Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 165 of 274 < 1 2 ... 163 164 165 166 167 ... 273 274 >
Topic Options
#1253290 - 08/21/09 10:48 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Does anyone else have this problem? It seems that the screen jumps around after I reach a certain point. Maybe it's a built-in device to keep posters from writing short novels. bah

Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

Top
(ads P/S)
Petrof Pianos

piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1254609 - 08/23/09 02:08 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Hello All:

It's a beautiful day here in the Midwest of the U.S.

I confess that I really have not been playing, for all intents and purposes, for about 10 months. I won't go into the reasons because they are boring and don't offer up any excuses for me.

Anyhow, Mike (Cruiser) from Germany and I have decided to put the 48.1 aside for about 10 years!! and concentrate on something we actually might have the ability to play. We decided on the lovely Op. 27, #2 nocturne. What I like most about it, aside from its lovely melody, is that it is to be played very slowly and dream-like. Now I can do "slow" fairly well. But I still have trouble with not practicing slowly enough. I have this desire to speed up as soon as I think I know a measure or so well.

Now please don't mention the metronome because it drives me crazy.

So I have come up with a possible solution. I am going to memorize as I go along. I've really never done this much. I put the sheet music in front of me as a "crutch." I never really read it, but I like it there as a security blanklet. But the problem is that I can never play anything when asked to, if I am at my brother's or sister's because I do depend on that sheet music to help me get started. What is really humbling is that all my brother's children (all in their 20's and 30's) can play by ear. They inherited this from their mom.

So far I have memorized the first three lines and I tap my foot at a pace that I believe will help me achieve the correct tempo later on.

If you are not familiar with this nocturne, here it is, played buy Solomon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8sodC0Thj4&feature=related


Any hints or tips will, as always, be appreciated.

My best to all,
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

Top
#1254752 - 08/23/09 07:16 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: Florida
Dzien dobry Kathleen. Jak pani sie miewa?

Honestly, I don't know if 27/2 is any easier than 48/1. Each has its own challenges. 27/2 maybe just a tiny bit easier to reach a certain stage.

Top
#1254789 - 08/23/09 09:06 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: LisztAddict]
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
Kathleen (and Cruiser)-
What a terrific piece to take on! You will find lots of challenges, as LisztAddict said, but it will sound very nice almost from the beginning. And unlike the 48/1, in my opinion at least, the difficulties in the 27/2 are pretty evenly spread out through the entire piece- there will be no unpleasant surprises in later sections. In fact, I think some sections of the first page are among the most difficult.

This may seem obvious, but you will need lots of solo left hand practice (in addition to HT), in order for the LH to really flow evenly and smoothly. Also, you will find lots of thirds and sixths to challenge you here; if those need shoring up, there are some Hanon exercises in thirds and sixths which may help you (as they did me). Take the ornaments slowly at first, and when you get to the difficult 48-note run- just take it VERY slowly, for a long long time- don't even worry about speeding it up until you are quite confident with it. (After more than one year, I'm just now getting it closer to where I want it to be.)

Quote:
So I have come up with a possible solution. I am going to memorize as I go along.

Kathleen, I don't really understand how memorizing it as you go along will help you with the problem of not practicing slowly enough; maybe I misunderstood something (?) But if you're doing this in order to have something memorized "just in case" you're asked to play: wouldn't it be easier to just take copies of the sheet music with you, when you go to visit, so that you'll have it on hand? There's no shame in playing from the music!

I've given up on the idea of having a memorized repertoire ready to perform at any given time- it's just not going to happen. I might have a short piece, or fragments of longer pieces, ready to play but not much more than that. If I knew I was going visit someone with a piano, and if I thought I might be asked to play- both highly unlikely- I would bring my sheet music with me and have it available.

I would be hesitant to try and memorize so soon in the process of learning a piece- I'd be afraid that I'd memorize the notes but not the dynamics. But of course, you need to do what's best for you. I would feel more comfortable allowing the memorization to occur naturally, with time and repetition (and given that I need a gazillion repetitions to learn a piece- it does happen, even if it doesn't stick!) But use whatever methods get you back into playing regularly smile

Top
#1254817 - 08/23/09 09:53 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Chardonnay]
heidiv Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 579
Loc: piano bench, usually
Hi Kathleen,

I agree with Chardonnay. If you get away from the music too soon, you may find that you've overlooked several important details. I have found this with the Barcarolle. I memorized (or so I thought!) a section too quickly and recently discovered several glaring mistakes - I missed a tie, played a wrong chord inversion, and had an accident with an accidental!

