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Dupre B Major P&f - Pedalling Question


Colin Harvey
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Hi chaps

 

Slightly pretentious question here but I'd be interested to hear what other people do:

 

Dupre B Major Prelude and Fugue: what pedalling do people use for the fugue subject in the feet? The most difficult bit is the F# in the opening - is it best to use the left toe or the right toe? Do people try to do it legato and start on the left heel on bottom b, stretch the left toe to F# or is better to leave the left foot to the opening b, play the f# with the right toe - but then do people stretch their right heel to the top b or just slide across to toe the top b?

 

The next bit after the rest (d#-f#-top d#) is hardly any easier - do folk let the left foot take care of the first 2 notes while the right foot has plenty of time to find top d#? What compromises do people make over the legato touch for this piece?

 

It's a good piece and I was thinking about polishing it up later this year but wondered what other people did.

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Hi chaps

 

Slightly pretentious question here but I'd be interested to hear what other people do:

 

Dupre B Major Prelude and Fugue: what pedalling do people use for the fugue subject in the feet? The most difficult bit is the F# in the opening - is it best to use the left toe or the right toe? Do people try to do it legato and start on the left heel on bottom b, stretch the left toe to F# or is better to leave the left foot to the opening b, play the f# with the right toe - but then do people stretch their right heel to the top b or just slide across to toe the top b?

 

The next bit after the rest (d#-f#-top d#) is hardly any easier - do folk let the left foot take care of the first 2 notes while the right foot has plenty of time to find top d#? What compromises do people make over the legato touch for this piece?

 

It's a good piece and I was thinking about polishing it up later this year but wondered what other people did.

 

For the first entry: left toe, right toe (on F#) right heel, left toe on D#. Second entry: Left, left, right (D#) ...At crotchet = 84, I find that unless the pipe speech and action are really crisp (ie like practising on a toaster with no reverb on!!) you can get them even enough... The one I always dread, and am most likely to 'splash' is on the second page of the fugue after the key change to Bb major.

IMHO it's one of THE best organ pieces ever - enjoy!

P.

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Thanks Paul! This is the pedalling I'm erring to as well. It's a superb piece - it's up there in my top favourites. Unfortunately, my church acoustic is pin-point accurate and there's nowhere to hide! But the piece so well written it holds up very well. Anyway, I think all the notes need to be heard for best effect. There are not too many or too few notes here - just the right number and they're all very well chosen! It's just a shame they're a b***** to play!

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Well, I wouldn't lightly contradict Mr Carr (especially as he played this very piece for my wedding), but if you cross your right leg behind your left and play the first note with your right toe, perhaps a bit further away from the black notes than you'd normally put a toe down, the first 8 notes become simple alternating toes (and 9 & 10 a very easy heel-toe). Takes a little getting used to, but once done is very secure because you don't have the problem that one foot has to play consecutive semiquavers a 4th or a 5th apart.

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Well, I wouldn't lightly contradict Mr Carr (especially as he played this very piece for my wedding), but if you cross your right leg behind your left and play the first note with your right toe, perhaps a bit further away from the black notes than you'd normally put a toe down, the first 8 notes become simple alternating toes (and 9 & 10 a very easy heel-toe). Takes a little getting used to, but once done is very secure because you don't have the problem that one foot has to play consecutive semiquavers a 4th or a 5th apart.

 

Yes, that works if you don't play with the bench as ridiculously far forwrad as I do, :lol: and leaping an octave with your right foot, with just a semiquaver between at crotchet = 80 is leaving too much room for playing a variety of notes around the top B, or a mixture of notes at the same time, but still around top B!! :rolleyes:

 

....notes become simple alternating toes....

 

Because it's all simple really! Or perhaps not. :P

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This work is also one of my favourites - although I rarely get to play the Fugue as most of our congregation have left by the last few bars of the Prelude!

 

I'm quite lucky to have a fairly good acoustic so I can get away with the occasional slip in this one. Alas, I arrived at church on Sunday to find the interior plastered in robes (as happens every year in Malta when the church festival time is nearing) - which really deadens the sound, as can be seen in the following picture of my church:

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aburt/910603387/

 

Personally, I find the second the most exquisite of the Op.7 set - perhaps I'm alone?

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Guest Patrick Coleman
I rarely get to play the Fugue as most of our congregation have left by the last few bars of the Prelude!

 

?

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I was singing in an ad-hoc choir in Worthing last Thursday evening for a big Corpus Christi do. The choir was not allowed to process out of the choirstalls until the final voluntary had finished. And there was wine waiting for us in the vestry.............

 

To get back to the original question of this topic I suggest that the size of one's feet can make a difference to how one pedals this - or any other - piece. What works well for one person may be physically impossible for another. Ultimately it must, to a certain extent, come down to what works comfortably and securely for you If you try a pedalling that doesn't fit your own physique it will cause unnecessary muscular tension which is the last thing you want when playing this particular piece. My exerience has been that this piece works best if you practice it very slowly and only bring it up to speed near to its first public outing.

 

Malcolm

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My exerience has been that this piece works best if you practice it very slowly and only bring it up to speed near to its first public outing.

 

I found using the 'dotted/triplet' practice technique most valuable when learning this piece.

For those who are not familiar with this, it's a good method for getting nearer to performance speed once you have a basic grasp of the notes.

Basically you take a straight rhythm and lengthen every alternate note to give a 'da de da de da' rhythm, then turn it around the other way to give a 'de da de da de' rhythm (one's always more difficult than the other, depending on whether the music's anacrusic or not!).

You are actually getting the finger/hand/foot movements up to speed, but with added thinking time inbetween. If you can manage both versions you will be well on the way.

I used this technique with the opening manual figuration and A flat figuration of the Prelude, and most of the Fugue.

 

Good luck!

DT

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