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#1634205 - 03/05/11 02:24 PM Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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BTW.....I would have put "those two measures" in "quotes" but it would mess up the navigating through the thread. smile

I think Damon was the one who discovered that.



First of all I'm wondering if a lot of people will just KNOW which "two measures" I'm talking about.
I think yes.

What do you think of them? If you play the piece, what do you do with them?

To me they're maybe the most remarkable 2 measures in all the piano literature.
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#1634419 - 03/05/11 08:17 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
debrucey Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
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Loc: Manchester, UK
Perhaps the quavers marked FFF?

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#1634451 - 03/05/11 09:14 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
DaleC Offline
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Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 41
Loc: US
My vote is for mm 175-176, a breathtaking moment in the piece. I try to bring out the RH melody above the other RH notes. Also try to keep the LH steady and supportive of the RH without overwhelming it. Easier said than done. It's a tough piece.

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#1634457 - 03/05/11 09:18 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13804
Loc: Iowa City, IA
mm. 1-2

Extremely difficult to pull off.

Absolutely fascinating when done well.

Should be played as notated, though I personally like the pedal extended a bit and fluttered out instead of stopped.
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#1634528 - 03/05/11 10:56 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: debrucey]
lisztvsthalberg Offline
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Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 121
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Perhaps the quavers marked FFF?
My vote also goes for mm. 201-202; this (including the following chords) is one of the most astonishing moments in all musical literature. I think it needs to sound as if time suddenly stops and everything is suspended in mid-air, and in my opinion this effect can be achieved without the pedal only in a large concert hall. In other environments I want the low C ringing as long as possible until the beginning of the coda. The fff chords themselves also need to have sufficient momentum to create this effect.

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#1634530 - 03/05/11 10:59 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: DaleC]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: DaleC
My vote is for mm 175-176, a breathtaking moment in the piece. I try to bring out the RH melody above the other RH notes. Also try to keep the LH steady and supportive of the RH without overwhelming it. Easier said than done. It's a tough piece.

I don't have a score with measure numbers right here, but it sounds like you nailed it.

Doesn't mean the other people are wrong smile -- in fact, the piece is full of astonishing moments, and I agree that the passages with those chords and even just the opening measures of the piece are extraordinary. But I'm pretty sure that what you said is where I meant: In the D-flat major section with the rippling L.H. accompaniment, the two measures where the L.H. switches from triplets to regular 16th's and the R.H. has "cross-rhythms" where the melody notes aren't lined up with either 'the beat' or the L.H. notes. And I love your description of what you do. I try to do pretty much exactly the same, as well as (usually) getting suddenly softer (even softer than before) and doing a tiny slow-down/hesitation going into it.
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#1634534 - 03/05/11 11:09 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: DaleC]
Mark_C Offline
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P.S. There's one little aspect of it that's technically hard for me, for an odd reason: it's not anything about the fingers but (I think) about my ears having a mental block against what's going on.

Near the end of the first of those 2 measures, both hands play "Bb" at almost the same time -- a melody note in the R.H.*** [mistake -- see below] and an upper accompaniment note in the L.H. For a long time I didn't realize why I was tensing up a bit at that moment and sometimes even just not letting myself hit the L.H. note accurately (I would hit A-flat instead, which actually doesn't sound terrible) ha .....until I realized this probable reason for the problem. We might say this is an instance of 'psychoanalysis' actually being useful. Perhaps one of the few in history. ha

*** Edit: I made a mistake up there and Dale caught it. The Bb in the R.H. isn't a "melody note." I'm talking about the Bb that's the 4th-from-last note of the R.H. in m. 175.


Edited by Mark_C (03/06/11 06:35 PM)
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#1634570 - 03/06/11 12:20 AM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
cast12 Offline
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Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 219
Here's a link to a score with measure numbers: http://imslp.eu/linkhandler.php?path=/im...p_52_filter.pdf

Measures 175 and 176 were the first ones I though of when I saw this thread. I love love measures 231 and 232.

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#1634575 - 03/06/11 12:25 AM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Registered: 11/25/09
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Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
For me, Ballade 4 would be more doable than Ballade 1. I really want to learn this piece in the near future, and then the 3rd. And then we'll see if I'm ready for 1... wink

I found those two measures, AHH they're SOO good!!

