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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
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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: 5532
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 -
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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
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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
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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: 13789
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
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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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"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Posts: 5933
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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
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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
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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. Online   content
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
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
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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. Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
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 Online   content
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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
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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
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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
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Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
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No, you're right, it's like playing the Goldberg.
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#1263993 - 09/07/09 11:56 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: pianoloverus]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I[...]

One person's easy can be another's very difficult so what people "say" is not very meaningful here. [...]

Plagiarism adds a nice touch, doesn't it? laugh


Edited by Horowitzian (09/07/09 12:59 PM)
Edit Reason: Added link....
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#1264018 - 09/07/09 12:36 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Horowitzian]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I[...]

One person's easy can be another's very difficult so what people "say" is not very meaningful here. [...]

Plagiarism adds a nice touch, doesn't it? laugh


The idea you call "plagiarism" and then sarcastically post a smiley next to has been expressed countless times at PW, sometimes appropriately and other times IMO inappropriately. It's like saying "the earth isn't flat" is plagiarizing.

Are you still whining because I said I thought the idea was inappropriate in some post you made some days or weeks ago? As I recall, you admitted it was just that you found the poster's question taxing on your patience or something like that.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/07/09 12:39 PM)

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#1264030 - 09/07/09 01:01 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: pianoloverus]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
You did virtually copy what I said....


Edited by Horowitzian (09/07/09 01:04 PM)
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#1264038 - 09/07/09 01:11 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Horowitzian]
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
You did virtually copy what I said....


My take on this is that the observation made by both of you amounts to a common "truism" of such universal currency that I think it highly unlikely that there is either copying or plagiarism involved.


Regards,
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#1264052 - 09/07/09 01:25 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: BruceD]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
The earth isn't flat????
OMG!!!

I suppose now you are going to tell me that I can't control the tone of the piano because of "physics"?

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#1264053 - 09/07/09 01:26 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: BruceD]
sotto voce Offline
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Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Who gets to decide when a common observation "expressed countless times" is appropriately or inappropriately made?

Steven
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"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
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#1264056 - 09/07/09 01:29 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Horowitzian]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19348
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
You did virtually copy what I said....


I have no idea of the words you used. It's beyond silly to use the word "plagiarism" here. Even if you were the first person on the planet to express this truism, wouldn't someone be allowed to express it also?

Perhaps PW should run all new posts through "Turn it in.com" or whatever the name of the site teachers use to check and see if a student's paper is a cut and paste job.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/07/09 01:32 PM)

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#1264086 - 09/07/09 02:25 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: pianoloverus]
Philip Lu Offline
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Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 294
Loc: Hacienda Heights, CA
sorry, kbk, I don't agree with your notion of counting.
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#1264111 - 09/07/09 03:25 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: theJourney]
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Originally Posted By: theJourney
The earth isn't flat????
OMG!!!

I suppose now you are going to tell me that I can't control the tone of the piano because of "physics"?


grin grin grin grin
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#1264118 - 09/07/09 03:38 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: theJourney]
Damon Offline
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Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: theJourney

I suppose now you are going to tell me that I can't control the tone of the piano because of "physics"?

Of course you can! A good piano tech can alter the felt on your hammers to a variety of tones. Also, you can record yourself and the purchase a graphic or parametric EQ to alter the tone. laugh
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#1264119 - 09/07/09 03:41 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: keyboardklutz]
jazzyprof Offline
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Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
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!

Poor David Oistrakh. One of the greatest violinists the world has ever known, never learnt to count to 9. He couldn't go beyond 8. His inability to count to 9 completely ruined this special recording made in France, land of Debussy's birth. Several members of the audience were brought to tears. When asked whether it was the emotional impact of Oistrakh's playing that had reduced her to tears, one elderly lady responded, "Mais non, monsieur. I weep for the fact that poor David is unable to count to 9."
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#1264137 - 09/07/09 04:10 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: jazzyprof]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Certainly made me weep (well despair actually), but then maybe I'm the sensitive type.
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#1264187 - 09/07/09 05:38 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: jazzyprof]
NocturneLover Offline
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Quote:

Poor David Oistrakh. One of the greatest violinists the world has ever known, never learnt to count to 9. He couldn't go beyond 8. His inability to count to 9 completely ruined this special recording made in France, land of Debussy's birth. Several members of the audience were brought to tears. When asked whether it was the emotional impact of Oistrakh's playing that had reduced her to tears, one elderly lady responded, "Mais non, monsieur. I weep for the fact that poor David is unable to count to 9."


