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#2255922 - 04/02/14 01:34 PM The Great Romantic Pedal Wash
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1617
Note to Anonymous Pianists Playing On Solo Piano Compilation Albums: The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal. You do not need to drive your piano to make it go when playing pieces written after the early 1800s. Romantic music will come out even if you don't lead foot the piece from start to finish.

What's more, Schumann may have even intended some of those staccato marks. They might not be typos.

I know, I know. It's insane to even contemplate.

Next week we'll talk about how Not All Brahms Must Sound Schmaltzy. But only when you're ready. I don't want to rock your world too much too soon.
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Currently:
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Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
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Prokofiev, Flute Sonata, Op. 94

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#2255927 - 04/02/14 01:38 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
Vid Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 1027
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
How would I get through Beethoven without putting the pedal to the metal???
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Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2256013 - 04/02/14 03:50 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
prout Offline
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Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1077
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Pedalling is a very interesting topic - one that, while the composer's wishes, if known, must be respected, is somewhat dependent on the quality of the piano. Larger pianos with a lot of resonance and natural sustain need less pedal to ensure a sostenuto line when needed. Sometimes, the only way to get any sound out of a POS is to pedal just about every note.

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#2256042 - 04/02/14 04:38 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
BDB Online   content
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Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22350
Loc: Oakland
The sostenuto pedal allows you to hold some notes even while you play others staccato. Learning to use the sostenuto pedal is a great exercise for learning how to use the sustain (damper) pedal properly, and enables a good pianist to use the latter sparingly.

If you press the sostenuto pedal before you play any notes, it will not make any difference in the sound of the piano, even if you hold it through the entire piece. There just is no point to doing that.
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#2256045 - 04/02/14 04:54 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
pianoloverus Online   content
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20064
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
Note to Anonymous Pianists Playing On Solo Piano Compilation Albums: The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal. You do not need to drive your piano to make it go when playing pieces written after the early 1800s. Romantic music will come out even if you don't lead foot the piece from start to finish.

What's more, Schumann may have even intended some of those staccato marks. They might not be typos.

I know, I know. It's insane to even contemplate.

Next week we'll talk about how Not All Brahms Must Sound Schmaltzy. But only when you're ready. I don't want to rock your world too much too soon.
This sounds like a rant from an angry teacher who just gave a lesson to some students who overused the pedal. Or maybe from a student who just got yelled at by their teacher for overusing the pedal.

The fact is, however, that the sustaining pedal(not the sostenuto pedal as stated) is and should be used extensively in Romantic music by all great pianists. Of course, one can overdo anything.


Edited by pianoloverus (04/02/14 04:57 PM)

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#2256066 - 04/02/14 05:46 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22350
Loc: Oakland
But given the difference between the pianos available to the romantic composers and the pianos of today, the damper pedal probably should not be used as much as indicated on the score.
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#2256067 - 04/02/14 05:49 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: pianoloverus]
prout Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1077
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
Note to Anonymous Pianists Playing On Solo Piano Compilation Albums: The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal. You do not need to drive your piano to make it go when playing pieces written after the early 1800s. Romantic music will come out even if you don't lead foot the piece from start to finish.

What's more, Schumann may have even intended some of those staccato marks. They might not be typos.

I know, I know. It's insane to even contemplate.

Next week we'll talk about how Not All Brahms Must Sound Schmaltzy. But only when you're ready. I don't want to rock your world too much too soon.
This sounds like a rant from an angry teacher who just gave a lesson to some students who overused the pedal. Or maybe from a student who just got yelled at by their teacher for overusing the pedal.

The fact is, however, that the sustaining pedal(not the sostenuto pedal as stated) is and should be used extensively in Romantic music by all great pianists. Of course, one can overdo anything.


For me the issue is that the pianos of Chopin's day had much less sustain and resonance than our modern high tension pianos. Chopin could stick his foot on the damper pedal and leave it there for very long phrases without blurring the sound. If I follow the published pedalling for his works on my BB it is horrible. An example - Ballade Op.23, meas. 33 fioritura is marked as pedal throughout the measure. Too blurry.

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#2256071 - 04/02/14 05:55 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1912
Loc: Reseda, California
Sostenuto is an odd duck. I find a lot of pianos on which it doesn't work correctly, and a lot that never had it in the first place. It was tried by some makers all the way back to the 1840's, but didn't become widely available until the early 20th. century. It seems like a good idea, but not really a marketplace success....
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Knabe Grand # 10927
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Kawai FS690

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#2256079 - 04/02/14 06:00 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: JohnSprung]
prout Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1077
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Sostenuto is an odd duck. I find a lot of pianos on which it doesn't work correctly, and a lot that never had it in the first place. It was tried by some makers all the way back to the 1840's, but didn't become widely available until the early 20th. century. It seems like a good idea, but not really a marketplace success....

