Salzedo Variations in ancient style

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    mr-s on #150221

    Hello now i am sight reading many many new pieces for a master Class in summer,one of them Salzedo variations,its a very technical showy piece, the most difficult variations are no 5 no 7 and no 11. I am marking every difficult part in it to give the teacher in the Master Class the questions. Any ideas and help in these variations will be appreciated. Thank you.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #150222

    It takes years of lessons and practice to play this piece.

    unknown-user on #150223

    Hi Mr. S –

    Well, bravo to you for digging into the tough repertoire!

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #150224

    It definitely improves my technique each time I work it up. It took me at least three years to get it up to form. Three separate years, not contiguous. The style of the variations, until you get to the Barcarolle, is classical. They are all rhythmic, with virtually no rubato, and little “interpretation.” The trill variation in particular is completely rhythmic, with four trill repetitions to each beat. It has to be completely steady. The trills are decorating the melody that has to be as clear as in any other variation. The Prelude, on the other hand, has tenutos that are exaggerated, they have the value of at least three sixteenth-notes. If you want to master this piece seriously, at some point, you must contrive to study with a Salzedo teacher.

    mr-s on #150225

    Hi John,thank you for your positive words and encouraging me, i am planing to go for a summer Master Class with a good harp Professors : i will have private lessons with them,and since 6 years i didnt have any lessons as i finished my DMA and started teaching, i have many questions to ask there, there are many beautiful musc and fifficult i didnt play before and wish to play now , i f

    mr-s on #150226

    if i will tell you the list of the pieces i am sight reading now and marking the difficult places,you will say that its crazy and unreal,it consists of many Concertos and Solo pieces, but for now its the lonely Chance .i wish to get the Maximum from you think that sight reading and questions are worknig for a private lessons in a Master Class? I really Cant prepare it in playable form its reall hard.

    carl-swanson on #150227

    Saul- I never played this piece. But I believe there are standard cuts to it. You might tell Mr. S where they are.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #150228

    There are no cuts. There is the short ending, which is clearly marked, but not to be used unless forced to by a competition or something.

    I would prepare much less repertoire and prepare it as best as you can.

    jordan-thomas on #150229


    I’m currently out of town, but i just learned it myself this year. Well with the cut. I can tell you this, you must love the piece.

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #150230

    I agree with Saul that it is better to do a few pieces really well than to try to learn a lot of notes and spread yourself too thin. Did the master class give you any guidelines on how much to prepare? From the teacher’s point of view, usually there are only 20-30 minutes to spend on each student, and it’s hard to accomplish very much if there is too much material to get through. Most teachers will choose the segments that they think will be most useful to the student and the rest of the class, and won’t hear everything you have prepared. Do you know how much time has been allotted to you?

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #150231

    It may be worth pointing out that in the Salzedo school, the normal way to play a descending two-fingered aeolian flux (glissando) is to play with the thumb in normal position, and the second finger curved under as if you were going to play a harmonic, and using the back side of the finger, the nail to play, so you are actually combining a normal aeolian flux with a falling-hail aeolian flux. If you play with your fingers pointing up as many European harpists do, you get the wrong kind of sound, and don’t have a smooth turn-around from up to down. The sound of that two-fingered glissando is suitable for other things, not Salzedo’s music.

    Sliding onto the next string and not playing it is our formerly secret (thanks, Jordan) way to play a glissando/aeolian flux clearly with a distinct top note that is integrated with the lower notes. Ending with the left-hand thumb on the top note produces a glissando with a loud top note that is not part of the glissando, or the phrase. I’ve rarely heard anyone do it so well that all the notes are phrased together. Sliding onto the next strings allows full control of all the notes with one hand.

    The fugue is absolutely the hardest variation. Except for the trills, maybe. Or the Papillons. Or the Bourree. Or the . . .

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