Although I'm familiar with the piece, I've never studied it, so I'll refrain from offering any specific advice.

It's a gorgeous piece. I'm sure you and Cruiser will enjoy learning it.

Top
#1255714 - 08/25/09 09:38 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: heidiv]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Witaj Dziękuję , LizstAddict: Jesteś wspaniały! Thank you for taking the time to greet me in Polish. I admit I had to use a Polish dictionary to translate. Are you preparing to go to Poland next year? I truly hope so. This just might give me the shove I need to really start looking into the details. My sister and her granddaughter have expressed a desire to go, so I wouldn’t be traveling alone. From what I have gleaned from the forum, it doesn’t appear that anyone (with the exception of you) are planning the trip.

That aside, I am grateful for your advice on the 27,2. I think I was lulled into thinking it was a lot easier than it is. I admit that part of that might be the tempo of the piece. But it does have a few sections that demand great technique (I have none, as I have so often stated) and the tempo does pick up here and there. It is surprising to me that it just might be as difficult as the 48.1. Yikes, what have I gotten myself into?

Chardonnay: What was I thinking? (Was I thinking?) Yes, I can certainly see my sitting at the piano in my brother’s home and playing the nocturne from start to finish, by memory!! If I could, I would belong on the stage with LisztAddict. Also, when I hit those final notes, I KNOW that the room would be empty. I don’t know where I picked up the love for classical music (especially Chopin) when absolutely no one in my family shares the same passion. Thank you for the advice about the left hand and the Hanon exercises (gosh, I hope I haven’t burned that book), and most of all…taking it all very slowly. I still have to remind myself that I am playing for myself and not some mythical audience somewhere. If I can keep this in mind, it will be of immeasurable importance. Now that we know you are playing it, we can come to you for HELP!

Hedi: I am so happy that you have posted. So many of the newbies who do, are never heard from again. Your suggestion about not trying to win some kind of race with this one is so important. Going too fast and playing too quickly can easily lead to a minor disaster. And I thank you also, for there is nothing more valuable than getting advice from people who have or are going through the same experience.

I am not discouraged that it may take me the rest of my life to get this one “under my belt,” as they say. I have nothing to do with my time (retirement is wonderful).

To all of you:
I am so blessed to have people such as you, who are willing to share not only their time but their knowledge and experience. I know this sounds trite, but you all are true friends, in the real sense of the word.

The best life has to offer you,
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

Top
#1256022 - 08/25/09 05:35 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Chopin was on Jeopardy again, today. Oh how that man moves around.

The category was "Words That Begin and End with E."

The question: Chopin wrote a Revolutionary one.

Answer --- confused
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

Top
#1256046 - 08/25/09 06:12 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
heidiv Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 579
Loc: piano bench, usually
Yippee! A game show question that I can answer without Steven's help!

Top
#1256059 - 08/25/09 06:36 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: heidiv]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Dang, I guess écossaise wouldn't have been accepted. frown

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
#1256110 - 08/25/09 08:33 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
Did any of the contestants answer properly?

Top
#1256138 - 08/25/09 09:27 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Chardonnay]
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
Some thoughts:

One of the things that discourages me is the high performance standard set in fine music. As I look back, my own playing seems so imprecise and inferior, unworthy of deigning to attempt xyz. I could work on it, develop it, but the level of dedication to perfect it seems to require a full-time commitment to the exclusion of the realities of life. Perhaps this has set the piano as a performance medium upon an elite pedestal whose unattainability relegates it to the rarefied environs of Parisian aristocratic nostalgia.

The ghosts of these environs nevertheless do haunt, and act upon the mind like a drug. The entranced listener is lured ever closer with the tantalizing prospect of attainability, like an infinitely convergent series in mathematics inching ever closer to its goal, but never...quite...attaining it. The solution, as it were, remains enshrouded in a fog of mystery.

