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#1263654 - 09/06/09 07:33 PM If Clair de Lune is so "easy"...
TonyY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Why is it grade 10 RCM (highest level in piano excluding ARCT diplomas) I was just looking through some pieces that a student of mine could do for grade 10, and came across this.
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#1263696 - 09/06/09 08:59 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Who said Claire de Lune was easy?

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#1263698 - 09/06/09 09:02 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: debrucey]
jotur Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5640
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
As far as I can tell, no one.

smile

Cathy
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#1263707 - 09/06/09 09:14 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: debrucey]
Clayton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 128
Loc: Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: bruce-san
Who said Claire de Lune was easy?


Well, it's not very difficult to, as a friend of mine who took up casual piano lessons once said, "punch the right keys at the right time".

Whether that means the piece is easy or not is an entirely separate question.

Clayton -
_________________________
My listening obsessions:
Kurt Atterberg - Piano Concerto in Bb
Claude Debussy - Cello Sonata
Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2

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#1263711 - 09/06/09 09:22 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Clayton]
TonyY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
T-O-N-S of people say it's easy, technically it's very simple, and the tempo is quite slow. Like the person above said, "punch the right keys at the right time."
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#1263712 - 09/06/09 09:24 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: TonyY
Why is it grade 10 RCM (highest level in piano excluding ARCT diplomas) I was just looking through some pieces that a student of mine could do for grade 10, and came across this.


Interpretive difficulty, I'd say. Debussy is a whole other kettle of fish than the Romantic music. That's why I haven't touched any. I do love to listen, however. smile
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#1263739 - 09/06/09 10:30 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Horowitzian]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
I'm a lowly intermediate (though improving) and I found it an awkward bear. Easy enough to "punch the right notes." Another matter entirely to play it well.

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#1263751 - 09/06/09 11:08 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Clayton]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13812
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: Clayton
"punch the right keys at the right time"


Scarbo and the Liszt Transcendental Etudes can also be played using this method. wink
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#1263774 - 09/07/09 12:05 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Kreisler]
sotto voce Offline
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Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I'm not familiar with RCM's grading scale and don't know offhand where to find a syllabus. What else is classified as Grade 10?

Steven
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Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
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#1263783 - 09/07/09 12:19 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: sotto voce]
TonyY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Thanks everyone for the answers, they are all very helpful. (especially Horowitzian)

Sotto Voce, I reckon you are from the U.S and is probably and only familiar with the ABRSM system. Well, many say that Grade 10 RCM is similar to Grade 8 ABRSM, the Repertoire, technical requirements, aural, and sight-reading. The only difference is that there are 5 repertoire pieces instead of three. This is a Grade 10 syllabus similar to the RCM syllabus: http://www.bccmexaminations.ca/downloads/grade10.pdf
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#1263792 - 09/07/09 12:37 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Clayton]
beginningpianist Offline
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Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 98
“It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.” - Bach

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#1263794 - 09/07/09 12:41 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
sotto voce Offline
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Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Actually, I'm equally unfamiliar with RCM and ABRSM; neither is standard here except for teachers who choose to follow their curricula, and we have no such national organization of our own.

Thanks for the link!

Steven
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—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1263795 - 09/07/09 12:43 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: beginningpianist]
CherryCoke Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/11/02
Posts: 531
Have you actually looked at the score? It's not that easy to actually count it correctly. I don't play this piece myself, but I've taught it numerous times. Invariably, I am *always* correcting rhythm.

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#1263796 - 09/07/09 12:43 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Kreisler]
GoldenSound Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/06/09
Posts: 19
Loc: Rural Iowa
I'm pretty sure that whack-a-mole uses the same philosophy! Debussy always has it's challenges whether it requires big chords, fast linear passages, or slow solemn tempi. Debussy is rarely "easy".
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#1263797 - 09/07/09 12:46 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: CherryCoke]
TonyY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Originally Posted By: CherryCoke
Have you actually looked at the score? It's not that easy to actually count it correctly. I don't play this piece myself, but I've taught it numerous times. Invariably, I am *always* correcting rhythm.


Well said, many people play it in the wrong time, or try to hide it with rubato.


Edited by TonyY (09/07/09 12:47 AM)
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#1263800 - 09/07/09 01:10 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
By the way, while the opening may be slow, the middle section moves at a brisker pace and does actually contain some awkward moments for fingering.

