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#2222501 - 01/29/14 12:12 PM How to practice trills
Danijelcro Offline
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Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 70
Loc: Croatia
I have problem of playing some fast thrillers, is there any book or some exercise for improve thrillers?
Any advise will also be good


Edited by Danijelcro (01/29/14 12:27 PM)

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#2222508 - 01/29/14 12:17 PM Re: How to practice thrillers [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Registered: 03/03/13
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What do you mean by "thrillers?" Pianistic pyrotechnics?
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Polyphonist

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#2222511 - 01/29/14 12:23 PM Re: How to practice thrillers [Re: Danijelcro]
Danijelcro Offline
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Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 70
Loc: Croatia
When you have over a note sign Tr (or like Bach have his own signs for his thrillers)

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#2222512 - 01/29/14 12:24 PM Re: How to practice thrillers [Re: Danijelcro]
JoelW Online   content
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Registered: 05/25/12
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Trills.

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#2222515 - 01/29/14 12:27 PM Re: How to practice thrillers [Re: Danijelcro]
Danijelcro Offline
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Registered: 11/21/12
Posts: 70
Loc: Croatia
yeah sorry i made a mistake when was writing post I met trills yes

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#2222517 - 01/29/14 12:29 PM Re: How to practice thrillers [Re: Danijelcro]
JoelW Online   content
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Registered: 05/25/12
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Are you throllering?

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#2222521 - 01/29/14 12:33 PM Re: How to practice thrillers [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Online   content
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I would recommend practicing them by just alternating between two notes, slowly at first, and then very gradually increasing the tempo, say by a metronome notch every 10 seconds. When you get to a point where the trill becomes uneven, stop, go back a few notches, and practice it at that speed until you can do it cleanly and evenly however high you want it. Once you learn the measured trill, then attempt the unmeasured one.

Click to reveal..
They can be quite thricky, but I'm sure if you thry hard enough you'll master them in the end.
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Polyphonist

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#2222524 - 01/29/14 12:37 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
bennevis Online   content
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Registered: 10/14/10
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Slow, even, and rhythmic. Then build up speed. No rushing.
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#2222525 - 01/29/14 12:38 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
JoelW Online   content
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#2222559 - 01/29/14 01:10 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
phantomFive Offline
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Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1642
Loc: California
Hanon could help. Several of the exercises are titled 'preparation for the trill'


Edited by phantomFive (01/29/14 01:11 PM)
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#2222560 - 01/29/14 01:10 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Atrys Offline
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Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 990
Starting slow and building up speed is a terribly inefficient way to acquire trills. This is because trilling uses the interossei muscles of the hand in order to isolate the movements from affecting the wrist. This means that trilling has a very specific sensation that is best acquired not by building up tempo, but simply by "note dropping".

Practice a quick alteration of just two notes. Do this until it is fleeting, easy, even, and you can feel freedom in the wrist (freedom in the wrist means you are correctly activating the interossei muscles). Then do this with three notes, and so forth. This is the quickest and most efficient way to acquire trills. You'll find the sensation very quickly and the rest will follow.
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R. W. Emerson

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#2222565 - 01/29/14 01:22 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
BruceD Offline
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Whatever method you use, whether it be gradually increasing speed or whether it be "note dropping" as Atrys calls it, make sure that at some point you are grouping (accenting) your trills in odd number of notes. That way, the accent isn't always coming on the same note in the trill; this will help even out the execution .

Regards,
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#2222567 - 01/29/14 01:28 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: BruceD]
Atrys Offline
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Registered: 10/31/13
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Originally Posted By: BruceD
make sure that at some point you are grouping (accenting) your trills in odd number of notes. That way, the accent isn't always coming on the same note in the trill; this will help even out the execution .

This is completely true and very important. I should have mentioned: when acquiring the trill by incrementing the number of alterations, make sure you can play the current number of alterations evenly by starting the trill on either of the fingers.
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2222570 - 01/29/14 01:36 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Atrys Offline
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Registered: 10/31/13
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The methods discussed at ~6:10 (sparing the anecdote start at ~7:35) in this video are the most scientifically-aligned and effective methods of acquiring the trill that I've seen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANaWudjhJkw
_________________________
"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson

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#2222599 - 01/29/14 02:29 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
gooddog Offline
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Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4817
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Great advice here. I'll add - stay completely relaxed and if possible, trill from your wrist rather than from your fingers - like the motion you use when opening a door knob.
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Deborah

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#2222664 - 01/29/14 04:20 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
ScriabinAddict Offline
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Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 335
Trills (for me anyways) = relaxation + weight transfer + wrist at the height of your knuckles. They'll get better with time as you become more relaxed. Working on your finger independence can help a bit (i.e. through dohnanyi, liszt exercises, hannon etc.).

