New member here

Posted by: JBiegel

New member here - 02/16/07 02:58 PM

Hi everyone--this is my first post. This looks like a neat site! I am a concert artist, teacher at Brooklyn College, choral composer with material available through Hal Leonard , arranger and editor. There seems to be so many topics of discussion at this site.

There are actually two new editions coming out this month which I did for Hal Leonard--for their Schirmer Performance Edition Series--which include a new Sonatina Album and Schumann's Scenes from Childhood. They were actually very challenging to do, since the company asked for editions based on the truest original sources. With several versions of Clementi's sonatinas, that was the most difficult hurdle, though the Kuhlau, Dussek and Beethoven were easier to deal with.

I hope to make new friends here, and hope my posts will be helpful along the way.

Best regards, Jeffrey Biegel
Posted by: Bassio

Re: New member here - 02/16/07 03:05 PM

Welcome JBiegel!! \:\)

Interesting discussions here all the time. Enjoy your stay.
Posted by: vogel54

Re: New member here - 02/16/07 03:08 PM

Hi Jeff,
Welcome to the Piano Forum!It's a wonderful opportunity to learn new material and discuss many interesting topics. New myself, I have made several e-mail buddies, musicians and piano enthusiasts whom I find very interesting. As far as the UK and Canada! I am a restarter, have been away from the piano for several years. I find the topics very informative and sometimes funny. The on- line recital organized by a chap named Bob is just wonderful. I just posted a new topic and question regarding the age of my "New" piano. I see you are a teacher at Brooklyn College.I'm on Long Island and majored in Music at SUNY StonyBrook. Moved over to EL.Ed. but that's a long story.
Hope to hear from you and enjoy the site. It's wonderful!!! Great discussions about composers, theory, everything music!
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/16/07 03:18 PM

Thanks! I look forward to the same.
Posted by: ecm

Re: New member here - 02/16/07 04:04 PM

Welcome I wish you a pleasant stay.
Posted by: 8ude

Re: New member here - 02/16/07 04:37 PM

Welcome - hopefully you'll participate in the composer's lounge - always nice to meet another composer...
Posted by: John Citron

Re: New member here - 02/16/07 05:24 PM

Welcome Jeff - This is an awesome and addicting forum to belong to.

I've played the piano since I was about 7, and studied music and piano since I was 8 years old.

I considered a music career, but got cold feet and becamea geek instead.

John
Posted by: vogel54

Re: New member here - 02/16/07 05:32 PM

Hi John,
A geek? That's what you do? Hey you have to see Jeff's web page. The guy is a Pro 100 per cent. I am now a groupie!!! Listen to his work also, it's amazing. I am giving you a standing ovation Jeff!!! How have you been John? Mail Me!
Nick
Posted by: John Citron

Re: New member here - 02/16/07 10:46 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by vogel54:
Hi John,
A geek? That's what you do? Hey you have to see Jeff's web page. The guy is a Pro 100 per cent. I am now a groupie!!! Listen to his work also, it's amazing. I am giving you a standing ovation Jeff!!! How have you been John? Mail Me!
Nick [/b]
Hi Nick,

I've been okay... Probably just way too busy to even think straight with work and everything else. I found your email you sent me. I haven't had a chance to check until now!

John
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 07:11 AM

Thanks for the plugs, guys. After many inquiries around the world recently, I have just posted the links to two new editions I've been asked about at the teacher forum. I am also posting them here since many members probably play these pieces. Once you copy and paste the links, you can go to 'Closer Look' for samples--and if there are any questions or thoughts, I'd welcome them and will be as helpful as possible in answering any questions after you have the edition(s). Here they are:

Schumann-Scenes from Childhood:

http://halleonard.com/item_detail.jsp?it...er=13&filter=2w

The Sonatina Album:

http://halleonard.com/item_detail.jsp?it...er=16&filter=2w
Posted by: PoStTeNeBrAsLuX

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 07:24 AM

John:
I considered a music career, but got cold feet and became a geek instead.



;\)

PS. Welcome to PW, Jeff!

-Michael B.
Posted by: lilylady

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 08:48 AM

Welcome Jeffrey!

Of course I had to look up your websites...

http://www.cyberecital.com/

Guys, check out the Rach concertos which you can download.

Amazing.

http://www.concertartist.info/bio/BIE002.html

LL
Posted by: John Citron

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 10:32 AM

WOW! Jeff your playing is awesome! \:D

Thank you LL for the links.

