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 Post subject: Curious site
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:53 pm 
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While doing research for Nepomuceno's biography I came across this site:

http://www.left-hand-brofeldt.dk/

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:02 pm 
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I've never had a desire to play any left-hand-only music, but that site is a nice resource!

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:13 pm 
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I'm currently preparing the Scriabin Nocturne for LH alone as an encore; I hope to record and share it in the not too distant future.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:11 am 
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musical-md wrote:
I'm currently preparing the Scriabin Nocturne for LH alone as an encore; I hope to record and share it in the not too distant future.


That's good. That way you can wave to the audience while you play! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:42 pm 
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What a great site, thanks for posting the link!

My favourite ever left hand piece is Brahms' arrangement of the D minor Chaconne. And there's a pretty set of studies by Saint-Saens. I haven't yet played any of this music in concert, nor seen anyone else play it (although I've seen the Ravel concerto a couple of times now).

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:33 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
musical-md wrote:
I'm currently preparing the Scriabin Nocturne for LH alone as an encore; I hope to record and share it in the not too distant future.


That's good. That way you can wave to the audience while you play! :D



:lol: Or brush your hair...

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:29 pm 
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There was one piece sited when one had to swat a mosquito with the right hand.

Question:

Appart from technical considerations (as exercises), should someone with two hands play something with only one hand? Considering that the only really important thing is to play a piece well and that how you play it makes no difference to listening (after all, how many people listening to a recording of Ravel's piano concerto for the left hand would be able to say if it was played with one or two), would it be valid for a normally endowed pianist to play such pieces with both hands?

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:06 pm 
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hanysz wrote:
What a great site, thanks for posting the link!

My favourite ever left hand piece is Brahms' arrangement of the D minor Chaconne. And there's a pretty set of studies by Saint-Saens. I haven't yet played any of this music in concert, nor seen anyone else play it (although I've seen the Ravel concerto a couple of times now).


I'm afraid that after having performed the Busoni transcription, there is no way I personally could be musically satisfied playing the Brahms LH only version - even just listening to it. I would rather just hear it on violin (or guitar). However, to judge LH works, I would have to agree with you. It is great!

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:13 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
There was one piece sited when one had to swat a mosquito with the right hand.

Question:

Appart from technical considerations (as exercises), should someone with two hands play something with only one hand?

Absolutely, if composed for one hand! It's about the music. If it is good, then yes. If not, then forget it. BTW I highly recommend the Berens Studies for LH (several exercises followd by some nice pieces/etudes).

richard66 wrote:
Considering that the only really important thing is to play a piece well and that how you play it makes no difference to listening (after all, how many people listening to a recording of Ravel's piano concerto for the left hand would be able to say if it was played with one or two), would it be valid for a normally endowed pianist to play such pieces with both hands?


Absolutely not! Such an attempt would (hopefully) be booed right off the stage!

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:38 pm 
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I agree with you there, Eddy, but could you possibly detect from a recording if the pianist is using one or two hands?

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:16 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
I agree with you there, Eddy, but could you possibly detect from a recording if the pianist is using one or two hands?

Actually, yes. And I think you could too. It would be detected by never hearing anything that was impossible to play with only one hand. Similar to when one realizes that they are listening to 2-piano music: "What's that? That not possible! Ah, it's 2 pianos!"

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:24 pm 
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I notice two pianos when I hear a greater volume of sound and passages which would not be possible on one piano. I am handicapped by the fact I have probably never heard something for left hand played with both.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:50 am 
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musical-md wrote:
Actually, yes. And I think you could too. It would be detected by never hearing anything that was impossible to play with only one hand. Similar to when one realizes that they are listening to 2-piano music: "What's that? That not possible! Ah, it's 2 pianos!"

It happens regularly to me that I hear something on the radio, while commuting to/from work, and I am sure it must be two pianos, and then it turns out it was only one.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:07 pm 
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techneut wrote:
@ Chris: Don't forget piano duets (1 piano, 2 players) :)

I'll re-phrase it, then. I sometimes think a piece is played by 4 hands and then there are only 2.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:35 pm 
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Just wondering....Is there any piano music written for three hands?

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:33 pm 
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Strange! Chris, your post two above this one (quoting me), is listing it as if it were me posting and quoting you! What happened? :?

Edit: Further, I now observed that both an origial reply to Richard by me (that I never saw posted), and a replacement for same, do not appear! Something is going on. :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:19 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Just wondering....Is there any piano music written for three hands?

