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#1966404 - 09/29/12 05:26 PM Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
I have to play it in a recital on 27th of November, and I've stupidly left it till this week to start learning it. Yikes :P
Will be really interesting to see whether I can do it though.

Anyone else miscalculated their deadlines like this before? How did it turn out?

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#1966413 - 09/29/12 05:39 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2622
Loc: Netherlands
did it in a week, really
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Couperin pièces, Ravel tombeau de C

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#1966421 - 09/29/12 05:47 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: dolce sfogato]
GeorgeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 635
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
did it in a week, really



not everyone is as talented as you

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#1966426 - 09/29/12 05:51 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6092
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I think you can do it if you practice thoughtfully.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#1966427 - 09/29/12 05:52 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19199
Loc: New York City
You could just stop after the chords right before the coda for an "up in the air" interpretation? Or maybe just resolve the last chord before the coda and say this is the newly discovered version?

Unless this is a pre-announced program do you really have to play this if you feel uncomfortable about preparing it in time? Unless you've opted out of/changed a piece many times before(which I doubt), it might be OK to make a change.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/29/12 05:56 PM)

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#1966433 - 09/29/12 05:57 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2622
Loc: Netherlands
no one has to be as talented as me, but if the pressure is there, and one is 'of the profession' , well, there you are, I'm not being frivolous/mocking, just serious.
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Couperin pièces, Ravel tombeau de C

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#1966441 - 09/29/12 06:04 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
Yes I've already submitted the programme. I could change it I suppose, but I would still have to learn 12 minutes of something else. Also I need the Ballade for other things so it has to be done at some point. I'd rather not change the programme for a professional engagement though. It doesn't look very, well, professional lol. But then again neither does leaving it too late to learn the pieces :P.

It's taken me just under a week to learn the coda. I'll keep you all updated haha laugh


Edited by debrucey (09/29/12 06:06 PM)

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#1966591 - 09/29/12 11:40 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19603
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I have to play it in a recital on 27th of November....

Whaddaya mean, "have to"?

Originally Posted By: debrucey
Yes I've already submitted the programme. I could change it I suppose, but I would still have to learn 12 minutes of something else....

Oh, I see. ha

Change the friggin' program.

Quote:
I'd rather not change the programme for a professional engagement though. It doesn't look very, well, professional lol...

They will hardly care.

If you feel you really can learn the piece real well by then -- or, I think we really have to say, within just 1 month, because most people would need to do that, rather than just barely having it learned by the time of the performance -- then go ahead. If you have real doubt, change the friggin' program.

And if you do go ahead and learn it because you're pretty sure you can have it comfortably under your belt by then, I think this is an instance where you'll be best off doing something that I'd hardly ever suggest when it comes to things like this: hedge your bets, and make sure you have something else that will certainly be ready 'just in case' you wind up not being comfortable enough with the Ballade.

Quote:
Anyone else miscalculated their deadlines like this before? How did it turn out?

Sure.
And I changed the program. smile

And BTW....

Quote:
....It's taken me just under a week to learn the coda.

What exactly do you mean by "learn"? ha

I'm sure you're better than I am, but.....it took me about a day and a half to "learn" it, and another few years before I dared play it in public!

Having "learned" a passage or a piece can mean so many different things....

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#1966633 - 09/30/12 01:51 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
trigalg693 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 552
Come on, 2 months isn't so bad :P Might not be super polished but it's not hard to pull off.

If you have to practice a lot of other stuff you might be a bit squeezed for time.


Edited by trigalg693 (09/30/12 01:51 AM)

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#1966641 - 09/30/12 02:23 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Tak-Shing Chan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 6
I have to play the 3rd and 4th movements of Chopin's Op. 35 next week but I haven't started practicing until yesterday. I might need to cancel.

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#1966643 - 09/30/12 02:37 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5190
Loc: Europe
Well... the first part of the balad is not 'too bad' in technical terms really. The CODA is the problem, so you're not looking too bad I'd say.

Keep us posted please and best of luck!

(The above is raw technical mumbo jumbo crap... heh)
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1966645 - 09/30/12 02:55 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Nikolas]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19603
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Well... the first part of the balad is not 'too bad' in technical terms really. The CODA is the problem, so you're not looking too bad I'd say....

You really think that's about it? grin

(It ain't.)

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#1966652 - 09/30/12 03:31 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5190
Loc: Europe
(the above is technical mumbo jumbo crap... heh)

That should explain further...
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#1966654 - 09/30/12 03:34 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Nikolas]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19603
Loc: New York
I hope that means you weren't serious about any of it. smile

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#1966730 - 09/30/12 10:25 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19199
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Yes I've already submitted the programme. I could change it I suppose, but I would still have to learn 12 minutes of something else. Also I need the Ballade for other things so it has to be done at some point. I'd rather not change the programme for a professional engagement though. It doesn't look very, well, professional lol. But then again neither does leaving it too late to learn the pieces :P.
I agree that when a professional makes a commitment to perform it's much better to keep the commitment if at all possible. I assumed this was probably the reason you felt committed to perform this piece that has you somewhat under the gun at this point.

Perhaps you can find ways to lighten your work load in other ways in the next two months so you will have enough time to learn the Ballade to an appropriate level. I'm sure your teacher has at some point in his past not scheduled enough time to learn a piece so he can probably give you some advice here.

I once taught math to a brilliant high school student who started violin rather late but became extremely good very quickly. He eventually was good enough to play in various orchestras in Europe. The music director at Trinity High School hired this boy for some musical production a year after the boy had graduated from Trinity. But at the last minute the boy cancelled his performance. The musical director told me he would never hire the boy again.

