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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:40 am 
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pianolady wrote:
So it seems that Cziffra tends to 'out Liszt' Liszt, right?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TISGp5kPw4 :D A completely unique pianist.


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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:15 pm 
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Ugh! :x :roll: :)

(Yeah, but can he play 'Mary Had a Little Lamb'? :lol:)

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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:09 pm 
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techneut wrote:
One piece I love and which is not really difficult is the Valse-Impromptu. Been meaning to practice and record it for ages but there's always something else.
We don't have this one on the site yet. The Valse Melancholique is beautiful too, and also the Valse Oubliee. They would make a nice trio.


I'm printing out a bunch of pieces right now....

Chris, if you see this, which Valse Oubliee do you refer to? There are four or five of them on IMSLP. Or if anyone else reads this, is there a Valse Oubliee that is not part of a set?

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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:49 pm 
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I was referring to the first Valse Oubliee (1881) which is in my Peters book.
Despite that it says 'First' in the title, it never occurred to be that there would be more :roll: :D

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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:22 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I was referring to the first Valse Oubliee (1881) which is in my Peters book.
Despite that it says 'First' in the title, it never occurred to be that there would be more :roll: :D



Funny!

Ok, got it. I'm pretty well loaded up now. Just wish I could learn music faster than I do!

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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:43 am 
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pianolady wrote:
techneut wrote:
One piece I love and which is not really difficult is the Valse-Impromptu. Been meaning to practice and record it for ages but there's always something else.
We don't have this one on the site yet. The Valse Melancholique is beautiful too, and also the Valse Oubliee. They would make a nice trio.


I'm printing out a bunch of pieces right now....

Chris, if you see this, which Valse Oubliee do you refer to? There are four or five of them on IMSLP. Or if anyone else reads this, is there a Valse Oubliee that is not part of a set?


My Liszt biography reckons there are four. The first is the one which gets played the most.


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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:59 am 
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andrew wrote:

My Liszt biography reckons there are four. The first is the one which gets played the most.

I did print out the first one. On my piano tonight I read through all the pieces we talked about here. You all are right in that they are not as hard as I thought they'd be. I may actually be able to get them down one day (have other music I'm working on currently), but I'm not too sure about the Etude no. 3. That one seems pretty hard and long.

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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:06 am 
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I was referring to the Transcendental Etudes, Rhapsodies (not No. 5), Paganini Six Grand Etudes. I haven't done any of the Transcendental Etudes, but I am trying to "relearn" one of the Paganini Etudes: Etude No. 3 in G# minor, "La Campanella." Fourscore, 23 years ago, The Appasionata, La Campanella, and the Hungarian Fantasy (2 piano version) were the last pieces I was learning with my teacher before I stopped taking lessons because of increased college workload.

I am sure that everyone has a piece that haunts them to relearn to play (Needs a thread by itself:). For me, La Campanella is one piece that I never learned well. After all these years, I am trying to accomplish something that I couldn't do at half my age when I had better technique and had more time to practice. Ha, sounds like mid-life piano crisis! Ironically, I've learned more now than I ever did when I was 19. I still have a ways to go. This is one piece I'd like to video if I get it... Maybe I'll submit it to Americas Funniest Videos?! :P

Cziffra?... Twice the speed, double the notes! He has amazing firepower and velocity approaching the limit of intelligibility. No wonder he injured his hand. As dazzling he is a pianist, he is a fantastic transcriber of music. I've sight read his transcription of Vecsey's Valse Triste, one of my favorite pieces of music. It's been a good piece to learn alongside the Liszt. But, Cziffra's tempos can seem out of reach. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rDfTbuQ0Tc

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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:27 pm 
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That's a lovely piece, George. But with some killer spots too!


edit: deleted most of what I said earlier. Mood has improved and I'm not feeling as sorry for myself this moment... :)

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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:50 am 
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88man wrote:
I am sure that everyone has a piece that haunts them to relearn to play


Absolutely!

88man wrote:
Cziffra?... Twice the speed, double the notes! He has amazing firepower and velocity approaching the limit of intelligibility. No wonder he injured his hand. As dazzling he is a pianist, he is a fantastic transcriber of music. I've sight read his transcription of Vecsey's Valse Triste, one of my favorite pieces of music. It's been a good piece to learn alongside the Liszt. But, Cziffra's tempos can seem out of reach. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rDfTbuQ0Tc


I'm very fond of this piece also. It's imo the most accessible of his five concert etudes (the Brahms fifth Hungarian Dance is perhaps a touch harder), but in describing it as accessible, it's certainly not easy. I'm guessing the Lisztian octave sections are where you have trouble keeping up with his tempo. Incidentally, he didn't just injure his hand, the Russians went out of their way to break his hands by assigning him forced heavy manual labour after his initial failure to escape to the West. His memoirs are often distressingly honest reading.


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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:32 am 
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Hi Monica, life is full of contrasts - I am glad you're in a good mood. When I am upset even to play or listen to music, I get out my telescope and peer deep into the stars for 30 minutes. Then I feel how petty and small my worries are and I feel better. You can also try a good pair of binoculars too. :)
Hey, tell me about those killer spots! It really helps to have a large hand for La Campanella. I realize I couldn't just practice this piece like any other piece. It helps to adapt this piece to your hand; and not try to adapt your hand to the piece like we do with most other pieces. For example, one problem (of many) I've had with this piece is that my 5th finger is too short. I kept missing the high D#. My 4th finger is almost as long as my 3rd finger, so in my later attempt I find that I can nail the D# octaves and jumps with my 4th finger much better instead of using the 5th finger.

