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#2144435 - 09/05/13 02:41 AM Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes!
pianorigami Offline
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Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 290
Loc: United States
I'm learning the 2nd etude from S. 141 (as you can see below :D), and was just curious what the "focus" of the study is. I know it's nicknamed the octave etude, but I find it curious as the octave section is barely 1/3 of the piece!
As for the others, do they work on anything special, or did Liszt just want cool sounding piano transcriptions of the caprices?
In addition, how do they compare in difficulty to each other, assuming the 2nd is fairly "easy" (requires a lot of slow practice, but not more than 2 weeks to a month's worth) for me?
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Currently working on:
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5) Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
6) Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3
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#2144452 - 09/05/13 04:09 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: pianorigami]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
Of the group, I've only ever played La Campanella. To me, it seems there are several clear objectives written into each piece, but no "one" specific technical element throughout. So, when you break the piece down by section (in the case of La Campanella), there is often a slightly different "version" of the challenge presenting a different technical element (and sometimes a "compounded/complex" element) in each repetition.

Octaves certainly do seem to be a strong feature in the 2nd etude, whether as true one-handed octaves, or split between two hands, or even alternating hands. I would say they're certainly prevalent through most of the piece.

But take the "name" of the etude with a grain of salt. There are no bell parts written for La Campanella, for example. wink
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#2144928 - 09/05/13 11:03 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Derulux]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
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Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Derulux


But take the "name" of the etude with a grain of salt. There are no bell parts written for La Campanella, for example. wink


I think a case could be made for bells in La Campanella.

As for the others, the first one is a study of tremolos as the nickname implies. The fourth one, arpeggios. I'm not sure about the fifth one. It's nickname is "the hunt" I suppose from the harmonic structure resembling the sounding of horns in a hunting party. The sixth one is all over the place with each variation tackling a different mechanic. I've played the first one and the sixth one but can't imagine playing the second or third. Above my pay grade.
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#2145018 - 09/06/13 01:29 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Damon]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 290
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: Damon
[quote=Derulux]

I've played the first one and the sixth one but can't imagine playing the second or third. Above my pay grade.

Unless my English really did get bad over the summer, you think the 2nd is harder than the 6th??
Also- even though La Campanella is the most played, is it the hardest?
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Currently working on:
1) Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
2) Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
3) Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
4) Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
5) Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
6) Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3
7) Debussy Images, Book I

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#2145020 - 09/06/13 01:32 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Damon]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Derulux


But take the "name" of the etude with a grain of salt. There are no bell parts written for La Campanella, for example. wink


I think a case could be made for bells in La Campanella.

As for the others, the first one is a study of tremolos as the nickname implies. The fourth one, arpeggios. I'm not sure about the fifth one. It's nickname is "the hunt" I suppose from the harmonic structure resembling the sounding of horns in a hunting party. The sixth one is all over the place with each variation tackling a different mechanic. I've played the first one and the sixth one but can't imagine playing the second or third. Above my pay grade.

Perhaps if it had been composed for (or performed on) a carillon? grin

I listened to Kissin play the 2nd when I first read this thread. I admit, it sounds daunting at the speed he plays it. The alternating chromatics.. wow. Octaves, though, not so bad.

Sixth is the theme-and-variation, right? You should give La Campanella a shot.. similar vein. smile
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#2145036 - 09/06/13 02:09 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Derulux]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 290
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: Derulux
[quote=Damon][quote=Derulux]
I listened to Kissin play the 2nd when I first read this thread. I admit, it sounds daunting at the speed he plays it. The alternating chromatics.. wow. Octaves, though, not so bad.