I used to use it on pianos that didn't have enough bass sustain to use half-pedalling effectively. Now that I have a piano with good sustain, I don't use it anymore except when indicated in the score.

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#2256083 - 04/02/14 06:03 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: prout]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20064
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: prout
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
This sounds like a rant from an angry teacher who just gave a lesson to some students who overused the pedal. Or maybe from a student who just got yelled at by their teacher for overusing the pedal.

The fact is, however, that the sustaining pedal(not the sostenuto pedal as stated) is and should be used extensively in Romantic music by all great pianists. Of course, one can overdo anything.


For me the issue is that the pianos of Chopin's day had much less sustain and resonance than our modern high tension pianos. Chopin could stick his foot on the damper pedal and leave it there for very long phrases without blurring the sound. If I follow the published pedalling for his works on my BB it is horrible. An example - Ballade Op.23, meas. 33 fioritura is marked as pedal throughout the measure. Too blurry.
Yes, but I don't think that changes anything I wrote. My guess is that much of Chopin's pedal indications will work quite well on modern pianos. At the least the should always be considered as a possibility.


Edited by pianoloverus (04/02/14 06:06 PM)

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#2256095 - 04/02/14 06:25 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: pianoloverus]
prout Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1077
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: prout
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
This sounds like a rant from an angry teacher who just gave a lesson to some students who overused the pedal. Or maybe from a student who just got yelled at by their teacher for overusing the pedal.

The fact is, however, that the sustaining pedal(not the sostenuto pedal as stated) is and should be used extensively in Romantic music by all great pianists. Of course, one can overdo anything.


For me the issue is that the pianos of Chopin's day had much less sustain and resonance than our modern high tension pianos. Chopin could stick his foot on the damper pedal and leave it there for very long phrases without blurring the sound. If I follow the published pedalling for his works on my BB it is horrible. An example - Ballade Op.23, meas. 33 fioritura is marked as pedal throughout the measure. Too blurry.
Yes, but I don't think that changes anything I wrote. My guess is that much of Chopin's pedal indications will work quite well on modern pianos. At the least the should always be considered as a possibility.


I agree absolutely.

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#2256102 - 04/02/14 06:41 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1617
D'oh, I meant the sustain pedal. I must have sostenuto pedal on the brain from having to use it elsewhere.
_________________________
Currently:
Scales. Scales and arpeggios. Scales, arpeggios and chords.
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Scriabin, Three Pieces, Op. 2
Prokofiev, Flute Sonata, Op. 94

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#2256112 - 04/02/14 07:13 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2177
Loc: Canada
Any reason for this sudden (sort of) rant?

Good pedalling can mean using it everywhere, but still maintaining a clear sound. Gieseking was famous for his pedalling, but his sound is remarkably transparent.
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#2256167 - 04/02/14 10:34 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: Kuanpiano]
prout Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1077
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Any reason for this sudden (sort of) rant?

Good pedalling can mean using it everywhere, but still maintaining a clear sound. Gieseking was famous for his pedalling, but his sound is remarkably transparent.

A truly great 'peddler' of music. wink

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#2256176 - 04/02/14 11:43 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: Kuanpiano]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18676
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Any reason for this sudden (sort of) rant?

[...]


I, too, am wondering what prompted this.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2256254 - 04/03/14 08:51 AM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
doctor S Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/12
Posts: 198
Loc: Western PA
My teachers recommended little or no pedalling in baroque or classical works ("finger-pedalling"), sparse pedalling in Schubert, only enough in Brahms, and even in Debussy/Ravel, economic pedalling and avoiding smearing of harmonies. My "new" instrument however, has a weak treble (no sympathetic strings...they are all damped), and I found that the high treble sounds best with the pedal down (even though there are no dampers there!). So I may have added more pedal lately than I ever have before. Others on this site have warned that some digitals seem to invite over-pedalling (perhaps because of the limited sustain??). So give a break for those not practicing what they preach...today
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#2256255 - 04/03/14 08:54 AM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1995
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
I didn't read it as a rant at all. I've had the same reaction after listening to pianists who (though much better than me) rely too much on the sustain pedal.
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#2256294 - 04/03/14 11:15 AM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
WellTemperedPizza Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 82
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal.


If only...




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#2256307 - 04/03/14 12:01 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: WellTemperedPizza]
phantomFive Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/14
Posts: 2168
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: WellTemperedPizza
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal.


If only...




