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#1929392 - 07/20/12 02:47 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Franz Beebert]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Franz Beebert
I suggest you start with the Fantasie Op 49 then. It's easier than the ballades(except perhaps the third)...

Completely disagree -- unless you're not counting the "hard parts," of which there are many.

Quote:
...and if you think you can manage a major work by Chopin, this one is an okay one to start with.

Completely disagree, except to the extent that we might feel like going easy and saying that anything is okay to start with.

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#1929396 - 07/20/12 02:55 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Mark_C]
Franz Beebert Offline
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Registered: 12/14/11
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And why would you say the fantasie is "harder" than any of Ballades No 1, 2 and 4? It has not got any passage that is nearly as difficult as the coda of the 4th ballade. Nor does it have any passages that are harder than the first's and second's codas. If you say that it contains "many more technical challenges" than I say that so does the Barcarolle. As for interpretational difficulties, the barcarolle is no easier than the fantasie..


Edited by Franz Beebert (07/20/12 02:58 AM)

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#1929408 - 07/20/12 03:21 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Franz Beebert]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Franz Beebert
And why would you say the fantasie is "harder" than any of Ballades No 1, 2 and 4? It has not got any passage that is nearly as difficult as the coda of the 4th ballade.

Very subjective of course, but I say, not only does it have passages that are as hard, but its hard passages are SCARIER.

IMO there's nothing in the 4th ballade that is any harder -- and nothing that is as 'scary' -- as those contrary motion octave passages in the Fantaisie.
Unless they're played timidly (which they often are).

Likewise those jagged triplet passages following what I call the "butterfly" lyrical phrases.

And for that matter, how often have you heard those 'butterfly lyrical' phrases really played lyrically, comfortably, and accurately?

I could name other passages too, but I'll leave it at that.

When I'm preparing for a recital where I'm playing a bunch of these pieces (as I did the other day), the Fantaisie is the one that I always feel I need to 'prep' the most (like with tryouts in front of people). The other pieces are hard, and of course the 4th Ballade is considered by most to be the hardest of all, but the Fantaisie has more tricky acrobatics than any of them.

Unless it's played timidly. smile

The idea of recommending the piece to a beginner or intermediate player as their first major Chopin piece seems way off the mark to me.

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#1929442 - 07/20/12 04:16 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
GeorgeB Offline
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And for something to be hard does it only have to be technically demanding?

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#1929473 - 07/20/12 05:08 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Mark_C]
Franz Beebert Offline
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If one is technically prepared(now we don't know if the OP is) to play a first major work by Chopin, one certainly cannot be called a "beginner or intermediate player". In my opinion, double note passages and bringing out the top voice in thick chords, which are the main technical problems in the Barcarolle, is just as difficult, if not more, than anything in the Fantasie. The coda in double notes in the 4th Ballade scare me 45x more than anything in the fantasie. I would say that out of all the works that the OP listed, Fantasie Op 49 is one of the more suitable, IF the OP is musically mature enough, because that is where the real difficulty lies when it comes to the Fantasie. The only pieces that might be more suitable than the Fantasie IMO are the first three Scherzos, Op 48 No 1 and PERHAPS the third Ballade.


Edited by Franz Beebert (07/20/12 05:12 AM)

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#1929499 - 07/20/12 07:07 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
lisztvsthalberg Offline
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I would also strongly advise against playing the fantaisie as the first major work, and would definitely not recommend starting with any of the large-scale works (e.g. fantaisie, polonaise-fantaisie, and the sonatas). I think that from the ones listed, op. 48 no. 1 would be the most suitable. If it needs to be a scherzo or a ballade, I would recommend numbers 2 and 3, respectively.

How about the op. 26 polonaises? They are excellent music while being more accessible than most of the pieces in the original list.

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#1929507 - 07/20/12 07:41 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Franz Beebert Offline
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Lisztvsthalbergg, you mean Ballade 2 or 3, or Scherzo 2 or 3? Ballade number 2 is arguably the most difficult of all the works listed after the 4th ballade, and definately harder than the fantasie from a technical point of view. The others are fine. Op 48 No 1 is the easiest because of its length, but the last two pages are just as hard as anything in the 2nd and 3rd Scherzos and the 3rd Ballade. The Op 26 Polonaises are great pieces and I would also recommend playing them, although, they are easier than all the pieces listed.

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#1929553 - 07/20/12 09:18 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Franz Beebert]
lisztvsthalberg Offline
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Originally Posted By: Franz Beebert
Lisztvsthalbergg, you mean Ballade 2 or 3, or Scherzo 2 or 3?
I meant scherzo no. 2 and ballade no. 3 (and definitely not the other way around).

I know that the op. 26 polonaises are easier, but think that they can be great stepping stones towards the more difficult works while sounding quite impressive when played well. In fact, Op. 26 no. 1 was the first "bigger" Chopin piece I played and I'm glad that I didn't jump straight into the more difficult ones.

