Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group

Posted by: ShiroKuro

Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 12:42 AM

Come one, come all, let's have a ball with the lovely Croatian Rhapsody!

Ok, I have taken the liberty of starting this thread now, mainly because we all need to be clear on the score we're going to use and make sure that everyone who's interested can participate. First of all, here again is the transcription that is available to anyone who wants to download it:

Croatian Rhapsody transcribed by Matthew Burrows

Scroll down a bit to the selection of Matthew Burrows's transcriptions, it should be easy to find.

Here is the MP3 of the piano performance I originally found

Croatian Rhapsody as performed by Kenji Kanemasu

You will notice that there are some minor differences. I have the score that matches Kanemasu's performance, but it's in a Japanese magazine and it would be difficult for most PWers to get legally.

So if people are ok with the Burrows transcription, I think we should do that one. Or.... if people are not overly fond of the Burrows transcription... then we should talk about it some more and see what other options we have.

By the way, the Burrows transcription is in no way simplified, from what I can tell, both are of equal difficulty.

Comments? Suggestions?
Posted by: apple*

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 01:00 AM

variations.. lots of really fun variations.

i'd learn that one maybe. or part of it.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 08:38 AM

I am not sure it is worth the effort for everyone to get Kanemasu's transcription when an acceptable equivalent is readily accesible within a few mouse clicks. Either way, though, I am agreeable and would like to participate.
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 08:48 AM

You can count me in! The tempo is going to a real challenge for me. I've never played a song like this before! But i really like the song , so I can't resist tagging along for the ride! \:\)

And yes I do have the Matthew Burrows transcription.
Posted by: crystalncrew

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 09:00 AM

My kids won't let me stop playing this recording!! I guess it will ultimately help me. \:D This is beautiful.
Crystal
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 09:33 AM

...fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride! \:D

Crystal....I know what you mean about playing it...i listened to it several times over this past weekend. I think this is one of those pieces that will not only sound beautiful (when we learn to play it well ;\) ) but will be really fun to play.

ShiroKuro, thanks for this recommendation. I am so looking forward to learning this one!
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 09:40 AM

Opus, no kidding!

This piece is obviously very appealing to a lot of us, but I'm sure we'll be cursing it in the months to come! :rolleyes:

And I agree with DK, getting the other arrangement would probably be a logistical nightmare. (I go through heck and high water every time I try to get something from the US.)
Posted by: crystalncrew

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 01:56 PM

If anyone has any suggested finguring on this one, I would love to see it.
Crystal
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 02:02 PM

You're not the only one Crystal \:D , I would bet ShiroKuro has worked out some highly efficient fingering already and I am extremely curious to see it. However, I am going to try my own fingering first, and then compare it with what ShiroKuro and/or others have worked out. So, if anyone posts any fingering suggestions, I'm not going to look at it until I've had a chance to see what I come up with.

You guys are really quick, I haven't even printed out a copy of this yet.
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 02:50 PM

Ok, I have now listened to this for the 38th time, in fact I am listening to this again as I type this!
I really like this song, it makes me feel energetic!

I've also examined the transcription. I notice there's alot of repetition, that being said, simplifies the song a little......

As far as I can see the hardest part is going to be the tempo. The next hardest is going to be the fingering, so I can see what Opus is taliking about!

I am excited, I have never had music like this before! It is indeed a treasure! \:\)
Posted by: Agilita

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 04:16 PM

I listened and it is wonderful! I've printed it out. Now? Are we working on a certain number of measures? How are we proceeding?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 05:10 PM

How about this...

After everyone looks over the piece and plays around with it a little bit on the keyboard...

Why don't we poll everyone & see how long we think we might need to get through the piece?

We can also talk about how everyone plans to approach the Croatian Rhapsody. (hands seperate, certain phrases, measures, starting tempo's ecteteras...

(I'll probably add more questions later)
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 06:17 PM

Very quick post because I should be on my way to work (PW is as addictive as playing is!)

Nina put the Burrows transcription into Finale and made this MP3. Thank you Nina!!!!

Croatian Rhapsody played by Finale

Remember, it's played by a computer, not a person, but what's helpful is that listening to this makes it a little easier to see what's different about this arrangement. Listen while looking over the score, and you can see just which parts are going be really hard. But yes, it's so repetitive that there isn't a lot of isolated information to learn.

Hope this is helpful. I'll be back later to tell you all how much I don't know about the fingering for this piece! \:D
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 09:57 PM

I only have a few minutes available this evening to look this over.

My initial impression based on about five minutes of playing around with it on my piano is, simply stated, that this is going to be a very challenging piece of music for me to master.

I know I will be able to play this music eventually, but the obvious question, considering this is also a group effort, is how long will it take to learn it. Although I can't say for sure, my best uneducated guess at this point is that it will take me at least 3 months, and perhaps even more likely, as long as 6 months. I say this not only because I have other unrelated obligations and a limited amount of time to devote to this, but because I have also placed myself in other challenging learning groups.

I can handle multiple groups, and actually welcome the variety of having different pieces to learn, but I can only handle them all if there's a slow enough pace for me. Having said that, if the rest of the group is able to move along much faster, I can always withdrawl. If that ends up being the case, then I would certainly bookmark this thread for future reference.

What do the rest of you think?

ShiroKuro, I tried to find the small section you described in this thread and wasn't able to find it in the version transcribed by Matthew Burrows. Are the two versions that different?
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 10:18 PM

Ater revewing the music, I have decided that it would probably take me between 4 and 6 months to work on the whole piece of the Croatian Rhapsody due primarily to the tempo. I am sure everyone will progress at a different speed according to their skills level. I would consider myself to be late intermediate.
I am also doing Take 5 and Victors Piano Solo. In addition to that I am also working on a couple of classical pieces outside this forum. I also have work and responsibilities. I am sure most people in the forum do as well. ;\)
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 10:20 PM

I've had the chance to look at the score and I think the challenge for me will be with the rhythm/tempo. I will print out the score and give it a try.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 10:23 PM

Croatian Rhapsody by New Year's Eve? \:D

(...slinking back thinking he'll end up with "finishing/polishing Croatian Rhapsody" on his list of New Year's Resolutions for 2007 ) ;\)

[Edit: I'm in complete agreement kawaigirl, the rhythm is going to be difficult & demanding]
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/05/06 11:09 PM

I kind of like the idea of six months to completion. Any suggestions for significant milestones within the piece? I tend to tackle my music sequentially by the page. Or we could subdivide the themes out. I am game for any rough outline we want to apply.

As an example:
1 page per month to equal the six months. We could further break down weekly goals.
Start Page 1
Week 1: Establish fingerings, identify trouble spots within page 1.
Week 2: Able to play through page 1 at tempo 50
Week 3: Page 1 tempo = 70
Week 4: Page 1 tempo = 80
Start page 2
Week 5: Establish fingerings, identify trouble spots within page 2. Page 1 tempo = 85
Week 6: Page 2 tempo = 50. Page 1 tempo = 90
etc.

That might be way to agressive a pace to bring the tempo up....

Let me just finish up by saying that I think this concept is very exciting and I look forward to trying out a team learning approach.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 08:20 AM

dk, That looks like a very well thought out plan.

I'm not at my keyboard now, so I can't provide a more confident self-assessment that I might get from spending 20-30 minutes on the first page, but, I think I might be able to follow that plan.

What about the rest of us? Thoughts? Too slow?, Too fast? Just Right?
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 09:52 AM

DK, I agree that looks like a good plan. BUT

Let's not start on page 1... Hmm, I don't have the score out now, but let's start where both hands do that 16th note thingy where the LH goes up and down and the RH goes whereever it can.

I know, what I just wrote is completely incomprehensible. I'll get you some measure numbers tomorrow!

Let me rephrase my suggestion. How about going through the score and picking the hardest section? IMO that should be where we start.

There are at least three reasons for doing it this way. 1) Getting the hardest part into our fingers will make everything else come easier. 2) If we start practicing the hardest part first, that means we'll be working on that section from the beginning, so when it's time to crank up the tempo, we should be pretty comfortabe with even the most difficult sections. 3) If we started at the beginning, we'll get stuck when we get to the hardest part. This is the stage when a lot of people (self included) give up and put the score away. Starting with the hardest part will make it easier to stick with the piece through to the end.

What does everyone else think about this idea?

BTW, I'm taking the score with me to my lesson tomorrow. I'm sure my teacher thinks I'm insane, showing up with a new piece every week! :p
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 09:56 AM

Oh, I forgot to mention. I think this is definitely a 3-6 month piece for me as well. If I can get to the point where I can play through to the end in 3 months, then I might be able to have it a decent tempo to make a recording at about the 6th month.

The good thing about DK's timeline is that, even if someone (in other words, me) is not up to that tempo, we can still move forward as a group.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 10:18 AM

I am flexible, I just wanted to keep the ball rolling since you got it started. I know it is not optimal, I just have always approached the song front to back because I feel like it...

So you propose that we look at measures 26-34, which could be further broken down into two phrases: 26-29 and 30-34.

What about 35-38? This is the equivalent to the measures you posted previously that have the ackward timing. Where do you rank that in difficulty?

Also, how would you approach the key change. As it is deemed next hardest within the entire piece or do you work in one key and then apply it to the key change later?

If everyone likes this approach we can break down the rest of the piece and evaluate for relative difficulty.

I am also curious how far into this song you have already gotten? You say you are taking it to your teacher tomorrow. Are you switching to the Burrows version, even though you started with Kanemasu? Have you worked with your teacher on this song at all or has it been all self study?
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 10:34 AM

While we are still establishing how we are going to do this I thought I would share my first (informal) practice session.

I printed the score and listened to the Burrows mp3 probably 5-10 times before sitting down at the piano. I then sat at the piano and went through the first 18 measures without any real timing just to establish my fingering. Once I was sure of my fingering I set the metronome to 1/8=50 and worked out the timing. I worked this up to 1/8=100 and then reset the metronome to 1/4=50. I didn't want to get too carried away before we actually get started so I stopped trying to progress any more. I then just toyed around with measures 19-29 right hand only no metronome... Looks like this is really going to be a fun piece to learn.

Anybody else getting a sneak peek in?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 10:58 AM

from ShiroKuro
 Quote:
Oh, I forgot to mention. I think this is definitely a 3-6 month piece for me as well. If I can get to the point where I can play through to the end in 3 months, then I might be able to have it a decent tempo to make a recording at about the 6th month.
(breathing a big sigh of relief)
Thank you ShiroKuro, I was afraid you were going to suggest we rip through this by July and then move directly onto Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini".
 Quote:
The good thing about DK's timeline is that, even if someone (in other words, me) is not up to that tempo, we can still move forward as a group.
Yes, I would agree. Good looking plan dk! Thanks for helping us think this through!
Posted by: Nina

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 11:19 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ShiroKuro:
Let's not start on page 1... Hmm, I don't have the score out now, but let's start where both hands do that 16th note thingy where the LH goes up and down and the RH goes whereever it can.
[/b]
I know exactly the spot, since that's where I started as well!

We need to figure out some good fingerings for the left hand there. I'm still working on it, haven't found something really good and comfy yet. (Darn small hands!)
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 11:55 AM

I haven't even begun to consider left hand fingering for those measures. I have some theoretical ideas, but I have difficulty picturing my fingering without physically working through what feels right. Maybe I can get some ideas on that tonight.

BTW thanks Nina for publishing an mp3 of the Burrows transcription.
Posted by: rockpeter

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 12:47 PM

I listened to the piece once and also liked it.
Not sure though if I can dedicate as much time to it with my current repertoire.
But if it's ok I will jump in once in awhile while learning the piece as much as I can and giving my two cents.

Peter
Posted by: Soleil_nuage

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 01:14 PM

If it is okay, I would like to join this group as well as the Beginner-Intermediate one. If you are all looking at a 3-6 month timetable, starting with a slow tempo, I should be able to manage.
Posted by: Agilita

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 03:14 PM

Where are you all beginning? What page and measure? (What 16th note thingy?) I started working on page 1 last night. This is a great piece and rather addictive.
Posted by: yellowville

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 04:27 PM

Shiro, do you mean the 26th measure? That does look tricky... so many notes! (This piece might have more notes than the rest of my repertoire combined!)

Any suggestions -- hands together or separately? I'm thinking separately, since it's the agility of the fingers that I'll need to focus on, not coordination so much.
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 05:38 PM

I am just going to try to do only the FIRST page for now. I will work on playing the right notes , before I figure out the correct fingering for those notes.

I will do the right hand separately, then left hand separately,then both hands together, and then I will try to get the tempo right. The tempo from what I can see right now, is going to be the biggest challenge of all. From the way I look at it the more you practice it the better chance you have of getting the tempo right. And some of you will be better at this part that I will ! ;\)
that all has to come together before I will move to the 2nd page.

Some of you maybe able to move faster than me. Now I am thinking 6 months is the amount of time I think it might take me to go through the whole piece. ;\)
......
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 07:29 PM

First of all, to all who've asked if they can join, yes! Please join us, there's no requirement, and you can come and go as you like.

Also, I don't think we *have* to work on the same spot, but if we are, we can give each other better advice. And as has been mentioned, this piece is full of repeated patterns, so even if we're not on the same page (literally!) we will probably be doing about the same stuff.

Yellowville, measure 26, yes.

DK, I don't know how to rank the difficulty.. For me, the straighforward 16th notes (like in measure 26) are easier to play than the rhythmically challenging stuff like 35.. But the 16th notes are probably harder to get up to speed.

Oh, and I haven't gotten very far at all on this piece, I've just been dabbling and haven't even played it for a few days because I've been trying to record Overcome. I think I'll do the Burrows, but I may slip into a few things from the other. I haven't shown the score to me teacher before now, it seems like every lesson I have something new to show her, so I'm trying to pace it so as not to drive her completely crazy! :p

Also, I don't know how we should rank the key change... maybe that should be worked on later? What does everyone think?

Hmm, I'm looking at everyone's posts and am starting to forget what I wanted to say, so one last thing and then I have to get ready for my lesson! \:\)

Another practice strategy is to use the metronome and double the beat. in other words, 8 clicks a measure, esp for the 16th note runs or rhythmically challenging parts. Practice it slowly but accurately. Go back and forth between metronome and no metronome. I did this a little with the other arrangement and that really helps to get my fingers moving correctly. Then when I shut off the metronome, I'll better able to work on speeding up.
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/06/06 09:30 PM

Ok..I played through measures 26 - 29 but of course at a snail pace. The fingering for the RH is rather straight forward but I found the LH to be abit challenging and not sure if I even have the best fingering.

Here's my fingering for the LH for measure 26 :

5-4-2-1-2-1-2-4-5-4-2-1-2-1-2-4

measure 27: (LH)

3-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-5-4-2-1-2-1-2-3

measure 28: (LH)

2-1-3-2-1-2-3-1-5-4-2-1-2-1-2-4

measure 29:

straightforward fingering

Does anyone else have something better or different?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/07/06 10:50 AM

One & All

Our discussion about which version to use is limited to these relatively brief comments:

1. [dk]I am not sure it is worth the effort for everyone to get Kanemasu's transcription when an acceptable equivalent is readily accesible within a few mouse clicks. Either way, though, I am agreeable and would like to participate.
2. [ShiroKuro]And I agree with DK, getting the other arrangement would probably be a logistical nightmare. (I go through heck and high water every time I try to get something from the US.)

Yesterday, ShiroKuro had her teacher compare the two arrangements of the Croatian Rhapsody, who offered this opinion:

"While the two arrangements are comparable in terms of level of difficulty, the Kanemasu transcription might be more interesting to study, rhythmically."[/b]

If it's okay with everyone, I know ShiroKuro would really appreciate a little time to see if it would be possible to get the Kanemasu transcription for everyone, as another option. We want to make sure we would be able to obtain the Kanemasu transcription without violating any copyrights, etc.. Be patient, she works full time & has other obligations as well.

Not being in a rush, I am okay with...after all, we're really ahead of schedule anyway.

(hope everyone else is okay with this)
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/07/06 12:46 PM

Thank you, Shirokuro, for putting in the extra effort.
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/07/06 02:21 PM

Posted by: Laura D

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/07/06 03:21 PM

I am interested in this piece. Please someone explain why there are two transcriptions? I take it that this was not originally written for piano. What is the history of this piece?
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/07/06 03:28 PM

Laura,

We are currently discussing which of two slightly different versions to take on for this project. ShiroKuro might be able to better enlighten you regarding the history of this piece because she is the one that found it.

ShiroKuro has in hand both versions. One of them is available for free on the internet (Burrows) and the other she found in a Japanese magazine and is trying to determine how (if possible) to get us a copy of that version without infringing on any copyrights.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/07/06 03:36 PM

Hi Laura, glad you're joining in.

It's about 4:30 AM in Japan right now & ShiroKuro has a planned adventure to an elementary school on a tiny island tomorrow morning so she may not have time to do much tomorrow.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/07/06 06:28 PM

Opus, thanks \:\)

Yes, I am just going to leave to go to the port, and the news is saying we're supposed to have rough seas today! \:\( I'll be going in one of those little boats that sits low in the water (not a big ferry that can carry cars) and if the sea is too rough, the boat doesn't go out, which means that those children get no English lesson today. \:\( Or, if the boat does go, I come back all green. \:\( Ok, enough rambling off topic!

Anyway, I'll just write briefly.

Laura, this piece was written by a composer who does sort of rock-classical music (whatever that is.) I think this particular piece was written for piano, but with some extra instruments in the recording by the pianist Maksim.

The reason there are two arrangements is simple. First of all, it's very common for different arrangement to be floating around, esp of music that's "popular" in terms of being able to sell a lot of scores.

Secondly, the Burrows arrangement is probably exactly the same as the recording in terms of length and sections, whereas the Kanemasu one probably used the original as a guide without worrying about matching it exactly.

Because in the original, there are synths and so on, other instruments provide some of the rhythmic elements. From what I can tell, the Kanemasu arrangement appears to take that into consideration and that's why the LHis a little different.

Oops, I am running out of time. Tonight I'll scan in a few measures that will let everyone get an idea of what differences I'm talking about. And see if it's easy for people to order the Kanemasu arrangement if they're interested. Having said that, the RH seems virtually identical, and because of the similarities, I think we would still be able to work as a group even if some of us had a different arrangement. What do people think about that possibility?
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/07/06 06:49 PM

Shiro: I am turning green myself thinking about your rough trip on the seas today! :p
Those children sure are lucky to have a teacher as dedicated as you! Don't push your self tonight to scan the Kanemasu arrangement if you come back green! :p We appreciate all your efforts in introducing as to this beautiful piece! ;\)

I have the Burrow arrangement, but I will hold off until we all get the Karemasu arrangement if it is available. I am looking forward to veiwing it.
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/07/06 07:16 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dk21208:
As an example:
1 page per month to equal the six months. We could further break down weekly goals.
Start Page 1
Week 1: Establish fingerings, identify trouble spots within page 1.
Week 2: Able to play through page 1 at tempo 50
Week 3: Page 1 tempo = 70
Week 4: Page 1 tempo = 80
Start page 2
Week 5: Establish fingerings, identify trouble spots within page 2. Page 1 tempo = 85
Week 6: Page 2 tempo = 50. Page 1 tempo = 90
etc.
. [/QB]
This is going to be so easy ( NOT[/b] !!!!)

This looks like a good piece to preform for a recital!
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/07/06 07:19 PM

By the way...... Sign me Up!!!
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/07/06 07:48 PM

You got it Debussy, VERY glad to have more people to share in the pain ;\) .

I just spent about 30 minutes tinkering around with the first and second pages and I've got to say that this is certainly going to be worth learning! It is going to be FUN TO PLAY (who else in this thread said that?)!

I recall years ago, our public television station would feature what they called "movies worth taping". In a similar way, I would suggest that the Croation Rhapsody might be one of those "pieces worth memorizing". For all of the repitition I know it's going to take me to get the notes under my fingers, and the rhythm in my mind & body, I wouldn't think it would be too much additional effort to memorize it.

Speaking of memorizing pieces, have any of you ever used memorization to help you learn to play something?

At the risk of rambling on, I want to also add that I think ShiroKuro might have been right when she said "the piece is not as difficult as it sounds (or looks?)". The thirty minutes I spent tinkering this evening have given me more confidence. I'm really starting to get a bit excited about learning the Croatian Rhapsody! (I'm still for projecting 6 months to learn it)
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/07/06 08:06 PM

6 monthes to learn- Does that include memorizing???
I takes me a month to memorize a piece like this. One final question:
I am just putting the finishing touches on Sonata in C MAj. (k545) - By Mozart. Is this the right piece to start? Is it my level???
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 06:23 AM

Well, the sea was pretty rough today, or so I was told, I don't really know because I didn't go! There was a possibility that the return boat would be unable to make the trip, so rather than cancel the visit entirely, another school was kind enough to rearrange their entire schedule so that I could switch school visits around and go to the island school next week. So I am home, and not green. Whew. Which means I am off to wrestle with the scanner, and with these two scores.

Debussy20, I can't comment on your level, but have you looked at the score that's downloadable above. That should give you an idea of whether this will work for you or not. I tend to think that a sonata would be harder just because of the musical form (though maybe that's not the right way to think of it.) I think the difficulty of this rhapsody comes from it's tempo, so if you can handle Mozart, you should be ok.

Opus, what do you mean, use memorization to help learn a piece? As in, using memorization at the learning stage?

I don't know if this is a good comparison or not, but I've been trying to improve my playing of Overcome by David Nevue. I tend to stutter at the section changes. So I just closed the score and working on playing it from memory. I also played the piece in my head a few times, away from the piano and without the score. (actually, I should do that again today!)

What I do is look at the clock and write down the time that I start. Then I mostly close my eyes and sing/play the piece in my head, sometimes hum a bit if I need to. The idea is that I am not "recalling the score," but actually playing it in my head. I find myself sometimes moving my fingers a little bit to keep the tempo right, or tapping as if I was a metronome etc. When I'm done, I look at the clock again. If it has taken me about the same length of time to play it in my head as it does to play it at the piano, then I can assume I haven't skipped any sections and that I've done it at the proper tempo.

I find this incredibly tiring, it's much more difficult than playing the piece at the piano because it requires probably 100 times as much concentration. With more complicated music, I can't really do this fully, but I have done small sections or just visualize the score in my mind (each line, each page, where the music is, top or bottom, left or right)

Hmm, perhaps I'm just talking about memorizing/mental reading, not about learning through memorization...
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 08:06 AM

Ok, I am afraid this image is going to be very big, but otherwise you lose the ledger lines. Here are measures 1 thru 14 of the Kanemasu arrangement.



I played through a few pages of both arrangements, using only my LH. And my conclusion (subject to change!) is that the Burrows arrangement is a little more difficult, but also a little less interesting. You can see from these first few measures that, while the chords are the same, they're placed differently. Also, the Kanemasu arrangement has a little more bounce going on.

The reason I think the Burrows is more difficult is mainly beacause of the LH 16th notes that start in measure 26.

But, having said that, the difference is quite small.

Ok, now I'm off to see if I can figure out a way for the Kanemasu to be ordered in the US for those who want to.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 08:29 AM

Ok, the score is in this magazine:

Piano Life, Vol. 4
published by Yamaha Music Media.
(GTM01080998 or JAN code: 4910076260665, no ISBN code because it's a magazine.) release date is listed as June 20th 2006, even though it was in the stores last month (I never did get that)

The price is Y780 (less than $8.00 US)

I don't know how much would be added on for international shipping. Also, the web site said this is going to be the last issue "for a while." So I don't know if that affects anything.

Can someone try to search for this from the US? My computer takes me to Japanese sites, and I haven't found this on any sites in English. I'm going to try to email Yamaha.

Oh, and this isn't really the "Kanemasu arrangement" Kanemasu is the pianist, the arrangement was done by Miyuki Uchida.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 08:33 AM

Thanks again, ShiroKuro.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 08:52 AM

Oh! You can see the fingerings I wrote in! How embarassing! :p
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 08:54 AM

I found this:

Piano Life

However, the page isn't translating....
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 09:35 AM

DK, that's the one. But, unfortunately that site does not ship outside of Japan! \:\(

I thought Amazon might be better, but the magazine didn't come up on Amazon Japan.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 09:48 AM

hmmmm....wondering if we wouldn't be violating any copyright laws if we study a pdf copy of this version. (I mean it's not as if we're going to be performing this piece publically).

Do we have any attorneys in our groups?

Any thoughts?
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 11:24 AM

I just questioned what we could get away with for fair use regarding the master those measure thread... Educational purposes pretty much get the biggest leeway when judging that, but I don't know what the answer is when you are talking about sharing the entire piece.

One possibility would be if ShiroKuro would be willing to purchase a copy for each of us. We could then have them sent to the US for someone here to distribute. Or once the purchase is made email us a pdf of the music. Once again this burdens ShiroKuro, and I don't think that it is necessary unless she wants to go through the effort.
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 12:32 PM

I agree. Personally I like the Kanemasu version. But whatever.... Playing the piano is a joy itself
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 01:30 PM

We almost need separate threads to discuss what we are going to do and then what we are doing....

 Quote:
Originally posted by kawaigirl1:

Here's my fingering for the LH for measure 26 :

5-4-2-1-2-1-2-4-5-4-2-1-2-1-2-4

measure 27: (LH)

3-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-5-4-2-1-2-1-2-3

measure 28: (LH)

2-1-3-2-1-2-3-1-5-4-2-1-2-1-2-4
I changed it up a little for myself:

meas 26: 5-3-2-1-2-1-2-3, 5-3-2-1-2-1-2-4
meas 27: 3-2-1-2-1-2-3-1, 5-3-1-2-1-2-3-1
meas 28: 4-2-1-2-1-2-3-1, 5-3-2-1-2-1-2-3

I thought maybe this better sets up the hand to go from the Eb arpp. to the Ab arpp. Also, for those of you that have skinnier hands than me... The Eb felt real nice when I played it 5-4-3-2-1-2-3-5, but my fourth finger always scrubs the blacks on both side of the G, so I bailed on the possibility of that fingering.

What do you think?
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 07:40 PM

I'm trying to figure out where to send an email to Yamaha asking permission to use the arrangement. Why is it so hard to find the right contact place?! Gee. Sit tight...
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 07:40 PM

Txs dk, I'm going to try your fingering and see which one is more comfortable.
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 08:35 PM

I've tried both arrangements and I like the Kanemasu version better, it has better rythym, the left hand is a little more interesting. I think the Kanemasu might be a little easier to play because you can pick up on the rythym faster.

Shiro: do what you can do if you got the time to get this arrangement,but if you can't get it don't worry , we appreciate all your efforts!

The Burrows arrangement will do just fine,maybe some of us might even be able to improvise a little to pick up some extra rythym on the left hand on the Burrows arrangement?

As far as the fingering goes, I think I'll experiment on my own first and then try out the fingering y'all suggested. ;\)
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 08:40 PM

My piano teacher called me to tell me I had one more pre-paid lesson with her & wanted me to see her one more time.

With my newly printed transcription of the Croatian Rhapsody in hand, I decided to take her up on the offer. We read through it and worked out some fingering together and I thought I would share some of her comments about the Croatian Rhapsody (she was able to sight read through much of it...wish I could play that well!!)

"What a great piece to study...this is something that sounds very impressive, very complicated and difficult, and yet it's very manageable pianistically...it's technically elegant...it doesn't require any overly difficult fingering/hand positions, etc.., the biggest challenge will be (as a few of you have already said) the tempo."[/b]

I am even more excited to be learning to play this very beautiful and compelling Rhapsody, and I hope all of you are as well!
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 09:15 PM

Regarding the transcriptions. I told ShiroKuro via PM that I would be willing to be a distribution point (as well as send her funds to cover the cost of the magazines and shipping to the US. If any of you are interested in purchasing the magazine (think she said it was around $8.00?) let us know and I'll cover everyone who wants one (honor system)...you can re-imburse me after you receive your magazine.

She's also trying to get permission to simply copy it & send it to us as a pdf file, which of course, would make everything much easier.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 09:55 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Opus45:
My piano teacher ...was able to sight read through much of it[/b]
[falls back in a dead faint]
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 10:01 PM

(i held my breath!)
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 10:11 PM

I'd be interested to learn and obtain a copy of Kanemasu's arrangment and I don't mind having to pay for a copy.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 10:47 PM

Oh, great to hear those comments from your teacher! \:\) My teacher, who I thought might be tired of me bringing in new pieces all the time, also said she thought this piece was very interesting and had a unique feel that she doesn't see in most of the pieces that she works on with students, she said she was interested in playing through it herself.


Regarding the Kanemasu arrangement, if I buy several copies, Opus has kindly offered to distruibute scores to anyone who's interested in buying one. So please let me know if you're interested in doing that so I can get an idea how many people would be willing to spend $8-$10 dollars on this.

I have to figure out what the exchange is, but let's say $1 to Y114, and the magazine is Y780. Plus the cost of sending them to Opus and then him sending them to you. I would send them all at once, to make the shipping on this end would be cheaper, and then inside-US mailing shouldn't be that difficult.