I can't think of any. I've played piano music for 6, 16 or 32 (!) hands, but not for any odd number bigger than 1.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:37 am 
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This is further off topic but ... the strangest piece of music I ever performed was Satie's Vexations. As I remember it, it was about two lines of music with the instruction to repeat it 840(?) times. It was performed on an all-nighter as part of a modern music observance. Pianists were individually signed up for a 10-minute performing slot (with 5 minutes "on-deck" prior), and the performers would swap out without interruption of the performance. The stranger part was that the cultural elite of Cincinnati would come and listen to this for long stretches of time.

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


Last edited by musical-md on Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:39 am 
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hanysz wrote:
pianolady wrote:
Just wondering....Is there any piano music written for three hands?

I can't think of any. I've played piano music for 6, 16 or 32 (!) hands, but not for any odd number bigger than 1.


Wasn't there something that Haydn or Mozart wrote that required use of two hands and one nose?

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:29 am 
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Oh well....I did a little checking and couldn't find anything written for three-hands from a main-stream composer. Although for me, sometimes I could almost consider calling music written in three staves to be 'three-hand' piano music. At least that's what I wished I had had when learning such pieces. Or maybe if only I had someone nearby who could 'lend me a hand' when I come to the difficult parts....

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:13 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Wasn't there something that Haydn or Mozart wrote that required use of two hands and one nose?


Rach 2 is sometimes frivolously known as the Nose concerto (trying playing the opening, using the nose for the lower F!)


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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:07 am 
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andrew wrote:
Rach 2 is sometimes frivolously known as the Nose concerto (trying playing the opening, using the nose for the lower F!)

I think that for normal, hands, with some practice (and pain :wink: ) these chords are manageable without rolling.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:36 pm 
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The chords are no problem. It's the low F that might be played by the nose to avoid releasing the chords :roll:

Edit: BTW. Since the LH chord is more difficult than the RH chord, I release the RH chord to play the low F with m.d. How about others?

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Er... right. I stand corrected. I was thinking of the chords because I've told my duo partner (who plays the solo part, I the orchestral part) to practice so he doesn't need to roll the chords, which IMO sounds bad.

I don't see the problem though. The chords are held by the sustain pedal, no ?

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:32 pm 
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techneut wrote:
Er... right. I stand corrected. I was thinking of the chords because I've told my duo partner (who plays the solo part, I the orchestral part) to practice so he doesn't need to roll the chords, which IMO sounds bad.

I don't see the problem though. The chords are held by the sustain pedal, no ?


Or the damp[f]er pedal, depending on how much purity of sound you want. I would use the damp[f]er (R) pedal, not the sustain (C) pedal.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:02 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Or the damp[f]er pedal, depending on how much purity of sound you want. I would use the damp[f]er (R) pedal, not the sustain (C) pedal.

Those are the same :!: You probably thought I meant the sostenuto pedal. They're easy to confuse.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:06 pm 
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techneut wrote:
musical-md wrote:
Or the damp[f]er pedal, depending on how much purity of sound you want. I would use the damp[f]er (R) pedal, not the sustain (C) pedal.

Those are the same :!: You probably thought I meant the sostenuto pedal. They're easy to confuse.

Yes, and I could have used Sostenuto (Italian for sustain) for more clarity.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:44 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I was thinking of the chords because I've told my duo partner (who plays the solo part, I the orchestral part) to practice so he doesn't need to roll the chords, which IMO sounds bad.


If your partner's hands aren't big enough to stretch the chords, then practicing isn't likely to make a difference.

For what it's worth, I have a recording of Rachmaninoff himself playing this concerto, and he breaks those chords (not exactly rolled, but with the bottom note played separately before the others).

We seem to have wandered off topic again...

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:34 pm 
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hanysz wrote:
If your partner's hands aren't big enough to stretch the chords, then practicing isn't likely to make a difference.

I don't agree with that. My experience is that you can achieve a lot with gradually accustoming the hands to cruel stretches and finding your way around the front of the keys. I can take chords now that I could not a couple of years ago. It might not work for everybody though.

hanysz wrote:
We seem to have wandered off topic again...
As we always do. Shame on the moderators for not keeping the topics on topic :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:04 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
richard66 wrote:
I agree with you there, Eddy, but could you possibly detect from a recording if the pianist is using one or two hands?

