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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 4:50 pm 
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Hi Chris, glad you like it.

I can make the Andante moderato a bit more vivo, thanks for the suggestion.

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Alexandre


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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 8:09 pm 
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lisztzsil wrote:
I can make the Andante moderato a bit more vivo, thanks for the suggestion.

I understand you wanted to bring some contrast. But it's too much IMO, it suddenly sags. It will be more effective if you take the tempo down just a tiny bit, and the contrast will still be there.

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 1:04 pm 
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Wow, Alexandre - I liked your video! Great to see you in action!! I am very impressed by how fast you can play octaves. I'm wondering, do you ever have any pain in your wrists?

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 2:26 pm 
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Hi Monica, usually not.
However to record this polonaise this week I spent about 4 hours playing it, and my hands got a bit sore.

I generally try to follow the principle of stopping when you feel any kind of pain. I'm reading a book by Gyorgy Sandor called "On Piano Playing" which is a very lucid treatise on techinique. He advocates that you do not need to build up your musculature to play the piano, and any person can extract the biggest sounds without feeling pain. It's a matter of coordination of your musculature.

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Alexandre


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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 3:22 pm 
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lisztzsil wrote:
I generally try to follow the principle of stopping when you feel any kind of pain. I'm reading a book by Gyorgy Sandor called "On Piano Playing" which is a very lucid treatise on techinique. He advocates that you do not need to build up your musculature to play the piano, and any person can extract the biggest sounds without feeling pain. It's a matter of coordination of your musculature.


I've been practicing a lot lately and have pain not only in my wrists, but now also in my RH thumb and 4th finger. I do totally agree with what Sandor says about big sounds/no pain. I'm attending a class next month on the Alexander Technique (hey, is that you? :lol: ) that supposedly teaches about how to move one's body more efficiently and effectively at the piano. Hope it works! (I should probably read that book you mentioned too)

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 3:50 pm 
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Hi Monica, sounds interesting! I don't know Alexander's Technique (that's not me heheh), but I'll look it up, thanks for mentioning.
That Sandor book is very good, recommended. I bought it from Amazon a few years ago.

Best,
Alexandre


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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 7:20 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
I've been practicing a lot lately and have pain not only in my wrists, but now also in my RH thumb and 4th finger. I do totally agree with what Sandor says about big sounds/no pain. I'm attending a class next month on the Alexander Technique (hey, is that you? :lol: ) that supposedly teaches about how to move one's body more efficiently and effectively at the piano. Hope it works! (I should probably read that book you mentioned too)

I like Sandor's book a lot. Though pretty old, it seems to have been the most successful trying on analyzing the piano technique. besides that, Sandor was a great musician. Monica... believe me... I read its chapter about playing octaves, and that made me possible to play Chopin Op. 25 no. 10. I couldn't play it before reading Sandor's explanation.

but does Sandor really say it's not needed to build muscles to play the piano? it sounds like a naïve affirmation. we use muscles to play the piano (as we use muscles to do EVERYTHING!). and an accomplished pianist do an intense physical and mental job. so saying that we don't need to build muscles to play the piano is like saying we don't need to build muscles to play volleyball. of course it's different... it's not like bodybuilding. but we need to build muscles for everything we do, even the simplest things like walk and eat!

I feel that lots of Chopin etudes make you build muscles. I'm studying Op. 10 no. 1, and when I play it lots of times, I feel my fourth and fifth fingers being "exercised", as if I was lifting weights. it's different from tension, but it's a kind of fatigue also. as day goes by, I get less and less tired playing this etude, or it takes me more time to get tired.

anyway, I think we must always be open-minded regarding piano technique, because there is no unique way considered correct or better than the others (yet!). my teacher doesn't believe in any school of technique. I do consider the Czerny technique surpassed, because it's too old, based on irrational reasons, based on an old piano with a different mechanism. but there are lots of contemporary pianists who play really well, and each one does something different than the other. Egon Petri used to say to his students that his advices were merely suggestions. the students should try what he says, but they could also reject them and play the way they find better. hehe

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 7:47 pm 
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Hello Felipe,

"besides that, Sandor was a great musician. "
Yes, he studied with Bartók himself and Kodály in Budapest.


