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Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette?

Posted By: SiFi

Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/14/18 04:59 AM

???
Posted By: Carey

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/14/18 12:15 PM

Originally Posted by SiFi
???

I think you already known that I did - about six years ago. Used the Harold Bauer edition - which made the piece a bit more accessible in terms of distribution of notes between the hands.
Posted By: MathGuy

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/14/18 08:53 PM

C'mon, SiFi, I've only just recovered from your Who Can Play Los Requiebros thread. :-)

Jim
Posted By: jeffreyjones

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/14/18 10:50 PM

I played it as a junior in college. It's an uncomfortable piece, but totally doable. Try carefully controlling the elbow's motion to make it as small and contained as possible.
Posted By: BeeZee4

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/15/18 06:08 PM

I also played it in my early college days. It is tiring! Quite a workout for the right thumb (I just played through the first section just now). But I love the middle intermezzo.
Posted By: Auntie Lynn

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/15/18 07:42 PM

Does it count if I play all of them? If you want some real fun, try that Fantasie in C major...

Posted By: SiFi

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/18/18 01:48 PM

Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by SiFi
???

I think you already known that I did - about six years ago. Used the Harold Bauer edition - which made the piece a bit more accessible in terms of distribution of notes between the hands.

You're right; I did know and I remember you posted a rather good recording of it. Reason I asked the question is that I went back to the drawing board and completely re-fingered the entire piece so as to use different fingers on the same notes and adjacent notes where possible (instead of lazily using the thumb for pretty much everything like I used to!). I also remember you mentioning the Harold Bauer edition, which I'm going to look for on imslp. However, now that I've taken the trouble to work out my own fingering, I think I'm going to stick with that for now.

Would you mind re-posting your recording so we can all hear how it's supposed to go? I was planning on uploading a version once I've got it securely up to half tempo(!), kind of like I did with Requiebros. ha (ironic laugh) Part of the purpose is to get a handle on the highly specific technical challenges posed by this piece and by the seemingly outrageous MM half note = 92 marking.
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/18/18 02:26 PM

Originally Posted by MathGuy
C'mon, SiFi, I've only just recovered from your Who Can Play Los Requiebros thread. :-)


wink wink thumb
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/18/18 02:31 PM

Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
I played it as a junior in college. It's an uncomfortable piece, but totally doable. Try carefully controlling the elbow's motion to make it as small and contained as possible.

Not sure about the "totally" part! Thanks for the technical tip. Control is one of the things that made me go back to this piece. I think there are some general technical benefits to be gained from playing the piece with proper finger action and overall economy of motion.
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/18/18 02:35 PM

Originally Posted by BeeZee4
I also played it in my early college days. It is tiring! Quite a workout for the right thumb (I just played through the first section just now). But I love the middle intermezzo.

So my fingerings are mostly an attempt to "normalize" the function of the thumb in executing the figuration so as to make the melodic elements (voicing) and the repetitions work as they are supposed to in performance. I totally agree about the middle section. Totally Schumann the poet!
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/18/18 02:38 PM

Originally Posted by Auntie Lynn
Does it count if I play all of them? If you want some real fun, try that Fantasie in C major...


Indeed it does!! I'd love to hear how you play this one. I'm planning on learning 1 (done), 2 (in progress), 6 (almost done), and 8 (just starting) to have as my "Schumann selection".
Posted By: Tim Adrianson

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/18/18 03:04 PM

Hi, SiFi! Your query sends me back about 30 years or so ago, when I was exploring Schumann a little more closely than I ever had previously. And I recall perpetually "running out of gas" trying to negotiate the first section -- the way I was approaching it, my wrists and fingers would simply cramp up under its unceasing demands, and I eventually gave up trying to play it. I really love the sweep and drama of the piece -- it's just vintage Schumann in the best sense -- and so I regarded it as just a shame that I really couldn't do it justice. Many years later, though, I developed sufficient technique and strength to take on the Phantasie (an indirect consequence of the Amateur Piano Competitions, incidentally), along with Noveletten 5 and 6 and Kreisleriana, and so -- hmmm -- maybe I'll give it another look-see, to determine whether it is still as unapproachable as it was then. Stay tuned!
Posted By: Carey

