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#2225334 - 02/03/14 06:39 PM Virtuoso étude?
A Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 305
Loc: St Louis
So in many competitions, I see a repertoire requirement as a virtuoso étude. What would count? Only fast ones, or would slow ones be acceptable too? Such as chopin 10/3, 25/7, a couple Liszt etudes, etc, would be considered slow but would they be allowed?

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#2225338 - 02/03/14 06:45 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8418
Loc: New York City
I imagine the "virtuoso" specification is designed to discourage works like the ones you mentioned - they want to see a technical display. Stupid, but it's just how today's competition system works, unfortunately.
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#2225341 - 02/03/14 06:47 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
boo1234 Offline
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Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 548
I think "virtuosic etude" generally refers to the fast ones.

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#2225369 - 02/03/14 07:36 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
A Guy Offline
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Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 305
Loc: St Louis
That's unfortunate... I understand that they want to judge a pianists technique, but I would place musicality above technique when judging a pianist... That's not to say that the fast chopin and Liszt etudes don't require an enormous amount of musicality as well smile

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#2225387 - 02/03/14 08:12 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
bennevis Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 6646
It's one way of assessing a competitor's virtuoso technique when there is a free choice of repertoire.

After all, it isn't too difficult to play a 'well-balanced program' which consists purely of technically undemanding works - one hears such programs regularly on the concert platform from well-known pianists. Great as far as that goes, but in a competition, people also want fireworks....... grin
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"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2225406 - 02/03/14 08:47 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8418
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: A Guy
That's unfortunate... I understand that they want to judge a pianists technique, but I would place musicality above technique when judging a pianist...

And you are absolutely correct to do so. However, the present competition system, I'm sorry to say, has not yet reached that level of sophistication, and is full of idiotic judges who just toss the prize to whoever plays the hardest piece. True musicians are harder and harder to find these days.
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Polyphonist

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#2225484 - 02/03/14 11:04 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
A Guy Offline
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Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 305
Loc: St Louis
Well there are a few exceptions to that... For example, MTNA often does not give the prize to the hardest pieces, same with competitions such as Gina Bauchauer and IIYM, etc (though people who are good enough to play in those competitions usually play difficult pieces anyway).

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#2225503 - 02/03/14 11:40 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
pianorigami Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 342
Loc: United States
I'm always amazed at what people play.
You play Mazeppa:
Someone plays Feux Follets
You play Stravinsky's transcription of Petrushka:
Someone plays Agosti's transcription of the Firebird.
You just need to play whatever you can.
However, as I've said, they definitely DO NOT want 10/3...
unless you play the Bravura section over and over again in different sequences/patterns ha
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#2225524 - 02/04/14 12:41 AM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Roland The Beagle Offline
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Registered: 02/17/12
Posts: 268
Loc: California
Probably not worth the time for all but the most hardcore, but I love this one so much:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6OQpkOUijE

Those creepy crawlers. Variations 13, 14, and 22. AHAHAHAHAH
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Piano Sonata Hob. XVI: 34 in E Minor, Franz Joseph Haydn
Nocturne, Op. 15 No. 1 in F Major, Frédéric Chopin
Prelude, Op. 11 No. 4 in E Minor, Alexander Scriabin
Prelude and Fugue in G Major, Well-Tempered Clavier Vol. 2, Johann Sebastian Bach

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#2225623 - 02/04/14 07:18 AM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8410
Originally Posted By: A Guy
That's unfortunate... I understand that they want to judge a pianists technique, but I would place musicality above technique when judging a pianist... That's not to say that the fast chopin and Liszt etudes don't require an enormous amount of musicality as well smile


Yes, but it's often a lot harder to judge musicality than technique, except in very obvious cases. And the very idea of competitions tends to squelch real musicality anyway, in favor of pandering to the lowest common denominator to be found in the judges' scoring.

It would be fun if somebody somewhere would start a competition where the only standard was "interesting and convincing interpretation".

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#2225682 - 02/04/14 09:49 AM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Tim Adrianson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1272
Hi, A Guy -- Well, I think that's precisely the point -- they want to see how much musicality you can bring to a piece that requires advanced technical skills, in the purely physical sense. And I would agree that both the Liszt and Chopin Etudes have lots of music to convey in addition to lots of notes in a short timeframe. If there isn't really a lot going on musically, then I would aim my guns at making the piece seem as effortless as possible -- which for me has a charm of its own.

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#2225684 - 02/04/14 09:51 AM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: wr]
Pathbreaker Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1199
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: wr

It would be fun if somebody somewhere would start a competition where the only standard was "interesting and convincing interpretation".