Hi Andrew, all his transcriptions have amazing piano-technics! The stories from those labor camps are gruesome, for those who survived to tell it. I first heard of Cziffra and his uncommon style when I was 13 - I remember signing out the Cziffra LPs of Liszt music from the public library almost every week one summer. Yes, the Hungarian Dance No. 5 is a bit harder. I also tried playing the Sabre Dance - forget it! Guaranteed carpel tunnel syndrome. I thought you might like to hear the original, Vecsey playing the Valse Triste from a 1913 recording. He truly captures the Hungarian soul with such a nostalgic and seductive gypsy air. It's very unfortunate that he died at only 42... Ahhh, don't get me started!... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQkCK_rJVPI

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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:15 am 
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Thanks for the original Vecsey - I had not heard it before and it is lovely.

You know there are two scores for the Sabre Dance? There's the Edition Peters one, which is very badly laid out and looks impossible (from vol 2 of the Cziffra transcriptions - vol 1 was done by him and his son whilst vol 2 was done through a computer program and is in serious need of editorial work), and another edition which has been corrected pianistically and isn't quite as scary.


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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:14 pm 
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88man wrote:
Hi Monica, life is full of contrasts - I am glad you're in a good mood. When I am upset even to play or listen to music, I get out my telescope and peer deep into the stars for 30 minutes. Then I feel how petty and small my worries are and I feel better. You can also try a good pair of binoculars too. :)


Hi George,
Actually, I was in a bad mood after I watched that Cziffra video. It's a problem I have - listening to professional players makes me feel so terribly inferior that I practically feel like giving up. I even feel this way often when I listen to our PS members recordings. I wish I could be inspired when I watch/listen to video/recordings like you guys are, but I can't help it. I think, though, that from now on I will not watch any more Cziffra videos.

Anyway...I did in fact go out and look at the stars last night. We're having clear skies and unusually warm temperatures for November. I've installed Google Sky Map on my smartphone and so it's fun to look at the sky and actually know what I'm looking at. :)

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:08 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Actually, I was in a bad mood after I watched that Cziffra video. It's a problem I have - listening to professional players makes me feel so terribly inferior that I practically feel like giving up. I even feel this way often when I listen to our PS members recordings. I wish I could be inspired when I watch/listen to video/recordings like you guys are, but I can't help it. I think, though, that from now on I will not watch any more Cziffra videos.


I can understand your feelings. Cziffra is probably my favourite pianist, but I have a very deliberate policy that if I'm performing in public, I avoid his recordings for days beforehand. Firstly because I may conclude I can barely play the instrument and secondly because I might try to play like him, and that's not likely to end well! I vividly recall having played one of his transcriptions in public, been quite pleased with myself for the end result, and listening to myself a few times. Then I put his recording on and thought "oh... " followed by some rather unprintable things.

I must say however that I find his life story one of the most inspiring (even though it is in many ways deeply tragic) pianistic tales there is. That someone could be born into dire poverty on a refugee camp, live through WWII fighting during which his battalion was wiped out (he ended up living in an underground cave for many months), only survive post-war by playing in bars, then have his hands maliciously damaged, and come out of all that to become one of the greatest virtuosi of the century, defies rational belief.

It's idle speculation on my behalf, of course, but I like to think that his outrageous improvisations are a reminder of a bygone and almost lost past - Liszt (and others of that era) improvised publicly on themes suggested by the audience, almost as a matter of course. I strongly suspect that many of Liszt's variations on themes/paraphrases etc originate from a retrospective attempt to formalise preceding improvisations, much as the written-out Cziffra pieces emanate from painstaking transcription of his studio improvisations.


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 Post subject: Re: Franz Liszt's big day!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:55 am 
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Hi Monica and Andrew, why torture yourselves with Cziffra videos, unless you want to end up with carpel tunnel syndrome at the end? :shock:
Virtuosos don't phase me one bit. The piano-technics are dazzling, and the keyboard will have to be cooled down with a fire extinguisher after each performance, but at the end of the day, Rubinstein, late Horowitz, or Bolet will make me less edgy. I don't know about you, but I love Bolet for Liszt music!
Watching music videos?... I love watching concert videos for inspiration with a glass of vino. when I hear a great recording, video, or a concert I feel the urge to go to the piano (sobriety optional at that point). :P It's funny, I can watch these videos and praise the fact that I didn't become a professional musician. No regrets. But, Cziffra is impossible to emulate, imitate, or even regurgitate. :D Since I don't have to perform music as a profession, some can enjoy music for personal enrichment without the demands and stress of a musical career. My hat's off to those with musical careers!

Absolutely Monica, Google Sky is nice, I use SkyEye and velcro my phone flat against the telescope. BTW, if you you're up until midnight, in the eastern sky, "Granados's Star" (Horsehead nebula) located on the bottom of Orion's belt near N2024 (Flame Nebula) and Alnitak. Unfortunately, it's not visible to the eye, you have to hook up a camera to the scope to see the beautiful star gases and nebulas. But, Jupiter is fun with its 4 moons - that you can see with good binoculars. :D

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