BUT-- I asked Yamaha for permission to make 10 copies for study purposes, so let's wait and see if I get a positive response from that.

Again, please let me know if you want to use the Kanemasu arrangement, so I can know how many copies we need. And perhaps make it clear whether you'd want the Kanemasu arrangement even if you had to pay for it, or only if you could get it for free. Thanks.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 10:51 PM

Oops, I started my response and then didn't finish it until just now, so I didn't see Opus's post.

My teacher makes me so envious when I bring in something new to show her, she whips through it muttering things like "oh, that's not a good fingering, I should play it differently next time" and it seems like she accomplishes in 5 minutes what I spend 5 months doing! It's like I can see her brain clicking through the music, which is amazing when it's a piece (like this rhapsody) that she's never even heard before, let alone seen the score for.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 10:58 PM

ShiroKuro, even though I am most emphatically NOT a member of this study group ;\) , if you do end up doing the mailing/reimbursing thing, please include a copy for me. I can't play the piece now but I would very much like to tackle it in a year or two, and I'd rather buy the score now while it's logistically easier. (I downloaded the other version, but I like the Kanemasu arrangement so much that if I'm going to learn one, I'd like it to be that one.)
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 11:02 PM

You got it Monica! BTW, did you manage to get all the Korean publications for Yiruma? Was it hard to get those?
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 11:15 PM

Haven't gotten them yet, ShiroKuro. My Korean colleague is teaching summer school this month and working harder than I am, so I was waiting for it to be a less busy time for her and then have her help me navigate those web sites with me.
Posted by: Laura D

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 11:17 PM

I would like a copy of the other arrangement as well. I don't mind paying.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/06 11:46 PM

I put you on the list with everyone else Laura.

And I just one of those form-letter emails that Yamaha received my query, so I know I sent it to the right place. Now let's hope they get back to me sooner rather than later! \:\)
Posted by: sk99

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 01:17 AM

Hello,

I don't post very often, but I listened to the Croatian Rhapsody and I am also hooked! It's wonderful to hear. Please count me in also for this learning group. I too prefer the Kanemasu version.

Thank you.
Tammi
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 05:20 AM

Gee, when the question is about copyright, they sure do get back to you quickly. Yamaha publishing replied that copying was against the law. And they didn't offer to help send their product to the states either. \:\(

I also found a place where people can place their own orders:

Kuronekoyama/UPS Book Service

I sent them an email to see if orders could be take by email (and in English) because here it says order by fax, but the Japanese page has other order methods.

If I send the magazines, I'm worried the shipping is going to be a bit pricey, because of the size and weight of several magazines, so I'm going to call the post office and see if they can give me an idea based on the weight. After we know how much the shipping will cost, then we can figure out how much per person for shipping from Japan to the US and then from Opus to you, so to speak. \:\)

Say, is there any reason to worry that customs will look sideways at 10 issues or so of the same magazine? For some intellectual anti-piracy effort or anything?
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 07:45 AM

SHIRO: You can count me in as one who would be willing to pay for the Kanemasu version. Also if we can order directly from the book service , of course that would work out great! Thanks for all your hard work! You are a gem!
Posted by: Euan Morrison

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 08:09 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ShiroKuro:

If I send the magazines, I'm worried the shipping is going to be a bit pricey, because of the size and weight of several magazines, so I'm going to call the post office and see if they can give me an idea based on the weight.
[/b]
Shiro (and the others) - I had originally signed up to this group. Was just wondering - is this going to be a formal learning process? I'm getting cold feet, and am thinking I would maybe like to learn it casually, rather than having to prepare a certain page for a certain date etc.

Was wondering if I could be a temporary member - chipping in questions etc when I have difficulties, but without having to commit to the piece fully.

As for the weight of the parcel - maybe see if people would be willing for you to cut the sheets out of the rest of the mag. After all, they are only buying the magazine for the transcription, and the rest of the articles will be in Japanese (not sure how many of the group speak Japanese). Would cut the weight down, yet also get the music across to America. Just a thought.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 08:18 AM

Perhaps I'm worrying too much (I've been known to do that...) but if the package was opened, and there were 10 copies of the scores, cut out from the magazine.. would that look like a copyright violation? The good people at customs wouldn't know that I had purchased the magazines in the first place...

However, Euan, it is an excellent idea for weight control.

Regarding participation in this group, I don't see why you can't participate on your own terms. I think people will try to be formal about it (i.e. "let's all work on X measures for the next week" sort of thing) but that doesn't mean you have to follow it perfectly. And even for people who are sort of being formal about it, some will prgress faster than others, so it will be pretty fluid I'm thinking. What are everyone else's thoughts on this?

However, if you don't do your homework, we will be sending a note home to your mommy. ;\)
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 08:23 AM

Euan has a great idea on just sending the pages we are interested in. I have a feeling I am not going to be able to casually read through the rest of the magazine anyway.

I am in to pay for a copy. We've come too far to back out now. If everyone uses paypal we can transfer funds very easily.

Euan,
I was just proposing a schedule of sorts in order to help us gauge our progress and keep moving forward. I am sure many of us will ignore it and do our own thing.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 08:34 AM

ShiroKuro, THANK YOU[/b] so much for all your personal time and effort you've put into this for us...petrof1 is right, you ARE a gem! \:\)

First a little rant about Yamaha Publishing
 Quote:
...when the question is about copyright, they sure do get back to you quickly. Yamaha publishing replied that copying was against the law.
(I've personally spent over ten thousand dollars in Yamaha products in my life so far...you would think their publishing company would allow a handful of students to...oh, never mind.)

Now that I've got that off my chest...Shiro, once we get the final number of copies desired from everyone, I will either get those funds to you (including shipping to U.S.), or if you prefer (as you mentioned in Email), I will be happy to purchase scores from the U.S. and send them to you. \:\)

For the official record: I want the Kanemasu version and am willing to pay for it.

And another thing...I KNEW Monica wouldn't be able to resist getting the score for this piece ;\) .

[Edit, how much can we be talking about for shipping 10 or so magazines? Hey, I'm not wealthy, but I throw away $20 here & $20 there all the time....(not concerned about cost of shipping...unless we're talking hundreds of dollars)]
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 08:41 AM

I think to send it all at once will make it cheaper.. But rather than me speculating, I'll call the post office tomorrow! \:\)

Good point about Yamaha, my piano is a Yamaha upright, and my first keyboard was a Yamaha digital. I buy their magazines every month... sigh... grrr...
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 08:50 AM

 Quote:
from Euan Morrison
"Shiro (and the others) - I had originally signed up to this group. Was just wondering - is this going to be a formal learning process? I'm getting cold feet, and am thinking I would maybe like to learn it casually, rather than having to prepare a certain page for a certain date etc.

Was wondering if I could be a temporary member - chipping in questions etc when I have difficulties, but without having to commit to the piece fully.
"
Euan, I think the group is going to be very casual...after all, aren't we speculating spending 6 months to learn it? (that sounds pretty casual to me). Perhaps a few in the group will zip through it lickety-split...and I hope they will pop in every now & then and offer suggestions to those of use who will take longer because we work full time and don't have hours everyday to spend on the piano...or might still be developing the technical skills necessary to master this somewhat difficult piece.

(hope you hang with us Euan!)
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 08:59 AM

BTW, here's a tip, so to speak: if you're planning on switching arrangements but still want to work on it a bit, focus on the RH because that will be the easiest to adjust to the differing arrangement.
Posted by: Nina

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 09:29 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ShiroKuro:
Perhaps I'm worrying too much (I've been known to do that...) but if the package was opened, and there were 10 copies of the scores, cut out from the magazine.. would that look like a copyright violation? The good people at customs wouldn't know that I had purchased the magazines in the first place...[/b]
Perhaps if you attach the magazine cover to each piece? That way the weight stays down, but it's clear that you purchased one magazine per copy.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 09:36 AM

Ooh, very good idea Nina!!

Always ask on these forums, someone always thinks of something you don't!! \:\)
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 09:42 AM

Definitely be careful... now that you sent an email to Yamaha your internet activity is probably being traced by Yamaha spies as we speak... \:\)
Posted by: Euan Morrison

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 09:45 AM

 Quote:
Perhaps if you attach the magazine cover to each piece? That way the weight stays down, but it's clear that you purchased one magazine per copy. [/b]
To be extra secure, you could even include a receipt of the purchase of the magazines (of course, keeping a photocopy of it for yourself!)

I will keep in the group and work casually on the piece - I'm working on alot of other stuff, and can't really dedicate too much of my time on it. Still, it would be fun to play it.

As regards to the transcriptions - rather than pay for the magazine, cost of shipping to USA, then cost of shipping to UK, I think I will just work from the 'other' version. It might even be a good plan to compare the two finished versions (if i ever finish it ;\) ).
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 12:07 PM

I talked to my teacher yesterday.. and she said that it was not the right piece to start.
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 12:10 PM

I will still try the piece , but i do not wish to purchase a copy. I already have alot of stuff already to do.
Posted by: Agilita

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 12:22 PM

Please include me for the Kanemasu version if this is possible. Opus, make sure you include your mailing costs. We don't want to short-change you!

Monica and Opus re the sight-reading: This really isn't as difficult as you think. I found the sight reading relatively easy. The tempo is what's tricky. I'm not very good at counting so I listened carefully to it a number of times and then worked at playing it the way I heard it.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 12:44 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Opus45:
And another thing...I KNEW Monica wouldn't be able to resist getting the score for this piece ;\) .
[/b]
yeah, you're right about that...but I spent about half an hour one evening fooling around with the download transcription, and my progress was so darned slow (I think I got the first measure in decent shape :rolleyes: ) that I realized it would take too much of my limited piano practice time to give it a good-faith learning attempt. So I will be content to lurk instead as y'all try to master this piece. :p
Posted by: folly

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 02:29 PM

I am interested in obtaining a copy of the Kanemasu version. Thank you, Shiro, for all your work in obtaining this version and thank you Opus for making it possible for us to obtain it.
Posted by: crystalncrew

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 02:45 PM

Count me in for the Kanemasu version. I will practice RH for now like you suggested. Thanks so much!
Crystal
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/06 05:59 PM

I prepose we have two groups:
-One to learn the Kanemasu version
-One to learn the Burrows Version

Is that okay??
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/06 07:00 AM

Ok, I am still emailing back and forth with the book service I linked above. They will accept orders by email in English, but you have to include your credit card info. Now I'm trying to find out how many copies they have in stock. If they have several, would people be willing to just order it on their own?

If they don't have enough copies, I called the Yamaha music store in the "big city" near me, and they have 15 copies in store (but they won't send them overseas!) So I could still get them from there and send them on to Opus. I have to go up to the city on Tuesday, so it would be helpful if we could figure it out by then. (I'd need to know by US Monday morning if people want me to pick up copies and how many.)

It occurred to me that doing this is a huge process, I buy the magazines, rip off the covers and carefully remove the desired score, send to Opus, then he separates them and addresses 10-15 different envelops and mails them out, you all send him money to pay for it, then he either sends me money or the equivalent in scores. That's a lot of work. I'm happy to do it, esp if it's the only way, but if people can do the ordering from the book service, that might be good. Sorry if I sound wishy-washy about this all, anyway, let's try to figure this out this weekend if we can. Thanks everyone!
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/06 07:10 AM

Oh for heavens sakes! I just looked at the email again, and I think in order to order by email, you'd still have to send them a fax with your credit card info (unless you wanted to put the credit card info directly in the email.) Their web site where you can create a membership and enter your credit card number on a secure page is all in Japanese! Good grief. Ok, so, Opus, let's do this then, I send it to you and you send it out to everyone?

-----------------------------------
Important info for those who want to order the Kanemasu version:[/b]

Here is a list of people who I believe want the Kanemasu version and are willing to pay for it (I still haven't checked shipping but I'm thinking that with shipping and the cost of the magazine, it should be less than US$13.) If you are not and this list, and want to be, please tell me. If you are on this list, and don't want to be, again, let me know. \:\)


1 Opus45
2 dk21208
3 petrof1
4 crystalncrew
5 Agilita
6 kawaigirl1
7 LauraD
8 Monica
9 Folly[/b]

People I think may be interested but need confirmation from:
Nina?
rockpeter?
Soleil_nuage?
Yellowville?
Debussy20?
sk99?[/b]

Euan- no?

As I said, I am going up to the "big city" on Tuesday (Monday in the US,) and just called to reserve 10 copies at the music store there. It would help me to be able to get all that we need then, because otherwise I'd have to wait another 2 weeks to get copies sent to my local bookstore (in order to avoid paying for inside-Japan shipping)

The music store had 15 copies in store, so there's still time to add a few more people. But remember, you're all on your honor, because once I pay (Y780 times number of people) I can't return any. If I can get all the copies, and then I'll need a few days to prepare it all to be mailed, then I should be able to get it in the mail to Opus by June 17th, and then it should reach him in 10 days, and he will send it all out to you.
Posted by: Euan Morrison

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/06 07:45 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ShiroKuro:

Euan- no?
[/b]
Yes, that's right - I'm just going to work from the other transcript. But thanks for the work you are putting in here for the rest of the group- very generous.
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/06 08:02 AM

Indeed, Shiro, you are very generous to go to all this trouble for all of us..... we are so blessed to have been introduced to this beautiful music, I know I've said this before, but you are a Gem! in fact I would understand if you wanted to rethink this! :rolleyes:

If you and Opus , or anyone else for that matter can think of the best way to handle the paying procedures, I'm still in.
And Opus, thanks for your efforts as well.
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/06 08:07 AM

I like Euan will work from the origanial transcript. No thanks
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/06 08:11 AM

Good Morning ShiroKuro (or good evening in Japan).

I thought we had the problem solved when I read we could order it ourselves (oh well...so close)

If there's no miracle by Tuesday, Go ahead and get 10 (or however many) copies & send them to me. I'll commit to cover for everyone (on the honor system). And, if anyone is interested in after we get started, perhaps I'll be able to make a pdf (which will provide them with the means to look at it ;\) ).

I will provide you with my mailing address and phone numbers in Email, and we can proceed.

Thank you [/b] again first for bringing this beautiful peice to our attention, and second for all your time and effort in getting the "version of choice" to us here in the United States and Canada (anywhere else?).

[Edit, Shiro, if they will take my credit card over the phone or fax (and there's someone there who speaks English, give me the phone number and I'll go ahead and order them directly & you won't have to go in & purchase them & ship them, etc.. (will this work?)]
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/06 08:24 AM

No problem, really. I almost cried one time when I got the score for something I'd wanted for almost 5 years, so I'm happy to help get scores to others if I can.

And you know, there is no way in heck I would enter my credit card info on a page that I couldn't read, so I think it's just better this way.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/06 08:25 AM

Oh, missed the "edit" let me see what I can find out...
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/06 08:32 AM

I couldn't find a phone number, just this fax number:

81-3-5959-5540 (81 is the country code to call from the US)

Again, the magazine is Piano Life, vol 4. Yamaha publishing's code is
GTM01080998

And the JAN code (isbn for mags?) is 4910076260665
Posted by: gmm1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/06 09:22 AM

Shiro/Opus - If its not too late, I am interested in the sheet music as well.... let me know how much and where to sent the money. Someone mentioned pay-pal but I do not know how to use it. I am willing to pre-pay by check/mail if you tell me where to sent it.

Thanks to both of you for the help in getting this arrangement. It is going to be the piece I use to "advance" myself from beginner to not a beginner anymore.....
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/06 11:01 AM

Thanks ShiroKuro, I might be able to translate the website, but I'll need to get a disc from my office. Perhaps I'll do this later today.

gmm1, It's not too late. I'll post my Email address in this forum for everyone to use to send me a mailing address once the music has been ordered and is on its way.
Posted by: sk99

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/06 11:00 PM

Yes, thank you Shiro and Opus!
Yes, I would like the Kanemasu version.
Yes, I will prepay or do whatever is necessary.

Thanks!

Tammi
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 08:28 AM

Hold the presses! I have a friend in London who is convinced he has a pdf of the version we are looking for. He's looking for it now.

Can you believe this good fortune? (keep your fingers crossed)

[Edit: My friend does have a hard copy of the version we are looking for, and has just sent jpeg pictures, which I'm going to clean up a bit and convert to pdf documents. He's also going to send me a hard copy by regular mail, which might make a cleaner pdf document. From first glance, I agree that the left hand in this version is more interesting. If you want a pdf copy of this, send me the Email address you want me to send it to via PM or my Email link in my profile. ]
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 10:42 AM

Oooh, this could be really good! I'm glad you're finding this out now before I bought 15 copies! Whew!
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 01:11 PM

I now have a 5 page pdf document of the other version we are interested in studying. These two versions are both interesting, and I think it will only be all the more interesting if we happen to be using different versions in this study group.

Perhaps you may want to consider writing in "measure numbers" from the version you are not using. This might make some discussions easier for people using different versions. (Someone will have to work on this)

The more advanced students amoung us might consider learning both versions, and if you're really motivated, perhaps you might be able to come up with your very own transcription & share it with the rest of us ;\) .

If you send me your Email address, I will send you the pdf file. I printed mine out on card stock paper and it came out pretty well.

Shiro, I already sent you a copy, tell me what you think?
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 01:21 PM

I'm rather late to this thread. A young friend of Piano*Son brought over a copy of this piece yesterday. I had never heard of it. Usually I have trouble getting him to concentrate on taking a piece apart and practicing it slowly. Well, not in this case. I can't STOP him from playing it. He's inhaling it. I want him to get back to Beethoven and Lecuona! I guess this will be his summer "fun" piece. \:D
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 01:33 PM

Thanks Opus!!! I just got done printing the music!
Now I am in heaven!!! :3hearts:

And I think it's a great idea to write the measure numbers in. It will help when we have questions on the particular areas. I think I'll write it in on the Burrows transcription. I want to keep my Kanemasu transcription as clean as possible.

I can wait until everyone else in the group has a chance to print out thier copy to "discuss" the different areas. \:\)
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 01:51 PM

Piano*Dad,
I envy Piano*Son if he'll be able to play this that quickly! (we are giving ourselves 6 months) This piece hooked a few of us when ShiroKuro brought it to our attention a few weeks ago. If you record him when he finishes it, and share it with us in this thread, I promise I won't be jealous (not!).

petrof
This may very well be one of the most challenging pieces I've attempted to play.

Why don't we refer to the different versions as the "K" version, and the "B" version, so we don't have to write it out every time?
Posted by: Laura D

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 02:01 PM

[edit]
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 02:15 PM

Jeff,

I'll do that. We're going to record a bunch of other pieces, probably in September, so we'll just add this one to the list. He'll be off of piano for about six weeks (summer camps and trips) so I'm sure it'll be September before he's ready. This sort of thing happened a year or so ago with Pirates of the Caribbean. He just sucked it down in weeks despite some devilish rhythms because he just wanted to learn it. Before that it was Lord of the Rings. Thank heaven for movie music transcriptions.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 03:01 PM

For anyone who may have missed the thread with the video of Piano*Son's performance of a Piano Concerto with the York River Symphony, here\'s the link .

You will not believe this young man is 12 years old!
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 03:23 PM

Some of you may still want a hard copy of the Kanemasu transcription available through the magazine in Japan.

My offer to cover the cost in advance (honor system) and get them to you still stands.[/b] Please keep in mind that ShiroKuro will need time to get them, then send them to me. From here, I'll distribute them to everyone who wants one. This process may take 3-4 weeks (?).

Please let me know by next Friday[/b] if you want us to obtain a hard copy of the magazine for you from Japan. After we place the order, we will not be able to get refunds.

Thanks!
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 07:41 PM

Yippie!

Thanks for all your help ShiroKuro and Opus
We all appreciate your help with this amazing song!!!
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 08:06 PM

You are very welcome Debussy.

I'm already starting, and you know...I just might try to go ahead and learn both versions as I go?

(I may end up eating those words down the road, but there is a lot of repetition in this piece..and if we're going to give it six months...let's see that's 74 measures in the K version...that's roughly 2.5 days per measure...oh, never mind. I'll just see how it goes \:D )

[Edit]
Playing around with this piece this evening, it seems to me that the end of section "C" in the K-Version (end of measure 13 in the B-Version) would be a good first stopping point in terms of grouping the music...at this point the left hand rhythm changes noticeably. I can see myself spending a couple weeks working on sections A, B, & C.

How does that grouping, and this pace compare with what everyone else is thinking?
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 09:23 PM

Once again thanks to Shirokuro and Opus for finding this score.

I'm comparing the 2 version and still trying to decide which version to learn first. I think it'll be the Kanemasu's version.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 09:30 PM

You are very welcome kawaigirl! Shiro is checking on her students this morning to make sure no one had any damage to their residential properties as a result of a small earthquake last night.
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 09:34 PM

Ohhhh....I hope her students are ok \:\(
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 09:56 PM

Shiro I hope all you students are doing ok!I hope there was no serious damage from the earthquake! \:\(

Opus: as far as the pace is concerned, maybe we should focus on on 3 or 4 measures at a time. I think we may need to take it on a day by day process. There are going to be some measures we may have to spend weeks on and then some measures we will speed right through due to the repetition. The hardest part is going to be the tempo. The only way to get that right is through lots of Practice, playing the same measures over and over and over again! :p
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/11/06 09:58 PM

I remember in the Sight Reading Challenge Thread that some folks recorded their attempts at sight reading. I wonder if anyone is going to be brave enough to record their unfinished / unpolished / mistake ridden / slow sounding attempts to learn different sections of the Croatian Rhapsody????


[Edit: Petrof (missed your post)...yes, it's going to take a while, I agree. I guess I was just looking down the road a ways since I won't always be able to get to the piano every day.]
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/12/06 12:53 AM

Thanks everyone! We are all counting our blessings here. This earthquake was similar in scale and power to the one in Indonesia last month. In Indonesia, about 6000 people died because their houses collapsed. In Japan this morning, there were only about 10 injuries, mainly from people falling or things falling. A few places were without water because water mains were damaged, and there have been other small problems, but really all very minor. Thank you, Japan, for having strict building codes and the money to uphold those codes! Today, I'm feeling very grateful for my strong house, and very sorry for the people around the world who aren't as fortunate.

As far as I can tell at this point, my students' houses are all ok in general, but there may be some places that have broken windows, which as you can imagine, is really not a big deal in the scheme of things.

Sorry to ramble so long off-topic, you are all very kind to listen! \:\)

Back to the music.. Opus, I might consider recording at various stages of practice, with lots of disclaimers! And I could record HS, that I could do! :p If nothing else, my bumbling performance would be sure to make everyone else feel better about themselves! :rolleyes:

Right now, I am working on D through E, then C-D, and lastly the beginning through D (that's the order I practice it too.) I think having an "automatic" LH will be very helpful when speeding up, so I start each practice by playing the LH all the way through to G, and repeat that 7 times. Then I go back to the smaller sections, RH and then HT. I find this incredibly easy to practice (not play, I mean specifically that it's easy to work on, to practice) because it's so straightforward, and all the little section breaks are very helpful.

I have gotten away from practicing section I, but I'm planning on getting back into that section, even if only HS, because it just doesn't make sense to me and I can't sing it, so that means I can't play it.

If I may be so bold, I would recommend taking a look at the LH and noticing the major patterns and where they change. There are three through the first two pages, and then those patterns just keep being recycled.

I would also recommend (I know, I said this before, forgive me for being a pest!) working on section I, this is the only section in the piece that's totally unique, and it's 4 measures of insanity, so I think that needs to be put into the fingers ASAP-- Actually, I'm just hoping someone else will figure out how to play it and then tell me! :p

Oh, lunch break is coming to an end...
Posted by: Fredrik

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/12/06 10:52 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Opus45:
If you send me your Email address, I will send you the pdf file. [/b]
Will do, thanks! No, I'm not signing up for this group, as I'm not quite ready for this piece yet, but after listening to it I really want to put it on my "to do" list.

Also, I still need the training wheels of fingerings. Yes, I can make up my own awkward ones, but I'm still learning a lot from other people's. So I'll keep an eye on the discussion for any ideas folks have.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 08:52 AM

ShiroKuro please add me to your group.

When I finally listened to the recordings on Sunday, I liked this piece a lot.

Thanks very much to Opus for sending me the sheets on Sun. night.

I've looked over the sheets and played through 10-20 times, and I think you are really overestimating the time it's going to take to learn it.

Even though it's 5 pages long, it's actually only 2 and a half pages, if you count all of the repeated phrases.

And even in those 2.5 pages, there are a lot of repeated motifs.

As for the tricky section I, measures 34-37 in the K version, I think for me the key is to memorize the left hand until it is essentially on auto-pilot.

Then learn the right hand melody, so you can sing it, as you said.

And then play HT slowly, letting the left hand do its thing and concentrating only on the right hand in the score.

This is what I've tried, and it's working slowly, but acceptably.

I guess I'll start memorizing section I first, since it's the hardest part of the piece.

Then I'll learn page 1.

Mel
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 09:17 AM

Mel,

I think you're right about this piece. The rhythms are tricky in places, but there are really only two pages of independent thematic material here. Anthony is using a different version (not the Kanemasu, I guess it's the other one), but the story line seems to be the same. You have the main theme. Then you have the difficult LH part that everyone has noted. A repeat, and then everything gets shifted up a half step. Is anything different in the Kanemasu version?

I had to laugh at Anthony yesterday. He plays the first couple of pages just about at speed. Then he stumbles once through the tough part, and goes back to repeat what he already knows! Aaaaarghhh! Do the hard part until it's familiar!!!

Piano*Dads sometimes need to vent on piano forums. \:D ;\)
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 09:43 AM

Piano*Dad,

I'll send you a link to the K version.

Section I is much harder and much more fun.

I feel the whole arrangement has a better flow.

I have a suspicion that Piano*Son is going to like the K version better.

Mel
Posted by: Nina

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 11:27 AM

How does K's version do the section with the arpeggiated bass in the left hand? (Is there a section like that in K's version?)

That's the only part that's driving me nuts. I just can't seem to find a good fingering for a few of them. Within the arpeggio it's reasonable, but exiting from one chord and entering another is causing me problems, if that makes sense.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 11:30 AM

Nina,

That seems to be a big difference between the two versions. The K version does that section differently, without the complicated-to-finger arpeggiated bass. On the other hand, some of the structure on the first two pages of the K version seem more richly textured, though I'm going to have to lay them side by side to be sure.

David F
Posted by: Nina

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 11:36 AM

How did you get a copy of K's version? I thought it was only available in Japan...?

I'd like to see it before I decide which one to really work on. The downloaded .pdf one from the website isn't too bad (except for those barfy few measures).
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 11:41 AM

Nina,

Mel sent it to me. If you send me (or Mel) your email address, I'll (he'll) pass it along.

David
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 11:52 AM

Nina,

Opus45 used his connections to find a copy floating around. You can either email him a request for it or if you email me I can forward my copy to you.
Posted by: Nina

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 12:41 PM

Thanks... piano*dad, I emailed you from PW.

(Nothing personal, dk21208... he just responded first! \:\) ).
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 12:56 PM

I understand, I wouldn't possibly hold a grudge over something that silly... *sniff*

Now, does anybody other than Nina need some help or words of encouragement regarding this song? \:\)
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 07:48 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dk21208:

Now, does anybody other than Nina need some help or words of encouragement regarding this song? \:\) [/b]
(HANDS UP)....I need both help and encouragement on the "K" version. I'm just rhythmically challenged over here...
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 08:10 PM

I am rhyhmically challenged too.... It looks very silly on the dance floor. Fortunately I can either move my feet around the dance floor or shake my arms while standing still, which leaves me a little better suited for piano than ballet. Good thing because I would look silly in a pink tutu.

Where are you starting? Where is everyone starting, for that matter? Now that we are done shuffling different versions around, I am getting anxious to get started with some of the nitty gritty and see how this process ends up working for everyone....
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 09:18 PM

I know Shirokuro suggested to start with the difficult section first. But I think I'll start with the first page one line at a time.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 09:41 PM

Nina and everyone, could you please give a measure number when talking about B's version? (sorry)

K's version has a lettered section almost every 4 measures (or is it every 4?) which makes it incredibly easy to talk about, and to break up!

K's version doesn't have those tied 16th notes in the LH like B's version does. At a glance, I thought maybe B's version would be more rhythmic because it looks more "note-y," but actually I think the LH in K's is much better over all.

Also, K's section I (which corresponds to the section starting in measure 35 in B's) has the LH all the way down at the bottom, lowest C, which is hard to practice, but IMO will sound very cool if it can be pulled off.

Opus, are you really going to try to learn both?

Kawaigirl, you'll be fine starting on page 1. If you're just going to go from the beginning, I'd recommend doing it in those 4-measure chunks and just adding on as you go.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 10:16 PM

OK, lets see if this works. Somebody suggested posting some little bits as they are learned, so I decided to try this.

I just got a new Mac laptop and I discovered I could record directly into the laptop from the piano. The mike is cruddy so don't expect much. It's sort of tinny and somewhat like a bad midi file, but oh well.