John
Posted by: John Citron

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 10:36 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PoStTeNeBrAsLuX:
John:
I considered a music career, but got cold feet and became a geek instead.



;\)


-Michael B. [/b]
With all that is happening right now Michael, I am better off not being in music. I'd be broke and out on the street with a tin cup looking for donations.

John
Posted by: Hakki

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 10:40 AM

"Hats off" !
We have a world class member now.

Regards,
Posted by: Emanuel Ravelli

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 01:27 PM

Jeff --

Welcome aboard!! I've been hanging out here for a couple of years and have learned much that's interesting and valuable. We met some 20 years ago -- first at the U. Maryland competition the year you won, and later when my teacher Willis Bennett asked you to play on the Alexandria Recital Series. I still remember that as one of the best live performances I've ever seen, and I imagine you're only getting better as you get older.

For the rest of the Forum gang, this gentleman is the real deal. I saw him play the Prokofieff 2nd at the Kennedy Center in his winning finals performance at the Maryland International (now William Kapell) Piano Competition in 1985, and it was magnificent -- the audience was on its feet before the last music sounds had stopped reverberating in the hall. He was first on the progam, and the other two finalists might as well have called a cab. In the later solo recital, his Chopin nocturnes were limpid and sweet, his Liszt thunderous, and his Schulz-Evler Blue Danube paraphrase was breathtaking. He shared top prize at the Marguerite Long Competition with Brian Ganz, another artist I hold in very high regard.

Some of us have an occasional tendency to snarl and growl at newcomers or others we disagree with. I hope we can resist that temptation in this case -- Jeff is a rare resource we should all want to stay in touch with.

Once again, Jeff, glad to have you with us.
Posted by: Hakki

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 06:38 PM

And IMO that Tchaikovsky Concerto is a must download.
One of the best I have heard.

Regards,
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 08:59 PM

Welcome aboard!
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 09:29 PM

Wow--that's a Presidential welcome aboard! Thanks much. Emanuel--I am touched that you remembered the U of M concert as though it were yesterday--and I do remember the Alexandrian series--is Willis still running the series? You know, I keep the standards going, but recently, I've added so many new things, partly because I find them of interest and presenters are acceting newer works on the series--whereas 20 years ago, works by Keith Emerson and Leroy Anderson were snarled at. I've been mostly busy playing Lowell Liebermann's Third Concerto, which for me, is one of the newest treasures in the repertoire. I'm just now waiting to hear if any dates are being secured to play Keith Emerson's Concerto--it's a wonderful piece written by the pop icon of Emerson, Lake and palmer. keith and I have discussed touring together--I'll play the concerto, and he's got a new piece to share with his fans for piano and orchestra--I'll keep the forum updated as it develops.
Posted by: op30no3

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 10:22 PM

Hi, Jeff, "welcome aboard"!

I definitely look forward to your posts *giggles with excitement at the prospect of an authentic concert pianist contribution*. We'll have to start putting up topics relating to the living composers so you can share your 1 on 1 experience.

P.S. -- I'm seriously thinking you need to talk Mr.'s Liebermann and Emerson into joining the forum.

Enough of my abusing you... Once again, welcome to Piano World!
Posted by: Piano World

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 10:47 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by JBiegel:
Wow--that's a Presidential welcome aboard! Thanks much. Emanuel--I am touched that you remembered the U of M concert as though it were yesterday--and I do remember the Alexandrian series--is Willis still running the series? You know, I keep the standards going, but recently, I've added so many new things, partly because I find them of interest and presenters are acceting newer works on the series--whereas 20 years ago, works by Keith Emerson and Leroy Anderson were snarled at. I've been mostly busy playing Lowell Liebermann's Third Concerto, which for me, is one of the newest treasures in the repertoire. I'm just now waiting to hear if any dates are being secured to play Keith Emerson's Concerto--it's a wonderful piece written by the pop icon of Emerson, Lake and palmer. keith and I have discussed touring together--I'll play the concerto, and he's got a new piece to share with his fans for piano and orchestra--I'll keep the forum updated as it develops. [/b]
Welcome Jeff,

Ok, that did it.
Anyone who plays at your level AND likes Keith Emerson most definitely gets my vote.

As I've stated in other posts, Keith Emerson is a major part of the reason Piano World (and these forums) exists. I'm an old rock musician, mostly late 60's early 70's.

Keith was (and is) my hero.

