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octave_dolce

Durufle Op. 7

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I'm in the process of polishing this work for performance in autumn. One passage in the prelude that I never feel confident about is the bit in A-flat major: RH plays the tune in crochet triplets and regular crochets, LH plays the accompaniment in quaver triplets, and the feet in crochet notes and rests.

 

I've done a huge amount of practice at various tempi, hands separately, hands together, LH/RH with pedal, using clear 4' stop only, etc. But I don't feel good and can't quite hear everything when I put all three parts together at the performance tempo with the prescribed registration.

 

Any suggestion as to how to get this passage correct consistently?

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If it's the bit I am thinking of, I find the most helpful approach is to feel a clear minim pulse and let every other rhythm fall into that framework.

 

If you try to count the individual quaver triplets in the left hand in your head, you will not be able to keep up with the pulse of the music and your thinking will block the music.

 

I think this is one of those pieces where you must not try and work out the music in your head. Switch off your brain and let your inner musician relax into the music. Feel the force, if you will.

 

'The Inner Game of Music' has a lot to say about this sort of approach and illustrates it by some drumming exercises. You are invited to drum on your knees or the table. The more you think about it, the harder it becomes. The more you let go with your head and trust your inner musician, the easier it becomes.

 

Having said that, practicing very hard can only help, particularly getting those quaver triplets really smooth and even on auto - pilot.

 

Good luck - sublime piece, as with all Durufle. The Prelude Adagio and Chorale Variations remains my favourite, but the opening page of the Alain Fugue is just superb.

 

Best,

m

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There are helpful hints in James Jordan's marvellous American books on choral directing (available from GIA Music) which I find works well with keyboard music as well. Forget about the notes and the keyboard and just concentrate of the rhythm. With one part of your body tap out the basic, big, "macro" beat and keep it absolutely steady - if necessary with a metronome, initially, then with another part of the body tap out the smaller "micro" beat and then with another part of thr body tap out the actual rhythm of the melody &c., in question. Do each individually at first, then in combinations of two at a time anth then all together. It is important, apparently, to do these rhythms to actual physical movement. Very much in the mould of the Inner Games books (which James Jordan often quotes). Get each rhythm - call them macro, micro and actual if you like - remembered by your brain and it will fall comfotably into place when you go to the keyboard and add the adde ddifficulty of the notes. Very much in tune with the idea of learning one thing at a time. I have tried it with students and it works.

 

If any of you are really into choral directing and want some new ideas or really sound pedagogical advice I heartily recommend all the James Jordan books, DVDs and videos. Although you might sometimes have to pay customs duty the goods are dispatched to you from America extremely promptly.

 

Malcolm

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If it's the bit I am thinking of, I find the most helpful approach is to feel a clear minim pulse and let every other rhythm fall into that framework.

 

...I think this is one of those pieces where you must not try and work out the music in your head. Switch off your brain and let your inner musician relax into the music. Feel the force, if you will.

 

...Having said that, practicing very hard can only help, particularly getting those quaver triplets really smooth and even on auto - pilot.

 

I have no problem at all with the quaver triplets in the LH, nor with the other passage similar to this one (with more flats).

 

In this A-flat major passage, I have trouble maintaining eveness in the crochets in the pedal when I bring all three lines together. The rests and the large leaps are throwing me off, I think.

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Hello!

 

Sorry, this is not really related to the original posters question, but I thought rather than start a new thread my question may fit here. Very sorry if I am wrong about this!

 

I am currently working on the Fugue of this work, and was wondering how people grapple around the left hand part commencing at the bottom of page 18 (bar 53 I think, marked sempre pp). It looks simple enough at first glance, but I'm struggling over where to substitute fingers etc in order to keep the line legato? If anyone would be able to scan a copy of these couple of pages with fingerings on that would be very much appreciated!

 

Other than that, I must say it is certainly my favourite work, and I am thoroughly enjoying learning it!

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Richard

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