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 09/18/18 04:12 PM

Originally Posted by SiFi
Originally Posted by Carey
I think you already known that I did - about six years ago. Used the Harold Bauer edition - which made the piece a bit more accessible in terms of distribution of notes between the hands.
You're right; I did know and I remember you posted a rather good recording of it. Reason I asked the question is that I went back to the drawing board and completely re-fingered the entire piece so as to use different fingers on the same notes and adjacent notes where possible (instead of lazily using the thumb for pretty much everything like I used to!). I also remember you mentioning the Harold Bauer edition, which I'm going to look for on imslp. However, now that I've taken the trouble to work out my own fingering, I think I'm going to stick with that for now.
Would you mind re-posting your recording so we can all hear how it's supposed to go? I was planning on uploading a version once I've got it securely up to half tempo(!), kind of like I did with Requiebros. ha (ironic laugh) Part of the purpose is to get a handle on the highly specific technical challenges posed by this piece and by the seemingly outrageous MM half note = 92 marking.

Here's the link. Recorded seven years ago. Ain't perfect, but it was steady (ha ha)

https://youtu.be/gJ8XpXLcdxg

I recall that we discussed this two years ago when you first raised the "fingering" question. Glad you are still plugging away at it. The distribution of notes between hands is key.

You won't find the Bauer (Schirmer) edition of the Novelletten on IMSLP, but you can order a USED copy of it on Amazon from $3.99 to $20.00. Of course, I purchased it NEW for a whopping $1.75 back in the early 1970s. smile

Cheers !!
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 10/20/18 05:46 AM

Carey, as you know, I got the Bauer edition and I have studied it carefully. It's a fascinating example of how the piano music of a "not quite a pianist" can be reconfigured. Anyway, I have some iPhone recordings with close-ups of how I ended up executing the fast section. I'll try to upload them tomorrow. In the the meantime, I would just note that this is a fascinating piece and the technical elements are a huge part of why it is so interesting.
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 10/20/18 05:52 AM

Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Hi, SiFi! Your query sends me back about 30 years or so ago, when I was exploring Schumann a little more closely than I ever had previously. And I recall perpetually "running out of gas" trying to negotiate the first section -- the way I was approaching it, my wrists and fingers would simply cramp up under its unceasing demands, and I eventually gave up trying to play it. I really love the sweep and drama of the piece -- it's just vintage Schumann in the best sense -- and so I regarded it as just a shame that I really couldn't do it justice. Many years later, though, I developed sufficient technique and strength to take on the Phantasie (an indirect consequence of the Amateur Piano Competitions, incidentally), along with Noveletten 5 and 6 and Kreisleriana, and so -- hmmm -- maybe I'll give it another look-see, to determine whether it is still as unapproachable as it was then. Stay tuned!

Tim, for what it's worth, I fingered virtually every note of the A/A' sections to get different fingers on the repetitions and "melodic" elements where possible. With the fingering and lots of slow practice, I can now frolic through those sections without fatigue or tension. It's still a bear, of course, but a bear without as big of a headache.
Posted By: BDB

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 10/20/18 06:15 AM

Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by SiFi
Originally Posted by Carey
I think you already known that I did - about six years ago. Used the Harold Bauer edition - which made the piece a bit more accessible in terms of distribution of notes between the hands.
You're right; I did know and I remember you posted a rather good recording of it. Reason I asked the question is that I went back to the drawing board and completely re-fingered the entire piece so as to use different fingers on the same notes and adjacent notes where possible (instead of lazily using the thumb for pretty much everything like I used to!). I also remember you mentioning the Harold Bauer edition, which I'm going to look for on imslp. However, now that I've taken the trouble to work out my own fingering, I think I'm going to stick with that for now.
Would you mind re-posting your recording so we can all hear how it's supposed to go? I was planning on uploading a version once I've got it securely up to half tempo(!), kind of like I did with Requiebros. ha (ironic laugh) Part of the purpose is to get a handle on the highly specific technical challenges posed by this piece and by the seemingly outrageous MM half note = 92 marking.