The music - hearing it, the attempt to "own" it, is simultaneously a cause for hope and despair, a salutary metaphor for Chopin's life, and for our own.

Top
#1256204 - 08/25/09 11:55 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: gerg]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Greg,

In my opinion, perfection is unattainable. I consider it an idealization that doesn't really exist in our earthly realm except as an abstract concept.

I think that music—the incorporeal embodiment of it, at least, as represented on paper—is perfect. We, however, are not; a "perfect" performance may be heard in our heads while reading a score, but it's not going to happen at the piano.

While no two real-life performances are the same, and one may be "better" than another, none ever reaches perfection. Strive instead, then, to pursue excellence and practice skillfulness. That's the best any of us can do!

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
#1256278 - 08/26/09 05:06 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
LaValse Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 1224
Loc: Mumbles, Wales
Hi Kathleen,

> If you are not familiar with this nocturne,
> here it is, played buy Solomon.

As in interesting aside, my father's two piano teachers were coincidently both pupils of Solomon and they were of the opinion that of the nocturnes he played, his performances were comparable to Solomons' - with 15/2 be indistinguishable - so I feel quite privileged to have grown up listening to these renditions and have them burned into my brain - however unassailable those mental performances will remain to myself... smile

I'm still making progress with op 9/1 (which he didn't play)...


Edited by LaValse (08/26/09 07:23 AM)
Edit Reason: accuracy!
_________________________
http://uk.youtube.com/user/sailwavedev

Top
#1256412 - 08/26/09 10:53 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: LaValse]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Heidi: It does boost our ego a bit whenever we can answer one of those game show questions correctly. (Sorry Stephen…the “question” was Chopin wrote a Revolutionary one of these.” ) If the word “revolutionary” wasn’t capitalized, then maybe your answer might have been accepted. However I don’t recall any of his ecossaises being considered “revolutionary.” I believe these were lively dances in the Scottish style. Several composers of the time wrote them. I know you are just pulling our leg/s. BUT a very intelligence response, just the same.

I have to admit that while the game show Jeopardy is considered the “thinking man” show, it does, every so often, slip from this pedestal. I didn’t like the word “Revolutionary” used to describe Chopin’s etude. For it was not of his liking to assign names to his works. I think a better way to word this “question” would have been something like: Chopin composed many of these, which were meant as exercises by this students to strengthen their technique. A bit wordy, I know, but more correct than the original question. BTW, Hedi, one contestant rang the buzzer first and had the correct response. So I don’t know what the other two would have said.

Oh, the final Jeopardy question was truly surprising, The category was French Classical Music, During the commercial, I racked my poor overworked brain and could only come up with two French composers. I know there had to be others, but I only remember these two: Ravel and Debussy. I thought to myself that a question pertaining to either of these composers would be easy (for, don’t forget, these contestants were chosen for their knowledge in a wide variety of fields.) After the commercial, the final question was asked: (and I have to paraphrase here because I don’t remember Alex’s exact words): This song, which consisted of repeated variations on its theme, is heard a total of 17 times, each time increasing in tempo and pitch. I couldn’t believe that they would choose such an easy questions as the final one. Again, the contestants were intelligence and knowledgeable. But this question could “almost” be answered by anyone who had even a limited knowledge of classical music. Goodness, it was even used as the background music for the classic movie: Ten. It was a real surprise that only one contestant had the correct answer (and she spelled it correctly also). I do not mean to sound like a snob, for I don’t consider myself that smart or intelligent. But gosh, for a final question, this was just too simple.

Oh, and then I believe I heard Alex pronounce the composer’s name as “Ravel,” as in rhyming with Babel. Yikes…WRONG!

Dear Greg and Stephen: How I love your “egghead” dissertations. (And you know I use the term “egghead” with only the greatest respect). My own opinion is pretty trite and nothing new.

I think it is admirable and even a good idea to strive for perfection. But it is healthier and more reasonable not to expect it. Enjoy and take pride in the music you can create and remember even Chopin never played a piece the same way twice. I think we can surmise from this that he was striving for perfection each time he played but never reached it. And that’s good enough for me.