What.....how do you even find something like that?? I just keep staring at it
_________________________
"I was obliged to work hard; whoever works equally hard will succeed equally well." -Bach

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#2256309 - 04/03/14 12:05 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
prout Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1077
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
That is so cool. The only thing is he doesn't die, which is one solution for those who put the pedal to the metal on a piano.

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#2256335 - 04/03/14 01:07 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
JoelW Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5054
Loc: USA
Looks like modded GTA5.

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#2256339 - 04/03/14 01:09 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: prout]
JoelW Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5054
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: prout
Sometimes, the only way to get any sound out of a POS is to pedal just about every note.

My friend has one of these pianos. Nailing the pedal to the floor ALMOST gets it to hold a note. Playing a Chopin nocturne is impossible. I'll stick to Bach on that piano.

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#2256388 - 04/03/14 02:47 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1912
Loc: Reseda, California
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal.


.... But the damper pedal is maybe a little bit like the clutch pedal on a stick shift car: The skill and finesse is more in how you let them up than in how you push them down, right?
_________________________
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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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#2256391 - 04/03/14 02:58 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: JohnSprung]
prout Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1077
Loc: Southwestern Ontario
Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
The sostenuto pedal is not a gas pedal.


.... But the damper pedal is maybe a little bit like the clutch pedal on a stick shift car: The skill and finesse is more in how you let them up than in how you push them down, right?


Well said.

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#2256519 - 04/03/14 09:12 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: BruceD]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1617
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Any reason for this sudden (sort of) rant?

[...]


I, too, am wondering what prompted this.

Regards,


LOL, I guess it does seem a little on the hysterical side for me.

Sorry.

It was a frustrating commute to work. I usually listen to music on my way in (surprise, surprise!) and I had searched for a Schumann piece on my streaming service before I started driving. Unfortunately, because traffic was frustratingly bad I then had almost zero opportunity to safely adjust anything so I ended up hearing almost 20 versions of the same piece right in a row, and it just felt like everybody was overpedaling the whole thing and it was just a big ol' overwrought, sappy affair.

I got to work annoyed and a wee bit frustrated, haha.

I'm over it now, lol.
_________________________
Currently:
Scales. Scales and arpeggios. Scales, arpeggios and chords.
Chopin, Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. post. 66
Scriabin, Three Pieces, Op. 2
Prokofiev, Flute Sonata, Op. 94

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#2256545 - 04/03/14 10:10 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20064
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes

It was a frustrating commute to work. I usually listen to music on my way in (surprise, surprise!) and I had searched for a Schumann piece on my streaming service before I started driving. Unfortunately, because traffic was frustratingly bad I then had almost zero opportunity to safely adjust anything so I ended up hearing almost 20 versions of the same piece right in a row, and it just felt like everybody was overpedaling the whole thing and it was just a big ol' overwrought, sappy affair.
If you were listening to professional recordings it is quite unlikely that most everybody, if even any of the pianists, were over pedaling.

What was the piece?



Edited by pianoloverus (04/03/14 10:11 PM)

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#2256596 - 04/04/14 12:20 AM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: pianoloverus]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22350
Loc: Oakland
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes

It was a frustrating commute to work. I usually listen to music on my way in (surprise, surprise!) and I had searched for a Schumann piece on my streaming service before I started driving. Unfortunately, because traffic was frustratingly bad I then had almost zero opportunity to safely adjust anything so I ended up hearing almost 20 versions of the same piece right in a row, and it just felt like everybody was overpedaling the whole thing and it was just a big ol' overwrought, sappy affair.
If you were listening to professional recordings it is quite unlikely that most everybody, if even any of the pianists, were over pedaling.

What was the piece?



You have a higher opinion of professional pianists than I do. I recall being terribly disturbed by Rudolf Serkin pedaling through the staccato notes in Schubert's D. 960 Sonata.
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#2256879 - 04/04/14 06:40 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: WellTemperedPizza]
BWV846 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/08/07
Posts: 29
Loc: New York, New York
Well Tempered Pizza,
What I really love are the skid marks...
Are those clips from the Grand(Piano)TheftAuto videogame???
Thanks for the laughs.


Edited by BWV846 (04/04/14 06:42 PM)
_________________________
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"If at first you succeed, try to hide your astonishment."

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#2256932 - 04/04/14 08:54 PM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: BWV846]
WellTemperedPizza Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/26/13
Posts: 82
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: BWV846
Well Tempered Pizza,
What I really love are the skid marks...
Are those clips from the Grand(Piano)TheftAuto videogame???
Thanks for the laughs.

You're welcome! Yes, they're from a mod for GTAIV.

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#2258480 - 04/08/14 02:58 AM Re: The Great Romantic Pedal Wash [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
ScriabinAddict Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 335
IMO Perfect amount of pedal:







Currently attempting to ween myself off of it.

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