La Camanella - Liszt : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I am learning to play Liszt's La Campanella (Paganini) and would be interested to hear about how other pianists go about practising it and any recommended techniques, particularly the 2-octave jumps on the D# in the right hand. Is one permitted to use the left hand at all ?

-- Richard Grant (, February 25, 2005


I don't have the music in front of me, but how would you use the left hand? Isn't it busy? The only way I know on this one is to practice the right hand separately until you have the mumps down. May be best to memorize those parts. But as far as I know, it is just point and shoot.

-- John Elford (, March 05, 2005.

Get the Evgeny Kissin DVD, "The Gift of Music". He both practices it and plays it on there... although he does make a few minor mistouches. In any case, you can see his hand/wrist/arm movements very clearly.. that might give you an idea of where to start.

Also, remember Liszt had big hands so most of his music is written in regard to that! If you're having trouble with the virtuosi pieces try Beethoven's Rondo a Cappriccio, rage over the lost penny.. it's much less technical than La Campanella but still very impressive to play!

Good Luck!

-- Drake S. Bissett (, March 08, 2005.

This piece is very physically demanding, and the Hanon virtuouso pianist exercises are absolutely brilliant to get your stength up- especially for the trills and repeated notes. Sit down and play the first twenty exercises 5 times a day!

Work through the piece extremely slowly so you know where the music is leading. The great thing about learning this piece is that it is based on pretty basic chord progressions. Learn the shape of the piece as a whole so you know where you are going.

I always say that the only way you can play this piece is to be completely fearless and not to care whether you hit any wrong notes on the leaps! Keep the main theme tune in mind because that6 is what you are trying to bring out. Make sure your wrists are relaxed and try and stop your hands from feeling restricted to one octave.

You can improve your confidence by playing an octave with one hand on any note. Then play the scale of that particular key, alternating between your thumb on the root note and playing the ascending scale with your little finger. Do this for every key!

I dont personally think that using the left hand for the leaps is incredibly helpful but if you can think of some clever fingering to make the tune sound nice and even go for it, but it looks far more impressive when you can play it with one hand!

-- James Ghadiali (, March 12, 2005.

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