Actually, yes. And I think you could too. It would be detected by never hearing anything that was impossible to play with only one hand. Similar to when one realizes that they are listening to 2-piano music: "What's that? That not possible! Ah, it's 2 pianos!"


Richard, (This is my 3rd and last attempt to post the following) I had misunderstood you. No, I certainly could not tell whether a pianist is using one or two hands in a performance of a one-hand work. What I had meant, was that I believe it would be possible to tell if the work was composed for one hand only.


Edit: more specifically, "recording" for "performance."

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


Last edited by musical-md on Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:16 pm 
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It has worked, Eddy!

So it follows that if not seen a pianist can and should use both hands in order to achieve best results.

I see it this way, when at a concert:

A pianist comes on stage. He only has his left hand or maybe he has injured his right one: it is in a cast. He plays. He gives the best he can and the audience loves it. :)

Another pianist comes on stage. He has both hands and has not injured any of them. He plays with one hand. :shock: Why that? Is he showing off? Is he making fun of the audience? Would not a one armed pianist take offense, the same as if a one-legged man were to see me (now that my ankle is almost mended and I definitvely do not need them anymore) using crutches? This pianist is deliberately reducing his technical assets while the pianist with one hand is multiplying his.

Does this make sense?

It reminds me of Khvorostovsky: When he was younger he tried to sing with a pop band, but he soon gave up, when he realised that he had to give his worst and even so he was doing better than the best musician of the band doing his best.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:28 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
It has worked, Eddy!

So it follows that if not seen a pianist can and should use both hands in order to achieve best results.

I see it this way, when at a concert:

A pianist comes on stage. He only has his left hand or maybe he has injured his right one: it is in a cast. He plays. He gives the best he can and the audience loves it. :)

Another pianist comes on stage. He has both hands and has not injured any of them. He plays with one hand. :shock: Why that? Is he showing off? Is he making fun of the audience? Would not a one armed pianist take offense, the same as if a one-legged man were to see me (now that my ankle is almost mended and I definitvely do not need them anymore) using crutches? This pianist is deliberately reducing his technical assets while the pianist with one hand is multiplying his.

Does this make sense?

It reminds me of Khvorostovsky: When he was younger he tried to sing with a pop band, but he soon gave up, when he realised that he had to give his worst and even so he was doing better than the best musician of the band doing his best.


richard66 wrote:
Another pianist comes on stage. He has both hands and has not injured any of them. He plays with one hand. :shock:

Richard, I am talking about works composed for LH alone. Are you?

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:42 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
Strange! Chris, your post two above this one (quoting me), is listing it as if it were me posting and quoting you! What happened? :?

Edit: Further, I now observed that both an origial reply to Richard by me (that I never saw posted), and a replacement for same, do not appear! Something is going on. :evil:

I did not notice this post before. Yes you're right, I did it again....
As an admin, I can edit other people's postings. So I get two buttons 'Edit' and 'Quote'. They're small and close to one another, and sometimes I click the wrong one. It would not be the first time :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:00 am 
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Yes, Eddy, I am talking about works written for the left hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:11 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Yes, Eddy, I am talking about works written for the left hand.

Well Richard, maybe it just depends upon the audience having knowledge of the fact that the work was composed for LH alone, and why it was so, that warrants the performance. Which raises an interesting question. It is easy enough for us today to appreciate works inspired by the misfortune of Wittgenstein or the temporary disability of Scriabin, but what must people have thought when Brahms comes out with the Chaconne arranged for LH alone? Why would he do this? :?: That truely is sort of circus-like, don't you think? I would rather hope it was a sort of Gradus ad Parnasus for the existing LH training material.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:48 pm 
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Yes, I find what Wittgenstein did was admirable and what great works we have as a result! Have you heard Bortkiewicz's concerto for the left hand? Now, there you have a most impressive achievement and what difference if there is only one hand? I doubt I could play it with both.

Leon Fleischer followed the example, which just shows that an arm injury does not mean the end of a careet.

I read somewhere that Brahms had written a work for Clara Schumann, who had just injured her right hand closing a drawer, but I do not think this one was it.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:01 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Have you heard Bortkiewicz's concerto for the left hand?

Nope. But I like his concerto No.1 very much!