What the hell? You listen to him pour his heart out on this piece and after the performance all you guys say is, "Sorry bud, you didn't count to 9."
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#1264188 - 09/07/09 05:43 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: NocturneLover]
jazzyprof Offline
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Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Originally Posted By: Thomas Lau

Quote:

Poor David Oistrakh. One of the greatest violinists the world has ever known, never learnt to count to 9. He couldn't go beyond 8. His inability to count to 9 completely ruined this special recording made in France, land of Debussy's birth. Several members of the audience were brought to tears. When asked whether it was the emotional impact of Oistrakh's playing that had reduced her to tears, one elderly lady responded, "Mais non, monsieur. I weep for the fact that poor David is unable to count to 9."


What the hell? You listen to him pour his heart out on this piece and after the performance all you guys say is, "Sorry bud, you didn't count to 9."

Thomas, Thomas, it's called irony.
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#1264226 - 09/07/09 06:56 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
ChopinAddict Offline
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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.


It is not easy if you want to play it really well, but I didn't know it was 10th grade.
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#1264231 - 09/07/09 07:07 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: ChopinAddict]
TonyY Offline
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Registered: 08/15/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
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.


It is not easy if you want to play it really well, but I didn't know it was 10th grade.


Same... I was thinking around grade 8/9 (there is a big leap in technical difficulty and length from 9 to 10)
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#1264247 - 09/07/09 08:07 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: ChopinAddict]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
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.


It is not easy if you want to play it really well, but I didn't know it was 10th grade.


I don't the difficulty level of a piece should/would ever be how hard it is to play poorly.

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#1264257 - 09/07/09 08:35 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Horowitzian]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
You did virtually copy what I said....


I never realised that you are personally responsible for the idea that different people find different things challenging. You wouldn't believe how many people have been ripping you off! It must really get you down, knowing how many people continue to stomp about in your patch, all over the world. Unlike these light-fingered frauds, I'll be sure to give you credit via a footnote, in the event that I too should make any future reference to your pioneering observation. Do you also hold legal copyright over such notions as that which states that apparently simple pieces can be highly challengingly interpretatively, or that the real difficulty in classical sonatas lies in the articulation and phrasing? If so, do let us know, so you can take due credit.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/07/09 08:46 PM)
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#1264265 - 09/07/09 08:52 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: pianoloverus]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 2464
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
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.


It is not easy if you want to play it really well, but I didn't know it was 10th grade.


I don't the difficulty level of a piece should/would ever be how hard it is to play poorly.


In fairness, he didn't suggest that at all. He simply said "if you want to play it really well". That's a fair point. There are a hell of a lot of pianists who can play traumerei to a decent standard, but who don't approach a truly incredible pianist. In a sense, Traumerei really isn't that hard, except to play to an overwhelmingly high standard. The same applies with Clair de Lune. If we're talking about what's required to be outstanind, you could say that ANY piece is hard to play to a truly high standard. In fairness, it is no wiser to judge difficulty from what is required to meet the very highest of standards, compared to what's required to meet a poor standard.
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#1264284 - 09/07/09 09:44 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
Horowitzian Offline
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I find it hilarious that you object to others (me in this case) acting in the very same way you do; mean and vindictive. In truth, I'm laughing my arse off just now.

As I'm sure you know already, I enjoy tweaking brittle people (those familiar with the Dilbert comics will get that), and that was the whole point. laugh


Edited by Horowitzian (09/07/09 09:46 PM)
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#1264379 - 09/08/09 02:57 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: NocturneLover]
wr Offline
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Originally Posted By: Thomas Lau
This was the song


Not. A. Song.

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#1264381 - 09/08/09 03:15 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: keyboardklutz]
Clayton Offline
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Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 128
Loc: Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
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!


Wow. And professional musicians performing for television at that!!

