Piano World Home Page

Hanon exercises - to completion?

Posted By: Nadia

Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/12/10 10:47 PM

I'm wondering, did anyone get through all 60 Hanon exercises? How long did it take to learn them and thoroughly master?
Posted By: Batuhan

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/13/10 05:00 PM

Hanon Exercises are the waste of paper i like the last pages of his book include scales, arpeggios.
Posted By: rocket88

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/13/10 05:38 PM

I began with Hanon as a child, and the first 20 took a few years, but I was not very focused or dedicated back then.

I do, however give Hanon, if properly executed, the majority of the credit for my technique.

One of my students who is very dedicated and talented has mastered the first 20 in about a year.
Posted By: ChopinAddict

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/13/10 10:40 PM

I have gone through all of them in a relatively short time, but I have never tried to play them all in a row in 1 hour as advised I think at the end of the book...
Posted By: Rui725

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/13/10 11:04 PM

There are so many variations you can apply to the exercises. It's good to keep revisiting for ways to improve hand independence, balance, etc. Someone even recommended to me once to transpose Part 1 exercises to different keys. I don't believe its a waste of time and its a good guide for technical exercises.

I went through Part 1 and 2 fairly quickly, but very thoroughly (6 months?), but I revisit the finger exercises and scales regularly and mix up the left and right hand patterns by adding different dynamics, shading, and rhythms.

To say its a complete waste is too much, but saying is an absolute necessity will also spark some debate. Progress through it with your current repertoire studies, and don't be afraid to jump around within the respective parts. If a certain passage of a piece is bringing you trouble, try pinpointing an exercise in Hanon, as opposed to methodically going through one by one.
Posted By: LimeFriday

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/13/10 11:33 PM

I use Hanon as a warm up to get my fingers moving - along with scales and arpeggios. I've never gone through the entire book and mastered them all. In the early days my teacher chose a few exercises to work on aspects of my technique that were weak - and over time I've used a few others to mix up my warm up.

But I've never felt the need (or the desire!) to work through it from beginning to end.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/13/10 11:44 PM

I'm not sure what the OP means by "learning" all of the exercises. While "mastering" them is something different, there is not much to learn, in the true sense of the word. Once you have read through them several times, each subsequent measure in each exercises is a repetition of an established pattern, so I don't know what there is to learn. I repeat, though, that mastering them might take some time just adjusting to some of the patterns.

Regards,
Posted By: David P

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/14/10 04:06 AM

I went through them three different times. Each time at a faster rate. I was at the beginning of learning how to play the first time I tried them. It took me 18 month to get through all 60 of them, none of them up to speed. The most difficult were thirds and octaves over arpeggios and arpeggios and some others. I can do parts I and II in about one and half hours but too exhausted to do all three part in one session. Last time I did them I spend 2 months on part I, 2 months on part II, and two months on part III. It takes me about 8 weeks to relearn one of these sections and bring it up to speed. I've been playing now for about 7 plus years. Hannon has work well for an old beginner like myself starting piano at 39years old. Extensive practice in Hannon has condition my fingers to play the piano. In recent times i've graduated to Czerny. I am currently just as dedicated to Czerny as I was Hannon. Czerny is closer to real music than hannon and has helped me play accordingly. Hannon is more fundamental than Czerny. Hannon had helped aid in developing pure virtuosity power and ability to reach any key any configuration.
Posted By: Varcon

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/14/10 11:30 AM

Originally Posted by Batuhan
Hanon Exercises are the waste of paper i like the last pages of his book include scales, arpeggios.



To state a blanket condemnation like the above is to condemn similar exercises by various other 'technicians' like Pischna, Plaidy, and the many other books dedicated to improving ones' playing. I practised the first 20 one summer playing each exercise four times which took about an hour (summer between junior and senior year of HS) and when I had my first lesson in the fall my teacher commented on the dramatic improvement of technique. Personally, I still do a Hanon exercise for warm-up and maintenance tho I vary them from day to day. Along with scales and arpeggios and a few other things, it seems to keep my fingers and mechanism in good working order.
Posted By: lauralei

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/14/10 12:59 PM

My piano teacher (of 30 years ago) used to have me play the first ten as quickly as I possibly could and time me, encouraging me to increase my speed each week. As a result, I always play them really fast. (I play the first 20 in about 10 minutes.) What do people think about playing them fast? Is this a good idea? I still try to play them evenly and lightly.

Laura
Posted By: JGonzalezGUS

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/14/10 01:04 PM

When I started piano MANY years ago, I went thru most of the exercises. Hannon (and my teacher) taught me finger and hand position.
After 40+ years of not playing, I purchased a piano and I'm going back to playing. I begin my morning with 15 minutes of Hannon choosing some exercises between 1-30. Then throughout the day I spend another 30 minutes in other areas (thirds, octaves, etc).
I read somewhere that Rachmaninoff was able to play ANY Hannon in ANY key at 220 metronome speed. That is probably an exaggeration, but indicates to me that he was serious about Hannon.
Posted By: Rui725

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/14/10 02:21 PM

Originally Posted by JGonzalezGUS
When I started piano MANY years ago, I went thru most of the exercises. Hannon (and my teacher) taught me finger and hand position.
After 40+ years of not playing, I purchased a piano and I'm going back to playing. I begin my morning with 15 minutes of Hannon choosing some exercises between 1-30. Then throughout the day I spend another 30 minutes in other areas (thirds, octaves, etc).
I read somewhere that Rachmaninoff was able to play ANY Hannon in ANY key at 220 metronome speed. That is probably an exaggeration, but indicates to me that he was serious about Hannon.


Russian pedagogy, if I recall correctly, had their students memorize all of hanon.
Posted By: Jeff Clef

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/14/10 02:49 PM

"Hanon Exercises are the waste of paper i like the last pages of his book include scales, arpeggios."

I had my first Hanon Book for forty years. It didn't really waste much paper. I got a new one a few years ago that wasn't so marked up and dog-eared (for it had belonged to another piano student before it came to me).

Meanwhile, I've gotten an encyclopedia's worth of junk mail... and don't even talk to me about hamburger wrappers and grocery bags. Do you know, I think of the Pacific Gyre every time I come up to the checkout counter of a shop. But that is mostly plastic, a 'new continent' the size of Texas. Ugh!

