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Clair De Lune

Posted By: cmb13

Clair De Lune - 05/12/19 09:32 PM

My teacher has me starting on this beautiful piece. To tell the truth, I'm not sure I'm ready for it. In particular, the fast arpeggios are....well....fast! She has me learning certain measures, a few at a time, in various spots of the piece. I've been working at this for a few weeks now and surprisingly, they're coming together. In fact, I think I have covered about 30% of the piece and can get through these sections. I'm hoping the rest goes even faster, as the patterns are somewhat repetitive.

The sections I've covered up until now are:
M1-8 - part of the intro
M15-17.....hope to add up to 21 quickly
M29-36
M37-40
M66-73 ending (not that difficult but very beautiful)

Getting it up to speed, however, will be a different story. It's fairly long, and will require lots and lots of repetition. For now, I'm just working on getting fingering down, and playing it really slowly, possibly 50% of tempo.

Some interesting aspects of the piece:
The piece is in 9/8 time, and there are sixteenth notes in some areas, so one must count 1&...up to 9& which is 18 notes in some measures.

The key Db maj; I've played the Liszt Consolation 3, which is also in this key, so I'm okay with this.

The floating notes. Take the first bar, it starts on beat 2, which gives it an ethereal sound.

Just some initial comments.....
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/12/19 09:45 PM

Wow, sounds like you are doing well. It sounds like the direction your teacher provides is fantastic.

I understand completely your fear of am I up to tackling this yet, but the description of your progress says to me your teacher knows what she is talking about.

I am looking forward to you keeping us updated on your progress.
Posted By: Stubbie

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/12/19 10:06 PM

A wonderful piece. Have a good time with it!

I will probably start on it this summer. My teacher suggested starting with picking some of the LH arpeggios and getting really comfortable with them. Meanwhile, I've started working on Jimbo's Lullaby. That piece has (to me) a somewhat awkward rhythm to it--like a lumbering elephant, I guess (no surprise).

Originally Posted by cmb13
....The piece is in 9/8 time, and there are sixteenth notes in some areas, so one must count 1&...up to 9& which is 18 notes in some measures.......
I've played a few pieces in 9/8 time, and my teacher had no trouble with me counting it 1 & 2 & 3 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 1 & 2 & 3 &. Counting up to nine is HARD.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/12/19 11:40 PM

This piece presents several challenges, not the least of which is timing. It must have a languorous quality to the "A" section, yet it should never become static and stagnate; it has to keep moving but very gently.

While the piece is in 9/8 time, it should (eventually) be felt in a very gentle three beats to the bar. If one concentrates on counting to nine in each measure, there is a risk of losing the flow and the interpretation may becoming too "notey". I stress this because there are several measures where the three notes to the beat (triplets) become two notes to the beat (duplets), further complicated by the fact that some of these duplets are tied over the sixth beat, as in measure three, for example. This becomes a problem if you are counting nine to the bar when in measure three the F in the right hand comes halfway between beat five and six and the D-flat comes halfway between beats eight and nine. If you count three to the bar, then it's easier to feel three to the beat and then two to the beat.

A similar challenge arises in measures 19, 21, and 23, where the notation changes from nine to six to notes to the measure. Don't make the mistake that some do playing the measure as two groups of three (with an accent on the C octave in measure 19); it's still thee groups of two.

Starting at measure 37, one has to be careful to voice the melody clearly on beats 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 (OK, so I'm counting in 9, now!). In measures 41 and 42 the fingering to get a legato line can be a bit awkward; I found it needed work but with the right fingering it does work.

In the un poco mosso section, the right hand has to sing above the left hand arpeggios, with the top voice in the right hand prominent. There are some bass lines that need to be gently brought out in measures 31, 32; 37 through 40, etc.

In the calmato at measure 43, the lower line in the right hand has to be heard as a rising voice, but it should not overpower the sustained line in the upper part of the right hand. That motif is echoed later in measures 47 and 48, an octave higher.

There's a lot going on in this piece, but it shouldn't sound like it! There's the challenge.

Regards,
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/12/19 11:45 PM

Originally Posted by BruceD
[...]I stress this because there are several measures where the three notes to the beat (triplets) become two notes to the beat (duplets), further complicated by the fact that some of these duplets are tied over the sixth beat, as in measure three, for example. This becomes a problem if you are counting nine to the bar when in measure three the F in the right hand comes halfway between beat five and six and the D-flat comes halfway between beats eight and nine. If you count three to the bar, then it's easier to feel three to the beat and then two to the beat.
[...]


A good exercise to help master this change in flow, is to set the metronome to a comfortable tempo and play a scale, several octaves up and down, alternating between three notes to the beat and two notes to the beat. The alternating triplets and duplets should be absolutely even. One could vary this by playing the scales with two groups of three to the beat followed by two groups of two to the beat; two groups of three; two groups of two.