"La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin" is grade 9 by RCM standards as well. Technically someone of grade 5 or above would probably be able to hammer out all the right notes, but I think the RCM is trying to say that the interpretative demands of this pieces are not suited until a certain level of proficiency is attained.
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#1263802 - 09/07/09 01:13 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
veem Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 127
Loc: CA, USA
Originally Posted By: TonyY

This is a Grade 10 syllabus similar to the RCM syllabus: http://www.bccmexaminations.ca/downloads/grade10.pdf


Why is Clair de lune listed under Preludes, Book 2 rather than Suite Bergamasque on the syllabus?
I'm not all that familiar with Debussy preludes, but I've listened to all of them a few times.
It probably means La terrasse des audiences au clair de lune, the seventh prelude in book 2?


Edited by eggsdeee (09/07/09 01:15 AM)

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#1263804 - 09/07/09 01:19 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: veem]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5964
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: eggsdeee
Why is Clair de lune listed under Preludes, Book 2 rather than Suite Bergamasque on the syllabus?...
It probably means La terrasse des audiences au clair de lune, the seventh prelude in book 2?
Which would mean that Clair de lune (from Suite Bergamasque) is actually not on the G10 syllabus at all. So to the OP, if you're thinking of entering a student for G10, you need to contact RCM and check this.
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#1263808 - 09/07/09 01:51 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: currawong]
NocturneLover Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Dantooine
This was the song that I first picked up after not playing piano for four years. It was daunting at first, especially when you look at the second page. But everything becomes easier with practice.

There are parts that I still need to polish like the arps, but I would say Clair de lune is fairly intermediate or intermediate/advanced piece.
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#1263809 - 09/07/09 01:54 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: currawong]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
I believe that Claire de Lune has been previously classified as a Grade 7 piece by ABRSM which means that a good student could be ready for to learn it with help from a teacher after anywhere from 4 to 5 years of structured lessons and appropriate practicing. This seems to agree with kbk's comments that a Grade 5 student was able to use time and energy to learn it to a good standard.

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#1263811 - 09/07/09 02:02 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: theJourney]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
I have never seen it on a grade 7 (ABRSM) list. Both the Arabesques have recently appeared on grade 8 and Clair de Lune is more advanced than those. I played it (not very well) for my University audition.
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#1263824 - 09/07/09 03:14 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Chris H.]
nanabush Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 15
Loc: Canada
There's a bunch of stuff that seems "easy" just because of the tempo. Try playing Claire de Lune convincingly for an examiner. It's probably easier to polish than a lot of the List D stuff for grade 10, but if you look at the Debussy stuff for Grade 9 (Fille au Cheveux de Lin, Canope) in the same style, the latter pieces are definitely a level below in terms of difficulty.

Debussy's slower stuff is overflowing with little expressive bits; someone doing Grade 8 or even 9 may not be able to properly convey the mood.

I'd rather hear someone play the piece well prepared regardless of if it's too easy for them, than someone who isn't quite at that level play it half-decent.

I did Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum for my Grade 10 - now that's a straightforward technical piece that probably doesn't have as many interpretive issues as Claire de Lune.


-----
And that BCC Syllabus is loaded with mistakes. The Passepied AND Claire de Lune belong in the Suite Bergamasque. It's pretty much the same as the RCM Grade 10, just some title errors.

For the ARCT in the syllabus, the new edition, they put L'Isle Joyeuse under Image BK2. It's clear that the piece belongs in ARCT, it's just a careless mistake as to where they classified it.


Edited by nanabush (09/07/09 03:19 AM)

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#1263836 - 09/07/09 04:06 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Theowne]
Clayton Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 128
Loc: Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Theowne
By the way, while the opening may be slow, the middle section moves at a brisker pace and does actually contain some awkward moments for fingering.

"La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin" is grade 9 by RCM standards as well. Technically someone of grade 5 or above would probably be able to hammer out all the right notes, but I think the RCM is trying to say that the interpretative demands of this pieces are not suited until a certain level of proficiency is attained.


The fingering and phrasing is non-trivial, despite the slow tempo.

Clayton -
_________________________
My listening obsessions:
Kurt Atterberg - Piano Concerto in Bb
Claude Debussy - Cello Sonata
Johannes Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2

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#1263844 - 09/07/09 04:33 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Clayton]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
The counting's always so poor. Count 9 a bar with the score and listen to this appallingness:

Dave, that's bang out of order!

Now Stokowski's nearly got it:



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#1263848 - 09/07/09 04:45 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: debrucey]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2919
Loc: UK.
Originally Posted By: bruce-san
Who said Claire de Lune was easy?