Clayton -
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#1264391 - 09/08/09 04:18 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

In fairness, he didn't suggest that at all. He simply said "if you want to play it really well". That's a fair point. There are a hell of a lot of pianists who can play traumerei to a decent standard, but who don't approach a truly incredible pianist. In a sense, Traumerei really isn't that hard, except to play to an overwhelmingly high standard. The same applies with Clair de Lune. If we're talking about what's required to be outstanind, you could say that ANY piece is hard to play to a truly high standard. In fairness, it is no wiser to judge difficulty from what is required to meet the very highest of standards, compared to what's required to meet a poor standard.


Your wording is basically the same point I was making except I phrased things as a double negative. Any piece becomes harder as one increases the level or performance used as the reference. Since this statement applies to Claire de lune and every other piece it becomes superfluous. It also comes off as sounding like the poster is saying "most of you who play this piece don't really play it very well".


Edited by pianoloverus (09/08/09 04:19 AM)

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#1264394 - 09/08/09 04:32 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: NocturneLover]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Thomas Lau

What the hell? You listen to him pour his heart out on this piece and after the performance all you guys say is, "Sorry bud, you didn't count to 9."
He must have cried all the way to the bank!
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#1264415 - 09/08/09 06:03 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: keyboardklutz]
NocturneLover Offline
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Hey keyboardklutz,

Now that you've posted the orchestral version with the white bird (stork?) flying under the moonlight, I can't get the images out of my head when playing it.

It actually helps set the mood lol.
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#1264419 - 09/08/09 06:14 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: NocturneLover]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Thomas Lau
Hey keyboardklutz,

Now that you've posted the orchestral version with the white bird (stork?) flying under the moonlight, I can't get the images out of my head when playing it.

It actually helps set the mood lol.
Hey, why don't you try sitting down with the music and count to 9 while listening to Stowkowski? You might learn something. Incidentally, I don't put his accuracy down to his conducting. I think his musicians would have rebelled if he'd asked them to cut notes short. Oistrakh's pianist was obviously a pushover.
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#1264433 - 09/08/09 07:00 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: keyboardklutz]
NocturneLover Offline
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Oh I see, right from the beginning he goes way too fast and doesn't sit on the dotted half notes. Yes, I've wondered if the pianist would be the "leader" in terms of beat, but I guess he must have told her beforehand to play a little faster. Maybe he had to go to the bathroom lol.

Actually, I've listened to different versions and many of these professional pianists like to speed things up at the middle of the third page.
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#1264438 - 09/08/09 07:08 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: NocturneLover]
keyboardklutz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Thomas Lau

Actually, I've listened to different versions and many of these professional pianists like to speed things up at the middle of the third page.
That's because it says un poco mosso and en animaut.
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#1264441 - 09/08/09 07:14 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Horowitzian]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
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Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
I find it hilarious that you object to others (me in this case) acting in the very same way you do; mean and vindictive. In truth, I'm laughing my arse off just now.

As I'm sure you know already, I enjoy tweaking brittle people (those familiar with the Dilbert comics will get that), and that was the whole point. laugh


Sounds to me like somebody must have "tweaked" you pretty damn well, judging from the accusatory tone of your post. Anyhow, perhaps the difference between us is that I don't make unsupportable arguments (like claiming the notion of difficult being subjective as my own) purely for the sake of being mean and vindictive?


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/08/09 07:37 AM)
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#1264448 - 09/08/09 07:33 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: pianoloverus]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

In fairness, he didn't suggest that at all. He simply said "if you want to play it really well". That's a fair point. There are a hell of a lot of pianists who can play traumerei to a decent standard, but who don't approach a truly incredible pianist. In a sense, Traumerei really isn't that hard, except to play to an overwhelmingly high standard. The same applies with Clair de Lune. If we're talking about what's required to be outstanind, you could say that ANY piece is hard to play to a truly high standard. In fairness, it is no wiser to judge difficulty from what is required to meet the very highest of standards, compared to what's required to meet a poor standard.


Your wording is basically the same point I was making except I phrased things as a double negative. Any piece becomes harder as one increases the level or performance used as the reference. Since this statement applies to Claire de lune and every other piece it becomes superfluous. It also comes off as sounding like the poster is saying "most of you who play this piece don't really play it very well".


