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#2139978 - 08/28/13 02:06 AM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: pianorigami]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: pianorigami
....and although I'll have to wait at least a few more months, maybe more so I have time....

You have lots of time, because I don't think there's any such thing as being a few months away from being ready for this piece. grin

I realize that this can't be literally true, but I have to say, it sure seems like it: If you're ready for it, you're ready for it, and if you're not, it's probably going to be a fair while before you are.

OK, I have a better way to put it: If you're really just a few months away from being ready for it, it probably means you're ready for it right now but don't realize it.

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#2139980 - 08/28/13 02:10 AM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: sotto voce]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7605
Loc: New York City
What does it mean to be "ready for it?" You're not not ready for it one day and then ready for it the next. wink
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2139981 - 08/28/13 02:12 AM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
What does it mean to be "ready for it?" You're not not ready for it one day and then ready for it the next. wink

I think that's what I meant too -- it just took me longer to say it. ha

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#2140086 - 08/28/13 07:38 AM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: pianorigami]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: pianorigami
Bringing back an OLD post.
My teacher suggested this piece to me, and although I'll have to wait at least a few more months, maybe more so I have time, I wanted to know: is it even worth attempting this piece if I can only reach a 9th (I can't reach B-flat to C, however)?
Of course, 10ths are not the main issue, but it's certainly one of them! Also, how does this piece compare to, say, Prokofiev's Toccata?


I'm not the best at comparing difficulties, but having played Ravel's and Prokofiev's, those two toccatas look like child's play compared to Schumann's.

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#2140143 - 08/28/13 09:50 AM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: sotto voce]
izaldu Offline
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Registered: 09/18/08
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#2140156 - 08/28/13 10:25 AM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: Orange Soda King]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 290
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: pianorigami
Bringing back an OLD post.
My teacher suggested this piece to me, and although I'll have to wait at least a few more months, maybe more so I have time, I wanted to know: is it even worth attempting this piece if I can only reach a 9th (I can't reach B-flat to C, however)?
Of course, 10ths are not the main issue, but it's certainly one of them! Also, how does this piece compare to, say, Prokofiev's Toccata?


I'm not the best at comparing difficulties, but having played Ravel's and Prokofiev's, those two toccatas look like child's play compared to Schumann's.


If that's true, then that's really scary! The Prok toccata seems pretty darn intense (also on my list!).
To compare double note "pieces," is it fair to say, in increasing order of difficulty: Chopin Etude op. 10 no. 7, Schumann Toccata, Liszt S 139/5 (Feux Follets)? I would find it hard to believe that the Toccata is harder than the Liszt (speaking of, HOW does ANYBODY pull that piece off??).
I don't know that I'm "made" for this piece at this moment in time, however; my teacher gives me pieces that challenge me (Op. 10 no. 4, for example. I didn't think I'd be able to do it, but it is actually sounding relatively close to how I'd want it to). So, I think if it were given to me to learn, I could go a long way with it.
1) Compared to the pieces above, how does it stack up in terms of technical and musical challenges (OrangeSodaKing, detailed analysis? smile )?
2) Would the Prokofiev Toccata be a better piece to start with (plus, does anybody else think that the Prok is actually easier than the Schumann??)?
3) How debilitating is not being able to reach a 10th (at ALL)?
_________________________
Currently working on:
1) Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
2) Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
3) Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
4) Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
5) Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
6) Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3
7) Debussy Images, Book I

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#2140179 - 08/28/13 11:14 AM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: pianorigami]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6341
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: pianorigami

3) How debilitating is not being able to reach a 10th (at ALL)?


With this particular piece, it could be a problem. Have you actually tried reading through the first two pages? Have you asked your teacher about it?
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YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2140184 - 08/28/13 11:18 AM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: Mark_C]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6341
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
What does it mean to be "ready for it?" You're not not ready for it one day and then ready for it the next. wink

I think that's what I meant too -- it just took me longer to say it. ha


Yes - but when you're young - and advancing rapidly - a few months can sometimes make a big difference in terms of being ready to tackle a piece. Then again, when you're much older, you're either ready for it or you're not. grin
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YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2140185 - 08/28/13 11:20 AM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: carey]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: pianorigami

3) How debilitating is not being able to reach a 10th (at ALL)?
With this particular piece, it could be a problem. Have you actually tried reading through the first two pages? Have you asked your teacher about it?

Maybe you're right, but I never had any impression that the 'reach' thing was an issue with this piece.

(Where?)

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#2140243 - 08/28/13 01:00 PM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: Mark_C]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: pianorigami

3) How debilitating is not being able to reach a 10th (at ALL)?
With this particular piece, it could be a problem. Have you actually tried reading through the first two pages? Have you asked your teacher about it?

Maybe you're right, but I never had any impression that the 'reach' thing was an issue with this piece.