Hi LaValse: What a magnical childhhood you have had. It's no wonder you can play with such expression and nuance. Continued best wishes with the 9/1.

Best to all,
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

Top
#1256471 - 08/26/09 12:24 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: loveschopintoomuch
Dear Greg and Stephen: How I love your “egghead” dissertations. (And you know I use the term “egghead” with only the greatest respect).

Kathleen,

I have to admit that I wish you wouldn't use that term. I think that we are all intelligent and reasoning individuals here; such a label creates a distinction that I feel is artificial. I'm sure I've been called far worse things in settings where I truly was out of my element, but it makes me feel like an outsider here, too, when I would like to feel—by virtue of the special passion we all share—that I'm among peers.

BTW, I'm curious if people of faith regard the concept of "perfection" to be exclusively in the domain of the divine—and if it wouldn't be hubris bordering on blasphemy for one to have the temerity to strive to attain it. If humans are by nature imperfect, can any human endeavor be done perfectly? It's interesting that while we take for granted that "nobody's perfect"—a shibboleth that transcends cultures—we still treat perfection as a goal rather than being the best we can be.

I just don't think perfection exists except as a concept. Like the "infinitely convergent" mathematical series Greg mentioned, I have thought of a hyperbola—approaching but never reaching its asymptote—as a metaphor for perfection. I honestly think that by striving for it, we set ourselves up for failure (or, at the least, disappointment) because we can never reach it.

I believe that striving for perfection is ultimately antithetical to our enjoyment of simply "being in the moment" with the knowledge that any effort we make with a skillful intention is a worthy one. That process, and finding satisfaction in the result of it, is good enough for me. smile

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
#1256568 - 08/26/09 02:45 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1402
Loc: near keyboard, mouth open
Oh, my goodness, what a lot of fascinating ideas, far more than I can follow up on!

"Can any human endeavor be done perfectly?" Great question, and the mathematical models mentioned seem apropos.

Another metaphor that often comes to mind when I'm practicing is Zeno's paradox--
http://www.mathacademy.com/pr/prime/articles/zeno_tort/index.asp
--I feel like no matter how far I travel I’ll never reach the finish line. It’s certainly feeling that way as I continue to work on 48/2 for our e-cital. (I’ve lost track of any thread in which the nocturne e-cital is being discussed--?)

Perfection may be the province of the Divine, but we all have a spark of divinity within us, and perhaps we can come closer and closer to expressing that spark.

Somewhat related: I was intrigued by heidiv’s comment a while back that Chopin’s pen must have been guided by angels. Numerous composers have said that they felt as if the music was being dictated to them and they only wrote it down, that they weren’t really responsible for creating it. (The Chopin voice says in one of the Leslie Flint recordings that he was aware during his life of receiving help and inspiration from beings greater than himself.) Various interpretations of what was “really” going on when these people were composing are possible, of course, but I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that whenever humans create any kind of art, we are tapping into the Source that creates everything including ourselves. And that Source is inside us as much as it is anywhere.

My theory is that truly great artists, Chopin being one of course, are better at listening to what that Source tells them than most of us, and that the intense practice and study they engage in then helps them to bring it through into the material world. Our MR would say that what they’re listening to is no more than their genetic heritage and the sum of the artistic productions they’ve been exposed to, but I do think there’s something beyond that as well. At any rate, the ability to be open to inspiration is critical, no matter where it comes from.

(I prefer to think of myself as a nerd rather than an egghead. Was that nerdy enough for you?)

I concur with the comments on 27/2, to the as-yet-limited degree that I’ve managed to learn it.

Just recently I’ve (at last) tackled reading Chuan Chang’s “Fundamentals of Piano Practice.” I’m reserving judgment on it thus far-- though I’m relieved to see that the practice methods Chang considers wrong are not what I do! One thing he recommends is memorizing first rather than last, for whatever it’s worth.

I notice that Chang mentions that Chopin taught this or that, with the implication that if Chopin taught it, it MUST be right!

