Scriabin's Preludes

Posted by: ChopinAddict

Scriabin's Preludes - 05/01/10 07:43 PM

Are Scriabin's Preludes really all the same grade/level as indicated here ??

Interestingly, I downloaded a file from PianoStreet (the link was here), and they only list a few (most from Op.11), and they are graded between 5 and 8. This makes more sense in my opinion...

Thanks,
CA
Posted by: Silent Thoughts

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/01/10 08:36 PM

Scriabin's preludes run the gamut in terms of technical difficulty. For example,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88WYEFdD1vo

(just the first recording I found of one of the tougher ones).

He wrote many beautiful, more accessible (technically) preludes that are certainly worth exploring, not just in Op. 11, but in his other sets us well. Take a look at IMSLP: http://imslp.org/wiki/Scriabin .

- Silence
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/01/10 11:16 PM

Silent Omen is right. They show a huge, huge range of difference. None are "easy easy," but some are suitable for near-beginners while others are hard for even the most advanced pianists -- and there's everything in the middle too.
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/01/10 11:29 PM

While one of my favorites, the one that Silent Omen linked is not "nearly" as difficult as a lot of the others; I would put it about in the middle in terms of difficulty
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/01/10 11:37 PM

Actually, I take that statement back. I often get the preludes and etudes mixed up for some reasaon. That is one of the tougher ones
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/01/10 11:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Silent Omen is right. They show a huge, huge range of difference. None are "easy easy," but some are suitable for near-beginners while others are hard for even the most advanced pianists -- and there's everything in the middle too.


I'll have to disagree with you here... To my knowledge, none of them are all that difficult
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/02/10 12:10 AM

Originally Posted By: xtraheat
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Silent Omen is right. They show a huge, huge range of difference. None are "easy easy," but some are suitable for near-beginners while others are hard for even the most advanced pianists -- and there's everything in the middle too.
I'll have to disagree with you here... To my knowledge, none of them are all that difficult

We've seen on a few other threads that we have different ideas on what's difficult or not. If I remember right, you said Chopin's 4th Ballade is "easy"? (I think you did use the word, and caught hell for it.) smile
And also we've seen what great fingers you have.

Your own technique makes it not that hard to "play notes." But you have to understand that things that aren't hard for you can be hard for others, plus also, there are "musical" difficulties which you might not recognize as issues at all.

By most people's standards and taking into account the full range of what's involved in playing piano pieces, some of Scriabin's preludes are very, very hard.
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/02/10 12:43 AM

There are a few Preludes that are nearly unplayable. There are also many, especially from the earlier sets, that are relatively simple. One of many things that Scriabin took from Chopin. smile
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/02/10 02:32 AM

Thanks for the replies. smile
I have a collection of 16 Preludes, and even from this collection it seems to be clear to me they are not all on the same level... Not sure why they graded all 8+ on that page... It sounds a little bit simplistic to put them all on that level...
Posted by: Carey

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/02/10 09:59 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: xtraheat
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Silent Omen is right. They show a huge, huge range of difference. None are "easy easy," but some are suitable for near-beginners while others are hard for even the most advanced pianists -- and there's everything in the middle too.
I'll have to disagree with you here... To my knowledge, none of them are all that difficult

We've seen on a few other threads that we have different ideas on what's difficult or not. If I remember right, you said Chopin's 4th Ballade is "easy"? (I think you did use the word, and caught hell for it.) smile
And also we've seen what great fingers you have.

Your own technique makes it not that hard to "play notes." But you have to understand that things that aren't hard for you can be hard for others, plus also, there are "musical" difficulties which you might not recognize as issues at all.

By most people's standards and taking into account the full range of what's involved in playing piano pieces, some of Scriabin's preludes are very, very hard.


Well said, Mark !!
thumb
Posted by: buck2202

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/02/10 09:46 PM

Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Thanks for the replies. smile
I have a collection of 16 Preludes, and even from this collection it seems to be clear to me they are not all on the same level... Not sure why they graded all 8+ on that page... It sounds a little bit simplistic to put them all on that level...

I have a Dover edition of the complete Preludes/Etudes. Not that I've made it that far in it yet, but it's not a bad set if you're not a Dover-hater.

Also, this Pletnev recording is one of the best CDs that I've bought in a long time. The Op.11 set really is wonderful.
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Dril...amp;name_role=2
Posted by: stores

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/02/10 10:02 PM

Originally Posted By: buck2202
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Thanks for the replies. smile
I have a collection of 16 Preludes, and even from this collection it seems to be clear to me they are not all on the same level... Not sure why they graded all 8+ on that page... It sounds a little bit simplistic to put them all on that level...

I have a Dover edition of the complete Preludes/Etudes. Not that I've made it that far in it yet, but it's not a bad set if you're not a Dover-hater.

