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 Post subject: Scriabin Op. 8 N°12 and the Sustain Pedal.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:47 am 
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Hi !

First, let me say that I mostly practice on an electric piano (a Yamaha P60), that has not only a very low action, but also a very short sustain, even with the maximum instrument reverberation. When playing on a grand, I will have to practice a bit and vary my legato and pedal work, otherwise my sound will be blurred.

While this is not a problem while playing Bach for instance, as you are trying to hold the durations, I find it extremely painful when playing pieces with huge jumps, such as that particular Scriabin Etude.
Playing without the sustain is not even an option - it will sound horrible because there is no way to have a left hand legato (I think ?). However, when using it, as this piece has quite the momentum, it can quickly be blurry during FFF passages or fast octave runs (I don't have this problem with Chopin 10/9 that also has a fast left hand and octave runs ; that one had pedal markings though) ; so my question was the following :

For those that play it or know it, what sustain pedal pattern are you using (my edition has no pedal markings) ? The whole bar is out of the question, and every 2 beats can either sound dry (in the beginning especially it causes "cuts" between two intervals) or still blurred (bass heavy passages, "jackhammer part). I like to have a clean sound, right now I can play the correct notes with satisfying dynamics, but I'm butchering it with my sloppy pedal work. It either cuts the sound or blurs it. You also can't play the whole left hand "soto voce" because it has some key melodic elements.

Please help me, I've been trying to have this one performance ready for months, and the whole sustain issues kill it for me ! :-)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:22 am 
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I, personally, am usually attracted to Scriabin's later pieces; so although I have yet to actually play this one enough times to give any solid advice on its playing, when I play through it I have a tendency to pedal more or less in 2 minus the pick-up (i.e. 1 & 2/3) throughout most of it. There are obviously many points where this must be modified. I've found that pedaling just enough to gain the legato and sustain the bass works best although I'm not quite sure what the problem is with the electric piano that you use. It might be a better effect to use the middle pedal for the initial bass chords (if your piano has a middle pedal that functions properly - most uprights just double the una corda! :shock: ... I have no idea what electric pianos do since I really don't like electric pianos at all.) then utilize the right pedal for sustaining within the phrasing to taste. A better source for advice on playing this particular piece might be the following link:

Scriabin plays Scriabin

Even if this turns out to not be Scriabin actually playing, the artist has a remarkable sense of the message of this piece. :cool: Hope this helps.

Love is the law, love under will.
Aryobrand


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:08 pm 
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Thanks for your answer ;)

I only have the sustain pedal ; right now I'm using it on feeling alone, and I feel it's not a really good idea. I've begun to think there is no definite answer in that piece, and you have to listen carefully in order to pedal properly. The biggest difficulty I find is releasing it, being careful not to blur the piece, yet without breaking the harmonies ; for instance the beginning of the slow passage is hard to pedal (if you don't use rubato and slow down to let the chords unfold before you release the pedal). The "problem" I'd say is that there are often two chords / octave on the left hand, one on the last beat and the other on the first beat ; the hard part being, managing continuity without blurring the piece because you kept the pedal too long.
I like that link you provided, though if I understand correctly Scriabin used to play with much rubato and bravura, that seems somewhat lacking there :) I like Horowitz different renditions, though sometimes you can't qualify the piece of an Etude anymore because of the slow tempo (still I'd rather hear it slow and emotional like some Horrowitz's than superfast and mechanical like Kuerti's).


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:02 am 
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Quote:
I like that link you provided, though if I understand correctly Scriabin used to play with much rubato and bravura, that seems somewhat lacking there :)


? ... :!: ... really? ... :shock: I'm not sure if you're pulling my leg or not, as to me that recording has a LOT of rubato, for me personally too much, but if that's Scriabin playing his own music, I certainly can't argue with him - although I do notice more than a few wrong notes from his own score. :oops: I even have somewhat of a problem with his unwritten accellerando toward the end of the piece, but hey, he wrote it! (Twice actually, since you might be aware that there are two different versions of that etude (I think :oops:))

One thing that may be causing me confusion with your question concerns your technique in general, and what exactly the effect of your pedal is doing to cause concern; maybe a few questions might clear up this mystery for me.