Anthony has both versions (K and B). He has spent a few hours over the past two days pounding out the first page and a half of B. Here's the result. The hard measures (26-28) intimidated him at first, but we've successfully fingered them and now he's starting to learn them. But he stops here at measure 25.

[URL= [url= http://homepage.mac.com/WebObjects/FileS...US&lang=en]File sharing page[/url]]File Sharing Page[/URL]
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 10:22 PM

Wow, piano*dad! Please tell Anthony that I am both (a) extremely impressed, and (b) extremely irked. Somehow I don't mind it when others (including 12 year olds) can play classical music that I cannot, but when it comes to music that I WANT to be able to play but cannot, I start gnashing my teeth in jealousy. Let's just say my teeth are gnashing now!
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 10:26 PM

Piano*Dad, the quality is fine for sharing in-progress work, so thank you for posting this! Was this done with a built-in mic or did you use a plug-in?

Is that you or Anthony playing? It sounds great, tempo is great, very nice forward-motion. This surely puts a fire under our benches for the rest of us!
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 10:28 PM

Geez, I just put the thing up moments ago!! You've already listened.

Monica: Which version are you playing, by the way? Anthony actually likes the first part of K better. He may try grafting them together.

Shiro: this is the built in microphone in the silly laptop. I wonder if a plug in mike would improve things or if the limitations of the laptop itself would quickly become apparent. Oh, and that's definitely Anthony playing. I don't learn music as quickly as he does.
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 10:31 PM


How I wish I could pick up a piece like that and be able to play it a few days!
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 10:33 PM

Piano*dad, any grafting he does, please share with us. Although, given the speed of his progress he'll probably just take the hardest parts of each, unlike any grafting I might do, which would be to take the easiest parts of each! :p

Seriously, I definitely like the first part of K better too (tho I'm guessing everyone figured that out already from all of my rambling!) But the B arrangement has those 16th notes in both hands (as in measure 26) which IIRC, the K arrangement doesn't have. Even though I'm thinking that section would kill me to try to learn it, it probably sounds really great...
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 10:36 PM

Petrof1,

Indeed, that was the third movement of Haydn's concerto in D. It's a standard first concerto for a kid. We never expected him to win the competition, so that was manna from heaven for him.

Like you, I wish I could pick up a piece and learn it quickly. I don't process music as rapidly as he does. I'm a tortoise, he's a hare who doesn't stop for naps.

Shiro,

At first he wanted to put together the easiest parts too! He wanted to knock out 26-28 and replace it with what K does instead. Actually, I think it might be neat to keep those arpeggiated measures but substitute K's first two pages.

Anthony is thinking about dumping the pieces into Finale and tinkering with them. If he does it, I'll save the file and make it available. I don't speak Finale, but he's learning it in his composition lessons.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 10:36 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Piano*Dad:
Monica: Which version are you playing, by the way?
[/b]
Neither of them!! [teeth still gnashing furiously in bitter jealousy].

Well, I take that back. I can play the first measure of the B version, right hand only. \:D

btw, for a built-in mic on a laptop, I thought that was outstanding recording quality.
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 10:45 PM

WOW!! That was excellent! Thanks for sharing.

I'm only playing the K version first line still at a snail pace. \:\(
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 10:49 PM

Very cool, thanks for sharing... I guess the rest of us should start posting up some stuff too? I think we are in trouble since it seems one of our participants has an agent that posts on his behalf! How do you compete with that?

Definitely keep us informed on his progress and share your/his comparisons between the two versions. They each have some preferable characteristics.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 10:52 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica Kern:
...when it comes to music that I WANT to be able to play but cannot, I start gnashing my teeth in jealousy. Let's just say my teeth are gnashing now!
I've heard people say that scales and Hanon are more effective than teeth gnashing.

Mel
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 10:58 PM

dk21208,

Call me old fashioned, but I don't let my kids post on the web or have web pages of their own (except for school related things). Anthony is almost thirteen now, and champing at the bit. He even created his own PW name, but i haven't let him post yet. Hmmmm, I suppose I should check to see if he's doing it anyway. \:D

I suspect he'll be joining the forum soon enough on his own. I wonder, would I still be Piano*Dad after he leaves the nest?
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 11:03 PM

I think that is a very intelligent decision. Internet harrassment statistics are appalling...
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 11:09 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dannylux:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Monica Kern:
...when it comes to music that I WANT to be able to play but cannot, I start gnashing my teeth in jealousy. Let's just say my teeth are gnashing now!
I've heard people say that scales and Hanon are more effective than teeth gnashing.

Mel [/b]
LOL!! Okay, you got me on that one.
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 11:09 PM

Piano Dad: I am looking forward to the day when he is ready, (with dads' ok , of course!) to post on PW. I am hoping he will reveal some of his secrets of success of his wonderful piano playing. One of the main reasons I come on this board at all is so I can learn something from all the talented musicans who frequent this board! ;\)
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/06 11:59 PM

Here's my first try at the tricky rhythm section I of the K version:


http://www.box.net/public/2jbnvcgm2q


My left hand is pretty much on auto-pilot, and I'm hearing the right hand melody in my head as I'm playing.

Sunday was the first time I tried this piece.

Mel
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 01:22 AM

Mel, thanks for sharing that! It's especially helpful because you're playing it just a little slower, and it helps to hear that.

Do you have any advice for how to approach this?

I don't know what my problem is, I can play HS LH and RH, at almost-tempo or at a slower tempo, but I can't *play* this HT. I can read the music and play the notes HT, very slowly and with basically the right timing, but I cannot *play* it. Do you know what I mean? It's like reading a foreign language where you're sounding out the words but you don't know what they mean, so you're not really "reading" it, you're just sort of faking it.

At this point, I'm just trying to keep doing that (reading it without "playing" it) in the hopes that it will kind of dawn on me at some point. Sigh.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 01:33 AM

ShiroKuro, did you see my post at the bottom of this page:


http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/32/2386/5.html


I just memorized the left hand, learned the right hand melody, and as you suggested, sing along as I play HT.

However, the key seems to be keeping the left hand essentially on auto-pilot.

Even though my playing is slow, yesterday it was twice as slow and with lots of mistakes.

Today I can get through section I slowly, but without mistakes.

It's almost like I don't even have to think about the music, although I am concentrating on the right hand in the score as I play.

Mel
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 01:40 AM

I did see your post, because I remember thinking that looking at this piece as 2 pages long really helps in making it feel manageable.

Yeah, I think I just need to do more LH work, well more HS all around. Also, I think I have convinced myself that it's hard, if you know what I mean, so I'm probably making it harder than it really is!

But one thing that kind of stuck out for me was that I can't sing it away from the piano. Usually I can do that, and esp with just a short section. So obviously, I don't have this internalized in any way. I think the fact that the rests are "staggered" just trips me up.

I think for the next few days, I'm not going to even try to play this section HT. I'm just going to work on playing it HS, and esp when playing the LH, I will work on singing the notes of the RH. If I can do that, then I should be able to get HT much more easily. Let's see how it goes...
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 01:48 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ShiroKuro:
Also, I think I have convinced myself that it's hard, if you know what I mean, so I'm probably making it harder than it really is!
I think that is completely true.

I've convinced myself that it's pretty easy.

You know, the Power of Positive Thinking.

Mel
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 07:37 AM

Mel,

That is a really tricky rhythm. Nicely done! Sounds like you'll have it at tempo soon. Anthony and I looked at that section in the K version this morning, We might chuck out the corresponding part in the B version and replace it with this much more interesting set of measures. I think that'll be a smooth cut and paste, but I'm not sure.

Shiro,

I know exactly how you feel. I am currently working up the piano part to Saint Saens' 'concert piece' for horn and piano and had the same experience. There's no magic for making that transition from HS to HT. For me, this is where memorization helps. There comes a magic moment when I have each hand well enough memorized that I look at the music only as a marker to where I am, i.e. only a small part of my mind is reading the notes and the rest is thinking about how the music fits together. Then it begins to click. The transformation to really playing the piece usually happens startlingly fast, like over the course of an hour.

David
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 08:20 AM

 Quote:
Piano*Dad,
Anthony is thinking about dumping the pieces into Finale and tinkering with them. If he does it, I'll save the file and make it available.
Please do, I/we would be very interested in playing the version edited by Anthony.

I'm anxious to get home tonight so that I can listen to the recordings by Anthony & Mel.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 09:01 AM

Thanks, David.

I think what I'll do is use the K version, but paste the left hand arpeggios starting at measure 26 of the B version into the K version at section G.

Those arpeggios are fun, and I wouldn't want to omit them.

I think this fingering is good for the left hand arpeggios:

[IMG] [/IMG]

It might seem strange at first, but I think it will work.

I edited the image to the revised fingering from my post, below.

Mel
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 09:16 AM

Anthony uses a different fingering. If I remember, I'll post it this evening. Every fingering for this will seem a bit strange for a while. There is no magic formula here for a "best fingering."

This three measure passage is one reason I think the piece was written in Finale or Sibelius rather than at a piano or keyboard. Anthony writes stuff into Finale that he himself can't play. When he takes it to the piano he sees that what sounds nice harmonically on the computer doesn't always work well with his hands!
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 09:26 AM

Actually, that last note, the A flat, should be fingered 1 not 5, to make the move to the next note, a G octave, smoother.

Mel
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 09:29 AM

Mel,
I use a fingering that corresponds to the conventional fingering for arpeggios in that key. Have you compared that fingering with what you're using now?
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 09:34 AM

Piano*Dad, interesting comment, I assume you mean the B version was perhaps written with notation software, as opposed to the K version? I've found the K version to be very straight-forward for fingering so far.

Hmm, that arpeggio section.. It sure does look pretty on the page, we'll see how much energy I have left after section I...
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 09:37 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dk21208:
We almost need separate threads to discuss what we are going to do and then what we are doing....

 Quote:
Originally posted by kawaigirl1:

Here's my fingering for the LH for measure 26 :

5-4-2-1-2-1-2-4-5-4-2-1-2-1-2-4

measure 27: (LH)

3-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-5-4-2-1-2-1-2-3

measure 28: (LH)

2-1-3-2-1-2-3-1-5-4-2-1-2-1-2-4
I changed it up a little for myself:

meas 26: 5-3-2-1-2-1-2-3, 5-3-2-1-2-1-2-4
meas 27: 3-2-1-2-1-2-3-1, 5-3-1-2-1-2-3-1
meas 28: 4-2-1-2-1-2-3-1, 5-3-2-1-2-1-2-3

I thought maybe this better sets up the hand to go from the Eb arpp. to the Ab arpp. Also, for those of you that have skinnier hands than me... The Eb felt real nice when I played it 5-4-3-2-1-2-3-5, but my fourth finger always scrubs the blacks on both side of the G, so I bailed on the possibility of that fingering.

What do you think? [/b]
These are some alternate fingerings from kawaigirl1 and dk21208.

However, I really don't like crossing 2 over the thumb, unless absolutely necessary.

I think my fingering is better exercise for all of the fingers.

But can I eventually play the passage smoothly and quickly with my fingering?

I'll keep you posted.

Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 09:39 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Opus45:
Mel,
I use a fingering that corresponds to the conventional fingering for arpeggios in that key. Have you compared that fingering with what you're using now? [/b]
Yes, I have.

My fingering results in a much smoother flow of the music, I feel.

Mel
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 09:40 AM

DannyLux: About those measures that you just posted (26), K version, I just LOVE :3hearts: , the Right Hand ! The melody is so energetic, I feel like I am flying when I play it! It is so much FUN to play, although I must admit the fingering is a little tricky, that has to be worked out! I haven't been to play the Left Hand together with the Right hand yet! It will be a struggle for me to put both those hands together! It might take a miracle for me! \:D
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 09:45 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by petrof1:
[QB] DannyLux: About those measures that you just posted (26), K version, I just LOVE :3hearts: , the Right Hand ! The melody is so energetic, I feel like I am flying when I play it!
Petrof1, I agree with you completely.

It's a gorgeous section!

Bach would have been proud to compose it, I think.

Mel
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 10:24 AM

Normally I set up my fingerings by trial and error. I decided to break the mold and join in on proposed fingerings for those arppegios without having played through it much at all. My goal was to find a fingering that would progress from one arppegio to the next and set me up for faster transitions.


dannylux: You state different goals for your fingerings:

 Quote:
These are some alternate fingerings from kawaigirl1 and dk21208.

However, I really don't like crossing 2 over the thumb, unless absolutely necessary.

I think my fingering is better exercise for all of the fingers.

But can I eventually play the passage smoothly and quickly with my fingering?
Can you expand upon that theory? Also, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get a fingering like yours up to speed without excessive missed/wrong notes.


Opus45 or dannylux: Can you post what would be considered conventional fingering for those arppegios?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 05:39 PM

dk,

Well, I just looked for my sheet of paper with the guidelines for fingering arppegios & can't find it.

But, I sat down & worked out what I think might be close to conventional findering (and I may be way off base here).

For the same three measures, left hand:

[26] 5-4-2-1-2-1-2-4 5-4-2-1-2-1-2-5

[27] 3-2-1-3-1-3-1-2 5-4-3-2-1-2-4-5

[28] 3-1-4-2-1-2-4-1 5-4-2-1-2-1-2-4

(I haven't yet tried this, or Mel's suggested fingering, so I don't really know which one would work better for me as I attempt to bring those measures up to speed)

[Edit...this fingering looks nearly identical to what Kawaigirl already posted]
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 06:22 PM

Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 06:42 PM

Jeff,

A piece like this is really multiple pieces. What you heard recorded (measures 1-25) was something he essentially sightread over and over into submission. He started slowly, of course, just reading through the notes. I think he practiced the RH alone for a while, but the left hand of the B version is just broken chords and octaves except for measures 14-16. I don't know how he did those measures because i wasn't listening.

I sat with him for a few minutes on 17-25 so he could really understand the voicing in the RH. But he understood that pretty instinctively. He really didn't have any difficulty with this section. Me ....14-16 would drive me nuts.

BTW, he plays with his middle school jazz band. One thing that has done for him is improve his sight reading. He'll be given a new piece in class and be expected to sight read it that afternoon with the group. They only have single notes to pound out and he's struggling with seventh chords and syncopated rhythms at tempo. A great experience. \:D :p

So, you want it recorded it at half tempo. Hmmmmmmmm. That's actually difficult for lots of folk, me included. Once I get a certain rhythm or flow, cutting the speed sometimes does funny things. But I suppose we could give it a whirl.

He's got 26-34 at half speed now. Then I think we're going to try to squeeze in the next three measures from the K version. They're more interesting than what is in the B version at the same place.


By the way, here's the fingering we're using for 26-28


26: 5-4-2-1 2-1-2-4 5-4-2-1 2-1-2-4

27: 3-2-1-2 1-2-4-1 5-3-2-1 2-1-2-3

28: 2-1-4-2 1-2-4-1 4-4-2-1 2-1-2-4


It may be unorthodox, but it works for him
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 10:17 PM

The problem with Opus' and Anthony's fingering is that in measure 26 they both have the 4th finger on E flat, followed by the 5th finger on low F.

This is a very difficult jump.

My fingering puts the thumb on E flat, so the hand is set up perfectly for the 5th finger to reach the F.

Also, both of you end measure 28 with the 4th finger on A flat, making the jump to the next G octave very hard.

I feel the thumb should be on A flat, which sets up the hand for the G octave in measure 29.


OK, here's my new revised fingering:


26) 5-4-3-2-1-2-3-1 5-4-3-2-1-2-3-5

27) 4-2-1-2-1-2-4-1 5-4-3-2-1-2-3-5

28) 4-3-2-1-2-1-2-3 5-4-3-2-1-2-3-1


This does away with some of the awkwardness of my first attempt.

The main problem in my fingering is in measure 26, the stretch between the 4th finger on E flat and the 3rd finger on G.

This is hard to do at speed.

I'll have to see how this goes in the next few days.

My left hand and lower arm muscles are already a little sore from practicing this.

Mel
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 10:26 PM

 Quote:
My left hand and lower arm muscles are already a little sore from practicing this.
Well, now there's a real recommendation for that fingering. \:D ;\)
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/14/06 10:32 PM

By the way, you're quite right about that stretch in measure 26. It is a jump. But you can essentially treat it as though it's the end of a phrase and make a little hop. We'll see if it works. If it doesn't, we've got about a dozen other choices already worked out here!
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 07:18 AM

Someone a ways back mentioned that they were having trouble with fingering in the K version,
so I thought I'd post my fingering for pages 2 and 3, starting with section E:





Section F has the exact same fingering, an octave higher.

Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 07:22 AM

Here's the right hand fingering for section G.

Alternate fingering is in brackets.





Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 07:27 AM

The fingering for section H:





Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 07:36 AM

And the fingering for section I:





The left hand fingering in the I section is:

5-3-1-2-3-4-5-3...etc.


Mr. Obvious says that probably everyone figured that one out.

Mel
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 08:53 AM

Mel,
This is incredibly helpful! How did you get your fingering indications to look so neat? I'm assuming you scanned the measures, then resized them.
I noticed when I clicked onto the images, that it took me to imageshack, is that what you use?

I don't know why I'm always fascinated by different fingerings different people use, but I am.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 09:33 AM

OK, here's what we've decided to do as far as splicing together the two versions.

Use B for measures 1-34

Then switch to K for sections I through M

Then return to B for the rest of the piece in C sharp minor.


Here's the rationale:

The B version starts cleanly and simply. It doesn't have the agitated bass adding color and thrust. We like the simpler beginning. It sets the stage in an elegant and uncluttered way. But then B goes into that neat contrasting arpeggio pattern that is so lyrical. It stays.

Alas, the B version gets a bit dull in the middle. So here we input the K version's wild section I. Once you have played that devilish pattern (which you have ground into your medulla) the stage is set for a return to the main theme, this time using the more complicated K version. By carrying the K version through section M you get the whole theme fully developed in what amounts to an extended variation.

Section M ends with the shift up to C sharp minor, and you can work back to the B version seamlessly. This allows you to return to the simpler pattern of the beginning, but you're doing it a half step up for color.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 09:57 AM

I can do some low tech cut/paste (with scissors), then photocopy, clean it up & scan the revised version into a new pdf document.

Is there a better way?
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 10:21 AM

Jeff,

The only alternative I know of is to write it note by note into Finale. That would be a pain. I can't convert into PDF at home (where I am right now). Does our little version appeal to you?

David
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 06:47 PM

Piano*Dad, very interesting! I was preferring the K beginning, but thinking about the piece as a whole does make a simpler beginning more appealing. And of course, there is that contrasting arppegio pattern...

Regarding making a hybrid score. In theory [/b] I should be able to scan both of these pieces into PrintMusic (the notation software that I use.) Once they're in PrintMusic, there's no need to enter note for note, all you have to do is cut and paste.

In reality[/b] , there are several snags that would likely come up. First of all, I haven't tried to scan into PrintMusic yet, so I don't know how well it works, but one problem that's frequently mentioned is that sometimes information is lost and has to be re-entered by hand. Also, I sometimes use Print Music for making my own arrangements, and it is a nightmare! So once both scores were in Print Music, then I'd probably have to have a full-on, knock-down drag-out battle with my computer to get a hybrid score that was as nicely laid out as the two versions we have now.

Having said that, I'd be willing to try (though perhaps not this weekend) since I have all the necessary elements, i.e. a scanner and notation software. Unless someone else is more adept at this sort of thing? Which wouldn't take much :p
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 06:49 PM

Or I could scan it into Print Music, which IIRC is a Finale product, and then maybe Piano*Dad could do the hard work in Finale? (kind of pathetic, I know...) Assuming you have Finale, David.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 08:11 PM

I'm still working my way through sections A, B, & C of the K version.
Is anyone else still with me, or has everyone already mastered the Croatian Rhapsody?
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 08:23 PM

Shiro,

Actually, I have PrintMusic as well. I just say Finale because more people seem to know it than PrintMusic. PrintMusic is just Finale Lite anyway. I didn't know you could scan things into it. Anthony is the one who uses the program. I'll ask him if he knows how to do that.

Our little arrangement is only one of a zillion possible ways to combine the versions, but it seemed to make a certain amount of sense.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 08:31 PM

Opus, I'm stumbling through A, B, C, D and E, and also I, of the K version. Maybe I'll post a recording of my fumbling-- I mean practicing, this weekend just so the rest of us won't feel so bad listening to people like Mel and Piano*Son!

Yesterday I think I did more harm than good, one of those practice sessions where it just seems like all I'm doing is repeating my mistakes instead of correcting them. I'm hoping it was just because of some external reason (the weather was really bad, I'm sure that's why!) And hopefully when I sit down to work on it today, the damage won't be as bad as I thought....
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 08:33 PM

Oh, as far as posting an in-progress recording, which would be a temporary thing, should I just use savefile? I've only used it to download so far, it's not tricky to upload is it? Do you have to create an account?
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/06 10:11 PM

Shiro, try box.net instead. (Look for the box.net thread for instructions.) It is much nicer than savefile and easier to download off of. And they give you lots of free space.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 06:36 AM

Here's my 2nd attempt at the tricky rhythm section I of the K version:


http://www.box.net/public/12trptni2e


This is much faster than my 1st attempt, but at quarter note = 77, it's still 20 points slower than the recommended 97.

I've noticed that I've really been pounding this out with a lot of force on the piano.

Is anyone else doing this?

It seems to help in getting the rhythm down.

Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 06:50 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Opus45:
Mel,
This is incredibly helpful! How did you get your fingering indications to look so neat? I'm assuming you scanned the measures, then resized them.
I noticed when I clicked onto the images, that it took me to imageshack, is that what you use?[/b]
No, Opus, I don't have a scanner.

I used the pdf of the sheets you so kindly sent me.

After finding the page I wanted, I hit "Print Screen" on my keyboard.

Then I opened Paint (start>all programs> accessories), and clicked on 'Paste' under Edit.

I used Paint to number the notes and edit the sections I wanted, and then saved the file.

Uploading the file to imageshack gave me a hot link to post.

Mel
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 06:52 AM

Well as usual, you're faster than the rest of us- in more ways than one! ;\)

Are you finding that this section just speeds up on its own, or have you been doing anything special to pick up the speed yourself? Are you doing a lot of metronome work with this section?
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 07:10 AM

 Quote:
Are you finding that this section just speeds up on its own, or have you been doing anything special to pick up the speed yourself? Are you doing a lot of metronome work with this section?
No, today was the first time I used the metronome, and that was only to get an idea of how far I have to go.

I haven't been doing anything special to pick up speed.

I just practice it slowly and accurately, hitting the keys hard.

Then I try a little faster.

Repeat this hundreds of times.

Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 07:52 AM

Here's my fingering for section A of the K version:





I was having trouble with the group of four 16th notes in the 3rd measure.

Then I realized that as I play the high C with my thumb, I can pivot my hand counter-clockwise around my thumb, like I'm playing a downward scale, and my 2nd and 5th fingers land easily on the G and C.

I do the same in the 2nd measure, with my 1st and 5th fingers on G and D, I pivot on G and 2 and 5 land on D and G.

This works in many places in this piece.

Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 08:02 AM

And here's my fingering for section C of the K version:





Again, notice how much easier it is to play, if you pivot your hand using your thumb as an anchor in each of the 4 measures.

Mel
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 08:20 AM

Mel,

Sounds to me like you are really getting a good handle on the "I" section. Your latest recording sounds very solid and confident. Your recording is going to be a tremendous help when I get to that section. Also, I appreciate you sharing the metronome setting with your recordings (will be helful to refer to it later).

I'm still working on sections A, B, & C, and I haven't even played it against the metronome yet, I'm still just getting comfortable with the general feel of the notes (what I call my level one learning).

Thanks for the tips on how you posted the measures with the fingering suggestions. I may try that this weekend.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 10:06 AM

Ok, I seem to be having some success with box.net, so hopefully you can hear my recording here:

Croatian Rhapsody A through E

The only reason I'm posting this is because.. well, actually I can't think of one good reason for posting this. But here it is. It's kind of like answering the door in your bathrobe.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 10:15 AM

Wow, ShiroKuro! That sounded great...I believe you ARE going to be able to play this piece perfectly, and sooner than you think.

Which version are you playing, btw? I don't have the sheet music in front of me.

p.s. I loved your "answering the door in your bathrobe" comment. \:D \:D

p.p.s. I can think of MANY good reasons to post your progress, the most important one being that it gives hope to the rest of us that Croatian Rhapsody IS actually learnable!
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 10:24 AM

THANKS SHIROKURO!!!

Sounds Good! I think it's a good idea for us to post these as we work them out. [I'll look into this box.net site this weekend]

Monica, she is playing the K version. (by the way Monica, this piece is not as difficult as you might think....since we're going to take forever to learn it, why don't you reconsider and join on in?)
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 10:26 AM

Monica, thanks for listening! And thanks for the encouragement. I am playing the K version, I haven't decided if I'll do something like what Piano*Dad described, mixing the two. Right now I'll be happy if I can just get through this one as it is!
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 10:29 AM

Thanks Opus. (I think we were simul-posting.)

I think if nothing else, we'll all benefit from hearing different sections at much slower tempos than the recording.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 10:30 AM

ShiroKuro that's great!

I find the rhythm in the D section very tricky.

It's almost like I have to feel it in my body more than know it in my mind, something I'm not used to doing.

 Quote:
The only reason I'm posting this is because.. well, actually I can't think of one good reason for posting this.
I feel that the reason that I'm doing this is to have a 'shared experience' with everyone on this thread.

If one doesn't share, it's kind of hard to have a shared experience, and the effect is rather lonely.

Learning a piece takes many hours of solitary practice.

Sharing the struggles and the triumphs adds a tremendous amount of joy to the work.

I could learn Croatian Rhapsody by myself, but why would I want to do it alone when I could be part of a group?

A group experience increases the joy exponentially.

Mel
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 10:32 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Opus45:
(by the way Monica, this piece is not as difficult as you might think....since we're going to take forever to learn it, why don't you reconsider and join on in?) [/b]
[laughs hysterically] Opus, this piece is EXACTLY as difficult as I imagine! I do have the music and I will confess to taking it out and dabbling with it. But I also have a realistic sense of how long it would take me to learn it (>6 months), so I think I will just keep on doing my not-so-silent lurking. ;\)
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 10:37 AM

Mel, excellent point! Esp because usually, pianistic pursuit is much more solitary than other instruments. I was just feeling embarassed, not used to sharing something that's so in-progress.

Well, I am going to continue sharing then, since people are so kind! \:\)

If anyone wants to hear HS for a section, let me know, because I'd be happy to share that, esp the LH parts.

Also if anyone wants to set up a box.net account, here's an invitation:

https://www.box.net/signup/invitation/shiro_kuro88@yahoo.co.jp

Oyasumi \:\)
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 10:41 AM

Good Job!
Thanks Shiro for sending this to us.You are an inspiration for slow folks like me! :rolleyes:

Honestly it helps ME to hear it at a slightly slower version than the one played by Kenji Kanelasu. ;\)
It helps me to pick up a little better on some of the note patterns and the music theory level of the song when I hear it being played even at a slightly slower tempo.Am I making sense?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 10:42 AM

Mel...you just put into words, in a very elegant way, reasons for forming and participating in these groups. Thanks.

Shiro...yes, I agree completely...very beneficial to hear these peices at a slower tempo (especially since I spend so much time playing them at a slower tempo during my learning process)

Monica: Okay, point taken. However, I will say that I have probably overextended myself by joining in so many different groups....the only way the group experience will work for me will be if there's enough folks out there learning these pieces at a slow enough rate. Otherwise, I'll go back into my solitude and read over the posts from all the whiz kids who've mastered them & moved on. And as you say, you've already dabbled...and you should be warned, if you dabble much more, you'll be hooked!
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 10:42 AM

Monica, if you count all of the repeated sections, this piece is only 2 pages long.

I've heard you play, and there is no doubt in my mind that you could learn Croatian Rhapsody in a couple of months.

Looking at the K version as only 2 pages rather than 5, means that if we learn one measure in 2 days, the piece will be playable in 2 months.

Join us!

We want Monica!

Mel
Posted by: Euan Morrison

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/16/06 12:58 PM

Reading the posts above about 'shared experiences', and 'solitude' put me in the mood for posting to the group. In the last few days I've been looking at the music and forming a strategy for learning it.

Until recently, I was happy to work on it myself, but maybe I should post more often to get the full 'group experience'.

Using the Burrows transcription, this weekend I will be working on the fast, baroque-sounding section (the 'cool bit', IMO)

Shiro, I'm just heading away for the evening, but will listen to your recording as soon as possible. I'm sure its fantastic, as is everything you play.

And Monica, I'm another person voting you INTO the group! If I'm brave/stupid/insane enough to try this, I know you can master it better than me. Go on.....
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/17/06 09:24 AM

It took me such a long time to play sections A, B, & C in time with the metronome (very tricky). But, I'm finally able to play these sections with a metronome speed of about 50. Progress!

I think I'll spend some time (off & on) this weekend getting control of these same sections. (also working on other pieces).

