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Bellini-Fumagalli Casta diva, arranged for left hand only

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by andrew, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Adolfo Fumagalli (1828-1856) was an Italian virtuoso who primarily achieved fame through his compositions for left hand only. Many of these are, as was the fashion, arrangements on popular operatic arias and themes.

    From a concert last year, here is his left hand only arrangement of Bellini's Casta diva.

    Bellini-Fumagalli - Casta Diva
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is up, Andrew. Nicely played! You know, I have never tried one of these left-hand-only pieces.
     
  3. differencetone

    differencetone New Member

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    Beautiful playing. I'm sure that Adolfo Fumagalli would approve of this.
     
  4. Daniel Hoehr

    Daniel Hoehr New Member

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    This is really beautiful! Thank you.
     
  5. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for the comments!

    It was my first serious left hand project, though I had dabbled in some Godowsky previously. It was interesting, and sometimes challenging! It's quite conveniently written in that the melody tends to inhabit the stronger fingers while the accompaniment lies in the weaker fingers, which makes it easier to bring out the melody.
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have really had no desire to play a left-hand only piece, but I just learned that Mompou wrote one and it's part of a set that I may want to learn, so looks like I'll have to do it. I think it will be very awkward for me. I don't have long arms or fingers....
     
  7. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I didn't have any particular desire to learn a lh only piece either, but a pianist friend told me my left hand was not very good, so I viewed it as a self-improvement project. You may not find it so awkward; in this example the main issues were probably leaping and dexterity, though I have quite a large hand so perhaps I take hand size/finger length for granted. In any case, what better place to start than an area of repertoire which you find congenial? That more or less defined my selection, and I'm glad I took the project up as it was interesting to think about unusual problems.
     
  8. jono7

    jono7 New Member

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    Beautiful LH piece, and well played :!: I should really be practicing my LH more myself as I think it could do with some improving, and what a wonderfull way to do it.
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've changed my mind and no longer want to play that particular set so I'll not be working on a LH-only piece. Though,I do understand how it would help develop technique in that hand. I am right handed, so I know my LH is weaker. Maybe I'll work on it just to see what happens. But I'm curious - are there many RH-only pieces?
     
  10. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks.. it's a much more fun way than working through Czerny or whatever.

    The only one I can think of off-hand would be the middle one of Alkan's three op. 76 etudes (left hand only, right hand only, hands reunited).
     
  11. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Ugh! The words, "Alkan" + "etudes" = "impossible" (for me). Thanks anyway, Andrew. I better just stick to playing with both hands....
     
  12. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andrew,

    This is a wonderfully played "Casta diva" arranged for left hand alone. You've played it so artistically that just listening to it without the benefit of knowing otherwise, I would have assumed that it was being played with both hands. Congratulations on this fine achievement!

    David
     
  13. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Monica,
    I can advise you to have a look on the famous Brahms transcription for the left hand of Bach's chaconne for violin (I'm sure it should be on IMSLP). Eternal music which will bring to you some technical struggle, but also great musical pleasure ! There is a two-hand transcription by Busoni which is not easier, I think...
     
  14. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oups, sorry, you meant RIGHT hand ! I wondered about that just a week ago, since my wife, who is also a pianist, is suffering from a quite strongt left elbow tendinite. I found an Internet site listing a number of RH alone pieces, but only one is available on IMSLP (it is the Alkan's study), which looks terribly difficult ! Now she is supposed to make a trial with Bach-Brahms chaconne with the RH. I'm sure it is playable, though in arpeggiated big chords it will be more difficult to make the leading top voice singing (the RH fifth finger being weaker than the LH thumb, of course).
     
  15. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Francois - I wish your wife well with her one-hand piano music. And that's okay, I don't plan on doing any myself. I'd probably fall off the bench or clunk my head on the piano, so I'm safer with two hands.
     
  16. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Still you may use your feet :)
    Have a good week-end,
     
  17. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    I must admit that if I end up recording it in a studio setting, rather than as a live performance, I will be sorely tempted to use both hands! I'm not sure about the ethics of that. :D Apart from having been at the performance (!), the thing that tells me it's just one hand is the time delay in some of the big leaps from bass to treble, where it's effectively a bass appoggiatura (as opposed to those where the bass and treble lie on differing beats). Ideally the notes should be a little closer together, but I can't jump much faster without taking risks.

    I would certainly agree with that: oddly, I think his lh only etude is significantly easier (obviously still tricky though).
     

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