(Where?)


Look at the left hand a few measures in. I don't think it's impossible with smaller hands, but I've joked that this is the only piece small hands will present a problem with, haha. I have small hands, but I have no problem approaching big intervals, such as in Brahms and Busoni.

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#2140258 - 08/28/13 01:28 PM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: Orange Soda King]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19777
Loc: New York
OK -- sorry, I got our threads mixed up!
I started thinking this was about Chopin's 4th Scherzo!

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#2140279 - 08/28/13 02:13 PM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: Orange Soda King]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6341
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: pianorigami

3) How debilitating is not being able to reach a 10th (at ALL)?
With this particular piece, it could be a problem. Have you actually tried reading through the first two pages? Have you asked your teacher about it?

Maybe you're right, but I never had any impression that the 'reach' thing was an issue with this piece.

(Where?)


Look at the left hand a few measures in. I don't think it's impossible with smaller hands, but I've joked that this is the only piece small hands will present a problem with, haha. I have small hands, but I have no problem approaching big intervals, such as in Brahms and Busoni.


IMHO, if you can't easily reach a 10th with your LH, then it is challenging to play the first couple of pages (and similar sections of the piece) as written. You can always try to "break" the chord by playing the lower note first, but at the tempo this piece "should" be played, doing so would be awkward and sound a bit strange. I recall that some of the 10ths are easier to reach than others - depending on the actual notes involved.

That said, pianorigami, I'm glad you resurrected this old thread. When I originally posted here over four years ago, I said I was starting to work on this Toccata (after "thinking" about learning it for many years) - but I decided to put it aside until I retired and had more time to focus on it. Well, I've been retired for almost four years now and still haven't gotten around to it. ha Also - Sotto Voce and I were both learning it at the time, and were exchanging PM's, articles, etc. Then things suddenly changed.........(old timers here will know what I mean). grin


Edited by carey (08/28/13 02:15 PM)
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#2140296 - 08/28/13 02:49 PM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: pianorigami]
D. S. F. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 142
Bah...I was writing my response, and pressed backspace to erase letters, and it loaded the last page losing my thoughts (Venting...it takes me SO long to write of thought...)

Originally Posted By: pianorigami

3) How debilitating is not being able to reach a 10th (at ALL)?


It is very debilitating in this piece. It's not the LH 10ths, but the RH 10ths which are most problematic for my small hands. Splitting them compromises accuracy. But then depending on the make up of your hand, the 10ths are not the only problem stretch wise. My RH fingers 2-4 cannot reach the B flat - F sharp stretch, which would be the ideal fingers to use oscillating with the G octaves (I am going from memory here...I think these are the notes). So then the fingering becomes 5-5-5-5 in the top...not ideal, very awkward...

It doesn't mean you shouldn't try it - it's too great a piece not to try. Just know we with small hands will not be able to do some of the things larger hands naturally can do with the piece.
_________________________
Music does not have to be understood;
It has to be listened to.
- Hermann Scherchen.

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#2140350 - 08/28/13 05:21 PM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: D. S. F.]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7605
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: D. S. F.
Bah...I was writing my response, and pressed backspace to erase letters, and it loaded the last page losing my thoughts (Venting...it takes me SO long to write of thought...)

Which is why, when writing long posts, I highlight my progress and copy it from time to time, so that if there's an issue I can just reload the page and paste what I had back into the box, and continue.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2140413 - 08/28/13 07:16 PM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: D. S. F.]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 290
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: D. S. F.
Bah...I was writing my response, and pressed backspace to erase letters, and it loaded the last page losing my thoughts (Venting...it takes me SO long to write of thought...)

Originally Posted By: pianorigami

3) How debilitating is not being able to reach a 10th (at ALL)?


It is very debilitating in this piece. It's not the LH 10ths, but the RH 10ths which are most problematic for my small hands. Splitting them compromises accuracy. But then depending on the make up of your hand, the 10ths are not the only problem stretch wise. My RH fingers 2-4 cannot reach the B flat - F sharp stretch, which would be the ideal fingers to use oscillating with the G octaves (I am going from memory here...I think these are the notes). So then the fingering becomes 5-5-5-5 in the top...not ideal, very awkward...

It doesn't mean you shouldn't try it - it's too great a piece not to try. Just know we with small hands will not be able to do some of the things larger hands naturally can do with the piece.

I didn't see how many 10ths there are until I sightread it. Did Schumann have monster hands?? Sigh. I can't even comfortably reach a 9th, so until my hand grows, I'll have to be fine with listening to this piece. Tons of pieces are easy to get away with (Chopin- rolling; some Liszt), but the sheer rapidity and number of 10ths means I'll have to wait.
Not to change the topic of the thread (I'll make it brief), but does the Prokofiev Toccata have as many 10ths (or large 9ths...)?
Thanks!
_________________________
Currently working on:
1) Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
2) Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
3) Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
4) Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
5) Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
6) Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3
7) Debussy Images, Book I

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#2140417 - 08/28/13 07:29 PM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: sotto voce]
ScriabinAddict Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 335


Daim.