I don't think anyone has said you have to like Hanon. It serves a purpose, and does so efficiently. My new teacher has pointed out certain sections in the 'back forty' of the book as useful, and has excepted others.

I do not think that printed sheet music, which hands down our instrument's technical tradition, is such a large contributor to the worthless, useless, and prodigal waste. But Batuhan, you could also go paperless; Hanon is available online.

However, most electricity is generated by burning coal...
Posted By: Orange Soda King

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/14/10 08:14 PM

I credit Hanon for a good part of my technique, especially my octaves. laugh

BruceD, I think the original poster meant mastering the exercises.
Posted By: Nadia

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/14/10 11:55 PM

Thanks for all the replies! I picked up Hanon to get a little more serious about piano and improve my technique, I like it because it gives me some systematic approach and it's a good warm up too. So far I've been practicing it for about 6 months, and I got to the 8th exercise. Of course I'm not really pushing myself with it. Maybe I'm on the slow side.

By learning I meant playing at a well maintained tempo at a reasonable speed. If you really master them I imagine you are supposed to be able to play all of them in one sitting.

Originally Posted by Rui725

Russian pedagogy, if I recall correctly, had their students memorize all of hanon.


It's funny that you said that, because I graduated from a Childern's Music School in Russia (yes, we have these highly subsidized establishments where you get private lessons twice a week plus solfegio, music history, chorus, 2nd instrument, etc.), and I have never heard of Hanon until I was browsing the interned a year ago for some systematic exercises. We did have a technical exam every year, which usually included scales, arpeggios, an etude and sight reading. Czerny is really popular there. Now granted I wasn't super serious about piano back then, so now that I look back at it I feel like my teacher didn't really care...
Posted By: Flair

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 04/30/19 02:44 AM

Just out of curiosity, what level of pianist is Hanon for?
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 04/30/19 12:14 PM

Originally Posted by Flair
Just out of curiosity, what level of pianist is Hanon for?

If you mean at what level the exercises can be played at full speed without tension, I think it's after 5-7 years of (serious) learning to play the piano.
Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 04/30/19 03:54 PM

I had a teacher (when I was in middle school) who cheerfully insisted that I work up to playing Book 1 without stopping and devoted lesson time to hearing that for a period of time. I think I played them not too fast/slow, rather moderato.

The State Festival (MTNA's version of Royal Conservatory exams) had "theory requirements," which got in scale (and chords/cadences) work, so we didn't do that part of Hanon. Knowledge was "more important" than execution during the exam, which only tested a few of the required keys (though you don't sound like you know anything if you stumble around playing scales or chords). I think I eventually played, on my own, the Hanon Book 2 exercises that carry on the ones in the first book.

In college everybody did the technique jury bit of playing (in one sitting) all the major and minor (pure, melodic, and harmonic) scales and arpeggios in four octaves, four notes per click, working up to 120 or 132.

I've never done the Book 3 stuff, except in literature. 😁
Posted By: Hatchestron

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 04/30/19 04:28 PM

I am very sceptical about the value of Hanon. The one thing they don't tell you is how to do them, which means you need a teacher (or if you are very very lucky, stumble on the correct approach yourself), in which case, why not cut out the middle man, so to speak, and practice the technical solutions on proper music?
Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 04/30/19 04:48 PM

Originally Posted by Hatchestron
I am very sceptical about the value of Hanon. The one thing they don't tell you is how to do them, which means you need a teacher (or if you are very very lucky, stumble on the correct approach yourself), in which case, why not cut out the middle man, so to speak, and practice the technical solutions on proper music?


Pianists can injure themselves by playing literature without warming up, but warm-up exercises can cause injuries, themselves. 🙄

Devoting so much time to exercises takes away from time for pieces (causing more memory lapses). But, never drilling technique makes pieces sound sloppy, however well learned.

So, moderation is the key, and finding that is elusive. 😁
Posted By: anamnesis

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 04/30/19 05:40 PM

Originally Posted by WhoDwaldi
Originally Posted by Hatchestron
I am very sceptical about the value of Hanon. The one thing they don't tell you is how to do them, which means you need a teacher (or if you are very very lucky, stumble on the correct approach yourself), in which case, why not cut out the middle man, so to speak, and practice the technical solutions on proper music?


Pianists can injure themselves by playing literature without warming up, but warm-up exercises can cause injuries, themselves. 🙄

Devoting so much time to exercises takes away from time for pieces (causing more memory lapses). But, never drilling technique makes pieces sound sloppy, however well learned.

So, moderation is the key, and finding that is elusive. 😁




If the pieces are sloppy or inconsistently performed, they aren't actually well learned.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 04/30/19 06:46 PM

I think Hanon's exercises are just perfect for beginning of a warm up, for hands relaxation. I have a very pleasant feeling in the hands after playing them. When I'm away from the piano for some time and there begins sort of an itch in the hands I understand that the first thing that my hands are dreaming of is Hanon.

They are also good for finding proper touch on a new instrument.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 04/30/19 07:01 PM

According to my wife, the 60 Hanon exercises were a staple of Russian piano pedagogy when she herself was a piano pupil, many years ago.
Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 04/30/19 07:11 PM

Originally Posted by anamnesis


If the pieces are sloppy or inconsistently performed, they aren't actually well learned.



Relatively speaking. I've heard great performances of Chopin's Ballade No. 1 with embarrassing scales at the end (like the player never works on scales outside of pieces), for example.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 04/30/19 07:55 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
According to my wife, the 60 Hanon exercises were a staple of Russian piano pedagogy when she herself was a piano pupil, many years ago.

According to Rachmaninoff the Hanon's exercises transposed to all keys were a staple of Russian piano technical training when he was learning back in 19th century!

Quote
During the first five years the student gets most of his technical instruction from a book of studies by Hanon, which is used very extensively in the conservatories. In fact, this is practically the only book of strictly technical studies employed. [...] They include scales, arpeggios, and other forms of exercises in special technical designs.

At the end of the fifth year an examination takes place. This examination is twofold. The pupil is examined first for proficiency in technic, and later for proficiency in artistic playing - pieces, studies, etc. However, if the pupil fails to pass the technical examination he is not permitted to go ahead.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 04/30/19 08:00 PM

Originally Posted by Flair
Just out of curiosity, what level of pianist is Hanon for?


