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#1306662 - 11/16/09 02:39 PM Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2
Mr_Lion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/05/09
Posts: 189
Loc: United Kingdom
I have finally settled on my next piece to learn, as the title says.

What do you all think of this piece and is there anything I should know in approaching it?

Thanks very much!

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#1306680 - 11/16/09 03:00 PM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: Mr_Lion]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17850
Loc: Victoria, BC
First, I presume that you're using the Fontana version, the version that most people play and that appears in most standard editions of the Waltzes. The distinguishing features of the Fontana as opposed to the manuscript version are :

- the Fontana version is longer (176 measures as opposed to 128 measures including da capo in the mss. version;
- the Fontana version has no da capo; that section is written out
- in the Fontana version the B major section, (which is named "Trio" in the mss. version) has two-note chords in the right hand (starting at measure 113) whereas the mss version has single notes.

Perhaps the biggest challenge will be in the B major section right hand with the thirds, fourths and sixths; make sure that those right-hand two-note chords sound absolutely together and make sure that the top note is voiced so that it predominates slightly over the lower right-hand voice.

The other challenge in this Waltz, as in many of the others, is to keep the repetitions interesting; vary them in some way while remaining faithful to the score so that the listener's interest is maintained throughout.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1306761 - 11/16/09 05:10 PM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: BruceD]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5423
Loc: Orange County, CA
I second the Fontana version. The urtext edition has some funky notes toward the end of the trio section, and Fontana fixed that. One of the notes that Fontana fixed turned out to be an augmented 6th chord that Chopin probably screwed up on.

Or if you prefer authenticity, go for the urtext edition. It's also much easier than the Fontana version.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1306899 - 11/16/09 09:56 PM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: AZNpiano]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19230
Loc: New York City

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#1306925 - 11/16/09 10:57 PM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: pianoloverus]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17850
Loc: Victoria, BC
Yakov Zak (who he?) is one of the few who plays this Waltz at the tempo indicated by Chopin : MM = 152 to the quarter note?! Ashkenazy and Lipatti come close, but many play it far too slowly. Of course, that tempo is indicated only in the Fontana version, but, for what it's worth ....

Rubinstein, the only one I know playing the mss. version, plays it at about MM = 116.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1306934 - 11/16/09 11:20 PM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: BruceD]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Maybe our notions of appropriate tempi are conditioned by what we're used to hearing, but I think that this is yet another instance in Chopin of a verbal instruction—in this case Moderato—belied by a M.M. marking that seems excessively fast.

According to the commentary in the Paderewski edition, the direction at the start of the piece is simply dolente; in my opinion, that's even more incongruous with 152 bpm than Moderato.

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

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#1307008 - 11/17/09 03:32 AM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: sotto voce]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Heartily agree with BruceD’s ... “keep the repetitions interesting” ... with so many 4 measure statements and so many repeats or variations, there is a tendency in the playing to give more feeling to the variations and treat the repeats with comparatively scant regard ... it is therefore worth making a close analysis of the score to identify each of the repeats and variations ...
in the first 40 measures for example:

1-4: A statement
5-8: B
9-12: A
13-16: C
17-20: A
21-24: B
25-28: A
29-32: C2
33-36: D
37-40: D2

By their nature the variations attract attention ... but “keep the repetitions interesting”.

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#1307059 - 11/17/09 08:18 AM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: btb]
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Nice layout, btb. There's also another way to look at the first part of this waltz (mm. 1-32):

1-8: A
9-16: B
17-24: A
25-32: B (only slightly altered)

In other words,

|: A (1-8), B (9-16) :|

Of course, you're right that each of these larger sections begins with a similar tune But the question is, why would Chopin do this? Did he expect us to add ornaments, or did he want it to be so repetitive, or maybe it's not actually as repetitive as it seems?

I would ask, are these "repeats" really identical?

In fact, they aren't.

Consider for example, as correctly pointed out in btb's model, that mm. 1-4 are indeed very similar to mm. 9-12; that's why he labeled them both 'A'. But look carefully - the bass line is different (by 'bass line', I mean the first note of each measure, excluding the chords). In measures 1-4, the bass line is very static: B, C#, A#, B. This makes sense when considered as part of the following four measures, which rest constantly on B. So the mood here is to be very static. But now look at measures 9-12, where the melody is the same, but the bass line is more active: B, C#, F#, B. To be sure, the difference looks slight; the only difference is that this second time, the A# is changed to F#. But that one change is crucial! [1] It makes the line feel more active, because it makes a huge leap both from the preceding C# and to the following B, instead of simply slinking around within a step of B. [2] It emphasizes that last B with the dominant F# (as opposed to an A#, which is much weaker). [3] It sets up the active mood for the following four measures, where the bass line is not static at all, but rather moves up a scale to the dominant F#, before returning to B in measure 16.