Regards,
Posted By: Jitin

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 12:15 AM

I just learned this piece, I.m need to fine tune it , but this is hardest pieces I learned/ played thus far.

I found the hardest part to be when it goes into key if e, and the notes have to played consecutively like arrpegios but lots of shifts

I still need to work on some sections
Clair de lune

Though I just say it is very fun to play :)))!!
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 12:57 AM

Thanks for the comments....it'll certainly pose challenges. I have worked on it by dividing the measures into three, mentally, but had not committed to this type of counting. I asked my teacher about this, and she thought this would be fine. Maybe I'll take this concept further.

Thanks for the detailed comments, Bruce, I'll have to study these comments further as I progress. Not tonight though...GOT is about to start!

Jilin, nice job no the piece. Seems you've got the notes and the tempo (although I think I'll never take it quite that fast....I like it a little slower which is good b/c I probably couldn't play it at that tempo if I tried). I agree, a little work to bring out the melody or rather soften the L hand will help, but you've got the music down. Just a little refinement.
Posted By: Mosotti

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 09:03 AM

This is a very difficult piece, I don't think I'll attempt it in the next 5 years. It's a grade 8 or something piece yet for some reason it keeps popping up in "easy piano pieces" lists smile
Posted By: KevinM

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 09:41 AM

Originally Posted by Mosotti
This is a very difficult piece, I don't think I'll attempt it in the next 5 years. It's a grade 8 or something piece yet for some reason it keeps popping up in "easy piano pieces" lists smile



I think there are a lot of simplified sheet music versions around. Wanting to play something I could recognize very soon after I started playing after a 40 year break was a very simplified version of Clair De Lune.

It was quite nice to be able to start doing that soon after I restarted. It is probably the only time I'll learn a simplified version of a piece of sheet music but it was worth it. But enough for me to decide to never criticise anyone else for deciding to learn a simplified version of a piece of music.
Posted By: Sidokar

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 12:23 PM

Originally Posted by Mosotti
This is a very difficult piece, I don't think I'll attempt it in the next 5 years. It's a grade 8 or something piece yet for some reason it keeps popping up in "easy piano pieces" lists smile




It is classified as RCM Level 10 and level 10 by Magrath !
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 01:26 PM

I’m not familiar w Magrath. Looked her up though. Does she have some sort of syllabus of her own?
Posted By: Stubbie

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 02:00 PM

Originally Posted by cmb13
I’m not familiar w Magrath. Looked her up though. Does she have some sort of syllabus of her own?
It's this, I think.
The Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching....
Posted By: Sidokar

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 05:05 PM

Originally Posted by cmb13
I’m not familiar w Magrath. Looked her up though. Does she have some sort of syllabus of her own?


Yes she referenced quite a few pieces from beginner to early advanced - grade 1 to 10 in the RCM terminology - starting with some baroque but essentially classic, romantic and some modern pieces too. It's convenient if you are looking to play something and dont know exactly if at your level.
Posted By: AssociateX

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 05:13 PM

Good luck! I never learned this piece which is shocking given all the childhood piano lessons I had, lol. I tried sight reading it but when I get to the middle section, my timing falls apart.
Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 06:17 PM

Henle rates this piece as 5 (medium) out of 9. I'm not familiar with this system but it rates it as medium. It is very commonly played on reddit. I think it should be doable. For me I would find the main difficulty the busyness of the piece in places to make that sound light and effortless. Maybe I'd have to explore some Impressionist or Debussy music before attempting. Good luck.
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 08:16 PM

Originally Posted by AssociateX
Good luck! I never learned this piece which is shocking given all the childhood piano lessons I had, lol. I tried sight reading it but when I get to the middle section, my timing falls apart.


Yea...sight reading this piece is not going to happen for me!!
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 08:19 PM

Originally Posted by Moo :)
Henle rates this piece as 5 (medium) out of 9. I'm not familiar with this system but it rates it as medium. It is very commonly played on reddit. I think it should be doable. For me I would find the main difficulty the busyness of the piece in places to make that sound light and effortless. Maybe I'd have to explore some Impressionist or Debussy music before attempting. Good luck.

I think you’re 100% right - trying to make the fast arpeggios light and airy while bring out the melody above them may prove to be the hardest part. That and the sheer speed and volume of those 16th notes.

I have learned The Girl with the Flaxen Hair and some Satie so maybe that will help.
Posted By: pathguy

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/13/19 11:01 PM

Originally Posted by Jitin
I just learned this piece, I.m need to fine tune it , but this is hardest pieces I learned/ played thus far.