For those who think/believe that Hanon can benefit the development of one's technique, the exercises can be used at almost any level, providing the student can read the notation. To "benefit" from them, one does not have to play them at Hanon's recommended tempi.

Regards,
Posted By: BeeZee4

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 01:07 AM

I stopped Hanon years ago. Before I would play a few just for warm-up. Book 1 was mandatory in my early years, then half of Book 2. The rest, scales and arpeggios, I could do on my own. Now I take Andras Schiff's approach: forget these exercises and just go directly to the Bach Inventions, or WTC 1 and 2. Don't waste practice time everyday with repetitive scales, unless it's for a specific purpose (like runs in a Mozart piano concerto)

Quid pro kuo, has anyone played entirely through Czerny's "The School of Velocity", or worse yet Clementi's "Gradus ad Parnassum"?
Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 01:33 AM

Originally Posted by BeeZee4

Quid pro kuo, has anyone played entirely through Czerny's "The School of Velocity", or worse yet Clementi's "Gradus ad Parnassum"?


I did a few Velocities, not a fan. I looked at Tausig's selections from "Gradus" years ago, didn't seem helpful. Some say the others in Clementi's original, complete set are more valuable.
Posted By: Zaphod

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 01:44 AM

Originally Posted by BeeZee4
Don't waste practice time everyday with repetitive scales, unless it's for a specific purpose (like runs in a Mozart piano concerto)


Forgive me for stating the obvious, but doesn't almost all of the Romantic and post romantic repertoire involve generous quantities of scales and arpeggio based runs all over the place in order to achieve musical and sonic effects?
Posted By: BeeZee4

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 02:16 AM

Of course. For instance, in playing "Une Barque sur la Ocean", rather than spending time practicing g# minor arpeggios individually, I practice the passage that Ravel wrote specifically using said arpeggio. Ditto the f# minor diminished arpeggio, the a minor arpeggio, etc.

Granted, I spent years playing scales, major and minor, and arpeggios as part of practice. No longer.
Posted By: Sidokar

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 09:04 AM

I find that using occasionally Hanon (I am talking about the first 20 exercices only) on the white key (C major) is an ok exercice for warm up. Though for me of the 20, only 4 or 5 are really different; the other ones are just minor variations; certainly there is no point waisting time on all 20. The main benefit of Hanon though is using it on the black keys scales. From a strict point of view of finger dexterity only a subset of the first 20 is usefull and a subset of the keys (for example, A flat major, F sharp major, ...); after that I find it becomes redundant. It also helps to learn the scales from another angle, so one can vary the scale from time to time. There are equivalent exercices for example playing the scales with the C major fingering is leading to more or less the same result.

But the Hanon address only a small subset of finger dexterity. and If one wants to improve finger dexterity, there are much more efficient exercices dedicated to particular areas. Most of the rest of Hanon 60 exercices then is standard scales, arpeggios, ....
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 09:40 AM

Originally Posted by Sidokar


But the Hanon address only a small subset of finger dexterity. and If one wants to improve finger dexterity, there are much more efficient exercices dedicated to particular areas. Most of the rest of Hanon 60 exercices then is standard scales, arpeggios, ....

For finger, wrist and arm dexterity which encompasses a large variety of patterns one would encounter in real music from the likes of Bach through to Chopin & Liszt through to Prokofiev & beyond, I'd use the book which my last teacher gave me to iron out my remaining technical deficiencies to prepare me for the performance diploma. Each exercise in the slim book is just 1-2 measures, and you repeat it through the different keys, and they don't pretend to be music, so you can focus on the technical aspect:

https://www.amazon.com/Pianoforte-T...;qid=1556703592&s=gateway&sr=8-1

N.B. Most of the exercises are only suitable for pianists who already have some finger independence and control - definitely not for beginners!



Posted By: fatar760

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 10:51 AM

I've always found the instructions given in Hanon quite confusing. It states that exercises need to be repeated a number of times. How one could ever get through the sixty exercises in an hour, with all those repetitions, seems impossible to me but then, it's not stated that those repeats should be ignored.

I've known many injuries caused by over-playing Hanon exercises as I think they do encourage tension. I also think the lack of musicality (which one could always impress on, if desired) makes me steer clear of it more than I used too.
Posted By: joggerjazz

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 12:10 PM

I like Hanon to warm up. But the instructions I think not so much. No point to repeat the patterns once if you have under your fingers. I think they can build endurance but be careful and relax, if tension builds stop. I would imagine pianos back when he wrote this had lighter actions than our modern day. Wasn't he an organist also?
Too much bottoming out on key will result in fatique. So a good lesson in that respect these patterns can be. And I'd play soft legato when first learning. I had a teacher who had me play them what he called hammer technique. Striking each note hard and loud with a single finger. This caused much tension due to bottoming out and took me awhile to unlearn.

I still find no 26 in the left hand decending can be tricky playing fast over the weak fingers.
I like to alternate playing the patterns. Playing them parallel one day contrary the next.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 12:20 PM

Originally Posted by fatar760
I also think the lack of musicality (which one could always impress on, if desired) makes me steer clear of it more than I used too.

I don't see any problem with playing exercises as exercises (just like one might play tennis drills as drills), simply to get the fingers/wrists/arms used to executing the particular (sequence of) movements, and keep reproducing it accurately & effortlessly. Richter did the same with difficult measures from pieces, as well as any number of concert pianists who dissect pieces to practise the difficult sections in isolation (especially one well-known blogger, who uses his digital for such a purpose to save wear & tear on his acoustic).

The book I referenced earlier consists purely of drills, and IMO it has done much more to iron out technical problems than anything else I ever did as a student. It makes such a difference when one can pick up a difficult new score to learn (or just sight-read) and find that there's nothing in it that poses any specific technical difficulty, which means one can start making music with it immediately.

And there's the rub: trying to impart "musicality" to studies/exercises which are meant purely for technical development only serves to dilute the purpose of them, which require perfectly fluent, smooth, even execution in both rhythm & dynamics, so that one doesn't have to think or worry about the mechanical aspect of such figuration when learning real pieces that use similar patterns of notes. One can immediately get to work on the musical aspects. Whereas to play a piece with musicality implies that there's ebb & flow, phrasing, dynamic variation, even tempo variation - not perfectly smooth tone & tempo.