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#1634576 - 03/06/11 12:26 AM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: cast12]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: cast12
Here's a link to a score with measure numbers: http://imslp.eu/linkhandler.php?path=/im...p_52_filter.pdf

Measures 175 and 176 were the first ones I though of when I saw this thread. I love love measures 231 and 232.

Thanks for that! Yes, 175-176 is it.

And about 231-232: I wouldn't have singled those out, but the fact is, years ago while I was hearing a performance of the Ballade, those measures were where it first occurred to me that this was an "impressive" piece from a pianistic standpoint. Before that, I considered it beautiful, great, and profound, but it never occurred to me until then that this was a piece that sounded hard or where people might think "hey, this person can really play"....

Don't expect this to make sense. I mean, as I think of it now, it doesn't even make sense to me. ha

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
For me, Ballade 4 would be more doable than Ballade 1.....

Me too. I don't think anything is exactly "harder" than the 4th Ballade, but the 1st is "scarier."
If that makes sense. smile
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#1634632 - 03/06/11 02:56 AM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
MathGuy Offline
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Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 232
Loc: California
I agree with everything said above about the fourth ballade (except possibly for its being harder than the first). To me, the part in Db is one of the most ravishing and exhilirating episodes in piano literature. The two measures the Mark refers to are pure magic, and four bars later, when the melody soars up to that high Bb, with C in the bass... man, it gives me chills just thinking about it.

Of course, speaking of the first ballade, that series of octave runs in its A major section is pretty darn thrilling too!

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#1634636 - 03/06/11 03:07 AM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
lisztvsthalberg Offline
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Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 121
Originally Posted By: Mark_C


Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
For me, Ballade 4 would be more doable than Ballade 1.....

Me too. I don't think anything is exactly "harder" than the 4th Ballade, but the 1st is "scarier."
If that makes sense. smile


IMHO the fourth is more challenging both musically and technically. I think this is also evidenced by the fact that professional performances and even recordings of the fourth can include more prominent mistakes than the other Ballades, for example some of the finalists' performances in the 2010 Chopin competition or e.g. Rubinstein's (1959) recording.

And those two measures are great; that is actually the part I looked forward to playing the most when I started learning this piece.

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#1634637 - 03/06/11 03:08 AM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: MathGuy]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathGuy
....To me, the part in Db is one of the most ravishing and exhilirating episodes in piano literature. The two measures....are pure magic, and four bars later, when the melody soars up to that high Bb, with C in the bass... man, it gives me chills just thinking about it....

Fitting that you'd post on this, because those two measures are about as "mathematical" as you can get.
Although in a math-defying way, of course. smile

I mean, look how many different simultaneous 'maths' you have going on at the same time, really in conflict with one another, yet (if we're successful) all fitting together.

-- The left hand suddenly changes from triplets to regular 16th's.

-- It is pitted against triplets in the right hand.

-- The melody notes of the R.H. are rhythmically cockeyed in relation to the beat of the R.H., not to mention in relation to the beat of the L.H.
It's cockeyed in relation to anything, except itself. Within itself, it's perfectly regular: every 4th note.

-- The harmony changes at slightly different times in the two hands -- at the beginning of the 2nd measure for the L.H. but a moment later in the R.H.
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#1634639 - 03/06/11 03:18 AM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: lisztvsthalberg]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: lisztvsthalberg
IMHO the fourth is more challenging both musically and technically. I think this is also evidenced by the fact that professional performances and even recordings of the fourth can include more prominent mistakes than the other Ballades, for example some of the finalists' performances in the 2010 Chopin competition or e.g. Rubinstein's (1959) recording....

I've noticed this in competitions I've been in. I've been amazed at how I've been able to advance with the piece despite some 'mess-ups.' They're willing to cut you a lot of slack on things like accuracy and to look for other things. Actually, at least in the amateur competitions (and recognizing of course that the amateur ones are a different ballgame), I've been glad to see that contrary to the common reputation of competitions, in general there hasn't been as much emphasis on being note-perfect as we might think, but especially with a piece like this one.