Here's the link. Recorded seven years ago. Ain't perfect, but it was steady (ha ha)

https://youtu.be/gJ8XpXLcdxg

I recall that we discussed this two years ago when you first raised the "fingering" question. Glad you are still plugging away at it. The distribution of notes between hands is key.

You won't find the Bauer (Schirmer) edition of the Novelletten on IMSLP, but you can order a USED copy of it on Amazon from $3.99 to $20.00. Of course, I purchased it NEW for a whopping $1.75 back in the early 1970s. smile

Cheers !!


I see that you recorded this on a Mason & Hamlin, which is appropriate for a Bauer edition, as that is what he played. Many years ago I tuned a BB for one of his students, who was in her late nineties. She would sit down and test it with Schumann's Toccata, undoubtedly with Bauer's untangling.

I was introduced to the Schumann Novelettes through Beveridge Webster's recording, on YouTube here. A fine performance!
Posted By: Carey

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 10/20/18 06:50 AM

Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by Carey
I think you already known that I did - about six years ago. Used the Harold Bauer edition - which made the piece a bit more accessible in terms of distribution of notes between the hands......Here's the link. Recorded seven years ago. Ain't perfect, but it was steady (ha ha)
https://youtu.be/gJ8XpXLcdxg

I see that you recorded this on a Mason & Hamlin, which is appropriate for a Bauer edition, as that is what he played. Many years ago I tuned a BB for one of his students, who was in her late nineties. She would sit down and test it with Schumann's Toccata, undoubtedly with Bauer's untangling. I was introduced to the Schumann Novelettes through Beveridge Webster's recording, on YouTube here. A fine performance!
I honestly don't know if there is a published edition of the Toccata with Bauer's untangling, but in looking for it online I discovered THIS duo-art recording Bauer made of Toccata in 1922. Impressive that his former student could play the piece in her late 90s.
https://youtu.be/dFeCr--GSSo
I've owned the Beveridge Webster LP of the Noveletten since 1966 - and have listened to it A LOT over the years. A fine and inspirational performance indeed - and it was recorded on a Baldwin !! (I also see that I left a comment on the youtube video a year ago.)
Posted By: BDB

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 10/20/18 07:07 AM

Schirmer's published Bauer's edition of the Toccata, but it is out of print now.
Posted By: Carey

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 10/20/18 02:53 PM

Originally Posted by BDB
Schirmer's published Bauer's edition of the Toccata, but it is out of print now.
No only is it out of print, but (unlike the Bauer edition of the Noveletten) used copies of the Toccata can't be found on-line - which is unusual. Folks must be hoarding the few copies that still exist..
Posted By: BDB

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 10/20/18 03:49 PM

There were a couple of copies on Amazon when I looked.
Posted By: Carey

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 10/20/18 08:20 PM

Originally Posted by BDB
There were a couple of copies on Amazon when I looked.

This time I found it !! Thanks. A little pricey for used. I guess it all depends on the keywords used for the search. smile
Posted By: SiFi

Re: Who Can Play Schumann's 2nd Novelette? - 11/17/18 06:56 AM

Originally Posted by SiFi
Carey, as you know, I got the Bauer edition and I have studied it carefully. It's a fascinating example of how the piano music of a "not quite a pianist" can be reconfigured. Anyway, I have some iPhone recordings with close-ups of how I ended up executing the fast section. I'll try to upload them tomorrow. In the the meantime, I would just note that this is a fascinating piece and the technical elements are a huge part of why it is so interesting.

I wanted to let you know, Carey, that I haven't forgotten you! Here's one of the the recordings I made several months back. Unfortunately the camera angle is such that you can't really see the fingers that matter. However, it's somewhat clear what I'm doing from the hand movements. Scary thing about this is it's about half speed. Eek!!!!
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