GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composing and Performing => Topic started by: Guido on July 15, 2007, 12:14:58 PM

Title: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 15, 2007, 12:14:58 PM
I'm arranging an orchestral score at the moment, but since I'm not a pianist, I'm not exactly sure what's possible.

One handed 'trill' of these notes: (attached pdf). If it is possible, then which hand is it easier in for most pianists?

If anyone can guess which piece I'm arranging based on this one bar fragment I will be extremely impressed! (Hint it's 20th century!)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: mahlertitan on July 15, 2007, 12:20:58 PM
I'm arranging an orchestral score at the moment, but since I'm not a pinist. I'm not exactly sure what's possible.

One handed 'trill' of these notes: attatched (pdf). If it is possible, then which hand is it easier in for most pianists?

If anyone can guess which piece I'm arranging based on this one bar fragment I will be extremely impressed! (Hint it's 20th century!)

Rite of Spring
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: Guido on July 15, 2007, 12:42:50 PM
Jesus Christ! How the hell did you manage that?

EDIT: Oh yeah. I wrote it on facebook! Duh!!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: mahlertitan on July 15, 2007, 12:51:27 PM
Jesus Christ! How the hell did you manage that?

because i am brilliant.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: Norbeone on July 15, 2007, 12:56:43 PM
Yes it is possible, but VERY difficult.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 15, 2007, 12:58:59 PM
re. whether it's possible or not, my recommendation would depend on what else your scoring involves. At the basic level, yes, it's possible (right hand better than left, I think) but not very pianistic, as you guessed. The hand might well tire quite quickly and start to lose precision. There are other alternatives which may or may not work depending on what else is playing at the time in your arrangement, and what type of sound you are aiming for.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: mahlertitan on July 15, 2007, 12:59:21 PM
Yes it is possible, but VERY difficult.
of course, i just proved it.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: aquablob on July 15, 2007, 01:02:34 PM
It is possible, but can be very difficult (depending on the fingering... more on that below). Most pianists would prefer their right hand, simply because most are right-handed.

I was messing around with it a little bit and thought of a few different fingerings. For reference, 1=thumb, 2=index, 3=middle, etc. The most intuitive (but probably not the easiest) way would be 1 and 4 on the C and F, 2 and 3 on the D and E. It's very hard to keep the fingers in sync this way, though, and the difficulty increases with the tempo. Though I am sure there are virtuosi out there for whom this synchronization is not an issue, I am not one of them.

But since the D and E are adjacent white keys, you could actually hit them both with one finger. This takes care of the problem of keeping the inner notes in sync with one another, but what of the outer notes? I ran into trouble when using 2 for the inner notes, because I could not find a fingering that made it easy to keep the outer notes in sync. The same happened when I tried using 3 for the inner notes.

Then I made a pleasant discovery: if I use 1 for the inner notes, I can comfortably use 2 and 5 for the C and F, respectively, and I have no problem keeping the notes in sync. In fact, with this fingering, I really have no problem keeping these trills going cleanly and clearly for basically as long as I want at maximum tempo.

So to recap, here is my recommended fingering: 2 on the C, 5 on the F, and 1 on the D and E together. Piece of cake!

P.S. All I have right now is a little electric keyboard without weighted keys. Until I try it on a real piano, I can't tell you with 100% certainty that this fingering is as good as I think it is. I'm going to say I'm 85% sure at this point. Hope this helps!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 15, 2007, 01:04:35 PM
Yes, that is a very sensible suggestion. Use it, Guido!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: Guido on July 15, 2007, 02:16:20 PM
Thankyou very much in deed for that detailed and considered answer.

I will post up more questions as and when I need to.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: Guido on July 15, 2007, 05:14:48 PM
Second question: What would be the best way to divide these notes between two hands?

Cheers!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 15, 2007, 05:48:19 PM
Second question: What would be the best way to divide these notes between two hands?

Cheers!

First, where in the score is this found, and are there any other notes in the texture?

I can't say I agree with Aquarius's solution. It forces you to cross 1 over 2, which feels awkward. My idea: using 2-3, treat D-E as a quick grace note tied to the main half note. Holding down D-E, do a tremolo on C-F with 1 and 4.

The reason the trill is very hard for both hands is that is forces you to trill 4-3 together with other notes. Trills involving 4 and/or 5 are very fatiguing.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: m_gigena on July 15, 2007, 06:29:52 PM
I can't say I agree with Aquarius's solution. It forces you to cross 1 over 2, which feels awkward.

I think I've seen Argerich doing this to the trill after the cadenza in Schumann's piano concerto. I don't have the score with me right now (what is worst, I don't really know where I put it), but I think that trill was E-F.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 16, 2007, 01:28:20 AM
I can't say I agree with Aquarius's solution. It forces you to cross 1 over 2, which feels awkward. My idea: using 2-3, treat D-E as a quick grace note tied to the main half note. Holding down D-E, do a tremolo on C-F with 1 and 4.


Surely it asks you to cross 1 under 2, which feels fine if a little unusal. My initial idea was to take the C and D with the thumb and the E and F with 2 and 3; this would be very straightforward (there's a trem just like it in one of my clavichord pieces). Aquarius' idea is similar, because it too involves playing two notes with the thumb; it is a little bit tricker and more unusual than my version, but far from impossible, and IMO it's better because it means that the trem will be played exactly as written.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 16, 2007, 01:35:47 AM
Thanks for the input everyone - I guess a pianist who reads the score will figure stuff out for themselves, so I could print Aquarius' more unusual fingering, and they can reject it if the wish.

Here is what happens either side of the above excerpt - It's from the Augurs of Spring section. That is all that is happening in the piano part.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 16, 2007, 01:45:35 AM
OK. I was being a little stupid here. I probably should have posted what I was trying to reconcile into piano form first. See attatched PDF. the previous one is the two combined into one stave - I think at the time I thought it would be to avoid awkwardness of crossing over - but what would be the best arrangement of these two lines, or would it work better with one hand?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 16, 2007, 01:55:13 AM
You ought to redistribute those semiquavers you have 'in the left hand' - I assume this is fig 14 in the score though, which doesn't link up with the trill which is fig 24. Though perhaps you aren't making a straight transcription...

As far as fig 14 goes, I'd have the hand swapping in each bar, so that the bassoon's descending C major semiquaver arpeggio is taken with the right hand, and the first two cello pizz notes with the left, and then swapping for the second half of the bar; use a similar idea for the next bar, though that's a bit fussier.

As far as the trem as fig 24 goes, well, at this point in the score the two trills are introduced separately - first the C-D, then the F-E, which makes Aquarius' suggestion that little bit harder though still workable. On balance, though, because of this I'd switch back to my original idea - trill the C-D normally, then switch to a C-D  E-F trem, with the C and taken by the thumb. This will work nicely with the grace note lead into the trill of 24+2. Very neat.

But it all still depends on what else is playing what - I'm assuming this isn't a one-piano-only transcription.

EDIT - seen your new post. I'll post this anyway, then have a look at your new attachment.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Greta on July 16, 2007, 01:55:52 AM
Yeah, that definitely doesn't work. The 2nd half of each measure has the right and left hands crossing, which at that speed is completely awkward and will not have a good result. This is why it is extremely problematic for a composer to not play piano. ;) Because not just in piano writing but other writing as well, you can get these awkward unintended crossings of lines.

Without looking for the score I don't know what's best there. The right and left hands lay very well separately, I'm wondering if you couldn't just 8va that. ;D

Quote
As far as fig 14 goes, I'd have the hand swapping in each bar, so that the bassoon's descending C major semiquaver arpeggio is taken with the right hand, and the first two cello pizz notes with the left, and then swapping for the second half of the bar; use a similar idea for the next bar, though that's a bit fussier.

EDIT: That's a neat idea and mostly works, except for the last beat of the two bar runs, where the bottom G is lower than the Cb and F, where they will still cross.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 16, 2007, 02:03:50 AM
I'll write out what I would do later - unfortunately Sibelius doesn't work on my PC at the moment so I'll have to do it on my wife's laptop, which isn't here at the moment.