There is quite a vital distinction though. You said that you shouldn't judge a piece on how easy it is to play poorly? While that is correct, I don't think anyone would ever have argued that, and I certainly don't think the poster who you responded to was suggesting it. Difficulty ought to be judged on how easy or hard it is to give a musically satisfying performance. If you consider the fact that the very best performances are difficult for any piece, to be superfluous why were you pointing out something so obvious as the fact that to play a piece badly is not hard? That clearly was not what the poster was alluding to. I'm also not clear what should come across as saying that "most of you don't play it well"? Frankly, I haven't the faintest idea what might raise that implication. If anyone sees the fact that the greatest pianists generally play better than them as an insult, I think that's something for them to work on with their counsellor.

Conversely, responding to that poster with a "superfluous" statement that you shouldn't judge a piece from how easy it is to play badly came across as being greatly accusative. He simply pointed out that you shouldn't judge difficulty from the absolute highest standard of performance. Leaping to such an extreme counter-example (and presenting it as though he might have been suggesting that sloppy performances are the better yardstick) struck me as a rather hefty implication of assault upon that poster's personal standards.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/08/09 07:50 AM)
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#1264452 - 09/08/09 07:46 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

He simply pointed out that you shouldn't judge difficulty from the absolute highest standard of performance.


He said: "It is not easy if you want to play it really well".
This seems to imply one should/could use a high standard.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/08/09 07:50 AM)

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#1264453 - 09/08/09 08:00 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: pianoloverus]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi

He simply pointed out that you shouldn't judge difficulty from the absolute highest standard of performance.


He said: "It is not easy if you want to play it really well".
This seems to imply one should/could use a high standard.


Does it? It seems to imply that one could use a high standard if one WANTS to. Is even that too elitist for you? I see that I was guilty of paraphrasing his words rather indirectly, but I believe that his point was that the level of difficulty is relative to what level of result you are hoping for. Not that everyone MUST play it to a high standard.

I'm really confused now- you followed up by pointing out that you shouldn't judge it from how hard it is to play badly? That sounds far more based upon high ideals, than simply pointing out that it's hard to play extremely well? I was under the impression that you were more troubled by his reference to those students who might get through the notes (but not play so well musically)?

I'm really not following why you are both complaining about overly high standards yet simultaneusly stressing that those who play a piece badly are not a good way of gauging difficulty? What is your own point of judgement then? The impression is starting to come across that, contrary to what you said before, you do think that giving a less than musically refined performance is a reasonable yardstick of difficulty? Could you just clarify, as I'm not following what you're trying to say? One moment you seem to be bothered by the idea of people judging difficulty from inadequately high standards, the next you seem to feel that pointing out that it's difficult to play Clair de lune really well constitutes a slight upon your own standards?


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/08/09 08:10 AM)
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#1264454 - 09/08/09 08:07 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Nyiregyhazi]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Nyiregyhazi
I see that I was guilty of paraphrasing his words rather indirectly, but I believe that his point was that the level of difficulty is relative to what level of result you are hoping for.

I thought that was his point also.

I purposely used the word "could" in my last post to imply "if one wants to".

I don't think when educators rate a piece's difficulty they are using a very low or a very high standard. Somewhere in the middle. If someone rated Claire de lune on a 1-10 scale and gave it an 8, then I don't think they mean the difficulty of playing this piece like some world class pianist is an 8.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/08/09 08:22 AM)

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#1264458 - 09/08/09 08:20 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: pianoloverus]
Nyiregyhazi Offline
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Registered: 07/24/09
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I purposely used the word "could" to imply "if one wants to".

I don't think when educators rate a piece's difficulty they are using a very low or a very high standard. Somewhere in the middle. If someone rated Claire de lune on a 1-10 scale and gave it an 8, then I don't think they mean the difficulty of playing this piece like some world class pianist is an 8.


and the word "should"? Is that also a reference to personal choice? If you felt his statement was boldy judgemental, I'm not seeing how. However, I'd happily chip in myself to say that most students do play Clair de Lune pretty woefully, without much understanding or control over the real difficulties. If those students are happy to play the notes accurately, that's fine for them to settle for that. However, it doesn't mean they have actually conquered the true difficulties. To master them to the level of a Horowitz might be unrealistic. However, to have the ability to distinguish adequately between melody and acconpaniment (which one rarely hears) IS an inherent difficulty of the piece that should always be factored into any assessments of how challenging it might be. That's not about lofty standards. A student who cannot illustrate layering between the parts has simply not covered the difficulties. If anyone takes that as a slight upon them, that's tough. These things are not easy, but if they are not achieved, the piece has not been played properly (any more than a Bach invention that has various notes missing).