Quote:
....And those two measures are great; that is actually the part I looked forward to playing the most when I started learning this piece.

thumb

Me too. And whenever I play it, it's a special 'treat' when I get to those measures.
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#1634712 - 03/06/11 07:31 AM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Orange Soda King]
TheHappyMoron Offline
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Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 1166
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
For me, Ballade 4 would be more doable than Ballade 1. I really want to learn this piece in the near future, and then the 3rd. And then we'll see if I'm ready for 1... wink


Really? I've learnt the first one (not that i can play it amazingly but i'm a pretty poor pianist anyway!) but everytime i've tried the forth i've always given it up.
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#1634812 - 03/06/11 11:35 AM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
MathGuy Offline
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Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 232
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Fitting that you'd post on this, because those two measures are about as "mathematical" as you can get.
Although in a math-defying way, of course. smile

I mean, look how many different simultaneous 'maths' you have going on at the same time, really in conflict with one another, yet (if we're successful) all fitting together.

-- The left hand suddenly changes from triplets to regular 16th's.

-- It is pitted against triplets in the right hand.

-- The melody notes of the R.H. are rhythmically cockeyed in relation to the beat of the R.H., not to mention in relation to the beat of the L.H.
It's cockeyed in relation to anything, except itself. Within itself, it's perfectly regular: every 4th note.

-- The harmony changes at slightly different times in the two hands -- at the beginning of the 2nd measure for the L.H. but a moment later in the R.H.


Right on all counts, of course! It models perfectly that quote by Francis Bacon that "There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion."

By the way, I've got to say that threads like this on Piano World have really inspired me to be more ambititous in my playing. My post count is miniscule, but I lurk a lot, and reading about the experiences of real people learning "big" pieces makes them seem so much more accessible. I posted a few months ago about dusting off the G minor ballade, and since then I've actually whipped it into pretty decent shape. This morning I played through the F minor - purely because of this thread - and once again found myself thinking "you know, this coda isn't that bad!" So I'm thinking of making a project of that one too. It's really nice to be progressing after playing for 48 years, and Piano World has a lot to do with that. (But please, can't y'all just let that Taubman thread expire? wink )

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#1634890 - 03/06/11 01:51 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
Ridicolosamente Offline
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Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
First of all I'm wondering if a lot of people will just KNOW which "two measures" I'm talking about.
I think yes.

What do you think of them? If you play the piece, what do you do with them?

To me they're maybe the most remarkable 2 measures in all the piano literature.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Remarkable indeed. I've never studied this piece (too advanced for me to seriously take on...) but have definitely played through these magical measures many many times. These measures require such vision and mastery to successfully pull off - how can you really balance the soft beauty of that melody line, while capturing the angst and agitation (note how deliberately complex the writing is.) Emotionally, it's the equivalent of going from a pppp to a ffff - you get that lump in your throat, the blood chills and you get goosebumps, then you have that rush of adrenaline and a sensation of triumph... all in less than 5-seconds. The heart can only stand so much!

Yes, it's really one of those moments that remind you just how awesome music can be. This is why we still talk about Chopin today.

Thanks for bringing this up Mark.

-Daniel
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#1634914 - 03/06/11 02:29 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
DaleC Offline
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Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 41
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Near the end of the first of those 2 measures, both hands play "Bb" at almost the same time -- a melody note in the R.H. and an upper accompaniment note in the L.H. ha

Mark,
I'm looking at the score and don't see this. My score has Bb in the melody twice: the 2nd melody note in m175 and the last melody note in m176. I see the upper accompaniment Bb in m175 but my score doesn't indicate the melody as you describe. Could the scores be different? Am I missing something?

By the way, I totally agree the dynamic should be soft. IMO these mm are often played too loud, which takes away some of the magic.

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#1634920 - 03/06/11 02:36 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: MathGuy]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathGuy
....It models perfectly that quote by Francis Bacon that "There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion."

Great quote! (Although it's probably not 100% true, but what is.) smile
Didn't know it before.
And very applicable to these measures.


