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#584087 - 02/20/07 02:06 PM Re: New member here
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8822
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Hello Jeffrey,

A belated welcome to the board; sorry I was a bit late. It is definitely an honour to have you here and I look forward to your posts.

Leroy Anderson is one of my favourite American lite music composers- is that CD of the concerto currently available? I'd fancy a copy.

I studied in hopes of being a concert pianist, but midway through university fell for the siren of Anglican church music and switched to organ. But I still play the piano everyday and try to maintain my technique. If I'm currently working in London's financial district, well it pays.

Cheers!
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Jason

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#584088 - 02/20/07 04:04 PM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
Thanks, Jason. No word yet for the cd release--hope to know soon, though.
_________________________
www.jeffreybiegel.com

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#584089 - 02/20/07 10:30 PM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
Sort of off topic: I was listening to a Master's student of mine play the Liszt Sonata in b minor today--he's in his 20s--quite remarkable in his innate musical gifts--very sensitive. It brought me back 24 years to my playing it for Adele Marcus--those were tough lessons, after all, she studied the piece with Josef Lhevinne and won the Naumburg prize in the 1920s with her incredible performance (her 1950s LP rendition soon to be released). I then sat down and played it cover-to-cover for my student, and it amazed me how much easier the lyrical sections came to me--sure, I have to brush up on the octaves, but the cohesiveness of the piece was what I believe Adele wanted when I was my student's age. It's kinda nice getting older in this profession--somehow, things gel and we can bestow our teacher's lessons to the next generation--what a joy! I only wish Adele could hear me play it now! I do remember through, after several arduous months of rigorous lessons on the Liszt b minor, she heard me play it straight through, paused a moment after I ended the piece, clapped her hands and said to the rhythm of her claps, 'You finally got it, dear!' That was indeed music to my ears! Adele Marcus was old school--the compliments were not freely rewarded--though when they were, it meant alot.
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#584090 - 02/21/07 12:19 AM Re: New member here
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i don't know.... isn't that double thirds etude a little slow?

;\)

i love that piece ..

welcome and thanks to the link to the fugue of the tocatta in E minor ringtone.. hope you recorded it, because i'm actually buying that one.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#584091 - 02/21/07 07:08 AM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
I did record that, and I'd say 99% of those ringtones, if they are still at www.mobiletones.com. I did those when monotone ringtones were the new thing, and I thought it would be rather cool to have cell phones throughout the world resounding with all kinds of tones from the basic periods of music. Now with polyphonic and 'real' time tones, it has replaced this, but it was still interesting to do, and people do buy them.

The Chopin Etude in Thirds was that fast only because I played it as an encore after the Rach 3! I have it on my website playing on one of the pages, as well as Liszt's 'Feux follets' excerpt and Chopin's 'Etude in c-sharp minor, Opus 10, no. 4'--and there may be the Schulz-Evler Strauss Blue Danube excerpt there still--haven't visited the site to listen recently--we change them around sometimes.
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#584092 - 02/22/07 07:46 AM Re: New member here
Soleil_nuage Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 284
Loc: Virginia
I just heard your performance of Cesar Cui's Prelude No. 4 on WETA, the classical music station in the Washington, D.C. area. Incredible! I had been half asleep until I heard the Prelude. It definately woke me up!

Here is the playlist. http://www.weta.org/fm/playlist.php It was at 7:12 a.m.

BTW Welcome to PW!

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#584093 - 02/22/07 08:02 AM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
How kind of you to post this--it's nice to see the radio stations have been using that disc to fill out programs worldwide. The story: after the 1984 Leeds competition, I met a charming man from DC, Charles Ervin, and his lovely wife, Jane, as they attend many worldwide competitions. While in DC performing a recital in 1990 or 1992, Charles turned me on to the 25 Preludes by Cesar Cui on microfilm. I had a copy made of the set, learned them, and then inquired to Naxos if I might record them for the company. In 1992, I mastered all 25 and recorded them for Marco Polo (a Naxos derivative). That was the same summer my wife was expecting our firstborn and I had to play two weeks before the due date with the BBC Phil--hectic summer. To boot, I developed some weird Lymes-like bug, but plowed through the Cui for a September session. It was wonderful to record these in a barn in Valparaiso, Indiana--the home of the brilliant organist Wolfgang Ruehbsam--he had a beautiful Bosendorfer in the upstairs of the barn--yes--animals etc.--soundproofed upstairs of course. It was wonderful breathing in the autumn air and recording the Cui pieces. The cd is now available on Naxos.