I tried to contact Keith through his web site, but never heard back.

Any friend of his is a friend of mine \:\)

If you two do end up playing together, please let me know ... I'm there!
And if you could get him to join us .... yikes

OK, I'm off to visit your web site and listen to your performances.

Best,

Frank Baxter
Founder/Owner
Piano World
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: New member here - 02/17/07 10:50 PM

Jeffrey,

Welcome to the gang. I hope you'll join in the discussions and in the friendly critiques of our playing.

Best,

David
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/18/07 07:36 AM

Thanks, Frank. I was turned on to Keith Emerson's Piano Concerto a few years ago. After I transcribed Balakirev's 'Islamey' for piano and orchestra (which is what Nalakirev had wanted to do at some point but never got to it), it was added to the Theodore Presser rental library. Then I learned the Leroy Anderson Concerto, and was asked to edit and add a few 'piano 2' parts left unfinished by Mr. Anderson in the two-piano reduction. That too, is for sale through Presser and the Piano Concerto is rented through Presser. Shortly thereafter, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich composed the 'Millennium Fantasy' for piano and orchestra for me--which was a 25 orchestra commissioning project I assembled--that too, rented through Presser. At that point, Daniel Dorff, Director of Publications for Presser (and one heck of a composer--I am premiering his new Piano Concerto with the Etowah Youth Orchestra in Gadsden, AL this May--and a couple of mvts from it in Carnegie Hall on June 9 for a youth orchestra festival)told me about the Emerson Concerto of 1977. Keith wanted a company to house it for rentals--and Danny created the two-piano version. He thought I should have a look--and I did. I was mightily impressed--in the style of Ginastera, Copland, Elgar, Baroque second mvt with a Chopinesque piano entry a la Nocturne in f minor--cool stuff. I realized just recently that the concerto is 30 years old, so I called Keith and asked if he'd consider touring together to promote him and the concerto. He agreed, and we're having our agents explore dates--and I'm chomping at the bit to do my part to get the concerto out there. I'd further like to record it--say, with Gershwin, Ellington (New World A-Comin'), and perhaps Zwilich's 'Millennium Fantasy'--though Ellen would like an all-Zwilich disc along with the 'Peanuts Gallery' she wrote in tribute to Charles M. Schulz--and her 'Images for Two Pianos and Orchestra'--she may be right. So--there's the reason of the Emerson/Biegel connection. I will let the forum know when dates for the Emerson come up.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: New member here - 02/18/07 10:41 AM

I read your Bio (on your web site), very impressive.

I particularly liked the fact you aren't afraid to tackle pieces and projects outside the typical standard repertoire.

I think it's wonderful when someone with your talent and skills is willing to experiment and think outside the box.

Anything from traditional concert piano performances to mobile phone ringtones and possibly a tour with Keith Emerson?

Amazing (and refreshing).

I'm glad you decided to join our forums, I hope more of our members "discover" you.

Best,

Frank B.
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/18/07 03:43 PM

Thanks, Frank. When I have a few moments here and there, I am enjoying the site and the various queries posted--it will certainly take quite some time to see which ones I might be able to be helpful to.
Posted by: Tenuto

Re: New member here - 02/19/07 11:42 PM

Hi Jeffrey - I, too, am a new member on this forum. I'm a piano teacher and a classical composer. If there are many members out there with your amazing qualifications I have truly found a gem of a website. I look forward to getting to know everyone out there, amatuer as well as professional.
Posted by: gerg

Re: New member here - 02/20/07 12:41 AM

Dear Jeff,

Warmest welcome, and very impressive repertoire! Loved your rendition of 25/6 on your site!!!

I echo the sentiments of the owner: it is indeed quite a treat to have you here!

Greg
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/20/07 07:00 AM

Thanks for your kindness. I am enjoying the site when I have time to address all the various topics.
Posted by: opus119

Re: New member here - 02/20/07 12:56 PM

Hi Jeffrey -- I had the extreme pleasure of hearing your performance of Leroy Anderson's Piano Concerto a few years ago. It was awesome! My son was a violinist in the Rogue Valley Symphony, so I attended the rehearsals and the performance. It's a wonderful piece - and you were born to play it! Not only do you have incredible technique, but such an understanding and affinity for the music, and a great sense of humor to boot! Welcome to our Pianoworld family!
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/20/07 01:39 PM