But basically, as I said it could be something like this (I wouldn't bother with the enharmonic notation myself - and anyway Stravinsky doesn't use it here either):

bar one
R - GECG B E

L - E G#  EGBE

bar two (fiddlier, but easy)
R - G E   C BE

L - EECG EGG

where underscore is just to clarify lower octave, and where semiquavers are unspaced
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 16, 2007, 02:08:08 AM
Yeah, I've just tried that out, it's very easy. Add a staccato to the quavers (which are after all pizz.) so that the hand is kept clear e.g. at the end of the first of these bars, where the right has the E immediately before the left.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 16, 2007, 02:13:55 AM
Luke - you are right - the trills are not from the same place in the score as the other section I just posted about. I am using the two piano score, along with the orchestral score in order to make this transcription of 4 sections from part 1 (cello, piano reduction).

It's a crazy idea I know, but I think it's working so far, and Stravinsky never got round to composing anything for Rostropovich, so I thought I'd take the initiative! Obviously alot of the sections woudn't work with only two instruments so I'm transcribing, so I've chosen just a few: Introduction (part 1), The Augurs of Spring/Dances of the Young Girls, Spring Rounds, Dance of the Earth. Needless to say the piano (paino?!) part will be rather difficult, as will the cello part playing all those fairly high lying woodwind solos (some of which come off beautifully actually), but I don't think anything is impossible so far, and it's surprising how much f an orchestral effect can be achieved from just these two instruments. I think it works quite well because Stravinsky composed at the piano so the scores translate quite well back to the piano form. I always thought the four piano version didn't quite work because the beautiful flowng melodies couldn't be played that convincingly on piano.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 16, 2007, 02:16:33 AM
I thought that might be what you were doing!

How's about this - compose it out as you see fit, then send me a Sibelius file (you are using Sibelius, I assume) and I will make a version with suggestions as to how to make any unpianistic bits come off better.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 16, 2007, 02:24:04 AM
Thankyou very much! I will take you up on your offer!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 16, 2007, 02:54:06 AM
Surely it asks you to cross 1 under 2, which feels fine if a little unusal. My initial idea was to take the C and D with the thumb and the E and F with 2 and 3; this would be very straightforward (there's a trem just like it in one of my clavichord pieces). Aquarius' idea is similar, because it too involves playing two notes with the thumb; it is a little bit tricker and more unusual than my version, but far from impossible, and IMO it's better because it means that the trem will be played exactly as written.

Ha! I hadn't considered crossing 1 under 2. Guido can write "sopra" or "sotto" along with his fingering to help the pianist.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 16, 2007, 02:55:29 AM
Thankyou very much! I will take you up on your offer!

I would be happy to do the same if you want a second opinion.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 16, 2007, 03:07:02 AM
I would be happy to do the same if you want a second opinion.

That is probably a very good idea!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 16, 2007, 03:21:29 AM
Thankyou very much Larry. I will do that as soon as I finish. Do you both have sibelius? Or should I send you PDFs?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 16, 2007, 03:23:57 AM
Definitely Sibelius for me - then I can edit it (and save it under another name, of course)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 16, 2007, 03:29:19 AM
OK. You could change the colour of the noteheads of the bits you've edited.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 16, 2007, 04:06:42 AM
Thankyou very much Larry. I will do that as soon as I finish. Do you both have sibelius? Or should I send you PDFs?

I have Sibelius 4 but don't know it as well as Finale (which I also have). PDFs are probably easier for me, but I certainly could open your Sibelius file.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 16, 2007, 08:53:31 AM
Another question - how do you beam notes so that they go across two different staffs? (Sibelius). I've tried the help to no avail.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 16, 2007, 09:31:45 AM
Select what you notes want to cross, then Notes > Cross-staff notes etc. I only have Sib 3, and this particular function isn't quite as slick with things like accidentals as I may be on Sib 4 (I don't know). But you can work your way around most problems.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 16, 2007, 10:27:25 AM
Piano part shaping up to be (possibly) prohibitively difficult!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: karlhenning on July 16, 2007, 10:28:49 AM
Well, as you probably know, Guido, Stravinsky's own rehearsal reduction was for four-hands.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 16, 2007, 01:26:14 PM
Piano part shaping up to be (possibly) prohibitively difficult!

Inevitably! and you will have to leave out and compromise all over the place. (My favorite example from a standard vocal score: the ending to the first scene in Falstaff, where everything is retained except the main melody.)

As for example 4, my solution would be simply to take the 16th notes in the right hand up an octave.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 16, 2007, 02:50:54 PM
This is why it is extremely problematic for a composer to not play piano. ;)

That is painfully obvious to me - hence my copious nefarious arrangements rather than composing anything original myself. I suppose atonal music is my friend! One day I will be a composer!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 16, 2007, 05:22:24 PM
OK The first three sections are done (also the largest three sections).

The climax of Spring Rounds is so chromatic that I'm wondering whether to just have it in C rather than 5 flats - seems a bit pointless. Also I'll need help on the most easy to read voicings of the chords. Stravinsky doesn't seem to be at all bothered with enharmonic equivalents in this score, so I don't feel too bad about changing stuff like that.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 16, 2007, 05:35:20 PM
OK The first three sections are done (also the largest three sections).

The climax of Spring Rounds is so chromatic that I'm wondering whether to just have it in C rather than 5 flats - seems a bit pointless. Also I'll need help on the most easy to read voicings of the chords. Stravinsky doesn't seem to be at all bothered with enharmonic equivalents in this score, so I don't feel too bad about changing stuff like that.

I would make it as easy for the pianist to read as possible.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: johnQpublic on July 17, 2007, 02:57:31 AM
Select what you notes want to cross, then Notes > Cross-staff notes etc. I only have Sib 3, and this particular function isn't quite as slick with things like accidentals* as I may be on Sib 4 (I don't know). But you can work your way around most problems.

Amen! I haven't loaded my Sibelius upgrade, hopefully it's better.

*be prepared to "hide" many accidentals.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 17, 2007, 04:34:02 AM
OK, I'm almost finished (apart from dynamics). Just one quick question before I submit it for review - I'm guessing fast parallel fifths (triplets near the end of the dance of the earth), are out?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 17, 2007, 04:36:27 AM
Not in themselves, but it depends what else you have your poor pianist doing!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 17, 2007, 04:38:07 AM
You mean the horn triplets, I assume - so I'm guessing you have your cellist taking the parallel semiquaver fourths/fifths in the violin/viola parts?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 17, 2007, 05:02:43 AM
Yes you guess right, although not much parralleling (some) in the cello part - rarely comes out well on a string instrument. The parralels fine then? (with the left hand playing the ascending scale in the bases, but only playing quavers - not semi quavers!)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 17, 2007, 05:40:29 AM
Well, no, if you're doing it this way - as I was imagining you would - then it's pretty much impossible. However, if I was you I'd write in what you ideally want and then I will give you my take on what you need to  change to make it workable; presumably Larry will do likewise.

Alternatively, take the Schoenberg tack - 'your violin concerto requires a player with six fingers' 'I can wait' (or some version thereof, such as 'I am delighted to add another unplayable work to the repertoire. I want the Concerto to be difficult, and I want the little finger to become longer. I can wait' which is one I hadn't read before)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 17, 2007, 11:06:06 AM
Guido, thanks for the scores; both versions open fine. First things first:

1) thank you for giving me a chance to  bash my way through part of The Rite - I’ve never played from a transcription of it before, and the best I’ve had to make to with is my own score-reading! For some reason the printer I wanted to use this evening wasn’t responding, so I had to play the thing using a laptop balanced on the stand of an upright piano! There’s an image for you….

2) you’ve done a remarkable job for a non-pianist - there are some really idiomatic moments, in fact. I haven’t edited any of the Sibelius version of the score yet, but I have a few ideas and suggestions. I can post them here - they are written and ready to go - or via PM if you prefer. I guess if they are posted here then there can be an easier exchange of ideas with Larry, for starters.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 17, 2007, 03:26:51 PM
Guido, thanks for the scores; both versions open fine. First things first:

1) thank you for giving me a chance to  bash my way through part of The Rite - I’ve never played from a transcription of it before, and the best I’ve had to make to with is my own score-reading! For some reason the printer I wanted to use this evening wasn’t responding, so I had to play the thing using a laptop balanced on the stand of an upright piano! There’s an image for you….

2) you’ve done a remarkable job for a non-pianist - there are some really idiomatic moments, in fact. I haven’t edited any of the Sibelius version of the score yet, but I have a few ideas and suggestions. I can post them here - they are written and ready to go - or via PM if you prefer. I guess if they are posted here then there can be an easier exchange of ideas with Larry, for starters.

