Thank you to those who donated to Piano Society in 2017.

Liszt - Funérailles

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by François Micol, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. François Micol

    François Micol New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Last Name:
    Micol
    First Name:
    Francois
    This is a live recording from about one year ago. At first I had given up on posting it because the room's dryness and the low recording volume made it sound terrible, but after some minor tweaking, it all became a tad more tolerable. :)

    Aside from that I wasn't particularly displeased with the performance, but I'd like to record a cleaner version eventually (and preferably on a better piano). I may get back to the piece for my exam next year, so I'll probably do it then.

    Meanwhile, I hope you like it.

    Liszt - Funérailles
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    Kudos for performing such a hard work live ! You do a good job even though some of the more hectic sections are rather slipshod, the misses covered up by lots of pedal. The good thing is that you are cool as a cucumber and not fazed at all by the hardship. You seem to have the ability to play straight through problems with a poker face.

    Do you want this one on the site, or do we wait for the cleaner version ? Or put this up and replace it later ?
     
  3. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Ph.D student
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Lee
    First Name:
    Hye-Jin
    I agree with Chris about everything he said about your performance.
    You can be proud of having performed this live, but I would let this recording here and improve it further to replace it by another if I were you. Because this piece certainly cost you a lot of work and time and this must be rewarded with a better recording.
    Btw were these slips caused only by the special environment of a live performance or didn't you enough time to perfect it? (I'd like to know whether this piece is playble for me at all :wink: )
     
  4. François Micol

    François Micol New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Last Name:
    Micol
    First Name:
    Francois
    Thanks for the feedback! :)

    Please put it up - that will be extra incentive for me to get the piece back on track and to replace it with a better recording.

    Well, I performed it at the end of a 10-day summer course, so even though I had been practising it for a long time (>4 months), some things were rather "fresh" and not yet fully ready for performance.

    As for the piece's difficulty, it does take a lot of work but it's far from being unplayable. It's hard because it's long and a bit heavy on the emotional side, and there's a couple of technical spots, but other thand that it's mostly rewarding for the pianist. ;) I have to say that having large hands helped a lot, though!
     
  5. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Ph.D student
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Lee
    First Name:
    Hye-Jin
    Thanks for sharing your experience! I had a brief look on the score yesterday and couldn't find any exremely long stretches on it, indeed. But to play the crazy and endless octave runs of LH on a right tempo seems to be nearly impossible for me :( Did you learn any technical tips or training method for this octave playing in the summer course? Anyway this is a really marvellous piece... I wanna learn it, too!
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    I think this piece is comparable to the Chopin op.53 polonaise. It falls well under the fingers but the octave roulades can make or break you. You need enormous LH stamina and accuracy to bring it off well.
     
  7. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Ph.D student
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Lee
    First Name:
    Hye-Jin
    Thanks for your remark Chris. You're right about "enormous stamina". I'd like to know how I can acquire it. I think it includes ability of concentration, endurance, playing technique (with wrist... right?) and power of arm (because only fingers and wrist couldn't afford to supply all the necessary power).
    Hmmm.. Should I start weight training for the muscle of my left arm apart from practicing etudes? :lol:
     
  8. François Micol

    François Micol New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Last Name:
    Micol
    First Name:
    Francois
    Well, I know you can barely hear that in the recording ( :( ), but I was actually rather comfortable with the octaves themselves, so I wasn't given much advice as far as they are concerned (I had more trouble with coordination between the two hands).

    It's always hard to put piano technique into words... basically you just "bounce" on the keys using your wrist (which has to be extra loose), staying very close to the keyboard, while your forearm and arm move sideways (in "circles") to lead the motion. It really helps if you have big hands, because it's easier to keep your wrists loose on an octave position, but I'm sure you can work it out with smaller hands too.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    I don't know whether that helps. I have done a fair amount of weight and strength training since I started on the company fitness program, and now think nothing of 30 or more pushups every evening, but I have not tried out any real demanding pieces since then. Overall, I find that it helps though. But I am sure many people will argue that muscular strength is not the answer to these problems. I'd like to know if e.g. Liszt had particularly strong muscle power - he does not look like he had. An interesting topic for the technique buffs around here.
    But I remember being severely taxed by these octaves when I used to trawl through this piece. Same as in the middle section of the Chopin Op.53. I bet Chopin could play that effortlessly without having any biceps and triceps to speak of.
     
  10. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Ph.D student
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Lee
    First Name:
    Hye-Jin
    I coundn't hear that because the audio quality is not so good and you use sometimes a little bit too much pedal, definitely not because you played these octaves not well. You were comfortable with them - this means you are on a much higher level than mine!

    François, thanks a lot! You explain it really well and this is a really helpful advice for me. I'll keep it in mind and when I attack this piece someday I would take advantage of this :D
     
  11. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Ph.D student
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Lee
    First Name:
    Hye-Jin
    Our site admin Chris on a company fitness program - this is not so simple to imagine 8)
    I'd like to know whether Argerich or Lise de la Salle has done any extra physical training. I've seen Argerich playing this Funérailles on You Tube and recently Lise de la Salle playing LH octaves in other demanding pieces of Liszt. Especially the latter has a very delicate and thin figure. Anyway her playing was astonishing although she is so young.
    Btw I've been never interested in Chopin's Op.53, so I didn't know that this has the similar LH octaves :wink:
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    9,927
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Last Name:
    Breemer
    First Name:
    Chris
    Haha you have no imagination ! :lol:
    It is only two hours a week, but really good. We are so lucky having this professional instructor who knows all the muscles by name - and makes sure we feel all of them afterwards. "If it hurts, it works", she is fond of saying. The bitch :evil: We love her really.
     
  13. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Ph.D student
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Lee
    First Name:
    Hye-Jin
    I looked up the dictionary to find what the "biceps" and "triceps" are, anyway. :p
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,710
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    This is up on the site.
     
  15. François Micol

    François Micol New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    Last Name:
    Micol
    First Name:
    Francois
    Thank you, Monica.

    By the way, I've just heard Mr Djordjevic's version on the site, and wow! Not only is it brilliantly executed, but I am also very fond of his aesthetical/musical choices. I couldn't say as much about many commercial recordings I've heard...

    Hye-Jin: I'm no expert on piano technique or anything, but I do think you need a bit of muscular strength to play pieces like Funérailles. Not really in the arms or hands, but in the back. Your lower back muscles are particularly important. Once again it's hard to put in words, it's something you have to feel and experience for yourself... but in a nutshell, you want these muscles to be strong so that you can "rest" on them and keep your upper back, shoulders and arms free of any undesired stiffness ; then you can effectively release as much power as you should need.

    As for physical training, I'm not sure what Ms. de la Salle has done for herself, but I would like to recommend swimming. My teacher advised that back then, and it works wonders!
     
  16. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Ph.D student
    Location:
    Germany
    Last Name:
    Lee
    First Name:
    Hye-Jin
    Thanks a lot, Francois :D
    I've never been conscious of what my lower back is doing at playing, but after reading your kind explanation I suppose now that the lack of power I've realized keenly on the fast movement of Scriabin's 2nd sonata (it has some octave passages of LH and that was the most difficult thing for me) can be clarified from it :!:
    But I'm afraid that to swim regularly takes up a great deal of time. And I hate swimming, simply because I'm a bad swimmer. Hmmm...
    Anyway good luck and much fun with this difficult Funerailles!
     

Share This Page