Edit...Doggonit...I had it with the metronome before , now it seems I lost it again, having trouble playing these sections smoothly at a Largo tempo (40-60). I usually learn a piece by sight reading it first, getting the notes under my fingers so to speak, then apply a metronome at a slow tempo & gradually work it up.
For the Croatian Rhapsody, I'm having a time (groan) playing this with the metronome. Does anyone else learn this way (notes first, timing second...)? Did anyone start learning this with the metronome right off the bat? (just curious)
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/17/06 09:39 AM

Ok, big progress on Section I between yesterday and today! Big!! Yes! Perhaps I'll try to record it tomorrow.

Here's what I clued into that made all the difference in the world for me. Yes, I agree with Mel, it's good to put your LH on auto-pilot. But, I really have to listen to the LH part, esp to the rests. I have to *feel* the rests in the LH. The rests in the right hand are part of the "story" that the RH is telling, whereas the rests in the LH happen in the same place, so I have to feel "yes, this is the place for the LH rest" and I have to hear it, listen for it.

When I get stuck in working on this section, I go back to LH only practice, even once or twice through, and then I'm ready to go back to HT.

Oh, the other thing that is hugely helpful for me is to play HS very slowly, as slowly as I'll need to go when I move to HT. This is something I know to do, but often forget.

HS is funny practice, because you need to be able to play twice as fast HS in order to make the switch to HT at the slower speed that HT requires. But, with something tricky like section I here, when you slow down you lose the stride or the bounce of the story there.

So here is my advice, if I may be so bold, to anyone who's interested and hasn't tackled this section yet. Start HS, LH and RH, and work on it until you can play it pretty fast. Then switch to HT and if you can just do it, then tells us and we'll all be jealous. If you can't do it, just feel how awkward everything is (and complain about it here.)

Next, slow down your HS practice, go veryvery slow. Force yourself to play through HT at the slowest speed you need to make it happen, even if you cannot hear the music in what you're playing.

Now, go back to a mid-level speed LH (but not your highest HS speed.) Listen to the LH, hear how it sounds, and then work on HT at this slow speed, always staying tuned in to the LH. Go back to HS as needed, but always at the same tempo as your HT tempo. At the end of every practice session, play this once more, very slowly.

After you "get" it, after there's stride and story even in your slow HT play, then go back to faster HS play and let the section speed itself up naturally.

------ End of Unsolicited Advice----

This might just be the way I work, but I really think that the key to this entire piece is in the LH. It feels to me like the LH is a rock bassist and the RH is a classical violinist. Most of us play classical or at least new age-y stuff, so the RH is going to be easier. I start with the LH HS every time I sit down to play the first page and a half. And when I can feel the stride, almost the swagger, in the LH, then I move on to the RH and HT.

(I think I need to see some old John Wayne clips, I've got swagger on the brain)

Ok, I practiced myself into an excited frenzy tonight, enough of this endlessly rambling post!
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/17/06 10:24 AM

 Quote:
originally from ShiroKuro
End of Unsolicited Advice
Nonsense Shiro, all advice here is solicited.

And by the way, your advice is terrific. I WILL follow it when I get to the very scary section "I". You have a great talent for putting what you're doing into words (I can imagine how helpful this is for you in the teaching profession).
Posted by: Nina

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/17/06 12:25 PM

I'm not sure how much benefit hands-separate practice will be on this piece, once you've gotten the notes down reasonably.

So much of this piece is syncopated, where the left hand slides in between the right hand notes. I find it much easier to learn that stuff by playing it hands together. It also might be useful to take a pencil and lightly draw connecting lines between the left hand notes and the right hand notes, so you can see when you are playing notes together and when you are adding a left-hand syncopation.

Also, the left hand motif that starts with the 'C' section reminds me a lot of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody. I want to play that very rhythmically, really drawing out the left-hand syncopation. Anyone else feel the same way? (For those using the other version, I'm talking about the section starting on measure 10.)
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/17/06 07:28 PM

Opus, thanks! \:\) I think I might just fit nicely into that famous cateorgy, "those who can't, teach" :p

Nina, that's why I said "this might just be the way I work" because I'm not sure how applicable my approach is for everyone else. And I think we're all going to end up with a different idea about which section is the most difficult.

But I think what you're saying about HS practice is essentially the same thing that I discovered, namely that the HS practice I normally do for other pieces isn't going to get me very far with this piece.

For section I, I still can't sing the RH while playing the LH (which is one of the mainstays of my usual HS practice.) But if I focus on listening to the LH while doing HT, then I think I end up getting something that's very similar.

Also, I sometimes do line-drawing between notes in the LH and RH. I highly recommend it for anyone who's getting tripped up. Another thing I do is draw a line down (or up) when one hand's note falls in between the notes on the other hand, I'll do this esp if I'm in danger of playing those notes together. I find that very helpful visually.

And, if someone hasn't already mentioned this here, if you want to try metronome practice, esp with something like section I, another trick is to double the beat. In other words, let the metronome click once for every 8th note, so that you count 8 beats per measure. I did a few run-throughs in section I with the metronome set at 63 or so, but counting those beats as 8th notes (so I was really playing at about MM=31.) Not only does this force you to play very slowly, but it also lets you see exactly what's going on in those 16th notes/rests blocks that cover one beat.

Now I'm off to listen to Hungarian Rhapsody! \:\)
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/17/06 11:19 PM

LAST CALL for Piano Life, vol 4[/b]

Those of you who want to order a hard copy of this Japanese Magazine which contains the transcription for the "Croatian Rhapsody as performed by Kenji Kanemasu" ["K" Version].

Let me know![/b]

(I will need a mailing address to send it to when it arrives in the U.S.)
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/18/06 09:11 AM

ShiroKuro, that's great that you got the I section HT!

Isn't that a fantastic feeling, even playing it very slowly?

And don't you want to share it with everyone?

It's strange that our methods are opposite.

I concentrate on listening to my right hand, while you concentrate on your left hand.

I wonder if this has to do with being left-brained or right-brained.

Being a scientist, I'm definitely left-brained.

Are you right-brained?

Nina, I also practice sections A through D HT.

I spent very little time playing the RH alone, mainly to get the fingering and the feel of the notes.

For the 'Baroque' section, E through H, I also practice it HT, after learning the RH alone fingering.

However, sections G and H are tricky, and I did quite a lot of RH practicing, slowly and without the pedal, so I could hear any uneveness in my touch.

But I think we should always keep in mind that many people would benefit tremendously from extended HS practice, as ShiroKuro describes.

When it comes time to memorize this piece, I'll memorize each section HS, and then put each hand together. I tried this technique several months ago and it worked really well. It sounds tedious, but it is not.

This K version is really terrific!

I'm enjoying learning it so much.

However, it should come with a Surgeon General's warning: Highly Addictive and Obsessive.

Enter at your own risk!

Mel
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/18/06 10:52 AM

 Quote:
originally posted by dk21208:

I kind of like the idea of six months to completion. Any suggestions for significant milestones within the piece? I tend to tackle my music sequentially by the page. Or we could subdivide the themes out. I am game for any rough outline we want to apply.

As an example:
1 page per month to equal the six months. We could further break down weekly goals.
Start Page 1
Week 1: Establish fingerings, identify trouble spots within page 1.
Week 2: Able to play through page 1 at tempo 50
Week 3: Page 1 tempo = 70
Week 4: Page 1 tempo = 80
Start page 2
Week 5: Establish fingerings, identify trouble spots within page 2. Page 1 tempo = 85
Week 6: Page 2 tempo = 50. Page 1 tempo = 90
etc.

That might be way to agressive a pace to bring the tempo up....

Let me just finish up by saying that I think this concept is very exciting and I look forward to trying out a team learning approach.
I am on target with the timing and approach suggested by dk (able to play page 1 at tempo=50). I wish I had more time to work on it (okay who am I kidding, I wish I was more proficient on the piano & could learn it faster).

It looks like we have a fast track and a slow track here. :p

Anyone else on the slow track with the Croatian Rhapsody?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/18/06 12:49 PM

I may have to take back what I said about being on the slow track. I just played through the second page of the K version and was able to fairly quickly "sight read it into submission", to borrow an expression from Piano*Dad (Happy Father's Day Piano*Dad).

Therefore, it looks like my next challenge is the dreaded and much talked about section "I".

I'm going to consider also learning the corresponding sections from the B Version prior to (or along with) learning the dreaded "Section I" in the K version.

Mel, you're right, this music is addictive.
Posted by: Laura D

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/18/06 12:56 PM

 Quote:
Anyone else on the slow track with the Croatian Rhapsody?
[waving hand wildly] That is me. I have too much other stuff to do. But it sure is fun to practice!
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/18/06 01:42 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Laura D:
[QUOTE]Anyone else on the slow track with the Croatian Rhapsody?
I second that. I'm currently learning the B version althought I like the begining and section I of the K version . I may just cut n paste certain parts and make my own version.
My metronome speed right now is eight note = 72, (talk about snail pace.. \:\( ) However, I can play through steadily to measure 55 of the B version.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/18/06 02:31 PM

Thanks Jeff. Way to sightread it into submission. \:D

I spent yesterday wandering around DC with Anthony and last night at the piano party in Alexandria. That was my fathers day treat.

Happy fathers' day to all
Posted by: Nina

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/18/06 11:58 PM

I'm on major slow track and freaking out. I've done something to my pinky finger in the left hand, and I really can't play much at all! \:\(

I'm not sure what's going on. I must've jammed it or something. (At least I hope that's all it is.)

So no one is on a slower track than me!
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/19/06 12:38 AM

I am trying so many new things this weekend. I finally purchased a domain since my brother-in-law agreed to host it in exchange for some web page work on my part.

Now that I have the web space I feel as if I no longer can get away with having never posted anything around here. In the spirit of sharing progress I am posting a reording of me playing at 1/4 = 50 . I have decided that the K version is actually more difficult for me to play than the B. I also found out that when I play the B version I lose my timing for the K. So I think I am putting it aside to work on just the K for now.

That dreaded I section really is getting me. I think I am going to count on muscle memory to get me through that one. The problem for some reason is when I step away from it for an extended period of time I have to slow back down and get my fingers under control. I also have this problem if I speed up the metronome too soon.

The posted recording is after about 30 min of general practice today followed by 15 min of focus on G, H, and I. I get through G okay, but for some reason H get my fingers tied up in knots...

The final new thing I have done this weekend is to join the bandwagon and create my very own podcast. So anyone that wants to catch my progression through Croation Rhapsody as a podcast can subscribe to it with the following URL: http://www.crazymackerel.com/RSS_Croation.xml

If you try the podcast please let me know how it works out.

Ok, I have stayed up way to late tonight... I will hopefully find time to post more trials and tribulations tomorrow.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/19/06 06:07 AM

dk, that's a fantastic job with A through I.

It took me quite a while to figure out your web page.

I couldn't find any links. It's a very 'busy' page. Then I finally found the mp3 URL and copied it into my browser.

The H section is definitely tricky, and my fingers get twisted there, also.

But your playing A through I at quarter note=50 means that you're more than half-way to the indicated 97.

This is great work for only having the sheets for one week.

And it's also impressive that you're lifting your fingers for the rests in the I section.

I've only touched on that.

Opus, that's terrific that you have the first page at 50, also.

We're all going to have this piece in 'playable' condition in 7 more weeks.

Maybe not performance quality, but certainly playable and enjoyable.

Mel
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/19/06 08:19 AM

Oops, I guess I managed to link the xml file to both those links. I fixed it now so you can access the file directly from the first link.

 Quote:
originally posted by dannylux:
It took me quite a while to figure out your web page.

I couldn't find any links. It's a very 'busy' page.
Regarding the web page, I was hoping nobody would notice that... I haven't spent the time to really decide wqhat to do with it so I just grabbed some stuff out of a hat so I have a placeholder for now. I was more focused on trying to post some music.

 Quote:
originally posted by dannylux:
And it's also impressive that you're lifting your fingers for the rests in the I section.

I've only touched on that.
I don't think I could play the I section without lifting for those rests. It is so confusing that I actually make an effort to overexaggerate my finger movements to prevent mental lapses and finger slipups. Which now that I think about it probably results in some pretty comical entertainment for my wife.

 Quote:
originally posted by dannylux:
Opus, that's terrific that you have the first page at 50, also.

We're all going to have this piece in 'playable' condition in 7 more weeks.

Maybe not performance quality, but certainly playable and enjoyable.
Not unless I can get my fingers under better control... I practiced A-I at 1/4 = 56. As of yesterday that was the threshold of being able to keep it under control. And I had to cut it back down to 1/4 = 50 just to record it clean. I guess when you are talking about 16th notes one little click faster on the metronome makes a significant difference...
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/19/06 09:41 AM

DK, erm, what's a podcast? (nobady laugh, remember, I'm not on the N.American continent, and tend to be a little out of it!)

But more importantly, FANTASTIC JOB!!!! wow! Next time you record, would you force yourself to make some mistakes, just so I don't feel so bad! :p Seriously, I am really impressed that you were able to stay at the tempo throughout, with no flubs. I have a tendancy to want to run through the parts I can play fast, and so I have to force myself to slow down. Somehow, that in and of itself is enough to make me start slipping up, often it feels like a concentration problem.

I also like what you're doing in "I," very musical. And your LH is great throughout. Wow, you have really brought this to a great place.

So how are you doing with speed? You mentioned keeping your fingers under control... When you start to speed up, do you have a "bag of tricks" that you use for speed? One thing I like to do is just really lose all control. Don't worry about mistakes or playing the right notes. Let's say I'm keeping up 8th note=80-84 (which is about where I'm at these days.) I put the metronome at some impossible speed, like 4th note=72 (i.e. more than twice what I can play) and then just do my best to keep up with it. Then, I move back down, but one or two clicks above where I was before, so let's say 90. After the way-too-fast setting, this setting suddenly feels very manageable. I am not ready to start this kind of practice yet, but this will be one of the things I'll do when I want to speed up.

Right now, I'm having trouble going from I to the first measure of J, I just cannot get this measure!
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/19/06 01:22 PM

ShiroKuro,

I am not actually certain how best to describe what a podcast is. If anyone else can chime in with a more suitable description it will be helpful. But, here goes...

A podcast is a way of delivering a series of content "episodes" to the viewer with minimal effort. Let's say I am going to post my progress every 3 days. You want to listen to my posts each time they come up, but don't want to go through the effort of finding the link when I post each time. If you subscribe to my podcast (with specific podcast downloading software, which is usually free, for example iTunes) then the software will take the responsibility of finding and downloading new episodes for you.

Does that make sense, or did I just confuse matters? Here is a better way to learn about it:

Podcasting as defined by Wikipedia
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/19/06 01:41 PM

I, unfortunately, have no bag of tricks. I use a metronome almost constantly right now. My biggest thing is finding the balance between pushing the speed enough to show consistant improvement, but not so fast that everything falls apart. I think I had mentioned that I was playing it at 56, which had me to the breaking point. I definitely had to step it back in order to be mentally capable of holding it all together for a recording.

I have not ventured to far into section J just yet. I guess that is going to be on my agenda for this week. I have noticed, though, that those jumps in the right hand feel larger than they are. The bigger issue for me is that the left hand is coming up in octaves pretty fast too. It is just going to be another section that requires tediously slow practice to get the movement down before working it in with sections I or K. I think I am noticing a pattern here.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/19/06 06:16 PM

dk21208

Nice recording man! I was going to give it a rest this evening but you just motivated me to get the second page up to 1/4=50.

This is dk21208\'s recording . [1/4=50]

(off to the piano)

Edit:

Excellent recording!![/b]

It's going to take me more time to get the second page up to 50

Can you folks imagine ripping through this at 1/4=97? What a blast that will be!

Appreciate you sharing that recording dk, I can tell I was a bit off on my rhythm just by listening to it.

Thanks.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/19/06 06:16 PM

Re section J.. For me, I think it's difficult because both the LH and RH have to make a shift to the right, and then both hands have to come down together on the second beat (where the RH jumps down to... don't have the score, what was it G and D?) I think if the RH didn't have that second beat, I'd be fine. Also, I'm bringing my thumb up for the 16th note that jumps up to C before the second beat goes to the F just above it, and I haven't decided if that's the best way to do it or not. However, just writing this has made really visualize that measure, maybe that in and of itself will help! \:\)

DK, re speed.. when I was trying increase my speed with an Invention, my piano teacher told me that I shouldn't use the metronome too much. She said sometimes it's better to speed up without it, get comfortable with that speed and then use the metronome to check to see if your timing is ok. What that does for me is makes the higher speed be a speed that originates from me, from inside my head, as opposed to outside of me, from the metronome. Maybe that helps me because it makes the increasing speed more mine...

Also, if you haven't tried something like what I described in an above post (cranking up the metronome, then dropping back down and repeating that process several times so that each drop-back is still slightly faster than before) I highly recommend it. I think I'm going to call this the crank-and-drop method (sounds like a weight lifting term!)

You described the speed at which things fall apart, or your breaking point... I think you should definitely just let things fall apart and push past the speed where what you're playing makes sense. Your recording was so precise and accurate, a little falling-apart won't be a permanent thing, and might really be a good thing. I may be wrong, but I think speed is just as much an attitude thing as it is a learned thing. Of course you have to learn the notes, learn the fingerings and learn the score so that you know where you're going. But you also have to know what it feels like to fly, and have the fearless attitude that you can fly. What I get from doing the crank-and-drop method is the feeling of flying forward (or being thrown forward!) And my fingers, along with my brain, remember that and it becomes part of my attitude towards the piece.

Anyway, just some thoughts. YMMV \:\)

Ok, I'll have to go and read about what a podcast is, I've heard the term before but not paid any attention to it because I don't have an ipod and I thought you needed one to receive the "cast." So, if I want to subscribe, does that mean I get an email or something when you add something new?
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/20/06 12:30 AM

Ok, as requested this one is full of missed notes and timing issues. But you should get the idea.

Section A-J @ 66bpm

ShiroKuro, I did put some practice in without the metronome tonight. Unfortunately, I just kept getting faster and faster so by the time I hit the hard stuff I am flying. (This is typical for me until I get used to the music.) I then went back to the metronome and pushed myself to 76bpm. Now my brain hurts.

I think I stayed up too late trying to get a recording to share. I was tired when I started and things just kept going downhill. I thought to myself that I could pull off a recording at 70bpm, but screwed up and got off track so badly that I actually had to go back and practise a few measures back at 50-60bpm and bring it back up to speed with the rest. So when I got things back under control I tried it at 68 bpm... You will notice that that is not the speed of the final recording.

I tried to work out some of the issues with jumping all over the keyboard in section J since ShiroKuro referenced this section earlier. I was doing ok until my attention span started to lapse. Ultimately, I can only recommend that you take it very slow. As in slow enough that you brain can move faster than your hands and just try to get a feel for the hand placements before bringing up the speed.

I was a little obsessive about practicing this piece tonight... Think I might try to practice it a little more casually tomorrow.

ShiroKuro: Do you have iTunes?
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/20/06 04:06 AM

What timing issues?! You have no timing issues! Missed notes? I don't have the score in front of me, but nothing stands out. It sounds great, really fantastic! I thought the last recording (at 50) was good, but this is even better and also more musical.

When I was working on something that had a metronome indication of 112, my teacher said that if I could just force myself to get up to about 72, then suddenly it would sound very musical and the whole equation would change. I think that's what you've got with your recording at 66. You're doing great, really!

Re practicing without the metronome, I try to isolate the difficult areas (where I would otherwise need to slow down) and work on speeding those sections up without the metronome. Then I try to keep that tempo in my head when I go back to start either from the beginning or from which ever section, so that I'm still playing the whole chunk at the speed of the most difficult part. (does that make sense?) And don't make yourself crazy trying to record (as much as we all want to hear more from you every single day!) I have a rule that I stop recording if I get into a mistake-loop. Or I'll decide to record from say, 7pm to 8pm. When 8pm comes, whether I've got something useable or not, I stop recording. After a point, I can't maintain my concentration level, and I worry that I'll end up practicing mistakes. This might be a "healthy" way to record, but it means I don't share my recordings very often! :p

Re section J, I'm hoping my visualization of the score will give me a little boost. We'll see how it goes today.

I have iTunes, just downloaded it recently in order to be able to make music files in a format smaller than MP3, but I haven't used it for anything else yet.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/20/06 08:31 AM

dk,

I had a similar experience last weekend as you described (mental fatigue from pushing up the tempo). In my case, I tried to push myself Saturday evening to get the first page up to [1/4=50] and the later it got, the more it started going downhill.

The next morning, however, when I sat down at the keyboard, it was right on time!

I'm anxious to listen to your [1/4=66] (but I'm at work now...)
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/20/06 08:58 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Nina:
I'm on major slow track and freaking out. I've done something to my pinky finger in the left hand, and I really can't play much at all! \:\(

I'm not sure what's going on. I must've jammed it or something. (At least I hope that's all it is.)

So no one is on a slower track than me! [/b]
Nina, how's your finger now?

Better, I hope.

Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/20/06 09:02 AM

Ah!

Now I see where the confusion comes from.

When dk says it will take 6 months to learn this piece, he means 6 metric months.

Mel
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/20/06 09:20 AM

Funny how it happens that if you can get up and walk away, things are more likely to start coming together. My first recording at 50 had me feeling like I was pushed to the limit, but yesterday I did a few runs through it to get warmed up, but bumped it up to 60 and had no issues. If I had just recorded that I would have gotten a lot more sleep last night.

I still think I am going to refrain from pushing myself on playing speed tonight. Instead I *might* try working out section M and see if I can manage the key change and beyond.

Thinking about what I wanted to do in section J really did help me last night. You really just have to continue thinking ahead. First I worked out the transition from the previous section. Then I had to work on maintaining focus through all four measures. I was inititially get through the first two measures which are slightly more difficult and then flub the second two because I was too excited that I managed the first two.

I was a little to bull-headed last night to follow any recording limits. I really sat down with a goal of recording at 60bpm. When that seemed so easy I couldn't resist thinking I could push it even faster. It was my downfall for the night.

ShiroKuro: In iTunes you can go to the podcast section. Select subscribe to podcast from the pull-down menu. (It is under the advanced menu in my version) If you copy and paste the URL of my xml file it should have you set up. iTunes will automatically download new episodes to any podcast you are subscribed to.

As a side note, though, you will likely find it just as easy to download new files as I post them. I just wanted to try something different.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/20/06 09:23 AM

Hmm... how many kiloweeks in a metric month?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/20/06 08:13 PM

dk,

Very impressive progress. And like Shiro, I didn't hear any examples of timing issues or missed notes in your [1/4=66] recording (and I was listenging with the score in front of me).

I'm too tired tonight to do much more than work on sections E & F. But I wanted to ask you (or anyone else)...what LEFT HAND fingering are you using for the repeating patterns in beats 3 & 4 of these sections [F-C-Ab, and C-G-Eb]? I'm using 5-5-1 for both. (same as for the octaves in beats 1 & 2 of the same measures. Does this makes sense? Are you using something better? Do you think the 5-5-1 pattern will work as I speed the tempo up?

And looking ahead (as you suggest), what LEFT HAND fingering are you using for the eighth note runs on the 3rd beat in section G?
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/20/06 09:39 PM

Jeff,

Here is the fingering I use for the LH starting at section F (since E is the same) and going through section G.

F1
5 5 1, 5 2 1
F2
5 5 1, 5 2 1
F3
5 5 1, 5 2 1
F4
5 5 1, 5 3 2 1
G1
5 2 1, 5 2 1 2 1
G2
5 2 1, 5 2 1 2 1
G3
5 2 1, 5 2 1 2 1
G4
5 5 1 5(or 2)5-1 3 5-1 2

This may or may not be "intelligent" fingering because I chose to ignore my brain and just let my fingers do the walking... It felt good to me so I have kept it.

I am taking a break tonight too. Just got home and if I sit down at the piano tonight I might just pass out on the bench and wake up sore in the morning.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 12:33 AM

Jeff, my fingerings are the same as all those DK wrote above, except for the 16th notes and quarter at the end of G3, where I do:

5 4 2 1 2

And G4:

5 5 1 5-1 4 5-1 3

BTW, all of these fingerings were confirmed by my teacher today, so DK, letting your fingers do the walking gets you a thumbs up from Emiko-Sensei! (sensei means "honorable teacher" in Japanese)

We changed some RH fingerings, only in a few places, so that I'm not using the same finger in a row etc. If anyone has a specific spot they're interested in, let me know.

It was really great to play sections A thru the end of F at my lesson today. My teacher was away last week, so this is the first time I've played CR for her. She said I was doing great, and only had a few fingering corrections to make. She said I wasn't doing anything wrong (always a relief to hear that!) So we spent most of the time talking about expression and other musical aspects of this piece. If anyone's interested, I'll try to summarize some of what she told me:

1) The LH in B has two voices. Bringing out the upper voice will really make that section special.

2) In section E, it's easy to spot what to work on with the RH (I had already figured this out, yea for me;) Namely, the upper notes need to stand out and the repeated Gs (played by the thumb) need to not stand out. However, she said it's easy to miss the "melody" (used losely) in the LH, so careful listening to the LH is important.

3) She said I was doing fine with section I (big relief) but she pointed out that I was basically playing all the notes in the RH the same, sort of staccato-esque. But actually, some legato is important, for example in the group of notes that come after each rest. Hmm, this is hard to translate into English... but basically she was talking about how there should be a bit of bounce there. Hm, that's not right, the word "bounce" is my word, not hers... Anyway, she wanted me to make sure I wasn't playing it all staccoto/clipped, but that I paid attention to which notes should be legato-ed together and which notes could be "separated." Does that make sense?

I always feel inspired after a lesson, she makes me believe I can play anything! What a great skill that is for a teacher! \:\)
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 07:30 AM

Jeff,

Same fingering as dk suggests with SK's modifications, except:

G2: 5-2-1, 5-3-2-1-2

Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 07:37 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dk21208:
Hmm... how many kiloweeks in a metric month? [/b]
There are 2 avoirdupois weeks in a metric month.

2 avoirdupois weeks = 10 days, US time.

I don't know what the Japanese would be.

Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 07:53 AM

Is anyone else noticing a tremendous amount of tension in their shoulders when playing, especially with sections G, H, and I?

I even notice it in my left leg and foot.

I'm reading a book on tension while playing and how it leads to injuries, so I'm becoming aware of the importance of relaxing the whole body when playing.

The problem is, that with so much happening in the music and so much to concentrate on, it's hard to spare some concentration to notice tension in the body.

The usual rule is to slow down, relax, and be aware of body tension as it occurs.

But the music is like a Siren's call, beckoning be, not to the island, but to play ever faster.

Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 08:18 AM

OK, let's laugh.

My 1st attempt at the whole thing:


http://www.box.net/public/0s2lysn48t


What's good:

Section I came out really good.


What's not so good:

My right hand touch is uneven in all the 16th note phrases, and I keep going faster and faster.


What's a disaster:

1) The whole c# minor section.

2) Long pauses for page turns.

3) Mistakes too numerous to mention.

Mel
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 08:25 AM

No problems here. Are you tense in both shoulders or is it more to one side or the other? I think I am staying nice and loose on this one because I am actually swaying back and forth while I play. Must be quite entertaining to sit in my living room.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 08:28 AM

Wow, I am about to listen. I just touched on the key change for about five minutes last night otherwise I have been avoiding that section to date.

You are cruising along!
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 08:35 AM

No kidding, section I came out great!

Are you tensing up in the parts you say are "not so good?" My old ears tell me that's a possibility. Tension in the forearm is the evil companion of uneven playing.

BTW, Anthony has decided to use B until section I, and K starting with section I. He's also decided he doesn't like the LH of section I played in that bottom octave and he raises it up an octave. Each to his own tastes, I guess.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 08:46 AM

Piano*Dad, I tense up in all the places I'm not comfortable, which is essentially the whole piece, except the first page.

After a 15 year absence from the piano, I've only been playing for 4 months, so pretty much everything is not comfortable for me to play.

How does one relax the forearms?

Mel
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 08:51 AM

Thanks for helping me out with this fingering folks, I thought my left hand fingering seemed a little uncertain in those sections. You can bet at the first opportunity I'll be at the piano trying out your fingering suggestions. Mine actually feels physically comfortable at a slow tempo (no hand fatigue), but I'm not sure I could pull it off at faster tempos (would require a "hand lift and drop" leap of faith. I'll see if I can comfortably "walk it up" as you guys (and gals) are doing.

Mel, I'm anxious to hear your recording but I'll have to wait until after work today. I hope it really does have some uneveness, pauses and mistakes...that will make me feel better about my own playing ;\) .

Each of you are so far ahead of me, which is probably a good thing for me I suppose (maybe that will translate into a faster learning curve for me, since I'll be able to read & learn from your own experiences?), but still, I can't help but feel like the "slow one" .

As with the Chopin Group, it seems the only folks posting are those who have blazed ahead, and all the other participants have gone relatively silent \:\( . I didn't fully anticipate this for the groups, but I suppose that's the way it will be .
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 09:05 AM

Mel,

Only four months back in the saddle! Wow!