One doesn't want to be the pianist whose playing elicits the caustic assessment of "____ plays all the wrong notes with the greatest expression smirk .
Posted By: fatar760

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 12:21 PM

Originally Posted by joggerjazz
I like Hanon to warm up. But the instructions I think not so much. No point to repeat the patterns once if you have under your fingers. I think they can build endurance but be careful and relax, if tension builds stop. I would imagine pianos back when he wrote this had lighter actions than our modern day. Wasn't he an organist also?
Too much bottoming out on key will result in fatique. So a good lesson in that respect these patterns can be. And I'd play soft legato when first learning. I had a teacher who had me play them what he called hammer technique. Striking each note hard and loud with a single finger. This caused much tension due to bottoming out and took me awhile to unlearn.

I still find no 26 in the left hand decending can be tricky playing fast over the weak fingers.
I like to alternate playing the patterns. Playing them parallel one day contrary the next.


Yes, and isn't that another thing that the book encourages? That each finger should be lifted to a height to help increase independence? The problem with this is that the hand isn't designed to work like that and that this approach is what causes injury.
Posted By: fatar760

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 12:26 PM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by fatar760
I also think the lack of musicality (which one could always impress on, if desired) makes me steer clear of it more than I used too.

I don't see any problem with playing exercises as exercises (just like one might play tennis drills as drills), simply to get the fingers/wrists/arms used to executing the particular (sequence of) movements, and keep reproducing it accurately & effortlessly. Richter did the same with difficult measures from pieces, as well as any number of concert pianists who dissect pieces to practise the difficult sections in isolation (especially one well-known blogger, who uses his digital for such a purpose to save wear & tear on his acoustic).

The book I referenced earlier consists purely of drills, and IMO it has done much more to iron out technical problems than anything else I ever did as a student. It makes such a difference when one can pick up a difficult new score to learn (or just sight-read) and find that there's nothing in it that poses any specific technical difficulty, which means one can start making music with it immediately.

And there's the rub: trying to impart "musicality" to studies/exercises which are meant purely for technical development only serves to dilute the purpose of them, which require perfectly fluent, smooth, even execution in both rhythm & dynamics, so that one doesn't have to think or worry about the mechanical aspect of such figuration when learning real pieces that use similar patterns of notes. One can immediately get to work on the musical aspects. Whereas to play a piece with musicality implies that there's ebb & flow, phrasing, dynamic variation, even tempo variation - not perfectly smooth tone & tempo.

One doesn't want to be the pianist whose playing elicits the caustic assessment of "____ plays all the wrong notes with the greatest expression smirk .


But, of course, the counter to this (and forgive me for forgetting who said it) is that we play as we practise.

If we practise without being musical then this is how we play.

I often work with MT singers and, as a bit of an aside, I find it quite frustrating when some ask "do you think I should do a bit more acting here", like it's something that gets 'added' after the technique is learnt when actually, it should inform how we perform.

I also think that practising in a robotic way, disengages the ear, which is surely the last thing any musician should want to do....
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 01:21 PM

Originally Posted by fatar760

If we practise without being musical then this is how we play.

Actually, no - practising 'drills' is different from practising pieces.

Pieces should be practiced (and sight-read) musically, always. Drills & exercises are just that - drills, exercises to develop technique (so that it can all be forgotten when practising pieces), nothing more.

So often I see students making all sorts of (shall we say) 'tempo adjustments in the name of expediency' when playing Hanon and the like, because they justify them along the lines of 'it's more musical that way'.....and they end up playing pieces the same way, speeding up in easy bits and slowing down in difficult ones. Because they never learnt to play with complete evenness of speed and dynamics, which surely are what exercises are for.
Quote
I often work with MT singers and, as a bit of an aside, I find it quite frustrating when some ask "do you think I should do a bit more acting here", like it's something that gets 'added' after the technique is learnt when actually, it should inform how we perform.

Singers are a completely different kettle of fish.

They have breath control to contend with, as well as facial expressions - they don't want to grimace (à la Uchida) when singing something beautiful which should appear effortless even while trying not to run out of breath. Whereas the likes of Uchida can look like they are being tortured even when playing the most sublimely beautiful stuff, and we don't think any less of them.

Quote
I also think that practising in a robotic way, disengages the ear, which is surely the last thing any musician should want to do....

Charles Rosen advocates practising technical passages while reading a good book on the music stand, to disengage the brain and treat the passage as a mechanical drill to develop total mechanical fluency. It works, as does another advice from some others to practice tricky passages with 'deliberation', meaning playing every note in it slowly, fairly loudly and perfectly evenly.

From time to time, those have been some of the 'tricks' I've used over the years to develop complete fluency in highly technical passages within some pieces (including the likes of Gaspard) so that eventually, I can forget that those difficulties ever existed and just concentrate on their music aspects.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 02:21 PM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Pieces should be practiced (and sight-read) musically, always. Drills & exercises are just that - drills, exercises to develop technique (so that it can all be forgotten when practising pieces), nothing more.

I can't agree with that. There is no technique by itself. Technique exists only in the context of music, being the way to create music. If someone 'drills' notes robotically without any musical goal that's what he will learn to do. Only the musical goal creates technique as the means to achieve it.
I can agree that this kind of goalless drilling might improve some general physiological abilities of the fingers, but it's not a technique by definition.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 02:28 PM

Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by bennevis
Pieces should be practiced (and sight-read) musically, always. Drills & exercises are just that - drills, exercises to develop technique (so that it can all be forgotten when practising pieces), nothing more.

I can't agree with that. There is no technique by itself. Technique exists only in the context of music, being the way to create music. If someone 'drills' notes robotically without any musical goal that's what he will learn to do. Only the musical goal creates technique as the means to achieve it.


You harping on the same thing in several threads.

In which case, I suggest you read the blogs of some very well-known pianists (who are certainly not 'mere mechanicus') and read about what someone once observed of Richter practicing.........

Is Richter's playing mechanical?

(Is Federer's playing mechanical - or artistic?)
Posted By: WhoDwaldi

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 03:25 PM

Hanon addresses the issue of varying key response from heavy to lighter across the most played range of the piano. Also the changes in hand position across the keyboard and coordinating play in both hands while doing identical things.