And I thought I had mentioned at some point that I AM planning to go to Poland next year. My daughter wants to go too. In order to accommodate her, it would be better for me to go in August, when there will be a cluster of concerts and such, rather than in October for the big competition. But if other Chopaholics are going, I would certainly like to go at whichever time they will be there.

I kind of like the idea of a Revolutionary Ecossaisse. I'm trying to picture it.... brings "Braveheart" to mind!

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






Top
#1256648 - 08/26/09 04:12 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
heidiv Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 579
Loc: piano bench, usually
Originally Posted By: sotto voce

BTW, I'm curious if people of faith regard the concept of "perfection" to be exclusively in the domain of the divine—and if it wouldn't be hubris bordering on blasphemy for one to have the temerity to strive to attain it. If humans are by nature imperfect, can any human endeavor be done perfectly? It's interesting that while we take for granted that "nobody's perfect"—a shibboleth that transcends cultures—we still treat perfection as a goal rather than being the best we can be.


It might interest some to know that the Amish (Pennsylvania Dutch) women still make their quilts entirely by hand. Every one of thousands of stitches is remarkably the same size and precisely placed. Knowing how difficult this is, I asked an Amish woman once how she achieves such perfection. She told me that into every quilt is woven one purposefully "wrong" stitch to remind them that only God is perfect, humans are flawed.

Regardless of one's religious beliefs, I see many parallels between spending 6-12 months working on a quilt and 6-12 months working on a difficult piano piece. Now, I can't envision myself purposefully adding a few wrong notes (that usually happens automatically ha ), but when the wrong notes happen I view it as part of the human experience. We're not robots, and our playing wouldn't touch a listener if we acted like robots.

Greg, we classical musicians are so hard on ourselves. It comes from a lifetime of pursuing excellence, of agonizing over the minutiae of a piece, of having a teacher point out our mistakes for an hour a week for 30 years. Perhaps in mathematics or computer programming, one must be absolutely precise - one wrong symbol make the program or equation worthless. Not so with music. Music is a living, breathing entity. You may never play as well as your favorite concert pianist. But is that really your goal? Imperfection is part of the human experience. It's the journey, not the destination.

Heidi


Edited by heidiv (08/26/09 04:13 PM)

Top
#1256710 - 08/26/09 05:35 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
Originally Posted By: loveschopintoomuch
Dear Greg and Stephen: How I love your “egghead” dissertations. (And you know I use the term “egghead” with only the greatest respect).

BTW, I'm curious if people of faith regard the concept of "perfection" to be exclusively in the domain of the divine—and if it wouldn't be hubris bordering on blasphemy for one to have the temerity to strive to attain it. If humans are by nature imperfect, can any human endeavor be done perfectly? It's interesting that while we take for granted that "nobody's perfect"—a shibboleth that transcends cultures—we still treat perfection as a goal rather than being the best we can be.


That's an interesting question. From a theological perspective, speaking as a Calvinist, I'd say no; rather the opposite is true. Reason: man was created with the Imago Dei. Though the doctrine of the Fall, depravity is if not absolute, at least total, meaning impacting every part of our being. None of us are exempt from its tragic effects, none of us are "holy" and in a position to condemn our fellow members of the family of man. We all, likewise, can see what is good, true, noble, beautiful, and we all know we fall short, to our deep despair, but can nonetheless see the promise, the ideal. To strive for what is good and noble in all areas, music included, and to ascribed to God the glory for the achievement insofar as it is an expression of His gift and shows a very dim, imperfect manifestation of His perfection and excellence, brings glory to God.

The struggle for perfection, then, is emblematic not only of Chopin's life but of redemptive history as a whole.

This is an honest and heartfelt answer. I hope this answers your thoughtful question.

Top
#1257056 - 08/27/09 08:22 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: heidiv]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: heidiv

It might interest some to know that the Amish (Pennsylvania Dutch) women still make their quilts entirely by hand. Every one of thousands of stitches is remarkably the same size and precisely placed. Knowing how difficult this is, I asked an Amish woman once how she achieves such perfection. She told me that into every quilt is woven one purposefully "wrong" stitch to remind them that only God is perfect, humans are flawed.

Moslem artists and artisans do exactly the same thing. Only Allah is perfect.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

Top
#1257162 - 08/27/09 11:17 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: -Frycek]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1402
Loc: near keyboard, mouth open
And Navajo weavers apparently do this too.