There are a lot of ways to combat tension, but the first requisite is knowing when it begins and combating it immediately. Slow those parts back down until you have them more perfectly under control.

I like to think of proper arm technique as dropping a relaxed hand (often deeply) into the note. The only tensing should occur as a slight stiffening as you make contact with the key in order to deliver the precise amound of force. If you feel that forearm tensing, I'll bet that tension is being transmitted to the wrist and to the back of your hand. Those muscles tire quickly and the tension gets shifted up into the shoulders as well. Its dang near impossible to play once all this starts to happen.

When I feel tension in my own playing I always stop and do a "note to self" moment. I shake out my arms, relax my shoulders, and perhaps get up from the piano to do a little stretch. Then I sit back down and try to play the offending passage more slowly and without tension.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 09:09 AM

Bravo! I can't believe you maintained that pace through the entirety of the song.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 09:27 AM

Mel, great progress! I think you'll be finished *practicing* this piece long before the rest of us, and quickly move into making it your own. Excellent!

Re tension, if you're interested in doing some reading, I could recommend some books (I have to look and see which ones addresses tension the most.)

I haven't noticed too much shoulder tension, but that's probably because I'm not playing fast enough yet. But recently I've noticed that I'm kind of pressing my entire weight down onto my left foot and it feels like I'm going to put a hole in the floor! When I tune in to that and release the tension there, I can feel my whole body relax. I also make it a point to drop my shoulders at certain times while playing, I like to breathe out while doing that, it's like a little recentering, re-relaxing trick. I find that if my shoulders aren't too tense, then it's easier for me to keep the rest of my upper arm and forearm loose.

Jeff, one thing my teacher said about fingering is that for sections where it's essentially the same thing (like most of G in the LH) it's easier if you use the same pattern throughout. So G4 is an exception, but she recommended I do G1 and G2 the same, where I had them a little different initially.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 09:38 AM

Now that I think about it, I think this tension thing could be serious problem. Maybe you should take maybe a 3 week break while the rest of us catch up... I mean so you can heal \:\)

Actually I agree with Piano*Dad's recommendation of slowing down. It always seems to work for me because it allows my brain extra time to think about those other things like tension and posture. You could proably apply ShirKuro's Crank-and-Drop method in order to evaluate and remedy where tension builds.

Speaking of Piano*Dad.... do you have any more audio progress reports coming our way?
Posted by: Agilita

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 10:23 AM

Opus: "As with the Chopin Group, it seems the only folks posting are those who have blazed ahead, and all the other participants have gone relatively silent."

I'm still here and I imagine others are "lurking" too. Can't comment on fingering or anything when I'm not there yet! I was moving along on the B version but decided to change to the K version (thanks again!) and that slowed me down. But I'm following your conversations.
Posted by: Nina

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 11:05 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dannylux:
Nina, how's your finger now?

Better, I hope.

Mel [/b]
Thanks for asking! It is getting better, but slowly. I've been really laying off of it out of paranoia. Today I'll try to play the Croatian Rhapsody again...the full arpeggios (the one that isn't the Piano Life version) was really painful before. Crossing my fingers.... ouch! ;\)
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 08:33 PM

MEL, BRAVO!!!![/b]

I just listened to your first recording of the entire Croatian Rhapsody, and I am just insanely jealous of your progress! (but, mostly in a good way ;\) ) I love the key shift in this piece, very dramatic. It was nice to follow along with the music while listening to your recording, and I can fully appreciate any "flubs or hesitations," believe me.

It is going to take me so much longer to get through this piece, but I am going to get through it!

Thank you so much for sharing this recording. I think it's awesome that we're willing to share these recordings during our learning process (well, at least from the star students...you guys would NOT want to hear a recording of me trying to get sections D through H up to [1/4=50] tempo!).

I hope you appreciate how helpful it is for me to hear these recordings!
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 08:52 PM

Progress Report? Well, Piano*Son has it sort of finished. There are a couple of rather rough spots, and he managed to misplace the last page. I'll reprint it for him tomorrow and maybe he'll record what he's done tomorrow or Saturday morning. That'll be it for piano for him for about six weeks! He has a three week summer course up in PA and then we head off for Germany. Perhaps we'll find some pianos over there!
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 09:11 PM

Another comment regarding the left hand fingering for sections E, F, G & H.

I tried the suggestions that everyone is using. I know fingering is individual, unique, & whatever works is okay, etc.., but this really interests me. If I may:

It seems to me that using 5-5-1 fingering for the repeating note patterns on the 3rd & 4th beats (F-C-Ab, & C-G-Eb stretches) would prevent what seems to me would be hand strain from walking your left hand using 5-2-1 fingering (strain between the stretch from 2 to 1?). Additionally, it seems that using the 5-5-1 pattern eliminates the need to "read" the upper note (instead, I know it's a fifth).

Has ANYONE else tried the 5-5-1 fingering pattern for these sections? Am I overthinking this? One of the reasons this interests me is that I want to get better at developing reasonable fingering patterns on my own.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 10:00 PM

I think that fingering ultimately needs to be something that you are comfortable with. I would not be able to do that fingering, it just doesn't feel natural to me. You obviously are clinging to the hope that it will work. As long as you feel you can be effective at full speed I don't see a problem with that. My intent would certainly not be to discourage you, but definitely make sure that you consider the potential of playing those notes quickly. Because it will be much harder to learn a new fingering at that stage of the game. Way to straddle the fence, eh?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 10:09 PM

 Quote:
You obviously are clinging to the hope that it will work.
No, not at all. (but, that is funny \:D )

I'm wondering if there might be something technically wrong, or something else I haven't considered with the fingering pattern I developed for those note stretches. [F-C-Ab, & C-G-Eb]
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/21/06 11:18 PM

Thanks everyone for your encouragements.

It actually feels like a healing process to post a piece that is clearly 'in progress'; in other words, filled with errors.

I am going to take all of your suggestions and practice slowly, so I can be aware of tension when it happens and release it. Thanks so much for the help.

Opus, I don't think I'm the only one who would like to hear your sections A through H at quarter note = 50.

And I agree with dk about the 5-2-1 fingering for F-C-A flat.

It's not a stretch to have your 2nd finger on C and then play the A flat with your thumb. (Since you've already released the low F, after playing it with 5.)

5-5-1 is extremely awkward to play at, say, mm = 90.


Mel
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/22/06 12:02 AM

Yeah, I'll second that. Let's hear some progress recordings! Speaking of which, I took a night off from the piano. So don't expect anything from me. I recently got to purchase a new laptop for myself with work funds and it arrived this week. I am going to get loaded down with business software tomorrow and prob start loading up all my personal stuff after work. Next recording I post will be on a brand new laptop!
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/22/06 08:58 PM

...speaking of recordings dk, I forgot to mention that your recordings sound extremely nice in my speakers (quality of sound as well as the quality of playing).
Reminds me of the old "Is it live or is it Memorex" commercials...really good sound!

And...you guys have convinced me to give your fingering pattern a more serious effort. After all, if ALL of you are using this fingering, then it must be the most efficient. 5-2-1 it is!
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/23/06 12:30 AM

I practiced sections E through H slowly, all the while noticing any tension in my body and releasing it.

It became really clear why I would stumble on some parts. I hadn't sufficiently learned some passages, so the added anxiety of recording myself caused problems. Now those sections are starting to feel secure.

I also spent time practicing slowly the c# minor section, especially the transition section M, and the very tricky Q, with its own transition back to the repeat.

This is certainly an incredible amount of fun.

Mel
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/23/06 08:38 AM

I'll put up a progress recording of Piano*Son tonight. He leaves for a three week summer course at Franklin & Marshall tomorrow, and we head off to Germany after that, so he'll be out of action for six weeks. We'll see how much rust accumulates on our hands!
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/23/06 05:38 PM

I've completed the first page for anyone that wants to no.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/23/06 05:50 PM

Let's here it!!!
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/23/06 06:47 PM

A little late reply.

Mel, yes, this is an incredible amount of fun!! Thank you everyone, it' really great to have so many practice-partners!!

Jeff, since I started with my current teacher a year ago, fingering instruction is one of the main things where I feel this teacher is so great, because she has helped me and taught me so much about fingering. Last year was the year of my fingering-revolution even! \:\)

So, based on the things I've learned from her, here are some more random comments of fingering...

I think it's safe to say that there are two main reasons why certain fingerings are chosen over others. (Sure, there are other reasons, but IMO two really major ones)

1) To keep your hands in a good place to go to the next note, both allowing smooth playing and preventing finger/physical strain.

2) To get the best sound, or the desired sound, out of each note.

So a particular fingering might feel good, but is considered not the best choice if it doesn't produce as good a tone as a different fingering. One really common guideline that my teacher has drilled into me is to not use the same finger for two consecutive notes if at all possible.

Would everyone like to comment on this, perhaps add more guidelines? What do you use for your own guidelines when picking out fingering? I'll try to see if I can do a better job of verbalizing some of the other things she's taught me.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/23/06 06:48 PM

Debussy, glad to hear you're making progress. Any comments, what was easy? Difficult? I've forgotten, are you using K's version too?
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/23/06 07:35 PM

Im learning both. Ive mastered both versions first page and started the Burrows second page
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/23/06 09:06 PM

OK, here's a first try at the whole thing by Piano*Son Anthony. He uses the Burrows edition through measure 34 and then switches to the kanemasu version. He makes one change to Kanemasu in section I. He doesn't like the growly bass in the bottom octave so he moved it up one octave. I figure that in a piece like this it's dealer's choice. He does the repeat at the end.

Once again, pardon the laptop mic. There was a little bit of distortion and clipping. He's still working to get bits of it up to speed and reduce the number of misfires.

This is a streaming podcast, so you have to have QuickTime.

Anthony is off to three weeks at Franklin & Marshall tomorrow, and we head to Germany for three weeks after that, so polishing will have to take place later!

Podcast Page

Enjoy,

David
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/23/06 09:17 PM

Hello to everyone working on Croation Rhapsody. It is great to have practice partners isn't it?

Thanks for sharing your comments about fingering Shiro, it is always easy to tell you are a teacher by profession (and if you ask me, you're well suited for the teaching profession).

Fingering is something I've only recently given any serious thought. In the past year or so, I noticed that for other classical pieces I've worked through, if I follow suggested fingering patterns (instead of what I might simply land on by happenstance) that, more often than not, I learn to appreciate the value and wisdom of the written suggestions if I give them a chance. In other words, other more experienced people usually have better fingering suggestions than I tend to come up with on my own. That's why I want to understand more about the basic mechanics of piano fingering techniques.

Also, I had an experience recently where I actually had significant pain in my fingers & hands from practicing something repetitively (Take Five), and my teacher suggested a fingering change which almost immediately resolved the issue of pain. This made me think more about fingering in general.

I appreciate everyone's patience with me with regard to asking about fingering (I know it can be a dull topic, but I also know if there's anyone else on this planet who has interest in fingering patterns for the Croatian Rhapsody, they are reading and posting in this thread ;\) )

I'm probably not going to push myself this weekend, rather, I'll spend time polishing sections A-H [getting it all up to mm=50? (or higher?)], and make my first foray into the dreaded section "I" (oh boy!)

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Piano*Dad...we were simul-posting. I'm listening to Anthony's recording now. I promised you I wouldn't be jealous if you posted his recording, so I'll keep that to myself. It is amazing how quickly he got this piece up to speed, and I am in awe. I would love to hear this without the obvious clipping, but I do understand the immediate limitations of your recording. I hope he has a great time this summer and that all of you enjoy your trip to Germany. Thanks again for sharing his very, very impressive progress on the Croatian Rhapsody!
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/24/06 10:48 AM

Piano*Dad according to my math anthony has completed the piano in 14 days. WOW. Our original estimate was to have the piece done by New Years! It looks like anthony has a big future in music ahead of him....
Posted by: Euan Morrison

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/24/06 12:12 PM

I agree with Debussy20 - a big congratulations to Anthony for the fantastic work!

I've picked the music back up after about a week of working on other things. Am getting the first two pages done, but its slow. The chord change is becoming automatic, so I'm either focusing on the sheet, or my right hand.

Quick question: during the intro, (Burrows edition), there is a chord A(b), C, and F - in measures 10, 12. Have I got it right? It sounds pretty bad when I play it.

The fast part near the start isn't so difficult as I was first thinking. I actually find it easier with hands-together, rather than apart. Strange! The only reason I can think of is that my brain is focusing on two things at once, which means auto-pilot is being used, rather than concentrating solely on right hand.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/24/06 04:06 PM

Euan,

Measure 10 corresponds directly with the first measure in the "C" section of the K version, which has a different chord (triad) [F-Ab-C(middleC)].

You have the right notes, but I agree with you that it doesn't seem to sound very well. I might consider changing the chord in the Burrows version to [F-C-F]...you could tie the lower F from the 3rd beat, or play the F in the third beat as a quarter and again in the F-C-F chord on the 4th beat.

How does that sound?
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/24/06 08:50 PM

Piano*Dad, Piano*Son, FANTASTIC!!! Really wonderful! And inspiring, Anthony's rendition has all the elements that made me want to play this piece in the first place. His tempo is fantastic, the rhythm sounds so great at this speed! He may already be gone for his camp, but if he's not, please let him know how impressed I am with his playing! \:\)

Opus,thanks re fingering,. \:\) One of the reasons why I changed teachers last year was because my previous teacher was not able to help me with fingering. (well, the fingering issue was sort of the last straw.) Now, with my current teacher, I'm realizing that being able to teach fingering and give guidance on fingering is an extremely advanced teaching skill. My previous teacher's hands and my current teacher's hands are both much smaller than mine. But my current teacher is not at all affected by that. She'll say "I use that fingering, but your hands are bigger so you should do it a this way." And not only does she say "use X fingering" but she tells me why and we talk about the pros and cons of different fingering. This is especially important when there are two fingerings that are both good choices, but each has a different good and bad point. So she's doing that thing that all tecahers should aspire to, but only the best of teachers are able to do: give me the knowledge to become less and less dependent on her instructions and more and more able to figure it out on my own. These days when I come in with some fingering and she says "yes, that's a great choice" I feel pretty pleased with myself, but I know that it's all thanks to her teaching.

Ok, sorry, I'll stop bragging about my teacher now! \:\)

BTW, Piano*Dad, I'm surprised Anthony didn't like the low bass in Section "I," I thought I would play it without dropping an octave, but after I got it up to a decent speed, I decided I really like the way it sounds. Listening to Anthony's recording, there's nothing lost there, so it's really just an individual choice. But it's interesting how different people prefer different sounds etc.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/25/06 08:18 PM

Okay folks, this is my first attempt to record to this forum.

I've recorded sections A-F (not polished at all). I'm still working on getting it smooth at mm=50.

Let's see if the recording works:

Croation Rhapsody A-F mm=50

[Edit: Well, the recording works. I can actually play it better than that (red dot syndrome), but I wonder if I'll really be able to get this up to speed by the end of the year?]
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/25/06 10:45 PM

Shiro: yeah, he's gone to the camp. I'll pass along your compliments. They're not allowed any internet access, so he won't be able to browse for quite some time.

Debussy20: when he really wants to learn something he can suck it down fast as long as it's not pushing him beyond his current technical capabilities. I sure as heck couldn't get the structure of this piece down in that time. What helps him a lot is memorization. Once he memorizes something, the pace goes up.

Jeff: I'll listen tomorrow. I just got off the road from PA and want to get some sleep!

Best,

David F
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/25/06 10:49 PM

Opus45, that was great! I am really impressed. You guys have not been working on this long at all. I don't think it will take you long at all to get it up to speed. (And it almost doesn't matter, because it sounds pretty good at the slower pace, too.)
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/25/06 11:05 PM

Jeff, that's fantastic!

I especially liked that you play each note with clear and even articulation.

But you must have a different set-up than I do.

In mine, whenever I press the red dot, it automatically adds up to 5 missed notes per page.

It's part of the program, I think.

Mel
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/25/06 11:33 PM

JEFF Great job!
I'm proud of you, I know you worked hard on it. I even like hearing the song at a slower pace , it gives the song a different "color". I liked the way you accented the notes!
As for me, I still have the music ( and I intend to hang on to it!) I still play around with it from time to time because it is a FUN song to play, I just haven't been putting in as much time with it because I am involved in some other projects as well as some projects outside the forum. However I sure am enjoying checking up on the progress of all you guys! \:\)
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/26/06 01:26 AM

Opus, great job!!! You are making wonderful progress.

Ok, now let this be a fire under my piano-bench to get me to do another recording.

Re tempo, I don't think you have to worry about it, it will speed up alittle bit naturally on its own, and then your own abilities will give you the extra boost.

But, if you're worried about speed, you might do what I'm going to do (in addition to the crank and drop and all those others things I posted a few pages back.) Take two smallish sections, one easier and one harder (like maybe B and I or something) and work on getting those two sections really fast. I'm hoping this will give me two things: 1) The feeling of playing this piece fast, so I know what that's like and what I'm aiming for. And 2) the confidence that I can actually get the speed up.

Usually I don't worry too much about speed until I'm further along, but with CR, I'm also worried I'll have trouble picking up the tempo, so I thought I'd try as many speed-tricks as I could think of, and work on speed the same way I work on everything else (i.e. little by little and from an early stage of my practice of the piece.)

Does anyone else have any speed-tricks or other ideas?

BTW Jeff, are you doing any metronome work?
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/26/06 08:43 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Opus45:
I appreciate everyone's patience with me with regard to asking about fingering (I know it can be a dull topic, but I also know if there's anyone else on this planet who has interest in fingering patterns for the Croatian Rhapsody, they are reading and posting in this thread. [/b]
Opus, I believe establishing fingering is extremely important.

It's probably the most important 1st thing to do when learning a new piece.

Good fingering really simplifies learning the music, because the correct keys to play are almost naturally right under the needed fingers.

Also, one section of a piece flows smoothly into the next, if the fingering is good.

If the fingering is not good, it makes it much harder, if not impossible, to play smoothly.

So I'm always willing to devote as much time as necessary to finding the best fingering, and to revise it as needed.

Mel
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/26/06 09:49 AM

You guys are great. Your comments are always motivating! Thank you everyone, but I still think I have much room for improvement at this very tempo (mm=50). My plan this week is to begin work on sections G & H while also polishing A-F.

Shiro, did you read what Piano*Dad wrote to Debussy20? "What helps him a lot is memorization. Once he memorizes something, the pace goes up." This is what I was talking about when I was asking if anyone used memorization as a learning tool. I'm thinking it might be worth it for me to actually memorize the Croatian Rhapsody, even though the thought of this actually intimidates me. But, wouldn't it be cool to sit down at a Piano anywhere & rip out the Croatian Rhapsody from memory?

Mel, I agree with about the fingering being important, and all of you were right on with your fingering suggestions last week.

Petrof, thanks for continuing to hang with us while we struggle through this. Have you actually already reached your own personal level of satisfaction with the Croatian Rhapsody? Awesome.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/26/06 09:56 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Opus45:
did you read what Piano*Dad wrote to Debussy20? "What helps him a lot is memorization. Once he memorizes something, the pace goes up." This is what I was talking about when I was asking if anyone used memorization as a learning tool. I'm thinking it might be worth it for me to actually memorize the Croatian Rhapsody, even though the thought of this actually intimidates me.

[/b]
Memorization helps me enormously. I feel like I don't really have a piece perfected until it is memorized, because that's when I can apply all my attention to dynamics rather than looking at the notes.

Actually, Croatian Rhapsody doesn't strike me as a hard piece to memorize; there's so much repetition and patterning in the piece. It's just a &^%&* to play!
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/26/06 10:22 AM

I have family in town so I have been struggling to keep up with all the posts...

Debussy20: Are you having any difficulties switching back and forth between versions? I quit playing the "B" because I felt like it was actually hindering my progress in the "K". Maybe that means I am relying too much on muscle memory...

Piano*Dad: Thanks for the latest audio posting. He did a great job, and in such a short period of time. Plus, it is always a pleasure to see how proud you are of your sons efforts.

Opus45: Very happy to see that you answered the call and posted your first song segment. Sounds pretty good. It is fascinating to hear how already everyone has had their own idea of how to express the dynamics of this piece.

Re: Memorization
I think it will definitely help to start memorizing this piece now. My only thought about memorizing while still learning a piece is that I think it becomes even more important to frequently go back and read through the music to make sure notes and/or dynamics are not being left out.
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/26/06 10:28 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dk21208:
Debussy20: Are having any difficulties switching back and forth between versions? I quit playing the "B" because I felt like it was actually hindering my progress in the "K". Maybe that means I am relying too much on muscle memory... [/b]
Its basically the same, I've begun page 2 of "B" version and not started on K yet. I'm going slow and steady and hopefully ill win the race (of technique of corse, I've already lost the race to Piano*Son ;\) )
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/26/06 10:49 AM

Petrof, thanks for continuing to hang with us while we struggle through this. Have you actually already reached your own personal level of satisfaction with the Croatian Rhapsody? Awesome. [/QB][/QUOTE]

OPUS: Oh no, goodness no, I have not reached what you would call the personal level of satisfationwith the Croatian Rhapsody, what I meant was I just play around with a few of the measures, you got to admit, some of those measures are great finger exercises! \:D
In all honesty, I've decided to do the Victor's piano solo (easier!) and since I already had the book before they started the group , the improvising blues piano group. I am also doing a few classical pieces outside the forum. That is actually more than my fingers can handle! I must say Shiro and Opus must be blessed with strong fingers to be able to handle this song in addition to the others. :p

I am proud of the rest of you for all the progress you've all made on this song in such a short time too! I enjoy reading about your progress and I enjoy listening to all your recordings! ;\)
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/26/06 11:00 AM

 Quote:
dk
Opus45: Very happy to see that you answered the call and posted your first song segment. Sounds pretty good. It is fascinating to hear how already everyone has had their own idea of how to express the dynamics of this piece.
Dynamics? Ummm, I wasn't doing dynamics...I was just concentrating on trying to get all the notes in without missing any \:D .
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/26/06 11:56 AM

The Croatian pop star Maksim does a really nice version of the Kamenasu version in his album, I listening to in right now. Its really good!
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/26/06 01:22 PM

Jeff,

I just listened. That was really good clean playing. I think you're going about this in precisely the correct manner. You're not trying to speed up until you have complete control over a section. I also liked the phrasing where you lightly lift off to separate a section. As far as I can recall, no phrasing is marked, so it's dealer's choice.

On memorization, I know Gyro would disagree. He regards memorization as positively harmful to musicianship and to music reading. My obsvervation is just the reverse. I view memory as almost essential for elevating the pace and for allowing your interpretation to mature. On the other hand, you can create problems if you try too hard to memorize and thus train yourself to stare continuously at your hands as though they might somehow escape from the keys if you didn't watch them carefully.
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/27/06 07:51 AM

\:\)
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/28/06 08:58 AM

I just found a version of CR by Maksim.

Does anyone know anything about this version?

Mel
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/28/06 09:03 AM

ok this is all i konw...
Croatian Rhapsody was originally writen by Tonci Huljic ( who wrote it after leaving his country and rembering his homeland)
In the latest years the Croatian star, Maksim, rewrote the piece to the funky beats of the "06". When we got the Burrows version, If you look on the site... Its actullaly a transcripion of Maksim's work!
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/28/06 09:23 AM

Take a look at page 2.

It seems kind of ponderous.





Mel
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/28/06 09:32 AM

Lately I've been really interested in left hand parts. It's the left hand, this version, the B version and the K version all have these subtle (or not so subtle) differences in the LH, and that changes everything!

I have only heard an excerpt of Maksim's recording of this on his CD, and it had synth stuff that I wasn't very interested in. But I am pretty sure that the K version's arrangement was mostly based on Maksim's CD version, and Maksim's popularity in Japan is surely the reason for the K version being published in the first place.

I thought this piece was a more recent piece, but I could be wrong about that. Tonci Huljic seems to have been involved in a lot of non-traditional, classical-influenced musical endeavors, like the "rock-classical" group Bond. I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone told me he was part of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Speaking of which, I wonder if their music is available in piano arrangements... As if I didn't have enough to play already!
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/28/06 04:14 PM

I don't think I can handle another version!!! I already walk around singing endless verses of Croation Rhapsody.

Things are kind of quiet in here, so......

Progress Report: I have not had a lot of time to practice this past week, so I have been trying to sneak in occasional 5-10 minutes sessions. It seemed as if I hit a brick wall in my progress. I have been trying to drill the last two measures of section M. My left hand just wasn't hitting the right timing. In the meantime when I went back to keep the prior sections fresh my right hand fingering fell apart in sections G and H... It felt like I was starting from the beginning all over again. Finally last night I broke through the barrier and got everything back under control. I also have started to hit the right notes in section M.

So one week of fumbling through the darkness and I feel like I am back on track. I will try to get some time tonight and make a new recording.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/28/06 06:58 PM

 Quote:
dk
Things are kind of quiet in here, so......
True, but that doesn't mean I'm not still working on smoothing out sections A-F ;\) . I'm nearly up to [1/4=66].
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/28/06 11:03 PM

I'm not even going to print out the Maksim version until I've learned and memorized the K version.

Mel
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/29/06 08:21 AM

good plan
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/29/06 08:40 PM

OK, where is everybody on this?

Things are kinda quiet around my house. I was almost tempted to start learning the darned thing myself. Ha! Then I thought better of it and picked up a Chopin Waltz instead. ;\)
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/29/06 09:51 PM

Piano*Dad, you should play this. Then you and Piano*Son could make an arrangement for 4 hands and imagine how fun that would be!

As for me, I am still focusing mainly on page one, two and three. I am esp working on the last measure of G where the RH and LH play those cool staccato eighth notes (is that right? don't have the score out now.) I want to bring out that slur! Also, I'm enjoying section I now that it's playable, and am making some progress on J1. But I haven't gone past J1. I'm thinking I need to go through the rest of the music and see what's the next difficult section (the new "I.") Maybe I should work on the key change?

What/how is everyone else doing?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/30/06 07:08 PM

A package arrived from Japan today, containing the "Piano Life" magazines. ShiroKuro, you were right, these are very thick magazines (and very good quality).
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/01/06 11:03 AM

Thanks for all the work you guys have done! (standing ovation)
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/01/06 08:50 PM

 Quote:
Me
I'm nearly up to [1/4=66].
I'm still nearly up to [1/4=66] for sections A-F, and I'm playing section G-H very slowly (not even using metronome yet for G&H).

I think I'm going to stay on the slow track with the Croatian Rhapsody...pehaps my initial goal of 6 months is reasonable for me for this piece? Anyone else on the slow track?

Let me make it very clear that when I say I'm on the slow track that this in no way means that I'm not enjoying this. I am having a BLAST learning to play the Croatian Rhapsody!
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/02/06 07:24 AM

I am on the slow track!
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/04/06 04:54 PM

I had a little time this weekend to move myself forward...still very slowly, one section at a time...slow and steady.

As proof that I actually worked on this section, I offer you: A working version of the G Section of the Croatian Rhapsody .

( Will I finish the Croatian Rhapsody by New Years Eve ?)
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/04/06 07:56 PM

Jeff, sounds really good! I think your tempo is up from previous recordings, is it not? The only thing I would say is to maybe bring out the tie in measure 28 (G4.) What fingering are you using? Last week I worked with my teacher on different fingering for the RH (since the LH is easy to bring out the tie.) Here's my RH fingering (the hyphon is for notes played together):

1-5, 1-2, 2-5, 1-5, 1-4, 1-2-4, 1-2-3-5

This might not be the best fingering, but it seems to give me the best position for bringing out that tie...

BTW I am definitely on the slow track as well. Yesterday I kind of did a reassessment of all the pieces I'm working on, so that I can make sure I'm not doing too much (for the time being, that's my assesstment, it's not too much just yet) And I decided that I need to get a better handle on all the sections from A through J1, so I am atill not going to go past J1 just yet.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/04/06 08:18 PM

Shiro, Thanks for pointing out that tie. I thought all the notes were staccato in that measure & there's a tie as obvious as can be!

My fingering for that measure (I'll include both hands):

RH: 1-5, 1-4, 1-5, 1-4, 1-3, 1-2-4, 1-2-3-5

LH: 5, 5, 1, 2, 1-5, 3, 1-5, 2

I also just started working through the H section, which is not technically challenging after learning the previous sections. I think I'll polish sections A-H, and get my tempo up a little. Then I'll head into the dreaded I section.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/04/06 08:22 PM

My original fingering was probably pretty close to that. Unless you have massive hands, that probably won't give you the position you'd need for the tie, but practice it and tell me how it goes. I wondre what fingering Mel uses for this measure. Is everyone else on holiday?

Mel, where are you?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/04/06 08:31 PM

Good point about the fingering & ties. I'm going to try your fingering and see how that words for me.

Question: If I kept my current fingering, couldn't I just tie with the pedal?

I am also curious to know Mel's fingering in G4. I used his fingering in the E Section, and F Section...it worked out beautifully (and no hand strain!).