Sixth is the theme-and-variation, right? You should give La Campanella a shot.. similar vein. smile

Yes, the 6th is the famous variations based on the 24th caprice (which I think is agreed to be the hardest... (any violinists??)
As for the 2nd, I think it's a LOT easier than it sounds. Especially the interchanging octaves- just takes a little slow practice. And good eyesight! laugh
As for the descending scales, yes, he plays them fast (and perfectly), but they're also made to sound harder with little taps of pedal here and there (at least in my mind). I like the piece a little lighter than Kissin's, as I think it imitates the violin more accurately; but, Kissin is always just amazing, so I can't complain ^^
La Campanella is the same vein as no. 2, or no. 6? laugh
I would love to learn all of them for a recital and/or competition next year.
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Currently working on:
1) Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
2) Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
3) Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
4) Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
5) Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
6) Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3
7) Debussy Images, Book I

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#2145043 - 09/06/13 02:19 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: pianorigami]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
I meant to imply the "theme and variation" similarity in La Campanella. Not a true "variation", but in a similar vein, since Liszt changes the technical difficulty in each repetition of the theme(s).

The LH octaves at the end of La Campanella are among the hardest technical difficulty of anything I've ever played.. and octaves are probably my single best technical ability.
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#2145048 - 09/06/13 02:30 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Derulux]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 290
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: Derulux
octaves are probably my single best technical ability.

Lucky >_< I can barely reach octaves comfortably enough to play them well. Especially with 3rd finger for legato!
The actual octave section in the 2nd reminds me of Op. 25 no. 10. Yikes!
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Currently working on:
1) Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
2) Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
3) Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
4) Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
5) Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
6) Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3
7) Debussy Images, Book I

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#2145056 - 09/06/13 03:01 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: pianorigami]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: pianorigami
Originally Posted By: Derulux
octaves are probably my single best technical ability.

Lucky >_< I can barely reach octaves comfortably enough to play them well. Especially with 3rd finger for legato!
The actual octave section in the 2nd reminds me of Op. 25 no. 10. Yikes!

I can probably count on one hand the number of times I use 13 or even 14 for octaves. I almost always use 15. So, don't worry if you can't reach 13. You really never need it. smile

Assuming by 25-10, you mean Chopin? I've never played any of the Chopin etudes, but for fun I did read through this etude a couple times. It's not that bad, as long as you stay loose. Tension is death, though, because fatigue will set in quickly. wink
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#2145106 - 09/06/13 07:26 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Derulux]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7850
Originally Posted By: Derulux

But take the "name" of the etude with a grain of salt. There are no bell parts written for La Campanella, for example. wink


There is a bell part in rondo of the concerto that is the source of the tune, and that's the reason for the nickname.


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#2145181 - 09/06/13 10:35 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: pianorigami]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6149
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: pianorigami
Originally Posted By: Damon
[quote=Derulux]

I've played the first one and the sixth one but can't imagine playing the second or third. Above my pay grade.

Unless my English really did get bad over the summer, you think the 2nd is harder than the 6th??
Also- even though La Campanella is the most played, is it the hardest?


In my opinion, from hardest to easiest:

1. La Campanella (3)
2. Octave (2)
3. Theme and Variations (6)
4. Arpeggio (4)
5. Tremolo (1)
6. The hunt (5)
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#2145185 - 09/06/13 10:44 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Derulux]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6149
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Derulux

Perhaps if it had been composed for (or performed on) a carillon? grin


I think the persistent alternating D# has Liszt representing the 'bell' section of the concerto.

Originally Posted By: Derulux


Sixth is the theme-and-variation, right? You should give La Campanella a shot.. similar vein. smile

I have given it a shot. I don't see how anyone seriously compares the difficulty of La Campanella to any of the other etudes.
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#2145197 - 09/06/13 11:09 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Damon]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Hey, I think the 6th is comparatively easy. I've taught it a bunch and performed it a few times as well. I also think it' the most interesting musically of the the set.
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1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2145273 - 09/06/13 01:05 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: laguna_greg]
NeilOS Offline
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Registered: 08/13/06
Posts: 617
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
Hey, I think the 6th is comparatively easy. I've taught it a bunch and performed it a few times as well. I also think it' the most interesting musically of the the set.


