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#1518023 - 09/18/10 06:33 PM "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation
CebuKid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1176
Hi folks,

I know I "talked" about tackling Chopin months back, but I just don't think I'm ready for a huge Chopin project just yet. I'd like to "ease myself in", and plus, I need a break from these big "project pieces" that take me months to learn...

I am now wrapping up my latest Joplin piece (it's in the polishing stage now), and think it's now time to take a short hiatus from ragtime. (this time I mean it..lol).

Please recommend some, well-known and popular nocturnes, waltzes, marzukas, etc. from Frederic. smile . Something "level 4-ish" or 5-ish (early-intermediate). I will then look them up, and determine which one I like, or better yet, please post a link to a video. Thanks in advanced!
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#1518040 - 09/18/10 07:01 PM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: CebuKid]
packa Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/05
Posts: 1397
Loc: Dallas, TX
Alfred Publishing's Chopin: An Introduction to His Piano Works (edited by Willard Palmer) is a well-edited collection of Chopin's easier pieces along with an introductory essay about the music and its performance. Among the famous Preludes (Op. 28), Nos. 4, 6, 7, and 20 are included here, along with several waltzes, nocturnes, mazurkas, and polonaises. Most of the pieces are only one or two pages. The complete contents are listed here.
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#1518074 - 09/18/10 08:24 PM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: CebuKid]
TheHappyMoron Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
op 9 no 2 tends the be a common one to learn which i wouldn't say is too tricky.
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#1518100 - 09/18/10 09:00 PM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: CebuKid]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6101
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Some of the easiest pieces include the Prelude Op.28 No.4, the waltzes No.17 and 18, and Op.34 No.2, the mazurkas Op.68 No.3 and 4,...
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#1518102 - 09/18/10 09:06 PM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: CebuKid]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
Chopin is very different from Joplin because it really has a lot more to it than playing the notes. You need to pay attention to balance in the voices, rubato, pedaling, phrasing, and dynamics in such a way that the piano sounds like a singing instrument rather than a percussive one. I played Op. 28 No. 4 while I was doing level 7 RCM, which was my first exposure to Chopin. Starting on that one was a good experience because it allows you to work on all of the above without worrying about the difficulty of "just getting the notes." Although I hated it at the time (I thought it was deathly boring), I managed to get second place at a festival and the adjudicator really liked it.

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#1518103 - 09/18/10 09:07 PM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: CebuKid]
Tubbie0075 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 544
My teacher assigned op. 27 no. 2 as my very first Chopin piece to learn. I'm now at 4th out of 6 pages with the piece. It is tricky but less than I initially expected. As I've not played other Chopin pieces before, i can't tell if there's an esier one.

In my humble opinion, even with technically easier Chopin pieces, it is difficult musically.

Good luck!

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#1518104 - 09/18/10 09:07 PM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: CebuKid]
Tubbie0075 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 544
My teacher assigned op. 27 no. 2 as my very first Chopin piece to learn. I'm now at 4th out of 6 pages with the piece. It is tricky but less than I initially expected. As I've not played other Chopin pieces before, i can't tell if there's an esier one.

In my humble opinion, even with technically easier Chopin pieces, it is difficult musically.

Good luck!

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#1518111 - 09/18/10 09:25 PM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: Frozenicicles]
CebuKid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1176
Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
Chopin is very different from Joplin because it really has a lot more to it than playing the notes. You need to pay attention to balance in the voices, rubato, pedaling, phrasing, and dynamics in such a way that the piano sounds like a singing instrument rather than a percussive one. I played Op. 28 No. 4 while I was doing level 7 RCM, which was my first exposure to Chopin. Starting on that one was a good experience because it allows you to work on all of the above without worrying about the difficulty of "just getting the notes." Although I hated it at the time (I thought it was deathly boring), I managed to get second place at a festival and the adjudicator really liked it.


Hi Icicles, yup, I realize that Romantic/Classical requires much a much different skill-set than Joplin. I am "sort of" classically trained in a sense having played mostly classical pieces (Bach, Beethoven, Listz, etc.) as a kid. smile

In my return to piano, I started to play "where I left off" classical-wise with easier Beethoven pieces, but haven't delved into Chopin yet. I still do love ragtime of course because it suits my "mechanical" and percussive nature (I played the drums too), and it's kind of cool being the minority here. smile

I do love Chopin, though, and really want to start playing and learning his works. Come October, I'll be in "year 3" as an adult re-starter, so I think it's time I expand my repertoire.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far. smile
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Music washes away from the soul
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#1518115 - 09/18/10 09:33 PM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: CebuKid]
Andy Platt Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2392
Loc: Virginia, USA
Opus 28, no. 7. "The Polish Dancer". Short, very very beautiful and around grade 4 level. You'll find a discussion about the "big" chord going on right now:
Help with Chopin!
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#1518137 - 09/18/10 10:15 PM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: Andy Platt]
CebuKid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1176
Originally Posted By: Andy Platt
Opus 28, no. 7. "The Polish Dancer". Short, very very beautiful and around grade 4 level. You'll find a discussion about the "big" chord going on right now:
Help with Chopin!


Yes, I saw that thread! I love this piece. I just printed it out. It's the winner! Short and sweet.

thumb

I honestly don't think I'm ready for Op. 9 No. 2...yet. (but I have dabbled with it...finished about 8 measures).