Have you ever played the organ, or any kind of legato music without using any pedal? Similar to what I consider the ONLY way to play things like J.S. Bach correctly, is to practice without any pedal at all. At first (if you've never done this before) it will probably sound HORRIBLY choppy and disconnected. Persist in the practice and after a while you will begin to gain more fluency in playing legato without ANY :shock: pedal whatsoever. The trick to it (at least for me) is learning to respect the length of EVERY note within a composition - i.e. to NOT rely on the pedal to sustain notes for you across the measure, but rather to pretend that you're playing an organ where as soon as the finger lifts off of any particular note, the sound instantly stops from that tone. :cool: Keeping this thought in mind, be extreeeeeeeemly mindful of the length of every :!: note; not shorting any notes by even a 32nd of a beat. This practice can be extremely challenging and discouraging at first, but as you get more practice with the method, you will find that reliance upon the pedal for legato slowly fades and the pedal becomes more of a shading tool to open up more resonance within the tone :D , rather than a crutch to lean on which helps keep the hands free.

Obviously there are certain instances where the passage requires pedal (such as the initial bass downbeats within the Op.8, No.12 Etude) to continue the note across the measure but even with those figures, shifting fingers to retain the bass in the top note of the octave might be enough to retain the flavour of that particular chord. Otherwise keep the notes in your grip, releasing each note only at the expiration of its tempo (making obvious adjustments depending upon the context ;) ). You might find yourself exhibiting a lot more initial-grace-note-type jumps between chords to keep within the beat, but after practicing this in strict style at first, you can later relax the technique somewhat by adding in tasteful pedaling where needed. Does this help at all with the problem, or am I completely misunderstanding your questions? :oops:

Love is the law, love under will.
Aryobrand

P.S: If you are thinking of practicing this technique (depending on whether this has any bearing upon the problem you're encountering or not), it will be MUCH easier to practice the technique starting with something like Bach's Wohl-Temperierte Clavier (all of them from both volumes apply).


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:04 am 
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Scriabin did indeed write two versions of that piece, and Horowitz recorder the alternate version a few times, and Sofrinitsky did also.

I think you definitely gave the best possible advice of all, and i was rather surprised because you stated it very clearly. I practice using that method a bit, but i never necessarily set it apart as a specific way to improve upon pedaling. I notice the same ideas with Pogorelich when he pedals while playing Scriabin. Thank you for the very applicable advice.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Very interesting answer Aryobrand thank you !

I use the pedal to sustain most left hand notes actually ; I'm not sure if this is because of my electric piano (quick fading notes ; for instance I have to pedal the Prelude Op.10? n°14, even prestissimo, on my electric, but not on a grand, so the difference is obviously huge). Maybe it's not even a problem of sustaining, but more one of touch ; on some quick key presses, I've noticed the electric piano doesn't produce a full tone like a real piano would, but just a quick bip-like sound. I hate it.
I always assumed it was the only way to produce legato here, especially since there are some huge jumps (I play all the notes from the bass clef with the left hand too), but your idea of holding the upper bass note is certainly interesting. Usually I don't use much pedal (none in Bach obviously), but there I just thought it was necessary (despite not being indicated) : like you say not using the pedal in that Etude makes the sound incredibly choppy and ugly (almost staccato despite my best effort, and I know my left hand isn't THAT bad).
I totally agree on usually holding full lenght on notes, I learnt it with Bach and I've always done it since - that's also why the pedal here bothers me, you are having held notes on the right hand, but it doesn't really matter since you're sustaining everything.

On another note, I don't care much for the other version, though I did learn it for completion's sake. I almost never play it (and when I do you can bet I'll get confused). And regarding Scriabin's own playing, I read "somewhere" his playing varied quite a lot depending on his mood, and he varied it greatly with added rubato ; I'll try to find that again (the source was actually one of his contemporary). Of course "a lot of" rubato can mean many different things depending on who hears it ! I like clean sound so I usually refrain from it, but I know it can be used to great effect in many Scriabin works (and I don't mean Chopin rubato for the right hand only, but huge tempo alterations - whether it be rushing or dragging ; the 8-12 Etude seems to call for it sometimes, in the end or during the 3/2 passage before the final for instance).