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#2222676 - 01/29/14 04:38 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Loc: New York City
I love Friedrich Gulda's Aria:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m017xsXZTNc&feature=related

but could not quite master the trills. Maybe I'll try again in the future.

If anyone is interested in the score, please send me a PM with your email address.

A few basic questions:

1. I tend to do a lot of trills with alternating fingers(forgot the name for this kind of trill)e.g. 13231323. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this fingering?

2. What are some causes for trill breakdown? By this I mean the trill starts out quite well but eventually the fingers get "stuck" and kind of stop.


Edited by pianoloverus (01/29/14 04:41 PM)

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#2222694 - 01/29/14 05:00 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Online   content
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The really difficult thing to do well is playing a trill while carrying a melody with other fingers of the same hand. I've just started practicing the Beethoven 106 - finally - and there is quite a bit of that, and it's a pain in the rear...
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Polyphonist

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#2222697 - 01/29/14 05:07 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
anrpiano Offline
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Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 174
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The really difficult thing to do well is playing a trill while carrying a melody with other fingers of the same hand. I've just started practicing the Beethoven 106 - finally - and there is quite a bit of that, and it's a pain in the rear...


I think this is the piece which puts to bed all trill problems. All the fingers get their turns while the rest of the hand is usually quite occupied. Fun stuff.
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#2222713 - 01/29/14 05:36 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Online   content
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And the trills aren't even the hardest thing in the fugue, which in terms of technical difficulty is total insanity. And let's not even get started on the musical difficulty.
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Polyphonist

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#2222732 - 01/29/14 06:33 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
anrpiano Offline
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Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 174
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
And the trills aren't even the hardest thing in the fugue, which in terms of technical difficulty is total insanity. And let's not even get started on the musical difficulty.


But worth every one of those hundreds of hours! Time, extremely well spent.
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http://www.ANRPiano.com
http://www.AndrewRemillard.com
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#2222749 - 01/29/14 06:59 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Registered: 03/03/13
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There must be better ways to spend time than studying the Hammerklavier sonata. However, just now I can't think of what they are.
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Polyphonist

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#2222759 - 01/29/14 07:15 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
beet31425 Online   content
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Registered: 06/12/09
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Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
There must be better ways to spend time than studying the Hammerklavier sonata. However, just now I can't think of what they are.

Suggestion: Spend more time with the score away from the piano. You can notice all kinds of helpful things that you'll miss when actually playing.

-J
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#2222762 - 01/29/14 07:20 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Online   content
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How did that follow?
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Polyphonist

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#2222780 - 01/29/14 08:11 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4817
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The really difficult thing to do well is playing a trill while carrying a melody with other fingers of the same hand. I've just started practicing the Beethoven 106 - finally - and there is quite a bit of that, and it's a pain in the rear...
I've encountered that in the Chopin Barcarolle and in the Waldstein. Practicing below tempo with measured trills, then gradually speeding up broke the barrier. For double trills - same thing.
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Best regards,

Deborah

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#2223216 - 01/30/14 03:03 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
slava_richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 164
Loc: Providence, RI
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The really difficult thing to do well is playing a trill while carrying a melody with other fingers of the same hand. I've just started practicing the Beethoven 106 - finally - and there is quite a bit of that, and it's a pain in the rear...


Late Beethoven is the apotheosis of the trill. Treacherous difficulties in Op. 106, 109, and 111. I think the worst of it is in Op. 106 first movement, where you have to play octaves around the trills. Even when listening to Gilels, you hear a very slight hiccup before each octave where he has to stop trilling momentarily to play the octaves. Op. 109 has its brutal difficulty where you have to do trill+melody in both hands; Op. 106 also has this in the first movement. I'm toying with the idea of learning Op. 111 but I first have to see about those trills at the end...

