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#1966404 - 09/29/12 05:26 PM Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade
debrucey Offline
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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
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Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2623
Loc: Netherlands
did it in a week, really
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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
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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
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I think you can do it if you practice thoughtfully.
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#1966427 - 09/29/12 05:52 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
pianoloverus Offline
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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
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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.
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Couperin pices, 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
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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 Online   content
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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
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Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 560
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 Online   content
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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)
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#1966645 - 09/30/12 02:55 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Nikolas]
Mark_C Online   content
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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 Online   content
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(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 Online   content
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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
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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
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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
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Originally Posted By: debrucey
[...] I've stupidly left it till this week to start learning it.[...]


One is very tempted to ask "why"?

Regards,
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#1966737 - 09/30/12 10:46 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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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
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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,
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#1966837 - 09/30/12 02:01 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: BruceD]
Mark_C Online   content
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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: 6063
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.
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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: 13759
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
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#1966905 - 09/30/12 04:22 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Kreisler]
Mark_C Online   content
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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 Offline
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4750
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
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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 Online   content
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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
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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 Offline
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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
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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
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Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8816
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.)
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#1967012 - 09/30/12 06:49 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
LadyChen Offline
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Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
Nothing like a deadline to fire up your practicing! If you play Chopin anything like you play Rachmaninoff, you'll do just fine, debrucey. We believe in you! smile

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#1967063 - 09/30/12 08:25 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: LadyChen]
argerichfan Offline
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Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8816
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: LadyChen
... you'll do just fine, debrucey. We believe in you! smile

If his past history here is any indication, I do not feel there is any to worry about.
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#1967078 - 09/30/12 09:11 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Derulux Offline
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I know I'm coming in a little late to this. I would suggest that playing something poorly would be less professional than dropping the piece.

That said, I don't think this is impossible to learn in two months. I hear you are proficient at Rachmaninoff, though I have never had the pleasure of hearing you play any. I learned Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto in 2 months. Bottom line: you can do this. smile
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#1967107 - 09/30/12 10:29 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Pogorelich. Offline
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When push comes to shove, you can do so many things.. as you'll discover, haha =) good luck!
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#1967140 - 10/01/12 12:06 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: debrucey
...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.

Fine -- but yes, "long time" -- which I would have thought could mean a lot more than 2 months.

Quote:
'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....

IMO they're just wrong.
Sorry. smile

And BTW my guess would be that "a lot" is a bit of hyperbole. You sure you don't mean just 1 or 2 people that you happened to have come across? (Because I'm very, very confident that it's an extreme minority view. Unless y'all are talking about playing it not necessarily very well, or quite superficially, in which case just about anything isn't that hard.)

Anyway....obviously you're quite determined to press on with the Ballade. Good luck -- maybe you can pull it off quite well; a lot of people here seem to think you can. But from how you presented it in the original post, IMO it sounds way too iffy.

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#1967211 - 10/01/12 08:15 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Cheeto717 Offline
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Good Luck! I've been in several situations like this and they all seem to turn out better than I had hoped. Although there were 1 or 2 that I'd rather not remember....
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#1967238 - 10/01/12 09:41 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Otis S Offline
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Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 204
Good luck with your recital, Debrucey! Your YouTube recordings are terrific, and I am sure you can do an excellent job with the 4th ballade. You are shooting for a very ambitious deadline, though.


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.


My recommendation would be to continue making your best effort at learning Chopin's 4th ballade for the November recital. As a safety measure, determine the latest point (e.g. early November?) when it would still be feasible to change the program without too much negative fallout. Have a back-up piece that you already play well (perhaps another comparable work by Chopin such as another ballade, scherzo, Fantaisie in F minor, Polonaise-Fantasie, etc). in good shape in case the 4th ballade does not go as well as hoped. A few days before the deadline, make your best judgement on whether to play the 4th ballade or the other piece. You can play both pieces in front of other pianists whose views you trust to get feedback to help you make your decision.

Would it be feasible to do something like this?

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#1967285 - 10/01/12 12:32 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
Nope, I have no such piece. The recital is 50 minutes long and uses up everything I have at the moment. If I were to change it for something comparable I would be in the same situation as I would still have to learn a new piece.