Okay, I'm totally with you on the 2nd paragraph. Perhaps I misread your intent before, but I was rather confused by why you felt the need to make the obvious point that to play a piece badly is not difficult. There are differing levels of attainment at the top end, but the only basis for difficulty is the point where all the necessary difficulties of voicing and control ARE mastered, as opposed to ignored. I believe that by 'really well' he was probably referring to such things- rather than actually playing with the interpretative mastery of a Rubinstein or Gilels.


Edited by Nyiregyhazi (09/08/09 09:00 AM)
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#1998869 - 12/13/12 10:59 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: nanabush]
CG/Teacher Offline
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Registered: 12/12/12
Posts: 2
All syllabi have errors. Errata sheets issued by RCM, BCCM, CC and ABRSM are evident of this.
The syllabus accurately lists grading of repertoire and studies independent of other syllabi presenting an alternative to current offerings within Canada.

The BCCM was started in 1986. The issue with the unprofessional RCM examiner which occurred around 2007, did not involve anyone from BCCM. It was an RCM issue and I'm
sure it was dealt with in a professional manner.

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#1998882 - 12/13/12 11:23 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
slipperykeys Offline
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Posts: 376
Loc: Dorset, England
Originally Posted By: TonyY
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


ABRSM is British


http://gb.abrsm.org/en/home

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#1998891 - 12/13/12 11:38 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
BDB Offline
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#1998892 - 12/13/12 11:38 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
ju5t1n-h Offline
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Clair de Lune is certainly not easy. It is an extremely difficult and intricate piece to play. The tempo may be slow, but because of chords used, the fingering, the timing, the touch, the tempo and the rhythm used to play the piece well, you would need to be an experienced pianist.

Its like saying that Fur Elise is simple... but thats a grade 7 piece butchered worldwide by any newbie wanting to learn the piano, but to play it well, you would need to have the skills of the appropriate level to play it correctly.
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#1998976 - 12/13/12 01:50 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
debrucey Offline
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Loads of people play this piece badly without realising they are. Perhaps this is why it has a reputation for being easy. Mind you, most Grade 7/8/whatever pieces are played badly most of the time. Actually I think it's quite a hard piece.

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#1998997 - 12/13/12 02:46 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Bluoh Offline
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It's one of the "easier" grade 10 pieces from the list of selections.

Of course, this is different for everyone, but I remember that I couldn't purchase additional sheet music for Gitanerias (my original piece) because it was out of print everywhere, and it was about two months before my exam.
I ended up 'perfecting' Au Clair de Lune with a couple weeks to spare, but I found the sheet music for the other piece online, so I was able to play that for the exam. (Thank goodness!)

Personally, although Clair de Lune isn't my favourite piece, that type of piece comes a bit more naturally to me than Mozart-- Mozart's 'carefree', 'conversational' tone takes me a bit more work.

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#1999257 - 12/14/12 04:02 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: slipperykeys]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7848
Originally Posted By: slipperykeys
Originally Posted By: TonyY
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


ABRSM is British


http://gb.abrsm.org/en/home


You are responding to someone who hasn't posted anything here in over two years. My guess is that he won't see it.

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#1999375 - 12/14/12 11:21 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: wr]
ju5t1n-h Offline
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Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
Originally Posted By: wr


You are responding to someone who hasn't posted anything here in over two years. My guess is that he won't see it.



haha i think we missed that! good catch
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#1999864 - 12/15/12 02:42 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Birgitte Offline
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Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Norway
I just played Clair de Lune for my midterm exam. What I experienced was that it is not only about pressing the right tones. Half of the playing is about getting the right emotions through and letting "the moon tones" shine.

As my piano teacher says: "There are a lot of levels when playing clair de lune, from those versions that are correctly played to those that gives you goosebumps"

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#2151770 - 09/17/13 01:22 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
rintincop Offline
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Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1521
The right hand melody has to be brought out and the accompaniment parts are to be played substantially softer. The timing is not to me metronomic nor is the melody to be perfectly synchronized with the accompaniment .