Edited by CebuKid (09/18/10 10:16 PM)
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Music washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life.
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#1518198 - 09/19/10 12:27 AM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: CebuKid]
Rui725 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 953
I would recommend Chopin Waltz No.19 in A minor, Op.posth.P2 No.11 (BI 150). Opus 27 no. 2 is incredibly difficult, wouldn't recommend dabbling with that one. I recommend Waltz because its of moderate length, not too short or too long, and has some characteristic Chopin flourishes that is found in his other works. As sweet and short as the Op. 28 No. 7, there's not as much to be learned from it in my opinion.

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#1518206 - 09/19/10 12:36 AM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: Rui725]
Frozenicicles Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 1324
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Rui725
... As sweet and short as the Op. 28 No. 7, there's not as much to be learned from it in my opinion.

I would like to respectfully disagree. smile There is much to be learned from it. Namely: voicing, phrasing, dynamics, pedaling, a pp touch, rubato, theory... (All of which Cebukid would benefit from learning before tackling harder stuff) Good choice, CebuKid! thumb

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#1518216 - 09/19/10 12:48 AM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: Frozenicicles]
Rui725 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 953
Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
Originally Posted By: Rui725
... As sweet and short as the Op. 28 No. 7, there's not as much to be learned from it in my opinion.

I would like to respectfully disagree. smile There is much to be learned from it. Namely: voicing, phrasing, dynamics, pedaling, a pp touch, rubato, theory... (All of which Cebukid would benefit from learning before tackling harder stuff) Good choice, CebuKid! thumb


Ok I agree! How about this, just try both!

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#1518220 - 09/19/10 12:54 AM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: Frozenicicles]
CebuKid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1176
Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
Originally Posted By: Rui725
... As sweet and short as the Op. 28 No. 7, there's not as much to be learned from it in my opinion.

I would like to respectfully disagree. smile There is much to be learned from it. Namely: voicing, phrasing, dynamics, pedaling, a pp touch, rubato, theory... (All of which Cebukid would benefit from learning before tackling harder stuff) Good choice, CebuKid! thumb


You know, you 2 are both awesome at Romantic/Classical stuff, and I respect both of your opinions.

The notes are extremely easy in this piece...hell, even I can sight-read this piece..lol. But, I'd have to go with Icicles on this one. If you listen to professional interpretations (like Valentina Igoshina's), there's a lot of dynamics and tone control needed to play this nicely. These are, by my own admission, skills that I severely lack. This is a very good primer. @Rui, I'll have to check Chopin Waltz No.19 in A minor..in fact, I'll print the sheet the right now. smile
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Music washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life.
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#1518222 - 09/19/10 12:58 AM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: Rui725]
CebuKid Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1176
By the way, earlier today, my daughter's teacher played the 1st few measures of Fantasie Impromptu today after the lesson. She is working on this piece next...
OMG..it sounded SO awesome. She really made that cheap Chinese piano of mine sing. I told her when she's done that I'd like to record her and publish her video on my YouTube channel. Nothing beats a live performance from a good player.

Perhaps that's why I'm suddenly on this Chopin kick again. grin
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Scott Joplin Repertoire


Music washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life.
- Berthold Auerbach



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#1518340 - 09/19/10 09:10 AM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: CebuKid]
Strings & Wood Offline


Gold member until Dec. 2012


Registered: 05/22/08
Posts: 1838
Loc: USA
Hi CebuKid

I picked OP, 28 No. 4 for my first Chopin piece. The notes came relatively easy but I am still working on the dynamics. The left hand is just maddening to me. Occasionally, it will come together and moves me like no other music that I play. Chopin is like that for me. There is no other composer that resonates with me the Chopin does.

Most of Chopin's music is beyond my skills so I intend to work my way through the preludes and then maybe I will be able ready for some of the nocturnes that I so love.
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#1518351 - 09/19/10 09:37 AM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: Strings & Wood]
Rui725 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 953
Originally Posted By: Strings & Wood
Hi CebuKid

I picked OP, 28 No. 4 for my first Chopin piece. The notes came relatively easy but I am still working on the dynamics. The left hand is just maddening to me. Occasionally, it will come together and moves me like no other music that I play. Chopin is like that for me. There is no other composer that resonates with me the Chopin does.

Most of Chopin's music is beyond my skills so I intend to work my way through the preludes and then maybe I will be able ready for some of the nocturnes that I so love.


Chopin's Preludes vary a lot in difficulty. Working your way through" all of them may not the best idea.


Edited by Rui725 (09/19/10 10:37 AM)

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#1518356 - 09/19/10 09:46 AM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: Rui725]
Strings & Wood Offline


Gold member until Dec. 2012


Registered: 05/22/08
Posts: 1838
Loc: USA
Your right, I should have qualified that statement to read "working my way through the preludes that present themselves within my reach" smile
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#1518360 - 09/19/10 09:51 AM Re: "Easier" Chopin piece - need recommendation [Re: CebuKid]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
Mazurka 24 / 1

Only two pages. Not easy, but a nice first one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3u9IjlZnIs (ashkenazy)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjTwFhtuO6Q (rubinstein)
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