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 7:21 pm 
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The original post is a bit old, but I would like to make a comment, by way of a warning. Even though 2 successive notes may be played legato without pedal, it may be very dangerous in Scriabin to rely on finger legato everywhere. The hand can be very seriously injured. Best to divide hands, as well as use pedal, in many wide skips, even though it may be possible, with effort, to connect them without pedal using the same hand. Musical notation should, in general, be seen as representing the musical intention, but not necessarily the technical intention. To paraphrase the Aleister Crowley quote, "Do what thou wilt - to achieve the musical result without hurting thyself!" Interesting board!


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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 7:36 pm 
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I completely agree with you regarding exercising care not to injure yourself, but I made the assumption that most, if not all, people here already knew that if something feels strained it probably should be done carefully. (I'm now fully recovered from overexuberant Bartok! :oops: so it's not only Scriabin that can injure or strain.) However, the technique to which I was referring doesn't involve unnatural stretching (much more so than ANY Scriabin compositions do), but rather a quick finger change such as one might meet in a Czerny exercise or a Ravel poeme. E.G. picture going up the keyboard in van Beethoven style octaves using the 5th finger first, then switch to thumb for the second iteration on the same note - from here you can reach yet another octave higher with the 5th, only to switch to the thumb again on the same note. I hope I described this well enough that it doesn't sound too confusing ... :oops: ! Someone who has built up a solid musculature of the hands and wrists through daily practice for decades should be able to feel for situations where something might be injurious. For beginners: just keep in mind that anything that feels strained should not be persisted - most certainly NEVER at a fff!!! If I feel an undue strain in my hands it's usually a sign to me that my fingering should be modified, which can usually remedy the situation. I hope that clears up what I meant, I keep forgetting that when I reply to someone in particular, everyone else is reading it too - including people that may have merely stumbled upon this forum. Sorry for any misunderstandings.

Love is the law, love under will.
Aryobrand

P.S. Teddy, I was thinking about the short 'bip' sound that you're getting upon a stacatto touch on your electric piano and thought I would add: Exploit the bip. If your piano is producing an unnatural sound that normally wouldn't be found on another piano, then exploit it. Use that new sound as a new shading or colouring in your expressivity. Certainly if this is a mechanical problem that prevents other touch from being played have it fixed, but if it's merely an anomoly that can be used to extend your expression, then by all means you shouldn't fret about it but rather try to find ways that this can be used to more advantage. Just a thought since I can relate to pianos making horrendous sounds. I also have an old Rhodes 88 Suitcase model and although I would never attempt some pieces on it (BY CHOICE), it still has other colouring and tone than can be wonderfully exploited in other situations. However due to circumstances sometimes I ONLY have access to the Rhodes. As a result my playing adapts to it, then I have to practice extra hard when I regain access to my Schirmer upright!! I've learned that it's so much more productive to try to look forward to expanding my expression when I'm stuck with only the Rhodes. ... Just trying to find the silver lining ... :wink: ... OK I'll shut up now.


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:47 pm 
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Hi Aryobrand,

On re-reading your original post, I see that I missed the finger-replacement aspect, which obviously presents no danger at all. I was thinking of more rapid passages, such as found in op. 42 no. 1, to pick an example, where finger replacement would be out of the question.

Thanks for your explanation, which was very clear.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 4:15 pm 
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Yes, finger legato is definitly different in Scriabin's music than it is in say Chopin's ; it is often not possible, and even when it is, pedal might sound superior (except maybe in a few pieces with an ostinato bass)... But using the pedal is huge work, and I think when I wrote my original post I was underestimating it. After working on it, I think I definitly understand Debussy better when he said pedal using was "like breathing". That makes it frustrating on an electric piano where there is also poor pedal control, but meh...
I've been playing quite a lot of Rachmaninov recently, and there are many "effects" to be done with the pedals, so I found it was a great way of improving that aspect of my playing. I also love Prokoviev, but the more "percussive" aspect of his music is absolutely horrible on my piano ; even non-musician friends can tell how ugly the tone is.
Regarding finger legato, I usually persist with it even if it hurts (though I'm obviously careful not to injure myself) ; the more you practice some strange legato, the easier it becomes : not only because your muscle get used to it, but also because your whole wrist, arm and body integrate the movement required for that legato better. I mentionned Chopin 10-9, and I think it is a good example of that : the 5-4-1 fingering might seem odd (many people argue different keyboard size with Chopin's, etc.), but after a bit of practice it gets really easy and you acquire some "pivotal wrist"-skills that are very useful (like, in Barcarolles). Then again, there's practicing and practicing ; I know people that want to play that D-G chord in Scriabin's 8-12 without arpeggiating it, streching their hand all day, there's just no point to me. Remember Schumann !