There is a whole range from easy, gratifying, idiomatic, challenging, he's got to be kidding, near-impossible, to impossible parts throughout! It will take me a few days to go through it all, but then we can talk.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 17, 2007, 11:34:53 PM
I think most of it is possible - there are a couple of impossibilities, of course. The question sometimes is 'is it worth the transcription sticking so closely to the score?'; IOW 'is it worth making this section as hard as this?'

But most of my points are about redistributing notes, clarifyng notation etc. This sorts out quite a few difficulties.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 18, 2007, 07:34:35 AM
I'm glad that you both enjoyed playing through it (or parts of it).

Yes post it here. I am eager to hear anything you might have to say. I'm guessing that the bits that qualify as 'almost impossible' are the three stave bits?(!)

The red bits in the three stave section are for deletion I think (unless you think the bass notes are less important?).

Post away.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 18, 2007, 07:47:23 AM
I'm glad that you both enjoyed playing through it (or parts of it).

Yes post it here. I am eager to hear anything you might have to say. I'm guessing that the bits that qualify as 'almost impossible' are the three stave bits?(!)

In some cases, but not invariably.


The red bits in the three stave section are for deletion I think (unless you think the bass notes are less important?).

Post away.

You don't want to omit anything essential to the harmony, and certainly not the bass. I have some suggested solutions to some of your textures, and doubtless Luke will have more.

But do you want all of this on the forum, or through email?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 18, 2007, 07:52:49 AM
Well as Luke suggested it might be more convenient here as we can all see suggestions that have been made. I suppose we could send the emails to both other people each time. I don't really mind.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: karlhenning on July 18, 2007, 07:56:23 AM
I'm not contributing aught, but I am enjoying the lurk here.  I'd be glad to continue to look in on the discussion.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 18, 2007, 08:42:36 AM
Can pianists be trusted to do their own pedalling, or should that be written in?

Sibelius gets alot of the playback very wrong as all the piano notes are very percusive. (eg the double trill). Is there a way of making trills play back whole tone trills, rather than always semi tone?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 18, 2007, 09:28:17 AM
I've been lurking around too but thought I'd de-lurk to mention this: I happen to own a ONE piano TWO hands transcription of The Rite done by someone going by the name of... Leechkiss ???

Anyway, Guido, could you send me the pdf too? I promise I won't contribute, just want to take a peek.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 18, 2007, 09:39:15 AM
Can pianists be trusted to do their own pedalling, or should that be written in?

Generally not necessary to write it in. If you want a special pedalling effect, you can write it. If you specifically don't want pedal used, you can write senza pedale.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 18, 2007, 11:03:22 AM
OK, my thoughts so far, such as they are:

b. 16 you could give the top line of the parallel fourths to the right hand. It’s not hard as written, though it feels a little unusual, especially extended for some time as here, but it seems a little fiddly when the other hand has nothing to do!

b. 20 this bit works well; the player will [need to] be aware of the A# required in both the trem. and the l.h. line, but it’s not a problem to negotiate. You could clarify that the middle stave is l.h., I suppose, but it ought to be obvious!

b.25 It is easier for the r.h. to take the C# with which the trill starts. Then the left hand can take over the trill itself immediately after. It’s up to you how to notate this - it’s rather fiddly but there are ways around it.

b. 40 the ‘double-tonguing’ in the quintuplets is to all intents and purpose impossible; I’m afraid you’ll have to be content with straight quintuplets here.

b. 42 and 44 - the grace note in the l.h. is a misprint, I think - should be an A (of course, it might be the PDF misleading me - they do that sometimes with Sib files I find)

b. 47 I think I’d leave this fragment of the alto flute line out, as you can’t continue with it beyond this point, so it makes little sense IMO. If you decide to keep it in, why not give the impression of the bar of D that precedes it in the original by tying its first note to the last D in the preceding bar’s l.h. ….if you follow me!

Instead of that alto flute line, personally at this point I’d be tempted to try to fit that low double bass/double bassoon Bb in somehow - it is quite significant, I think, because it is the first really deep note in the score. You could actually put it in the r.h., crossing over the l.h, every two bars - 46, 48, 50, in the last two treating it as a grace note to the flute line (perhaps it would work if you only put it in at b. 46 - I didn’t try this). The pedal would sustain it through. Perhaps it could even be a Bb/B natual dyad, to suggest the way the double bassoon alternates between these two notes. The slurs in the ‘flute’ line at this point aren’t what I have in my score, and as you have them they would mess up the Bb suggestion I’ve just made, but if you restored them to the simple one-slur-per-bar of the original there would be no problem.

b. 52 the ‘12’-let figure is easier in the r.h., but I know you need it in the left for what comes later. Easiest of all is to split it between the two hands (left hand takes the C and D, for instance), at least at this point.

b. 54 your optional red notes are such a great line (and in the orchestra they dominate over the line you have in the l.h. here), you need to leave them in. Though the ‘12’-let is obviously harder here, layering the oboe line on top is in itself not too hard as, lucily, the notes don’t clash.

However, I think it would be even better here to let the cello continue with the oboe line, as it was already playing it; it seems a little strange to break it off for the D clarinet line, especially as you are moving that down an octave. Personally I’d let the cello continue the oboe line and give the piano the D clarinet line at its original pitch (this would also be easier for the piano than juggling the oboe line)

b. 57 from this point to the end of this dense section the parts must have been very hard to distribute. I think I would have made some different decisions to you, but I don’t think I’ll detail them as I haven’t really thought them through and, in any case, it is partly a matter of personal taste what to put in and what to leave out.

b. 59 Those demis aren’t going to be easy!! You could limit them, for instance, to the six notes that are under the 8va line - the hand stays in one place, so there’s no hassle. Or just to the five notes that the picc. plays, for that matter.

b. 71 perhaps the cello doesn’t need that first C - it isn’t in the score. Just alter the piano part slightly so that its trill continues through the first triplet quaver, as in the score.

b. 72 r.h. why not call that a C, not a B#? It’s a B# in the score for voice-leading reasons, because the 3rd viola is moving up from it to a C#, but here, all things considered (a pianist sees this as an unconventional chord in a basically atonal context, so the voice-leading aspect is less important here) it just makes things look confusing here. Btw, you’ve missed the # sign off that C# in the next chord, which was what made me originally think the B# was so odd!

b. 83 This is one of the bits you already asked about. I can see you’ve taken my suggested distribution up, but a couple of things: 1) I’d call the l.h. Ab a G# even though it makes for more accidentals, because it makes the simple arpeggio basis of the passage clearer. 2) in the next bar (I made a mistake last time) give the first two semis to the r.h. and leave the l.h. clear for a quaver. You might want to consider some cross-staff nonsense to clarify the movement of the parts - this solution means that all of Stravinsky’s notes are here, and it’s easy to play, but the sense of the original is not clear in the transcription.

b. 101 Hard, but possible. b. 101 itself is tricky because of the repeated notes and especially the repeated chord; b. 103 et seq. is also hard at this fast speed, but will probably be OK with practice.

b. 148 The Bb in the r.h (second crotchet) clashes with the l.h.’s a quaver later; however, I think this is a misprint - in the original score this is a B natural. I’d get rid of the enharmonic notation on the second crotchet's grace notes here - they make something pretty easy look hard (and Stravinsky doesn’t use this notation anyway) - essentially this a dominant seventh on E!

In the next bar you’ve gone enharmonic where you don’t need to - just an E natural, not an Fb will do. Will make the thing less confusing to read - just a C major arpeggio.

b. 154 this passage will be no problem with a little redistribution. I’d give the high G in the l.h. (b. 155 et seq.) to the r.h. (include it in the chord.). I’d also swap the hands over in b. 157 (trill in l.h. etc.)

b. 162 this is the bit we started out with! I see you’ve used Aquarius’s neat solution; however, in context I think it a little hard, in the end - there’s no time to get the hand into this unusual position. In any case, the way the score works makes the solution I originally thought of probably the best. We start with the C-D trill and then, simply, turn it into a CD-EF trill, with the CD taken with the thumb. This actually parallels the little run of grace notes in the full score at this point. At speed, this solution is easy and sounds fine - you won’t notice any major difference with the original.

b. 223 in theory this is just about possible (l.h. jumping around like crazy, though), but I’m afraid it just won’t happen! You have to decide which line is least important, and I guess that would be the top one, because the cello is taking it too.  At b. 239 you have a problem because the cello starts playing something else; I’d keep the cello on the melody and add the dotted rhythm into the piano r.h. (i.e. doing something to what are presently the crotchet chords)

b. 276 - your instincts are right - those ‘red’ chords will need to be dropped, unless, that is, you can cope with them played just before the beat (as grace notes tied to the main chord) - a common compromise in piano transcriptions, but not a very neat one in this case.

b. 286 Personally I’d want to keep those lovely meaty chords in the middle stave here if nowhere else - the pianist can fudge this, playing the lower stave fractionally before the middle one, if you want (notate the lower stave as grace notes just before the beat, tied to the main notes). The rit. at this point (in the original score - I’m assuming your going to put it in when you come to add such things) makes this both easier to play and less of a stylistic jolt.

b. 287 give the lower of the Gs in the octave to the l.h.; then neither hand needs to make a risky and cumbersome jump (they are rather in each others’ way here)

b. 288 - nifty solution and very pianistic! However, there is probably a way to get even more of the texture in without making things more difficult. I’ll get back to you on this when I’m able to give you a Sib file to show what I mean.

b. 296 I think there’s a missing E natural in the l.h.

