Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice)

Posted by: feebeeliszt

Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 01:59 PM

Have been working on this since August (unfortunately) without a teacher. It makes me feel very unsafe as I have no idea if I am on the right track.

May you please give me some comments? I have recorded the beginning and the end of the 3rd movement only due to lack of time. For the passage with right hand semiquavers, I am so unsure if I am playing it with the right movement as I think I have heard lumps in the videos.


Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 02:12 PM

This is a HARD piece. Kudos for you taking it on.

It sounds fine to me. Your sense of long line is great, overall the projection of the top voice isn't bad, maybe continue to focus on that some more, and the fast runny notes are coming out pretty well, keep up the slow practice and proper sinking and transferring of your arm weight into each note!

In the second video, how come your wrists are so high when you play the octaves?

You have a good sound and feel for this piece. I can't wait to hear the final product. By the way, that's a cute image in the first video, haha. smile
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 02:36 PM

According to your profile, you're 111 years old. So I'd have to say that's quite an amazing performance!!
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 04:09 PM

Maybe it's in dog years. She is actually 24 years and 6 months! laugh
Posted by: liszt85

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 08:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King

In the second video, how come your wrists are so high when you play the octaves?


+1. I've noticed this in other videos of young PW pianists (can't recall exactly who now). Is this the octave technique that's taught in a specific school of piano playing (Russian?)? Is this a more ergonomic way to play octaves? I just bought myself a book of octave technique (50 studies). I now need to know how to play octaves. laugh (No book tells you that precisely, need to find a good teacher for that).
Posted by: liszt85

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 08:44 PM

You play extremely well, that goes without saying! I can only hope that I play this well some day. :P Good luck, PW awaits the final product on this piece from you. The teaser did its job!
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 10:02 PM

liszt85, I actually now remember her talking about her having small hands (smaller than mine, actually).

I don't think it has much to do with technique training. Although I do not want to jump to conclusions about Ms. feebeeliszt's background in technique, I think high wrists with octaves is what immediately feels comfortable to people who haven't really been showed what's proper and taken the time and effort to practice. I experimented by doing fast 9ths, and my wrists were still not as high. (fbl, please forgive me if I am incorrect!)

I basically learned how to do octaves by watching Jack Gibbons play Alkan's Allegro Barbaro and reading a comment he posted to one other YouTube user who attempted the piece.
Posted by: feebeeliszt

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 10:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
liszt85, I actually now remember her talking about her having small hands (smaller than mine, actually).

I don't think it has much to do with technique training. Although I do not want to jump to conclusions about Ms. feebeeliszt's background in technique, I think high wrists with octaves is what immediately feels comfortable to people who haven't really been showed what's proper and taken the time and effort to practice. I experimented by doing fast 9ths, and my wrists were still not as high. (fbl, please forgive me if I am incorrect!)

I basically learned how to do octaves by watching Jack Gibbons play Alkan's Allegro Barbaro and reading a comment he posted to one other YouTube user who attempted the piece.


L85, I need to learn the proper way of doing octaves as well. help I think I have been playing them like this all my life. But since my teacher didn't complain, I assumed that it's okay...
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 10:23 PM

Yeah, I had to change my technique over the summer (like, for scales and arpeggios and figures like that). I think I am getting the hang of it now, but it's still undergoing refinement.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 10:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I think high wrists with octaves is what immediately feels comfortable to people who haven't really been showed what's proper and taken the time and effort to practice.


I kind of marveled at the high wrists. I froze the video in the middle of one of those octaves and I couldn't make that hand shape if you held a gun to my head. FBL is obviously more flexible than me but I don't know how that translates to octave technique. What does Mr. Gibbons say?
Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 10:47 PM

It's not the high wrists that are unusual, but how the hands immediately are flat with very curved fingers. Lots of pianists use high wrists for octaves...though she curls her fingers quite a bit in comparison to other pianists I've seen before..

Though she plays very well! (much better than me, if you can find anything of mine on youtube..)Though I remember, feebee, that you had many more videos on youtube?? What did they go! shocked
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 10:49 PM

Damon: It's all here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qp1Qh4oskY
I feel that it translates to octave technique, because... well, I won't explain. I'll just propose that you play the ending of Liszt's HR6 with high wrists, and then again with the wrist parallel with the arm. Like in THIS video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r49pIDj0hEI

Kuanpiano: I'm not sure if the curling of fingers by itself makes problems with tension, but having tension in the fingers does cause problems with tension in the wrist, arm, elbow, etc.
EDIT: And yes, her older videos are gone. frown
Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 10:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
It's all here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qp1Qh4oskY

I feel that it translates to octave technique, because... well, I won't explain. I'll just propose that you play the ending of Liszt's HR6 with high wrists, and then again with the wrist parallel with the arm. Like in THIS video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r49pIDj0hEI

Gibbon's octaves...I think he'd use a different technique for the HR6 (I would too). The Allegro Barbaro is mostly moving, forceful octaves. It's quite different with an endless stream of light, repeated octaves in a stationary position.

I thought I was good at octaves (like in Chopin's 3rd scherzo, or in Chasse-neige, and even the Heroic Polonaise), but the HR6 and the Liszt Sonata totally proved me wrong this summer..

edit: I'm not saying her technique is wrong (I'm no teacher ;D), but it's just a bit unorthodox.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 10:55 PM

Kuanopiano, HR6, just for fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kv6v8Boh94 crazy
Posted by: Kuanpiano

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 11:00 PM

That guy wrecks everything he plays laugh

Though you can tell he has his wrist high up and has his hand angled downwards. Or at least his right hand, his left hand looks a bit weird.

My Favourite Hungarian Rhapsody 6 is...Horowitz or Cziffra. Cziffra gets the mood right for the lively sections, and his rhythm makes the end so exciting! Horowitz sort of powers through it all, which is seriously scary. There used to be on youtube a live recording of him playing it in 1953, his last year concertizing before his 12 year retirement. Absolutely the best ever!!

And wow, we seem to be talking in edits for half of this thread! :P

And SCHUBERT'S D960!? So amazing!! Richter plays it like nobody else (at least before him, but nobody can come close to him when it comes to his vision of Schubert's last sonata). How does Schubert (and Richter) make B flat major so tragic?
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/04/11 11:07 PM

We've totally hijacked the thread, hahahaha. I don't think I'll be playing the Schubert anytime soon. But it's SO great!!

Talking in edits is fun, hehe.

I haven't listened to HR6 in a long time. The Liszt I've been listening to is Dante Sonata (the recording you posted) and Venezia e Napoli (Hamelin).

I hacked my way through the B flat major part of HR6 a year and a half ago just for fun though, hehe.

EDIT: Speaking of talking in edits, I noticed that you mentioned you're not working with a teacher? Do you mean you don't have a teacher, or just with this piece?
Posted by: feebeeliszt

Re: Mendelssohn Piano Concerto 1 (fragments of practice) - 09/05/11 10:46 PM

Bach BWV 883 Prelude 14


Fugue (my camera battery died after I've played 2 pages..)