There is value in "throw-away" exercise warmup--you're not ingraining initially bad playing, due to not having played that day, into the piano pieces that you are trying to ultimately play well in the "perfect practice makes perfect" sense.

It's better to murder Czerny in private so that Beethoven goes well in public.

Posted By: Sidokar

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 06:18 PM

Originally Posted by fatar760

If we practise without being musical then this is how we play.


Musicality has only a sense when it relates to a piece of music that has an expressive content. An exercice is not robotic nor musical in itself. It has a purpose which to is develop a particular ability, that can be speed, eveness, finger dexterity, but also touch control or any other specific skill. Therefore I do not see where is the debate. Anyway all virtuoso pianists have spent numerous hours to do drilling to acquire the mechanical dexterity necessary to play difficult pieces. And it is not to say that one should not also play pieces and learn to play musically.

Learning to play evenly a scale is not robotic nor musical, but once this exact same scale is part of a Mozart sonata and is played exactly the same way, it becomes musical by the context in which it is played. Learning to play musically is a complex process that involves multiple skills, phrasing, understanding the composers style and intentions, interpretative choices, technical abilities, ... some other skills i did not mention and a touch of artistic genius.

And I do not think any student seats at the piano day after day with the only purpose to drill notes without any goal ? I have a hard time to even understand wat is the subject of the discussion.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 07:16 PM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by bennevis
Pieces should be practiced (and sight-read) musically, always. Drills & exercises are just that - drills, exercises to develop technique (so that it can all be forgotten when practising pieces), nothing more.

I can't agree with that. There is no technique by itself. Technique exists only in the context of music, being the way to create music. If someone 'drills' notes robotically without any musical goal that's what he will learn to do. Only the musical goal creates technique as the means to achieve it.


You harping on the same thing in several threads.

In which case, I suggest you read the blogs of some very well-known pianists (who are certainly not 'mere mechanicus') and read about what someone once observed of Richter practicing.........

Is Richter's playing mechanical?

(Is Federer's playing mechanical - or artistic?)

I'm not sure what you're talking about. Richter described his practice methods quite clearly. IIRC I already summarized it once on these forums. For fast and technically demanding things he mainly focused on slow playing and considered it a staple of technical development. He said that the main goal of playing slowly was to remember the motions. He also said that the most important things in slow playing are 'to set the hands free' and concentrate on physical sensations, trying to achieve pleasant physical sensations when playing. When he was specifically asked if he starts to play expressively at a slow tempo or later, he clearly stated, 'expressiveness right away'.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 08:26 PM

Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
[...]When [Richter] was specifically asked if he starts to play expressively at a slow tempo or later, he clearly stated, 'expressiveness right away'.


But he wasn't taking about Hanon, was he? That's what this thread is about, I believe, and the virtue or not of mechanical exercises used to develop technique.

Regards,
Posted By: fatar760

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 09:20 PM

God there's so many things I disagree with in the last few posts:

Playing scales with musical shape is important and shouldn't be a robotic exercise.

Playing musical does not necessary mean changing tempo

If a singer is worried about their breath control then they're not very good singers. I actively encourage all my singing students to forget about their breath and put their focus on song context and, where required, ensuring the correct ligaments are being used to create the necessary and appropriate sounds required.

Also, time is short. Practise time is even shorter. Why waste it on robotic, mindless exercises/drills, when we could be making music? To compare a pianist to a tennis player is a crazy comparison and the sort of mind-set that Hanon encourages. Different muscles. Different SUPPORT from the rest of the body. Different workload.

Finally - do students sit for hours and hours doing drills? Yes, yes they do. I've heard many. I've heard many develop injuries through hours of mindless drills at top institutes in London (RAM and Trinity). That mind-set is largely discouraged in the UK these days.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 09:48 PM

Originally Posted by fatar760
God there's so many things I disagree with in the last few posts:

Same here - I disagree with you on almost every point.

But I'll grant you that you completely misunderstood some important factors in the above arguments.


Quote
Playing musical does not necessary mean changing tempo

Have a listen to any great pianist playing lots of scales & arpeggios in K545.

Can you set a metronome to any of them? Go on, try it.

BTW, I don't mean changing tempo as in abrupt tempo change. I don't even mean rubato.

I mean 'breathing', something akin to what singers would do if they could take breaths without breaking the line.
Quote
If a singer is worried about their breath control then they're not very good singers. I actively encourage all my singing students to forget about their breath and put their focus on song context and, where required, ensuring the correct ligaments are being used to create the necessary and appropriate sounds required.

Ligaments?? smirk

Are you sure you don't mean muscles?

Aren't you forgetting something very important - something I know very well, having treated many singers myself? That their musical instrument is part of their body, in fact, part of their respiratory system?

Quote
Also, time is short. Practise time is even shorter. Why waste it on robotic, mindless exercises/drills, when we could be making music? To compare a pianist to a tennis player is a crazy comparison and the sort of mind-set that Hanon encourages. Different muscles. Different SUPPORT from the rest of the body. Different workload.

Tennis players practise drills so that every movement becomes instinctive - including footwork - so that they don't have to think about specific movements when playing, and instead concentrate on getting to, and hitting the ball.

A pianist practises exercises so that every movement - whether in scaler passages or some other common pianistic pattern of passagework - becomes instinctive, so that they don't have to consciously think about each individual movement of fingers, and can focus instead on playing and shaping the music. That is, making music.

Quote
Finally - do students sit for hours and hours doing drills? Yes, yes they do. I've heard many. I've heard many develop injuries through hours of mindless drills at top institutes in London (RAM and Trinity). That mind-set is largely discouraged in the UK these days.

I should certainly hope so.
Posted By: fatar760

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 10:34 PM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by fatar760
God there's so many things I disagree with in the last few posts:

Same here - I disagree with you on almost every point.

But I'll grant you that you completely misunderstood some important factors in the above arguments.


Quote
Playing musical does not necessary mean changing tempo

Have a listen to any great pianist playing lots of scales & arpeggios in K545.

Can you set a metronome to any of them? Go on, try it.

BTW, I don't mean changing tempo as in abrupt tempo change. I don't even mean rubato.