Also, this Pletnev recording is one of the best CDs that I've bought in a long time. The Op.11 set really is wonderful.
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Dril...amp;name_role=2


Not a big Dover fan, though I do own some of them. I agree, the Pletnev ,is a VERY good recording.
Posted by: hophmi

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/03/10 05:40 PM

In no way are they all the same difficulty level. The range of difficulty is almost as much as the Chopin preludes.

I think these preludes are unjustly neglected. They provide a map of Scriabin's development as a composer; Scriabin wrote them throughout his career. There are so many good ones.

Op. 11 has some real gems; my personal favorite is No. 11, which has a quite difficult left-hand and moments that you could almost imagine were written by Debussy. There is also the strange, slow No.15, marked at 40 to the eighth note, which many pianists play in double time (not me).

I would not do No.11 as a set (not every single one is a gem), but I think the groupings of four or five preludes from Op. 13 on make great sets for concert.

If you need something modern, I highly recommend Op. 74, which is pretty much atonal, but quite beautiful and ahead of its time.

Recording wise, for Op. 11, there are not too many recordings, though, believe it or not, Walter Gieseking played it and it was recorded off a broadcast. Naxos's recording of the complete preludes with Evgeny Zarafiants is pretty good. Of the incomplete recordings, my favorite is probably Richter's live recording from the early 1970s in Warsaw, where he plays that No. 11 Prelude in a way that makes everyone else sound thick.
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/03/10 06:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: xtraheat
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Silent Omen is right. They show a huge, huge range of difference. None are "easy easy," but some are suitable for near-beginners while others are hard for even the most advanced pianists -- and there's everything in the middle too.
I'll have to disagree with you here... To my knowledge, none of them are all that difficult

We've seen on a few other threads that we have different ideas on what's difficult or not. If I remember right, you said Chopin's 4th Ballade is "easy"? (I think you did use the word, and caught hell for it.) smile
And also we've seen what great fingers you have.

Your own technique makes it not that hard to "play notes." But you have to understand that things that aren't hard for you can be hard for others, plus also, there are "musical" difficulties which you might not recognize as issues at all.

By most people's standards and taking into account the full range of what's involved in playing piano pieces, some of Scriabin's preludes are very, very hard.


I didn't mean to sound condenscending! I am just not too familiar with the preludes, but of the brief skimming over of them that I did, none of them stuck out as being killers. I'm sure I'd have trouble with a lot of them. Could you give me some examples of some of the harder ones? I'm just curious
Posted by: DameMyra

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/03/10 06:01 PM

I played Nos. 5,7,10, 13 & 14 (Op. 11) as a group last year. No. 7 is very tricky and some of the notes need to be redistributed, but it is my favorite. I always feel like I'm flying when I play it.

Pletnev plays Scriabin Op. 11, No.7
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/03/10 10:18 PM

Originally Posted By: xtraheat
I didn't mean to sound condescending!....

Don't worry, I don't think you did at all. Some people might think you did, but (and I hope this won't be condescending!) to me, it sounded partially ignorant. It seems as though the speaker has a terrific finger technique but (IMO) must not be that aware of other aspects of difficulty. Of course, I realize that my own view could simply be a result of my not having a great finger technique myself. smile

Quote:
I am just not too familiar with the preludes.....

That could explain it.

Quote:
.....but of the brief skimming over of them that I did, none of them stuck out as being killers. I'm sure I'd have trouble with a lot of them. Could you give me some examples of some of the harder ones? I'm just curious

I was afraid you'd ask that. ha

Not because it's hard to answer but because I'll have to do a little 'work.'

I owe Slatter some work on another thread. I hope he'll forgive me for doing this first. (It's easier.)

All we need to do is look at the first few preludes.

The first one in my edition is the one for LH alone. If you think that's not extremely hard, you are mistaken. There are issues of voicing and fluency that easily separate players of differing degrees of capability, and only the very most skilled and sensitive pianists can do a good performance.

Moving on:

The next one, Op. 11/1, is very hard. The spreads and stretches make it hard just to get the notes (for most people), plus the shaping and voicing are very complex.
It's an advanced piece.

11/3 is very very hard.

11/6, with the octaves, is very hard, with the leaps plus the hands getting in the way of each other.

11/7: If you don't think this is extremely hard, I give up. smile
The prior ones, I can see that you could argue, although I think it would be a stretch. But this one......I have no idea how anyone could doubt that it is extremely hard.

I think I can stop already. smile
And I haven't even gotten past a few very early preludes.
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 12:08 AM

You've proved your point! While 6 didn't seem too difficult, I won't argue about 3 and 7. Just out of curiosity again, what are considered the most difficult Scriabin etudes? I'm considering learning op.42 no.5 soon, and was wondering how it ranks up there, and what else is at the top.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 12:22 AM

Good job! Great that you're open minded about such things.