On finger switching, I had never really tried before, so it feels really strange to me (never had probleme before, even though I don't have the biggest hand, I can hardly manage a clean 11th). I'd take any advice on an Etude on this, if you know one that focuses on that aspect of play. I just finished Debussy's repeated notes Etude, and I loved it ; I had so so many problems with repeated notes and I feel it got A LOT easier after that (still need a few months of practice though !).
Anyway, I've become really fond of holding only the upper bass note (especially of left hand octaves) rather than using pedal to color a bar, don't know if it's really a good thing... but it can give a really beautiful and clear tone.

Regarding the tone of my piano, I think there's absolutely no upside, and sadly it's not a mechanical problem ; it's like those cheap synthetiser keyboards, they have no sustained tone unless using tons of reverb, though because it's more expensive, you get better touch and a slightly better sound. The bass sounds good an full when played legato (like Chopin 10-9 or Scriabin 11-5), but the right side of the keyboard tones is ugly and empty. But I also dislike Yahama's high pitched sounds most of the time (like broken bells or tiny shrieks, playing Liszt in the high register is like walking on baby frogs), I like full and heavy tones in general. I guess you get what you pay for though, a 1000$ home keyboard is not going to equal a high-end grand Steinway...


A last thing regarding the pedal in general - I just don't understand something : it is so important, often making THE difference between two players, and yet composers almost never bother writing it. I'd even argue it's more important to pedal correctly (and often harder too) than to have proper dynamics (though both are not unrelated). Why didn't Scriabin write the pedal for all his pieces ? The same goes for Rachmaninov, when he wrote it, it is often interesting, but most of the time he just left it out. Are we just supposed to figure it out ? Is there some "pedal 101" course that I missed ? I hate it when I have to figure whether one voice must be held with the hand or with the pedal (no way I'm playing 4+ voices without pedal indications now...)


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 5:48 pm 
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Hi Teddy (and I hope I'm using the reply correctly!),

You pose some interesting and important questions. If I may boldly jump in here....

Quote:
Regarding finger legato, I usually persist with it even if it hurts (though I'm obviously careful not to injure myself)


My opinion: if it hurts, it is not good. Piano playing or practice should not hurt. Try using the wrist to rotate (up and) around. Re: op. 10 no. 9 - true, Chopin did indicate 5-4-1 in the first edition. Your "pivotal wrist" discoveries will help. Try to lift the wrist before you pivot (using an "upper arc" to reach the C), and the strain will be reduced Also, a complete legato is entirely unnecessary between the F and C; the pedal takes care of it, so what might be called a "light-legato" would be fine there.

Quote:
I know people that want to play that D-G chord in Scriabin's 8-12 without arpeggiating it... remember Schumann!


I can't imagine why! You mentioned Schumann. Anyone who has studied his Toccata (completed during the time his right hand injuries were seen as permanent!) knows he had a thing for stretches! But even in an Allegro work like the Toccata, 10ths can be broken.

Quote:
I can hardly manage a clean 11th.


My word! Why would you ever need a clean 11th?! Some pianists in history had famously large hands (Weber, Henselt, etc.) but one does not need them. Josef Hofmann had quite small hands. He certainly did not need his special smaller keyboard to play beautifully.

Quote:
I'd take any advice on an Etude on this, if you know one that focuses on that aspect of play.