Speaking of which, how do people generally play these trill+melody passages? Do you play the melody note 'in-between' the trill notes, or do you play the melody note together with one of the trill notes and just bring it out? I've been practicing it the former way. In some pieces - the trill+octave in Op. 106, or in Op. 109 where the melody is a 10th away from the trill - I don't see any other choice. Even when reach is not an issue, I find that it sounds much better when the melody note is played 'in-between' the trill notes.

In response to the OP, as others have stated, the hand must be completely free, especially the knuckles where the fingers meet the hand. Otherwise, you will lock up after a while (the length of this 'while' depends on how tense you are). If the hand and knuckles are perfectly free, you should be able to keep trilling without any unevenness or locking up.

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#2223219 - 01/30/14 03:14 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: slava_richter]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3830
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: slava_richter
Speaking of which, how do people generally play these trill+melody passages? Do you play the melody note 'in-between' the trill notes, or do you play the melody note together with one of the trill notes and just bring it out? I've been practicing it the former way. In some pieces - the trill+octave in Op. 106, or in Op. 109 where the melody is a 10th away from the trill - I don't see any other choice. Even when reach is not an issue, I find that it sounds much better when the melody note is played 'in-between' the trill notes.

I never play the trill note simultaneously with the melody note, even if it's feasible reach-wise. I just don't have the technique for it, and the approximation (leaving the trill note out when the melody sounds) sounds very very good.

I'm influenced here by my teacher, who takes the view that all music is a sequence of aural illusions, and focusing extensively on playing every black dot exactly as written is often not the best approach for most of us.

-Jason
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#2223221 - 01/30/14 03:21 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: slava_richter]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Registered: 03/03/13
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Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: slava_richter
I'm toying with the idea of learning Op. 111...

Unless you are absolutely committed and sure, AND have the immense requisite musical capacity, you will butcher it. Please don't play it unless you really feel you want and need to. One does not simply "toy with the idea" of playing late Beethoven sonatas.
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Polyphonist

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#2223229 - 01/30/14 03:43 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
JoelW Online   content
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Is Op. 111 his greatest sonata?

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#2223244 - 01/30/14 04:35 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
slava_richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 164
Loc: Providence, RI
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: slava_richter
I'm toying with the idea of learning Op. 111...

Unless you are absolutely committed and sure, AND have the immense requisite musical capacity, you will butcher it. Please don't play it unless you really feel you want and need to. One does not simply "toy with the idea" of playing late Beethoven sonatas.


You're absolutely right. Perhaps the word 'toy' is a poor choice since it suggests a lack of seriousness. What I really mean is that I am indecisive: I badly *want* to play it and if I chose to do so, I would be committed, but I fear all of the things you have mentioned (having the musical and technical capacity, not butchering it, etc.). I think that my fear of butchering it will probably keep me from starting work on it (this has happened in the past as well). It's too sacred a work.

I don't like to make statements of 'greatest' anything in music, but Op. 111 is my favorite piano sonata in the entire literature, not just by Beethoven. So in that sense, according to me, yes, it's the greatest of his (and everyone else's) sonatas!

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#2223254 - 01/30/14 05:11 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: beet31425]
slava_richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 164
Loc: Providence, RI
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: slava_richter
Speaking of which, how do people generally play these trill+melody passages? Do you play the melody note 'in-between' the trill notes, or do you play the melody note together with one of the trill notes and just bring it out? I've been practicing it the former way. In some pieces - the trill+octave in Op. 106, or in Op. 109 where the melody is a 10th away from the trill - I don't see any other choice. Even when reach is not an issue, I find that it sounds much better when the melody note is played 'in-between' the trill notes.

I never play the trill note simultaneously with the melody note, even if it's feasible reach-wise. I just don't have the technique for it, and the approximation (leaving the trill note out when the melody sounds) sounds very very good.

I'm influenced here by my teacher, who takes the view that all music is a sequence of aural illusions, and focusing extensively on playing every black dot exactly as written is often not the best approach for most of us.

-Jason


Thanks for your input, Jason. I agree, the illusion of playing the trill this way sounds very good. I just wonder if everyone plays it like this (the 'approximate' way, I mean)???

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#2223261 - 01/30/14 05:37 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Registered: 03/03/13
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Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Is Op. 111 his greatest sonata?

Not only his greatest sonata, but the greatest sonata in the repertoire, with competition only from his other late sonatas, 106 especially.
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Polyphonist

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#2223276 - 01/30/14 06:32 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3830
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Is Op. 111 his greatest sonata?