That parallel fifths bit  towards the end will need more work, as you know. I’ll get back to you about that too - it‘s probably quite complex.

Hope all this is some help.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 18, 2007, 01:59:43 PM
Thankyou very much Luke.

A few comments on your suggestions:

b.40. I know I want to have my cake and eat it - would the 'double tonguing' be possible if I didn't include the first lower G# (possibly adding a G# to the left hand on the beat)?

b.46-47 - I have the right hand crossing over the left here now, playing oscillating semiquavers Bb-B. I can't get sibelius to do a clef for just a grace note in bar 50 - and there doesn't seem to be a miniature bass clef symbol thats often used for such things (I'm thinking in the Kodaly solo cello sonata actually!)

b.52 - 53 attatched is an updated version of just these two bars. Is this what you had in mind, and is it really easier to read?

b.54 The reason I gave the clarinet line to the cello is that it's the most dominant part here, and I just assumed that the cello would be easily able to dominate melodically as it can sustain, but you're probably right. (I really want to play that part! Maybe I should take the plunge and try and play it at pitch? But you're also right about the continuity thing. hmmm...)

b.57 to end of the section - I used the lines that Stravinsky used in his two piano reducton, so I assume that he thought that they were the most important. There are probably 100 ways of doing this bit though. If you have any strong thoughts though, do tell.

b.83 Thanks for the clarification. I tried to do some cross staff stuff, but it just makes it confusing.

b.162 So are you suggesting essentially a 'normal' trill, just with two notes playing each time, instead of one? as in:

   ef   ef   ef   ef
cd  cd  cd  cd

b.223. That's a shame! Would it help if the left hand didn't have to do octaves in the bass? *desperately tries to cling to what's written* *fails*. I suppose it wouldn't be so bad that way, as the right hand could then play the alternate quaver chords instead (from the horn) or the dotted rhythm (from the trombones), though I am worried that the cello playing the melody on its own would just get completely swamped here - I suppose the only way I'll find out is if I try!

b.286 - I agree that the middle chords are gorgeous and the most important things here - thats why I put the first two right hand chords in red - do you think this could work? (as the cello is playing the Bbs,)

b.295 - I can't take credit for that - It's Stravinsky's own idea again. If you can add more detail that would be great!

Thanks for spotting all the misprints and enharmonic stuff that I'm too dim to notice. oddly all of that enharmonic stuff is in Stravinsky's own piano score...

Some fifths at the end would be very nice. But I think the texture is enough that it sounds fine without (at least on Sibelius). Maybe just adding the fifth to any 'Bb's as that is the most common note, and often comes in repeated threes. Not ideal, but it might work... Definitely needs some more thought.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 18, 2007, 02:05:09 PM
Maciek - that would be interesting to see what Leechkiss makes of the mentioned 'problem areas'. Would you check for me?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 18, 2007, 03:56:22 PM
I can't believe it - I just found the Rite of Spring for solo piano on youtube:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=8Wau1Y2AcN4

It appears that the pianist plays bars 223 onwards almost exactly as I wrote them - but they look really reall REALLY difficult - I can't expect to play with a virtuoso of that calibre every day!

A superb performance by him!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 18, 2007, 05:19:00 PM
I got through the first three parts. The last part has its difficulties, but once you get the basic pattern down I think the rest will fall into place. The last page is in fact easy. Glissando for both hands is a bit cruel.

Overall I sense you're making things easier for the cellist than the pianist - nu? In one spot piano's jumping all over the place busting his guts while cellist just has one line.  :D

I didn't look at Luke's comments. I couldn't save Sib 4 to 3, so I converted the PDFs to JPEGs and annotated them. Here goes:
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 18, 2007, 05:20:20 PM
3-4
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 18, 2007, 05:21:01 PM
5-6
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 18, 2007, 05:21:40 PM
7-8
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 18, 2007, 05:22:28 PM
9-10
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 18, 2007, 05:23:00 PM
11-12
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 18, 2007, 05:23:55 PM
13-15
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 19, 2007, 01:33:08 AM
Maciek - that would be interesting to see what Leechkiss makes of the mentioned 'problem areas'. Would you check for me?

I'll do my best, though this looks like it might take more time than I really have at the moment. Also, you might want to know that I find the Leechkiss transcription extrememly difficult to play. But let's see:

b. 16 you could give the top line of the parallel fourths to the right hand. It’s not hard as written, though it feels a little unusual, especially extended for some time as here, but it seems a little fiddly when the other hand has nothing to do!

The parallel fourths are all in the l.h. but that's because the r.h. is playing your cello part.

b. 20 this bit works well; the player will [need to] be aware of the A# required in both the trem. and the l.h. line, but it’s not a problem to negotiate. You could clarify that the middle stave is l.h., I suppose, but it ought to be obvious!

A bit simpler here: What is retained is your cello part and piano r.h. part (essentially all in the r.h.) and trills in the l.h. (a G# jumping around the octaves a bit).

b.25 It is easier for the r.h. to take the C# with which the trill starts. Then the left hand can take over the trill itself immediately after. It’s up to you how to notate this - it’s rather fiddly but there are ways around it.

The trill starts with a quaver rest delay.

b. 40 the ‘double-tonguing’ in the quintuplets is to all intents and purpose impossible; I’m afraid you’ll have to be content with straight quintuplets here.

b.40. I know I want to have my cake and eat it - would the 'double tonguing' be possible if I didn't include the first lower G# (possibly adding a G# to the left hand on the beat)?

No double tonguing here. In fact the whole quintuplet is omitted. :P (Just the triplets plus a trill right in the middle.)

b. 47 I think I’d leave this fragment of the alto flute line out, as you can’t continue with it beyond this point, so it makes little sense IMO. If you decide to keep it in, why not give the impression of the bar of D that precedes it in the original by tying its first note to the last D in the preceding bar’s l.h. ….if you follow me!

b.46-47 - I have the right hand crossing over the left here now, playing oscillating semiquavers Bb-B. I can't get sibelius to do a clef for just a grace note in bar 50 - and there doesn't seem to be a miniature bass clef symbol thats often used for such things (I'm thinking in the Kodaly solo cello sonata actually!)

Leechkiss has the flute here (well, I don't have the full score but there's a line marked "Fl.").

b. 52 the ‘12’-let figure is easier in the r.h., but I know you need it in the left for what comes later. Easiest of all is to split it between the two hands (left hand takes the C and D, for instance), at least at this point.

b.52 - 53 attatched is an updated version of just these two bars. Is this what you had in mind, and is it really easier to read?

Well, it's all in the left, of course - the r.h. has things to do, you know. ;D

b. 54 your optional red notes are such a great line (and in the orchestra they dominate over the line you have in the l.h. here), you need to leave them in. Though the ‘12’-let is obviously harder here, layering the oboe line on top is in itself not too hard as, lucily, the notes don’t clash.

Why, of course my pianist plays it all: both the r. and l.h. as you notated them AND the cello part. :P

After b. 57 there are some simplifications though... ;D

That's all for now. I'll get back to you and continue when I have a moment. 8)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 19, 2007, 01:39:17 AM
OK, Guido, this is developing into an interesting little discussion! I have a few additions to make to what Larry has said, but first to your responses to my points:

Quote from: Guido
b.40. I know I want to have my cake and eat it - would the 'double tonguing' be possible if I didn't include the first lower G# (possibly adding a G# to the left hand on the beat)?

