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Short Romantic Pieces for Piano, Bk 2


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#1 Misterioso

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 15:34

I have a question about one of the pieces in this volume, called The Evening Bell. When I learnt this, quite some years ago, my teacher at the time (now my organ teacher) taught me to play it with frequent crossing of left hand over right for the right hand upper parts. The other day I began teaching it to one of my students, and automatically started teaching it to her the way I had learnt it.

 

She is a thinker, and it occurred to me that she would ask at some point why this was, when either hand could be equally sustained while the right hand moved up instead. (Hope I'm making sense!) So I asked my teacher the reasoning behind this, and his reply was rather non-committal. He suggested looking at it on youtube, which I did, and the only recording I could find was played with the right hand moving up (no cross hands). So my question is, does it matter, and is there any specific reason why one way might work better than the other?

 

Many thanks in advance for any enlightenment.


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#2 Latin pianist

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 16:43

I would have thought it was harder to play crossing over. I have always played and taught it with RH playing the top notes. I'm trying to see if the stem direction gives any clue. Would they be downwards if meant to be played by the LH? Bar 12 would be quite awkward if played with LH crossing over.
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#3 Misterioso

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 18:14

Many thanks for your reply, Latin pianist. I have just looked at this again, and notice that the fingering mostly seems to imply that the RH should play the upper notes, (eg bar 17). Then again, where the RH is written in two parts, it seems to be mostly stems up for the upper part, otherwise stems down. Would this indicate that they should be played by different hands? It's obviously impossible to play the RH stems down notes with the LH. When my adult pupil started playing it, she automatically moved the right hand up throughout. I see your point about bar 12, but I was taught to play that with crossed hands too! I'm now wondering what I should tell her when I see her again on Thursday.  :unsure:


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#4 Latin pianist

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 19:05

The interesting thing is that no fingering is given for the higher part ( in my copy anyway) which might imply a choice?
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#5 Misterioso

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 19:37

Yes, that's true. If my pupil prefers to play it with RH, I suppose I will just have to go with it. I will ask my teacher again about it, though; why did he teach it to me cross-handed? Perhaps it is the part-writing, but it all seems very ambiguous. Thanks for your reply.


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#6 jenny

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 20:47

I taught this some years ago when it was an exam piece and taught it with crossed hands. It didn't occur to me to do it any other way.


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#7 wendym

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 08:31

I don’t know the piece in question but I do know that most of my younger students love the idea of playing anything crossed over - they find it fun, advanced looking to anyone else watching and just that little bit out of the ordinary. Gets them moving around the keyboard more too rather than becoming afraid to do so. I’d go with the way you were taught.
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#8 jenny

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 09:37

I've just found out my old copy of the book - it is marked sopra in two places, which to me indicates left over right. I notice that it's not marked like that in the last section, so perhaps this could be played by either hand.


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#9 Misterioso

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Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:15

I've just found out my old copy of the book - it is marked sopra in two places, which to me indicates left over right. I notice that it's not marked like that in the last section, so perhaps this could be played by either hand.

 

Thank you, Jenny - that's really helpful. I was going to ask you what it was in your score that suggested the crossed hands, but you have pre-empted me. Perhaps my teacher knew it from somewhere else, too. I will stick with this.

 

Edit: Please could you clarify which bars the sopra refers to?


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