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#2031204 - 02/11/13 02:52 PM Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd"
Louis Podesta Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 670
For those who have read my recent post "Classical Piano News Story," it should not come as a shock that I am not a big believer in literal interpretation. And, this particular scene from the Kinderszenen is a good example.

The A section is no big deal, but, regarding the B section, in none of the three recordings that I have of this piece (Gieseking, Horowitz, & Moravec) can I hear anyone playing beat #2 in the left hand. Therefore, for those who have mastered this beautiful work, I would appreciate any insight you might have as to practice techniques in terms of grouping.

Currently, with the exception of measure #17, I just leave the second beat out in the left hand.

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#2031223 - 02/11/13 03:08 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: Louis Podesta]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7301
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Are you stating an opinion, merely a fact of what you do, or asking our advice? FWIW, I play what's written, and so do my students, unless there's a compelling reason to do otherwise. Perhaps you don't hear the Cs because the performers are bringing out the descending melodic line and the Cs are providing supporting harmony.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2031225 - 02/11/13 03:10 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19641
Loc: New York
John -- exactly right.
I did a detailed reply on his same post on Pianist Corner.

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#2031440 - 02/11/13 07:30 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: Louis Podesta]
riley80 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/08
Posts: 379
Loc: Florida
I just went racing to my music for a look. Yes, hitting that C isn't the easiest, but....in the last four measures, I DO play beat 1 with thumb and third fingers, which seems to get the pinky to that C a bit faster. hth. Of course, practice it at a tempo which makes it possible to play as written.

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#2031475 - 02/11/13 08:50 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: riley80]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7301
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: riley80
I just went racing to my music for a look. Yes, hitting that C isn't the easiest, ....

What on earth are you talking about? Playing the C is one of the easiest parts of playing this piece. Now the middle E in measure 16 is difficult for smaller hands, so play it with the right thumb, not left, if you need to.

Although you didn't ask, I must say I'm appalled that you would hit your piano. Please don't. It's abusive and I'll have to report you to the piano police.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2031477 - 02/11/13 08:54 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19641
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
....Although you didn't ask, I must say I'm appalled that you would hit your piano. Please don't. It's abusive and I'll have to report you to the piano police.

ha ha ha

You don't talk about "hitting" keys?
If your students say it, which I'm sure they do sometimes, what is the penalty? grin

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#2031523 - 02/11/13 10:59 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: Mark_C]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7301
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
You don't talk about "hitting" keys?
If your students say it, which I'm sure they do sometimes, what is the penalty? grin

Yes, we often talk about not hitting the keys. The piano is a stringed instrument which uses hammers, not bows, to generate its sound. However, you don't have to hit the hammer to engage it. When you use a hammer to nail, you swing the hammer, the hammer does the "hitting."

Recall that for nearly 100 years, composers and pianists wanted to achieve a "singing" tone out of the instrument, not a percussive sound. They experimented with many approaches to using the keys. If you haven't read Amy Fay's Music Study in Germany, do so, as it will give you great insights into the sounds the great pianists were trying to achieve.

How we use the keys is dictated by the sound you want. If you stroke a key, it doesn't descend and hit the board underneath the keys. The result is a less harsh sound. However, if you need a highly percussive sound, then very rapid descent of the key, using the boney end of your finger, will give you the desired results. Unless you're striving for theatrics, the grand slams you see many performers make is totally unnecessary. You can achieve the same fortissimo sound using body weight and combo wrists/fingers, and save yourself the opportunity of "hitting" wrongs notes at the same time, by keeping your fingers near/on the keys. Of course, there are times we need to make blind aerial attacks, but those should be minimized as much as possible.

OTOH, if you're using an electric keyboard, by all means, hit away.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2032085 - 02/12/13 07:58 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: John v.d.Brook]
riley80 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/08
Posts: 379
Loc: Florida
Sorry I said 'hit' when I probably should have said 'locate', or 'find' etc. I was thinking 'hit' as opposed to 'miss'.

Measure 16 has an E? Or did you mean meas. 12 (played with that C#)? My right thumb took on that duty long ago. I can barely stretch a 9th on a very good day.

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#2032135 - 02/12/13 09:35 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: riley80]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7301
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: riley80
Measure 16 has an E? Or did you mean meas. 12 (played with that C#)? My right thumb took on that duty long ago. I can barely stretch a 9th on a very good day.

That's the danger of trying to remember measure numbers from memory. Yes, you are correct, measure 12. The E, for most students, should be redistributed to the RH. Thanks for the catch.

John
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2032176 - 02/12/13 11:05 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19641
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
....Thanks for the catch.

Still waiting for the OP to thank us for the catch.... grin

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#2032302 - 02/13/13 07:25 AM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: Mark_C]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7301
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Mark, we've lost many good teachers from this forum, because they've bent over backwards to help out a student, who often should really be getting this basic stuff from their own teacher, and then the OP disappears for days, sometimes never to return. It's very frustrating and these teachers have no need to put up with such.

Well, I cannot get too upset as at the moment, KING-FM is streaming Cesar Frank's d minor symphony, and that's just one of those pieces that I find totally uplifting.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2032345 - 02/13/13 08:58 AM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: riley80]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3151
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: riley80
Sorry I said 'hit' when I probably should have said 'locate', or 'find' etc. I was thinking 'hit' as opposed to 'miss'.







A bit off topic, but I was doing some engineering work on a German golf course, inspecting an irrigation well being installed, while golfers played through right past us and errant shots endangered our vehicles.