+



Wonderful piece, notoriously difficult. Despite it being fairly comfortable, 5+ minutes of double note passages and octaves is pretty taxing.


Edited by ScriabinAddict (08/28/13 07:29 PM)

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#2140428 - 08/28/13 08:10 PM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: sotto voce]
Serge Marinkovic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/09
Posts: 341
Loc: United States
It took me three years to learn this piece. It has several technique and musical needs to bring this piece to an audience performance. Probably my overall favorite piece. I heard Kissin play it as an encore during a Philadelphia recital in the winter of 1995. It brought the house down. People in the front rows were standing with 45 seconds to go in the piece it was stupendous. Back stage he said he had never played it so well.
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#2140614 - 08/29/13 09:47 AM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: D. S. F.]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 290
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: D. S. F.
Bah...I was writing my response, and pressed backspace to erase letters, and it loaded the last page losing my thoughts (Venting...it takes me SO long to write of thought...)

Originally Posted By: pianorigami

3) How debilitating is not being able to reach a 10th (at ALL)?


It is very debilitating in this piece. It's not the LH 10ths, but the RH 10ths which are most problematic for my small hands. Splitting them compromises accuracy. But then depending on the make up of your hand, the 10ths are not the only problem stretch wise. My RH fingers 2-4 cannot reach the B flat - F sharp stretch, which would be the ideal fingers to use oscillating with the G octaves (I am going from memory here...I think these are the notes). So then the fingering becomes 5-5-5-5 in the top...not ideal, very awkward...


I totally underestimated the shear number of tenths. What a shame! It looks like this piece, until my hands grow (fingers crossed), will have to be one I just listen to. There are just too many 10ths at too fast a tempo to roll or ignore them all!


Edited by pianorigami (08/29/13 09:48 AM)
_________________________
Currently working on:
1) Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
2) Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
3) Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
4) Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
5) Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
6) Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3
7) Debussy Images, Book I

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#2140632 - 08/29/13 10:21 AM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: sotto voce]
Frankni Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 151
Loc: UK
A quick question: was this piece written before or after Schumann destroyed his right "piano hand" allegedly by using a mechanical device or perhaps by putting wedges between the fingers? Maybe the piece was the single most cause of the composer's demise as a pianist? Just a thought.
_________________________
Yamaha C3, Sauter Delta 185

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#2140651 - 08/29/13 11:19 AM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: Frankni]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 290
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: Frankni
A quick question: was this piece written before or after Schumann destroyed his right "piano hand" allegedly by using a mechanical device or perhaps by putting wedges between the fingers? Maybe the piece was the single most cause of the composer's demise as a pianist? Just a thought.

After reading a little on Schumann, I think the toccata was composed after his hand was ruined. Thusly, I doubt he could have played it. No wonder it's so hard...
_________________________
Currently working on:
1) Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
2) Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
3) Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
4) Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
5) Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
6) Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3
7) Debussy Images, Book I

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#2141887 - 08/31/13 04:31 PM Re: Schumann Toccata Op. 7 [Re: sotto voce]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2641
Loc: Netherlands
Just a few thoughts on op. 7: I have been playing this great piece for say 25 years, in concert, and it is a gem in any recital, needs to be programmed carefully though, only 7 minutes of hard work, no big ending, hard to place (I like to play op.18-op.7 in one go). Technically, everybody who hasn't played it talks about tenths, strain on biceps, endurance, difficult double notes, blablabla, no one talks about Schumann, the poet-composer that, yes, also here, writes very melodically, even in the somewhat 'childish'-sounding 2nd subject (op.15 lurking in the distance), but also in the coda (where, magically, the metric shift of one 16th note pulls over the whole piece till the end!) and actually everywhere, it's a real pinkysolo-etude. It's dynamics are more p than f, a distinction rarely observed. Although I'm sure that Schumann wanted to write a bravoura piece, dedicated it to Ludwig Schunke, who read through it and played it to perfection at first sight according to the composer, and transposed it down from D to C, former discussions might catch fire here..., he was himself enough not to end it in a flashy manner, but let the piece outrun itself and, even in a higher tempo, lets it diminish and go out like a flame, just one question remains: why did he write such a totally unplayable c-major chord that no one can reach, just Richter might be the one who did? As to tempo: the piece needs to have a very strict one, mostly depending on the octave-section, the most difficult I think, compares to Chopin op.25/9, a piece everybody regards as one of the easier etudes, I don't, I hold that one for one of the more difficult ones, leggierissimo etc. no power, yaya.
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Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Rachmaninoff etudes tableaux op.39

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