It's a good quality. smile

I'll let others maybe answer about "the most difficult etudes." As I've indicated on various threads, I'm not very interested in making such distinctions, because it varies according to the person, plus IMO the distinctions that are made are usually small and very debatable. In many cases, of course, distinctions between pieces are clear and obvious -- but that's not what's usually discussed, because they're obvious. I'm talking about the ones that aren't. And where it's not obvious, the comparisons are usually between pieces that I'd say are essentially at the same level of difficulty.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 12:55 AM

P.S. Op. 42 #5 is indeed probably considered among the hardest, with several different kinds of difficulty, and IMO the second appearance of the main theme (i.e. on the 2nd page) is especially hard. It is sometimes said that this etude was Scriabin's own favorite; in any event we know (I think) that he performed it more than any of his other etudes.
Posted by: hophmi

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 01:12 PM

Op.42 #5 is a finger buster; you need a strong left hand.
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 02:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
P.S. Op. 42 #5 is indeed probably considered among the hardest, with several different kinds of difficulty, and IMO the second appearance of the main theme (i.e. on the 2nd page) is especially hard. It is sometimes said that this etude was Scriabin's own favorite; in any event we know (I think) that he performed it more than any of his other etudes.


It is difficult. There is one etude that makes me want to run and hide, though, and that's Op. 65 No. 1. Absolutely ridiculous.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 02:32 PM

Originally Posted By: hophmi
Op.42 #5 is a finger buster; you need a strong left hand.

IMO that's the least of it. You need terrific everything.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 02:35 PM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
.....There is one etude that makes me want to run and hide, though, and that's Op. 65 No. 1. Absolutely ridiculous.

Cool! I just took a listen.
It doesn't even 'sound' particularly hard! But I'm taking your word for it, and also the comments on the video say it too.
Posted by: jeffreyjones

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 03:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
.....There is one etude that makes me want to run and hide, though, and that's Op. 65 No. 1. Absolutely ridiculous.

Cool! I just took a listen.
It doesn't even 'sound' particularly hard! But I'm taking your word for it, and also the comments on the video say it too.


Running chromatic ninths don't sound hard to you??
Posted by: dolce sfogato

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 03:59 PM

op. 42/5 is really hard, considering the first theme's 2nd statement , with all the extra voices in the same, poor right hand, to play that absolutely clearly, transparantly, without pounding, that's the big issue there, whereas the last bit, with all the octaves and chords is relatively easy to that, and what about MELODY? it has to sing all the time, HARD!
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 04:42 PM

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
.....There is one etude that makes me want to run and hide, though, and that's Op. 65 No. 1. Absolutely ridiculous.
Cool! I just took a listen.
It doesn't even 'sound' particularly hard! But I'm taking your word for it, and also the comments on the video say it too.
Running chromatic ninths don't sound hard to you??

Oh, is that what those are? ha

I didn't realize it. In the recording I heard, those 9th's are nicely voiced to the top voice, so I really couldn't tell what the lower notes were. But......not that this is any excuse smile -- if anything it should probably work the other way -- but I'm so into Scriabin these days that 9th's don't feel remarkable to me. Part of it is that over the years, my reach keeps expanding a little (something odd about the 5th fingers.....don't ask) ha .....and so the 9th is the normal reach for me, in the way that octaves are the normal reach for normal people.....

I think I'd have less trouble with the 9th's than I do with 42/5, as per what Dolce Sfogato says in the above post.
Posted by: stores

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 05:51 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C


... over the years, my reach keeps expanding a little (something odd about the 5th fingers.....don't ask)



Your webbing is probably breaking down more and more (which is a good thing). There's exercises designed to help with this, but with age it happens on it's own.
Posted by: Andromaque

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 05:54 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Mark_C


... over the years, my reach keeps expanding a little (something odd about the 5th fingers.....don't ask)



Your webbing is probably breaking down more and more (which is a good thing). There's exercises designed to help with this, but with age it happens on it's own.


For Real??????
Posted by: ChopinAddict

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 06:11 PM

Thanks all for your opinions. smile

It is very sad that my Schirmer collection of 16 Preludes doesn't have any of Op.11... It is so strange I think there is a separate collection with Op.11, I must have a look...

I am enjoying Scriabin, by the way! smile
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Scriabin's Preludes - 05/04/10 09:23 PM

Originally Posted By: stores
Your webbing is probably breaking down more and more (which is a good thing)....

Good guess, but no -- it's the proximal interphalangeal joints. smile

And it's not good. It keeps me from ever having a really "automatic" feel for large intervals, including octaves -- because it keeps changing.

Life is hard. smile