I referred to a golf shot as a shot, and was quickly corrected by the local German golf course representive. To him it was a golf hit (schlagen) rather than a golf shot (schiessen).
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2032405 - 02/13/13 10:47 AM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: John v.d.Brook]
riley80 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/08
Posts: 379
Loc: Florida
Whew - I feel somewhat vindicated. : ))

I don't know WHY music publishers print notes like that on the bass staff when they could easily be printed on the treble. Do they think the average pianist can make that stretch? As an accompanist, I run into that all the time, so I am busy with my white out pen, and rewriting notes to other staffs.

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#2032421 - 02/13/13 11:24 AM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: riley80]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3151
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: riley80
Whew - I feel somewhat vindicated. : ))

I don't know WHY music publishers print notes like that on the bass staff when they could easily be printed on the treble.


In handbell music, middle C# and below are always written in bass clef, but Db and above are always written on the treble.

No apparent reason, just convention.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2032429 - 02/13/13 11:31 AM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: riley80]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11556
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: riley80

I don't know WHY music publishers print notes like that on the bass staff when they could easily be printed on the treble. Do they think the average pianist can make that stretch?

These leads to a question. Does the placement of a note in a given staff necessarily indicate which hand has to play it? I would think that you can grab a note with either hand regardless of whether it's printed in the lower or higher staff. I'm checking whether I am understanding something wrongly.

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#2032441 - 02/13/13 12:00 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: keystring]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3151
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: riley80

I don't know WHY music publishers print notes like that on the bass staff when they could easily be printed on the treble. Do they think the average pianist can make that stretch?

These leads to a question. Does the placement of a note in a given staff necessarily indicate which hand has to play it? I would think that you can grab a note with either hand regardless of whether it's printed in the lower or higher staff. I'm checking whether I am understanding something wrongly.


I have never thought so. Of course it's convenient when it works that way, especially for those of us who are less experienced.

But there are lot of times, e.g. with an SATB hymn, where it is either easier or necessary to grab a bass clef note with the right hand or a treble with the left.

I imagine method books are carefully written to separate hands on clefs for beginners.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2032447 - 02/13/13 12:13 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: riley80]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7301
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: riley80
I don't know WHY music publishers print notes like that on the bass staff when they could easily be printed on the treble. Do they think the average pianist can make that stretch? As an accompanist, I run into that all the time, so I am busy with my white out pen, and rewriting notes to other staffs.

There is a reason, and teachers should be able to explain it to students. If you go back and look at the score, you will see that this note is part of a musical line, a musical voice, which is independent of, but supporting, what the other voices are singing. For visual and musical consistency, changing staffs would lead to confusion. Printed this way, you know exactly what Schumann intended. Now, whether to play it with the left hand or right hand is a judgement call. I can reach it, and generally play it with my left hand. That way, my left thumb is in control of that particular inner voice. Switching hands means that I have to be very careful not of accent the note because my right hand is playing marginally stronger to carry the melody. You'd be surprised how many students carelessly accent notes which should not be accented.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2032460 - 02/13/13 12:47 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: TimR]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19641
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: TimR
A bit off topic....

Who cares -- we've totally answered the original question, so we can talk about whatever we want. grin

Quote:
....I was doing some engineering work on a German golf course, inspecting an irrigation well being installed, while golfers played through right past us and errant shots endangered our vehicles.

I referred to a golf shot as a shot, and was quickly corrected by the local German golf course representative. To him it was a golf hit (schlagen) rather than a golf shot (schiessen).

I guess it varies regionally, including within countries, but where I've played, it's different and more complex than that. smile

"Shot" is what you thought.
"Hit" is an aspect of the quality of a given shot.

It means, how well you hit the ball, in terms of solidity and true-ness of contact.
A "good hit" wouldn't necessarily be a good shot, because it might be way short or way long (due to factors of strength or judgment) or even a fair amount off-line (due to poor aiming). But a good shot would almost always also be a good hit.

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#2032461 - 02/13/13 12:48 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: keystring]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19641
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: keystring
These leads to a question. Does the placement of a note in a given staff necessarily indicate which hand has to play it? I would think that you can grab a note with either hand regardless of whether it's printed in the lower or higher staff. I'm checking whether I am understanding something wrongly.

You're absolutely right.

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#2032476 - 02/13/13 01:31 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: Mark_C]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3151
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: TimR
A bit off topic....

Who cares -- we've totally answered the original question, so we can talk about whatever we want. grin

Quote:
....I was doing some engineering work on a German golf course, inspecting an irrigation well being installed, while golfers played through right past us and errant shots endangered our vehicles.

I referred to a golf shot as a shot, and was quickly corrected by the local German golf course representative. To him it was a golf hit (schlagen) rather than a golf shot (schiessen).

I guess it varies regionally, including within countries, but where I've played, it's different and more complex than that. smile



And since we're really off topic, I'll tell a story one of the Germans told me.

He and his brother went to the Alps to test the echo on one of the peaks. His brother stayed down the path a bit to listen.

He yelled to his brother, "Schiessen oder klangeln?"
The reply was "Schiessen!"

But they heard no echo.

Again, "schiessen oder klangeln?" and again no echo. Several more times, and his brother was getting frustrated. "Schiessen! Schiessen!" he shouted.

And my friend replied, "Ich kann nicht. Ich hab kein mehr Pfeil." (I am out of arrows)

Guess you had to be there.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2032480 - 02/13/13 01:34 PM Re: Request For Insight On "Ritter vom Steckenpferd" [Re: TimR]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19641
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: TimR
....Guess you had to be there.

No, it's funny anyway. ha ha

BTW I was expecting that it was going to be some kind of pun on "scheissen." grin

Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Mark, we've lost many good teachers from this forum, because they've bent over backwards to help out a student, who often should really be getting this basic stuff from their own teacher, and then the OP disappears for days, sometimes never to return. It's very frustrating....

But it's extra surprising in this case because the OP is imagining and presenting himself as a serious thinker and writer on piano. For such a person to just disappear after such a post is very out of the ordinary.

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