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#1278002 - 09/30/09 01:56 PM Advice for La Campanella
unnormaldude68 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/07/09
Posts: 18
Loc: New York
Hi, I am playing La Campanella and it's going pretty well except for one technique.
Does anyone have any advice for playing the repeating notes in the two middle sections? I seem to be very tense while playing it and my hands and fingers lock up.

Any advice from anyone who has played this before?

Thanks in advance!

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#1279059 - 10/02/09 12:34 AM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: unnormaldude68]
unnormaldude68 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/07/09
Posts: 18
Loc: New York
Wow I didn't realize that this piece was so hard that no one else plays it. Darn.

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#1279064 - 10/02/09 12:54 AM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: unnormaldude68]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I have a different theory: the chance that anyone who plays the piece (and has the insight, the time and the movitation to give advice about it) will read your question within a reasonable time period after you posted is a crapshoot.

The etudes of Liszt don't get discussed here nearly as frequently as those by Chopin, so hang in there. It was certainly reasonable to give the thread a bump after a couple of days, and maybe that's all it needed.

Steven
_________________________

"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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#1279092 - 10/02/09 01:42 AM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: sotto voce]
unnormaldude68 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/07/09
Posts: 18
Loc: New York
Yeah, I guess. It's just that I see so many other threads having so much advice - it was almost like this one was invisible.
I'm sorry that I probably came off as rude. Thanks for taking it calmly, though :]

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#1279159 - 10/02/09 06:39 AM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: unnormaldude68]
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
How do you practice that section?

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#1279206 - 10/02/09 08:59 AM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: unnormaldude68]
virtuoso418 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/29/03
Posts: 645
Can you be a little more specific (page number/measure). It's been years since I've played this piece, and it would greatly facilitate some advice to you. I'm going to have to find it in this stack of music in my closet that's gathering dust(too busy to play as a physician)

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#1279382 - 10/02/09 01:28 PM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: virtuoso418]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18136
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: virtuoso418
[...](too busy to play as a physician)


You play as a physician?

Cheers!
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1279383 - 10/02/09 01:29 PM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: BruceD]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18136
Loc: Victoria, BC
unnormal....:

Have you searched through the Archives for threads on this Etude? It has been discussed before.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1279628 - 10/02/09 08:59 PM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: virtuoso418]
unnormaldude68 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/07/09
Posts: 18
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: virtuoso418
Can you be a little more specific (page number/measure). It's been years since I've played this piece, and it would greatly facilitate some advice to you. I'm going to have to find it in this stack of music in my closet that's gathering dust(too busy to play as a physician)


It's the part where you have the quick repeating notes to the theme. In my score it's the third and forth page. I don't remember which measures they are.

In this video it's from 1:15 until 1:45.

I'd just like to know how any of you have practiced that part to make it sound nice like that. My wrist always tenses up and I'm not sure how to go about it since I haven't really used that technique before.
Thanks!


Edited by unnormaldude68 (10/02/09 09:06 PM)

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#1279683 - 10/02/09 10:59 PM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: unnormaldude68]
Philip Lu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 294
Loc: Hacienda Heights, CA
I've actually just played it today, but I have difficulty recalling what was on the third and fourth page, and different versions and different renditions are different, though there shouldn't be much of a discretion. However, measures would be nice. Repeating notes, as in the jumps to the D# in between melodic notes or the octaves that make the melody?
_________________________
"Nie Dam Sie!"

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#1280505 - 10/04/09 12:03 PM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: Philip Lu]
unnormaldude68 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/07/09
Posts: 18
Loc: New York
Sorry, it seems that I forgot to post the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwc-nmyPm4I

It's from 1:15 until 1:45.

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#1281245 - 10/05/09 02:05 PM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: unnormaldude68]
TempoPrimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 88
I have the same problem - the '215' fingering of this section just doesn't seem to come naturally to me at all.

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#1283156 - 10/08/09 03:47 PM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: unnormaldude68]
Martin Blank Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/02/09
Posts: 9
After some encouragement a while back from another PW member, I decided to start posting only if I saw a La Campanella question and here it is! In a previous life, I learned the first five Liszt-Paganini's and brought them to a fairly high-level for performance. I'm not saying any of this to brag, only to give a reference point for my opinion. The 3rd etude (La Campanella) is my favorite.