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#1967296 - 10/01/12 12:59 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Nikolas Online   content
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If I may dare propose something: Why does all the pieces have to be AMAZING and MONUMENTALLY stunning, difficult and contain the WOW factor? Just got for a couple of easier works. Not everything has to be at the standard of a Chopin Ballad I think...
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#1967345 - 10/01/12 02:51 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Cheeto717 Offline
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True. A set of nocturnes, waltzes, or mazurkas would be really nice to listen to.
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Brahms: Op. 120
Chopin: Op. 10

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#1967352 - 10/01/12 03:05 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Cheeto717]
Mark_C Online   content
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Nice last two posts, but I think we all get the feeling he's not going to be too interested in stuff like that. grin
He's clearly determined to do the ballade.

My main concern is that he thinks it's "not that hard," supported by "a lot of" people who've said it isn't, which is just bull, even if his lot of people really did say it. And it's not real good to go on bull.

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#1967356 - 10/01/12 03:09 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Offline
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lol

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#1967370 - 10/01/12 03:43 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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Okay, first of all I never said anything about what I personally think about the difficulty of this piece. All I did was point out that your statement that it is 'considered by all' to be the most difficult is not entirely true because I know of people who know what they're talking about who disagree. I never said whether or not I agree with them or disagree with you. I haven't learned it yet so I couldn't say how difficult it is. Secondly, the rest of my 50 minute programme is quite easy, so I could hardly be accused of favouring difficult pieces just for the sake of it.

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#1967389 - 10/01/12 04:26 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Otis S Offline
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Originally Posted By: debrucey
Secondly, the rest of my 50 minute programme is quite easy, so I could hardly be accused of favouring difficult pieces just for the sake of it.

What other pieces are you planning to play at your November recital besides Chopin's 4th ballade?

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#1967397 - 10/01/12 04:46 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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Beethoven, Bagatelles 1 and 5 from Op. 119 and Moonlight Sonata
Rachmaninoff Prelude in C-sharp minor and Etude Op.39-8
Chopin Raindrop Prelude, and finally the Ballade.

Perhaps I should have said relatively easy, haha. But I think my point stands.

I feel we've got somewhat sidetracked. The whole point of this thread was to hear interesting stories of how other people have coped under self imposed pressure.


Edited by debrucey (10/01/12 04:52 PM)

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#1967401 - 10/01/12 04:52 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: debrucey
Okay, first of all I never said anything about what I personally think about the difficulty of this piece. All I did was point out that your statement that it is 'considered by all' to be the most difficult is not entirely true because I know of people who know what they're talking about who disagree. I never said whether or not I agree with them or disagree with you. I haven't learned it yet so I couldn't say how difficult it is....

In that case, please accept our help on this: Those people, however many or few of them there may be, are in a tiny minority, and more importantly, they're simply wrong.

Take my word. smile

Perhaps they're talking just about getting the notes, or worse yet, sort of getting the notes, and in either of those cases, they're really wrong, because they're missing the point of the piece, which presumably you don't want to do.

They're wrong. They're not worth referencing on something like this, because it will only mislead you.

Quote:
I feel we've got somewhat sidetracked. The whole point of this thread was to hear interesting stories of how other people have coped under self imposed pressure.

It's not unusual for the main question within something to be different than what the person thought, and we see it here a lot.

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#1967404 - 10/01/12 04:56 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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Oh for goodness sake.

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#1967405 - 10/01/12 04:57 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
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Indeed! smile

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#1967408 - 10/01/12 05:03 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted By: debrucey
Oh for goodness sake.
Exactly. He said the same thing over and over in three threads and several times per thread. All that from someone who worked on the Ballade for seven years before performing it.




Edited by pianoloverus (10/01/12 05:07 PM)

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#1967411 - 10/01/12 05:05 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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Haha, good point.

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#1967413 - 10/01/12 05:08 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: pianoloverus]
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
....the same thing over and over in three threads....

Huh?

By the way, would you agree that there's any correctness in believing that the piece is "not that hard"?

I look forward to your reply. grin

Quote:
....someone who worked on the Ballade for seven years before performing it.

Small point, but for what it's worth, that wasn't so. I did put it that way but it was a 'shorthand': I didn't perform it till 7 years after I first learned it.

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#1967418 - 10/01/12 05:11 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Quote:
I feel we've got somewhat sidetracked. The whole point of this thread was to hear interesting stories of how other people have coped under self imposed pressure.

It's not unusual for the main question within something to be different than what the person thought, and we see it here a lot.
Debrucey's requesting that his thread discuss what would be helpful to him. He said more than once that he wants to play the Ballade despite some posters' suggestion to do otherwise.

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#1967422 - 10/01/12 05:14 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: pianoloverus]
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Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Debrucey's requesting that his thread discuss what would be helpful to him....

EXACTLY.