I mean 'breathing', something akin to what singers would do if they could take breaths without breaking the line.
Quote
If a singer is worried about their breath control then they're not very good singers. I actively encourage all my singing students to forget about their breath and put their focus on song context and, where required, ensuring the correct ligaments are being used to create the necessary and appropriate sounds required.

Ligaments?? smirk

Are you sure you don't mean muscles?

Aren't you forgetting something very important - something I know very well, having treated many singers myself? That their musical instrument is part of their body, in fact, part of their respiratory system?

Quote
Also, time is short. Practise time is even shorter. Why waste it on robotic, mindless exercises/drills, when we could be making music? To compare a pianist to a tennis player is a crazy comparison and the sort of mind-set that Hanon encourages. Different muscles. Different SUPPORT from the rest of the body. Different workload.

Tennis players practise drills so that every movement becomes instinctive - including footwork - so that they don't have to think about specific movements when playing, and instead concentrate on getting to, and hitting the ball.

A pianist practises exercises so that every movement - whether in scaler passages or some other common pianistic pattern of passagework - becomes instinctive, so that they don't have to consciously think about each individual movement of fingers, and can focus instead on playing and shaping the music. That is, making music.

Quote
Finally - do students sit for hours and hours doing drills? Yes, yes they do. I've heard many. I've heard many develop injuries through hours of mindless drills at top institutes in London (RAM and Trinity). That mind-set is largely discouraged in the UK these days.

I should certainly hope so.


Most of this response is arrogant and condescending so I shan't waste too much more energy engaging with such a person.

I did not "completely misunderstand" the argument. You, though, have been quite selective in what you've responded to in mine.

You CAN be musical without altering tempo. Go on, try it (!?)

With regards to ligaments. I meant ligaments. I should also have included cartilages though. I had not forgotten a singers musical instrument was part of their body and mentioned it to a group I taught just a few hours ago. Again, an arrogant comment.

That's me out on this one.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 10:55 PM

Originally Posted by fatar760


You CAN be musical without altering tempo. Go on, try it (!?)

Is any musical playing (or singing) ever metronomic?

Quote
With regards to ligaments. I meant ligaments.

You should read up on applied anatomy.
Posted By: anamnesis

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/01/19 11:39 PM

Obviously muscles and ligaments both "structurally function" in human activity, from this perspective I don't see anything wrong with "ligaments" in this context.

Especially for singing.

When you consider laryngeal structure, "ligament", has much more meaning than most other forms of human activity.

However, I believe bennevis is emphasizing efferent (motor) neurological input to muscles, with regards to the word "use". It's not wrong, but just a bit picky because it minimizes the intrinsic function of structure. After all, muscles work within the context of structure and in a sense their "function" is actually determined by it (both in terms of its internal structure and the external context it is in).

And when considering the role of sensory (afferent) information, in terms of any type of trained activity or coordination,
I'm far less confident you can be that picky.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/02/19 04:59 AM

Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
[...]When [Richter] was specifically asked if he starts to play expressively at a slow tempo or later, he clearly stated, 'expressiveness right away'.


But he wasn't talking about Hanon, was he? That's what this thread is about, I believe, and the virtue or not of mechanical exercises used to develop technique.

Regards,

Yes, indeed. Richter is particularly known for practicing repertoire pieces only, just as Godowsky and others from that camp. Richter said that in his entire life he had no more than 10 hours of out-of-piece scales practice and just a short period of practicing Burgmüller etudes when he was learning. I cited his words because I had an impression that he was accused of a mechanical practice of pieces. Most probably Richter never played Hanon exercises neither mechanically nor musically.
Posted By: Sidokar

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/02/19 09:03 AM

I think that taking a exceptional player like Richter or any other one as an example has little relevance anyway. None (no offense - well maybe an extremely small percentage) of the adult beginners have near the abilities of such a player, so whatever was his practice, it is not necessarily a good example to follow. There are kids out there that at age 8 can already play a Chopin Etude, so I guess for those Hanon or other similar exercices will not be very usefull.

Second point is that unless one has a detailed view of what was the daily practice of Richter (or others) when they were yet at a beginner level, taking some high level statements has not much interest and sometimes people make statements in a certain context which are not reflective of what they actually did or they implicitely do not refer to a particular moment of their life. Difficult to evaluate at best.

I do not see what sort of value added conclusions for a beginner/intermediate level adult trying to learn some piano can be drawn from all this.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/02/19 09:33 AM

Originally Posted by Sidokar
I think that taking a exceptional player like Richter or any other one as an example has little relevance anyway. None (no offense - well maybe an extremely small percentage) of the adult beginners have near the abilities of such a player, so whatever was his practice, it is not necessarily a good example to follow.

There is something not right about your statement. Many of these exception pianists have written books. Some of them were teachers. For example, I've never heard anyone say that a "normal" pianist should not bother reading Heinrich Neuhaus' Art of Piano Playing because Neuhaus was too good of a pianist and he is not necessarily a good example to follow.

Perhaps you meant something else and I'm misinterpreting, so if so, please clarify your remarks. For example, are you referring to natural-born pianists who were not professional pedagogues? Neuhaus was a professional pedagogue, but I don't believe Richter was.
Posted By: LarryK

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/02/19 12:26 PM

Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
[...]When [Richter] was specifically asked if he starts to play expressively at a slow tempo or later, he clearly stated, 'expressiveness right away'.


But he wasn't talking about Hanon, was he? That's what this thread is about, I believe, and the virtue or not of mechanical exercises used to develop technique.

Regards,

Yes, indeed. Richter is particularly known for practicing repertoire pieces only, just as Godowsky and others from that camp. Richter said that in his entire life he had no more than 10 hours of out-of-piece scales practice and just a short period of practicing Burgmüller etudes when he was learning. I cited his words because I had an impression that he was accused of a mechanical practice of pieces. Most probably Richter never played Hanon exercises neither mechanically nor musically.


Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
[...]When [Richter] was specifically asked if he starts to play expressively at a slow tempo or later, he clearly stated, 'expressiveness right away'.


But he wasn't talking about Hanon, was he? That's what this thread is about, I believe, and the virtue or not of mechanical exercises used to develop technique.

