Need advice on "a little joke" by kabalevsky, thx

Discuss the piano literature and how to teach and learn it

Postby itsgoobie » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:38 am

I was wondering if anyone has played this piece. Would anyone kindly offer some good advice on how I can play it well? For example:

1.What you do mean by "Vivace leggiero"?
2. What does this piece tell? I mean is there a scenario such that the piece resembles that of a "hide-and-seek" activity?
2.With the staccato notes, should I play with finger staccato or wrist staccato?
3. Do I need to use pedal in this piece?
4. Any voicing part I need to bring out?
5.Any challenging parts in this piece I need to work on?

Would be really really grateful if anyone can offer some advice here. Thanks soooooo much.
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Postby Stretto » Sun Nov 27, 2005 4:06 pm


How is it going so far with your piece? I am not familiar with this piece but I really like Kabalevsky.

I feel a little embarrassed but I'm not sure what is meant by finger staccato vs. wrist staccato. Can you or someone explain it to me? Just from assumption I would think wrist staccato would be preferrable in any situation as opposed to the use of primarly fingers to facilitate staccato. Am I off base in my assumption?

I wouldn't think pedal would need to be used in a piece marked "Vivace" and considering Kabelevsky's style unless it were very slight pedal depending on the piece or slow piece which it sounds like it isn't.

For voicing, with the term "hide and seek" it must repeat ideas. Do the ideas repeat alternating between hands. I would just vary the voicing overall so as to not sound the same if the ideas are copied in both hands. In one part emphasize one voice and where that voice repeats emphasize the opposing voice. Or play with one dynamic on the voicing in one part and if the same idea repeated, vary the dynamic the second time. All this is just suggestions. Main point, vary it somehow.

Are the two hands playing the same parts just juxtaposed? That would be a challenge to me, the same tune being played in both hands but juxtaposed, but when mastered pretty fun at the same time.
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Postby itsgoobie » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:19 am

Thanks soooo much for taking the time to add your comments and suggestions here. Very much appreciated. Best wishes, itsgoobie :)
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:28 am

I'm not familiar with the Kabalevsky piece, either, but I can talk about staccato.

In finger staccato the motion is made from the large knuckle; in wrist staccato, the fulcrum is the wrist.

But a lot of people get into trouble by thinking of staccato as an "up-touch", as though you had to jerk your finger or hand up in the air like you would from a hot stove. This well-worn idea fails to take into consideration the mechanics of the piano. The sound is stopped by the felt damper falling (in a grand) or being pressed by a spring (in verticals) against the string; consequently there is no way you can make it damp any faster by trying to make some kind of quick motion away from the key. The key will come up and the damper will fall at their own speeds (gravity or spring), which cannot be influenced, and the piano does not know what you're doing between the surface of the key and the ceiling.

So think of staccato as a "let-go" touch: play the note or chord with a short stroke that releases immediately, and let the key come up by itself--you don't even have to leave the key surface. So the question of whether the staccato is finger, wrist or arm is really the question of what movement makes the down-stroke in the first place.

Dr. Bill.
Technique is 90 per cent from the neck up.
Dr. Bill Leland
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Postby 108-1121887355 » Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:42 pm

"A little Joke" is just what this is. Vivace leggiero means very fast and light. I think of staccato as a 'soft staccato' and a 'shrap staccato' and demonstrate to my students. This piece would be sharper and NO pedal as that would change the whole feeling of the piece.
I am not a big fan of contemporary music, but I do find some students enjoy it and learn from it.
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