Thanks! I adore the Anderson Concerto--and the Rogue Valley orchestra played it so well--with the Ellington 'New World A-Comin' if my memory serves me correct. Hope your son is doing well!
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: New member here - 02/20/07 02:06 PM

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!
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/20/07 04:04 PM

Thanks, Jason. No word yet for the cd release--hope to know soon, though.
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/20/07 10:30 PM

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.
Posted by: apple*

Re: New member here - 02/21/07 12:19 AM

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.
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/21/07 07:08 AM

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.
Posted by: Soleil_nuage

Re: New member here - 02/22/07 07:46 AM

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!
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/22/07 08:02 AM

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.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: New member here - 02/22/07 08:26 AM

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).
Posted by: apple*

Re: New member here - 02/22/07 03:19 PM

 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
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/22/07 03:30 PM

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!)
Posted by: apple*

Re: New member here - 02/22/07 03:36 PM

i was hoping
Posted by: op30no3

Re: New member here - 02/22/07 09:58 PM

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)
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/23/07 07:40 AM

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.
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/23/07 09:17 AM

Btw--where are you auditioning?
Posted by: op30no3

Re: New member here - 02/23/07 09:42 AM

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.
Posted by: apple*

Re: New member here - 02/23/07 09:59 AM

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:
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/23/07 09:59 AM

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?
Posted by: op30no3

Re: New member here - 02/23/07 10:06 AM

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...
Posted by: Uncledave

Re: New member here - 02/23/07 02:06 PM

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
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/23/07 03:23 PM

op30no3: Brooklyn's auditions are March 9--in case you have change of heart--

Thanks, Uncledave! This is a fun forum indeed!
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/24/07 07:38 AM

op30no3: how did the Adele Marcus exercise help you? It usually takes a few days before you start to really feel your fingers.
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/26/07 04:59 PM

I'm curious--has anyone else tried this diminished seventh chord stretch? I can't go a day without it.
Posted by: apple*

Re: New member here - 02/26/07 09:09 PM

it feels absolutely totally natural..
Posted by: op30no3

Re: New member here - 02/27/07 04:30 PM

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.
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/27/07 09:08 PM

It really works after a few days--you 'feel' your fingers through and through--and gain strength.
Posted by: vogel54

Re: New member here - 02/28/07 09:48 AM

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
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 02/28/07 11:12 AM

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.
Posted by: vogel54

Re: New member here - 02/28/07 06:30 PM

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
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 03/01/07 08:00 PM

Patience is a virtue! It takes time and patience for everything.
Posted by: Fraggle

Re: New member here - 03/01/07 08:46 PM

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 :-)
Posted by: op30no3

Re: New member here - 03/01/07 10:11 PM

Hey-- how do you pedal the fourth measure (and similar measures) of the thirds etude? No matter what I do, I can't stand how it sounds.

P.S. If you wonder about my asking you so many questions, there is really no one here in Jackson, TN with the kind of experience and/or education that you have. I don't think anybody around here would be able to answer the vast majority of the questions I have about music-- half of my piano playing is self-taught. Anyway, I always use my more extraordinary resources as much as I can, as they are a rare luxury.
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 03/02/07 06:28 AM

RH--I assume the measure before the ascending scale in thirds:
1/3, 2/5, 1/3, 2/4

How's that?

Fraggle: don't over do that diminished seventh stretch--shake your hands out after--and remember to bounce the wrist slightly to relieve any tension after you drop into the key slowly each time--remember: 2 counts up, 2 counts down in the key--each count is quarter note=56-60ish. Count out loud: up--2--down--2 that way--it forces you to stay in the beat.
Posted by: vogel54

Re: New member here - 03/02/07 11:45 AM

Jeff Question:

What advice can you give to the art of memorizing? How do you prepare? Do you memorize notes? Mechanics? I am astonished at those of you who can have a repitoire in your head and be able to play anything from memory!
Posted by: sophial

Re: New member here - 03/02/07 12:57 PM

Jeff,
welcome! I listened to some of your performance clips-- mindblowing! thanks for being here. You will be inundated with questions before long. When you want to tackle this (maybe in its own thread), I'd love to hear your advice about tone production-- how do you produce "good tone" in general and any specific recommendations for using hand/arm weight and how to do it? thanks!