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#1929581 - 07/20/12 10:12 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Franz Beebert Offline
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Don't you think that Op 48 could be considered a good "stepping stone" for him then? Op 48 No 1 is not actually a "major work" although it is just as great as most of his major works, and has the character of being one. I would argue for that anyone who is able to play the Op 48 No 1 well, is ready for his first major work by Chopin.

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#1929796 - 07/20/12 04:23 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
lisztvsthalberg Offline
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Yes, I think that op. 48/1 would be by far the best choice out of the suggested pieces (given sufficiently good octave technique), with op. 26 nos. 1/2 as possible aternatives.

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#1929800 - 07/20/12 04:30 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: lisztvsthalberg]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: lisztvsthalberg
....(given sufficiently good octave technique)....

....plus some other things.

I agree that if pressed to the wall grin we'd have to say that the nocturne is the most likely of the listed pieces to be appropriate. But IMO the most challenging aspect isn't even the octaves, but all the various stuff involved in that last appearance of the theme: the jumps in the L.H., bringing out the top voice, balancing all the rest (including keeping the overall dynamic to some semblance of what is indicated), and the occasional cross-rhythms.

That's very little 'easier' than the other pieces. In fact, we could say it isn't at all.

If we're not talking about having to do 'all that' ha ....then we're not talking about really playing the piece. And if we're not, then anybody can try playing anything, can't they? smile

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#1929819 - 07/20/12 04:56 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Mark_C]
Franz Beebert Offline
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Registered: 12/14/11
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: lisztvsthalberg
....(given sufficiently good octave technique)....

....plus some other things.

I agree that if pressed to the wall grin we'd have to say that the nocturne is the most likely of the listed pieces to be appropriate. But IMO the most challenging aspect isn't even the octaves, but all the various stuff involved in that last appearance of the theme: the jumps in the L.H., bringing out the top voice, balancing all the rest (including keeping the overall dynamic to some semblance of what is indicated), and the occasional cross-rhythms.

That's very little 'easier' than the other pieces. In fact, we could say it isn't at all.

If we're not talking about having to do 'all that' ha ....then we're not talking about really playing the piece. And if we're not, then anybody can try playing anything, can't they? smile
Well, you have made some very good points here. I would say that actually, if one is able to play this piece well, one will be very able to pick between any of the first three Scherzi and the third ballade, and also PERHAPS the Op 44 Polonaise or the Fantasie Op 49(my opinion, I know you don't agree, hehe). As I have said also, the ONLY reason this piece is to be considered the most suitable, is because of its length. The last two pages is just as demanding as anything in the first three Scherzi. Pick this piece! IMO it's better than almost all of the other pieces listed(I will get picked on for this, wont I?)! wink

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#1929841 - 07/20/12 05:15 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Franz Beebert]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Franz Beebert
....IMO it's better than almost all of the other pieces listed(I will get picked on for this, wont I?)! wink

Not if nobody notices. grin

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#1929850 - 07/20/12 05:29 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Franz Beebert Offline
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Very true! Anyway, we shouldn't say which one is better and which one isn't, all these piece are pure poetry and some of the greatest music ever composed for the Piano, but the Op 48 No 1 has a special place in my heart. It was THE piece that made me fall in love with Chopin smile

Anyway jorley, now I don't think anyone can help you more. You have gotten many suggestions one where to start. I suggest you start with Op 48. Some suggest you start with a Scherzo. Anyway stay away from the 2nd and 4th Ballade, the 4h Scherzo and the Polonaise-Fantasie.

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#1929883 - 07/20/12 06:04 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Mark_C]
lisztvsthalberg Offline
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Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 121
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: lisztvsthalberg
....(given sufficiently good octave technique)....

....plus some other things.

I agree that if pressed to the wall grin we'd have to say that the nocturne is the most likely of the listed pieces to be appropriate. But IMO the most challenging aspect isn't even the octaves, but all the various stuff involved in that last appearance of the theme: the jumps in the L.H., bringing out the top voice, balancing all the rest (including keeping the overall dynamic to some semblance of what is indicated), and the occasional cross-rhythms.

That's very little 'easier' than the other pieces. In fact, we could say it isn't at all.

If we're not talking about having to do 'all that' ha ....then we're not talking about really playing the piece. And if we're not, then anybody can try playing anything, can't they? smile
I still don't think that those couple of pages make this as "bad" as the others, because 1) it really is just a couple of pages and 2) those couple of pages are not as difficult as the really difficult stuff in the other pieces. Sure they are challenging, but I think they can be played reasonably well with a lesser technique than what is required by the other ones, given enough practice. Finally, the tempo is less strict than e.g. in the scherzos or the codas of the ballades, giving the performer more flexibility in terms of using rubato.

Having said all that, I would only suggest the nocturne as a "lesser evil" here and would like to reiterate my recommendation for op. 26 smile

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#1929925 - 07/20/12 07:07 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Jorleyy Offline
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Registered: 07/11/12
Posts: 104
I just have one last question.. How about the Polonaise in F# Minor Op 44? Is that one okay as a first major work, or is it alot harder than the Op 48 No 1 and the Scherzos?