Not only his greatest sonata, but the greatest sonata in the repertoire, with competition only from his other late sonatas, 106 especially.

It seems that the world of Beethoven lovers is divided into those who feel this way about 109 and those who feel this way about 111. Both groups deeply love both sonatas, but it tends to be one or the other that one feels is the ultimate statement. (I happen to be a "111 person", like you, myself.)

-J
_________________________
Schubert: Bb Impromptu D.935/3; Mozart: D minor concerto; Chopin: first Ballade

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#2223287 - 01/30/14 07:00 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Online   content
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Yes, I would say the 109 has the lowly position of only the third greatest sonata in the entire literature. ha

But seriously, how could one find the finale of 109 more profound than that of 111? I can't understand it. Even the slow movement or finale of 106 I'll take over 109 any day. (Although that variation theme is to die for.)
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Polyphonist

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#2223333 - 01/30/14 08:55 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: slava_richter]
hreichgott Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/13
Posts: 1206
Loc: western MA, USA
Originally Posted By: slava_richter
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: slava_richter
Speaking of which, how do people generally play these trill+melody passages? Do you play the melody note 'in-between' the trill notes, or do you play the melody note together with one of the trill notes and just bring it out? I've been practicing it the former way. In some pieces - the trill+octave in Op. 106, or in Op. 109 where the melody is a 10th away from the trill - I don't see any other choice. Even when reach is not an issue, I find that it sounds much better when the melody note is played 'in-between' the trill notes.

I never play the trill note simultaneously with the melody note, even if it's feasible reach-wise. I just don't have the technique for it, and the approximation (leaving the trill note out when the melody sounds) sounds very very good.

I'm influenced here by my teacher, who takes the view that all music is a sequence of aural illusions, and focusing extensively on playing every black dot exactly as written is often not the best approach for most of us.

-Jason


Thanks for your input, Jason. I agree, the illusion of playing the trill this way sounds very good. I just wonder if everyone plays it like this (the 'approximate' way, I mean)???

It is exactly that, an approximation, in case one can't manage the real way.
Just as those of us who are not 6'4" must find ways to approximate most large reaches smile
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#2223339 - 01/30/14 09:12 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: beet31425]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7975
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: slava_richter
Speaking of which, how do people generally play these trill+melody passages? Do you play the melody note 'in-between' the trill notes, or do you play the melody note together with one of the trill notes and just bring it out? I've been practicing it the former way. In some pieces - the trill+octave in Op. 106, or in Op. 109 where the melody is a 10th away from the trill - I don't see any other choice. Even when reach is not an issue, I find that it sounds much better when the melody note is played 'in-between' the trill notes.

I never play the trill note simultaneously with the melody note, even if it's feasible reach-wise. I just don't have the technique for it, and the approximation (leaving the trill note out when the melody sounds) sounds very very good.

I'm influenced here by my teacher, who takes the view that all music is a sequence of aural illusions, and focusing extensively on playing every black dot exactly as written is often not the best approach for most of us.



Busoni has some interesting trill studies and in some of them he writes out this way of playing the Beethovenian trills.

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#2223415 - 01/31/14 12:41 AM Re: How to practice trills [Re: beet31425]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: beet31425
It seems that the world of Beethoven lovers is divided into those who feel this way about 109 and those who feel this way about 111. Both groups deeply love both sonatas, but it tends to be one or the other that one feels is the ultimate statement. (I happen to be a "111 person", like you, myself.)

As Artur Rubinstein put it, "The human race does not deserve the finale of Opus 111."
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Polyphonist

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#2223682 - 01/31/14 02:27 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Louis Podesta Offline
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Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 761
I tried asking Atrys about this, and in terms of the interossei muscles, he believes that one size fits all in terms of what fingers are used to play a trill.

Specifically, I would like your thoughts on the trills in the first four measures of the Brahms Paganini Variations, Var. IV. I have the Cortot Edition which says to play them in two triplets, instead of three duplets.

Earl Wild played them in duplets and Thibaudet plays them in triplets, much slower. Also, Cortot allows for a roll for those like myself who can't make the reach, and as you all know, I personally think that is the way Brahms played them himself.

So, I know all about the accents, and relaxation, so please let me know what your experience has been with this particular piece.

Hey, for all I know Atrys may be correct. If he is, I see no reason the same logic could not be used on the double thirds in measures #17 & 18 in Debussy's L'Isle joyeyse.