I'm afraid I don't have to consciously TRY to put imperfection into my work-- though I've written a few poems that I think could be called perfect, within the limitations of their form.

(By the way, it's not unusual, even today, to do quilting by hand. Though the "English" might be likely to stitch the bindings by machine.)

My understanding is that Chopin's perfectionism caused him considerable suffering. No one could meet his standards, most especially himself. The world itself did not meet his standards, and so it caused him pain. Or rather he caused himself pain.

Perfectionism can paralyze. But in the case of Chopin's work, at least we get the benefit of it.

Elene

_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






Top
#1257377 - 08/27/09 05:35 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
As a goal, it can give a person fits, esp. the type of person who is likely to appreciate the music in the first place. Chopin must have been that X 100.

I realize the concept of "better" is largely subjective and simplistically one-dimensional. That said, do any of you think it is possible that Liszt could have played Chopin's music "better" than Chopin himself? Conventional wisdom, which I've not heard challenged, maintains that Chopin was the great composer and a very good performer (when he had the nerves to do it), while Liszt was the great performer and a very good composer. You are all more plugged in in a scholarly sense; would be intrigued by any thoughts you may have here.

Top
#1257464 - 08/27/09 08:35 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: gerg]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Hi Greg:

From what I've read (and how else would I know?), scholarly musicologists, biographers, and first hand accounts, Chopin DID NOT TAKE A BACKSEAT TO ANY OTHER PIANIST. Yes, he, himself, made that remark about Liszt playing the etudes better than he. But this is the only instance that I've come across that even remotely suggests Liszt was the better pianist. I am not taking anything away from Liszt at all, for I realize he was a remarkable talent. But if you can remember he often practiced 10+ hours a day. Chopin, hardly at all. And I think that some of Liszt's popularity was due to his showmanship and kind and loving character. My gosh, I think I even remember Liszt admitting that Chopin had no rival (or words to that effect.)

But as it has been discussed, perfection leaves no room for error. And we humans are nothing but, from time to time. I see nothing wrong in striving for perfection as long as one realizes it is not a measure of greatness.
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

Top
#1257523 - 08/27/09 10:00 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
Hi Kathleen!

Thanks for the response. Yes I do recall very specifically how Liszt practiced until exhaustion and advocated the same whereas Chopin imposed a 3-hour-a-day cap on his students.

I hesitated to use the term "better" as something more qualitative and less quantitative seems more apropos. We are left to the realm of speculation with regard to the two mens' playing. With that qualifier for on-stage performance only, I can imagine something along the lines of a Horowitz and a Rubinstein.

Perfection: we share the same view.

Wishing you the very best,

Greg

Quote:
I'm afraid I don't have to consciously TRY to put imperfection into my work


Elene, would it not feel great to have that luxury? laugh

Top
#1259241 - 08/30/09 07:58 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: gerg]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
We must remember though that Chopin imposed that practice "cap" on one particular student and that his students described Chopin as being particularly attuned to the needs of the individual. That particular student was burning out practicing six hours a day. I don't think it can be taken as gospel that that was necessarily the advice Chopin gave everyone.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

Top
#1259275 - 08/30/09 09:03 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: -Frycek]
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
Good point!
_________________________
http://www.ecital.net
Wikicital: A collaborative effort to build a knowledgebase of classical music history combined with examples. Your chance to both perform and write...

Don't click here!

Top
#1259420 - 08/31/09 03:04 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6085
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I need my sheet music in front of me too. Like you, I don't even look at it, but it reassures me (a little bit like Linus's blanket... ha) In general, I also prefer slow romantic pieces to virtuoso pieces...
My problem with Chopin is I feel him so deeply inside me that I have to cry while I play. I could never play in public...

CA


Originally Posted By: loveschopintoomuch
Hello All:

It's a beautiful day here in the Midwest of the U.S.

I confess that I really have not been playing, for all intents and purposes, for about 10 months. I won't go into the reasons because they are boring and don't offer up any excuses for me.