[Edit] And YES, my tempo is up a bit from previous recordings. Thanks for noticing \:D .
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/04/06 09:49 PM

Jeff, if you wanted to use the pedal, that tie wouldn't sound much different from the other notes, and because of the tempo and the stacattos, I think it'd be very difficult to pull off the kind of complex/detailed pedaling you'd need. Also, my teacher is always on me to not rely on pedaling when fingering or other technique can do the job, and do the job better. My teacher's pretty strict, because I'm pretty pedal-dependent! \:D
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/04/06 10:05 PM

No, that's not a tie, it's a slur.

A tie would mean that you hold the G and not play it the second time.

A slur just means to play it legato, I think.

So you could certainly use the pedal.

Neither of the other 2 versions uses a slur (or a tie) at that point.

They both indicate staccato.

Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/04/06 10:18 PM

My fingering is on page 8 of this thread:


http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/32/2386/8.html


It's based on having your thumb on the A flat, the last note of section G3.

I'm going to try SK's and Opus' fingering and see if they're smoother than mine.

Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/04/06 10:29 PM

I think this is what the measure would look like, if there was supposed to be a tie on G:





But not in red, of course.


Mel
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/05/06 12:10 AM

No, no, I was wrong!! Mel, everything I wrote I was thinking of it as a slur, but just saying tie. Kind of like when you're giving someone directions and you say "take the first left. No, the other left." Can I get away with the excuse that I always talk about music with my teacher in Japanese? (no, not really, because we use those English words even in Japanese!! although the pronunciation is a little funny.)

Anyway, as a SLUR, my teacher told me not to rely on the pedal for that while practicing (even if I plan to use the pedal eventually.) She helped me come up with the fingering I posted above to bring out the SLUR.

Hmm I wonder if I could play it well enough to get a recording so you could hear what I'm aiming for. I'll try that today.

Gee, sorry for my terminology mistake. There is no what that could be a tie because what's connected are two different notes in the RH (Bb and G) and two different pitches in the LH (G and up one octave G.) And I know that, but my slip even infected Jeff. I'm a danger to myself and others!!!
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/05/06 12:14 AM

BTW regarding G3, with the last note being the thumb (I play that Ab with thumb as well) my teacher said that is one of those times when you don't care so much that you're using the same finger in a row, because 1) you're not playing legato from G3 to G4, G4 is like entirely new information, not a continuation of G3. And 2) the thumb isn't a melody note. Mel, what do you think about that?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/05/06 10:50 AM

 Quote:
And I know that, but my slip even infected Jeff. I'm a danger to myself and others!!!
That's okay Shiro, you'll recall I was ignoring the slur altogether. I'm sure I could dazzle & amaze you with how much in written music I don't "notice".

Another Question about G4: Considering staccato notes.

Is there really a difference between eighth notes/chords & quarter notes/chords played staccato? For example, the last right hand chord in G4 is a staccato quarter note chord. Should we still hear it when we play the final G eighth note in this same measure with the left hand?

It seems to me that it would make more sense for the last chord in the right hand to be an eighth note chord (staccato), followed by an eighth value rest.

Is this question so elementary as to disqualify me from further participation in this group?
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/05/06 11:06 AM

I think a normal staccato marking means that you give the note roughly half of its marked value, i.e. an eighth note staccato is sharper than a quarter note staccato.

This is clearly the case in the 3rd movement of the Pathetique (that Anthony plays). Beethoven has four consecutive quarter note chords marked staccato, and what is really meant is that they are played detached, not legato.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/05/06 06:38 PM

Okay, how does this sound for Section G4 ?

I still don't have it polished, but I'm trying to "mind the slur".
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/06/06 05:42 AM

Jeff, great! Very nice slur! That's what I'm shooting for.

So, does that mean I'm off the hook in posting a recording?!
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/06/06 08:01 AM

 Quote:
Very nice slur!
((blushing))

Well thank you Shiro. And thanks again for bringing it to my attention. I think the slur adds a nice touch in this measure.
 Quote:
So, does that mean I'm off the hook in posting a recording?!
Oh no Shiro, please, my recording is with my own fingering, using the pedal to "slide the slur". I would really like to see if I can hear a difference.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/06/06 08:02 PM

Yikes, ok then I'll give it a try this weekend (recording I mean) I've been practicing sans-pedal so there certainly won't be any pedal in my recording. But there also might not be any left hand in my recording either! :p
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/07/06 12:38 PM

Sorry for being an inactive participant lately... Sounds like everyone is making forward progress. I tried to get a recording to post up last night, but lets just say my piano wasn't cooperating. I swear I was hitting the right notes, but the wrong sounds were coming out.

As far as learning the music, I still haven't tackled sections P, Q, or R. Otherwise I have learned and memorized the rest of the sections. It really did seem true that memorization is inevitable. I have never had an easier time committing something to memory.

For tempo, I am pushing myself at 80bpm. I am comfortable mentally at this pace, but my fingers are slipping. I can usually play well at this speed once I am warmed up, but not yet burnt out. Realistically, though, I am much more effective at about 76bpm.

I am leaving this afternoon for a vacation up in the mountains of North Carolina. So, I will once again be silent for the upcoming week. I might have internet access, but no piano... And I just got a shipment of new music material last night. Maybe I can sneak into the music building at my old college....

Good luck progressing in the upcoming week.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/14/06 06:27 AM

Here's my latest recording of section I.

http://www.box.net/public/5hp9p7h3jm

I'm not sure what the metronome setting is, but it's over 90.

It's not completely smooth and articulate, but it's OK.

Earlier I had said that, in order to play this section, I had to put the left hand on auto-pilot and just listen to the right hand.

Now that I'm playing it faster, I've found that I have to listen carefully to my left hand, while my right hand plays almost on auto.

Strange.

Oh, and Happy Bastille Day.

Mel
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/14/06 05:03 PM

*double post*
sorry
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/14/06 05:04 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Debussy20:
Ooooo Myyyyyyy Goshhhhhhhh

I just got home from a concert.After it was over the organ teacher invited me up on the harpiscord and organ, and what was the first thing that I played....(?)

CROATIAN RHAPSODY!!!!

After I played the first measure, Everyone ( who now was heading for the exit sat down) wanted to listen, I guess they thought it was an encore!

I was so embarressed because I have barely completed page three.....


Any way..... It sounds so cool on the organ and harpsicord! [/b]
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/14/06 08:21 PM

Oooh, Mel I almost missed your last recording! For anyone else, take a look at the bottom of page 13, Mel's shared a new recording of I.

Very nice tempo you've got going there Mel! I haven't really picked up the tempo of this section at all, although I feel a lot more confident with it (just this section.)

Recently I've been putting more energy into getting H at a decent tempo, and I still haven't advanced beyond J1.

How is everyone else doing?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/16/06 09:27 PM

Yipes!

Mel, I don't know how I missed your last recording of the dreaded "Section I".

BRAVO!!!![/b]

And what perfect timing for me...I now have Sections A-H up to about [1/4=66]. I can either keep working on A-H or proceed into the dreaded section "I" or both. Think I'll do both.

Thanks for posting that Mel.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/17/06 08:47 AM

Thanks SK and Opus.

I'm finding that G and H are actually harder than section 'I', even though 'I' was certainly harder at first.

The only problem with 'I' is rhythm. This can be learned fairly quickly.

The problem with G and H is carrying the melody evenly from the 5th to the 4th fingers in the middle of each of those measures.

It's so easy to smear those notes, since my 4th and 5th fingers are still not up to par.

Developing these fingers takes quite a while.

Here's my latest recording of the complete Croatian Rhapsody, mistakes and all.

But the c# minor section is better than my first try.


http://www.box.net/public/u8dtn2v67b


Mel
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/20/06 12:25 AM

Mel,

I am definitely noticing the improvements from the last full take. You are well on your way. You have absolutely set the standard for section I. And those deep bass notes ring out beautifully on your piano!!!

I still haven't put any effort into the last page. I have been trying to focus on trying some different ways of solidfying the other pages first. I guess I can't avoid it forever...

I have been working on a progress recording. I think my biggest issue is that I don't want save any of the takes that have errors in them, which obviously means I am not saving anything. So, I am sucking it up and posting it up. This is not complete. I stop shortly after the key change. I have been working from memory, and I have quit using the metronome until I am ready to push my speed up a little more. So trying to maintain consistant speed has been one of the big issues. I have been playing around with the dynamics because I don't think the written dynamics do this song justice. If you are so inclined feel free to give feedback. Also, as I keep listening, I now think I have brought out the left hand too much in this take. ShiroKuro, can I have your opinion on this since you are currently honing in on left hand issues in general?

Ok, I guess I have stalled long enough...

Dean - Croation Rhapsody - Partial - ??BPM
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/20/06 06:56 AM

Woooooowwwwww Mel! You are making fantastic progress!! Wow, your tempo is way up, and you are getting very musical throughout! It's really exciting to hear your recording.

Oh, I have got to get working on this. I have not made any progress and all I do most of the time is just to to keep from losing the sections I can (barely) play.

And Dean, you are also sounding very good, very good and solid.

You are both at the point where it sounds like you're having really fun too.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/20/06 09:41 AM

Dean, great playing and wonderful progress!

I especially like how even your right hand touch is, and at a tempo of about 85, that's a real accomplishment.

Your arpeggios at the key change are perfect.

I listened to your recording 4 times and I don't think your left hand is too loud at all.

And I agree with you completely about the dynamics of this piece.

They definitely need to be expanded.

Since this is a work in progress, I don't concern myself with missed notes, my own or other peoples'. My recording shows me what needs to be worked on, and this increases my gratitude.

And thanks so much for your kind encouragement.

How was your vacation in the mountains? Nice, no doubt.

Thank you also SK, for your encouragement.

Mel
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/20/06 03:22 PM

Thanks for the commentary. I went back this morning and listened to my recording against the Kanemasu version that ShiroKuro linked. My left hand is actually perhaps softer than Kenji's. And it has really grown on me since last night. It really is exciting as this piece begins to fall into place!

Vacation was wonderful, thanks for asking. It is a tradition to go back each year to where my wife and I met. She likes to even take it so far as to go sit on the wall where she first saw me... Otherwise it is nice just to lounge around and have no agenda for an entire week. I also had a chance to read a music theory book last week while I was away from the piano. I hated theory as a kid, and it shows. It is unbelievable how much I have forgotten.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/21/06 04:10 PM

Mel and Dean,

What an inspiration to the rest of us to hear for ourselves your amazing progress on the Croatian Rhapsody.

Awesome
Posted by: petrof1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/21/06 09:07 PM

I decided to "pop in" and see how you guys are all doing. I must say, Mel and Dean, I am really impressed!!Beautiful!
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/22/06 09:59 PM

I haven't been in here in awhile..and WOW!! Mel and Dean...your recordings were FANTASTIC! Like Shiro says, it sounds like you guys are having sooooo much fun playing this piece.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/23/06 12:42 PM

I've been delaying my start into "Section I", instead spending a little available time trying to get sections A-H up to speed (am close to [1/4=72]) and these sections remain very challenging for me to keep up with at that tempo.

While working on "I" this morning I thought I remembered that Mel shared his fingering for that section in this thread.

I was right & found it on page 9 of this thread.

Just thought some of you might appreciate knowing that there are advantages to being slower than others in these learning groups. ;\)

Thanks Mel! \:\)
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/24/06 08:16 AM

Well, my recital recording is finished and linked (I decided to use a recording I got from last weekend, one that I didn't post yet.) So now that recital prep is off my agenda (and I have my practice-plan set for Carol of the Bells and GRYMG) I am finally back to more serious practice on CR. Until now I have really just been coasting, trying not to lost the little progress I had made. Now I'm hoping to get back to working on progress instead of just treading water!

Today I went back through the first three pages and re-did my practice-plan so that should help me to stay focused.

Are Jeff and I the only ones on the slow track here?
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/24/06 09:27 AM

The "I section" is tricky isn't it?

I devoted about 10-15 minutes last evening and about 5-10 minutes this morning before work...just trying to play the two hands together at a funeral march tempo.

I'm actually excited about getting this section under control because (for me) this little section is "THE" speed bump in this piece. Once I've got it under control, I'll sight read the rest of this piece into submission, then spend the next few months bringing it up to the speed Mel & Dean are currently playing.
Posted by: Laura D

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/24/06 09:39 AM

I'm slow too. I have most of it up to the key change sort of vaguely playable, but other than the first two sections I have not worked any of it with the metronome. I got A and B up around 90, and I am playing the rest at slow but at least recognizable speed, but with some Einstein qualities.

"And Einstein's insights about the elasticity of Time are old news to any piano student who's ever played a piece without a metronome: easy bits at 138, hard passages at 54, with variable rests between phrases..."--quote from PW member

The C#minor section I have barely looked at. What is the point of that section anyway? It isn't enough difference to be noticeable, it is just different enough to confuse the poor pianist.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/24/06 11:32 AM

Actually, I like the C#minor section. I think it does add to the overall experience when playing through. To me, the tension is just building up to the key change. At the key change everything has come to a head and the intensity of the music goes way up.

I do agree in the sense that I think the C# section is too long. I would possibly have preferred if there were no sections P and O, and therefore no repeat at the end.

I am glad to see that you guys are starting to focus on the good ol' Croat again. Things were really kind of quiet around here....
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/28/06 11:03 AM

Thanks Opus, Petrof1 and Kawaigirl1 for your supportive comments about my latest recording.

And you're right, it really is great fun to play.

For the last week I've spent all of my time practicing my 3 recital pieces.

Finally, I chose one and submitted it.

So now I can get back to CR and my problem areas, H and Q, and that run just before "I".

As I play the run, I always think about the approaching section "I" and get anxious, and that causes me to mess up.

It's a really easy run, just a G7 arpeggio, but having my hands spread so far apart is awkward.

It's just a question of more practice.

I've been recording all of my practice sessions for the last 2 weeks to overcome fear, sweaty hands, and sticky keys, so I have a recording of the CR at about mm=98, but I don't think I'll post it, unless someone wants it.

Maybe next week I'll have a better performance to post.

 Quote:
The C#minor section I have barely looked at. What is the point of that section anyway? It isn't enough difference to be noticeable, it is just different enough to confuse the poor pianist.
I love the C# minor section, especially P and Q.

P has that change in rhythm and Q has a much different sound to it.

And it certainly feels much different in the hands.

Mel
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/28/06 11:48 AM

Mel,

I am happy to listen to anything that gets posted. No pressure, though.

Funny how you get nervouse leading up to the famous "I" section. That part typically doesn't bother me. I get nervous as I am going through "I" which frequently makes me stumble at "J" and usually either miss with the right hand or forget to even move my left hand and I stall.

Not sure when it happened, but I have unconcsiously changed my right hand fingering through "I". It is not good and I actually have spent a few days not playing this piece until I am ready to fix the damage I have done. Somehow I have slipped over to playing the Bb with my thumb and then trying to slide up and play the C with my thumb too. I guess I am just going to have to slow it back down and retrain my mind and fingers to play it right.

OT ramble...
How have you been going through the recording process? When I am doing that I typically set to record each time I play through and then erase before I move on to the next attempt. This seems to recreate the tension for me every time I play through... Maybe that is good, maybe that is bad... I get better takes if I just record an entire session, but then I have to go and listen to it all over again, but that gets tedious and usually not worth my time. If only I had my own sound engineer who had to do all that for me.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/31/06 08:23 AM

Dean, my experience with recording is pretty much the same as yours.

I record for 20 minutes, take a few minutes break, open up a new record window and record for about 20 minutes more, etc.

If the piece went really well, I'll stop playing and cut, paste, and export it, then get back to practicing.

When I finish practicing, I have as many as 5 open record windows in the tray, one for each piece.

Having to fish something out of a 20-30 min. recording session is not that hard using the scroll bar at the bottom of the page.

I can recognize the frequency patterns of my pieces.

From a 2 hour practice session, I'll save maybe 3 or 4 pieces. Most get deleted after several days and replaced by better takes.

It's a big help listening to some of my practice sessions, not for a measure or 2, but for whole pieces.

Listening to the recordings, I can spot problems that I didn't hear as I was playing, especially with tempos and dynamics.

Yesterday I did listen to 18 minutes of scales, though.

Mel
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/31/06 08:44 AM

I haven't spent too much time on the CR, but I did record yesterday and I was fairly pleased with my first take of the day.

Except for a few lapses in concentration and uneven touch here and there, which I'll continue to work on, it went pretty well.

The tempo is mm=97, which is what the composer indicates on the score.

My actual tempo seems to vary between 96 and 98.

There are less mistakes in this performance than in my previous posts, and it's my fastest tempo, but it's not as expressive as I would like.

It almost seems too fast to me.

Here it is:


Croatian Rhapsody


Mel
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/31/06 10:21 AM

Hi Mel,

To me that was fantastic! Txs for sharing.

I'm only at 3/4 of the way with tempo and making slow progress.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/31/06 07:53 PM

 Quote:
Mel:
..it's my fastest tempo, but it's not as expressive as I would like.[/b]
Even so Mel, you've set an exceedingly high performance standard. There were some phrases where I held my breath, rapt, listening to this recording.

So very well done, indeed!
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/03/06 01:51 PM

Mel, nice job. I am still doubting how expressive this piece can really be at its intended speed. Maybe that is why Huljic didn't really put much dynamic notation in there. I am going to still build up to full speed and see what I think, but I am guessing that once I have it polished will be playing it more in the 82-86 range. Primarily to put a bigger focus on creating a musical experience based on expressiveness instead of sheer speed.

Kawaigirl1: Have you made any recordings yet?

Has anyone been sticking with the Burrows transcription?
Posted by: Kawaigirl1

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/03/06 01:59 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dk21208:

Kawaigirl1: Have you made any recordings yet?

No recordings yet. I'm learning this piece at a snail pace \:\(
Posted by: Agilita

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/03/06 02:04 PM

 Quote:
Are Jeff and I the only ones on the slow track here?
I'm definitely on the slow track. I hurt my wrist and I've had to concentrate on the recital piece. Sounds like there are others, too!
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/03/06 02:26 PM

Incomplete/Slow/Imperfect progress recordings are good too! Personally, I just like to hear how other musicians are interpretting the different elements.

I can't imagine trying to play this with a hurt anything, though. Do be very careful while still healing. Of course, piano should be great rehab for hand and wrist injuries.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/06/06 09:12 AM

It's been a while since I've looked at this thread, but I see that I've missed a lot!

Mel, as always, you're flying ahead! Sounds really good. If you can get it up to that tempo, then getting it the way you want it, at that tempo, is just a step away. Was that recording from a week ago? I'd love to hear where you're at now.

I, on the other hand, am definitely on the slow track, but really enjoying that slow track.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/07/06 12:17 AM

During the last week, I've only played through the CR a few times and have not practiced any of my difficult measures, so I don't think there's any progress to report.

Mel
Posted by: folly

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/07/06 09:37 PM

Add me to the slow track list. Likely won't be up to speed for quite awhile.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/09/06 08:35 AM

Well, we're back from Deutschland. Anthony signed himself up to play at church on the 20th and he plans to do the his take on the rhapsody. Yeah, real church music. I can't wait to see the reaction. \:D

He's had six weeks off the piano, so he'd better bust some butt to polish it off.

The week after that we're signed up to do a piano-French Horn duo. These mini-recitals are a great way to deal with performance anxiety. At least that's true for him. For me ...well.... I'll just panic.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/22/06 10:33 AM

Hmmm, am I resurrecting a dead thread? :p

The performance of the Rhapsody went very well. The church was packed and he got a nice round of applause. It was offertory music, so people actually listened (while they were fleeced).

We may get a chance to record on good equipment tonight. I'll post if we do.
Posted by: Nina

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/22/06 10:44 AM

I hope you can record.

I'm having a great time over here visualizing the Rhapsody during offertory. It would never fly with the Episcopalians around here, let me tell you! \:D

In all seriousness, there is an Episcopalian church in Tucson (St. Philips in the Hills) that has an absolutely fantastic music director and music programs. They are scholars and performance artists. The music at their services is, without doubt, some of the finest I've ever heard.

I'm sure Piano*Son and the Croatian Rhapsody would fit right in! \:\)
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/22/06 11:26 AM

Hey Nina, we DO go to an Episcopalian church, but not to the more traditional (staid??) Bruton Parish in downtown Williamsburg.

Our music director is an NEC grad. She encourages the kids to perform in public and we've got some good ones at the church.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/22/06 03:29 PM

That must have been a rousing offertory. Definitely looking forward to an updated recording of Anthony's version. Congrats to you, Anthony, on your live performance.

I had been thinking about bumping this thread for a couple of days. I don't think it is dead, just resting. I imagine we were all relaxed while getting ready for last weeks recital. Perhaps it is time time to gear up again. I do have everything fully learned, and I can play it up to speed without too many hiccups. However, I have been trying to just keep on drilling the song into my mind and fingers, because I can never play it well my first time through. I want to be able to build up to playing it right the first time. I think it is just going to take some more time and familiarity. My fingers really just have to warm up to playing this piece.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/22/06 10:47 PM

Well, we threw down three recordings of the Rhapsody this evening. His summer teacher is a close friend of mine and she let us use her recording equipment ...Korg digital box and nice Austrian microphones. Then I made a couple of recordings of
Debussy's First Arabesque, which I had never recorded before. I want to make a few more recordings tomorrow while I still have the system in my hot little hands. Then I'll post the fruits of our labor on my music page.
Posted by: Nina

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/22/06 11:44 PM

I'm looking forward to it... \:\)
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/23/06 11:20 AM

Since the topic got bumped I thought I would make an effort and post my progress as of last night. This was the best of many, many attempts.

It really does take me a while to get my fingers and arm warmed up. I am starting to feel pretty good with the pace. I actually pushed the pace up to 114bpm last night and didn't have excessive problems hitting all the notes. When I backed it back down to 96bpm I felt a little more comfortable working some with the dynamics.

I am actually pretty happy with how I am playing this overall. I am slowly building up more consistant dynamics. This will be a continuing process as I get more and more comfortable with the speed and can think more about the sound. Also, section I is still pretty muddy. But it is getting better. My left finger 4 is obviously underdeveloped right now.

Oh, well. Hope you enjoy...
Dean Croation Rhapsody - 8/22/06
Posted by: Laura D

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/23/06 04:03 PM

Well, that is way, way better than I play it!

I can play sections A-E at about 50 to 60 bpm with the metronome, sections G and H at near that without a metronome, still working on the G7 measures at the end of H, can get I without a metronome, then continue on ok to the key change, where I am just starting to learn the whole change in fingering. Hope my slow progress makes somebody feel better!
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/23/06 06:23 PM

Dean,

Nice job. I really like the staccato touches. It gives a real lift to the melody. Did I hear a touch of swing in a couple of spots. In this piece, added embellishments are the only way to individualize things.

Cheers,

DF
Posted by: ARIAS

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/23/06 07:18 PM

DK[/b] Awesome just awesome!!!
It sounds like you worked really hard on this song. Great job!
What a beautiful melody \:\) I think I will listen to it again and again.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/23/06 07:42 PM

Rhapsody:
1. Music. an instrumental composition irregular in form and suggestive of improvisation.
2. an ecstatic expression of feeling or enthusiasm.

Dean. You nailed this one![/b] (especially that second definition)

I haven't touched this piece in a while, mainly because Mel keeps posting up recordings of other music...I get seduced into getting the score then the next thing you know I'm playing with something else (making good progress on the Brazilian Samba ;\) ).

You have certainly motivated me to pull the Cr. Rhapsody back out & get to work.

The Rhapsody and the Samba...both fun pieces to play!
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/24/06 08:22 AM

Thanks everyone for all the complimentary feedback!

Laura: Sounds like you are progressing well to me. I wouldn't be this far into the piece if I weren't a little obsessive.

Piano*Dad: Yes, I do try to play with a little swing feel. Otherwise it sounds too mechanical to me.

ARIAS: Wow, thanks!

Opus 45: Thanks for the vocabulary lesson. I hadn't paused to think about what the title suggests. I have been resisting the urge to play around with the Samba until I am just a little bit happier with this one.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/24/06 04:17 PM

I've added a few files to my public folder, including a new take on the Rhapsody. Here's the link:

http://homepage.mac.com/WebObjects/FileS...&cty=US&lang=en

The mp3 file titled "Croatian Rhapsody" is the one!

I also put in Piano*Son's take on "Scene" by Prokofiev and Debussy's First Arabesque by me. But these two recordings don't have anything to do with THIS thread.

Best,

David F
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/26/06 08:35 AM

Beautiful job, Dean.

I especially like your clear, even touch.

You certainly did a lot of work on the c# minor section recently.

Thanks so much for posting your recording.

 Quote:
I have been resisting the urge to play around with the Samba until I am just a little bit happier with this one.
"Resistance is futile."




Mel
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/30/06 12:36 PM

Mel,

Is that a Dalek I see in that photo? Wow, WHO would have guessed.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 08/30/06 03:25 PM

Mel, you were right. As soon as I wrote that I was avoiding Não me toques I pulled it out the next day and started toying with it.

Piano*Dad: I finally got a chance to listen to your latest post. That is very nice. I loved those dynamics. Combined with the blending of both arrangements, Anthony really provided a nice, unique interpetation for the group. Well done.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/03/06 09:06 PM

I'm resurrecting this thread only to say I've finally[/b] worked through the dreaded section "I" and beyond, to the very end. \:\) Now if I could only get "Section I" out of my head I would be very happy (ear worm).

I made some good progress this past week and this weekend. I'm not yet playing through the entire Rhapsody with a moderate metronome setting, but expect to very soon. Then it will be a matter of bringing the entire piece up to speed and polishing it. I may attempt to memorize this piece. I'm thinking this will be time well spent in helping me bring it up to speed. I believe I'm still on track for my goal of mastering this by New Years Eve!!!

[Question for Mel & Dean...did you guys memorize any or all the this?]
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/03/06 10:11 PM

Well, when you've got it at a consistent speed, take a hack at recording it. We'll happily dissect you! \:D ;\)
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/03/06 10:17 PM

Jeff,

I absolutely memorized this piece. I almost couldn't help but memorize this one. Plus, it really helps to be thinking about this piece without trying to read the music at the same time I am playing it. You will discover that the Croatian is very easy to memorize.
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/04/06 09:06 AM

Its very repetetive
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/14/06 09:14 AM

 Quote:
Piano*Dad
Well, when you've got it at a consistent speed, take a hack at recording it. We'll happily dissect you!
 Quote:
Dean
You will discover that the Croatian is very easy to memorize.
This morning, before leaving for work, I sat down at the piano and played the Croatian Rhapsody from beginning to end.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/14/06 09:39 AM

Congrats Jeff!!!

Having the music playable from start to finish is always the most significant milestone for me with new music. I always feel like the momentum swings in my favor and the battle is downhill from there.

How about a role call on this who is still working on the Croatian?

I still play it many times each day. I feel I can play it pretty well, but still want to improve my capacity to sit down and minimize mistakes on first runs. Things sound a little bit better every day.
Posted by: Agilita

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/14/06 09:47 AM

 Quote:
I really appreciate Agilita, Laura D, and others for letting me know I wasn't the only one lagging behind the whiz kids in the group.
Now I'm the one who's lagging. I have the first two pages pretty much up to speed but still have the rest to go. Don't know why, but once I start on a section, I can't let it go until I feel it's right. And, I keep getting getting distracted and starting new pieces. There are too many suggestions around here!
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/14/06 10:04 AM

Jeff,

Looking forward to hearing the results!

Best,

David

P.S. Just to be clear, that's not MY recording. It's Piano*Son's. I haven't learned the piece. Well, I do know it inside and out, but as a page turner, teacher, gentle critic etc etc ...not as a pianist.
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/14/06 10:58 AM

Jeff,

That's great news to hear!

And isn't it a wonderful feeling?

I've been wondering where you and SK have been the past week or two.

You are both really missed, when you don't post regularly.

Mel
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/14/06 10:04 PM

Mel, what a nice thing to say (thanks).

Dean, great way to look at learning something difficult on the piano. (Momentum swings in your favor & the battle is downhill once you're able to play something from beginning to end...it is a significant milestone, for sure.) I will probably quote you on that someday.

Piano*Dad, I would like to send something to you to give to Piano*Son. I ordered Maurice Hinson's "Guide to the Pianist Repertoire" (Third Edition) several months ago. It really wasn't what I thought it would be, and is only taking up space on my bookshelves. I've watched your videos of Piano*Son's performance, and have appreciated his recordings here. I suspect he will be able to get some use from this book (?).

In my earlier post from my office this morning, I forgot to mention how helpful the fingering suggestions were for me. Thanks!

Also, for anyone still working on this: don't give up if you really want to learn to play this. It is very do-able.
Posted by: ShiroKuro

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/14/06 10:22 PM

Mel, thanks for noticing my absence! \:\) I've been lurking a lot this week, but I won't stay away for too long! \:\)

Jeff, glad to hear you're making progress with this! I have to admit that I have put this piece away for a while, but only a while. I had too many things on my practice menu, and wanted to make the whole menu a little more efficient. However, I have a very good track record for coming back to pieces that I've put away (let me brag just a little!) so I am sure I'll be coming back to the rhapsody soon, though perhaps not until after Christmas, it depends on whether I decide to have a Christmas concert or not.