Quote:
....threads like this on Piano World have really inspired me to be more ambitious in my playing. My post count is miniscule, but I lurk a lot, and reading about the experiences of real people learning "big" pieces makes them seem so much more accessible. I posted a few months ago about dusting off the G minor ballade, and since then I've actually whipped it into pretty decent shape. This morning I played through the F minor - purely because of this thread - and once again found myself thinking "you know, this coda isn't that bad!" So I'm thinking of making a project of that one too. It's really nice to be progressing after playing for 48 years, and Piano World has a lot to do with that....

Yes -- and it's helped and inspired me a lot too, in a different way: Some of the discussions have gotten me more interested to look more closely at scores and try to make more of everything that's there.

Quote:
....(But please, can't y'all just let that Taubman thread expire? wink )

LOL!
But y'know, I have to admit, even though I've been putting down that thread, some of the posts (not by the OP but by others) have made me give more thought to "rotation"!
And I think it will affect how I play some of my current pieces.
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#1634925 - 03/06/11 02:38 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Ridicolosamente]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
Yes! Yes! Yes! Remarkable indeed....have definitely played through these magical measures many many times. These measures require such vision and mastery to successfully pull off - how can you really balance the soft beauty of that melody line, while capturing the angst and agitation (note how deliberately complex the writing is.) Emotionally, it's the equivalent of going from a pppp to a ffff - you get that lump in your throat, the blood chills and you get goosebumps, then you have that rush of adrenaline and a sensation of triumph... all in less than 5-seconds. The heart can only stand so much!

Yes, it's really one of those moments that remind you just how awesome music can be. This is why we still talk about Chopin today....

Quoted for truth! thumb
Beautifully said!
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#1634939 - 03/06/11 02:57 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: DaleC]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: DaleC
...I'm looking at the score and don't see this. My score has Bb in the melody twice: the 2nd melody note in m175 and the last melody note in m176. I see the upper accompaniment Bb in m175 but my score doesn't indicate the melody as you describe. Could the scores be different? Am I missing something?....

SORRY!!!!
You're right. I made a mistake.
The note in the R.H. that I was talking about isn't a "melody note."
Thanks for picking that up!!

To explain it (and I know this won't be worth reading for very many people except Dale, and maybe not even him....) ha
The Bb that I was talking about in the R.H. is the 4th note from the end of that first measure (i.e. counting backwards from the end), or, putting it another way, the 3rd note in the next-to-last group of three. What confused me into calling it a melody note (not that this is an excuse, but it's the reason) smile is that the L.H. note which rubs up against it is one of the "top notes" in the L.H. I was thinking sloppily that it was the R.H. note which is a "top note," but it isn't.

And I see that actually there's another 'confluence' of B-flats in the very next group -- i.e. the last note of the measure in both hands -- but I never noticed that and it never bothered me, because the notes in both hands are "weak notes" so it's no big deal. What made it an issue for me in that prior group was that one of the notes (the one in the L.H.) is prominent because it's a "top note."

Thanks! And sorry!!!

Quote:
By the way, I totally agree the dynamic should be soft. IMO these mm are often played too loud, which takes away some of the magic.

Yes. I can see "crescendo-ing" through them, and actually I think it's sort of hard not to, but I agree that the basic dynamic should be subdued and subtle and it shouldn't get "big" at least till near the end of the 2nd measure.

P.S. I see that the markings are different in different editions. I don't have any edition right here with me but I recall that in the main edition that I use (Joseffy), there's a "hairpin crescendo" right before those measures, and then a "hairpin crescendo" in the first measure and "hairpin decrescendo" in the second.*** (I prefer to call them "opening" and "closing" hairpins because I don't regard them truly as crescendos and decrescendos, but that's another discussion.) smile
But in the IMSLP score that I see online, those two measures don't have the hairpins, but just "p" at the beginning, followed by "crescendo" which appears right after the 2nd R.H. melody note and continues through both measures. Anyway, if we're going to do a crescendo or a hairpin-swelling, IMO it should be gentle until right near the end.

***
"Strike-through" because that was a mistake too. ha
I remembered wrong; the Joseffy edition has no "hairpins" in these two measures (nor crescendo or anything else).


Edited by Mark_C (03/07/11 06:05 AM)
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#1634985 - 03/06/11 03:52 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: MathGuy]
DameMyra Offline
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Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1975
Loc: South Jersey
Originally Posted By: MathGuy
...and four bars later, when the melody soars up to that high Bb, with C in the bass... man, it gives me chills just thinking about it.


