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#1276595 - 09/28/09 01:33 PM Hands too small/ chords too big
chess Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 15
Loc: UK
Beethoven Op 14 no 1
measures 17, 18, 19 and 20, 156, 158, 159 - all LH

Chords too big/hands too small - any ideas?
I'm trying to do this for a diploma exam so it has to be right!
Thanks

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#1276612 - 09/28/09 01:59 PM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: chess]
Victor25 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1676
Loc: The Netherlands
Hi, I play that piece also and know people who have the same problem. My main solution for them is to play it broken (fast) and be sure to hold down those half-notes, as they are very important. Also what I learned from Andras Schiff is to use very little pedal with this piece, and be sure to note the rests. Amazing piece!

http://download.guardian.co.uk/sys-audio/Arts/Culture/2006/11/16/03_9emajop141.mp3

Your going to encounter alot more of these big chords in the very end of the piece laugh


Edited by vvanrij (09/28/09 02:28 PM)
_________________________
Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)

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#1276614 - 09/28/09 02:03 PM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: chess]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10775
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
m 17, beat 2:roll the 3 bottom notes in the LH then return to the low F for repeats, using pedal to hold the half notes. Same for m. 18 beat 2 and 19 beat 2, 20 beat 2. Since the bottom note is an f sharp, it will be a bit easier to get back to it than if it were natural.

m. 156, I would drop the top F3 in the LH and pick it up in the RH. So LH from the bottom up would be E-A, and RH D#-F#-B-D#. Same on m. 158 & 159.

Reworking these chords in this way will not be aurally noticeable and it is perfectly acceptable. Beethoven's instrument was different from the modern piano, including the width of the keys, and so sometimes you find these extreme stretches that would not have been so extreme in his time.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1276616 - 09/28/09 02:07 PM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: Morodiene]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
FWIW the (UK) ABSRM teachers' guide points out that it's perfectly OK to arpeggiate chords like this.

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#1276637 - 09/28/09 02:38 PM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: kevinb]
chess Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 15
Loc: UK
Thanks all.

It's so hard to find a Beethoven sonata for smaller hands!
I agree with arpeggiating the early cords but the late ones? This seems to introduce too much movement into this section. Also picking up an extra note in the RH changes the texture of these chords so they don't fit in with the rest of the section.
The new edition suggests dropping the f# altogether, but wouldn't this be noticeable?

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#1276662 - 09/28/09 03:19 PM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: chess]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17672
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: chess
[...]The new edition suggests dropping the f# altogether, but wouldn't this be noticeable?


Which "new edition" suggests dropping the F-sharp?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#1276705 - 09/28/09 04:32 PM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: BruceD]
Victor25 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1676
Loc: The Netherlands
Well chess offcourse its going to influence the piece, but you are going to have to decide between the lesser of 2 evils. Imo I would not drop the half-notes, since you can see throughout the piece they are very important for the 'melody'. Incase of all notes having equal note-value for the left hand, I would only play the lower notes, and drop the highest one. (else you might 'invert a chord' which will give a weird effect)
_________________________
Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)

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#1276723 - 09/28/09 05:10 PM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: Victor25]
chess Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 15
Loc: UK
Sorry Bruce D - not so new -2007 ABRSM ed. Barry Cooper.

m. 156,158,159,160 - I'm wondering about moving the F# to the RH and the D# to the LH so the LH would play E A D# and the RH F# B

Thanks to all for suggestions.

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#1276756 - 09/28/09 05:59 PM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: chess]
Victor25 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/30/09
Posts: 1676
Loc: The Netherlands
Imo you don't want to pedal there, and you definetly want to hold on to those half-notes again.

Bar 155

LH plays lower E, RH plays higher E with pinky (and holds it down!) and RH plays with finger 1+3 G# + B

LH plays lower E + D, RH plays high A with pinky (again, holds it down!) and RH plays B + F#'s.

That should be any stretch. In case of the bigger chords like those in bar 156, I would just drop those LH F#'s, the rest of the chords are all within 1 octave, which I guess you can reach. In my opinion, keeping it clear (no pedal) and holding those high notes down is more important than playing all notes, and losing that 'string quartet' feel of the sonata by adding pedal.


Edited by vvanrij (09/28/09 06:02 PM)
_________________________
Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)

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#1276894 - 09/28/09 08:58 PM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: chess]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10775
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: chess
Sorry Bruce D - not so new -2007 ABRSM ed. Barry Cooper.

m. 156,158,159,160 - I'm wondering about moving the F# to the RH and the D# to the LH so the LH would play E A D# and the RH F# B

Thanks to all for suggestions.

I played the chords side by side, one as written and one with the F# in the RH, and they sounded extremely close. Of course, you can drop the F# altogether, but you lose some of the rich harmony in doing that. But why move the D# too?

It's entirely up to you, though, and to what sounds best in your ears.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1277020 - 09/29/09 01:39 AM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: chess]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17672
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: chess
Sorry Bruce D - not so new -2007 ABRSM ed. Barry Cooper.
[...]


I would consider a 2007 edition a fairly new edition. If the ABRSM edition allows for dropping the F-sharp and you're preparing for an ABRSM examination, I'd say your problem is solved.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#1277088 - 09/29/09 05:32 AM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: BruceD]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
This situation is not unusual ... especially with the small fry taking to the piano ... surely some clever manufacturer will have developed a keyboard to suit small hands ... just a matter of scaling down the octave stretch ... I would buy one (within cost reason) to give my young school a sense of confidence ... and not have to constantly search for material with small intervals.


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#1277246 - 09/29/09 11:47 AM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: btb]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17672
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: btb
This situation is not unusual ... especially with the small fry taking to the piano ... surely some clever manufacturer will have developed a keyboard to suit small hands ... just a matter of scaling down the octave stretch ... I would buy one (within cost reason) to give my young school a sense of confidence ... and not have to constantly search for material with small intervals.


Just how great is that "sense of confidence" going to be when the student in question finds that the only piano s/he can play is the one with the down-sized keyboard? How great will the frustration be when the student goes to a piano lesson - or worse - goes to perform at an examination or a recital on a standard-sized keyboard?

I think this is a case where the student has to learn to cope with reality.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#1277256 - 09/29/09 12:11 PM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: BruceD]
Bart Kinlein Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Maryland
Without getting into the merits, here's a link for a reduced size keyboard

Special keyboard

Isn't inexpensive, though!
_________________________
Steinway 1905 model A, rebuild started 2008, completed 2012
Yahama CVP-401
Will somone get my wife off the Steinway so I can play it!

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#1277716 - 09/30/09 02:30 AM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: Bart Kinlein]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Thanks Bart for the link ... as you say, it costs a pile ... however, their special keyboard for small hands only work for grand pianos ... wouldn't want to swap my Grotrian Steinweg, which is an upright.

I wish I had a wife who could play the Steinway ... for that matter ... sometimes I wish I had a wife!

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#1278338 - 10/01/09 01:27 AM Re: Hands too small/ chords too big [Re: btb]
Bart Kinlein Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 715
Loc: Maryland
FYI - they do make a keyboard for uprights, although hard to find on their website.

Upright keyboard
_________________________
Steinway 1905 model A, rebuild started 2008, completed 2012
Yahama CVP-401
Will somone get my wife off the Steinway so I can play it!

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