Try Scriabin op. 42#1. But be careful out there! Re: no pedal marks in Scriabin... I think he knew that different artists would play his pieces differently. He himself changed his interpretations just about every time he played! And indeed, pedaling requires very careful thought in Scriabin. One cannot always pedal "by instinct" in his music. The harmonies must be studied and listened to very closely, to see at what point the build-up of sound gets in the way of clarity. Often the pedal will be changed in unlikely places relative to the time/rhythm/melodic structure. An atmospheric balance must be reached between dryness and mush. But there are many solutions and possibilities within those extremes. His étude op. 8 no. 2 is an excellent study for pedaling and its manifold possibilities, and is technically not too difficult (once you have acquired a feel for the polyrhythms).

You said about pedaling:

Quote:
it is so important, often making THE difference between two players, and yet composers almost never bother writing it.


Perhaps you should say, "it is so important, often making THE difference between two players, because composers almost never bother writing it. Also, pedal indications are usually very incomplete. Chopin's markings is a good example of that. By the way, the question of just how the pedal was used in the time of Chopin is a fascinating one. His manuscript indications seem to suggest that the previous pedal is lifted before the next pedaled note is played - that is, not "syncopated", as we all do now. The details of pedaling are rarely brought up in 19th century piano methods. Were Chopin's indications only an approximation of what was generally understood, much as the dotted 8th to 16th when accompanied by a triplet means triplet quarter to triplet 8th?

On the subject of electric keyboards... I sympathize with those who cannot afford pianos, but at the same time I would say that even an old upright is preferable to a "keyboard". Call me old-fashioned.


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 9:08 pm 
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Quote:
My opinion: if it hurts, it is not good. Piano playing or practice should not hurt. Try using the wrist to rotate (up and) around. Re: op. 10 no. 9 - true, Chopin did indicate 5-4-1 in the first edition. Your "pivotal wrist" discoveries will help.

It's exactly like sports ; you will get tired, your muscles will strain, but the more you do it, the further you'll be able to push it. You don't have to fear the pain, just keep track of you limit ; I often have pains in my fingers or arms when learning a new and hard piece, but I've never been incapacitated (and I practice a lot). For me it usually is painful when away from the piano (when writing for instance, or using the computer), and it gets better after I warm up.

Quote:
I can't imagine why! You mentioned Schumann.

Well, if I remember correctly, he injured his hand trying to stretch it ; the same way Scriabin injured his right hand overpracticing (over- is the key part !). Every time I see I'm mindless repeating some painful movement at a fast tempo, I think "Schumann !" and it makes me take a break ;D

Quote:
Why would you ever need a clean 11th?!

Sounds cool ? It's like octave glissandos ! you don't need it, but for a reason you want to have it.
All in all, more than a 10th sure isn't that useful, but when playing Liszt and sometimes Scriabin (though I guess it was meant to be arpeggiated then) I sometimes wish I had a better reach.
Plus my fingers aren't really cute, makes me sad. Some people I know at the Conservatoire have long and slender fingers, huge span, you know, those hands that make you gap and think "he must be a pianist !" (though I guess it's totally unrelated). I'm so jealous.

Quote:
Try Scriabin op. 42#1

I'll have a look at it, from what I understand though the Op. 42 is quite hard, not only technically, but also musically.
This days, I really have huge trouble getting my Scriabin to sound the way I want ; for instance my 8-12 is note perfect at a proper tempo, but when listening to my recordings of it, I can't help but hate it. I seem to miss something, some kind of "special effect", some rubato or pedal or stacato or anything, because it sounds dull and uninteresting. Let me give you an example : for 8-12, I find the second page impossible to play nicely without using outrageous amounts of rubato ; the written rhythm is quite mechanical yet you have to make it sing (most recordings I've heard hardly follow the rhythm on the sheet I think). Does that mean I am supposed to play it "freely" ? This problem most likely includes the pedal for me : what are the choice you can make when playing Scriabin ? It seems to require more than "what's usually permitted", as in "if you don't go the Horrowitz-way it won't work".

I play the 8-2, I love it (I like Pogorelich's too) ; learnt it for the polyrythm along with the Chopin nouvelles études, and it's a beautiful piece you can play quietly or with anger, at various speed. Not everybody likes it though.
I use the pedal quite mechanically there as far as I know (like I would in say, Chopin).