+++++++++1 One of my absolute favorite moments in the entire literature. Everytime I hear it, it takes my breath away.
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#1635039 - 03/06/11 04:53 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
DaleC Offline
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Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 41
Loc: US
I understand. Glad it wasn't that I couldn't read the score correctly. smile

[/quote]And I see that actually there's another 'confluence' of B-flats in the very next group -- i.e. the last note of the measure in both hands -- but I never noticed that and it never bothered me, because the notes in both hands are "weak notes" so it's no big deal. What made it an issue for me in that prior group was that one of the notes (the one in the L.H.) is prominent because it's a "top note." [/quote]

I don't want to belabor the point, but if you're currently preparing this piece, you might consider not thinking of the LH notes as either weak or prominent. IMO they should have shape and support the RH, but shouldn't be a big deal ..... other than it's hard to play them evenly, softly while hearing every note, with shape, etc. etc. A very difficult piece to be sure.

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#1635060 - 03/06/11 05:25 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
SlatterFan Offline
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Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 783
Loc: Brighton, UK
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
First of all I'm wondering if a lot of people will just KNOW which "two measures" I'm talking about.
I think yes.

What do you think of them? If you play the piece, what do you do with them?

To me they're maybe the most remarkable 2 measures in all the piano literature.

I agree! I love them, and regard them as a crucial moment in the piece. The loose program I feel for this work is the plight of someone who has been traumatized and just wants to rest in peace, but has no choice but to face another tough situation ahead. As the crisis looms, we have interplay between the lament of the main character, and support and encouragement from a friend. I feel these magical two measures as a musical "hug of love", the moment that the friend says, even if not directly in words, "I believe in you," and helps make survival possible. Sorry to be so subjective and fanciful, and I know some people find such stuff absurd, but that explains how I would play them: as a much-needed "hug of love".

In my scenario, measures 203-210 (the quiet chords just after people have been known to applaud prematurely) are some moments of clarity and calm while preparing to finish the challenge head-on, then measure 211 to the end are Chopin's musical equivalent of Beethoven battling fate. Charge!!!
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#1635070 - 03/06/11 05:36 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: DaleC]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: DaleC
....I don't want to belabor the point, but if you're currently preparing this piece, you might consider not thinking of the LH notes as either weak or prominent....

I agree completely and I never really thought of it other than how you're saying. In that prior post I was talking sort of "microscopically": while the L.H. is indeed very subdued, the L.H. figures do have some 'shape' and therefore to me those 'top' notes have just a slight bit of prominence -- very little, but enough for that Bb in the L.H. to be strong enough to rub up against the Bb in the R.H. in a way that threw me off a bit.

BTW: IMO the A-flat in the L.H. at the start of the 2nd measure gets some microscopic emphasis too. smile

To SLATTER: Glad you came over here!
Interesting scenario you described! The only piece where I ever came close to creating any similar narrative is Beethoven's Op. 110. I don't think I want to do it with this piece. smile
But that's good stuff!

P.S. Who's in favor of holding up your hand at the audience after those fff chords to keep them from applauding? ha
Actually I'm glad to say I've never witnessed any applause there.
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#1635082 - 03/06/11 05:47 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4806
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Yes, 175-176 is it.
Rats. I didn't get that far so I can't contribute...but it's good to see a return of threads that are musically interesting. PW has gotten a little off track lately.
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Deborah

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#1635122 - 03/06/11 06:17 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
SlatterFan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 783
Loc: Brighton, UK
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: DaleC
By the way, I totally agree the dynamic should be soft. IMO these mm are often played too loud, which takes away some of the magic.
Yes. I can see "crescendo-ing" through them, and actually I think it's sort of hard not to, but I agree that the basic dynamic should be subdued and subtle
thumb

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
P.S. I see that the markings are different in different editions.

No kidding! smile Each first edition was based on a different autograph, and all are lost except for the first 136 measures of one of them (chronologically the latest, used for the German edition).

Measure 174: Assuming the editors did their job accurately, A1 and A2 had no hairpin, while A3 had a widening hairpin in the second half of the measure.