In other words, mm. 1-8 and mm. 9-16 are two distinct phrases, even though the tune itself begins identically. btb's model (A B A C) is great, but it implies that his A sections are just simple repeats; they are not not; their functions is different. So that is why I prefer to call mm. 1-8 "A" and mm. 9-16 "B".

----

So having looked at mm 1-16, let's return to my entire model for mm 1-32. I'm just reminding you (and myself) of what I wrote at the top (I'm just copying and pasting here):

1-8: A
9-16: B
17-24: A
25-32: B (only slightly altered)

In other words,

|: A (1-8), B (9-16) :|

I already mentioned the important functional distinctions between 1-8 "A" and 9-16 "B".

But what about 17-24 and 25-32? Are these really just a repeat of 1-8 and 9-16? Yes, they are almost exactly identical. The only difference is in mm. 29-30; in measure 29, the eighth-notes begin on the beat, rather than off the beat (as they do in measure 13), and the dynamic is marked suddenly "mf" instead of "cresc." These both help to establish the end of this first part of the waltz (ends in bar 32). But otherwise, they are the same as mm. 1-16.

Again, the question is, should mm. 17-32 be played differently than mm. 1-16, since it is a direct repeat? I have a few thoughts on this:

[1] This is really nice music! Why would I get bored with it?

[2] The repetition is, I believe, an integral part of the mood. Consider, for example, the fact that the bass line often just sticks on B (mm. 5-8, 21-24) or hovers around it very closely (mm. 1-4, 17-20). Consider, for example, the accented F's in so many consecutive measures (pick-up to mm. 1, 3, 5, 11, 13...) Consider, for example, as btb pointed out, that the first measure melody is very often either repeated exactly, or slightly altered. Consider, for example, the very simply I-V7-V7-I harmonies of mm. 1-4, mm. 9-12, etc. All of this makes the mood very of the piece very static and lethargic, and yet with the interesting rhythms, upbeat accents, dynamic and tempo indications, and very fast tempo (152? or moderato, as you wish) keeps it moving and active. It's very interesting; on the one hand, in many ways it is very static; on the other hand, in many ways it is very active. Thus, ornaments, significant dynamic/tempo changes, etc, are not necessary.

[3] As a larger structure, |: A B :| is really not particularly repetitive. In fact, I think that this repeated structure is necessary to emphasize the distinctions between the bass line functions / moods of mm. 1-8 and 9-16. If we only hear each of these once, then we might not pick up so well on the differences. But if we hear them twice, we are much more likely to catch the distinctions. Even if we were to pick up on the distinction between static to active, it is much more powerful and effective to hear static to active, and then from active back to static, and then again from static to active.

[4] If you do decide to vary the repeat, do it purposefully. Don't do it simply for the sake of varying repeats. For example, you might emphasize the different bass lines in mm. 1-4 vs. mm. 9-12. You don't have to vary the melody here; but you might emphasize/accent very strongly the F#-B bass line in mm. 11-12 and keep the bass line emphasized through the following measures. (In general, I believe that bass lines are very important and should be brought out clearly.) In this way, you are not adding your own variations to the "repeated tune"; rather, you're making use of (taking advantage of) Chopin's variations that he already composed for you.
_________________________
Sam

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#1307152 - 11/17/09 11:26 AM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: pianojerome]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Great analysis PJ,
However, your professional diatribe could have the English chappie so aghast ... as to take up golf rather than muck around with the Posthumous 69-2 Waltz.

The Chopin tweaking of a single LH note to the 11th measure (F#) should be seen as a compositional device (sheer Chopin genius) to forewarn of a new statement at m13-16 ... equally variation C2 shows a slight change at m32 to forewarn of new statement D (m33-36) and D2 (m 37-40)

Here’s my Midi diagram of the opening 40 measures divided into 4 measure groupings ... but heck, we’ve only bleated about the start ... what about the other 136 measures? ...
my ABRSM Edition matches BruceD’s 176 total measures.


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#1307176 - 11/17/09 12:08 PM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: pianojerome]
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1710
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
pianojerome, you're far too good a musician for what this forum has become.

