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Thread: Pieces to busy the left hand

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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    Default Pieces to busy the left hand

    Any suggestions? I want work on clarity of phrases and dexterity without too much right hand distraction. Preferably some right hand involved and maybe not as hard as the Revolutionary etude.

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    Here's a moderately interesting Czerny etude that I have found helpful
    czerny.jpg
    score http://imslp.org/wiki/The_Art_of_Fin...zerny,_Carl%29 (see book 5)

    The 3rd movement of the Appassionata is a "left hand" piece for me, although objectively both hands do share the labor
    http://imslp.org/wiki/Piano_Sonata_N..._Ludwig_van%29

    The cadenza for Grieg's piano concerto 1st movement is a fun one for left hand arpeggios, but fails the "not too much RH involvement" criterion
    http://imslp.org/wiki/Piano_Concerto...ieg,_Edvard%29
    (the 1906 edition has the cadenza in the full score)

    Or if it's subtlety you're after, try the complex left hand voicing issues in "In the Night", no. 5 from Schumann's Fantasiestucke Op. 12
    http://imslp.org/wiki/Fantasiest%C3%...ann,_Robert%29
    (I am playing these right now and keep mentioning them to people at the slightest opportunity. probably because I LOVE THEM.)
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member aleazk's Avatar
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    Playing Bach is a pretty good exercise for improving your left hand:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jODrQlFmtU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVUKJDq3KB4

    Having a good left hand is not only being able to play fast with that hand, but also to have a good articulation in the phrasing. Bach's counterpoint technique, which treats all the voices in a pretty equal way, is very good for this. Check that piece I posted, the third movement of the Italian Concerto. It's a very well known piece, but it is a masterpiece.
    Last edited by aleazk; Mar-04-2013 at 06:47.

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    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Chopin:
    Preludes Op.28; The preludes are even more 'etudes' than the Etudes, in that each has a constant configuration in one hand or the other which is the nut of the piece and the nut of 'the problem' to be solved....

    Nos.
    2 Axial rotation, the prime LH 'voice' being alternately the 'inside' notes of the oscillating intervals. (one of the more abstract and one of the grimmest sounding pieces things Chopin ever wrote :-)

    3 (velocity passage work, legato sixteenth notes spanning octabes and running throughout, the right hand 'almost nothing' until the last few bars. where it doubles the sixteenth note constant of the LH.

    4 (repeated chords with inner 'slide-slip' chromatic lines - balance of voicing voicing voicing within the LH chords.

    13 ~ less LH specific, but like all the preludes, a constant configuration / study.

    21 ~ Legato workout, passage of expanding intervals, 'traveling double stops.'

    22 ~ octaves

    Études:
    Op. 10, No. 6
    If taken at the correct tempo (quarter note = MM. 69) this is one Gordian-knotty knuckleduster L.H. workout -- it is, like the Op 10, no. 3, often taken at a ridiculously slow tempo, down to as much as one-third of the original marking, those lower tempi making a sentimental treacle soup out of what was intended as a quietly brilliant etude. (For some reason, this imbedded 'mistaken tempo' has become, sadly 'traditional,' even in the face of all the musicological facts. The right hand is 'negligible' compared to the musical work load of the left.)

    Brahms:
    arranged some Bach for Left Hand alone - I'm sure they require a fair level of a kind of virtuosity, but there they are :-)

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    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    Yeah, Clavi, give that e-minor etude a whirl...it's perhaps my favorite.

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    Out of the top of my head.

    Easy :

    Gustave Sandre – “Mr. Happy –go-lucky” – a very cheerful little piece with a catchy motif and most of the melody on the left hand (“More Romantic pieces for piano” vol. 1 – ABRSM )

    Gurlitt – Etude Although very easy (around grade 2) this is a beautiful piece that sounds far more difficult than it actually is. The right hand plays a repeated, hypnotic double note harmony while the melody is exclusively on the left hand (sometimes this piece is called “The Night Train”).

    Alberto Nepomuceno - “Melodia” (“Melody”) – Brazilian composer Nepomuceno (1864 – 1920) wrote this beautiful piece for his little daughter. It is meant to be played with the left hand alone (if shared between the hands then the melody will be in the right hand, I´m afraid).

    Karganov – “March of the tin soldiers” – I usually dislike pieces with this sot of title, but this is an exception. Absolutely delightful, the melody keeps going form hand to hand, but it is mostly on the left hand. (“More Romantic pieces for piano” vol. 2 – ABRSM )

    Intermediate :

    Liszt – “La Cloche Sonne” – one of the easiest Liszt pieces (around grade 4). Right hand plays double notes, left hand plays the melody.

    Gliere – “Song” – This is a stunningly beautiful piece written in modern counterpoint (four voices). The melody goes through all voices, and is half of the time on the left hand. (“More Romantic pieces for piano” vol. 2 – ABRSM )

    Prokofiev – “The Moon strolls through the meadow” – In my opinion the most beautiful of his “Children Pieces”, on the first half the melody in on the right hand, and on the second half on the left hand.

    Advanced :

    Schumann – “Fantastic Dance” op. 124 no. 5 – The melody in the left hand is echoed in the right hand – a very short piece, full of nervous tension – great show piece without being that difficult.

    Mendelssohn – Song Without Words no. 18 (op. 38 no. 6) “Duetto”. The melody is not exclusively in the left hand, but it is there for a considerable amount of time as soprano (right hand) and bass (left hand) voices make some beautiful conversation.

    There are a million more.

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    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    "That as s."

    - Mark Twain

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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    I especially like the piece Ravndal linked(and his picking only one with a simple video format, apologies for the adhd), but thanks for all the recommendations. Suite Bergamasque IV Passapied eh? Alright.

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    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    Yeah, if you want a really good version - check out the one by Paul Crossley. Can find it on spotify.

    Good luck with the piece! Been on my want-to-play list for a very long time!
    "That as s."

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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    Czerny: Twenty-Four Piano Studies for the Left Hand, Op. 718 has a range of left hand techniques with not too much right hand

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    Junior Member cmudave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clavichorder View Post
    Any suggestions? I want work on clarity of phrases and dexterity without too much right hand distraction. Preferably some right hand involved and maybe not as hard as the Revolutionary etude.
    Have a look at Op. 23 No. 6 by Rachmaninoff.

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