Need advice on playing song w/out words op.19 no.2

Discuss the piano literature and how to teach and learn it

Postby itsgoobie » Sun Sep 25, 2005 4:40 am

Has anyone played Mendelssohn's Song without words Op. 19 No.2? If yes, would be grateful if anyone can offer advice on how to play it well. Any specific measures or systems I need to work on to get it through expressively. THanks soooo much for advising, itsgoobie :laugh:
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Sun Sep 25, 2005 11:35 am

This is a lovely lyrical piece that has to flow smoothly--not fast, but with flowing motion that will be helped if you can get to where you almost feel it in one beat per measure rather than three. It's helpful to get the general musical sense, without the l.h. technical problems, by just playing the melodic line through to hear where it goes, where the points of repose are, etc.--even better if you can block out some of the harmonies as you do this. Try to set the singing style firmly in your ears before getting bogged down in the 16th notes--they should never sound noisy or intrusive in this piece.

Technically, there's nothing at all wrong with a little redistributing between the hands to help smooth things: the last l.h. note (f#) in m.7, for instance, can easily be picked up by the right hand, and so can the f-natural just after it.

Are there specific problems or specific places that are giving you trouble?

Dr. B.
Technique is 90 per cent from the neck up.
Dr. Bill Leland
 
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Postby itsgoobie » Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:06 am

Thanks soooo much for your advice, Dr.B! My piano teacher wants me to take notes of the first page of this piece; which areas I need to specifically work on esp. the L.H. section. In the last lesson I had with him, we spent the whole lesson just working on the 1st four bars; playing each hand a few times before moving on to the other. He was soooo detailed. For example: In measure 2, the ornament on the R.H. should be played with fingers placed closely to the piano to get them clearly sounded. Plus, the staccato notes in measure 3 should just be played slightly detached. As for L.H., I was told to rotate my wrist a little ( from left to right) while playing the semiquavers notes to prevent stiffness and tiredness. This had taken me half of the lesson to work on. He asked me to go home and think about what other areas I need to work on in the first page and I am kind of stuck. Hence, I have come up here for advice. Thanks, Dr.B. Would be more grateful if you have come up with more areas where I need to work by replying again. Thanks sooooo much, itsgoobie :O
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:54 pm

Thanks for your nice note. You do indeed employ a slight rotation in the 16th figures that go all through this piece, and even more in the C Minor section where the rapid 16ths are in pairs. Think of turning a doorknob.

Dr. Bill.
Technique is 90 per cent from the neck up.
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Postby Dr. Bill Leland » Mon Sep 26, 2005 2:01 pm

Oops!! Forgive me--wrong composition!! I'm still mindlessly answering a note about a Beethoven Sonata!!

The rotation for l.h. 16ths stills holds good, though. What we call 'rotation' (actually a back-and-forth oscillation) is one of the most valuable movements in piano playing. By the way, for what it's worth, I play the m.2 ornament using the fingering 1-2-4-3, staying loose. As for keeping close to the keys: I ALWAYS play close to the keys.

W. L.
Technique is 90 per cent from the neck up.
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