They are remarkable pieces--inspired by the likes of Chopin, Schumann, Mendelssohn and others. I edited the set and now need to find a publisher that will take them on for distribution. I think they would be a wonderful addition to the repertoire, much in the way the Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Scriabin Preludes exist. I'll keep working on getting the edition out there. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience listening to the 4th prelude.
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#584094 - 02/22/07 08:26 AM Re: New member here
Piano World Offline



Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5571
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
I downloaded some of Jeffries performance samples from his web site ...
http://www.cyberecital.com/performance.html


I have the Rach3 playing now ...Wow!

Going to grab the others.

I'd highly recommend downloading them.

(warning, these are big files, you need a hi-speed connection to download).
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#584095 - 02/22/07 03:19 PM Re: New member here
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBiegel:
It was wonderful to record these in a barn in Valparaiso, Indiana--the home of the brilliant organist Wolfgang Ruehbsam--he had a beautiful Bosendorfer in the upstairs of the barn--yes--animals etc.--soundproofed upstairs of course. It was wonderful breathing in the autumn air and recording the Cui pieces.
[/b]
The recordings must be very mooooving
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#584096 - 02/22/07 03:30 PM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
Don't cow-nt on it--it was actually the piano which made the barn sing--we didn't 'horse' around--got right to the 'moo-sic'; I wasn't at all 'sheep-ish' about recording the preludes. I was a bit 'chicken' about some of the more technically difficult ones, and thought I'd have some night-'mares' about not getting through them all, but the engineer got my 'goat' and I settled in for some fine sessions. (Hm--a sense of humor after all!)
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#584097 - 02/22/07 03:36 PM Re: New member here
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i was hoping
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#584098 - 02/22/07 09:58 PM Re: New member here
op30no3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 360
Loc: Rochester, NY
Mr. Biegel, I have listened to your Chopin op. 25 no. 6, which I am currently getting ready for an audition in the middle of March, and for one thing I have a hard time fathoming that a person can play it that fast. I know this question is so incredibly cliche, but I must ask: how did you practice it?

P.S. I hope this is a compliment to you: your recording reminds me a lot of Lhevine's recording of the piece. You both add a strong element of finesse to the piece that I would love to have in my playing of it, not to mention that you both take it at such a breath-taking speed.(I plan on playing Op. 25 for my senior recital as well as the audition)
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#584099 - 02/23/07 07:40 AM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
It is a compliment, which I value and appreciate deeply. I also make sure the piano I will play pieces like the Chopin double thirds etude is evenly distributed in sound and touch--and that the action is not too light nor too tight. I'm backtracking here, but for a reason, which is probably where you find the connection to Josef Lhevinne: I was once playing 'Feux follets' for Adele Marcus for a lesson, and she sat rather silent (not a typical thing!) and then said, 'You know, dear, you remind me of Mr. Lhevinne-how you slightly hunch over the piano and play lightly on the double notes--he played as if the piano were a toy--but that was a good thing. You should cultivate this and play the music he did.' Silly me, I wasn't all too aware enough of Josef Lhevinne at 18 years old, but I learned fast. I also found a rare piece in Ms. Marcus' home: Paul de Schloezer's Etude de Concert in E-flat Major, Opus 1, no. 1, which Lhevinne played also--but there aren't recordings of it to my knowledge with the exception of a brilliant woman pianist who recorded it for piano rolls and I heard in the Austin home of Caswell (his first name escapes me, though I believe it is Ken--used to be the manager of the Austin Symphony) who has two pianos that play the old rolls. I learned the Schloezer double note etude and played it after a Prokofiev 2nd concerto in Copenhagen--what a piece. I decided to add it to the PianoDisc 'Rare Gems of the Golden Age'. Ah--you're opening a chapter of my life with this topic. I've become so busy lately with new music and commissioning projects--and find less and less people attracted to what was an amazing artist, Josef Lhevinne. Someone in another post mentioned that Adele Marcus was polarizing--deeply affected some people in a negative way. Yes, she was very powerful--every word she said lasted with you--good and bad. But I've learned to keep the good with me and use it to my benefit. She had tremendous fortitude in teaching-where many would care less. She truly cared about everything her students were doing on the big stages throughout the world--tempo, sound, phrasing, singing sound, interpretation, what you wore, how you bowed, etc. Very old world hard working person--and didn't miss a thing! She did strain you emotionally to get her point across, but not all of the time--but you were on your guard, for sure.