BTW, I'm still waiting for your harmonic analysis of Tristan, which I requested from you ages ago . . .
_________________________
Die Krebs gehn zurcke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

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#1307206 - 11/17/09 12:56 PM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: Janus K. Sachs]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Janus K. Sachs
pianojerome, you're far too good a musician for what this forum has become.



My first reaction was that this surely applies to many others here as well. But considering how the Learned Ones seem to avoid contributing to my threads in droves, I guess I'm just part of the problem.

It's nice to see others doing what they can to make the forum a better place. 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

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#1307433 - 11/17/09 08:18 PM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: btb]
Mr_Lion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/05/09
Posts: 189
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: btb
Great analysis PJ,
However, your professional diatribe could have the English chappie so aghast ... as to take up golf rather than muck around with the Posthumous 69-2 Waltz.


Ha ha, not at all, I appreciate the great input!

I made a start yesterday, I'm currently up to measure 16 with reasonable fluency and dynamics.

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#1307665 - 11/18/09 09:30 AM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: Mr_Lion]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i really like Chopin waltzes and particularly the opportunity to play something in 3/4 time that is not so cheerful. it has a wonderfully whimsical feel to it... as if distant memories are swirling.

i like the contrast of the middle part. I can't imagine people dancing to it.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1307719 - 11/18/09 11:13 AM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: apple*]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Man, sometimes this place gives me a headache :>). Good thing I didn't read some of these analyses before I tackled this piece, as I'd have been too intimidated to try.

My 10th of a cent worth of contribution is that the waltzes in general are a blessing for us intermediates. So much of Chopin is far too advanced for we who are technically challenged.

As to this piece in particular, it's definitely one of the "easier" waltzes with no great challenges like long runs or trills. Because I have difficulty making meaningful performance distinctions among the repeated, or near repeated sections, I sometimes cut the piece short. I recognize of course that this is my failing,not Chopin's (big of me, eh :>)but at least I have the musical sense to not fall into the otherwise waiting trap of monotony.

It's the only piece I decided to learn start to finish, rather than working on individual sections. It's pretty easy to read, which for me is a big plus.

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#1307774 - 11/18/09 12:46 PM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: cardguy]
Mr_Lion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/05/09
Posts: 189
Loc: United Kingdom
Well considering I started playing in July, I'm quite pleased with my progress so far.

My Chopin repetoire consists of:

Nocturne in E-flat Op.9 no.2
Nocturne in C minor (posthumous)
Nocturne in G minor Op. 15 no. 3
Waltz in B minor (1st page of it, at least LOL) Op. 69 no.2

Thanks again for the input.

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#1307793 - 11/18/09 01:13 PM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: Mr_Lion]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
Originally Posted By: Mr_Lion
Well considering I started playing in July, I'm quite pleased with my progress so far.

My Chopin repetoire consists of:

Nocturne in E-flat Op.9 no.2
Nocturne in C minor (posthumous)
Nocturne in G minor Op. 15 no. 3
Waltz in B minor (1st page of it, at least LOL) Op. 69 no.2

Thanks again for the input.


You've only been playing the piano for 5 months? If so, you're a very talented fellow indeed. You'll have to excuse me now while I ponder whether or not to jump off a cliff :>)

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#1307801 - 11/18/09 01:29 PM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: cardguy]
Mr_Lion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/05/09
Posts: 189
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: cardguy
Originally Posted By: Mr_Lion
Well considering I started playing in July, I'm quite pleased with my progress so far.

My Chopin repetoire consists of:

Nocturne in E-flat Op.9 no.2
Nocturne in C minor (posthumous)
Nocturne in G minor Op. 15 no. 3
Waltz in B minor (1st page of it, at least LOL) Op. 69 no.2

Thanks again for the input.


You've only been playing the piano for 5 months? If so, you're a very talented fellow indeed. You'll have to excuse me now while I ponder whether or not to jump off a cliff :>)



Thank you. smile My only regret is that I didn't start when I was slightly younger.

Oh and it was the end of July so it's more like 4. wink

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#1309609 - 11/21/09 05:08 AM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: Mr_Lion]
Passion Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 70
Just wanted to comment on your wonderful choice. This to me is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever composed.

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#2107713 - 06/25/13 09:56 AM Re: Chopin Waltz in B minor Op.69 no. 2 [Re: Mr_Lion]
Lorcar Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/12
Posts: 33

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