Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 4 "Mazeppa"

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Belle
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Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 4 "Mazeppa"

Post by Belle » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:41 am

Calling all keyboard musicians; help wanted!! I've been listening to this tonight and following the score but, for the life of me, I cannot work out the notes to the time signatures. In some sections, eg. 2/4, it's fairly straightforward BUT with all those ornaments and runs and extra staves Liszt's timings are driving me insane. I cannot play this, of course, but at least if I'm reading it as I go along I need to understand the sense of time and rhythm. For example, in the section at and around 29 seconds here...what is the time signature and HOW do the notes conform to it please. How does that extra bass line function timewise?Your help would be appreciated:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9BQ1ylApto

absinthe
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Re: Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 4 "Mazeppa"

Post by absinthe » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:45 pm

I haven't a clue how one quotes in this new site format but...

at 29 seconds, just after the start of the thematic stuff, it's 2/4. The bass is in 2/4, the decorations in the middle stave are also 2/4 in groups, per half beat, of i) a quaver rest + 2 semiquavers and ii) 4 semiquavers, the group making up 1 crotchet's worth. The first beat in the bar in the edition I have is notated as a minim chord (as at 25 seconds in your youube). It was the way he sometimes wrote, just his style, to suggest the sound should hold on for the whole bar. He took it that players would understand what was wanted.

As I see it. It's something you often come across in his music. In the top stave he couldn't be bothered to write double-dotted quavers plus the demisemiquavers per beat because he knew that musicians would know. It looks clearer and easier (!!!) as he wrote it.

mikealdren
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Re: Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 4 "Mazeppa"

Post by mikealdren » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:52 am


Belle
Posts: 243
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 4 "Mazeppa"

Post by Belle » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:22 am

mikealdren wrote:
Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:52 am
You cn see the score here:

http://imslp.org/wiki/Études_d%27exécut ... zt,_Franz)
Thanks for that. I cannot get that site to work as I've tried before.

Belle
Posts: 243
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 4 "Mazeppa"

Post by Belle » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:27 am

absinthe wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:45 pm
I haven't a clue how one quotes in this new site format but...

at 29 seconds, just after the start of the thematic stuff, it's 2/4. The bass is in 2/4, the decorations in the middle stave are also 2/4 in groups, per half beat, of i) a quaver rest + 2 semiquavers and ii) 4 semiquavers, the group making up 1 crotchet's worth. The first beat in the bar in the edition I have is notated as a minim chord (as at 25 seconds in your youube). It was the way he sometimes wrote, just his style, to suggest the sound should hold on for the whole bar. He took it that players would understand what was wanted.

As I see it. It's something you often come across in his music. In the top stave he couldn't be bothered to write double-dotted quavers plus the demisemiquavers per beat because he knew that musicians would know. It looks clearer and easier (!!!) as he wrote it.
Thanks!!

At the 2nd bar of the "Allegro" (circa 28 seconds) the demi-semi-quaver at the end of the bar, then, is to 'help' the musician? It looked like an ornamentation to me, otherwise this didn't make sense to me in that it doesn't add up!! Perhaps it's an editorial decision; in any case, not being used to Liszt's scores, it started to do my head in!! Why it did this is because he uses conventional ornaments elsewhere in this score. If you've played this music you have my deepest admiration. I couldn't negotiate any of it.

absinthe
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Re: Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 4 "Mazeppa"

Post by absinthe » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:59 pm

Well, he wrote it as a demisemiquaver intending the pianist should give it that value, without cluttering the stave with double-dotted quaver rests or as was common then a quaver and dotted semiquaver rest. He may have drafted it on two staves. The version I have spreads it on 3.

Alas, I can't play it. The octaves in the opening would knacker my hands/wrists these days. I learned two of those studies adequately (within my stretch), the 5th and the 9th. They were enough. I so dislike modern performances of the 5th. Most pianists seem to have the pedal jammed down throughout so it loses its lightness. Nice to hide the unevenness but "not proper" LOL. Not will o' the wisp.

One learns a lot of tricks from Liszt - suspending a theme between both hands for instance. It became a bit of a habit when playing "lounge" style at receptions! His B minor Sonata is worth looking at for that as is Liebestraum 3.

Belle
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Re: Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 4 "Mazeppa"

Post by Belle » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:24 pm

I cannot play Liszt; period. I love the B Minor Sonata, but it did take me some time to feel that way. He's always a composer worth revisiting. My husband read the 3 tomes on Liszt by Alan Walker while we were living in Vienna in 2011 and it aroused my interest when he asked me to explain the musical examples in the books. (My husband has never been a music-lover but became an 'accidental' one because he couldn't speak German and needed to read something!)

absinthe
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Re: Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 4 "Mazeppa"

Post by absinthe » Tue May 02, 2017 3:27 am

That got me thinking about the B minor Sonata which is full of Lisztian notation quirks.

Just picked on a couple in the first section, the transition to the cantando Have a look at the bits I ringed in red.

Image

The first ones are the enharmonic changes he makes to "properly" prepare for the cantando in D major. He needn't have done that but he is Liszt and I've noticed that he always seems to preserve the shapes of chords so that they'd be better understood. He relies on double sharps and flats a lot for that reason.

Then, just below. Should the quaver on the F# be played as a true quaver (as the dotted crotched on the G suggests) which means it wouldn't be correct against the triplet - or should it be played as shown, as the final note of the triplet, emphasised as part of the melody. I think the latter is correct otherwise you'd get two (sounded) F#s very close together which, in sound terms, would clog the flow!

I notice he (or Schirmer) gave up writing the bracketed 3 over the triplets after the first bar of the cantando! It's my bet Liszt didn't write a triplet sign at all, just assumed the pianist would know...

A wonderful composer - the person who taughet Wagner chromatic harmony.

.

Belle
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Re: Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 4 "Mazeppa"

Post by Belle » Tue May 02, 2017 4:13 am

Excellent conundrums!! I looked firstly at those beats where you mentioned the designated triplets and I could only make sense of it with what you suggested; that the crotchet has to be part of that!! This seems 'odd' to me; that he includes that note value with triplets over quavers. I couldn't get those note values to add up to 4/4 until I noticed the little quaver rests. In short, the music seems to function mathematically and musically, not necessarily simultaneously.

Secondly, the enharmonics seem to be fairly conventional chromatic movements by step, though played together they do sound rather like chord clusters, don't you think? And yet, this sonata is so inherently lyrical that one doesn't 'hear' those hard-working inner parts of the engine. Obviously the BMW or Mercedes Benz of music!!!

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