Sounds like I'm venting, sorry...
I don't understand why composers leave out the pedal ; as you said, it might be understood at the time (for Chopin it is fairly straightforward, I think), but when you get to XXth century music, it no longer makes any sense to me. I've been looking for books on the subject, but have yet to find anything. Surely, the pedal has its root in the construction of the piece, like the dynamics ; when pieces get stranger like they do in the XXth, the dynamics get harder to predict (in my opinion ; the phrasing also gets different), but they are still indicated. The pedal gets harder to use, but you're still free to do whatever. Is bad pedal something you can work on in itself (a series of effect you use to emphasize parts of the piece), or is it something you only get through proper analysis of the piece (a coherent and essential part of the piece) ? I still wonder, and the "listen and make it sound good" method is very hard for me (brains first kind of playing I guess). I need reasons behind my choices...


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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:16 pm 
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Sorry to interrupt, but Teddy - if you want to study pedaling techniques, there is a book that may help you. I found it interesting and very detailed. It’s Enrique Granados’ own teaching method which he taught his own students. The book is in the set of newly published urtext editions of all Granados’ music, edited by Alicia de Larrocha and Douglas Riva. The publisher is Boileau and the book I refer to is called 'Pedagógicas 2 – Vol. 9'. In it you find such a great wealth of information regarding piano technique and the section on pedaling is unbelievably thorough. I’ve read it, but will have to read and study it again because there is so much that I could not take it in all at once.

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 12:22 am 
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Don't forget about Joseph Banowetz's exemplary book, The Pianist's Guide to Pedaling. ;)

This book–and several other good music references–are available here in electronic form for free:

http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/iol/

All you have to do is sign up.

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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 1:50 am 
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Hi Teddy,

You wrote:

Quote:
It's exactly like sports ; you will get tired, your muscles will strain, but the more you do it, the further you'll be able to push it. You don't have to fear the pain, just keep track of you limit


Every pianist has different keys to success. I'm no student of the musculature of the hand and arm. I guess that would be a worthwhile study for folks like us! But for me, a pianist cannot be absolutely compared to a sportsman. There are similarities, but I do not see the purpose of practice as building strong muscles, as with ballet dancers, whose lives are filled with pain and physical stress. They defy gravity, while we utilize it. After all, we can play as loudly as we'll ever need to simply by letting our arms drop freely onto the keys! For me, technique is the art of throwing one's weight around in a relaxed fashion.

Of course, pianists have strong hand muscles, under the palms, necessary for finger strength. But after a point, I see the goal as not overtaxing those muscles while maintaining the strength and control. And I believe that warming up requires absolutely no stress. For me, purposely causing any tension in the hand at all (pain = tension) is a no-no. Others here may disagree, and feel that pianists must "pump iron" - "no pain, no gain". I however could not disagree more strongly, and feel that pain should play zero role in developing a technique. "Musclebound" playing will surely not have a beautiful sound, or be fluent and supple.

Pianists may increase their range. Henselt is the great example. He compared his hands to shoe leather, and stretched them to improve his reach... or so he claimed. And he had one of the most supple and velvety sounds in piano history! But I wonder if any muscle pain was involved. Honestly, Teddy, the way you speak of embracing the pain instead of fearing it makes me a little afraid for you. I would say "Be afraid ... be very afraid" when it comes to bringing on a daily dose of hand pain as you practice. Think of Graffman and Fleischer as well as Schumann, who used a harmful mechanical device to bring about his pianistic downfall. If you do not want to suffer from drunkenness, then take a path far around the vineyard, and do not approach it, to paraphrase the Talmud. Not the most apt analogy, but it's an appealing sentiment, anyway!

My best teacher espoused what he called the "open position" when practicing... lifting the fingers very high (except for the thumb, which he called "a ground animal"). Jorge Bolet took it a step further and suggested attacking the keys from high in the air, with an accompanying arm motion, to improve sureness and accuracy (I think he got that from Saperton). This is what Tetzel and Deppe termed "free-fall", and is done while as relaxed as possible. All practice can be accomplished without too much tension. We do use our muscles, and we do need to take breaks during practice... but long before we feel actual pain. There can be significant muscular development without pain or even serious fatigue.

Again, it's a personal thing. Others will surely have other opinions. Perhaps there are excellent pianists who feel exactly as you do. But in my own experience, pain is something to be avoided at all cost.


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