I found the hardest part to be when it goes into key if e, and the notes have to played consecutively like arrpegios but lots of shifts

I still need to work on some sections
Clair de lune

Though I just say it is very fun to play :)))!!

Well Done!!!

I have a beginner version of this, though it's only two pages and certainly doesn't have all of those great runs in it. Something to work towards, however!
Posted By: girflush

Re: Clair De Lune - 05/15/19 05:33 AM

Needless to say, a most beautiful and superb selection. It is on my bucket list as well. Interestingly enough I have noted a few relative beginners claiming to tackle the piece here and there, and have generally assumed they were in way over their head, but the simplified arrangements do make sense..
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/14/19 09:14 PM

QUESTION -
M49-50 Is the high Eb held or replayed on beat 7 of M49? M1 of 50? It looks to me like it’s tied throughout. Just want to make sure I learn that correctly. It’s a really long tie....


Edit - I think I have my answer.

Thanks, Tiffany! It’s at around 3:30


Posted By: Pianoperformance

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/14/19 09:31 PM

https://youtu.be/MHnU8ZdRb_s

I love Jane’s tutorials.
Posted By: Charles Cohen

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/15/19 04:08 AM

Originally Posted by Mosotti
This is a very difficult piece, I don't think I'll attempt it in the next 5 years. It's a grade 8 or something piece yet for some reason it keeps popping up in "easy piano pieces" lists smile




It's easy to play badly. Not at all easy, to play it well.

. . . So smooth, so simple -- what could be hard?<G>

I tried it, coming back to piano after a long, long absence. Decided I wasn't ready.

I'm still not ready.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/15/19 06:41 PM

Originally Posted by Pianoperformance
https://youtu.be/MHnU8ZdRb_s

I love Jane’s tutorials.


Jane is excellent!! She has SO many videos, she's always my first go to, to make sure my timing is right or to look ahead at potential fingering issues.
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/15/19 07:07 PM

Her videos are good, I agree, although a little mechanical. For fingering or questions like I had above, though, they work well.
Posted By: Moo :)

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/15/19 08:24 PM

How exactly are Jane tutorials useful ? If you want to try and play this piece you should be able to work out the notes without such videos. I found that it was very painful to watch. I would definitely not trust her for fingers suggestions !
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/15/19 11:27 PM

Originally Posted by Moo :)
How exactly are Jane tutorials useful ? If you want to try and play this piece you should be able to work out the notes without such videos. I found that it was very painful to watch. I would definitely not trust her for fingers suggestions !


If you are referring to her "tutorial" on Clair de lune, I agree that it was painful to watch. How is this video even considered a tutorial? There was no discussion, no explanation, no insight given into interpretation; just a very slow, note-for-note, expressionless, one-dynamic run-through of the score with the occasional tempo inaccuracy.

I can't imagine anyone finding this particularly useful.

Regards,
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/16/19 12:10 AM

I think the videos are meant for those who don't read notes at all or not well. Also, for those without fingered scores or those who can't use fingered scores.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/16/19 12:12 AM

Originally Posted by cmb13
Her videos are good, I agree, although a little mechanical. For fingering or questions like I had above, though, they work well.
Why not used a fingered score?
Posted By: Pianoperformance

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/16/19 12:19 AM

The point of the video is for fingering and slooooow play tempo. I find it very useful to check in when I have done my first draft of fingerings and her Bach’s are great to learn about trills.
Fingers scores are assuming everyone has same hand span. I will try them, but will revise to fit my hand span.
Everyone to their own in learning. This is sharing in case other people might find it useful.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/16/19 12:29 AM

Originally Posted by cmb13
Her videos are good, I agree, although a little mechanical. For fingering or questions like I had above, though, they work well.


Agreed. Fingering and rhythm (she's very solid with metronome) are what I use them for, if I'm between lessons and just need a quick check. They are very mechanical, so that's kind of the nly thing I get out of them. You can pretty much find almost any piece on there, though. Imperssive.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/16/19 12:34 AM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think the videos are meant for those who don't read notes at all or not well. Also, for those without fingered scores or those who can't use fingered scores.


Or for those playing Bach, or other repertoire, that often has crazy weird fingering that many scores don't agree upon. Typos in scores is not an infrequent occurrence. A quick check can often help.

She's also good for hearing complicated rythms and different voices, because she goes very slowly and intentionally.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Clair De Lune - 07/16/19 01:44 AM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I think the videos are meant for those who don't read notes at all or not well. Also, for those without fingered scores or those who can't use fingered scores.


Or for those playing Bach, or other repertoire, that often has crazy weird fingering that many scores don't agree upon. Typos in scores is not an infrequent occurrence. A quick check can often help.

She's also good for hearing complicated rythms and different voices, because she goes very slowly and intentionally.
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