Thank you very much. grin

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#1967427 - 10/01/12 05:21 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
....the same thing over and over in three threads....

Huh? By the way, would you agree that there's any correctness in believing that the piece is "not that hard"?
"Not that hard" is so vague that could be true for almost any piece. It's really impossible to argue intelligently against a description like that.

He told you what some of his acquaintances said. He said he wants to play the piece. What could possibly be the point of telling him more than once that your perception of the difficulty is different?



Edited by pianoloverus (10/01/12 07:13 PM)

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#1967428 - 10/01/12 05:23 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Debrucey's requesting that his thread discuss what would be helpful to him....

EXACTLY.

Thank you very much. grin
Helpful to him assuming he's going to play the Ballade. He just said that a few posts ago. He specifically said the thread had veered in a direction he didn't feel was useful or related to his first post.

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#1967430 - 10/01/12 05:27 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
Damon Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Debrucey's requesting that his thread discuss what would be helpful to him....

EXACTLY.

Thank you very much. grin


I don't recall Debrucey ever asking for help. Maybe you can quote that part. Two months is a good amount of time if you have the time. Not a lot a time if you have a 9-5 job besides. Everything he has posted sounds pretty damn good so I think his judgement is probably pretty damn good also. If he screws up, that's a lesson learned too. I see little downside to digging into the ballade.
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#1967432 - 10/01/12 05:28 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
debrucey Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C

By the way, would you agree that there's any correctness in believing that the piece is "not that hard"?


I NEVER said that I or anyone else thought the piece was 'not that hard'. The phrase I used was 'not as difficult as people think'. Neither did I say that I necessarily believed what they said. Please make more of an effort to understand what people have said before attempting to repudiate them.

Also, Damon is right. I never asked for help. I wanted to hear similar stories from other people and have a discussion about how we work on a piece when the deadline is closer than we'd like. I think that's quite an interesting topic.


Edited by debrucey (10/01/12 05:31 PM)

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#1967434 - 10/01/12 05:29 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: pianoloverus]
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If someone has a basic misunderstanding of something -- and he does -- that's worth noting. If he resists the correct input, and if you care about it (and more so perhaps, if you find the misunderstanding offensive, which I do -- on behalf of music and on behalf of Chopin) smile then you might try again.

Sorry, but I don't believe that you think there's much sense in feeling that this piece might be "not that hard," within any idea of the phrase. I think you're arguing it just because of who it is who's talking about it.

Debrucey: You're obviously determined. But, one more piece of advice: Don't let yourself say to too many people that you think the piece might not be that hard. It won't make a real good impression. smile


edit: Debrucey, just saw your last post.
Everything I've said applies absolutely equally to 'Not as difficult as people think.'
Trust me. smile
(Even though I know you won't!)

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#1967437 - 10/01/12 05:33 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
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Of course I won't. Why should I? What reason have you offered me to convince me that you know more about this than any of the other people I've spoken to about it?


Edited by debrucey (10/01/12 05:35 PM)

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#1967438 - 10/01/12 05:33 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
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see above edit

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#1967439 - 10/01/12 05:34 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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See the above edit.

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#1967446 - 10/01/12 05:43 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: debrucey
....What reason have you offered me to convince me that you know more about this than any of the other people I've spoken to about it?

OK, you asked for it and I'll give it. smile

This is a piece of great subtlety and depth -- very great. To say about any such piece that it's "not as hard as many people think" (or however you put it) inherently seems to reflect a failure to grasp that, and, to the ears of many serious musicians who know and love the piece, has the effect that I indicated on the last page.

And that's only about the musical aspects. I'll leave it at that, because I'm pretty sure you wouldn't put any stock in anything I might say about technical aspects, and in fairness they might not apply to you.

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#1967449 - 10/01/12 05:46 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
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That's just a statement of your opinion, not a reason to respect your opinion.

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#1967450 - 10/01/12 05:48 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Old Man Offline
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Mark, here's a radical thought: How about letting Debrucey decide for himself how difficult this piece is? You're beginning to sound as though it galls you that he might actually learn it in two months. If I were to use that yardstick, everyone in this forum galls me, including you. laugh

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#1967453 - 10/01/12 05:52 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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I guess we'll just have to wait two months to find out.

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#1967506 - 10/01/12 08:06 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Old Man]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Old Man
....as though it galls you that he might actually learn it in two months....

No, it galls me that a serious pianist could have such a view of the piece.