Anyhow, Mike (Cruiser) from Germany and I have decided to put the 48.1 aside for about 10 years!! and concentrate on something we actually might have the ability to play. We decided on the lovely Op. 27, #2 nocturne. What I like most about it, aside from its lovely melody, is that it is to be played very slowly and dream-like. Now I can do "slow" fairly well. But I still have trouble with not practicing slowly enough. I have this desire to speed up as soon as I think I know a measure or so well.

Now please don't mention the metronome because it drives me crazy.

So I have come up with a possible solution. I am going to memorize as I go along. I've really never done this much. I put the sheet music in front of me as a "crutch." I never really read it, but I like it there as a security blanklet. But the problem is that I can never play anything when asked to, if I am at my brother's or sister's because I do depend on that sheet music to help me get started. What is really humbling is that all my brother's children (all in their 20's and 30's) can play by ear. They inherited this from their mom.

So far I have memorized the first three lines and I tap my foot at a pace that I believe will help me achieve the correct tempo later on.

If you are not familiar with this nocturne, here it is, played buy Solomon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8sodC0Thj4&feature=related


Any hints or tips will, as always, be appreciated.

My best to all,
Kathleen



_________________________



Music is my best friend.


Top
#1260561 - 09/01/09 07:37 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: ChopinAddict]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Hi ChopinAddict: I like your avatar name better than mine!!

I just wrote a reply to someone who thought that the mazurkas were suppose to be happy. Not so, as we know.

I've come across several people lately who have stated that they tear up when listening (or playing) Chopin. Some of us have tried to determine just what it is about his music that affects so many of us so deeply. What is so strange with me is that when I am depressed (bipolar), I find him impossible to listen to. It's just too painful.

The image of your playing on the concert stage, sobbing and wiping away tears is a funny one, I admit. Let us know when we can buy tickets.
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

Top
#1260737 - 09/01/09 11:25 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1402
Loc: near keyboard, mouth open
But you have to remember that Chopin's other most notable skill was comic acting! He does have a lighter side.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






Top
#1261528 - 09/03/09 03:09 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2895
Loc: Florida
There were times when I thought if one has to go through similar circumstances that Chopin did to interpret his music as how he would want it to be. What does it take for one to feel what Chopin did? be naive, vulnerable, and emotionally hurt like nothing can describe the pain? I practiced for more than two hours earlier. For the whole time at the bench, I did not know exactly what I was practicing and the time went by. I only knew tears were running down on my face. Now I must figure out how I can keep myself together through the next week. Then after that I can allow myself to get numb with some Chopin vodka.

Przepraszam. frown

Top
#1261732 - 09/03/09 11:30 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: LisztAddict]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1402
Loc: near keyboard, mouth open
No need to excuse yourself, LA.

I'm sure that intensity is going to come through to the judges.

I've been realizing that I've gotten pretty jaded lately, especially with the nocturne. I am not feeling a whole lot with it anymore. But then, I am going through a major period of rethinking technique-- so lots of thinking and less room for feeling.

I have some intuitive sense of what it felt like to be Chopin, and trust me, it ain't fun, and I don't care to repeat it. However, I'd like to add to my previous statement about his perfectionism. While I think it did add considerably to his suffering, it also means that his inability to be satisfied with himself lead him to continue to push himself higher and further. This constant expansion and development is a major characteristic of his, and makes him a wonderful example for the rest of us.

That's not the smoothest writing or best expression of this concept, I'm afraid, but I'm out of time!

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






Top
Page 165 of 274 < 1 2 ... 163 164 165 166 167 ... 273 274 >

Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Download & Print Sheet Music Instantly
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
82 registered (Alux, AtomicBond, Atrys, AZNpiano, 16 invisible), 1152 Guests and 65 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
74318 Members
42 Forums
153721 Topics
2253471 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
The Eagles - Hotel California (Piano Cover)
by Mr. Pianoman
56 minutes 47 seconds ago
Student growing tall
by pianoplayer84
Today at 02:41 AM
Whole tone scales leading to interesting series of keys
by caters
Today at 12:16 AM
Another beginner
by mojoe
Today at 12:02 AM
GH1 tuning pin torque
by awyaks
Yesterday at 11:38 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission