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 Post subject: Rhythm question (updated with Russian fun !)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:02 am 
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(see my latest reply for more !)

Hello there, I'm looking for confirmation on a small issue I've been having in the Liszt Etude n°10, often called "Appassionata".

Here is a link to the sheet, my problem is page 73 :
http://imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/6 ... ion_b_.pdf

Bar 30 (the one after the marking "più rinforzando"): the left hand is having semiquaver triplets, and on the right hand the melody goes "naturalF bG bbB bbA G".
Now, the "naturalF bG" are two eighth notes (actually a silence, a semiquaver and a quaver but I'll simplify for clarity's sake) ; but the "bbB bbA G" are where the problem lie : they are marked, in order, eighth note, dotted eighth note, and a sixteenth - which is impossible in 2/4, since the bar would be :

( ( 1/2 + 1/2 ) + ( 1/2 + 1.5/2 + 0.5 / 2 ) ) / 4 = ( 1 + 1.5 ) / 4 = 2.5 / 4

So I've been assuming the second half of the bar was actually a triplet :
( 1/3 + 1.5/3 + 0.5/3 ) /4 = 1/4

The problem is that whatever the edition, the triplet is NEVER indicated. I mean, so are the left hand triplets, but they reoccur during the whole piece. There (if I guessed correctly), we have on the first half normal quavers, and then WITHOUT ANY INDICATION, a triplet.

Am I totally wrong in my interpretation, or is it normal ? Another thing that irates me is that sometimes there are accidentals for a hand (like a natural D on the right hand) but they do not apply for the left ; I think I've seen it in other works from Liszt, but still, am I wrong to think an accidental applies (in a bar) for BOTH hands ?

Thank you for your help, I've been puzzled by that for a while now...


Last edited by Teddy on Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:37 am 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
:shock: This is beyond my skill level. I know there will be two or three people who can help you.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:39 am 
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Sorry, I can only help you with one of your questions, because I also had trouble remembering this: An accidental does not apply to both hands.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:04 am 
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Why not try listening to some professional recordings? That way, you'll get an aural image without having to count mercilessly.

Even though I'm unfamiliar with this piece, I would just play as it's written. Align the hands with the common downbeats and fudge the rest, if you have to.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:39 am 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
That reminds me, Petey, of the saying: when in doubt fake it.

Meaning that you should accidentally "slip up" at that part of the composition :lol: and then continue playing flawlessly

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:19 am 
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I assume it to be a triplet too, even if it's not indicated (but neither are those in the bar before the piu rinf.) But I would not fuss too much about it, this is a typical Liszt rhetoric gesture where you'd typically pull back the tempo before lurching into the next section, and as such you have some freedom there.

Accidentals apply only to the stave they occur in (I think, actually, only to the line they're on), and only for the duration of the bar.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:40 am 
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Well, I've been faking it for a while, I was checking for wrong notes when I realised "well that bar doesn't make sense !"... I don't have that good of an ear, I tried picking it up on recordings (I like Berman's obviously, Berezovsky's live one has some fury too, though he's sweating quite a lot because well, it's the tenth etude in a row !), but to no avail.
I always believed accidentals applied for both hands :( If I recall correctly, La Lugubre Gondola by that same Liszt even has flats on the right hand to "correct" left hand naturals... Witty composers messing with me !

Thanks for the help, it was driving me a little nuts...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:06 pm 
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I was playing some Rachmaninoff the other day, and I've found more rhythm fun !

The problem is on Op. 16 n°4, the Presto Moment Musical.
Here is the sheet : http://imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/5 ... ical_4.pdf

The question : Is the first b on the right hand simultaneous with the last note of the bar on the left hand ?

At first sight, it is not (sextuplets / triolets on the right hand are mentionned later in the piece), but if you look further on the sheet, the same melodic pattern b then e + g is repeated, this time being together with the left hand (see bar 2 versus bar 11 for instance). Are they played differently ? This is even worst than the Liszt case in my opinion. I'm not even talking of bar 13 where the last sight counts differently depending on the voice.