Regards,

Yes, indeed. Richter is particularly known for practicing repertoire pieces only, just as Godowsky and others from that camp. Richter said that in his entire life he had no more than 10 hours of out-of-piece scales practice and just a short period of practicing Burgmüller etudes when he was learning. I cited his words because I had an impression that he was accused of a mechanical practice of pieces. Most probably Richter never played Hanon exercises neither mechanically nor musically.



I wonder if Richter can be taken at his word. Decades ago, when I was studying violin with a Russian teacher, an émigré from Moscow, he told me a story of when Richter was interviewed by a local television station. The interviewer asked Richter how much he practiced, and he replied something like, one or two hours a day, nobody needs to practice more than that. Then, the interviewer asked his wife how much he practiced, and she said, what, he never stops!

My violin teacher told me that that apartment building in Moscow was famous because nobody in it got a good night’a sleep. My teacher said that Richter played the same passages, twenty or thirty times in a row, always at ear splitting volumes.

You’re from Moscow, perhaps you have better sources than I have. Do you know anybody who lived in Richter’s building, perhaps the poor souls who lived downstairs from his apartment? Hahah!


Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/02/19 02:18 PM

Originally Posted by LarryK
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
[...]When [Richter] was specifically asked if he starts to play expressively at a slow tempo or later, he clearly stated, 'expressiveness right away'.


But he wasn't talking about Hanon, was he? That's what this thread is about, I believe, and the virtue or not of mechanical exercises used to develop technique.

Regards,

Yes, indeed. Richter is particularly known for practicing repertoire pieces only, just as Godowsky and others from that camp. Richter said that in his entire life he had no more than 10 hours of out-of-piece scales practice and just a short period of practicing Burgmüller etudes when he was learning. I cited his words because I had an impression that he was accused of a mechanical practice of pieces. Most probably Richter never played Hanon exercises neither mechanically nor musically.


Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
[...]When [Richter] was specifically asked if he starts to play expressively at a slow tempo or later, he clearly stated, 'expressiveness right away'.


But he wasn't talking about Hanon, was he? That's what this thread is about, I believe, and the virtue or not of mechanical exercises used to develop technique.

Regards,

Yes, indeed. Richter is particularly known for practicing repertoire pieces only, just as Godowsky and others from that camp. Richter said that in his entire life he had no more than 10 hours of out-of-piece scales practice and just a short period of practicing Burgmüller etudes when he was learning. I cited his words because I had an impression that he was accused of a mechanical practice of pieces. Most probably Richter never played Hanon exercises neither mechanically nor musically.



I wonder if Richter can be taken at his word. Decades ago, when I was studying violin with a Russian teacher, an émigré from Moscow, he told me a story of when Richter was interviewed by a local television station. The interviewer asked Richter how much he practiced, and he replied something like, one or two hours a day, nobody needs to practice more than that. Then, the interviewer asked his wife how much he practiced, and she said, what, he never stops!

My violin teacher told me that that apartment building in Moscow was famous because nobody in it got a good night’a sleep. My teacher said that Richter played the same passages, twenty or thirty times in a row, always at ear splitting volumes.

You’re from Moscow, perhaps you have better sources than I have. Do you know anybody who lived in Richter’s building, perhaps the poor souls who lived downstairs from his apartment? Hahah!

I believe there was some misunderstanding in that interview. When describing his practice routine Richter said, 'I always play from the morning until 3 p.m. ... When I feel desire or I'm in a hurry before a concert I play up to 12 hours a day'. And this was quite a well-known fact about him, he was always considered workaholic and he didn't deny it.
Posted By: LarryK

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/02/19 02:46 PM

Originally Posted by LarryK

I wonder if Richter can be taken at his word. Decades ago, when I was studying violin with a Russian teacher, an émigré from Moscow, he told me a story of when Richter was interviewed by a local television station. The interviewer asked Richter how much he practiced, and he replied something like, one or two hours a day, nobody needs to practice more than that. Then, the interviewer asked his wife how much he practiced, and she said, what, he never stops!

My violin teacher told me that that apartment building in Moscow was famous because nobody in it got a good night’a sleep. My teacher said that Richter played the same passages, twenty or thirty times in a row, always at ear splitting volumes.

You’re from Moscow, perhaps you have better sources than I have. Do you know anybody who lived in Richter’s building, perhaps the poor souls who lived downstairs from his apartment? Hahah!


Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev

I believe there was some misunderstanding in that interview. When describing his practice routine Richter said, 'I always play from the morning until 3 p.m. ... When I feel desire or I'm in a hurry before a concert I play up to 12 hours a day'. And this was quite a well-known fact about him, he was always considered workaholic and he didn't deny it.


I’d love to see that interview. Do you think it could be found? I am surprised that my teacher would have misunderstood it, especially the part about telling people that a few hours of practice a day was sufficient, but perhaps he did.

I think that the people downstairs could have written a book with the title, “Living Under Richter’s Piano,” or something like that. There was an article in the New York Times about people who lived next to musicians. I believe the guy living underneath Murray Perahia complained about the practicing, and Perahia, said, it’s my life, what can I do, and I’m playing Carnegie Hall tonight.

Perhaps you can help me. I saw a Russian film at a film festival many years ago. It showed Russian army troops showing up in a small remote village asking for water. The villagers showed the troops a small fountain, with a little water gushing out of it. The troops got dynamite, and blew up the well. After that, there was a tremendous amount of water for one minute, and then nothing. With no water, the villagers have to relocate to Moscow. It goes on. Any idea of the title of this movie? I want to tell it to a Russian friend but I cannot remember the title.
Posted By: Sidokar

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/02/19 06:41 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

There is something not right about your statement. Many of these exception pianists have written books. Some of them were teachers. For example, I've never heard anyone say that a "normal" pianist should not bother reading Heinrich Neuhaus' Art of Piano Playing because Neuhaus was too good of a pianist and he is not necessarily a good example to follow.