‘fraid not - it’s the speed of the repeated notes combined with the quick movement from note to note that is impossible

Quote from: Guido
b.46-47 - I have the right hand crossing over the left here now, playing oscillating semiquavers Bb-B. I can't get sibelius to do a clef for just a grace note in bar 50 - and there doesn't seem to be a miniature bass clef symbol thats often used for such things (I'm thinking in the Kodaly solo cello sonata actually!)

I was thinking more of having the Bb-B as a single chord, held with the pedal, underpinning the middle parts and the flute line. I’ll show you what I mean when I’m able to get to the Sib file.

Quote from: Guido
b.52 - 53 attatched is an updated version of just these two bars. Is this what you had in mind, and is it really easier to read?

That’s the kind of thing - I’m not at a piano so I can’t check exactly. It’s not a problem to read, I think.

Quote from: Guido
b.54 The reason I gave the clarinet line to the cello is that it's the most dominant part here, and I just assumed that the cello would be easily able to dominate melodically as it can sustain, but you're probably right. (I really want to play that part! Maybe I should take the plunge and try and play it at pitch? But you're also right about the continuity thing. hmmm...)

Well, you could give the oboe line to the piano from the outset (b. 52) This would give the cello a little break, which is important not just for the player but also for sonic variety!

Quote from: Guido
b.57 to end of the section - I used the lines that Stravinsky used in his two piano reducton, so I assume that he thought that they were the most important. There are probably 100 ways of doing this bit though. If you have any strong thoughts though, do tell.

I’ll think about it; there were just some incongruities that occurred to me when I looked through a few days ago, but I doubt there can be a ‘perfect’ solution to this section!


Quote from: Guido
b.162 So are you suggesting essentially a 'normal' trill, just with two notes playing each time, instead of one? as in:

   ef   ef   ef   ef
cd  cd  cd  cd

Exactly. It sounds fine and it’s very easy.

Quote from: Guido
b.223. That's a shame! Would it help if the left hand didn't have to do octaves in the bass? *desperately tries to cling to what's written* *fails*. I suppose it wouldn't be so bad that way, as the right hand could then play the alternate quaver chords instead (from the horn) or the dotted rhythm (from the trombones), though I am worried that the cello playing the melody on its own would just get completely swamped here - I suppose the only way I'll find out is if I try!

No, the passage is basically impossible, octaves or not. And though it is possible to play it, and worth a try in a virtuoso solo piano transcription, I feel it isn’t worth making it so incredibly hard when it is supposed to be ‘behind’ the cello, which is playing something relatively simple and thin here.

Quote from: Guido
b.286 - I agree that the middle chords are gorgeous and the most important things here - thats why I put the first two right hand chords in red - do you think this could work? (as the cello is playing the Bbs,)

No, I think the sudden drop in texture would be a bit jarring. I don’t think there’s a problem with my solution - include all that you’ve written, and just play the left hand slightly early

Quote from: Guido
b.295 - I can't take credit for that - It's Stravinsky's own idea again. If you can add more detail that would be great!

I’ll see what can be done!

Quote from: Guido
Thanks for spotting all the misprints and enharmonic stuff that I'm too dim to notice. oddly all of that enharmonic stuff is in Stravinsky's own piano score...

Really? Are we sure he was responsible?! One of them was very bizarre, I thought - b. 149, where what in the score is written as a D major arpeggio (D A F# D) for B flat cl. is transposed down not to a C major arpeggio but to C G Fb C!

Quote from: Guido
Some fifths at the end would be very nice. But I think the texture is enough that it sounds fine without (at least on Sibelius). Maybe just adding the fifth to any 'Bb's as that is the most common note, and often comes in repeated threes. Not ideal, but it might work... Definitely needs some more thought.

Again, I’m not quite sure, because I haven’t worked on this passage at a piano yet.

Turning to Larry’s points - I agree with nearly everything he’s said, in principle, but I have slight difference in approach which I’ll note; then you can choose between them.

On Larry’s scan of pages 1 and 2:

First note: I don’t find this passage hard enough to warrant sharing the top l.h. notes with the r.h. I find keeping the r.h. to a single line here helps it stand out more. But either way works.

Second note: rather than use the grace note anticipation here, I’d give the r.h. the top B and let the l.h. take the bottom three notes

Third note: as I said, I didn’t find this ‘clash of the A#s’ a problem to play in practice.

Fourth note: I found this impossible too. Larry’s solution involves changing the octave of some of the notes, but you don’t need the pedal; my solution (taking the C# with the r.h. initially, then passing the trill into the l.h.) keeps the notes at the right pitch, but needs the pedal to sustain the lowest note (or notes) through the three bars. I don’t find this a problem personally (a little half pedalling helps) but the choice is yours.

On Larry’s scan of pages 3 and 4:

Agree with both notes

On Larry’s scan of pages 5 and 6:

First note: we’ve covered this. As I said, the red notes are playable, but I’d consider changing who is playing what here anyway.

Second note: agree, this is fine. But it is unusual and hard enough to need attention, thus hampering what the r.h. can do, I find.

Third note: I found this quite hard and lumpy - it is very fast, and the hand has to move quite a long way twice within the phrase. It is possible, but not really worth it IMO, given all the other difficulties around it . In the original score what one tends to hear here is the squeak of the high piccolo part of the passage, which is what I suggest you keep in.

Fourth note: agree

Fifth note: not sure about this; I quite like the idea of the lower octave, but not for the same reason - I don’t think there’s a problem sustaining the F#, butt he lower octave, though not in the original, might paradoxically make the transcription sound a bit more orchestral, give a bit more depth and resonance. What is a slight problem here is holding the F# through the chord change, as that needs a pedal change - however, this is perfectly possible and is for the pianist to worry about, not you.

On Larry’s scan of pages 7 and 8:

First/second notes: I don’t think the A flat (as I said, I’d revert to the original score and call it a G#) needs a ‘sopra’ because it isn’t sopra at the moment of playing; the second recommendation is the same as the one I suggested.

Third note: agree, this isn’t a problem.

Fourth note: agree with all this

On Larry’s scan of pages 9 and 10:

First note (the bit that says ‘easy’): agree

Second note (the bit that says ‘not easy’): don’t’ quite agree. The misprint of a B flat for a B natural in the r.h. makes a big difference: as a B natural, with the splashy grace notes before notated as in the score (not with these strange enharmonic equivalents) this bar isn’t a problem. The r.h. thumb comes inside the l.h., but because the l.h. is on the black notes and the r.h. thumb on a white note, there is no problem. The next bar, as Larry says (the one with the F flat) is hard. But a little juggling makes it easier: try swapping the last l.h. note (F flat - come to think of it, that should be an E too) into the r.h., and the r.h. trill down into the l.h. Then the only difficulty - and it is a minor one, easily overcome-able - is the last G-E in the r.h.

Third note: Easier for the pianist, but not the cellist! The option I gave (putting the l.h.’s high G at the top of the relevant r.h. chord) takes the difficulty away.

Fourth note: agree, this is hard. I suggested to swap the hands here, which makes it very much easier. The only problem then is the lap in the l.h. from the end of the previous bar down to the trill; I’d solve that by crossing the last l.h. note of that previous bar into the r.h.’s stave

Fifth note (saying ‘easy’): agree

Sixth note: agree that it’s hard; don’t think Larry’s solution would work too well, because you wouldn’t hear the held D-E sounding as equivalent to the trem-ing C and F. My solution (CD-EF trill) changes the order of the notes, but I don’t think that is really audible (and in fact the original score creates a nice ambiguity at this point because the bassoon part leads up to the initial F-E trill with a little c-d-e slide, meaning you do actually hear E-F starting the trill in one sense - my version fits with this)

Seventh note: agree, this one got me when I played through the score. It’s possible, it just lies uncomfortably. Played with a ‘proper’ fingering it stretches the hand (because it’s over the top of the r.h.). I’d be tempted to fudge it by giving both the top notes (G and A) to the thumb, making the stretch over the r.h. less problematic. But that’s a bit of a clumsy solution. However, I wouldn’t worry too much - what you’ve written can be played, though it is hard.

On Larry’s scan of pages 11 and 12:

Agree with all Larry’s written here. Where I simply suggested knocking out the top stave of the piano part on the last line (which we both agree is as-good-as impossible as written), he has suggested a more interesting redistribution of the parts here (and elsewhere on this page). I think those ideas are worth bearing in mind.