Unnormaldude68,
Speaking candidly, why is it that you can't be bothered with looking up the measure numbers, yet, you expect free, helpful advice? The measure numbers make it easy for everyone to follow along, especially for those who don't know the work. There's also no mention of what similar-caliber works you have performed or otherwise studied, so it's hard to give any meaningful advice beyond don't get "tense" and don't let your "hands and fingers lock up." Ha!

I'll guess any of the following (or more) could be contributing factors to the tense/lock-up problem: inability to physically relax during difficult passages, improper movement/usage of body/legs/shoulders/arms/wrists/hands/fingers, weak wrists/hands/fingers, even simple lack of muscular endurance.

Some time back, you posted about attending Crane/SUNY; what does your professor say?

For anyone else interested,
I believe the sections in question are measures 50-59 where the repeated notes begin on the beat (pattern R-R-X, where "R" is the repeating note and "X" is some note other than R) and measures 61-65 where the repeated notes begin off the beat (pattern X-R-R-R).

Here's what worked for me, many moons ago (and I had to really think about this to describe it)...

In m50+ (assuming RH fingering 2-1-5) as soon as 2 is played, the hand/wrist begins to rotate/move clockwise/laterally so that as soon as 1 is played, you're already prepared for 5. In m61+ (assuming RH fingering 1-4-3-2) as soon as 1 is played, the hand/wrist/arm moves laterally through the remaining 4-3-2. Towards the end of that phrase, where the four thirty-second notes become a triplet (RH 1-2/5), then it becomes more wrist. Although my description might not be exact, note that the passages are played with more than just fingers.

I hope you find this helpful. Good luck and no hard feelings either way.

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#1284646 - 10/11/09 01:27 AM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: Martin Blank]
unnormaldude68 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/07/09
Posts: 18
Loc: New York
Just to make this clear - It wasn't that I couldn't be bothered with looking up the measure numbers, it's just that I though showing a part of the video would be good enough. If no one could get it from the video then of course I would have looked up the measure numbers. It was just easier for me since my score isn't readily available to me when I'm home on my computer (I leave it at school).

As far as other works, I have played a variety of difficult works, the most recent being Chopin's Ballade No.1 in g minor. I also play a lot of Chopin etudes. However, no work that I have ever played required repeating notes like in La Campanella.

I think my problem may be because I'm trying to use my wrist and arm too much to try to re-strike the keys, which is why I tense up. I wasn't using fingers really at all, which I'm seeing probably was not the right way to do it.

Thank you Martin for your response, it was very helpful smile

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#1286494 - 10/14/09 01:36 AM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: unnormaldude68]
Martin Blank Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/02/09
Posts: 9
unnormaldude68,

Glad you took my comments good naturedly; after posting I thought, eh, this doesn't sound right and you might take it the wrong way, except I didn't know how to re-edit the thing!

"I think my problem may be because I'm trying to use my wrist and arm too much to try to re-strike the keys"

I was taught as a general rule "small parts small motions, bigger parts bigger motions". In this case, fingers handle the repeated notes while the hand/wrist (for 2-1-5) and hand/arm (for 1-4-3-2) lead the fingers to position, similar to how the arm/body leads a running passage. I wrongly assumed you were only using fingers (and no hand/wrist/arm), thus, my comment about "the passages are played with more than just fingers."

I also liked practicing those sections on an upright every so often; the slower upright action (this was a Wurlitzer studio/console probably from the 1970's) required very clean execution and after that, it was a snap to play on a grand piano.

This approach may or may not work for you. However, La Campanella was one of my favorite works and I'll help where I can, although I don't know how else to describe that section for you, ha! Thanks and good luck.

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#1287274 - 10/15/09 01:44 AM Re: Advice for La Campanella [Re: Martin Blank]
PartyPianist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/09
Posts: 281
Yes I play this piece. I take it you are talking about the Grande Etude, rather than one of the paraphrases.

My advice DO NOT PLAY IT TOO FAST!!!!! until you are able. Ensure all all parts are balanced in the "trill" sections. Make sure you NAIL the jumps, but don't castrate them. Ensure you inflect the octaves correctly in the finale and AGAIN do not play this section too fast. It looks more difficult than it is to play.
_________________________
You play it & I'll hum it, but currently rehearsing:

Bach WTC book 2 no 15 G major, no 20 A minor, no 22 Bb Minor
Mozart A minor Sonata K310
Mendelssohn Op 35 preludes and fuges
Busoni Carmen Fantasy
Rachmaninov Bb prelude OP 23 no 2
Lyapunov Humoreske Op 34
and others

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