Although nobody has actually said it's easy the thread 'Clair de Lune from scratch' certainly implies it. Hugh states that the lessons are aimed at the beginning pianist. The title implies that you are going to learn how to play this piece by following the lessons even if you have no previous knowledge or experience.

The only other person I know who advises people to choose pieces which are too difficult and try to learn them measure by measure is Gyro and everyone makes fun of him.

I would imagine that most people are realistic and know that it will take them a long time to reach this standard but what about those who don't appreciate this? Is there a chance that they could be put off when in fact they can't play Clair de Lune after watching the videos? Might they think (as many adults seem to) that there must be something wrong with them?
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#1263881 - 09/07/09 06:52 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Chris H.]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19591
Loc: New York City
IMO Debussy is no more difficult(or easier)interpretively than any great composer. Some posters may have played fewer pieces by him than other compsers and so be unfamiliar with his style.

One person's easy can be another's very difficult so what people "say" is not very meaningful here. As far as the classification to grade 10(if correct) goes, it seem tojust mean that the classification system is meant for students up to a certain level of playing. One cannot assume grade 10 means the hardest pieces in the piano literature.

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#1263887 - 09/07/09 07:11 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Chris H.]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
I don't know if it was on a recent syllabus or just in one of their "Grade 7 bundle" books.

ABRSM also does tend to also move pieces between grades from time tom time (presumably changing only the expected standard to which it will be played).

I believe the conclusion amongst teachers on the abrsm forum was that it would be between grade 7 and grade 8. If a student had played a variety of Grade 7 pieces and passed grade 7 -- perhaps having done Little Shephard, I see no reason why they would not be able to tackle this piece and play it to a high standard.

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#1263945 - 09/07/09 10:49 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: currawong]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18230
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: eggsdeee
Why is Clair de lune listed under Preludes, Book 2 rather than Suite Bergamasque on the syllabus?...
It probably means La terrasse des audiences au clair de lune, the seventh prelude in book 2?
Which would mean that Clair de lune (from Suite Bergamasque) is actually not on the G10 syllabus at all. So to the OP, if you're thinking of entering a student for G10, you need to contact RCM and check this.


Just a small point of clarification :

The link provided to the erroneous listing was to the BCCM (British Columbia Conservatory of Music (Vancouver)), not to the RCM (Toronto).

In the RCM Piano Syllabus, Clair de Lune is listed, along with the other three pieces from Suite Bergamasque as Grade 10 examination pieces.

The BCCM - for what this second-hand information is worth - was started by a disgruntled former RCM member (examiner? faculty? I don't know), dismissed from the RCM for unprofessionalism. The BCCM Piano Syllabus almost copies the RCM (Toronto) Piano Syllabus, except for this error.

Regards,
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#1263953 - 09/07/09 11:02 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: BruceD]
TonyY Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/15/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Originally Posted By: Theowne
By the way, while the opening may be slow, the middle section moves at a brisker pace and does actually contain some awkward moments for fingering.

"La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin" is grade 9 by RCM standards as well. Technically someone of grade 5 or above would probably be able to hammer out all the right notes, but I think the RCM is trying to say that the interpretative demands of this pieces are not suited until a certain level of proficiency is attained.


Very true, I *almost did La fille de Cheveux de Lin for my grade 9, but decided not to, I was a little uncertain about my interpretation.

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: eggsdeee
Why is Clair de lune listed under Preludes, Book 2 rather than Suite Bergamasque on the syllabus?...
It probably means La terrasse des audiences au clair de lune, the seventh prelude in book 2?
Which would mean that Clair de lune (from Suite Bergamasque) is actually not on the G10 syllabus at all. So to the OP, if you're thinking of entering a student for G10, you need to contact RCM and check this.


Just a small point of clarification :

The link provided to the erroneous listing was to the BCCM (British Columbia Conservatory of Music (Vancouver)), not to the RCM (Toronto).

In the RCM Piano Syllabus, Clair de Lune is listed, along with the other three pieces from Suite Bergamasque as Grade 10 examination pieces.

The BCCM - for what this second-hand information is worth - was started by a disgruntled former RCM member (examiner? faculty? I don't know), dismissed from the RCM for unprofessionalism. The BCCM Piano Syllabus almost copies the RCM (Toronto) Piano Syllabus, except for this error.

Regards,


Thanks Bruce, I didn't have the syllabus with me.
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#1263954 - 09/07/09 11:04 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
No, you're right, it's like playing the Goldberg.
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