On Larry’s scan of pages 13 and 14:

First and second note: this chimes with what I was saying.

Third note (the big chord): I agree that this could do with amplifying somewhat - and not only for more volume, but because as is, it sounds texturally and harmonically rather incongruous on a piano here, recalling, of all things, some kind of boogie-woogie major/minor/blues note harmony (just needs to be played tremolando on a honky tonk!). I’d be tempted to double both hands as Larry suggests (the l.h. down and octave, the r.h. up one); the only thing I’d differ from slightly is that I wouldn’t do it as an arpeggio (which to me is a bit too redolent of romanticism, gesturally) but simply as two chords - both hands low, both hands high, the first written as a grace note. This is a bit crisper, and closer, IMO, to the visceral feel of the score.

Fourth note (the note about the Fs in the trill). In theory this is correct - the F is in the trill so it can’t be played in the melody too. But Larry knows his Beethoven - finale of the Waldstein! - so he’ll know that in practice this isn’t a problem. To do so, the pianist will accent the relevant F and keep the trill quieter around it, giving the illusion of two layers - it will sound as if the melody F is sounding through the trill, even though in truth it can’t be doing so. The pedal will be needed for this to work properly, however - you could consider writing ‘con ped.’ at the beginning of this passage

Agree with other notes on this page.

On Larry’s scan of page 15: Larry’s solution here is quite complex, and I’d like to give it a go at the piano myself. It partly depends on whether you’re willing to change the cello part as he suggests. As a fairly good pianist and only a passable cellist, I’d much prefer to play the piano part as written than the cello part in thirds, but you are a much better cellist than me and will know better! So I will withhold judgement on Larry’s idea here, except to say that doubling the bottom note of the l.h. (F G flat A flat) up an octave seems a good idea, and simulating timps (and bass drum and, of course, tam -tam) at this point by rolling the left hand chord (downwards, I would strongly suggest, to simulate that big roaring crescendo that the percussion give these beats) is a definite! Do it! I’d even be tempted - to imitate the unpitched crash of the tam-tam here - to add some dissonances down deep. You could just about get away with using both hands on these low chords, which increases your options. For instance, you could play the chord as written, but with the downwards roll, in the l.h., and the r.h. could cross over to play a booming chromatic cluster on the bottom three or four notes of the keyboard. You’d want the l.h.  to dominate for pitch, and the r.h. just to resound, not too loudly, for timbre. This necessitates the r.h. swinging down and up on these chords, but that’s not too hard, and could add to the physicality of the music here.


Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 19, 2007, 03:08:47 AM
and simulating timps (and bass drum and, of course, tam -tam) at this point by rolling the left hand chord (downwards, I would strongly suggest, to simulate that big roaring crescendo that the percussion give these beats) is a definite! Do it! I’d even be tempted - to imitate the unpitched crash of the tam-tam here - to add some dissonances down deep. You could just about get away with using both hands on these low chords, which increases your options. For instance, you could play the chord as written, but with the downwards roll, in the l.h., and the r.h. could cross over to play a booming chromatic cluster on the bottom three or four notes of the keyboard. You’d want the l.h.  to dominate for pitch, and the r.h. just to resound, not too loudly, for timbre. This necessitates the r.h. swinging down and up on these chords, but that’s not too hard, and could add to the physicality of the music here.

Or just a cluster with the left elbow . . .   :D

Of course, since nobody in their right minds is ever going to memorize this, which means you'll need a page turner, you could just adopt an Ivesian solution and have the page turner fill in wherever the pianist can't manage. (This might mean, of course, that the page turner is too busy to turn the pages.)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 19, 2007, 06:28:21 AM
Or just a cluster with the left elbow . . .   :D

Or Stravinsky's own non-expressive nose...

Of course, since nobody in their right minds is ever going to memorize this, which means you'll need a page turner, you could just adopt an Ivesian solution and have the page turner fill in wherever the pianist can't manage. (This might mean, of course, that the page turner is too busy to turn the pages.)

A fine idea. Personally, I think the Ravelian combos of two pianos, five hands, and the Sellick/Smith combo of two pianos, three hands are both vastly underused, too... ;D
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 19, 2007, 06:42:19 AM
Thankyou so much for all your time and effort that you're all putting into this.

Just before I forget - bar 101 - etc. - Would it be better if I gave the left hand the f and the c and the right the g and the d? the bottom fifth (i.e. the Bb) is not part of the 'fanfare' figure - just the ostinato, and I doubt it would be missed for a few beats. Originally, I had the cello playing part of the open fifths (the f and the c) but somehow I don't think the intended effect would come off, as it probably wouldn't blend well with the piano chords. It would be really nice to experiment and try all these ideas at some point with a good (great!) pianist. Might have to wait a few weeks or months for that though...

It wasn't an explicit decision to make the cello part 'easier' than the piano part - It isn't exactly easy in itself - alot of high lying lines, and the semis of the last section for instance, but I admit it never goes to the edges of possibility really. The cello is just not very good at chordal features, or smashing out loud rhythms, and as I'm sure you know it is very difficult to balance in cello concertos and sonatas (in loud sections).

In 276 onwards - the cello could play thirds in theory, but actually paradoxically, it usually is more difficult to hear double stops on the cello - the bow needs to push down at least twice as hard to get the same sound as its working against the tension of two strings(which usuallly just isn't possible without breaking either the bow, the string, the cello or your hand - probably in that order!) - so it's usually louder to play single notes (when accompanied at least). Also vibrato and general movement is severaly restricted with double stops, especially thirds, which further decreases the intensity of the sound. I will try it out though, but in general, thirds are the most taxing thing on the cello (I even prefer tenths or double stopped unisons!).

Most of the things that I haven't commented on here, I have incorporated into the score, so don't think I'm unnapreciative, just because I haven't mentioned all the other details - you know how it is - things that make good sense and everyone is happy eith accepting rarely get discussed.

I love your Ivesian idea! And the Timpani effect - I might produce two versions.  :D But then I suppose in that case, I might as well produce a version for four hands and cello.  ;D

I heard recently of a version for 4 pianos - I'd love to hear that!

Thankyou very much Maciek for those contributions - I realise I shouldn't have asked you with your PHD to finish! Sorry. When you do have time, I would be most interested to see what Leechkiss does in bar 223 onwarsds and bar 276 onwards. Luke and Larry have made excellent suggestions though.

Luke at the front of the book it says its an exact reprint of Stravinsky's 1913 four hand rehearsal version.

Will write more responses when I read through again and see what I've forgotten.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Larry Rinkel on July 19, 2007, 07:13:42 AM
In 276 onwards - the cello could play thirds in theory, but actually paradoxically, it usually is more difficult to hear double stops on the cello - the bow needs to push down at least twice as hard to get the same sound as its working against the tension of two strings(which usuallly just isn't possible without breaking either the bow, the string, the cello or your hand - probably in that order!) - so it's usually louder to play single notes (when accompanied at least). Also vibrato and general movement is severaly restricted with double stops, especially thirds, which further decreases the intensity of the sound. I will try it out though, but in general, thirds are the most taxing thing on the cello (I even prefer tenths or double stopped unisons!).

Tenths are just as good, so long as the harmony is represented. It's just too much to ask of your pianist to carry all that texture single-handed. Or double-handed, as the case may be. Maybe triple-handed would do it, if you go the Ivesian route.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 19, 2007, 07:16:04 AM

I love your Ivesian idea! And the Timpani effect - I might produce two versions.  :D But then I suppose in that case, I might as well produce a version for four hands and cello.  ;D

Just to clarify - the timpani/tam-tam effect I described could be done with just the normal complement of hands. ;D
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 19, 2007, 07:18:16 AM
Yeah I got that Luke - I am working on it now.  :D

Larry - sorry I meant technically I'd prefer to play tenths. But the sound of tenths is even more anemic than thirds... I fully understand the criticism - I will try these things out. Actually sixths might work - they're easier and easier to vibrate...