I think you have a particular talent at reading between the lines the hidden meaning of one's comment. I am flattered that you think I have such a deep level of thinking and that I mean so many things in just a few lines but I have to confess that unhapilly for me I would have to disappoint you; my comment was quite pragmatic and in sequence with the thread. It all started with the usual discussion whether Hanon and drills in general are usefull; then it went on to the argument of wether someone like Richter was or not practising with drills. So I'll repeat my comments: 1-we do not have any detailed log of what Richter may have used as practice materials when he was at the beginner level; 2-assuming we had that, it would be of little relevance for most adult beginners/intermediate level players, as Richer had exceptional abilities and therefore whatever he was doing is not necessarily an example to follow. BTW given the exceptional skills of Richer, It is anyway very difficult to sort out what is the contribution of his practice and what is due to his talent.

Apart from that and in general terms, there are a lot of things to learn from great pianists, in terms of style, interpretation and piano technique. But for their daily routine and practice materials, I am skeptical unless one has the abilities and is aiming at becoming a pro virtuoso of a similar caliber.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/02/19 06:47 PM

Originally Posted by Sidokar
I think you have a particular talent at reading between the lines the hidden meaning of one's comment. I am flattered that you think I have such a deep level of thinking and that I mean so many things in just a few lines but I have to confess that unhapilly for me I would have to disappoint you; my comment was quite pragmatic and in sequence with the thread. It all started with the usual discussion whether Hanon and drills in general are usefull; then it went on to the argument of wether someone like Richter was or not practising with drills. So I'll repeat my comments: 1-we do not have any detailed log of what Richter may have used as practice materials when he was at the beginner level; 2-assuming we had that, it would be of little relevance for most adult beginners/intermediate level players, as Richer had exceptional abilities and therefore whatever he was doing is not necessarily an example to follow. BTW given the exceptional skills of Richer, It is anyway very difficult to sort out what is the contribution of his practice and what is due to his talent.

Ah. You were talking about what Richter "does" vs. what he "says." That was not clear in your post above since there are posts also above mentioning what these pianists say, also.

Yes, of course what top pianists "do" day-to-day is not a reflection of what you and I should do. I imagine for example, most top pianists left scales and most studies behind them - years and years behind in the "rear view mirror."

Personally, I was more more interested in what Richter, Neuhaus, and other top pianists "say" though, and not what they themselves do. I think what they say/recommend still has quite a lot of value for us of more modest abilities.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/02/19 06:56 PM

Originally Posted by LarryK

My violin teacher told me that that apartment building in Moscow was famous because nobody in it got a good night’a sleep. My teacher said that Richter played the same passages, twenty or
I’d love to see that interview. Do you think it could be found? I am surprised that my teacher would have misunderstood it, especially the part about telling people that a few hours of practice a day was sufficient, but perhaps he did.

I think that the people downstairs could have written a book with the title, “Living Under Richter’s Piano,” or something like that. There was an article in the New York Times about people who lived next to musicians. I believe the guy living underneath Murray Perahia complained about the practicing, and Perahia, said, it’s my life, what can I do, and I’m playing Carnegie Hall tonight.

Perhaps you can help me. I saw a Russian film at a film festival many years ago. It showed Russian army troops showing up in a small remote village asking for water. The villagers showed the troops a small fountain, with a little water gushing out of it. The troops got dynamite, and blew up the well. After that, there was a tremendous amount of water for one minute, and then nothing. With no water, the villagers have to relocate to Moscow. It goes on. Any idea of the title of this movie? I want to tell it to a Russian friend but I cannot remember the title.

You know, poor people in that apartment building have had no rest even after Richter's death, because his apartment was turned into Richter museum and his rather large practice room was turned into small concert hall. smile At least his apartment is located on the last floor of the building.

I haven't seen that film or that interview, sorry.
Posted By: LarryK

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/02/19 07:08 PM

Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by LarryK

My violin teacher told me that that apartment building in Moscow was famous because nobody in it got a good night’a sleep. My teacher said that Richter played the same passages, twenty or
I’d love to see that interview. Do you think it could be found? I am surprised that my teacher would have misunderstood it, especially the part about telling people that a few hours of practice a day was sufficient, but perhaps he did.

I think that the people downstairs could have written a book with the title, “Living Under Richter’s Piano,” or something like that. There was an article in the New York Times about people who lived next to musicians. I believe the guy living underneath Murray Perahia complained about the practicing, and Perahia, said, it’s my life, what can I do, and I’m playing Carnegie Hall tonight.

Perhaps you can help me. I saw a Russian film at a film festival many years ago. It showed Russian army troops showing up in a small remote village asking for water. The villagers showed the troops a small fountain, with a little water gushing out of it. The troops got dynamite, and blew up the well. After that, there was a tremendous amount of water for one minute, and then nothing. With no water, the villagers have to relocate to Moscow. It goes on. Any idea of the title of this movie? I want to tell it to a Russian friend but I cannot remember the title.

You know, poor people in that apartment building have had no rest even after Richter's death, because his apartment was turned into Richter museum and his rather large practice room was turned into small concert hall. smile At least his apartment is located on the last floor of the building.

I haven't seen that film or that interview, sorry.


Haha, no peace, ever!

Is the last floor the top floor or the bottom floor? :-) If the top floor, somebody suffered underneath him.

I live on the top floor.

When I looked at my current apartment, I let on that I played the classical guitar. Thinking I had made an error, I said that nobody had ever complained about my playing. The agent said, that’s nothing, there was a grand piano where you are standing the last time I sold this place.

It turned out that there is classical pianist who can be heard playing from my windows who lives in the next building. I think she passes the piano playing disease to each new owner, as I am thinking I need an acoustic upright. I can’t believe there was a grand in my rather small apartment but I know a New Yorker who lives with two harpsichords and a Steinway grand in about the same space, so anything is possible.
Posted By: Sidokar

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/02/19 09:46 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Ah. You were talking about what Richter "does" vs. what he "says." That was not clear in your post above since there are posts also above mentioning what these pianists say, also.


Is there someone that love music that would not be interested to know what great musicians have to say about music and their art ?
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Hanon exercises - to completion? - 05/02/19 10:24 PM

Originally Posted by Sidokar
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

Ah. You were talking about what Richter "does" vs. what he "says." That was not clear in your post above since there are posts also above mentioning what these pianists say, also.

Is there someone that love music that would not be interested to know what great musicians have to say about music and their art ?

Well that's exactly why I was surprised! Because it didn't make sense. But now it is all clear. Thanks for clarifying.
© 2019 Piano World Piano & Digital Piano Forums