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Hi,

I love Clara Schumann's piano pieces but unfortunately (for me) her writing tends to often reflect her technical prowess (and her large hands).
I listened and looked here and there but I couldn't really find anything that seemed manageable for me.

That means: around the same difficulty as the easier Chopin Nocturnes or Scarlatti Sonatas.

I absolutely adore her Nocturne (
) which is okay for the most part but there are some ornamentations and short passages in there which are way too difficult for me...

Any ideas?

Thanks!

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What a lovely piece. If you absolutely want to play this but you really can't, then there is only one possibility: you have to simplify. As an amateur this is no blasphemy imo, as long as you don't overdo it and don't lose the spirit of the piece. You could leave out some of the ornaments. In the passages where the melody is played in octaves, you could leave out the octaves and play a single line instead. In fact, simplification is often used as a temporary means when practicing and it can be very effective. You can regard your simplification as a temporary measure, and maybe when you come back to the piece in a few years, you will play it in the original way.

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Most pieces composed by women in the 19th century are on the difficult side. So it is not only Clara Schumann.

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Originally Posted by Sidokar
Most pieces composed by women in the 19th century are on the difficult side. So it is not only Clara Schumann.

I have also found this to be the case. I’m not sure how this piece could be simplified, as ErfurtBob suggested. Even if you leave out the ornaments there are other technically difficult sections to play in comparison to the easier Chopin Nocturnes. If you have a teacher, ask him/her to help you build the skills required to play this Nocturne.



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Slightly OT, but when (female) piano students criticized a certain well-known examination board recently as to why hardly any female composers' music was on the lists of exam pieces for their grades, more were added. But all the additions were by contemporary composers, obviously not composing in a Classical or Romantic style, and mostly specifically for students. Thus, all the usual male suspects remain the backbone of the piano music suitable for beginner-to-intermediate level students, and the vast majority of anthologies of piano music for beginners and intermediates have no female representation......unless they include simplified music or contemporary pieces.

It does seem odd that even female pianist-composers of the late Classical & Romantic era who taught extensively and were famous in their day (Louise Farrenc, Clara Schumann, Marie Jaëll among them) wrote next to no music that their less-than-advanced students could play (not to mention students whose hands didn't span much bigger than an octave).


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Originally Posted by ErfurtBob
What a lovely piece. If you absolutely want to play this but you really can't, then there is only one possibility: you have to simplify. [...]

Originally Posted by PianogrlNW
[...] I’m not sure how this piece could be simplified, as ErfurtBob suggested. Even if you leave out the ornaments there are other technically difficult sections to play in comparison to the easier Chopin Nocturnes. If you have a teacher, ask him/her to help you build the skills required to play this Nocturne.

The other solution is to put the piece aside until you have gained the ability to begin to work on it with potentially promising results.

Regards,


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I like this piece.



Here is one by mendelssohn sister so she may have a few easier ones


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Ooooohh that Fanny Mendelssohn one is going straight into my repertoire for ballet class this week. Thanks!

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Larghetto No 1 Op 15 is a short beautiful piece by Clara Schumann - its AMEB grade 7 (should be the same for ABRSM). Not technically very demanding, just hard to make sound as good as some of the versions I have heard.


Surprisingly easy, barely an inconvenience.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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I completely forgot about that piece by Fanny, I'll give that a shot. I heard it first about a year and a half ago and then I knew it was too hard but might be okay now.

That larghetto indeed sounds good to but I can immediately see at least one of her "dude, check out how large my hands are" moments.

Thanks you so much, this should keep me busy!

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The first two preludes of op 16 (C.Schumann) are wonderful.
I think they are approx the same level as the nocturne. Just different challenges. You may consider them as well. The fugues are probably harder.


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