"but does Sandor really say it's not needed to build muscles to play the piano? it sounds like a naïve affirmation."

I'll let you read for yourself:

(excerpts from Part 1 of his book)

"When the stronger upper-arm, shoulder, and body muscles are properly activated, they assist the weaker muscles and prevent all causes of fatigue. (...) Techinique must be based not on the strength and endurance of our muscles, but rather on their optimal coordination"

"Besides training their coordination skills, athletes must also build endurance and muscular strength, but musicians only need to develop coordination. We do not build strong muscles; instead we learn to activate the ones that are already strong and to use them in collaboration with the weaker ones in order to help them. Using the strong muscles to help the weaker ones is the essence of coordination."

"There are many ways to practice this coordination - this interdependence of the entire body. Practicing to develop independence of the fingers from one another has its merits too, but we should be careful in its application. As a rule, these exercises abuse the forearm muscles by fixing and forcing them; they are based on the erroneous idea that our forearm muscles become tired because they are weak and therefore have to be strengthened by exercises. In fact, they become tired because they are being abused! What we may possibily gain in independence of the fingers, we will lose by disrupting the interdependence of the entire apparatus. (...) The aim is not to strengthen muscles but to learn to synchronize them in the most effortless way."

"Some of our muscles are small and weak, made for precision work, others are strong and powerful. If we can activate these larger muscles properly, we do not need to strengthen the weaker ones. "

"I utterly disagree with the notion that muscle endurance has to be developed for playing the violin, piano, or any other musical instrument".

Best,
Alexandre


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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 7:57 pm 
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oh wow, you guys - I just got bummed out and then excited all in about a two minute time span. Right after I read Felipe's post, I went to Amazon to buy that book. But it costs $100! :shock: So as I contemplated spending more dough on piano books, I checked out my local library to see if they might have a copy, and they do! :D :D I'm picking it up later today right after my exercise class. (it's a Muscle Max class - so yes, I'm building muscles anyway).

Maybe there is hope for me yet!

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:01 pm 
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hi, Alexandre!

thanks for showing me the passages. I remember reading that, but I completely ignored his last sentence, probably because I disagree. hehe

I'd say only that if we keep laid down on bed for one month, doing nothing, my muscles will get weaker and I'll probably be unable even to move the arms. I'm not a fisiologist, but I think that any muscles usage makes them stronger, even if it's subtle. I resist to admit that a super virtuoso professional pianist has muscles with same strength than someone who simply types message on Facebook. hehe
but I agree about this abuse he talks about.

anyway... he was one of the greatest pianists of all times, so I even don't know why I'm manifesting my opinion (which... above all... is a mere opinion, not a scientific research. hehe)

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:15 pm 
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btw - since you guys are so knowledgeable, do you also happen to have a special book or tip on memorization? I'm having trouble with that currently. Of course, it doesn't help that I keep wondering over to my computer instead of keeping myself planted on my piano bench and staying focused on the music....

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:27 pm 
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no, I have no book about memorization, and hopefully I have a good memory!
btw... how old are you, Monica? hahaha


my teacher says we should memorize because we have played a lot, and not the opposite. but I do know people who have much trouble with memorization, so some technique would help.

but sorry... I have none to help you.

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:28 pm 
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hm... but what's the problem with reading while playing? Clara Schumann used to play with score...

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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:32 pm 
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Hi Monica,

Yes, try this one: "Piano technique" by Leimer and Gieseking.

http://books.google.com/books?id=ahxc-9 ... &q&f=false

You must have heard about Gieseking's mythic memory (he said he never forgot a piece once he played it). In this books he trys to teach us easy memorization.

Best,
Alexandre


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 Post subject: Re: Rare music of Ernesto Nazareth
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:43 pm 
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Felipe - I'm not telling. :lol:

I could play with the score, but it's hard because the piece (it's Granados) is all over the keyboard and it's hard to look up and down so much. Plus it makes it so that there is a brief stall in the playing because of that. If I could memorize it, I'm sure I could play it better. Still, it's so long....

I have almost this one Chopin mazurka memorized - all except about 8 measures that I can't remember. Grrrr - it's very annoying! Maybe that book you mentioned, Alexandre would help with that too. Have you read it?

edit: I just ordered that book. It's a lot cheaper than the other one!

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