Sounds great, or a lot of work for the judges.

They would be reduced to fighting about subjectivity right? ha

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#2225687 - 02/04/14 09:58 AM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: Pathbreaker]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8410
Originally Posted By: Pathbreaker
Originally Posted By: wr

It would be fun if somebody somewhere would start a competition where the only standard was "interesting and convincing interpretation".



Sounds great, or a lot of work for the judges.

They would be reduced to fighting about subjectivity right? ha


The judges wouldn't have to fight about it - they just vote, like always.

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#2225690 - 02/04/14 10:00 AM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Pathbreaker Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1199
Loc: Massachusetts
Well I agree it would probably make for a more enjoyable experience.

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#2225727 - 02/04/14 11:53 AM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Hakki Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3334
Originally Posted By: A Guy
So in many competitions, I see a repertoire requirement as a virtuoso étude. What would count? Only fast ones, or would slow ones be acceptable too? Such as chopin 10/3, 25/7, a couple Liszt etudes, etc, would be considered slow but would they be allowed?


These two are considered among the Nocturne category at the Chopin competition.
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#2225729 - 02/04/14 11:59 AM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6298
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I've seen some competition requirements and audition requirements that ask for a Chopin étude, except for 10/3 and 25/7.

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#2225731 - 02/04/14 12:01 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: Hakki]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8418
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: A Guy
So in many competitions, I see a repertoire requirement as a virtuoso étude. What would count? Only fast ones, or would slow ones be acceptable too? Such as chopin 10/3, 25/7, a couple Liszt etudes, etc, would be considered slow but would they be allowed?


These two are considered among the Nocturne category at the Chopin competition.

10/3 a Nocturne? That's preposterous.
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Polyphonist

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#2225756 - 02/04/14 12:44 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: Polyphonist]
Hakki Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3334
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: A Guy
So in many competitions, I see a repertoire requirement as a virtuoso étude. What would count? Only fast ones, or would slow ones be acceptable too? Such as chopin 10/3, 25/7, a couple Liszt etudes, etc, would be considered slow but would they be allowed?


These two are considered among the Nocturne category at the Chopin competition.

10/3 a Nocturne? That's preposterous.


From the rules:
http://konkurs.chopin.pl/en/edition/xvii/rules/3139

The Preliminary Round repertoire includes solely works by Fryderyk Chopin:

– one of the following Etudes
in A minor, Op. 10 No. 2
in G sharp minor, Op. 25 No. 6
in A minor, Op. 25 No. 11

– two Etudes, one from each group (a, b) indicated below:

a)
in C major, Op. 10 No. 1
in C sharp minor, Op. 10 No. 4
in G flat major, Op. 10 No. 5
in F major, Op. 10 No. 8
in C minor, Op. 10 No. 12

b)
in C major, Op. 10 No. 7
in A flat major, Op. 10 No. 10
in E flat major, Op. 10 No. 11
in A minor, Op. 25 No. 4
in E minor, Op. 25 No. 5
in B minor, Op. 25 No. 10

– one of the following pieces:
Nocturne in B major, Op. 9 No. 3
Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 1
Nocturne in D flat major, Op. 27 No. 2
Nocturne in G major, Op. 37 No. 2
Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48 No. 1
Nocturne in F sharp minor, Op. 48 No. 2
Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 55 No. 2
Nocturne in B major, Op. 62 No. 1
Nocturne in E major, Op. 62 No. 2
Etude in E major, Op. 10 No. 3
Etude in E flat minor, Op. 10 No. 6
Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 25 No. 7
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#2225776 - 02/04/14 01:20 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: Polyphonist]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5446
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: A Guy
That's unfortunate... I understand that they want to judge a pianists technique, but I would place musicality above technique when judging a pianist...

And you are absolutely correct to do so. However, the present competition system, I'm sorry to say, has not yet reached that level of sophistication, and is full of idiotic judges who just toss the prize to whoever plays the hardest piece. True musicians are harder and harder to find these days.

I think it's very tough to judge musicality. Each judge probably has different tastes, so they judge musicality differently. Just watch American Idol tryouts -- the three judges, two of which are among the biggest names in music today, disagree quite often regarding performances.

So, perhaps some of this is just a symptom of definition. It's easy to quantify and judge technique. It's nearly impossible to judge consistently something as subjective as musicality.

But I certainly agree -- it is a shame.
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#2225829 - 02/04/14 03:31 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: wr]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20457
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: A Guy
That's unfortunate... I understand that they want to judge a pianists technique, but I would place musicality above technique when judging a pianist... That's not to say that the fast chopin and Liszt etudes don't require an enormous amount of musicality as well smile


Yes, but it's often a lot harder to judge musicality than technique, except in very obvious cases. And the very idea of competitions tends to squelch real musicality anyway, in favor of pandering to the lowest common denominator to be found in the judges' scoring.

