I played this etude when I was 8th grade. I'm sure my performance of it was a little on the slow side and immature etc etc, but my point in bringing it up is to opine that the left hand part doesn't really require great stamina. Without knowing anything about how you play it, I'd guess that when you try to play it at a fast tempo, you are somehow tensing up. I'm willing to bet that you can play through the entire left-hand part at half tempo without much struggle. If that's the case, try to let your slow-moving left hand teach your fast-moving left hand. Play through at a slow speed being REALLY perceptive of every motion that your left hand goes through. Then try again at speed and try to perceive every change that is caused by the speed. There are going to be some slightly different movements caused by the speed, but I bet you'll also feel changes that cause extra tension in some of your hand muscles.
Excuse me if you already know and practice this way, but I'll share the details of the best way I've found to work such kinks out. Pick a metronome tempo that you can easily play a section of the LH part to. When things are really steady after a few minutes, kick it up a notch until you have just the slightest bit of trouble keeping up. Practice at that speed for a few minutes until it starts to be easy, and then kick it up a notch again. At each increase, make sure you are keeping your hand/hands as relaxed as possible, while still fully sounding every note. I usually observe that right when I increase the speed, I'm tense, but then I accommodate, and sometimes even space out for a minute or so, and when I focus again, I realize that my hand is much more relaxed and easily keeping up. If you ever increase the metronome speed and find after 5-10 minutes that you haven't learned to relax and play it at the new speed, back it down a notch and try more at that slower speed. Eventually each day you'll reach a limit past which you can't get faster, but if you do this regularly, that limit will increase until you can play the left hand of the Revolutionary at the speed you desire without excess tension, thus saving your forearm muscles.
There are some places where you could cheat and play a bit with the right hand as well, but IMO that doesn't solve the problem, as there are some extended parts in the middle where you can't cheat like that, and besides, Chopin clearly designed this etude to be a study in left-hand speed and efficiency:)
Hope this helps:)
Exactly, playing it with the right hand is cheating (the same way my teacher told me I can do stuff with the left hand to replace the right in some passages of the Pathetique by Beethoven. I never did any of these things.
You're right though. I tense up a lot with the D, Bb, Cb, Bb section that begins with the Bb sus chord in the right hand. I can't help but. I do practice the piece at 110bpm or so, which is obviously slower than where it should be. I'm not trying to get to the Richter speed (which, I think, is about 160-180) but I'd like to get to about 140 and play it clean. I'll add rubato in after I can play it exactly as written.
I think you hit it on the head though. You just confirmed what my subconscious mind keeps fighting against doing.
Now, when you performed this in 8th grade, how many years were you playing? i wish I had started at a much younger age, but I didn't qualify for piano lessons through my Catholic school growing up, because they told me my hands were too small for my age (I didn't actually grow much until 9th grade, where I sprout up a foot in a year). Stupid school.... I have a five year old student now that I'm going over Bach's invention in Dm as individual hand exercises, and he'll be performing Mozart's Fantasy in d minor in the spring. The major part needs a lot of work... haha!