Sophia
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 03/02/07 01:07 PM

For both Vogel and Sophial: memorizing comes from the inside out aside from harmonic, melodic and tactile memory (fingerings etc) What I mean is, if you can sing along as you plaay, somehow, your natural vocal instrument ties together with your finger memory, and your brain. It's just one tactic--however, taking broken chords and playing them as blocked chords offers a firm grasp of the harmonic structure (I'm going through this now with Daniel Dorff's Concerto I'm readying for a premiere with the Etowah Youth Orchestra in Gadsden this May).

Tone production: sing, sing and sing out loud. Draw sound 'from' the piano. As Adele Marcus often said, "Play 'with' the piano, not 'at' the piano." Play on the cushions of the fingers, not the tip, for beautiful round and singing sound--of course, for certain things, close to the keys and closer to the tips is necessary for speed and facility. Mould the phrases with your hand and wrist, use the arm as a violinist does with a bow. This applies to everything. And don't sit too high, so have natural body weight as you lean slightly forward into the piano.
Posted by: vogel54

Re: New member here - 03/02/07 02:48 PM

Thanks Jeff,

I am currently reading Boris Berman's book entitled "Notes From the Piano Bench" and he discusses exactly what you advise in his section on technique.

Thanks ,
Nick
Posted by: sophial

Re: New member here - 03/02/07 09:58 PM

Jeff,
thanks very much! I like your descriptions and examples. can you talk a bit more about how to draw sound "from" the piano?

Sophia
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 03/02/07 10:23 PM

Feel as though you are pulling the sound from the strings through the keys toward your torso. Hard to put into words. It's like wiping the keys toward you--but not too much.
Posted by: sophial

Re: New member here - 03/03/07 12:11 AM

sounds interesting- i'll have to try it.
Thanks, Jeff

Sophia
Posted by: lilylady

Re: New member here - 03/03/07 06:16 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by JBiegel:


"Play 'with' the piano, not 'at' the piano." ....
Mould the phrases with your hand and wrist, use the arm as a violinist does with a bow. This applies to everything. [/b]
I Especially like the thought of playing WITH the piano not at. I feel the piano is an extension of my fingers.

If only I could sing! But, perhaps my fingers are my voice.

Roberta
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 03/03/07 06:36 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by lilylady:
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBiegel:


"Play 'with' the piano, not 'at' the piano." ....
Mould the phrases with your hand and wrist, use the arm as a violinist does with a bow. This applies to everything. [/b]
I Especially like the thought of playing WITH the piano not at. I feel the piano is an extension of my fingers.

If only I could sing! But, perhaps my fingers are my voice.

Roberta [/b]
That's exactly the point--since I don't have a great singing voice, somehow, I can make the piano sing the way I wish I could with my own vocal instrument.
Posted by: Tenuto

Re: New member here - 03/26/07 08:23 PM

Thanks, Jeff, for your patience and advice. I am re-learning Chopin's Black Key Etude. I have a B.Mus. degree in piano from U of M. I used to play it a little too heavy. I am discovering a lighter approach (especially in the R.H. My question is this: I haven't been able to bring it up to the speed I envision. Why am I having a problem with speed? Any advice on this would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 03/27/07 05:24 AM

Play it slowly and forte--then gradually faster playing less forte. I play this etude using fingers either curved, or quite to the contrary, flatter fingers. It depends on the sound of the piano in the hall. I just don't naturally play it straight through with curved fingers only--the flatter fingers occasionally take the hear off the fingers being curved 100% of the time.
Posted by: Tenuto

Re: New member here - 03/27/07 10:32 AM

Thanks so much for your quick response. I will try all of it. One more question - do your fingers stay very close to the keys, or do you have the wrist and arm motion going all the time?
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 03/27/07 08:03 PM

Hi guys and gals--a friend of mine created a montage with my audio only Chopin Double Thirds--it is Matthew cameron's montage creation--he's the guy who transcribed Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik--which is also on YouTube and is published by International Edition. Here is the link--if it doesn't work, you can type in the tag words Jeffrey Biegel Chopin Etude

YouTube - Jeffrey Biegel performs Chopin Etude Op. 25 No. 6
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 03/28/07 05:21 AM

I posted word about this You Tube addition at 'Member Recordings' which seems the appropriate forum tab.
Posted by: JBiegel

Re: New member here - 04/10/07 01:54 AM

Tenuto--did the advice work for you?
Posted by: Tenuto

Re: New member here - 04/11/07 12:59 AM

I've been practicing loud, slow, no pedal, and a combination of curved and not-so-curved fingers. Last week I started to get back into the pedal and the speed and "voila" it's really working out! Thanks for some great advice!