Agreed. I played it when I was 14, before I knew how to play the piano. Of course, I didn't play it very well.
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#2145274 - 09/06/13 01:10 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: pianorigami]
NeilOS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/06
Posts: 617
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: pianorigami
I'm learning the 2nd etude from S. 141 (as you can see below :D), and was just curious what the "focus" of the study is. I know it's nicknamed the octave etude, but I find it curious as the octave section is barely 1/3 of the piece!
As for the others, do they work on anything special, or did Liszt just want cool sounding piano transcriptions of the caprices?
In addition, how do they compare in difficulty to each other, assuming the 2nd is fairly "easy" (requires a lot of slow practice, but not more than 2 weeks to a month's worth) for me?


Even though at times these pieces seem to focus on some technical issue, I put them in a category with the etudes of Chopin. That is, they are are not really meant to be teaching pieces, but rather are designed to showcase the pianists existing skills. They are concert pieces. This is not to imply that we don't learn and hopefully improve with each piece we study.
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#2145280 - 09/06/13 01:18 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: wr]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Derulux

But take the "name" of the etude with a grain of salt. There are no bell parts written for La Campanella, for example. wink


There is a bell part in rondo of the concerto that is the source of the tune, and that's the reason for the nickname.


I understand.. was offering a quasi-facetious reply to highly the difficulty with "literally" interpreting the nickname of the piece. Thanks for the recording, though. Haven't listened to the original Paganini in years. smile
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#2145366 - 09/06/13 04:09 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: NeilOS]
laguna_greg Offline
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Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: NeilOS


Even though at times these pieces seem to focus on some technical issue, I put them in a category with the etudes of Chopin. That is, they are are not really meant to be teaching pieces, but rather are designed to showcase the pianists existing skills. They are concert pieces. This is not to imply that we don't learn and hopefully improve with each piece we study.


I'd go along with all that as well!
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1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
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#2145419 - 09/06/13 06:39 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: pianorigami]
dolce sfogato Offline
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Loc: Netherlands
I think that the main objective is overlooked here: Liszt was, like Chopin and Schumann and a lot more collegues, overwhelmed by the sheer virtuosity of Nicolai Paganini, and it was just a pianistic challenge for him to transcribe some of the violinistic fireworks for the piano in such a way that the violinistics would make place for pianistics, as a result we have those wonderful Paganini-etudes by Liszt, oh lest we forget: op.3 and op.10 by Schumann and a little contribution by no less a person than Brahms.
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Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Rachmaninoff etudes tableaux op.39

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#2145519 - 09/06/13 11:35 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: dolce sfogato]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
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Loc: St. Louis area
Indeed, Liszt wanted to be the Paganini of the Piano. If you want a real challenge, play the original set, S140.
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#2145533 - 09/07/13 12:49 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Damon]
argerichfan Offline
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Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8889
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Damon
If you want a real challenge, play the original set, S140.

For what purpose? The 1851 revision of the 1838 original is superior in literally EVERY measure, why on earth would anyone play the original today? Certainly -I would think- there would be a better use of one's time?

Leslie Howard must have wondered if it was worth his time, which clearly it wasn't, but he did agree to record everything for Hyperion. But for most of us, just looking at the score of the 1838 version tells us enough.
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#2145554 - 09/07/13 01:59 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Damon]
laguna_greg Offline
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Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: Damon
Indeed, Liszt wanted to be the Paganini of the Piano. If you want a real challenge, play the original set, S140.


Liszt succeeded, most admirably.


Play the more recent version.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2145575 - 09/07/13 02:43 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: pianorigami]
pianorigami Offline
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Registered: 07/25/13
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Loc: United States
Does the 2nd etude compare in difficulty to any of the Transcendentals? 2nd version, please. laugh
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Currently working on:
1) Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
2) Beethoven Sonata Op. 53
3) Prokofiev Sonata Op. 83
4) Bach Prelude and Fugue in f# minor, WTC II
5) Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
6) Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3
7) Debussy Images, Book I

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#2145645 - 09/07/13 08:28 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: argerichfan]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6149
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Damon
If you want a real challenge, play the original set, S140.

For what purpose?