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:57 am 
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The second one is much better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSWdUvnM6f8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SccSazXWTVg

Or another version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2JKv4_zvfs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPcJ7Hz5q7A

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:20 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
A pianist comes on stage. He only has his left hand or maybe he has injured his right one: it is in a cast. He plays. He gives the best he can and the audience loves it. :)

Another pianist comes on stage. He has both hands and has not injured any of them. He plays with one hand. :shock: Why that? Is he showing off? Is he making fun of the audience?...This pianist is deliberately reducing his technical assets while the pianist with one hand is multiplying his.


I see it as like an artist drawing something in black and shades of grey, not using all the colours available to them, or maybe a poet writing a sonnet. To choose a limited set of technical resources then explore what can be achieved within those constraints is sometimes a beautiful thing.

I can't remeber which writer used the phrase "the expressive power of technical difficulty"--possibly Charles Rosen writing about the Chopin studies?

To get back to my favourite Bach-Brahms chaconne. Bach's original pushes the boundary of what's possible on a violin. As well as sounding beautiful, it's formidably difficult. Part of the magic of a live performance is seeing a human struggling to achieve the near-impossible. Busoni's transcription, transplanting the same work to a piano played with two hands, strikes me as a little bit too slick. I'm not saying it's exactly easy, and certainly it still sounds beautiful, but the sense of struggle is lost. What makes Brahms's version so special, even when played with one hand by a two-handed pianist, is that it preserves this aspect of the chaconne trying to express something a little beyond the technical resources available. To me there's nothing circus-like about it (although I have great respect for the talent and hard work of good circus performers).

At least, that is my taste. I don't expect everyone to agree :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:36 pm 
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This is very true. I played through this Chaconne again yesterday (still on my todo list) and yes, the playing with one hand does add something really special that would not be there when played by two hands. Brahms does not seek virtuosity or difficulty here, only to achieve maximum impact and expression with restricted (rather than limited ?) means. Maybe this is the best and only way to transcribe a violin solo piece - not saying a bad word about Rachmaninov's gorgeous Partita reworking of course :D

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:50 pm 
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Alexander,
hanysz wrote:
I see it as like an artist drawing something in black and shades of grey, not using all the colours available to them, or maybe a poet writing a sonnet. To choose a limited set of technical resources then explore what can be achieved within those constraints is sometimes a beautiful thing.
Most insightful! I really like this.
hanysz wrote:
Busoni's transcription, transplanting the same work to a piano played with two hands, strikes me as a little bit too slick. I'm not saying it's exactly easy, and certainly it still sounds beautiful, but the sense of struggle is lost.
Well, not for me :lol: . It has several challenging passages. But just like the work for violin, it's not all difficult.
hanysz wrote:
Bach's original pushes the boundary of what's possible on a violin.

This is absolutely true. However, I see it this way, Bach was inspired to compose a work much larger than the instrument he was writing for at the moment. The amazing thing (IMHO) about the Chaconne, in fact regarding much of Bach's oeuvre, is that it transcends the medium. This Chaconne, for example is a moving and beautiful work whether performed on violin, piano, guitar or orchestra. I can imagine it beautifully arranged for a capella choir and thus being performed by living-instruments! This aspect, argues against Rosen's point.
I leave you with this little test (?). :wink: In the "quasi Tromboni" D Major section (but before the "Allegro moderato ma deciso") in both the Busoni transcription and original violin score, there are two adjacent melody notes that struck me as peculiarly un-Bach-like in melodic shape. As I investigated it I discovered that given the limitations of the violin, Bach had no choice but to write it that way. However, given the ample resources of the piano, I re-score the two notes in question to what I believe Bach would have written if he had not suffered the instrumental limitation. Can you identify what two notes these might be? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:19 pm 
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Bach pushed the violin to its limits with the Chaconne, while Brahms transcription limits the technical resources, because the violin can achieve much more; here is the difference. But what matters is the beauty of the Chaconne and this warrants its being played, be it on the violin, the harpsichord or the 'cello.

If we reason like this, then we cannot play Beethoven with a modern piano, seeing that he pushed his instrument to its limits while nowadays a pianist worth his salt will have to hold back here and there.

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:53 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
or the 'cello.

OMG, yes! How could I forget this? :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Curious site
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:10 am 
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Theodore Edel's Piano Music for One Hand is an excellent resource for those interested in the genre. The book covers virtually all the bases. I don't play any music for one hand, but if I were to do so, this unique repertoire guide would reveal a whole new world in the piano literature.

Link: http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Music-Hand- ... 930&sr=1-1

David

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