Maybe I'll start a "catching up" topic... stay tuned. \:\)
Posted by: Laura D

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/15/06 08:00 AM

Well, I am still working on it, but only a little at a time. My teacher sincerely dislikes the piece and does not want to listen to it at lessons. She is willing to help me with small sections and technical questions. Mostly I am concentrating on a bunch of other music that is very hard for me and taking a lot of time, so I suspect that CR will be a long-term project.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/15/06 11:14 AM

Jeff,

What a kind offer! I don't know the book, but it looks like a good reference.

Best,

David
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/15/06 11:18 AM

David,

I think it would be a good reference for a serious pianist. If he finds he doesn't want it, perhaps he or you would know someone who would.

(PM me with a mailing address and I'll ship it out next week...I can send it c/o the university if you prefer)
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/15/06 11:37 AM

Laura,

That sounds pretty tough that your teacher dislikes the song enough to not want to help you learn it. When I took lessons I always liked to have a pile of music that I learned on my own. I guess you can think of it as a valuable self learning experience. Although, you are more than welcome to ask your questions here. You might bring up some points that nobody else has thought of yet.

ShiroKuro,

I look forward to your return to the Croatian Rhapsody. After all, you are our fearless leader who exposed us to the music in the first place.

Have a good weekend everybody.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/15/06 01:02 PM

Laura,

What's your teacher's beef? Is it pedagogical or just taste?

Cheers,

David
Posted by: Laura D

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/15/06 07:12 PM

Partly both, I think. When I first had her listen to a recording, she was interested for the first 30 seconds or so, but then I think she thought it was too patterned and repetitive to go on and on. She concentrates on classical music, so there is some feeling there. I don't really think she would mind it if it were easy for me to pick up and play in a week or two, but she thinks if I am going to spend a lot of time on a piece, it should be something more serious (I'm not quite sure if serious is the word I should use there, but something like that). I have to say I mostly agree, so I am not too bothered, and I will just learn it bit by bit on my own.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 09/15/06 07:21 PM

OK, I share some of her views. It is very patterned, as is much pop/rock/blues etc. That's one reason why it is more accessible to the average player than Chopin scherzos or Rachmaninoff preludes. On the other hand, if the piece is fun for you it can teach some useful stuff. The rhythm requires some really good two-hand coordination.
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/02/06 08:29 PM

I have been working on the CR fairly regularly lately (10-20 minutes day).

I am still thrilled with being able to play it from beginning to end. Even so, I find my playing to be quite uneven throughout the 5 pages...some sections I can whiz right through and others slow me down (i know, practice the sections that slow me down). There are some transitions between sections where my playing is a bit unreliable, and I'm working on this as well.

At this point, if I had to choose a metronome setting where I would feel confident about my playing from beginning to end, it would be around 55. This setting is just too frustratingly slow for some sections (tries my patience)...so I will be glad when I've got the whole piece up to 60-70.

Anyone else still plugging along with this, or am I the last?
Posted by: Laura D

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/03/06 07:15 AM

I think I am pretty much out for now. I am working on the Beethoven sonata Op 49 No 2 and the Brahms Waltz in Ab and I LOVE them both. Especially the Beethoven. Every little section is so beautiful. For variety I am working on Maple Leaf Rag, which is much easier than it was when I worked on it a year ago, I am happy to say. I got CR where I could stagger through most of it. I will come back and work on it some more when it is technically easier for me so it does not require so much of my time. I have this great desire to please my teacher. \:\) And it is not good to show up to lessons with little progress on my other pieces.
Posted by: Mistaya

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/03/06 03:13 PM

Hi all - I am new to the forum - found it while researching pianos - and am finding many new pieces that I'm eager to learn - so I'm perhaps a little late to participate in this thread. Both my daughter and I would love to learn this - she will pick it up much more quickly than I will - for me it will take time. So the question is - if we wanted to learn the Kanemasu version - is there a way to find the music now since I see that music was ordered and delivered long ago? Otherwise - we'll try the Burrows version. The encouraging atmosphere is inspiring.
regards,
Caroline
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/03/06 07:40 PM

Hi Caroline,

Welcome to the ABF, I'm glad you found us. You might be in luck since I'm fairly certain I ordered one extra magazine. Please give me a day or so to locate the extra copy.

As far as I know, the Kanemasu version cannot be ordered in the U.S. or Canada. It is copyrighted by Universal Music Publishing Ltd, with print rights controlled by K.K. Music Sales in Japan. It was printed in a magazine published in Japan called "Piano Life" www.ymm.co.jp/pianolife/ (volume 4). The entire magazine is in Japanese (as well as the website I just gave you), so I cannot tell you any more than that.

If you are interested in my extra copy of the magazine, just send me a private message.

This piece has been a challenge to learn, but it's also been an incredible pleasure.
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/03/06 08:50 PM

I have a file of the K version as well as the B version. I could send it to you.

P.S. Jeff, that book has a wealth of information. I had fun looking up all the "difficulty ratings" for common pieces. \:D
Posted by: Mistaya

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/03/06 10:10 PM

Thank you both - I've been working on the B version and enjoying it immensely - I think getting it up to speed will take some time. I would appreciate the file version - might be quicker than the mail. Got to learn some new pieces in honor of a new piano.
thanks,
Caroline
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/03/06 10:39 PM

I'm not in the study group, but I'll welcome you to the forum anyway, Mistaya! Hmm... a new piano? What kind? If you're already making your way through Croatian Rhapsody, you're obviously not a brand new beginner. \:D What's your piano background and what kind of music do you like to play?

p.s. to Opus45: I found your earlier statement to the effect that anybody who wants to play this piece should keep slogging away because it's do-able to be very inspirational. Maybe after I get my recital piece polished I will confront my fears and work on CR, however slowly and not so surely. ;\)
Posted by: Mistaya

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/03/06 11:06 PM

Hi Monica,
I learned so much from reading about your piano purchasing odyssey - and from others on the forum. I'm waiting for an Estonia to arrive - my brother posted on the piano forum since he bought one as well. I'm not a beginner, but I have a very checkered musical past so I'm assuming I have huge gaps in technique etc. I started with accordian when I was a child and switched to piano in my teens - I've only played off and on since then because school, work and then children took up a lot of time. I tried playing piano for church for a year a while back - just every other week - but I could never get over the nerves - it wasn't difficult musically, but my brain would shut down and my hands would shake - it got to where I couldn't sleep the week before I had to play. I gave up after a year. The last few years I've been accompanying my son's violin pieces so at least my sight reading improved. I'm quite excited about this forum - there is much I can learn here. I'm most interested in classical music and I would like to take some lessons again.
regards,
Caroline
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/04/06 08:47 AM

Mistaya
 Quote:
I started with accordian when I was a child and switched to piano in my teens
Monica will be amused to read this. Now there are at least two ABF members who also play the accordian. I also have something in common with you...a checkered piano past along with the huge gaps in technique/theory. This is a great place to help you fill in those gaps.

Congratulations on your new Estonia Caroline!

[Monica, we're here for you whenever you want to start playing the CR]

[Piano*Dad, glad someone will be getting some good use from the reference book]
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/04/06 09:51 AM

Mistaya,
Welcome to the forums and welcome to the addiction otherwise known as Croatian Rhapsody. It really is a fun song to play, once you get it under your fingers. I also feel your pain when it comes to performing for others. I too get shaky nerves and even tunnel vision when I sit down to play for an audience. I much prefer sharing my recordings...

Jeff,
Nice to see you back. You were quiet for a week or two. Also, kudos for single-handedly wearing Monica down all these months to a point where she almost committed herself to giving the CR a chance. OT: Did you ever order that copy of Last Date?

Monica,
Ha, ha, Jeff is wearing you down... Seriously, though, you should consider the statements of Piano*Dad in this thread, too. This music truly is accessible to many players. You just have to look past the daunting score and perception of excessive speed. I promise it is not as challenging as you think once you get beyond the surface. You can do it!
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/04/06 10:29 AM

Yea! Another accordion player! Mistaya, there was no doubt for me that accordion was a tremendous head start in piano, and I was relieved that it didn't take as long to pick up the bass clef as I had initially feared.

But it was a handicap in one real sense: I had, and still have, lousy playing technique. The ideas of using arm weight, rotating the wrist, and playing with your arms and not the fingers just aren't relevant in accordion, so it's been a struggle for me to play the piano correctly.

And congratulations on your new Estonia! They are great pianos.

Dean, I always have wanted to play CR since ShiroKuro first posted the recording, but feared either that I couldn't or would have to invest so much time in it that it would interfere with learning other things I wanted and wouldn't be enjoyable. But I will say I am encouraged by the progress all of you on the study group have shown... so maybe it wouldn't be that bad after all. After I finish GRYMG I won't have a challenge/stretch piece on my practice repertoire, so CR may be just the one to add. Especially now that y'all have done the hard work of figuring out the fingering for me. ;\)
Posted by: Mistaya

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/06/06 12:55 PM

This piece is huge fun and quite patterned - I just read (some of) Chang's How to Practice and he suggests learning fast pieces at close to final speed in sections - has anyone done this? Much of what he describes is so different from how I learned pieces - I always "sight read them to death" - but I'm willing to try something new.
The recordings here are wonderful! Great job. Are you all mostly
finished with the piece?
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/06/06 02:27 PM

I haven't read any of Chang's material, what exactly is the suggestion Chang is making? I too typically learn songs by trudging through them until they submit to my will. In the spirit of trying something new (online learning group) I did actually approach this piece in sections. It really worked well because there are specific moments within this piece that are substantially more challenging than the rest. Specifically I thought the two big challenges were the four measures in section I, and the final three sections after the key change (O, P, & R). I am not sure what would have been optimal, but I stayed away from O, P, and R until I had learned the rest pretty well. My reasoning was that I felt that that altered fingering only complicated my learning progress for the earlier sections. I would suggest maybe breaking down into your sections and put "I" as a top priority. It will potentially take a few weeks of drilling that section to really get a good handle on it. In the meantime you can be working through the other sections at whatever pace you choose. This may be obvious to you, but if you do break this down by section don't forget to overlap your sections so you don't have mental gaps as you transition from one section to the next.

I have quit improving. I still play it a couple times once or twice a week. I would play it more, but I have been focused on a lot of new music, which takes up a lot of my play time right now.
Posted by: Mistaya

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/06/06 03:58 PM

Thanks, Dean
I have been breaking it into sections and like you - realized section I would take some time - I haven't gone near the key change yet. The reminder to overlap sections is a good one - often don't do that.
Chang suggests that you should learn sections close to their final speed hands separate and be able to actually play them HS faster than the goal speed before putting things hands together. The logic is that finger/hand movements that are comfortable at slow speed may not work at higher speeds and you can also save yourself some time by just starting out faster. He likens it to getting a horse to gallop by increasing the speed of the walk - the actual gait is different. He does advocate slow practice as well to help memorize and suggests playing through slowly at the end of the practice. I'd hate to say too much because I haven't read through everything carefully yet. I'm eager to try his approach to memorization as well - ie. might as well memorize as I go. I guess I'm starting out months behind everyone else.
Caroline
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/06/06 04:19 PM

I definitely like the concept of memorizing during the learning process. This is something I am trying to focus on these days. My personal goal is to build up to two hours of memorized material. I have a long way to go.

You will probably find out that the repetitive nature of this piece makes it easy to memorize. I almost couldn't help but memorize it as I learned.
Posted by: musicman915

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/02/06 01:33 PM

Hi everyone, i'm not sure if this is a dead topic or not, I hope not \:\) I just heard Croatian Rhapsody a few days ago, and i found this topic and thought perhaps you guys could give me some tips that might be helpful. Right now i've memorized up to measure 35 that i keep reading all this dreaded information about. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/02/06 01:41 PM

Welcome to the forum, musicman915! My only advice is to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction of Croatian Rhapsody, before it breaks your heart. \:D

[says someone who still swears that one of these days she is going to learn that piece. ]
Posted by: Mistaya

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/02/06 02:37 PM

Welcome Musicman -
You'll find a lot of wonderful ideas on this site - and a lot of encouragement.

I'm quite new to the forum as well and started learning this piece in early Oct. Which version are you learning? The measure 35 section that I used was the K version. I learned it hands separately first and then put them together slowly and carefully. Once the brain accepted where they fit together, it was great fun to play. I did do a lot of focused practice on this section. I learned the double arpeggio section from the B score and I have trouble keeping this up to speed when not totally relaxed. For me these were the areas that needed the most attention. I still haven't spent time on the key change because it's a lot more fun to play the bits I now know.

Good luck with CR.
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/02/06 03:43 PM

Thanks musicman, for bumping this thread back up to the top where I would notice it. I remember Monica writing something about wanting to play this piece eventually, and it piqued my interest, but I forgot to write and ask what it was.

I would really love to play this! I need something fast right now. I haven't read all 17 pages of this thread, but can anyone summarize for me what edition you think is closest to the MP3 version in ShiroKuro's first message? Is there one that the composer has done that I can order, or is the Matthew Burrows one about as right as anything? I like to have a recording to be what I aim for, but if the written notes don't match it, I'll drive myself crazy trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong. (I experienced this before with Linus and Lucy--I'm sure that was the only reason I didn't sound like Vince Guaraldi :-))

Thanks for introducing this! I can't wait to get started!

Nancy
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/02/06 03:50 PM

Nancy,

Send me a private message with your Email and I will get a copy to you.

I'm leaving for holiday social(s) all evening/night & will be spending time on a horse farm tomorrow so I probably won't have an opportunity to send it to you until tomorrow or Monday, but I will get it to you. (long story re: availablility...)
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/02/06 04:06 PM

Okay--I'll email you right away. I just finished pages 1-7 of this thread, and just the logistics are hilarious. You all have incredible dedication to this great piece!

Nancy
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/02/06 10:12 PM

Dean--I just got a chance to listen to your recording, and it was great! It must have felt terrific to master this piece. Can you still play it?

And Piano*Dad, I listened to Piano*Son's recording also, and it was beautiful, a totally different interpretation. I'm sure it sounded good at church--very soothing and legato in most of the sections. Did it drive you crazy to hear him practicing this? I think some pieces are easier on the ears in their early stages than others.

Has anyone besides Dean and Piano*Son recorded this? If so, please let me know where I can find them. I've really enjoyed listening to these two.

Nancy
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/02/06 10:33 PM

Nancy,

There are two versions floating around that we used. I don't really remember which one ShiroKuro was using, but a little corner of my brain thinks it was the Burrows version. The other is the Kanemasu version. There are substantial differences. The arpeggiated section on page two (I think) of Burrows is harder than the corresponding section in Kanemasu. On the other hand, I think many people prefered the opening page of K to B. Then there is the dreaded "section I" of K, which people really liked. It has a growly syncopation that the Burrows version lacks. Get both versions and then you can mix and match various parts to your own taste. The piece is a natural for improvising your own passages as well.

Actually, the learning process was rather fun for me and Piano*Son Anthony. It was a great exercise in fingering those arpeggios and in mastering the syncopation. Then there is that transposition up a half step at the end so that you're repeating the first section on the black keys. That something fun to master as well.
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/03/06 01:59 PM

Okay, I spent some of last evening and an hour this morning playing through the K version after reading Piano*Dad's explanation and going back through all 17 pages of this thread. I do like the arpeggio section of the B, but for the time being I'm just going to work from this K score. I don't think it would be too hard to add those arpeggios after I get the rest of it nailed (unless I am too old for piano by that time).

I have some questions for any of you who were on this originally, since obviously everyone is farther ahead than I am.

1-Did you just work one section at a time, speed it up, and then move on, or did you try to keep all the sections together in tempo and then move the whole piece up?

2-Is there any pedaling in this piece? I can't tell from the recording because my computer speakers make everything sound run together.

3-Those of you that got it pretty much up to tempo--did it have to be memorized for that? I'm pretty sure I'll memorize it as I go just from repetition.

Thanks for helping me even though I'm very late to this party!

Nancy
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/03/06 04:33 PM

Nancy,

My last available issue of the PIANO LIFE magazine with the copy of the Croatian Rhapsody will be in the mail to you next week.

I know I didn't mention it to you, and I'm not sure if it was mentioned in this thread, but this magazine is entirely in Japanese (the CR is on pages 53-57).

With regard to your questions...

1-Did you just work one section at a time, speed it up, and then move on, or did you try to keep all the sections together in tempo and then move the whole piece up?[/b]

I think I'm fairly sure that everyone did pretty much everything you just described. In some places some of us worked only one section at a time, and in other places it seemed as if it made sense to learn several sections as a group.
I also seem to recall that most everyone worked on different sections and moved onto the next group of sections after achieving some sort of arbitrary tempo that felt comfortable enough to justify moving onto the next section even though it might not have been up to performance tempo. For example, I moved onto section D after getting sections A-D up to about 50-60, if memory serves.

The following is how I grouped the CR in terms of learning blocks:
  • A,B,C: First Group
  • D,E,F,G,H: Second Group
  • I: Third Group
  • J,K,L,M: Fourth Group
  • N,O,P,Q: Fifth Group
  • R: Final Group



2-Is there any pedaling in this piece? I can't tell from the recording because my computer speakers make everything sound run together.[/b]

I pedal intuitively and liberally throughout the entire Croatian Rhapsody.

3-Those of you that got it pretty much up to tempo--did it have to be memorized for that? I'm pretty sure I'll memorize it as I go just from repetition.[/b]

I did not memorize to get it up to my own current tempo, I started memorizing after I got the notes under my fingers, but from what I've learned from other threads in the ABF, this would depend on one's own personal learning style. Some folks memorize quickly as they go along, and others tend to rely on reading the notes for a longer period of time...and I'm sure there's other factors and variables involved in one's own learning style.

You didn't ask this, but I'll share it anyway. Some of us approached this head on and very rapidly relatively speaking. Others of us took more time (I was in the slower group.)

I started sometime in June, and now nearly six months later, I can play it from beginning to end at a fairly moderate tempo, but not nearly as fast as Dean, and Mel, and Piano*Son (the star performers of the group...forgive me if I left out any other star performers). I have it fairly well memorized (except for section P & Q), and intend to meet my goal of having it memorized by the end of the year. I will have to conceed that I probably won't meet my goal of playing the entire piece up to tempo by the end of the year, but I'm not dissapointed by this, rather, I remain pretty excited about increasing the tempo, and refining my interpretation of this very delightful and fun to play Rhapsody.

One more thing, there are other folks still working on this. I understand from another thread that ShiroKuro (the lady who started this thread, and was recently appointed as Moderator of the ABF) will be working on the Croatian Rhapsody once her concert is over, or at the start of the new year(?). She would be an excellent source should you have any specific technical questions...

I apologize for this lengthy post, but I think I can safely assume that only those who have an interest would bother to read this anyway ;\) .

Good Luck Nancy, and Welcome aboard!
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/03/06 04:50 PM

Thanks for so much information! That was exactly what I needed. I think grouping the sections will be especially helpful. I laughed at seeing "I" in a group by itself!

Last year I played a Bach Prelude (c minor) that I think will be a similar process to this (lots of notes played quickly).

Step one--Listen to recording. Exclaim, "No way."
Step two--Look at notes. Decide, "Not impossible."
Step three--Slowly work through notes hundreds of times until they are a sixth sense.
Step four--Start cranking up the tempo and see how close to the recording you can get.

With the Bach I never expected to get up to the recording's tempo, but I decided to keep at it for months after I normally would have determined it was complete. Another three months of playing it regularly and the tempo from the recording wasn't even that difficult. I think some things just need time to really get into your muscle memory before you can play them fast, but it is really possible to do if you give it enough time.

So now that I've taken one piece from "No way" up to tempo, I feel more confident about trying it again. I think Croatian Rhapsody will be a great one to have on my playlist. Maybe I'll make a prediction--hmmm...Feb. 15. I'll set that as my goal--we'll see what the tempo is by that day.

Nancy
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/03/06 05:03 PM

Whether or not you memorize as an adjunct to learning is a function of your learning style. P*S memorizes automatically as he goes along. This is a skill I don't have in such abundance. It sure helps him put the pieces of the puzzle together more quickly and it means he can accelerate the tempo rather rapidly once he has the basic structure in his head. But working from the page is fine too, especially if you're a good reader and you have a good tactile sense of the keyboard.

We chopped the piece up to learn it. He mastered the first section (up to "I" in the K version) as two ideas (the main theme and the arpeggios). The "I" section was a separate experience. Then the transposition up was a third, but natural, extension.

Best,

David
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/03/06 06:46 PM

I've often wondered how people memorize things. Memory work comes pretty easily to me, but I've always felt it's because the reading and getting the notes right comes so slowly that I've put lots more time into a piece than the average pianist by the time I get it under my fingers.
I have a friend who swears it takes her ten times as long to memorize a piece as to play it, so there must be all styles out there.

I think I'm going to play around with some of the sections casually, but I think I'll work hardest first on I. Rhythm is not a strong suit of mine, and having the hands so far apart makes it even harder. I think I'll feel better getting that section underway.

Nancy
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/03/06 06:52 PM

Jeff--I did remember you saying that magazine was in Japanese, which brings a question to mind--is the information on the music in Japanese also? I'm not worried about the musical information, but most especially about the copyright stuff at the bottom.

I want to play this for the Federation of Music Clubs event that my teacher tries to get all of us adult to enter in March. However, they are very picky about you having a legal copy of the music, and they are not hip to the new technology of sheet music download. I got the Rachmaninoff Prelude I'm playing as my required piece from everynote.com, and they are having to take it up the chain of command to see if I can use it or if I have to buy the book. I mean, I did buy the piece ($1.86), but it's printed out from my computer and could be a copy for all they know.

Shiro--I guess this is really a question for you unless someone else on this forum reads Japanese. Can you tell me what the copyright says on the bottom of the music in the magazine?

I'm so surprised this piece isn't available in the U.S. from any publisher. It would be a big seller, I bet.

Nancy
Posted by: musicman915

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/03/06 08:58 PM

Thank you for the warm welcome \:\)

I've been playing around with the rhapsody for 5 days now and i'm still having a blast. I decided when i heard it that i would just learn it piece by piece from beginning to end, and it's working pretty well i'd say. Unfortunately i don't even own a piano, i go up to the college that's a block away from my house to practice, so i don't get to practice as often as i'd like. Luckily, i'm getting a new Yamaha for Christmas though!

Hope everyone is doing well!


-Connor
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/03/06 09:40 PM

Great, Connor, we can form our small "latecomers" study group here on this thread. I think it's better to be late and have all these experienced Rhapsodians to help us. Too bad Santa can't bring that Yamaha a little early!

So many people recorded after they began working on this, but I'm thinking about recording the third measure of section I at many stages of work with it, sort of like a time lapse recording of one measure. This seems to be the most difficult measure, and maybe a short snippet like this will make for interesting listening later. I'll mess around with Audacity and see if this is possible without too much trouble. I'm not sure if it will be as interesting as time lapse photography, but you never know until you try it.

Nancy
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/04/06 10:08 AM

Welcome to all newcomers of the Croation Rhapsody learning group!

Nancy, thanks for your kind words about my recording. Yes I can still play it, and actually I try to remember to play it at least once every other day. There should be some links of Mel's (dannylux) progress recordings too. Mel was the master of section I, cruising through the section at full speed while it seemed the rest of us were still playing it at a snail's pace just not to stumble through the timing.

In answer to your other questions here was my approach:

1-Did you just work one section at a time, speed it up, and then move on, or did you try to keep all the sections together in tempo and then move the whole piece up?

I normally work through a piece all at once, but I did break it into sections. The I section did require isolation and rigorous practice in order to learn. I also had everything else down pat before finally forcing myself to finally learn the whole key change at the end. I felt like it was easier to effectively tackle the ending without trying to learn the original key at the same time.


2-Is there any pedaling in this piece? I can't tell from the recording because my computer speakers make everything sound run together.

I am probably an example of the pianist who over uses pedaling, but I did use the pedal pretty extensively throughout. There are actually a few sections that I still play with the timing of the pedaling because I do think they get a little muddy.


3-Those of you that got it pretty much up to tempo--did it have to be memorized for that? I'm pretty sure I'll memorize it as I go just from repetition.

The repetition did pretty much force me to memorize this piece. A good thing because I typically play fast pieces better if I memorize them before working them up to full speed. I memorized this piece faster and easier than anything I have ever memorized. Not sure why that was. I possibly had some sections memorized before I could even play them.

I haven't been very active on the forum lately, but if you hit any snags along the way I will be happy to try and help you through them.
Posted by: musicman915

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/04/06 06:26 PM

A latecomer's group sounds wonderful! And yes, i too wish I could get my yamaha a little bit sooner \:\) but as long as it comes i'll be happy! Nancy, just curious are you using the Burrows version or not? I'm using the Burrows version, but from reading earlier posts it sounds like they're very similar. I think I'm going to go up to the college tonight and try to work through section I, doesn't look too difficult, but then again seeing and playing are two completely different things \:\)

Connor
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/04/06 07:14 PM

 Quote:
NancyM333
I did remember you saying that magazine was in Japanese, which brings a question to mind--is the information on the music in Japanese also? I'm not worried about the musical information, but most especially about the copyright stuff at the bottom.

I want to play this for the Federation of Music Clubs event that my teacher tries to get all of us adult to enter in March. However, they are very picky about you having a legal copy of the music, and they are not hip to the new technology of sheet music download. I got the Rachmaninoff Prelude I'm playing as my required piece from everynote.com, and they are having to take it up the chain of command to see if I can use it or if I have to buy the book. I mean, I did buy the piece ($1.86), but it's printed out from my computer and could be a copy for all they know.
I just checked the magazine and it does contain the Copyright information (in English) that you are looking for.

This is the Copyright infomation for the CROATIAN RHAPSODY:

Music by Tonci Huljic
Copyright by UNIVERSAL MUSIC PUBLISHING LTD.
All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.
Print rights for Japan controlled by K.K. MUSIC SALES[/b]

By the way, for anyone else reading this who would be interested in purchasing published copies of the CR:

Unfortunately I have no more available copies from the pack of magazines we ordered from Japan when this learning group was first organized. I suppose if you're sufficiently motivated, you might be able to find more magazines, or other sources that would also have the CR in print form, from the limited information I was able to provide in this post.
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/04/06 07:38 PM

Thanks, Jeff. It doesn't look like I'm going to be able to play this for the judges as they require the pieces to be from "established" composers, but I am going to try to have it ready for my teacher's spring recital. I also play for her high school students from time to time, and this would be a fun one to let them hear.

Connor, I'm doing the Kanemasu version. I listened to the two versions that people had posted in this thread (Dean's and P*S Anthony's), and I think the Kanemasu version is what I am looking for.

And hearing you talking about walking up to the college on a cold December night in West Virginia makes me pretty glad I just have to get my tail off the couch and go to the living room! You are dedicated.

Nancy
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/04/06 08:00 PM

You're very welcome Nancy. I just placed the magazine in my car so I will remember to get it to the post office ASAP.

I'm looking forward to reading about your progress, and maybe you might consider sharing a recording with us?

Connor: Your motivation is really remarkable!
Posted by: musicman915

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/04/06 09:52 PM

Thanks for the K-version Jeff! I'm going to look over it tonight to see if i should shift over, hopefully it's not too significant of a jump. And yes, it definately was a cold December night in West Virginia. I believe it was in the mid/low 20's while i walked the 2 blocks to our music hall. Thankfully playing is always worth it!

Nancy- hope all is well and the Rhapsody is coming along nicely! \:\)

Hopefully (when Christmas comes and i get my Yamaha \:\) ) i can record a little bit!

-Connor
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/05/06 03:56 PM

Mel--I finally went through the posts again and found your last recording of this piece. Great job! I love your crescendo going to the C# section, and your section I was very clear. Are you still playing this at all?

I just wonder how much tempo and certainty of notes goes up for people as they let this piece simmer a bit. That would be hard to measure if you're already at tempo, but maybe it could be measure a little by the number of times it takes to record it. Fast pieces always give me a hard time when the red dot is on.

Nancy
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 03/16/07 01:24 PM

I'm resurrecting this thread because I'm finally getting some time to work on this piece. I started fiddling with it around Christmas, then put it aside for a deadline piece I had going, and I came back to it about three weeks ago. I've been surprised how well it's been going. I just got to the black notes section, which is making me crazy when I go back to the white notes section, but I'm sure it will come together. I'm actually a little hopeful I will have it ready for my teacher's next recital, which I think will be in June. I've got a lot of work to do before it's up to tempo (which will definitely require memorization), but I think I can do it if I give it enough time.

Here is my question: I would like my teacher to hear the Kanemasu recording of it that is in ShiroKuro's first post to this thread, but it's not a file I can play from my computer without being hooked up to the internet. How else can I let her hear it? Is it on Rhapsody? I have a neighbor who downloads from there for me. I really like this Kanemasu version, so I'd like her to hear that one if possible.