I know, but will not go into details, of a similar situation involving much higher level musicians at the Mannes IKIF.

So I think debrucey is wise to try and make the best of a difficult situation and find a way to learn the Ballade in time.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/30/12 11:50 AM)

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#1966732 - 09/30/12 10:33 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
Judging by the speed things are going at the moment, I will be able to do it in time. But it's definitely the biggest challenge I've ever set myself so far lol

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#1966736 - 09/30/12 10:44 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17799
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: debrucey
[...] I've stupidly left it till this week to start learning it.[...]


One is very tempted to ask "why"?

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1966737 - 09/30/12 10:46 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
Is that such an interesting question? Why does anyone ever misjudge deadlines? A combination of procrastination, other things getting in the way and taking too much on in the first place.

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#1966824 - 09/30/12 01:34 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17799
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Is that such an interesting question? Why does anyone ever misjudge deadlines? A combination of procrastination, other things getting in the way and taking too much on in the first place.


I presume that you thought it an interesting situation since you started a thread about it. My question was prompted by the fact that it appears - although this may not be the case - that you have not studied this work before, a work considered by some to be among Chopin's most challenging. Most "mortals" I know, including some pretty advanced pianists, would never consider tackling and making a commitment to perform such a work without allowing the time to both learn it and live with it until one feels s/he "owns" it.

Of course I wish you success with it, but the situation did beg the question, I thought.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#1966837 - 09/30/12 02:01 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: BruceD]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19603
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: BruceD
....a work considered by some to be among Chopin's most challenging....

Actually you understated it! smile

I think it's very safe to say that it's considered by all to be among Chopin's most challenging (that is, all who know enough about Chopin's works to talk about it), and by very many to be his very most challenging.

Which is why it's hard to know what one means and how significant it is when he says he has "learned" the coda, or whatever part of the piece.

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#1966890 - 09/30/12 03:53 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6050
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: debrucey

Anyone else miscalculated their deadlines like this before? How did it turn out?


Yes, but it turned out okay. Adrenaline is wonderful thing sometimes.
_________________________
Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

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#1966903 - 09/30/12 04:17 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13757
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Anyone else miscalculated their deadlines like this before? How did it turn out?



I've had it turn out lots of ways. From triumphant to disastrous and everything in between. laugh
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1966905 - 09/30/12 04:22 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Kreisler]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19603
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Anyone else miscalculated their deadlines like this before? How did it turn out?

I've had it turn out lots of ways. From triumphant to disastrous and everything in between. laugh

Ever just changed the program?

And, how awful anyway is it to 'change the program'? I agree with Debrucey that we want to try to avoid it -- but not at all costs.

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#1966908 - 09/30/12 04:28 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4707
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C


I think it's very safe to say that it's considered by all to be among Chopin's most challenging (that is, all who know enough about Chopin's works to talk about it), and by very many to be his very most challenging.



Harder than the third sonata?

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#1966911 - 09/30/12 04:31 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
DameMyra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1940
Loc: South Jersey
I know a couple of people who learned it in that general time frame. Both gave solid performances. One of them continued working on it and about two months later gave a "terrific" performance.
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#1966916 - 09/30/12 04:35 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19603
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: mazurkajoe
Harder than the third sonata?

Well, the main thing was whether the Ballade is clearly among the most challenging. ha

But as long as you're asking.... smile I performed both for the first time at the same recital, and FWIW I had been working on the sonata for a year....and the ballade for 7 years. The difficulties are different, and different people would find one or the other to be harder. It's hard even to say what's the hardest thing about the sonata. Most people think it's the last movement, many say it's the 1st....and to me the scherzo is the hardest movement.

I'd say it would be splitting hairs to say if the sonata or the ballade is harder. They're both clearly "among Chopin's most challenging works."

BTW I wouldn't recommend performing the sonata either after just 2 months. grin

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#1966919 - 09/30/12 04:37 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19199
Loc: New York City
IMO there are plenty of Chopin pieces at the same level of difficulty as the 4th Ballade or so close as to make any difference unimportant.

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#1966928 - 09/30/12 04:55 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4707
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C


BTW I wouldn't recommend performing the sonata either after just 2 months. grin



Yeah.. I don't know if the OP is playing it very safe. I would never perform any large work at two months of practice.

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#1966962 - 09/30/12 05:37 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
Obviously I'm not playing it safe :P

I didn't expect to have to clarify this point, but by 'learned' the coda all I mean is a can sit down and play the coda with a reasonable amount of fluency (if a little undertempo) from memory.

The reason this is an important thing for me is because getting a piece to that stage is the thing I stress about the most. Once the notes are 'learned' all of the work that then must happen to make it a polished performance, while it will certainly take a long time, doesn't frighten me.

'Considered by all' ?
A lot of pianists I know have told me that they don't consider it to be as difficult as people think, so clearly opinion is divided on that one.

In an ideal world we would all 'own' every piece we learn before we play it to anyone, but I personally have very rarely experienced such a situation.


Edited by debrucey (09/30/12 05:40 PM)

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#1966981 - 09/30/12 05:55 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8805
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: debrucey

Anyone else miscalculated their deadlines like this before?

Yes. Some years ago, after a violinist and horn player had a nasty falling out with a pianist, they asked me to play the piano part in the Brahms Horn Trio with two months to go before a scheduled performance.

I said, 'yes, of course!'

If I knew the piece from recordings, that didn't quite prepare me for how difficult that piano part actually is. (If not on the level of the Chopin.) The first rehearsal did not go well and I spent the last month in a dead heat working overtime.

In the event all went okay, though don't let anyone tell you that the Horn Trio is in any way an easy gig.

(Good luck with the Chopin, debrucey.)
_________________________
Jason

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