Adele Marcus stressed that in order to play any double note pieces like her teacher, Josef Lhevinne, one must slowly play the piece with legato upper note fingers (4th and 5th) against staccato lower note fingers (thumb and 2nd fingers). This trains the weaker upper fingers to be stronger, louder, melodic, and the stronger lower fingers to appear softer. The staccato practice for the thumb and second finger will lighten them up, while paving the way for the upper melodic line as played by the 4th and 5th fingers to feel more prominent. I also do the diminished seventh exercise which I have posted before--yet nobody replied to--it is a life saver to me, and I must add--in all of these practice tactics, a loose wrist is most important. It doesn't hurt to say that I started the Chopin Etude as a teenager, and practiced it in the way I mention after I started studies with Adele Marcus--probably in my early 20s. Typically, I play it slower, but after a concerto like Rach 3, Prokofiev 3, Tschaik 1, and adrenalin, it just goes as it wants--fast. But always think of it as a melodic line--not fast. The Chopin etudes are music first, and then display a technical aspect second. His piano may not have been as heavy as those of today--which are based on those that came after his. Remember--Beethoven composed his 32 sonatas on several instruments as they were being created, so dynamics and speed should be taken into consideration.

Here's the stretching exercise I mentioned for overall finger strength and dexterity:

In Dean Elder's book, Pianists at Play, and some old back issues from the 1970s and 1980 sof Clavier, Adele Marcus shared her technical regime. In it, there's the diminished seventh chord stretch. I alter it slightly, starting with the RH thumb on c above middle c, then e-flat, f-sharp, a and c. LH starts with the thumb on A below middle c, then f-sharp, e-flat, c and a. This way, the 2nd and 3rd fingers are on the black notes. Do hands apart, metronome on 56--grasp the chord vigorously and count 1---2---per tick on the metronome--keep all fingers down into the chord. Wrists relaxed. shoulders and arms loose like in a sling, close to the body. Arms and wrist level with the key bed. Count slowly, quarter equals 56. Two counts down, two counts up, each hand starting with the 5th finger separately. Do each finger 4X. NOTE: 4th finger stretches OUT, not UP. Other fingers stretch up as high as possible--but two counts only to avoide problems. Drop into the key from a high point, and then slightly pull the fingers toward you to reinforce the first finger joints. You can put the thimb on the wood below the keys also for leverage and strength. (Try this at a table top also to get the idea of leverage with the thumb below the table rim). Remember--when you lift the fingers up, the wrist is not loose but in a locked position to stretch the finger up (or out in the case of the 4th finger)--but when you drop into the key 'forte', you can bounce the wrists to avoid tension each time you drop into the key. Then, after doing all five fingers 4X each, shake out the hand, then try combinations of 3 and 5, 2 and 4, thumb and 3. After a few days, you'll feel the keys more firmly and the fingers will have more solidity. Don't force it, only once a day--no stress, no tension.
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#584100 - 02/23/07 09:17 AM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
Btw--where are you auditioning?
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#584101 - 02/23/07 09:42 AM Re: New member here
op30no3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 360
Loc: Rochester, NY
Thankyou very much for the info about the etude and your teacher-- she sounds like Juilliard's Vengerova \:\) . I will definitely practice it in the way you suggested.

I am trying to read this stretch, and am having trouble finding exactly what I'm supposed to be doing-- what is the main action of the stretch.
You lost me when you seemed to go from the setup of the hands right to "two counts down, two counts up, each hand starting with the 5th finger separately." Could you clarify? I'm very interested in trying this.