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#1967516 - 10/01/12 08:21 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
AldenH Offline
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Originally Posted By: debrucey
I guess we'll just have to wait two months to find out.


You're right, but I do believe you won't be doing any of that waiting =P

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#1967562 - 10/01/12 11:03 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
trigalg693 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Old Man
....as though it galls you that he might actually learn it in two months....

No, it galls me that a serious pianist could have such a view of the piece.


Since the thread has been you saying this over and over for a few pages, I thought I might come in with a different opinion laugh

Technically the 4th Ballade is perhaps a little tougher than the other Ballades. None of them are really exceptionally difficult pieces in that respect. I was able to play it through pretty smoothly in well under 2 months, and I'm not really great or anything. Other people I know who've played it learned it pretty quickly as well.

Musically everyone seems to agree that it's really hard, however everyone has their own idea of how it should be played. In my opinion, this actually means a short term performance should be less worrisome, because everyone seems to like this piece played a certain different way, and whatever you do you're guaranteed to make at least half the people who have an opinion on the piece unhappy. Thus, one can take a pretty "safe" approach, follow the markings on the score as closely as possible, and do a decent job. Whatever comes across as "unrefined" to one person, may be "genius" to another.


Edited by trigalg693 (10/01/12 11:07 PM)

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#1967593 - 10/02/12 12:37 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
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I think one of the things Mark is saying is that there are some pieces which, regardless of their mechanical difficulty, are of such musical depth and organizational originality that one should really live with them for a time-- a long time-- before performing them. To me, the idea of performing the 4th Ballade after only two months carries with it a danger of not doing it justice that I wouldn't feel with, say, learning the first movement of Beethoven's op.2/3 in two months. (Trying to pick a piece of similar mechanical difficulty but which perhaps one doesn't have to inhabit in the same way.)

The idea of anyone doing this makes me uncomfortable. Not out of judgement, just out of oversensitivity. I wish db the best with it.

-J

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#1967596 - 10/02/12 12:56 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
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Jason,

That's true and I largely agree to that.

But to the opposite end some of us are saying that, exactly because one can separate the technical/mechanical and musical difficulty of a work, the first one can be mastered in two months, and as for the second one it remains to be seen. I don't know how insane one must be to work 6-8 hours per day in a single work for two months (I wouldn't be able to do it, personally. I'd gladly compose for 16 hours per day though for many months until I'd crumble) but it's not completely unreasonable to think that the work will come to a certain level (probably not at the Zimmerman level, but none the less a decent level).

The funny thing about the later pages of this thread is that the "THAT hard/difficult", etc is applicable only to what the other party thinks, in which case here Mark considers it "THAT hard" where debrucey doesn't think/believe it's "ThAT hard"... wink teeheehee...
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#1967607 - 10/02/12 01:53 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
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Now that we've all chimed in with our opinions on the side issue suggested (to some) by the original post - some ringing louder, longer and more frequently than others - why don't we either
1 - respond to the original question about time management experiences or, if unable to do that
2 - drop the judgement calls which must surely be doing little to help debrucey in his enthusiasm for this project.

Join me in wishing him a productive two months in the hopes that it brings positive results.

Regards,
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#1967609 - 10/02/12 02:03 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: BruceD]
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Originally Posted By: BruceD
Join me in wishing him a productive two months in the hopes that it brings positive results.
+ 1

As for time management it all relates to what one is used to.

From my own experience when I was called to compose a symphonic work in less than a month (unperformed sadly and not in a great shape admittedly) I decided to skip vacation in Greece (was living in the UK at the time with my family), but allow my wife and two kids to go. Thus I gained tons of free time which all was used to compose... Worked good enough (got the commission out of the way), and I was composing for double the time I was used to. The change in circumstances made this happen.

So perhaps there's a way for debrucey to do something like that with his living circumstances or something along those lines?
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#1967623 - 10/02/12 02:49 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: BruceD]
currawong Offline
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Originally Posted By: BruceD
Now that we've all chimed in with our opinions on the side issue suggested (to some) by the original post - some ringing louder, longer and more frequently than others - why don't we either
1 - respond to the original question about time management experiences or, if unable to do that
2 - drop the judgement calls which must surely be doing little to help debrucey in his enthusiasm for this project.
Absolutely agree.
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Join me in wishing him a productive two months in the hopes that it brings positive results.
I certainly do. Go, debrucey!
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#1967626 - 10/02/12 02:56 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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Thanks guys. I'm sure however crummy my performance of it in 2 months time is the whole exercise will be a positive one for me. It was much the same situation with Appassionata last year, which most people advised me not to take up (except for, crucially, my teacher lol). Sure, at the end of it all it wasn't the best performance in the world, but I learned a lot from forcing myself to do it.