By the way, which edition has the best fingering suggestions?

I have to say that anybody who says David Oisterach's interpretation has bad timing doesn't know much about music.

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#2151771 - 09/17/13 01:23 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: keyboardklutz]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1521
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
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!




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#2151775 - 09/17/13 01:34 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7605
Loc: New York City
This thread is four years old, and has not been posted in for almost a year. It has already been revived from the dead once, as BDB pointed out a year ago after someone had awoken it from a three-year sleep. Why did it have to be revived again?

Next step is to stop posting in it and remember to revive it for a third time in 2015.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2151833 - 09/17/13 03:16 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Polyphonist]
Michael Sayers Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1129
Loc: Stockholms ln, Sverige
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
This thread is four years old, and has not been posted in for almost a year. It has already been revived from the dead once, as BDB pointed out a year ago after someone had awoken it from a three-year sleep. Why did it have to be revived again?

Next step is to stop posting in it and remember to revive it for a third time in 2015.


I've marked it for August 22 of that year on my calendar!


M.

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#2151840 - 09/17/13 03:36 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
So ... 4 years old ... now all together
"Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You".

For those you have been jabberwocked by Clair de Lune
for the first time, might I just say 'you're on the money".

Clair de Lune
Debussy

A piece of cake! ... no civilized pianist ought to step out of swaddling clothes without learning to play this masterpiece.

The first 26 measures are easy-going Andante, but from m27
(un poco messo) the pace livens ... but slackens at the Calmato to reintroduce the opening theme ... and then closes with an ethereal flight into the top registers of the piano. (I’m a poet, and I don’t know it! ... easy on the applause!)

Don’t be a peasant, chaps ... without this Moonlight gem you will be wearing “sackcloth and ashes” until you venture perhaps “The Girl with The Flaxen Hair”.

However, my favourite Debussy is La Mer ... wouldn’t swop
my recording by the mighty Toscanini for a wagon-load of
Spanish Doubloons.

regards, btb

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#2151914 - 09/17/13 07:07 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
PrestoConFuocco Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/13
Posts: 92
First of all, the grading system isn't always right. (You can see A LOT of examples showing it.)
Claire de Lune is technically pretty easy, but like all debussy works, it's demanding musically. It's easy to play, not to perform.
(Though when compared to the rest of Suite Bergamasque it's easier in any way.)
_________________________
"If I decide to be an idiot, then I'll be an idiot on my own accord."
- Johann Sebastian Bach.

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#2151984 - 09/17/13 09:29 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
didyougethathing Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 544
Loc: New York
Having just relearned this piece - there are so many subtleties and nuances that can be ruined by timing, dynamics, tempo, etc. Sure the notes are not that hard to learn (there are a few tricky parts though), but to actually make this piece coherent as a whole is no easy feat. The rubato section starting with the low Eb octave, through the buildup to the appearance of the second theme is one of the most perfectly written passages in music, and it is VERY easy to rush through or play too loud too fast.

There are so many moments that require great control, like bringing down the energy to the "Calmato" section, and also the reprise of the first theme. An effective performance of this piece is very difficult to achieve, and especially so since it is "overplayed." But when it's played properly, boy I can't think of a more perfect and beautifully written piece of music.



Edited by didyougethathing (09/17/13 09:30 AM)

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#2152226 - 09/17/13 02:36 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: debrucey]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 725
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Loads of people play this piece badly without realising they are. Perhaps this is why it has a reputation for being easy. Mind you, most Grade 7/8/whatever pieces are played badly most of the time. Actually I think it's quite a hard piece.


Very well said.

As proof, I list the following link to a recording of the only American to ever study this piece under the composer, and the first one to play it in public in this country.

If you listen very closely you can hear the arpeggiation and also the asynchronization. This recording was a major inspiration in my news story video.

In addition, it has lead me to a friendship with the only living student of the performer, the composer Ramon Sender, who has verified everything in my video regarding Debussy.

Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBweTHrOwEU

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#2152242 - 09/17/13 03:07 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Louis Podesta]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Loads of people play this piece badly without realising they are. Perhaps this is why it has a reputation for being easy. Mind you, most Grade 7/8/whatever pieces are played badly most of the time. Actually I think it's quite a hard piece.


Very well said.