For a simple illustration on how that all doesn't make sense, just count bar 2 on the right hand :
Half rest (2/4) + Quarter rest (1/4) + Eighth rest (1/8 ) + semiquaver b (1/16) ; where is the missing 1/16 ? It does NOT make sense (it would if the eighth rest was dotted, but it is not).

Let's count bar 3 :
Dotted x 3 half note (2/4 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16) + Semiquaver b (1/16) = 4/4 ; so the sixteenth b is played a little before the last left hand b.
And bar 5 :
Dotted x 2 quarter note (1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16) + Sixteenth note (1/16) + Quarter note (1/4) + Triolet (1/4) = 4/4 ; so the sixteenth f+a is played a little before the last note of the left hand sextuplet.


The main point of conflict I guess is bar 9 to 10 : the final b in this bar is both in the right hand accompagniement voice and in the melodic voice ; though there is only one written note, can there be two different notes ?
Let's count bar 9 :
Right hand upper voice : 4 x sextuplets (4 x 6 x 1/24 = 4/4)
Left hand : 4 x sextuplets (4 x 6 x 1/24 = 4/4)
The problematic right hand lower voice : the last "b" is CLEARLY part of the sextuplet, so it should be worth 1/24 (sextuplet sixteenth). But if you've followed me until here, you can see the same b in earlier bars is worth 1/16 (normal sixteenth). So, am I to deduce that while it is written in a sextuplet, it should also be played as a normal sixteenth ?


The fun bar 13 :
Upper accompagniement voice :
Quarter rest (1/4) + 2 sextuplets (2 x 6 x 1/24) + half a sextuplet (3 x 1/24) + eighth rest (1/8 ) = 1/4 + 2/4 + 1/8 + 1/8 = 4/4
Lower melodic voice :
Dotted x 2 half note (1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 ) + semiquaver (1/16) = missing a 1/16.
Now, I could do a magic trick to make sense out of it :
If the rest is to be counter in the melodic voice (1/8 ), you would have 1/8+1/16 when adding the last semiquaver. But you could then say both the rest and the semiquaver are IN FACT part of the sextuplet preceding it : that would make 1/12 + 1/24 = 1/8, which would give the bar 4/4. But then - our last melodic note is part of a sextuplet, so it lasts 1/24 and not 1/16 like the other final melodic notes in the first bars. Plus you are counting a rest for two voices (maybe it's normal, that's still weird.), and even worse, counting that same rest differently depending on the voice, once 1/8 and once 1/12.


I've been playing this piece for a long time, always done it *almost* simultaneously in all instances with some rubato to mark the accent. Am I doing it wrong ? I think Rachmaninoff often uses this "almost together" bass and melody (the G minor Etude-tableau n°8 has some lovely passages like that), so that's why I played it like I did, but this bar 9 story is puzzling. The rest seemed obvious until then - because I assume, and recordings seem to confirm this, that it is played the same both in bar 2 and bar 9 ; that is to say b right hand then b left hand, then e+g right hand, though I can't really hear the b on the left hand because of my poor ear and recordings' quality.


Last edited by Teddy on Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:03 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:20 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
Teddy wrote:
Is the first b on the right hand simultaneous with the last note of the bar on the left hand ?


I don't know if this is legal in the music world, but I zoomed in 400% and it looks like the first right hand 'b' is played at the same time as the last note for the left hand.

Anymore brainbusters? :lol: :wink: :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:28 pm 
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Yes Juufa, to make things worse they are exactly on the same vertical line. I don't think that counts as musical proof though ; if you count the bar, they are clearly not together. I think I've seen a few times pieces where the notes were written together but, in fact, were not. And even if it were proof - how do you explain the rhythm in the bar then ?
I'm even more interested in bar 9's final b.

Regardless, that piece is really beautiful and stormy, with a simple yet effective melody (like many of the Moments or Etudes tableaux).


Please help me :( it's driving me crazyyy :P


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