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#1967678 - 10/02/12 08:29 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: beet31425]
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Originally Posted By: beet31425
I think one of the things Mark is saying is that there are some pieces which, regardless of their mechanical difficulty, are of such musical depth and organizational originality that one should really live with them for a time-- a long time-- before performing them.-J
I think one could say that about any major work by any great composer. It would apply to numerous works by Chopin and any of the great composers. So if one has two months to learn a piece, I think the 4th Ballade is no different in this respect from countless other great works. But besides this, what a person can understand musically about a piece in two months is not the same for everyone.

Whatever his opinion there is no point to saying the same thing at least six times, especially when the OP has clearly that his mind is made up about learning the Ballade and he's interested other people's advice about dealing with difficult deadline.


Edited by pianoloverus (10/02/12 10:13 AM)

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#1967695 - 10/02/12 09:22 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Old Man Offline
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Originally Posted By: debrucey
Thanks guys. I'm sure however crummy my performance of it in 2 months time is the whole exercise will be a positive one for me. It was much the same situation with Appassionata last year, which most people advised me not to take up (except for, crucially, my teacher lol). Sure, at the end of it all it wasn't the best performance in the world, but I learned a lot from forcing myself to do it.

Whether or not it's "the best performance in the world", I'm sure it will not be "crummy". Remember the old adage, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good". If this advice went unheeded, no pianist would ever play anything. They'd be stuck in a kind of "interpretive paralysis". As I pointed out in another thread, Horowitz struggled his entire life with Chopin's first ballade. He was continually revising it: changing dynamics, changing tempo, finding new voices to accentuate, and each performance was different. But even though he was never satisfied, that never stopped him. He played it all the time, and his audiences loved it.

And yours will too. So please report back and let us know how you thought it went. (That way we can rehash this entire subject one more time. cry )

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#1967715 - 10/02/12 10:19 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
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You'll be fine, debrucey.

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#1967781 - 10/02/12 02:06 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
sophial Offline
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Originally Posted By: debrucey
Thanks guys. I'm sure however crummy my performance of it in 2 months time is the whole exercise will be a positive one for me. It was much the same situation with Appassionata last year, which most people advised me not to take up (except for, crucially, my teacher lol). Sure, at the end of it all it wasn't the best performance in the world, but I learned a lot from forcing myself to do it.


And you'll return to it many times no doubt over your pianistic career with new insights and understanding from working on it multiple times. I say go for it and good luck, debrucey!! thumb

Sophia

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#1967844 - 10/02/12 04:48 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
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The craziest example of last-minute preparation that I have ever heard of was Richter learning Prokofieff's 7th sonata in 4 days - by memory - for the premiere concert. Of course, you are not Richter, he was supernatural. However, I don't think it's so crazy for a pianist of your high level to do this. Sure it's a risk, but you can't always play it safe if you want to excel at something; sometimes your risks will pay off, and other times they won't. Let's hope for the former.

And if you want to be a concert pianist, you may wind up having to do this from time to time, so you might as well get used to working on short notice. Good luck!

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#1967846 - 10/02/12 04:51 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: slava_richter]
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Originally Posted By: slava_richter
The craziest example of last-minute preparation that I have ever heard of was Richter learning Prokofieff's 7th sonata in 4 days - by memory - for the premiere concert. Of course, you are not Richter, he was supernatural. However, I don't think it's so crazy for a pianist of your high level to do this. Sure it's a risk, but you can't always play it safe if you want to excel at something; sometimes your risks will pay off, and other times they won't. Let's hope for the former.

And if you want to be a concert pianist, you may wind up having to do this from time to time, so you might as well get used to working on short notice. Good luck!
He also learned the whole Well Tempered Clavier in one month. That's one and a half piece of music a day. Insane.

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#1967910 - 10/02/12 07:13 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: slava_richter]
trigalg693 Offline
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Originally Posted By: slava_richter
The craziest example of last-minute preparation that I have ever heard of was Richter learning Prokofieff's 7th sonata in 4 days - by memory - for the premiere concert.


I've heard of someone (pianist) who learned a whole movement (of accompaniment) to a violin piece during the 10 minutes of intermission...

Anyways, I completely agree with the person who brought up the "don't let perfect become the enemy of good" quote, there is absolutely no reason that one should necessarily wait a long time before performing something. I don't think any pianist is ever completely happy with how the piece is when it's being performed, but that shouldn't stop people from performing. 2 months is usually on the short side but a person with reasonable experience can pull off a decent performance in that timespan.

