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 Post subject: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:38 pm 
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I need advice on how to play this line - specifically which hand should take the chord. My thinking is that the RH should play the fast 32nd notes and then the LH plays the chord. After that, my RH crosses over the LH to play the low notes. But this is very awkward and hard for me to reach the very low octave D-flats at the end. Really, I nearly fall off my bench when I do this. I'd like to play the chord with my RH and avoid the cross-over, but that doesn't seem to be a good solution. Does anyone have any other ideas?

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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:16 pm 
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Been a long time since I played this one and can't remember what I do here. I think playing the chord with the LH and then silently take it over with the RH is the ticket. The pedal is down all the way of course, so no problem there.

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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:37 pm 
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We don't want you falling off the bench. People will suspect too much wine :wink:

Have you tried crossing the L.H. over the right for the 32nd note arpeggio and then back to the bass?

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:42 pm 
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RSPIll wrote:
We don't want you falling off the bench. People will suspect too much wine :wink:

Have you tried crossing the L.H. over the right for the 32nd note arpeggio and then back to the bass?

Scott

ditto

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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:26 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Suggestions which seemed reasonable when I tried them out:
1. the Eb arpeggio note with the rh, then the Db, Ab, F with the lh, chord with the rh, etc
2. whole arpeggio with the rh, chord with the lh, bass figuration with rh, but using 25 for the last octave (much easier than using the thumb, but maybe your hands are not big enough).
3. If the pedal's down throughout, arpeggio with rh, chord with lh, initial bass figuration with rh, last octave with lh.


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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:44 am 
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I love this piece - so far, anyway. Just started it the other day. It has the coolest harmonies and played on mostly the lower register area. Great! :D It's my second favorite Prelude after "La fille aux cheveux de lin".

Anyway, I'm not sure the pedal is supposed to be down for the whole line. At least it is not marked that way. I think it would get too blurry there. Silently replacing the LH with the RH would be a pretty good solution. And Andrew, you're right I can't reach my 2 and 5 fingers on that octave. But that's okay, because Scott's idea is perfect for me! Why didn't I think of that...??? :)

Thanks for all the help - now I am going to go have some wine. I have to, because Wine is in the title. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:10 am 
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Monica,

Make sure that it is a Spanish wine, since that is the beverage to which Debussy refers. Plus, that should really get you in the mood (although with too much you may have 176 keys to deal with.)

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:36 am 
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RSPIll wrote:
Monica,

Make sure that it is a Spanish wine, since that is the beverage to which Debussy refers. Plus, that should really get you in the mood (although with too much you may have 176 keys to deal with.)

Scott


Good advice! I can barely handle 88 keys...

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: I can't resist adding to the confusion :-)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:44 am 
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Location: Adelaide, Australia
The first thing that comes to my mind is to hold the pedal down for the first two bars, play the four 32nds with RH, the chord with LH, the bass notes with LH, and you've got to the end of the second bar to silently depress the notes of the chord with the RH so that you can pedal cleanly at the end.

I'd advise against crossing left over right to play the 32nds with LH. You want to be able to come crashing down on the chord with lots of energy, and you want a thumb on the accented E flat. A crossed hands position here would feel a little constricted (although as a general principle I do enjoy finding excuses to cross the hands over). (If you do decide to cross the hands anyway, it would be better for the left hand to go underneath.)

There, now you've got many options to play with. You should find at least one that feels reasonably natural.

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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Thanks, Alexander. Your ideas are good, but I am going to have to cross hands at the end. If I can't play forte enough, then I will do it the other was, replacing the hands. But when I cross at the end, my left hand has to go over my right or else I can't slip it out of there fast enough to jump the left hand back down low.

Thanks again everybody for the help. Now can you help me find more time to practice...? :)

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:28 am 
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OK, it sounds like you know what you want now, which is the most important thing. But...
pianolady wrote:
...my left hand has to go over my right or else I can't slip it out of there fast enough to jump the left hand back down low.

...I'm a little worried that you're playing it too fast for an authentic habanera feel. Maybe you need more of that wine to relax you ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:51 am 
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hanysz wrote:
OK, it sounds like you know what you want now, which is the most important thing. But...
pianolady wrote:
...my left hand has to go over my right or else I can't slip it out of there fast enough to jump the left hand back down low.

...I'm a little worried that you're playing it too fast for an authentic habanera feel. Maybe you need more of that wine to relax you ;-)


I am one step ahead of you now.... :wink: :wink:


But actually, you might be right. I'm thinking that I have to play it fast, when maybe I don't. What is the tempo for a habanera, anyway? Everybody grooves a little differently...

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:35 am 
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pianolady wrote:
What is the tempo for a habanera, anyway? Everybody grooves a little differently...

For my taste, somewhere between 60 and 75 beats per minute. Probably closer to 65. But I'm sure you'll find people to disagree...

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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:47 pm 
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hanysz wrote:
pianolady wrote:
What is the tempo for a habanera, anyway? Everybody grooves a little differently...

For my taste, somewhere between 60 and 75 beats per minute. Probably closer to 65. But I'm sure you'll find people to disagree...


Thank you, Alexander, that is very helpful. I'll check my playing with the metronome next time I am at the piano.

You know, I have never listened to anyone play this piece yet, and I don't want to until I get it down really well. So often in the past I have decided to listen to a pro play a piece that I'm working on, and which I think I have learned pretty well, only to discover that the pro plays it much, much faster and then I am disappointed because I know that I still have a lot of work to do.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: a little help, please...
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:08 pm 
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Location: Illinois
pianolady wrote:
But actually, you might be right. I'm thinking that I have to play it fast, when maybe I don't. What is the tempo for a habañera, anyway? Everybody grooves a little differently...


If you want to get the feel of a Habañera without listening to a performance of this one, listen to the Habañera from "Carmen" ("L'amour est un oiseau rebelle"), or the Chabrier Habañera. One thing that I noticed in my extensive research of the Habañera (a minute reading Wikipedia -- if its on Wikipedia it must be true) is that as a form it is intended to be sung as well as danced. Thus the melody has its basis in a vocal style.

Scott


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