Edited by Jorleyy (07/20/12 07:07 PM)

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#1929941 - 07/20/12 07:47 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Originally Posted By: Jorleyy
I just have one last question...
You're questions remind me of this TV detective:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biW9BbWJtQU

except his famous line was meant to be funny.

Unless you are really just putting everyone on, my guess is you are not ready for any of the pieces you've mentioned.


Edited by pianoloverus (07/20/12 07:48 PM)

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#1930009 - 07/20/12 10:42 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark_C Offline
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I agree.

Jorleyy, assuming you're not just jerking us around, I have to say that your questions give the impression that your level isn't yet up to any of the pieces you've been asking about and that you should spend more time first on simpler pieces.

And oh.....I think you've said "just one more question" a few times already. grin

BTW, Op. 44 was in your 1st post and we've already talked about it.

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#1930133 - 07/21/12 07:36 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Franz Beebert Offline
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Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 360
I agree with pianoloverus and Mark_C. I mean, why don't you just try? We have trying to give you plenty of help. So, for one last time, here are the pieces that you could try(it does sound like you should wait a while though):

Op 48 1
Scherzo No 1, 2, 3
Ballade No 3
Polonaise Op 44
Fantasie Op 49(Although I have many doubts on this one)
Ballade 1 (Same as Op 49)

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#1931565 - 07/23/12 10:19 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Ken Knapp Offline



Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2246
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I find it interesting that Jorleyy asks questions and Franz Beebert answers them.. Considering they are both posting from the same place..


Edited by Ken Knapp (07/23/12 10:20 PM)
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#1931566 - 07/23/12 10:25 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Ken Knapp]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ken Knapp
I find it interesting that Jorleyy asks questions and Franz Beebert answers them.. Considering they are both posting from the same place..

Hmmmmm..... ha

Could this mean anything other than what it seems?

And if that's what it means, doesn't it have any ramification for those members? (Or, I guess, 'that member.') grin

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#2012195 - 01/10/13 10:38 AM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Timofey Offline
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Hi. That year I need a major composition by Romantic composer for my exams. I want to play a work by Chopin. Please help choose between his major works. Other pieces by Chopin that I've done: Etudes nos. 3, 8, 14, 24; Nocturnes nos. 1 (Bbm), 7 (C#m), 13 (Cm); Waltzes nos. 1 (Eb), 6 (Db), 7 (C#m) and Polonaise no. 2 (Ebm). So which piece amongst scherzi, ballades, sonatas and miscellaneous I should try?
Thanks.
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#2012239 - 01/10/13 12:38 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
BDB Offline
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There are not that many major solo works by Chopin:

4 Ballades
4 Scherzi
4 Impromptus
3 Sonatas
Fantasie
Berceuse
Barcarolle
Tarantella

Only about 15 pieces that would probably qualify as major works. Just listen to them and find something that you like.
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#2012245 - 01/10/13 12:43 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: BDB]
Mark_C Offline
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I love the Berceuse and Tarantelle but I wouldn't say they're "major works" and I don't think they're considered that way by most, and I don't think most would consider the Impromptus in there either, with #2 being sort of an exception. BTW not that this would be of interest to Aminov, but if we're making a list like that, we could throw at least 1 Rondo into the mix. smile

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#2012260 - 01/10/13 01:12 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Timofey Offline
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Registered: 01/09/13
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Loc: Russia
Impromptus, Berceuse, Tarantelle and most Polonaises (except op. 44, 53 & 61) are not considered as major works in my college. My teacher told me that Scherzi is most accessible by its form, but not easiest technically and musically. Thanks for reminding me about Rondo, I'll give it a listen.


Edited by Aminov Timur (01/10/13 01:26 PM)
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#2012277 - 01/10/13 01:45 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
pianoloverus Offline
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One more suggestion for a major Chopin work although it's rarely played.

His Rondo a la Mazur Op.5. For me, it's his first really great work and one of his greatest "Mazurkas". I don't understand why it seems to be played so infrequently. Maybe some consider too lightweight or in his salon style but from the first time I heard it I thought it was sensational. And both Bozhanov and Trifonov played it in big competitons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSEmtSyRhjY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuGonko-Wuk




Edited by pianoloverus (01/10/13 02:10 PM)

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#2012278 - 01/10/13 01:51 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
JoelW Offline
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Don't forget the concerti.

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#2012311 - 01/10/13 03:17 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Franz Beebert]
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted By: Franz Beebert
If one is technically prepared(now we don't know if the OP is) [...]


I think questioning the OP's technical skills and abilities is somewhat moot since he hasn't been here since July, 2012 when he started this thread.
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#2012333 - 01/10/13 04:00 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: BruceD]
Mark_C Offline
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....but Franzie isn't here either! (His posts were a while back. That one was 'contemporaneous.')

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#2012388 - 01/10/13 05:49 PM Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy]
Vid Offline
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You could even say it was 'contemperroneous'?
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