Also, there are Youtube videos out there of pianists playing this with fingerings other than four and five. When Olga Kern was here in San Antonio, trying to play this piece, she rolled the chords and used an alternate fingering. I mention this because of what the guy in the video says about using one and three, and also three and five.

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#2223728 - 01/31/14 04:23 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Louis Podesta]
slava_richter Offline
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Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 164
Loc: Providence, RI
I haven't studied the Brahms-Paganini in-depth, I've only worked on a few variations as a sort of test of my technique. I've worked on Var IV and I played the chords 1-2-4, and trilled with 3-5. I don't really see any other way of doing it, other than rolling the chords but then it kind of defeats the purpose. I guess if you can't reach the chords, you don't have a choice. Although, my hands are not large at all (I can barely make a useable tenth from a white key to a white key) and I can still pull it off.

In general, I find 3-5 to be a very comfortable combination for trills. 1-2, 1-3, and 3-5 work pretty much the same for me. 2-3 and 2-4 are harder, although 2-4 is quite comfortable for certain trills - for example, if I trill B-flat and C in the right hand, 2-4 is about as good as 3-5. 4-5 trills are obviously the hardest and I try to use 3-5 instead wherever possible.

I actually found those leaping arpeggios to be the real problem with that variation. The trills more or less worked themselves out. Variation I has to be the worst of the lot: double-sixths in the left hand for two pages!!!

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#2223786 - 01/31/14 06:19 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: slava_richter]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 761
Originally Posted By: slava_richter
I haven't studied the Brahms-Paganini in-depth, I've only worked on a few variations as a sort of test of my technique. I've worked on Var IV and I played the chords 1-2-4, and trilled with 3-5. I don't really see any other way of doing it, other than rolling the chords but then it kind of defeats the purpose. I guess if you can't reach the chords, you don't have a choice. Although, my hands are not large at all (I can barely make a useable tenth from a white key to a white key) and I can still pull it off.

In general, I find 3-5 to be a very comfortable combination for trills. 1-2, 1-3, and 3-5 work pretty much the same for me. 2-3 and 2-4 are harder, although 2-4 is quite comfortable for certain trills - for example, if I trill B-flat and C in the right hand, 2-4 is about as good as 3-5. 4-5 trills are obviously the hardest and I try to use 3-5 instead wherever possible.

I actually found those leaping arpeggios to be the real problem with that variation. The trills more or less worked themselves out. Variation I has to be the worst of the lot: double-sixths in the left hand for two pages!!!


Thanks for the input.

1) Alfred Cortot, who had one or two female students in his teaching career, makes mention of the small hand. And, he therefore authorizes the roll. My hand is the same size as yours, but I have thin spindly fingers.

2) Accordingly, I figured out, and their is a Youtube of a concert pianist doing the same, that, after the roll, you finger 1,3,1,5,4. When you throw yourself into the roll, and then finger one and three, then five and four is a natural finish.

3) If you instead meant Variation II, when it came to the sixths in the left hand, I offer the following suggestion/observation: According to Earl Wild, Rachmaninoff (his personal friend) use to make a big deal about being able to go from one note to another at high speed with his thumb. Therefore, if you slide the thumb in the left hand, then you don't have the twisting and turning of four/one & five/two. You can do the same thing in Variation I, in the right hand.

Once again, thanks. Personally, I recommend the Earl Wild recording, and also the Claudio Arrau recording of this piece.

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#2223915 - 01/31/14 11:18 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
slava_richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 164
Loc: Providence, RI
Yes, sorry, I meant variation II, not I; the latter is not as difficult, although, it's also brutal. I've tried using only the thumb in the second variation and I couldn't get it to sound as good as 1-4/2-5. I guess my 'sliding' technique is not quite good enough to pull it off. With Rachmaninoff's huge hands, I don't see why he would have needed to use his thumb; I would think that it would have been easy for him to play those sixths with the usual fingering, since my problem with them was the stretch. But then, he was Rachmaninoff, and I am a nobody!

I have that Arrau recording on LP and it is sensational! Michelangeli, Katchen, and Gilels are also great, although Michelangeli doesn't play all of the variations and he mixes up the order.