Measure 175: French and English editions: widening hairpin throughout measure 175; German edition: widening hairpin from the second 1/8 note to the end.

Measures 176-177: French edition: closing hairpin throughout the measure, continuing through to the second 1/8 note of measure 177; English and German editions: only a short closing hairpin over the first two 1/8 notes of measure 177.

My speculation is that A1 ended a page at measure 176, and Chopin carelessly missed the closing hairpin when copying it into A2, leaving just the end of it at the beginning of measure 177, which got transmitted into A3 too (which isn't an obviously nutty-looking omission visually). The judgement of the editors of the National Edition is that A3 was partially copied from A1, and partially copied from A2.

My preference would be to swell to around mf peaking at the Fs of the melody rather than the G flat, then gently subside to around mp. This makes the f in measure 177 sudden, and I am okay with that. It marks the repeat of the melody, "this time sung strongly."
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#1635130 - 03/06/11 06:23 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: SlatterFan]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19800
Loc: New York
Julian: Thanks for those accounts about the different editions!
And nice little analysis/speculation about m. 176-177 and the autograph copies.

BTW: I never realized that the different autograph copies of any piece by any composer were sometimes just copies by the composer from earlier autographs.

I guess I figured if they wanted extra copies, they would have just gone down to Kinko's. ha
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1635139 - 03/06/11 06:41 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
SlatterFan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 783
Loc: Brighton, UK
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
To SLATTER: Glad you came over here!

Thanks for starting the thread! This piece is not in my 2010s projected list as I have too much other ground to cover first. Although it's a vicarious experience for me taking part in these threads, I enjoy refreshing my love for such dream/pinnacle pieces, thinking about them, and planning ahead.

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Interesting scenario you described! The only piece where I ever came close to creating any similar narrative is Beethoven's Op. 110. I don't think I want to do it with this piece. smile
But that's good stuff!

Thanks; they don't happen all that often with me and when they do, they feel like making sense of a dream: roughly 80% uninvited thoughts, 20% concscious creation.
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Julian

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#1635158 - 03/06/11 07:36 PM Re: Chopin's 4th Ballade: Those two measures [Re: Mark_C]
SlatterFan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 783
Loc: Brighton, UK
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
BTW: I never realized that the different autograph copies of any piece by any composer were sometimes just copies by the composer from earlier autographs.

I guess I figured if they wanted extra copies, they would have just gone down to Kinko's. ha

I think Chopin sometimes had a draft copy from which he made fair copies to send to publishers, while other times he was dependent on a previous fair copy. His correspondence shows that he occasionally asked a friend/copyist to send an autograph back, to work more on it. This suggests to me that he didn't want to risk missing creative details by relying on his memory, and that he regarded what he wrote while "in the zone" as authoritative.

I didn't make clear in my earlier post that there are often significant differences between the autographs; they are not just straight copies. For example, in Op.52 here, A1-French has D♭ at the bottom of the 2nd-last RH chord in measure 174, which Chopin changed to G♭ in A2-English and A3-German. And in the RH of measure 58 (where the F minor melody appears with 1/16 notes beneath), he started out in A1-French with a strictly two-part texture, then in A2-English he enriched this to include a couple of three-note chords, then in A3-German he reverted to a two-part texture but with a change (A1 had G at the bottom of the 4th 1/8 note instead of D♭). I'm no composer but I love his final decision: the poignancy of the E-D♭, and the way he starts slightly on the thin side to allow room for intensification in the following measures.

There were often two or more impressions of a first edition, especially the French, sometimes issued very soon after the first. They incorporated a mixture of corrections and updates made by Chopin (especially the second impression), corrections of misprints spotted independently by the publisher, and (especially in later impressions) arbitrary changes not approved by Chopin. http://www.cfeo.org.uk is a great site, but I believe it features the earliest available impression of each first edition, thereby missing any improvements and corrections where made by Chopin soon after.

Slightly OT anecdote: Disagreement between Delius and Beecham about a detail in one of the former's works. The snag was that Beecham was conducting from memory, so an errand boy had to be sent to Beecham's hotel to recover the score. The outcome? "You see, my dear Frederick, I remember your works better than you do!"
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Julian

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