will learn how to hit the right notes. I think that accuracy actually improves over time because you don't tire out as quickly. Hope this makes sense - it is a lot easier to demonstrate than to describe with words smile

Ryan

#482596 - 09/01/01 10:52 PM Re: La Campanella  
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Amy Offline
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Amy  Offline
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I totally agree with Ryan. It will take a week or so of practicing the "throwing" to get the right notes but in the end its definatly worth it!


-Amy-
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#482597 - 12/20/01 06:24 PM Re: La Campanella  
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jazzyd Offline
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Okay, so I can charge through the first couple of pages of this ditty without making too many mistakes, but I have a few questions before I go any further with this torturous tune...

1) With the amount of practice a piece of music like this takes to perfect for an intermediate/advanced(ish!) pianist like myself, I'm a little worried that 2, 3 and 4 of my RH are going to shirvelled up through lack of use! What would be a good piece to learn alongside it to keep my hands in shape? I'm quite fond of Liszt, Ravel, Rachmaninoff and Scriabin, interested in Bach and Beethoven, but (I'm afraid to say) I rather dislike Chopin. Any suggestions? Nothing too hard, please. smile

2) What would be some nice ways to modulate La Campanella? The tempo suggests 176, which I can keep up okay, but I find myself wanting to introduce a bit of tempo rubato and rise from p to mf here and there just to make it interesting.

3) I'm practicing on a piano with quite a stiff action and my little finger can get a little bit sore after a couple of hours of La C. I've never had a serious hand injury in 13 years of piano playing, but I must admit that this is testing my right hand quite a lot. Though I'm a big man, I've got rather delicate hands (comfortable ninth, but no more) and wrists. Should I be doing anything more than just stopping when it begins to hurt?

Many thanks,

Dave

[ December 20, 2001: Message edited by: jazzyd ]


"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley
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#482598 - 12/21/01 12:48 AM Re: La Campanella  
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Rodion Offline
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Rodion  Offline
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Salt Lake City
Quote
Originally posted by ryan:
For leaps? Throw your hand at the notes instead of placing it. Placing it builds tension, throwing it keeps everything relaxed.


by placing i'm not sure what you mean exactly, but i can't imagine how throwing your hands at the notes will help give you a solid foundation for learning them. the way i was taught to practice any sort of troublesome leaps with chords or octaves or single notes (and maybe the same 'placing' ryan is talking about) is to play the first note, then make the jump - move your hand as fast as you can and into position directly over the key(s) without playing them. hold it for a moment, then play the note(s). it works very good because you still practise the speed of the jump, but also waiting to play until your hand and fingers are in place helps reinforce in your mind where it needs to go exactly.

of course the original question was about stamina, not getting the jumps correct. i have a book with some notes by raymond lewenthal and he addresses this...i'll find it and post it because it's quite interesting i think.

[ December 21, 2001: Message edited by: Rodion ]


Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. - Hector Berlioz
#482599 - 12/21/01 09:28 AM Re: La Campanella  
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 341
T2 Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by ryan:
For leaps? Throw your hand at the notes instead of placing it. Placing it builds tension, throwing it keeps everything relaxed. Your accuracy will suffer at first when you start throwing your hand, but you will learn how to hit the right notes. Ryan


I agree with Ryan's advice. But I got there via a different path that maybe somebody might find useful. I spend a number of years as a teenager studying from a blind teacher. (A bad natured old Hungarian woman that could play like a woman possessed.) She had me enter her world by spending time blindfolded and learning to navigate at the piano by the black notes as reference points. Small leaps at first then big ones. At first all the work was attached, but when we eventually did detach and start making leaps it worked great.

I wound up with a picture of the piano in my mind, and I played that piano. But the piano in my mind is somehow smaller, easier to navigate, than it was before. Anyway, it helped several things, one of which was accuracy of hand placement during large leaps. (Which I needed cause she was always throwing Bartok and Prokofiev at me.)

#482600 - 12/21/01 01:29 PM Re: La Campanella  
Joined: Sep 2001
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jazzyd Offline
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jazzyd  Offline
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United Kingdom
Um... Any replies for me as well?


"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley
#482601 - 12/21/01 11:25 PM Re: La Campanella  
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PianoMuse Offline
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PianoMuse  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 902
Philly, PA
Yeah, Jazzyd...

Don't practice this piece for over 2 hours max. I made this mistake, and paid for it by having my wrist stiff and sore, which messed up all my other playing. Pushing it is good, overdoing it is bad. i would also suggest an EXTENSIVE warm-up time before practicing this piece..i did about a half hour, which warmed up my fingers and wrists nicely.
One thing i did with this piece was really play up the bell-like sound of those top notes, and really concentrating on having a clear, pure tone throughout the entire piece. I found that by doing this it really added a lot of depth.


"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff
#482602 - 12/22/01 05:12 PM Re: La Campanella  
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jazzyd Offline
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jazzyd  Offline
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United Kingdom
Thanks very much Pianomuse, 2 hours would seem about right. When the stiffness sets in, I find I can't make any more progress with the piece without making mistakes.

I've actually decided to leave this piece for a couple of days and then come back to it ready to do battle once again! laugh


"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley

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