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#2224779 - 02/02/14 05:54 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Dwscamel Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/13
Posts: 493
You know, it's funny, when I heard Beethoven's op.111 for the first time years ago, it was one of the first "big" pieces of classical piano music I had ever heard, and I loved it. It remained close to me, even when I had stopped listening to most of Beethoven's music.

I'm happy to see it has such a cult following and sacred position in the rep.

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#2224786 - 02/02/14 06:12 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 761
I proffer just an observation: why doesn't any one answer slava richter's question specific to the melody note/combination trill? My example of this is in the last variation, third movement, of the Beethoven 109.

My late teacher taught me to practice the trills in accented triplets, and to also strike the melody note at the beginning of each group, whether it is the thumb or fifth finger. It works for me.

What are any of your other experiences?

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#2225105 - 02/03/14 09:53 AM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
slava_richter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/12
Posts: 164
Loc: Providence, RI
Thanks for your thoughts, Louis. If I'm understanding you correctly, I think your 'accented triplet' is what I meant by playing the melody 'between' the trill notes.

To use Op. 109 as an example, I would play the trill/melody in the right hand as: B-C#-(accented melody B)-B-C#-etc. At high speed, you don't really notice that the trill is being broken so the 'illusion' is there.

What I'm interested in is whether most people play it this way, and if Beethoven intended it to be played this way. I have two opposing pieces of evidence for the latter question: in Op 81a, third movement, he writes out the trill and the melody in this case is played with the principal note of the trill. But then in Op. 109, in the 6th variation after both hands have played trills/melody, the right hand is doing trill/melody while the left hand is playing passages. At some point, the right hand has to play a C# melody note while trilling B-C#. You either have to break the trill and do the 'accented triplet', or you need a huge hand to play the melody note on with the principal trill note. What was Beethoven looking for? Or maybe, he didn't care, as long as it sounded good...

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#2225411 - 02/03/14 08:59 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
phantomFive Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 1642
Loc: California
Sometimes it helps me to listen to other pianists' technique. This is a great video for a lot of comparisons:

_________________________
Poetry is rhythm.

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#2225940 - 02/04/14 06:28 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: slava_richter]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 761
Originally Posted By: slava_richter
Thanks for your thoughts, Louis. If I'm understanding you correctly, I think your 'accented triplet' is what I meant by playing the melody 'between' the trill notes.

To use Op. 109 as an example, I would play the trill/melody in the right hand as: B-C#-(accented melody B)-B-C#-etc. At high speed, you don't really notice that the trill is being broken so the 'illusion' is there.

What I'm interested in is whether most people play it this way, and if Beethoven intended it to be played this way. I have two opposing pieces of evidence for the latter question: in Op 81a, third movement, he writes out the trill and the melody in this case is played with the principal note of the trill. But then in Op. 109, in the 6th variation after both hands have played trills/melody, the right hand is doing trill/melody while the left hand is playing passages. At some point, the right hand has to play a C# melody note while trilling B-C#. You either have to break the trill and do the 'accented triplet', or you need a huge hand to play the melody note on with the principal trill note. What was Beethoven looking for? Or maybe, he didn't care, as long as it sounded good...


I shared this personally with slava richter, and I do not think this person would mind me sharing the following clarification with you:

"regarding the Op. 109, I will use rhythmic notation, as they do at Juilliard.

When you start the triplets (starting on the fourth finger) you play a group of 1 - la - li, 2 -la - li. And, then you go on to the next melody note and repeat the same process."

Also, I dare any one of you to turn the lights out in your room at night, and then close your eyes and listen to Schnabel's recording of the last movement of the Op. 109.

For those of you who are atheists or agnostics, it will not mean much, but for the rest of us, it does!

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#2225946 - 02/04/14 06:32 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Louis Podesta]
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 870
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta

For those of you who are atheists or agnostics, it will not mean much, but for the rest of us, it does!


What the heck is that supposed to mean???

(PW translated the 'heck' for me)
_________________________
Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2225970 - 02/04/14 07:17 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
+1...Beethoven's spirituality goes far beyond religion.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2226522 - 02/05/14 06:51 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Polyphonist]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 761
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
+1...Beethoven's spirituality goes far beyond religion.


Thank you very much for clarifying that point. The concept of spirituality goes far beyond traditional religion, especially, specific to this discussion, as it regards the piano.

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#2226526 - 02/05/14 06:55 PM Re: How to practice trills [Re: Danijelcro]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7707
Loc: New York City
So what were you trying to say?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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