It would be fun if somebody somewhere would start a competition where the only standard was "interesting and convincing interpretation".
One can't pull of a desired interpretation without the necessary technique. I also disagree that competitions tend to squelch musicality. One could easily argue that since all the contestants at a high level competition has super technique, musicality will distinguish those who end up prize winners.

Discussion about technique vs. musicality or which is more important make little sense to me. Both are important and no great pianist was severely lacking in either. Some great pianists might not have been super virtuosos but they had more than adequate technique.

Kind of like asking a tennis player "Which is more important... the forehand or the backhand?"


Edited by pianoloverus (02/04/14 05:45 PM)

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#2225835 - 02/04/14 03:53 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: Polyphonist]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6298
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: A Guy
So in many competitions, I see a repertoire requirement as a virtuoso étude. What would count? Only fast ones, or would slow ones be acceptable too? Such as chopin 10/3, 25/7, a couple Liszt etudes, etc, would be considered slow but would they be allowed?


These two are considered among the Nocturne category at the Chopin competition.

10/3 a Nocturne? That's preposterous.


I'm sure anyone there will tell you they don't consider them nocturnes. They just lump them into the Nocturne section because they function as slower, expressive, lyrical pieces, which is also what the Nocturnes do.

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#2225839 - 02/04/14 04:00 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Hakki Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3334
Originally Posted By: A Guy
So in many competitions, I see a repertoire requirement as a virtuoso étude. What would count? Only fast ones, or would slow ones be acceptable too? Such as chopin 10/3, 25/7, a couple Liszt etudes, etc, would be considered slow but would they be allowed?


Maybe a straightforward answer is better:

No, the slow ones you mention are not counted as virtuoso etudes.

Besides not all fast etudes are counted as virtuoso etudes either. See the Chopin competition rules a few posts above as an example.
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#2225864 - 02/04/14 04:39 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
A Guy Offline
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Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 305
Loc: St Louis
So what exactly is a "virtuoso" étude then? Just a fast one? I prefer competitions that give you free choice of repertoire smile though I certainly understand why many competitions dont

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#2225866 - 02/04/14 04:46 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Hakki Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3334
Originally Posted By: A Guy
So what exactly is a "virtuoso" étude then? Just a fast one? I prefer competitions that give you free choice of repertoire smile though I certainly understand why many competitions dont


For the Chopin etudes these are virtuoso etude examples:

in A minor, Op. 10 No. 2
in G sharp minor, Op. 25 No. 6
in A minor, Op. 25 No. 11
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#2225867 - 02/04/14 04:46 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8418
Loc: New York City
The list of pieces in your signature is probably enough to cover all the repertoire a minor competition will ask you to play, except for the virtuoso etude.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2225868 - 02/04/14 04:48 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: Hakki]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8418
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Hakki
Originally Posted By: A Guy
So what exactly is a "virtuoso" étude then? Just a fast one? I prefer competitions that give you free choice of repertoire smile though I certainly understand why many competitions dont


For the Chopin etudes these are virtuoso etude examples:

in A minor, Op. 10 No. 2
in G sharp minor, Op. 25 No. 6
in A minor, Op. 25 No. 11

...although the first two are not so much virtuoso etudes as masterpieces that happen to incorporate virtuoso techniques. They still count, of course, but that is in contrast to many of Liszt's.
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Polyphonist

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#2225872 - 02/04/14 04:55 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Hakki Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3334
For Liszt Transcendental Etudes virtuoso etude examples might be:

Feux Follets (Will o' the Wisp)
Chasse-neige (Snowstorm)
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#2225875 - 02/04/14 04:57 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8418
Loc: New York City
All of them are, except perhaps #3.
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Polyphonist

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#2225878 - 02/04/14 05:00 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: Polyphonist]
A Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 305
Loc: St Louis
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The list of pieces in your signature is probably enough to cover all the repertoire a minor competition will ask you to play, except for the virtuoso etude.


And possibly a concerto

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#2225880 - 02/04/14 05:02 PM Re: Virtuoso étude? [Re: A Guy]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8418
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: A Guy
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
The list of pieces in your signature is probably enough to cover all the repertoire a minor competition will ask you to play, except for the virtuoso etude.


And possibly a concerto

I wasn't including concerto competitions in "minor competitions." You don't have a concerto in your repertoire? You should. laugh
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Polyphonist

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