P.S. I'm using the Chopin for only my Curtis audition, as a filler for the required two Chopin pieces with contrasting tempi.
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#584102 - 02/23/07 09:59 AM Re: New member here
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
love it.. great advice. I can't wait to try some of this technique

i think i'm learning an etude with mr. teacher next week.. hope it's the double 3rds - seems it's so beneficial... tho he'll probably choose something slow and melodic :rolleyes:
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accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

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#584103 - 02/23/07 09:59 AM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
Hands separately--grab the chord--settle it into the fingers--then lift the 5th finger up to the right and high and count slowly for 2 counts while raised (quarter=50), then drop into the key and bounce the wrist alittle to relieve any tension--do each note 4 times. Mind you--the 4th finger stretches out, not up. Do LH similarly. Make sure the RH notes are C above middle C--E flat--F sharp--A--C, LH starts with thumb on A below middle C and then 2nd finger on F sharp, then E-flat, C and A for the 5th finger. For the stretches on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th fingers, you can put your thumb on the wood below the keys for leverage. Thumb's turn--stretches out RH--to the left, LH to the right laterally.

Hope this helps--I have to run out--so if you have trouble, you can send an email to me.

Are you auditioning at Brooklyn College also?
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#584104 - 02/23/07 10:06 AM Re: New member here
op30no3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 360
Loc: Rochester, NY
Thanks for the exercise.

Unfortunately, no I am not auditioning at Brooklyn... Had I met you earlier, I'm sure I would have looked into it. Alas! Oh well...
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#584105 - 02/23/07 02:06 PM Re: New member here
Uncledave Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 26
Hi Jeff,

Welcome. From Frank's member email this morning I linked over to your site and enjoyed several of your pieces this morning. Wonderful to hear you play.

Dave

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#584106 - 02/23/07 03:23 PM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
op30no3: Brooklyn's auditions are March 9--in case you have change of heart--

Thanks, Uncledave! This is a fun forum indeed!
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#584107 - 02/24/07 07:38 AM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
op30no3: how did the Adele Marcus exercise help you? It usually takes a few days before you start to really feel your fingers.
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#584108 - 02/26/07 04:59 PM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
I'm curious--has anyone else tried this diminished seventh chord stretch? I can't go a day without it.
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#584109 - 02/26/07 09:09 PM Re: New member here
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
it feels absolutely totally natural..
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#584110 - 02/27/07 04:30 PM Re: New member here
op30no3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 360
Loc: Rochester, NY
Sorry been away for a few days...

On the Marcus exercise-- I have not had time to do it but once, because I have been away from a piano for about three days. TERRIBLE! Anyway, I'm going to use it for a while, then I'll get back to you.
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#584111 - 02/27/07 09:08 PM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
It really works after a few days--you 'feel' your fingers through and through--and gain strength.
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#584112 - 02/28/07 09:48 AM Re: New member here
vogel54 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/07
Posts: 308
Loc: Long Island
Hi Jeff,
May I ask a question? I am an intermediate player I guess, studied music as a young man, then life got in the way. Starting again and working on Chopin's Nocturne Op72 #1. Any tips for practice?
Thanks,
Nick

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#584113 - 02/28/07 11:12 AM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
Slowly--hands apart--sing the themes out loud as you study the piece--let it flow naturally--loose arms, loose wrists--that basically covers it. When you learn something though, treat it purely mathematically--count out loud, hands apart--you know the drill.
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#584114 - 02/28/07 06:30 PM Re: New member here
vogel54 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/07
Posts: 308
Loc: Long Island
Thank you, Jeff!
I will do just that...Coming from a pro like you, I will certainly take your advice. Yes, I know the drill however, after listening to you, I get a bit impatient because I want to play like that. You're the BEST! Thanks again!

Nick

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#584115 - 03/01/07 08:00 PM Re: New member here
JBiegel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 850
Patience is a virtue! It takes time and patience for everything.
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www.jeffreybiegel.com

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#584116 - 03/01/07 08:46 PM Re: New member here
Fraggle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 384
Loc: Nottingham, U.K.
I performed the chord exercise yesterday and today, I think I feel some improvement in getting my fingers to the fast arpeggios in a piece I`m learning. I think I forced it a bit today though as I felt a little discomfort in my left hand for 5 minutes, it`s fine now though. I`m interested to see the improvement after a week or more :-)
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Will

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