EDIT: OK - with the downward arpegiation for the timpani roll - do you think the gracenotes should be tied to the normal notes, or should there be downward arpeggiation, followed by a distinct chord on the same notes (if that makes any sense?). Also on my recording, the rising, F G A figure in the bass is really not very audible - maybe  reducing that dramatically - maybe only one note? It just sounds like a soft offbeat compared to the blaring brass and woodwind at this point... Just an idea (but actually maybe not a very good one)

b 325 onwards - the triplets in the left hand that intersperse the chords - neither of you have mentioned these but I imagine they arent that pleasant - thoughts?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 19, 2007, 07:42:31 AM
EDIT: OK - with the downward arpegiation for the timpani roll - do you think the gracenotes should be tied to the normal notes, or should there be downward arpeggiation, followed by a distinct chord on the same notes (if that makes any sense?). Also on my recording, the rising, F G A figure in the bass is really not very audible - maybe  reducing that dramatically - maybe only one note? It just sounds like a soft offbeat compared to the blaring brass and woodwind at this point... Just an idea.

The former I think - tying the arpeggio grace notes, to give the impression of a crescendo on a single impulse, not two separate impulses.

b 325 onwards - the triplets in the left hand that intersperse the chords - neither of you have mentioned these but I imagine they arent that pleasant - thoughts?

No, they are neither easy nor difficult; they feel a little odd, and it's uncomfy having to rush up and down for them; also, you need to give them a different timbre to make it clear that they are a different layer - they do sound rather odd without some kind of extra input, I think. But at the same time, they are perfectly playable in themselves.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 19, 2007, 07:46:28 AM
Cheers Luke - what do you think of the fifths chord bit 101 being more divided between the hands?

Sixths don't work - because the harmony sounds wrong (wrong note at the top) - Should have noticed that. Will try thirds now.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 19, 2007, 08:15:42 AM
Thirds also dont work. Tenths actually might - I tried them with the cello playing the Bb above the stave and the Gb a tenth below - pretty difficult, but playable - I'll have to see if the sound cut accross the piano at this point.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 19, 2007, 09:41:50 AM
Cheers Luke - what do you think of the fifths chord bit 101 being more divided between the hands?

That was something I was pondering commenting on originally.

The thing here is that the repeated-note nature of the passage is thematic. Larry's suggestion of taking the r.h.'s two fifths in turn (DG-GC-DG) is sensible, and I recommend it, but it isn't ideal simply because we really need to hear D-D-D above all. Because of this, I was originally tempted to recommend splitting the four notes into two-per-hand, as you have since suggested (D-G; C-F). In this arrangement, repeating the chords will be easier. But, as you've correctly noted, this would entail missing a note of the ostinato. So, it boils down to a choice which only you can make:

1) Larry's method keeps the ostinato but loses you the repeated note nature of the chord

2) Your idea, which had occured to me also, keeps the repeated notes, but loses a note of the ostinato

and I suppose, which has just occured to me

3) Keep it as you have it, but miss out the C from the second and third repetitions. You keep the ostinato and the repeated notes, and only lose an internal note. This is harder than either of the above alternatives, but easier than version you have at the moment.

Btw, you could renotate the l.h. here in two voices, with the ostinato in voice 2, so that it can be in quavers throughout and remain clearly a different part.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Joe_Campbell on July 19, 2007, 12:13:37 PM
Looking at your score reminded me of this one--another reduction of Stravinsky's music:

http://www.imslpforums.org/files/Stravinsky,%20Igor/Stravinsky-three-movements-from-petrouchka.pdf

Keep up the good work! :)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 19, 2007, 01:29:15 PM
Thankyou Joe. If I could play piano I would play through that now! It's nice to see that Stravinsky used three staves at times, though I'm willing to bet that his was a leeeetle bit more pianistic than mine! Theres something often very beautiful about his scores.

I'm having a bit of a stravinsky phase at the moment - the concerto for two pianos is a new discovery of mine and is absolutely brilliant, and obviously I've been listening to the Rite a lot whilst doing this. I'm really fond of the late atonal works too - especially Requiem Canticles. The Nighingale and and the Symphony of Psalms has been playing a lot too. Apparently that was Shostakovich's favourite work by Stravinsky.

Next week I'm doing an orchestra course where we'll be rehearsing and performing both the Firebird and Petrouchka - I've played the former before (the most fun I've had in an orhestra) and never even heard the second. Should be an absolute blast.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 19, 2007, 01:34:21 PM
[Re. Petruskha transcription...]

Ah yes, that one. Years since I last ploughed through it! This must be one of the most difficult 'standard' pieces out there - it's perfectly clear how one needs to play it, but its just so tricky under the fingers..  :o Makes Guido's Rite look like a five finger exercise!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 19, 2007, 01:44:16 PM
[Re. Petruskha transcription...]

Ah yes, that one. Years since I last ploughed through it! This must be one of the most difficult 'standard' pieces out there - it's perfectly clear how one needs to play it, but its just so tricky under the fingers..  :o Makes Guido's Rite look like a five finger exercise!

Clearly, all the pianistic difficulties I cleverly worked into the score were due to my sensitive understanding of Stravinsky's keyboard writing. My brilliance astounds even me sometimes.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 19, 2007, 01:45:26 PM
Note that the lack of smileys means that anything pertaining to humour, irony or sarcasm can safely be ruled out.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 19, 2007, 02:48:49 PM
B. 223 and onwards?

Ha, ha, ha! Let's see if I have enough English to even begin to explain this...

Well, the first 4 bars are fairly straightforward (at least for Leetchkiss): the r.h. plays your cello part + syncopated sixteenths (roughly the rhythm of your l.h.) - E-flat-G alternating with D-F. In the meantime the l.h. runs through a series of rising scales (sixteenths): F, A, B, C, D, E flat, F, G, A (- that's the first note in the new bar, now it's down a sixth:) C, D, E flat etc.

Now, in the 5th bar it gets interesting: essentially, it's the same thing you've written, only a bit more complex (:o). The l.h. plays your middle and bottom staves, while the r.h. plays your top stave AND a series of sixteenths alternating between the two thirds spelled out above (only this time it's without the pauses - no syncopation, just a regular ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta rhythm) - this is all notated using the standard 2 staves (it's all quavers for the l.h.). It only gets worse from there, as the r.h. starts to play the "melody" in octaves. ::)

I told you this transcription was difficult. :P 0:)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 19, 2007, 03:04:20 PM
Now bar 276 onwards... Come Rostropovich!

Probably my favorite part (0:)), so I've played through this several times, and though it is a bit difficult for me, I'm sure I'd get it with some practice.

Anyway, this is again notated on 2 staves. It's roughly the same as your version - see attachment several posts down.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 19, 2007, 03:06:52 PM
alternatingly (? is there such a word? ::)).

I've just checked. There is. :) 8)

[sigh of relief]
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Joe_Campbell on July 19, 2007, 03:20:33 PM
Thankyou Joe. If I could play piano I would play through that now! It's nice to see that Stravinsky used three staves at times, though I'm willing to bet that his was a leeeetle bit more pianistic than mine! Theres something often very beautiful about his scores.

I'm having a bit of a stravinsky phase at the moment - the concerto for two pianos is a new discovery of mine and is absolutely brilliant, and obviously I've been listening to the Rite a lot whilst doing this. I'm really fond of the late atonal works too - especially Requiem Canticles. The Nighingale and and the Symphony of Psalms has been playing a lot too. Apparently that was Shostakovich's favourite work by Stravinsky.

Next week I'm doing an orchestra course where we'll be rehearsing and performing both the Firebird and Petrouchka - I've played the former before (the most fun I've had in an orhestra) and never even heard the second. Should be an absolute blast.
I can send you my recording of Pollini playing it if you'd like. Truly incredible, it is. The files are .m4a, so not much plays them (VLC media player does). This set also has him playing an amazing Prokofiev 7th Piano Sonata.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 19, 2007, 03:43:19 PM
I would love that - doesn't itunes play mp4s?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 19, 2007, 03:47:57 PM
Thank you very much Maciek. I'll try and decipher what that would look like in score form (bar 276 etc.) - bar 223 sounds mental!

I have another general question. The 9-tuplets in the last section - Could someone suggest an arpeggiated figure that could be played with just the right hand so that the left hand could play some low tremolo notes to create the crescendo and cymbals?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 19, 2007, 03:57:44 PM
That sounds very interesting - but unfortunately I'm not sure I understand fully - bar 276 of mine definitely has the same rhythm as the orchestral score - or am I completely misunderstanding? - I hate to ask you this after you took so much time to explain it but its too much for my little mind to handle! - maybe you could take a picture of the passage in question and attatch it to a post here? Tell me to bugger off if you want to!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 19, 2007, 04:09:10 PM
You're probably right - your version is more faithful to the score, don't know what I was thinking...
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 19, 2007, 04:10:44 PM
And now that I've posted this I suddenly realize I forgot to mention that the left hand is all played an octave lower... 0:)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 19, 2007, 04:11:10 PM
Good night! ;)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 19, 2007, 04:11:34 PM
Thank you very much! That was ridiculously quick! I'll have a mull.