This piece is so much fun to play! It's very rewarding after spending months on a piece that I never got quite right.

Thanks,

Nancy
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 04/22/07 11:31 PM

I'm reporting in to say that I have almost every section of this piece up to time. That's the good news. The bad news is that each section is a bit disconnected from the ones before and after it (a problem that comes from dissecting a piece too much, I guess), so now my short-term goal is to play it straight through.

Even at tempo, it doesn't sound like the recording. Maybe I play with too much pedal, or I'm not emphasizing the main melody notes enough. Maybe I'll record myself and see if I can detect the problem.

Once you start playing fast, Croatian Rhapsody is just as much of a workout as Hanon (and sounds a lot better!)

Nancy
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 04/23/07 10:08 AM

It DOES have some of the character of an exercise, doesn't it! You even get to transpose up a half step.

You can work out the transition between sections. It's just a matter of slow practice over the joining measures.

I would certainly drain off the pedal between chord shifts. Otherwise you'll have a very muddy sound. But I think judicious use of the pedal is needed in this piece. It's not Bach, and I think the pedaling allows you to pick out the melody note more effectively over the residual sound of the harmony.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 04/23/07 11:02 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by NancyM333:
I'm reporting in to say that I have almost every section of this piece up to time. [/b]
Wow!! That's impressive, Nancy! I can't wait to hear your recording.
Posted by: Amaiakuyume

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/01/07 02:01 AM

Hey, sorry for butting in here, but I have a question...

Does anyone know how I could get my hands on the version from the Japanese magazine and how much it would cost me? My teacher likes the song but is rather critical of the transcription, so I wanted to show her the other arrangement to see what she thought of it.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/02/07 08:46 AM

I sent you a PM on the issue. ShiroKuro and Opus45 did all the leg work to provide about 20 copies of the magazine to the US. Opus45 then mailed out a copy to anyone who wanted to purchase it. It looks like Nancy got the last copy from Jeff a few months ago, but you might want to check with him to be sure. I don't remember the cost, but I think it was about $17. I still have the pdf file from those of us that didn't step up to the purchase price. It states it is for personal use, so even though I guess you could say that it is a grey area of interpretation it is seemingly not copyright infringement to possess or share with someone else interested in studying the piece. If need be send me your email address via PM and I will pass it along. Good luck.
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/02/07 01:55 PM

I have a question as I finish this piece up. My section D just doesn't sound right. The recording we have (I forget the artist, but it's the one at the beginning of this thread) sounds a little more jazzy or syncopated or something, and I can't figure out how he does it. I have tried playing the CD and then playing it right afterward, but I still can't quite get the beat right. Maybe he's not playing it as it's written, but I thought this version was written by the computer directly from the CD.

It's very hard to push myself up to time on this piece. I've started playing the recording and playing along with it. It goes pretty well until I start tiring at about section L (about 2/3 through), and then I begin to break down and can't keep up with him.

Thanks for any ideas you all have on section D. I know it's been a long time since many of you have looked at it.

Nancy
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/02/07 09:33 PM

Nancy, what helped me with section D (and the other sections for that matter) was listening to recordings from dean (dk21208) and Mel (dannylux)...they are posted in this thread somewhere.

Amaiakuyume, I wish I could help you, but unfortunately I mailed the last copy of the magazines we purchased to Nancy.
Posted by: brazospiano

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/02/07 11:11 PM

The song is very beautiful.... I would love to learn it.

I am not that good.... I struggled through the Entertainer but have the notes down in about 2 weeks although I still make mistakes and am only about 1/2 - 1/3rd up to speed. Is this song a lot harder, or just longer? I don't mind a challenge, but don't want to bite off more than I can chew.
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/03/07 12:13 AM

It is a beautiful song, Wade. I don't know how to advise you. It's not that hard, but then I've been playing it since late February. I think I will have it down and memorized by mid-June. It sort of rolls of the fingers (after hours of practice), so I would say it's definitely not as hard as it sounds. On the other hand, it must be played cleanly to sound good, and that's a challenge at that speed.

Every person's time and ability make this different for them. I think if it takes me four months or less from start to performance (usually memorized), then that's an easy piece. From four-six months is a moderate piece (I'll put this one there). Six to nine months, a difficult one. More than nine--either exptremely long or probably way too hard for me. You might want to define the terms easy, medium and hard for yourself, then you can decide how pieces fall. I never quite know until I'm into them.

Let us know if you decide to start it. Reading the pages of this thread has been very helpful to me.

Nancy
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/03/07 05:13 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by brazospiano:
The song is very beautiful.... I would love to learn it.

I am not that good.... I struggled through the Entertainer but have the notes down in about 2 weeks although I still make mistakes and am only about 1/2 - 1/3rd up to speed. Is this song a lot harder, or just longer? I don't mind a challenge, but don't want to bite off more than I can chew. [/b]
Wade,

No, Croatian Rhapsody is not a lot harder than The Entertainer.

I would say it's about the same difficulty level.

As I remember, it took me about 4-6 weeks to learn, before I posted my last recording in this thread.

In contrast, each of my last three Recital pieces took me 12-20 weeks to learn.

If you look back in this thread, you'll see that we learned the CR in sections, and posted recordings of each section as we progressed.

This was a great motivator, as well as great fun.

It's also an excellent experience to post imperfect, sometimes wildly imperfect, recordings.

This can help overcome the character flaw of perfectionism.

Mel
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/03/07 11:09 AM

Nancy,
I too like the sound when it is played with a jazzier more syncopated sound. I frequently struggle with syncopating my rhythms and just have to take it as slow as needed to be able to feel the groove between the beats. This helps because it gives me time to over exaggerate the offbeat emphasis and get a more solid sense of the rhythm. Does that make sense?

As far as getting it up to speed it just takes time and repetition. I used a lot of metronome work so I could gauge my progress each day. I also worked without the metronome so I didn't become reliant on it. Each day I ranged the tempo from so slow I can't take it anymore to so fast that my mind wanted to shut down and quit sending the right instructions to my fingers and then back down again. It seemed like a good way to stress my brain, then let it relax. Rinse. Repeat. Just don't be discouraged with the tempo because I never really felt like I realized the fruits of my labor until the following day when working on this piece.
Posted by: dk21208

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/03/07 11:19 AM

Wade,
You will find that this song sounds hard and looks hard. Give it a chance. Learning the notes is not as challenging as you might think. The biggest barrier to success is the speed. I would guess I spent 10-20% of my time just learning the music the rest was all on building up the tempo. There is a lot of repetition to the point that I couldn't help but memorize the notes. Which was important to me because I don't think I could have reached the correct tempo while still trying to actually read the music each time through.
Posted by: brazospiano

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/05/07 12:02 AM

Thanks for all your encouragement! I looked at the sheet music and all the flats always intimidate me, but at least you rarely have to play more than 2 notes at a time, so I am rolling up my sleeves for this one. I know I can learn it if I go slow and keep plugging away a little bit each day and then slowly getting up to speed bit by bit.
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/08/07 03:22 PM

I wanted to report in that the advice I got here from Piano*Dad and Dean has made a huge difference.

First, P*D, you were absolutely right about the pedal. I recorded myself again, this time with more pedal and only refreshing with the chord, and it sounded so much better--fuller & livelier, and the melody stood out a lot more. It seems counterintuitive that the melody could stand out better with more blending, but it definitely does.

Dean, I used your excruciatingly slow then lightning fast practice method, and I can see a big difference in a week of doing that.

I still don't have the syncopation right, but I am going to spend the next few days finding all the recordings of this piece and listening to each several times. I plan on submitting it to the May Recital (better start now getting a clean recording of it), and then I'm playing it for my teacher's summer recital on June 16. I think it will be a big hit.

By the way, I heard Croatian Rhapsody last week between stories on Morning Edition, a National Public Radio program here in the states. I almost dropped my coffee cup when I heard it!

Nancy
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/08/07 10:25 PM

 Quote:
By the way, I heard Croatian Rhapsody last week between stories on Morning Edition, a National Public Radio program here in the states. I almost dropped my coffee cup when I heard it!
Did NPR play the whole thing or was it a snippet between news stories?

Glad the pedaling idea helped. It does indeed seem counterintuitive at first, except that the pedal allows the voiced melody to linger longer above a quieter arpeggiated chord structure.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/08/07 10:27 PM

But what about the dreaded section I? It would seem like pedalling would turn that into mush...
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/08/07 10:30 PM

Indeed it would! That's not the section I'm thinking about.
Posted by: brazospiano

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/08/07 11:13 PM

I have gotten most of the notes down the first two pages. There are only two sections where the bass suddenly matches note for note to the RH where I have a lot of trouble. Other than that it is slow but sounds decent.

I think the piece is def. easier than the Entertainer... Of course I only have 2/6 pages down so far. I am not sure which version I am learning... I have two copies but think I am working on the version Dan posted, as I listened to it several times and his play seems to match it as far as I can tell. I think this is the version from the Japanese magazine...
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/09/07 09:56 PM

Great work, Wade! That's very fast learning. I agree about the places where the notes are exactly together--an arpeggio in the left hand. I have a hard time keeping my hands together there, even after all this practice.

I've now got it totally memorized and totally up to time, except that I seem to start slowing down about halfway through, even though I don't intend to. Maybe it's stamina or something. I have a few places where the notes I play differ from what's on the page, and it's hard to go back and relearn it the way it is supposed to be.

Piano*Dad--It was played as the interlude between stories on Morning Edition. They also included one by the same composer and same performer called "Hana's Eyes." Here\'s the link to it.

Nancy
Posted by: Piano*Dad

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/14/07 09:39 AM

Nancy,

I don't remember whether you've recorded it already. If not, do so and put it in the May 15th recital!

Cheers,

David
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/14/07 10:49 PM

David,
I did just record it this weekend and have submitted it. I'm not too pleased with it, but I still have a month to work on it before I play it for my teacher's recital. My fingers sound sluggish to me, and it was much worse on her piano today that has stiffer action than mine.

I got a pretty good take early in the weekend, but I recorded next to an open window with the dog barking, so I redid it. There are a few missteps here and there, but it's okay. Recording yourself is very humbling.

Nancy
Posted by: playadom

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/16/07 11:05 PM

Speaking of section I, everybody should play it in octaves. That's what I do, and it's great!
Posted by: YD

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/19/07 02:18 AM

Greetings, everyone.

I confess: after the spring recital, I succumbed to the CR craze and decided to learn it. I looked at the score and sight-read the first 2 pages at recognizable tempo (something like 60) - not too bad - I could sight read (with many errors, mind you) up to the point where the 2 hand start playing 16th - then I had to divert to playing chords instead of 16th in the left hand.

Do I understand it correctly that there are 2 different versions of the score? If yes, where can I get the second one?

Thanx,

P.S. This forum is getting addictive. How do you guys and gals deal with it ???
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/19/07 03:42 AM

Three versions:

Burrows

Kanemasu

Maksim

Most of us play the Kanemasu version (K version). It's lighter and has that wicked "I" section.

The Burrows' version is a little heavier, and the "I" section isn't as interesting as the K version.

Maksim's version is the heaviest.

Which version do you have?

The Burrows' version is available in SK's first post on the first page of this thread.

Mel
Posted by: playadom

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/19/07 09:44 AM

Most of us have the K version. You could PM somebody and see if they have the score.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/19/07 09:53 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by YD:
P.S. This forum is getting addictive. How do you guys and gals deal with it ??? [/b]
er...some of us don't! \:o
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/19/07 11:28 AM

I know what you mean, YD. Someone on this forum has a signature that says something like: Teacher says, "Practice more. Post less." I laugh every time I see it. On the other hand, I've gotten so much great information and feedback on the forum, that I know it's made my playing better. Plus, it's great fun and there are lots of nice people here!

By the way, I just printed out the Burrows version the other day from SK's post. I play from the K version, but I'm not sure if it's still saved on my hard drive. I'll look and let you know. I didn't realize there was a Maksim version.

Nancy
Posted by: YD

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/19/07 11:11 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by NancyM333:
I know what you mean, YD. Someone on this forum has a signature that says something like: Teacher says, "Practice more. Post less." I laugh every time I see it. On the other hand, I've gotten so much great information and feedback on the forum, that I know it's made my playing better. Plus, it's great fun and there are lots of nice people here!
[/b]
Indeed, I've only been active here for 2 weeks, and already gor so much great info. What a great bunch of enthusiastic people!

 Quote:

By the way, I just printed out the Burrows version the other day from SK's post. I play from the K version, but I'm not sure if it's still saved on my hard drive. I'll look and let you know. I didn't realize there was a Maksim version.
[/b]
I started looking at Burrow's version - but just got both K and Maksim versions from Mel (Thanx a lot!). Maksim's version is what I'll be learning - it has a beautiful, syncopated bass line played mostly in octaves - I just played through the first 2 pages at half tempo, and it is absolutely amazing! Will take quite a while to master, though, it is much heavier than either K or B versions.

Now, how'bout joining the Libestraum learning group? (sorry for the shameless plug ;\) )
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/20/07 07:09 AM

I am honored you'd ask me to join the Liebestraum group. I just began Liszt's Consolation, and I think I'll finish that before tackling Liebestraum. I've been reading the posts over there, though, and I'm going to follow along with your progress.

Mel, could you send me the Maksim version also? I don't think I've ever seen it, and although I doubt I'll switch at this point, maybe I could add a few aspects of Maksim to my K version and see how it sounds.

Thanks,

Nancy
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/20/07 07:30 AM

Glad to.

Done.

Mel
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/20/07 11:23 AM

Thanks, Mel. That is an interesting arrangement--lots of octaves, like YD said. I'm sure it sounds fuller. I notice the I section doesn't have the rests of the K version, so that will sound different.

Which versions have been recorded by our group? I think Piano*Son did the Burrows version with some changes.

Nancy
Posted by: playadom

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/20/07 03:46 PM

I didn't know there was a Maksim version.

Please send me a copy.
Posted by: YD

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/20/07 04:04 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by playadom:
I didn't know there was a Maksim version.

Please send me a copy. [/b]
I sent it to you via PM.
Posted by: brazospiano

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/20/07 10:01 PM

I have started the K version and am immersed in it. I had my first lesson since 1989 last Wednesday. I am working on CR and the Entertainer. My timing is atrocious, but I am making some progress.

What is the Maksim version like? Can someone send me a copy.

Has anyone liked different versions enough to blend them? Gee, the K version sounds so great I can't imagine what the others sound like. I am also curious why there are so many versions. Is the original author rolling over in his grave over all this? Is this an obscure piece? My piano teacher had never heard of it.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/20/07 10:08 PM

brazospiano, somewhere in these 19 pages you'll see a post by piano*dad describing how his son cut and pasted sections from the K and Burrows transcriptions together. Or if you don't want to read all 19 pages \:D , you can try sending a PM to piano*dad and asking what they did.
Posted by: YD

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/20/07 11:58 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by brazospiano:

What is the Maksim version like? Can someone send me a copy. [/b]
I sent it to you via PM.

 Quote:
Originally posted by brazospiano:

Has anyone liked different versions enough to blend them? Gee, the K version sounds so great I can't imagine what the others sound like. I am also curious why there are so many versions. Is the original author rolling over in his grave over all this? Is this an obscure piece? My piano teacher had never heard of it. [/b]
I looked at all three of them (earnier today - before that I only looked brievly at B version), and originally decided to learn Maksim version for a much fuller bass line. Then I started playing the first page and found some places whre I liked B version better. Maksim bass is waaaayyy better IMHO though, so if I were to stick with strict note-by-note playing, I'd still go with Maksim. However, I don't have to stick with anything- I am just doing this for fun. So I play a "not-quite Maksim" version now (only got 1st page at about 80 beats per second, so it is really just beginning). I found the piece to be quite flexible, and easy to modify to suite your tastes.

CR is not an obscure piece, but a modern "rock-classic" fusion composition, so, if your teacher is only into classical music, it is not very surpsing the (s)he never heard of it.
Posted by: YD

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/21/07 12:05 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by brazospiano:
Is the original author rolling over in his grave over all this? [/b]
Hopefully, the author, Tonči Huljić ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonci_Huljic ), is still alive and well, ans so is Maksim Mrvica ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maksim_Mrvica ) \:\)
Posted by: brazospiano

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/23/07 11:03 PM

Thanks Yuri! I checked out YouTube and found Maksin playing Croatian Rhapsody with an orchestra. Pretty cool! The Hungarian Rhapsody is also quite beautiful, but longer and appears harder.

Croatian Rhapsody by Maksim
Posted by: playadom

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/23/07 11:12 PM

For some reason, I just hate Maksim's version of Hungarian Rhapsody #2. Same thing with the Horowitz transcription and others like that.
Posted by: YD

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/24/07 12:50 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by playadom:
For some reason, I just hate Maksim's version of Hungarian Rhapsody #2. Same thing with the Horowitz transcription and others like that. [/b]
Ha, I'd say the same thing about the Lang Lang version - Maksim's seem to click with me just fine
Posted by: YD

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 05/24/07 12:58 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by brazospiano:
Thanks Yuri!
[/b]
You are welcome
 Quote:

I checked out YouTube and found Maksin playing Croatian Rhapsody with an orchestra. Pretty cool! The Hungarian Rhapsody is also quite beautiful, but longer and appears harder.
[/b]
Wade:

This is an understatement of a century. 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody is up there with Liszt's Transcendental and Chopin's 10- and 25- series etudes in the level of difficulty, while Croatian Rhapsody, even in the harder Maksim's version is, well, maybe, grade 6 or so. The score I have of the 2nd rhapsody is 30 pages long (dense!), CR is 5 \:D The Presto part of 2nd rhapsody is played twice as fast as CR
Posted by: Patty39

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/07 04:46 AM

Hopping into this study group out of nowhere I must say that this piece and Nancy's performance of it in the recital threw me of my chair. Superb job, Nancy! What's even better, I played the piece to my teacher last week and gave her the score, she was immediately intrigued - and came to my lesson today, sat down and started playing the piece. And what's even much more better (sorry for violating English grammar) is what she said after that: "Sit down, you can learn this piece, let's start." Which we did. \:D

Patty
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/07 08:24 AM

Hey, Patty--

That's great that your teacher likes this piece. I had the same experience. My teacher is likes some jazz/blues pieces, but she's mainly classical. I thought she'd dislike Croatian Rhapsody, but she really likes it and is very excited that I'm playing it for my adult recital next week. In fact, she told another adult who was thinking of skipping the recital, "No, you have to come and hear Nancy's piece." That made me feel great. I've played some things that are lots harder than CR, but CR is just fun and infectious. I have been going over to her house and practicing on her piano we use for the recital. It's a Yamaha grand, and the bass is very big compared to the treble, and the keys are much stiffer than on my Yamaha upright. By the last page my arms are tired and my fingers sloppy, and the bass comes out booming over the right hand. So I hope to remedy those problems with a little practice there.

By the way, at the recital I have to introduce the piece with something about the composer. Does anyone have any information about him aside from what is on Wikipedia? I have the Piano Life magazine, but it's in Japanese so I don't know if it gives any information about him or not. Wikipedia's information is pretty sketchy. I'm not sure it even says what his age is.

By the way, Patty, you have the smoothest English I have ever seen from a non-native speaker. I know you work as a translator, but even knowing that I am always surprised by your mastery of slang and idioms that we use on PW. I am very typical of Americans in that I know very little of any language besides English (I took French in high school and a refresher class ten years later for a trip to France, and I haven't used my French since then, and that's been 20 years now). So I am always impressed by someone's ability to speak and write a second language. I think the English speakers on this forum take it for granted, but you all amaze me.

Nancy
Posted by: Tony.S

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/07 03:12 PM

I'm just looking at learning this piece. I have a version of Croatian Rhapsody by Tonci Hyljie - but I'd really like to learn Maksim's version - sounds like it is different. Where would I find this and/or can anyone send me a copy?

Thanks
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/07 03:39 PM

The one I have is the Kanematsu version, I think. I'm not at home right now, but if you haven't gotten one by Sunday when I get back from the beach, I'll get it out of my home computer file and PM it to you.

Nancy
Posted by: Tony.S

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/07 11:38 PM

Thanks Nancy - I'm assuming the Kanematsu version is the one Maksim uses?
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/08/07 11:54 PM

No, Maksim plays his own version.

I'll email it to you.

You can find the Burrows version of the first page of this thread.


Mel
Posted by: Patty39

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/09/07 01:09 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by NancyM333:

By the way, Patty, you have the smoothest English I have ever seen from a non-native speaker.
Nancy [/b]
Wow, that goes down like milk and honey! Thanks a lot, it is just good old German quality education ... and reading all these great American novel writers ;\) .

Patty
Posted by: brazospiano

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/07 12:26 AM

If anyone learns the Maksim version and records it (slow is almost better for me to listen and learn from it), I would love to hear it.

I have stopped work on CR for several weeks while I polish off the Entertainer. It is no means recital ready, but it is getting closer. I am going to start CR after my lesson on Wed. Right now I am planning on doing the K version, but would consider doing the Maksim version but I would sure like to hear it first...
Posted by: LiszThalberg

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/10/07 09:53 AM

One year ago, when this thread started, I searched youtube for a Croatian Rhapsody Video of someone playing. Now there are at least 10 home videos of people playing. I think the song is becoming more popular.

Matt
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/13/07 12:01 AM

Thanks for looking that up, Matt. I'm finishing this up for my adult recital this weekend, so it will be fun to see & hear some other people playing it before I do. It has been great fun.

Nancy
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/15/07 07:46 PM

I have to introduce this piece with information about it for my recital Saturday night, and I found very little when I searched Google. I did find, though, that it's quite a popular piece with figure skaters (Irina Slutskaya, for one), and it appears to be classified as "Turbo-Folk." Huljic composes for both rock and classical-type performers, and he has pieces that seem even more popular than Croatian Rhapsody. In all that searching, though, I never could figure out what year it was written.

Nancy
Posted by: Libertine

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/30/07 07:32 PM

Hi, i'm new here. I found this site through a search on google for croatian rhapsody and this whole site looks like exactly what i need!

Anyway, if anyone can send me the kanemasu version through pm then i would be realy grateful.

Thanks. Can't wait to get started on this!
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 06/30/07 09:59 PM

Welcome Libertine,

Check your PMs.


Mel
Posted by: Libertine

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/01/07 07:56 AM

Really appreciate that mel! Thanks \:\)
Posted by: Roger Ransom

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/02/07 07:32 PM

I have been following this thread from the beginning and even though I have not posted anything (I really didn't need to) I have been working on this great piece since then. My biggest problem was some of the fingering but there were several solutions and I found one that works for me. While I would not say I have mastered it, I can play it well enough (most of the time) that I don't mind playing it for friends.

There is something very appealing about it that I never tire of and it's one of those pieces that just feel good under my hands (Ragtime makes may hands feel good too).

So, anyway, thanks for all the, unintended, help. I love it!!
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/03/07 05:43 AM

Roger,

If you'd like to post your recording of CR, I'd love to hear it.


Mel
Posted by: Roger Ransom

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/03/07 09:18 PM

I'm working on that. the dreaded 'red dot' is beating me up :-)
Posted by: dannylux

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/04/07 12:45 AM

I'm looking forward to your recording.

A year ago I started recording every one of my practice sessions.

After three days, fear of the red dot decreased markedly.

Within 2-3 weeks, the fear was gone.

No more anxiety and sweaty hands and slippery keys.


Mel
Posted by: arimasen

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/04/07 04:09 PM

Hey everyone. I've been lurking through this thread for some time now. I also found the forum on Google while searching for "Croatian Rhapsody".

Would it be possible for someone to PM me the Maksim version of this song? I had no idea that he actually released some sheet music for it. It would be cool to compare the real one to the other transcriptions available.

Thanks!
Posted by: jazzman147

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 07/08/07 05:58 AM

Hi
I've just started looking at this piece and it sounds beautiful, I'm currently working on the Burrows version from the first thread. Is this vastly different from the kanemasu version which I've been listening to? Also is there any chance someone could send me the kanemasu sheet music so that I can compare the two?

Thanks
Paul
Posted by: juxtrkov

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/24/07 11:30 PM

hey people, recently got back to playing the piano after a 6 year hiatus, looks like i'll be paying this place a visit very often from now on, haha.

Decided to pick up this song 3 weeks back (I'd say quite a bold move for a 3rd grader in piano hee)

So, I've got these 2 versions of CR scores, one Burrows' and the other Maksim's, but listening to recordings from dannylux and piano*dad, I want to mix in some parts from the kanemasu version, so as to make it 'one of my own', searched everywhere for the score but can't seem to find it.

If anyone has the kanemasu score it'll be great if you could send it to me please,I realise many people are after this score too haha. hopefully I'll be able to post my own version in a month time.


regards
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/25/07 11:20 PM

I'm not sure which one it is that I play. Have you searched back on the early pages of this thread to see if your two match one of those that is partially posted? I have one I can send you, I'm just not sure if it's one you already have.

Nancy
Posted by: Gabriel Qiu

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 02/17/08 08:26 AM

Hello all I'm new to this forum. I'm close to finishing up the Burrow's version of Croatian Rhapsody(just need to work on the speed a tad more and abit of fingering method). I heard the K version of this song and I really love it! Is there anyone that can send me the K version of Croatian Rhapsody please? I can't stop playing this version over and over, it sounds really fun to play!
Posted by: Weaverwoman7

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 02/17/08 10:07 PM

Where can I get the score for this? I tried downloading from the Maksim site, but no luck.
Thanks
Posted by: Weaverwoman7

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 02/17/08 11:30 PM

Never mind, I've got it after all. This is going to be fun!
Posted by: Gabriel Qiu

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 02/18/08 01:51 AM

Thanks Dannylux, for the K version!
Posted by: AJDionysus

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/12/08 06:05 PM

Hello everyone. As you can see, I am new to the forum. Although I joined specifically for this piece, I am sure I will benefit from many of the other great threads this forum has to offer.

I am excited to get started on this piece. Therefore, I would greatly appreciate it if someone could send me the Kanemasu version. I would also be interested in the Maksim version if anyone has it.

Please PM me and if you can't send it via PM I will give you my email.

Thanks in advance!

(EDIT) Thank You Danylux
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/22/08 08:10 AM

Hi AjDionysus--

How did you hear of this piece? Since I heard about it on this forum, I'm curious how you would have come to want to play it.

I finished it about 18 months ago, and it's one I play every few days still. It's so much fun!

Nancy
Posted by: Opus45

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/22/08 08:40 AM

I was surprised to see this thread revived!

AJDionysus, I hope you have as much fun as I did learning to play this one. I call this one "finger fun".

Nancy, did you ever hear or download the sheet music to the Brazilian Samba (think the translated name is something like..."Don't Touch me"?)? Mel (dannylux) discovered that one & recorded a performance for us a while ago. If you enjoy playing the Croatian Rhapsody, you will probably also enjoy the Brazilian Samba. It is shorter, and easier to learn and a real technical treat for the fingers. I am sure you would enjoy playing that one often as well!
Posted by: NancyM333

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 10/23/08 11:09 PM

Thanks for the idea, Jeff. I'm truly amazed at how much I love playing Croatian Rhapsody. I'm not really a piano player, more of a piano practicer, but I always have time to sit down for a full rendition of Croatian Rhapsody. I will look up Brazilian Samba from Mel. I've been stuck on some uninspiring pieces lately--or maybe just in an uninspired mental state--so I'd like to pick things up with a Samba.

Nancy
Posted by: mwrenchd

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/28/10 06:59 PM

This thread looks like it's been quiet for a long time, but I wandered in here from the "important topics" sticky post.

I finally came back to the piano about 2 weeks ago with the purchase of a Roland FP-7F. Having not played in over a decade, I forgot how much I love it.

Anyway, after listening to a couple recordings of Croatian Rhapsody, this sounds fun and looks like something that I can tackle. But sufficiently challenging speed-wise to keep me practicing for a while and get me back into a groove.

So I've downloaded the B version and played with it a few times this evening. I also just found a copy of the M version, which I have yet to try playing. However, no dice on the Kanemasu transcription.

I'm hoping there is a kind soul who could point me in the right direction or might have it handy and can share.

Thanks!
Posted by: EmptySpace

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 12/29/10 06:34 AM

I'm looking for the K transcription, too!

Please? smile
Posted by: Stephanie5

Re: Croatian Rhapsody Learning Group - 01/10/13 11:26 AM

Hi everyone,
a long time since the last message here. I came across the Croatian Rhapsody only couple of months ago, when I started playing piano again after a break of several years. I found Maksim on YouTube, and I have two versions of the music score, one is "B" and the other is something special, there's a link http://upiece.co.kr/.
It could be close to the "K", but not exactly the same, as far as I compared some parts in this forum.
As the people before me, I would like to ask if someone can be so kind and send me the "K" version.
I already started with "B", playing very slowly and hardly, and I'm very curious the "K".
Thanks a lot!