Your comments on this, Alkan's Grand Etude Duet?

@Doc Watson,

This reminded me of your question the other day;;_ylt=Atlw....

5 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Re-scoring the same sequence of notes to be played at lower or higher octaves has probably been done by every advanced student who’s ever been bored with his lessons and just wanted to play around. Most of us probably started at middle C and for fun raised or lowered the octaves a few times until we got bored doing this or got inspired to take the innovation to a higher level, much like what these young dudes have done. Except these guys got really creative.

    Transcribing a complex, musically sophisticated sequence of notes (like Alkan’s Right Hand segment of the Etudes) for one hand so that two octaves can be played simultaneously by two right hands is pretty damn clever and requires a type of shared musicianship I never had a chance to develop (horn players never share their horns). I noticed the guy on the right measuring out the limits of the range before settling on the starting point. These guys may be beer buddies but they've got the skills.

    Still, this was a lot of fun to watch and these young guys obviously have a lot of talent. By the way, close friends Liszt and Chopin used to sit at the same keyboard and improvise together for fun.

    NOTE: Even more challenging would be transcribing this for three right hands, assuming you can find three relatively accomplished and relatively slender pianists to share the same keyboard (and piano seat). However, I don't see how this would be possible without over-lapping several mid-ranged octaves or completely stressing out the high end. Three hands sharing seven octaves equally? It makes my brain hurt thinking about it so you'll have to get input from our resident keyboard expert, Petr, on this.

    NOTE REDUX: My replies. even after edits, tend to be overly expressed: a malady that writers suffer from time to time. My bad!

  • 9 years ago

    It's a bit of a train wreck, be it an entertaining one. Petr's observation is perfect. ;-)

    Just a word for balance as regards Hamelin: he's an Alkan camp follower, rather than a champion. Raymond Lewenthal blazed the first trail in the second half of the 20thC on Alkan's behalf, together with Ronald Smith, John Ogden, Geoffrey Douglas Madge and a number of others. Trained by one of these, I and my co-aeval students of these *genuine* pioneers spread the word further. Where Hamelin is concerned, having a better PR engine doesn't a 'champion' make, nor a 'great exponent'.

    (Getting dog-tired of unthinking Hamelin sycophancy: use your EARS rather than your eyes.)

    All the best,

  • 9 years ago

    For the first minute or so, I was impressed and thoroughly enjoyed the performance: these two guys really seemed to be of one mind - in synch with each other to a remarkable degree: BRAVO!.

    But as minute followed minute, I became as thoroughly disenchanted. Would I recommend the video? Yes, for a one time only viewing.

    Don't know if you're familiar with Antone Rubinstein's "Variations on Yankee Doodle " or not; if not, I can highly recommend it - a real "War Horse" for the piano (sorry, unable to find a Y.T. video of it)


  • Fiery
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    I love Alkan's music. Thank you so much Marc-Andre Hamelin for championing Alkan.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • petr b
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    A hoot, a lark, a "let's tear through this after a few beers": but for all that, even when it involves two professional drivers, this clip is proof that drinking and driving do not mix!

    Best regards.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.