G'night sir!

EDIT: The one you just posted is actually very similar to mine - I don't think that the chords on the top staff are meant to be alternate (definitely not after the first bar, but I think even in the first bar the chords on the top stave are meant to be simultaneous - look at the rests.).
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 20, 2007, 02:09:03 AM
You're absolutely right! :o Apparently I didn't even once look at the rests (just glanced at the way they are lined up)... I feel like the total fool I probably am. :-[

Just in case I've messed everything up in the other example: here are the photos.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 20, 2007, 02:09:59 AM
Here's some possibilities instead of the 9-tuplets in the last section. (attatched) Playable?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 20, 2007, 02:10:34 AM
No. 2. I'm also going to delete my earlier inanities.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 20, 2007, 02:20:28 AM
Quote
You're absolutely right!  Apparently I didn't even once look at the rests (just glanced at the way they are lined up)... I feel like the total fool I probably am.


Not at all - thankyou very much for trying to help. This happened to me the other day - Bartok's first Rhapsody, a piece I thought I knew and loved, and it turns out that I've been playing dotted rhythms where there were none and straight rhythms where there are dotted ones, for about 2 years!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 20, 2007, 03:34:37 AM
I actually once almost failed an exam because, as it turned out, I had been misreading, for at least 5 years (since high school)!, one of the words in the TITLE of a cycle of poems I was asked about. It wasn't a Freudian slip, I simply kept seeing a very close synonym that was a syllable longer (głębinami instead of głębiami). The amazing thing is that not only had I read the poems themselves, but I had also read countless articles about the poems! Got a lower mark because the examiner felt I was somehow cheating (needless to say, my explanation wasn't very convincing, especially since at first I didn't even understand his correction; it was like: - Now, let me move on to Nad głębinami. - You mean Nad głębiami? - Nad głębiami? - Yes. - No, I mean the collection of sonnets Nad głębinami. - That's called Nad głębiami. - What? etc. ;D)

Sorry for this self-indulgent, excusatory intrusion. ;D

Carry on.

Maciek
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 20, 2007, 05:14:37 AM
Absolutely - enough about Freudian slips, back to Guido's killer cello/piano transcription of Stravinsky's Write-off Strings
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: karlhenning on July 20, 2007, 05:28:07 AM
. . . back to Guido's killer cello/piano transcription of Stravinsky's Write-off Strings

Suite lituanienne?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 20, 2007, 05:58:31 AM
I don't get it.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 20, 2007, 06:03:53 AM
And I hope you mean 'killer' in the senses of 'splendid' rather than or 'unpropitious' (or even 'iniquitous'). 0:)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 21, 2007, 09:08:24 AM
OK - Here's two versions of the end of the Second section. Thing is I'm not sure if the more rythmically complex one will actually sound any better... I don't have a real piano at home at the moment to try it on (even I can approximate this on my rubbish keyboard!).

The previous question about the one handed arpeggio/tremolo, still stands.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 21, 2007, 09:09:58 AM
Maybe this wasn't such a good idea...
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 24, 2007, 06:23:47 AM
What? Making the transcription? Discussing it over here? ???
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 24, 2007, 07:48:54 AM
Making a transription. I'm a little more positive about it now, but some of it just does seem impossible to resolve satisfactorily for the current forces. That said, I'm glad that I haven't tried some of the other movements. I think I'm almost there - there's still a question mark over that 3 staved section of Spring Rounds, and the fifths in the last section are also not quite resolved (likewise the upward arpeggiated flourish in the same section), but most of the other suggestions I have incorporated, or else have changed the original. I would like feedback on the current question to give the project a bit of closure!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 26, 2007, 11:44:56 AM
I think I'm almost there - there's still a question mark over that 3 staved section of Spring Rounds

Since I'm the only person in this discussion with no music education whatsoever, I find the solution extremely simple: the red notes have to go. The top stave has to be moved an octave lower (remove the ottava mark), preferably noted on the middle stave (the top one needs to go). The chords in the middle stave could also use a diet - perhaps you could reduce them by one one sound? Essentially - take the Leetchkiss arrangement and simplify it a bit... ;D

Quote
and the fifths in the last section are also not quite resolved (likewise the upward arpeggiated flourish in the same section)

I'm a bit dull in the head (as you already know). Could you specify which fifths those are (bar number(s))? And what is the problem with the flourish? I probably missed something in the earlier discussion but you can't expect a dim person like myself to go through all those long posts and actually read them... ::)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 26, 2007, 11:45:41 AM
Just in case you didn't get my gist:

Don't give up! I think you did a great job!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 26, 2007, 02:56:59 PM
Quote
Since I'm the only person in this discussion with no music education whatsoever, I find the solution extremely simple: the red notes have to go. The top stave has to be moved an octave lower (remove the ottava mark), preferably noted on the middle stave (the top one needs to go). The chords in the middle stave could also use a diet - perhaps you could reduce them by one one sound? Essentially - take the Leetchkiss arrangement and simplify it a bit...

I can see why moving it onto two staves might be easier to read, but why make the right hand go down an octave? The left hand will will need to do all the work. The red notes are already out of there. But Larry says above that its just too much for one pianist to handle that many chords. I can't really see how else to resolve it. Those midde chords need to form pungent dissonances with everything else, so I don't really know which notes I'd remove (possibly some of the fifths...) I've been playing about with the tenths a bit more, and I just don't think it will work...

Quote
I'm a bit dull in the head (as you already know). Could you specify which fifths those are (bar number(s))? And what is the problem with the flourish? I probably missed something in the earlier discussion but you can't expect a dim person like myself to go through all those long posts and actually read them...

The fifths are the bit in the score where I lazily marked 'col 5a ad lib' near the end (345). The flourish is from the double piano score, but actually isn't the same as any part found in the orchestral score. The last file I posted as an attatchment gives a suggested alternative following the woodwind parts, but its only for left hand, with tromolo cresc. in the left hand - I think it's possibly possible, but I don't know.

Next project: arranging the Bach Toccata and Fugue BMV 565 for solo cello. There's been a few violin arrangement's about, but the only one that I like isnt available for sale. So I'm making my own. I won't need help with that! ;D
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on July 26, 2007, 02:59:35 PM
Larry's Ivesian idea is of course the other solution. I like it very much, so I suppose I could include parts for both virtuoso solo piano solution and Ivesian solution.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on July 27, 2007, 04:40:40 AM
I can see why moving it onto two staves might be easier to read, but why make the right hand go down an octave?

Well, I told you I was a little bit dim (more than a little, probably). I don't know why I said bring it down an octave. No rational reason. Heck, no irrational reason either. No reason at all in fact... ::) Leave it the way it is.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on August 21, 2007, 03:22:48 PM
Sibelius notation question - how do you make the cello stave smaller than the piano staves, like most duo sonatas are written?

Also the question about the flourish still stands (reply #94)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on August 22, 2007, 03:29:41 AM
(response #102)

How do I find that?
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on August 22, 2007, 05:01:47 AM
Here's some possibilities instead of the 9-tuplets in the last section. (attatched) Playable?

It's this one. It always says reply # under the title of each post. And I was lying before - I meant reply #94.
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on August 22, 2007, 05:33:11 AM
It always says reply # under the title of each post.

(slaps forehead!!!!!!)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on August 22, 2007, 05:36:08 AM
Sibelius notation question - how do you make the cello stave smaller than the piano staves, like most duo sonatas are written?

Go to
Size -> Staves -> Cello
and from the pull-down menu select "smaller than the piano stave (duo sonata standard)".











OK, just kidding. Sorry for the lameness of this one... ::)
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Guido on August 23, 2007, 02:09:37 PM
you had me there (you bastard!)

I just worked out how to do it. yay! yay!
Title: Re: Is this possible on the piano? updated (once)
Post by: Maciek on August 23, 2007, 02:21:20 PM
Heh, heh, so you could say I helped... :P

Anyway, go to the Broadcast Corner soon - no. 271 is waiting for you!

(And if you like, I can get up a much, much better copy of Stachowski's Adagio ricordamente)