I think I suggested the purpose in my post but I'll reword it for you. It's harder. smile I didn't say they were better, but there are certainly worse uses of ones time.
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#2145689 - 09/07/13 10:56 AM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: pianorigami]
bellamusica Offline
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Registered: 10/07/10
Posts: 369
I think that with the Paganini etudes, Liszt was trying to get the pianist to have to negotiate the same difficulties as the violinist. For example in the 2nd etude, the violinist has to switch very quickly from playing fast scales to double stop chords. For a pianist, switching from scales to chords is not a problem at all, so to make the switch more difficult, Liszt also has the pianist jump an octave between the scale and the chords.

Or in the transcription of the 6th Caprice (the first Paganini-Liszt etude) - the violinist has to play a legato melody over rapid tremolos. This would be a piece of cake for a pianist. Just play the melody with your right hand and the accompaniment with your left. But if you look at Liszt's transcription, he writes the melody and accompaniment to be played with one hand (notice at the beginning the pianist is also forced to use their left hand, just as the violinist would.)

Of course in every etude there are going to be specifically pianistic difficulties as well, but it could be interesting to go through Paganini's caprices that Liszt transcribed and find out if they all have violin challenges that are replicated in some way for the piano.

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#2146312 - 09/08/13 12:28 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: pianorigami]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: pianorigami
Does the 2nd etude compare in difficulty to any of the Transcendentals? 2nd version, please. laugh

I think they are all comparable. Once you get to that level of difficulty, you're really talking semantics and/or individual quirks within one's own abilities.

Except Feux Follets. That piece exists in a category all its own.
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#2146355 - 09/08/13 01:31 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Derulux]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 290
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: pianorigami
Does the 2nd etude compare in difficulty to any of the Transcendentals? 2nd version, please. laugh

I think they are all comparable. Once you get to that level of difficulty, you're really talking semantics and/or individual quirks within one's own abilities.

Except Feux Follets. That piece exists in a category all its own.

You think? Cool laugh
Yeah Feux Follets would take me at least nine years to play at a slow tempo. I just. I just don't even get how people play it- and some 14/15 year olds, too! shocked
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Currently working on:
1) Chopin Etudes Op. 10; Scherzo Op. 54
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5) Grieg Concerto, Op. 16
6) Schubert Impromptu Op. 90 no. 3
7) Debussy Images, Book I

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#2146484 - 09/08/13 05:03 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Derulux]
Damon Offline
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Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6149
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Derulux

Except Feux Follets. That piece exists in a category all its own.


Complete agreement here. smile
_________________________
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#2146587 - 09/08/13 07:27 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: Damon]
argerichfan Offline
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Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8889
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Derulux

Except Feux Follets. That piece exists in a category all its own.


Complete agreement here. smile

+1 of course.

I'll never forget a party with some of my uni friends, all of us were keyboard folk. The hookah was the star guest until someone put on Richter's recording of Feux Follets.

When it was finished noone said a word until my friend Ian quietly commented: wtf?
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#2148970 - 09/12/13 06:16 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: pianorigami]
dolce sfogato Offline
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Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2641
Loc: Netherlands
Feux-follets is much easier than most people think, alas, nobody takes the time to learn it, most are just scared by other people's fear, so unjust!
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Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Rachmaninoff etudes tableaux op.39

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#2148991 - 09/12/13 06:54 PM Re: Paganini/Liszt Etudes Purposes! [Re: dolce sfogato]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5318
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Feux-follets is much easier than most people think, alas, nobody takes the time to learn it, most are just scared by other people's fear, so unjust!

Have you ever performed it?
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Kawai MP11 black key noise?
by rungabic
Today at 11:35 AM
Rachmaninoff 2 and broken strings
by Anne'sson
Today at 09:31 AM
Kawai CN24 vs Kawai CA65 Vs Acoustic
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Today at 08:55 AM
What happpened to the "edit" button?
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Today at 07:38 AM
AMusA reports?
by Badinage
Today at 07:03 AM
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