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#2085063 - 05/19/13 05:51 AM Difficulty of Danse Macabre
Gelike Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/18/13
Posts: 4
I really like Liszt's solo arrangament on Danse Macabre, and I would like to learn it for admission next year. The hardest I can play at the moment is Chopin Polonaise op#53 (Heroic) so the question is that I have "the minimal requirments" to learn Danse Macabre? Or forget about it for a while.

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#2085066 - 05/19/13 06:01 AM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Gelike]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5275
Loc: Orange County, CA
The Liszt is quite a bit more difficult than the Chopin. In fact, substantially more difficult. You might want to consult your teacher regarding repertoire selection. He/she will be better suited to provide you with accurate advice.
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#2085087 - 05/19/13 07:09 AM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Gelike]
Immortal Beloved Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/15/13
Posts: 18
I've heard the solo version of Totentanz called Liszt's hardest piece.
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#2085100 - 05/19/13 07:42 AM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Immortal Beloved]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7422
Originally Posted By: Immortal Beloved
I've heard the solo version of Totentanz called Liszt's hardest piece.


It isn't, but that's not the piece under discussion, I don't think.

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#2085101 - 05/19/13 07:43 AM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Gelike]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7422
Originally Posted By: Gelike
I really like Liszt's solo arrangament on Danse Macabre, and I would like to learn it for admission next year. The hardest I can play at the moment is Chopin Polonaise op#53 (Heroic) so the question is that I have "the minimal requirments" to learn Danse Macabre? Or forget about it for a while.


Can't you tell simply by reading through it a few times?

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#2085103 - 05/19/13 07:55 AM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Gelike]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10745
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
What are the requirements for admission at the school you're looking at? My thoughts would be the Chopin is a more appropriate choice. Better to choose something that is doable and you can play well than something that's a stretch and you may fall flat on your face. What does your teacher say?
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#2085104 - 05/19/13 08:00 AM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Gelike]
Gelike Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/18/13
Posts: 4
Saint-Saens's Danse Macabre, not Totentantz. I asked my teacher about this piece, she said it's difficult, but she never played it. I watched the sheet, there was some tricky parts but resolvable with exercising. If you played this piece please tell me what difficulties contain.(sorry for my english i'm from Transilvania)

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#2085111 - 05/19/13 08:25 AM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Gelike]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7422
Originally Posted By: Gelike
Saint-Saens's Danse Macabre, not Totentantz. I asked my teacher about this piece, she said it's difficult, but she never played it. I watched the sheet, there was some tricky parts but resolvable with exercising. If you played this piece please tell me what difficulties contain.(sorry for my english i'm from Transilvania)


Your English is fine.

I haven't tried to really learn the piece, but have played through it enough times to be able to say that it is awkward in the peculiar way that orchestral transcriptions can be awkward, even the best of them. Personally, I would not use it for any kind of audition, because of the special nature of orchestral transcriptions. They add extra layers of difficulty that you don't need in that kind of situation. I would use something originally written for piano. But that's just me...others might see it differently.

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#2085186 - 05/19/13 12:30 PM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Gelike]
Gelike Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/18/13
Posts: 4
wr you're right. I don't want to go for admission with Chopin. It's very beautiful but becouse of this, is very overplayed. I like more Liszt in character. With my teacher we're very different she's lyrical and i'm more virtuoso type, that's good becouse she's teaching how to play beautiful not only notes but related to repertoire it's hard to choose something good. I watched all youtube vids but if something is cool and sounds good it s awkwardly hard... So any romantic piece ideas somebody?

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#2085202 - 05/19/13 01:04 PM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Gelike]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10745
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Gelike
wr you're right. I don't want to go for admission with Chopin. It's very beautiful but becouse of this, is very overplayed. I like more Liszt in character. With my teacher we're very different she's lyrical and i'm more virtuoso type, that's good becouse she's teaching how to play beautiful not only notes but related to repertoire it's hard to choose something good. I watched all youtube vids but if something is cool and sounds good it s awkwardly hard... So any romantic piece ideas somebody?
You need to look at the requirements for your auditions. I highly doubt they will allow a transcription, as wr says. Also, you're saying Liszt, and not Saint-Seans. Why not ask your teacher to pick a Liszt piece that is similar in character to the Satin-Seans?
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#2085204 - 05/19/13 01:06 PM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Gelike]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10745
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
One other thought...don't be afraid of picking something that might be a "popular" or overplayed piece. Be more concerned with choosing music that speaks to you, because you will add your own personality to it, and in that sense, the faculty has never heard that rendition of it before.
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MTNA member
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#2085210 - 05/19/13 01:22 PM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Gelike]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20747
Loc: Oakland
I do not know why an audition committee would not allow a virtuoso transcription like this one. They should be more interested in technique than repertoire.

I suggest that you look at the music, and see how much of it you can play without a lot of practice. Then look at the sections that require more practice, and decide how much practice it would take you to play them well. If it still seems reasonable, add on the time you would expect to polish everything, and see if you have adequate time to prepare before you need to play it. Remember to allow time to learn something else if it does not work out.
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#2085216 - 05/19/13 01:35 PM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Gelike]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17666
Loc: Victoria, BC
Before you spend time trying to surmount the difficulties required in learning this piece - and learning to play it well - it might be a good idea to check with whatever admissions board you intend to apply to to determine whether or not a transcription of an orchestral work is an accepted admission piece. While almost all of Liszt's writing tends to fall fairly well into the hand, transcriptions - even Liszt's - of orchestral works present a whole different set of challenges, both technical and interpretive.

Personally, I would tend to gravitate to works that were originally written for piano and that you know you can - or will be able to - play well for the audition. Save the difficult transcriptions of orchestral works for your years of future study.

As for your original question: only you and your teacher know whether or not you will be able to handle this transcription sufficiently well to impress an audition jury. It would seem to me that if you have the technical skills and musical maturity to play the Op 53 Polonaise you surely have sufficient experience and judgment to know whether or not you can successfully handle the Saint-Saens/Liszt.

Regards,
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BruceD
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Estonia 190 in satin ebony

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#2085545 - 05/20/13 02:55 AM Re: Difficulty of Danse Macabre [Re: Gelike]
Gelike Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/18/13
Posts: 4
Thank you for advices, they helped me to choose a piece for this kind of situation I don't know what will be but I will find a good one.

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