As proof, I list the following link to a recording of the only American to ever study this piece under the composer, and the first one to play it in public in this country.

If you listen very closely you can hear the arpeggiation and also the asynchronization. This recording was a major inspiration in my news story video.

In addition, it has lead me to a friendship with the only living student of the performer, the composer Ramon Sender, who has verified everything in my video regarding Debussy.

Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBweTHrOwEU


So funny, before I toggled this post I bet myself $100 that it will be about arpeggiation AND will include a youtube video link.

I win! laugh
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2152261 - 09/17/13 03:32 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 725
What the video was intended to show, as correctly referenced in the quote, is that everybody plays this piece, and most everybody plays it wrong. They always romanticize it, they usually play it too slow, and the voicing is all over the place.

Come to think of it, that is usually the way most people play Debussy anyway.

If you can present any evidence of another way to play this piece, other than your OPINION, please feel free to enlighten us. This particular performer was entrusted by the composer on several occasions to premier certain of his works.

That is way more good enough for me!

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#2152290 - 09/17/13 04:19 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Pogorelich.]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 777
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Loads of people play this piece badly without realising they are. Perhaps this is why it has a reputation for being easy. Mind you, most Grade 7/8/whatever pieces are played badly most of the time. Actually I think it's quite a hard piece.


Very well said.

As proof, I list the following link to a recording of the only American to ever study this piece under the composer, and the first one to play it in public in this country.

If you listen very closely you can hear the arpeggiation and also the asynchronization. This recording was a major inspiration in my news story video.

In addition, it has lead me to a friendship with the only living student of the performer, the composer Ramon Sender, who has verified everything in my video regarding Debussy.

Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBweTHrOwEU


So funny, before I toggled this post I bet myself $100 that it will be about arpeggiation AND will include a youtube video link.

I win! laugh

And lose! laugh

I made a bet with myself that I'd see a reference to Earl Wild. Losing that one, so far. But the night is young.

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#2152294 - 09/17/13 04:30 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 839
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Bonus points for betting on "asynchronization"???

crazy
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2152375 - 09/17/13 06:22 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 725
Here is another recorded link of this piece from "Christian Parent," which was posted in PW on 6/26/13. It is a perfect example of block chord Debussy playing with an over-romantic interpretation.

There are, I am just guessing, about a million pianists on this earth who play or who have played this piece in exactly this fashion.

Does that win in any of your 3rd grader bets?


https://soundcloud.com/christian-parent/debussy-clair-de-lune

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBweTHrOwEU

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#2249119 - 03/19/14 10:46 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Chichi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/11/14
Posts: 5
Clair de Lune is fairly easy to learn, that is, learning the notes and hitting the keys. My own instructor said it is "easy" to memorize key sequences... but truly making music - interpreting - is a different story smile
If nothing else, difficulty is relative!

Cheers
_________________________
Nich
Beethoven Sonata Op. 2 No. 1
Debussy Clair de Lune
Rachmaninoff Prelude in C#
Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 1

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#2249193 - 03/20/14 03:02 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Polyphonist]
Verbum mirabilis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 208
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
This thread is four years old, and has not been posted in for almost a year. It has already been revived from the dead once, as BDB pointed out a year ago after someone had awoken it from a three-year sleep. Why did it have to be revived again?

Next step is to stop posting in it and remember to revive it for a third time in 2015.


I think in 2015 it will already be the fifth time.

Edit: Wait... this is the third time, so 2015 will (hopefully) be the fourth time.


Edited by Verbum mirabilis (03/20/14 06:01 AM)
_________________________
Working on
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#2249211 - 03/20/14 04:07 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
compianist1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/13
Posts: 121
Loc: Banned
I completely agree,,

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#2249369 - 03/20/14 09:06 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
prout Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 789
You're all luney. crazy

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#2249406 - 03/20/14 10:38 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Verbum mirabilis]
DameMyra Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1958
Loc: South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Verbum mirabilis
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
This thread is four years old, and has not been posted in for almost a year. It has already been revived from the dead once, as BDB pointed out a year ago after someone had awoken it from a three-year sleep. Why did it have to be revived again?

Next step is to stop posting in it and remember to revive it for a third time in 2015.


I think in 2015 it will already be the fifth time.

Edit: Wait... this is the third time, so 2015 will (hopefully) be the fourth time.


Born September 7, 2009
Died September 8, 2009

Resurrected December 13, 2012
Died again December 15, 2012

Resurrected again September 17, 2013
Died, yet again, September 17, 2013

Resurrected, one more time, March 20, 2014

This thread has more lives than John Travolta's movie career!
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MTNA/NJMTA/SJMTA

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#2249778 - 03/20/14 11:47 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2140
Loc: Canada
While this thread is up here, the whole Suite Bergamasque is horribly awkward and is much harder technically than it sounds.
_________________________
Working on:
Chopin - Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante
Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2249780 - 03/20/14 11:58 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
hreichgott Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1010
Loc: western MA, USA
Someone has confused "easy to listen to" with "easy to play" wink
_________________________
Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com
Sounding the depths of small pieces: Beethoven Op. 33
Daily attempts at 16th notes: Chopin Op. 10 no. 4, Pischna
Totally loving Faur/Barcarolles and Ravel/Tombeau de Couperin
I love Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and new music

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#2250071 - 03/21/14 05:16 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Rich D. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1254
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
To me Claire de lune is easy to play poorly but difficult to play well.

Rich
_________________________
Retired at the beach (well maybe not completely)

"Life is like a piano....what you get out of it depends on how you play it"
Anonymous


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#2250136 - 03/21/14 07:26 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6148
Loc: St. Louis area
Nearly everything is difficult to play well.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2250197 - 03/21/14 10:22 PM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
joonsang Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/13
Posts: 66
In my opinion,

Clair de Lune is not a technically demanding piece, maybe a little technical. With that said, I do not believe it is a piece for everyone. I have heard just about every rendition I could find on this piece and I can say that despite the many different interpretations, there is only one recording which I would say is the gold standard. While it may be wrong to call it perfect, I would say it comes as close as possible.

http://youtu.be/OUx6ZY60uiI?t=7m49s

Dynamics are so important. P crescendo to F has to be structured perfectly for each bar. The tempo is second most important. Tone.

All of these have to be synchronized perfectly and maintained throughout the length.

Most people I hear play this piece are guilty of just playing through the notes without paying attention to the tone, pedal, and the timing of dynamics.


Edited by joonsang (03/21/14 10:22 PM)

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#2250353 - 03/22/14 07:47 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Kuanpiano]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7848
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
While this thread is up here, the whole Suite Bergamasque is horribly awkward and is much harder technically than it sounds.


To echo someone recently banned, I completely agree. I also think the last movement is almost always played much too fast.

There was a thread not too long ago about pianistic music and some people seemed to think Debussy's music was always pianistic. I didn't say anything at the time, but was thinking that their hands must be quite a bit different than mine, because Debussy frequently feels awkward to me, which is one reason I seldom play it (I like hearing others play it, though).

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#2250416 - 03/22/14 10:41 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: Damon]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1223
Originally Posted By: Damon
Nearly everything is difficult to play well.


No kidding. I find myself utterly intimidated by some of easiest pieces mostly because now, as an adult, I know how they can sound and utterly hate sounding like a kid plonking away at it. It's why I run in fear from those supposedly "easy" pieces that are thrown to kids, like Fur Elise or Moonlight or Most Any Mozart Sonata, or even Anna Magdalena's Notebook. Of course, the harder stuff is out of my wheelhouse simply based on skill, so it kind of leaves me with precious little to play with confidence.

I am not a huge Debussy fan (who else hears Family Guy now when the word "Debussy" is said?) but would dearly love to play it well. But I will not be attempting Clair de Lune for quite some time.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2250422 - 03/22/14 10:58 AM Re: If Clair de Lune is so "easy"... [Re: TonyY]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18029
Loc: Victoria, BC
Click to reveal..
Nothing wrong, I suppose, when an old thread, revived, gains a new life - says he who often caustically comments on the apparent pointless resurrection of old threads!


I think one of the most difficult aspects of some of the more "reflective" Debussy piano works - excluding, of course, those works that have a strong rhythmic drive to them - is to be able to play with considerable flexibility of tempo and yet be able to give them a good sense of forward movement. Too much rubato, and they bog down; to little, and they become mechanical. The "juste milieu" is elusively hard to achieve, yet magical when realized.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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