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#1970945 - 10/09/12 06:48 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
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I learned the 4th Ballade in a few months (can't remember the exact time frame, but I think it was 4 or 5 months). I wasn't in a super rush, so I'm sure you can do it in 2 months if you really focus. I would suggest setting a goal of having it learned and memorized up to tempo within one month, so that you have the whole next month to polish it and let it kinda "gel" in your mind and fingers.

One of the things my teacher always told me is that many works, including this Ballade, are "lifetime" pieces. You will play these pieces for years, and they will change and evolve just as you change and evolve as a musician. Note that this does not mean that you have to practice the piece for your whole life before you ever perform it! My interpretation of the Ballade at age 65 will not invalidate my interpretation of it at age 25.

If you refuse to do anything until every circumstance is exactly perfect, you'll never get anything done.

Good luck with your performance! smile

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#1971009 - 10/09/12 09:16 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: trigalg693]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: trigalg693
....I completely agree with the person who brought up the "don't let perfect become the enemy of good" quote, there is absolutely no reason that one should necessarily wait a long time before performing something....

I think something from the 1st post has gotten lost (long ago). He implied that he had waited significantly longer than he should have to start working on the piece and therefore that it was going to be iffy. That seems to be either forgotten or treated as though it doesn't matter. When he additionally indicated that perhaps the piece isn't as challenging as is often said, which is a lot of wishful thinking, that seemed to accentuate it. Against that backdrop, I'm surprised that most people seem basically to be saying sure, go ahead, no problem. But whatever. Maybe you're right. smile

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#1971060 - 10/09/12 11:03 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
Damon Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: trigalg693
....I completely agree with the person who brought up the "don't let perfect become the enemy of good" quote, there is absolutely no reason that one should necessarily wait a long time before performing something....

I think something from the 1st post has gotten lost ..............blah, blah, blah.......... I'm surprised that most people seem basically to be saying sure, go ahead, no problem. But whatever. Maybe you're right. smile


The only thing that is lost (and only by you) is that he never asked to be talked out of playing it. I think it galls you that he isn't showing the proper respect for your god. smile
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#1971066 - 10/09/12 11:13 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Damon]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: Damon
....he never asked to be talked out of playing it. I think it galls you that he isn't showing the proper respect for your god. smile

Sure, a big part of what galls me is what he expressed about the Ballade, but there's more, including that someone who views the piece that way isn't (isn't) appreciating what it is and is probably better off not playing it yet. Actually I don't believe that he truly thinks what he said about the piece and that it's just wishful thinking -- which is part of the problem too.

But, about what he asked or didn't ask: I assume you're a fairly sophisticated individual. grin
And that therefore you realize that people don't necessarily express things directly.

Let's take a look at what he did ask directly: If we are to take it at face value, the only reason he started this thread was because of abstract intellectual curiosity about whether other people have ever done similar miscalculations, and how it turned out -- with no wish, unconscious or otherwise, to express his concern about his miscalculation and to get reactions that might affect what he does.

If you believe that.....well I won't even complete that thought, because I'm pretty sure that if you think about it, you don't believe that. ha

He didn't do that.
People don't do that.
Sorry. smile

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#1971149 - 10/10/12 03:16 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
debrucey Offline
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As an update btw, its coming along quite well. And most of what I've done so far was not as hard as I expected it to be.


Edited by debrucey (10/10/12 03:17 AM)

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#1971152 - 10/10/12 03:24 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Nikolas Online   content
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Originally Posted By: debrucey
And most of what I've done so far was not as hard as I expected it to be.
ha

Now this haha is what I call a reall pun! hahahahaha!

Debrucey, glad to know this is working out for you. I'm hoping for a recording once done, right? wink
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#1971154 - 10/10/12 03:28 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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Absolutely :-).

Not sure I see the pun tho lol

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#1971156 - 10/10/12 03:54 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Nikolas Online   content
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Well, Mark has been the one talking all the time on how difficult this work is and how you're basically underestimating its difficulty. And he's also the one to be using constantly the haha emoticon, so I quoted that with the haha... Probably not a pun, but fun none the less for me! grin
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#1971157 - 10/10/12 03:55 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
ChopinAddict Offline
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Probably a punch (on the boxing ring)!
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#1971160 - 10/10/12 04:01 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
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I thought you were insinuating something to do with erections lol.

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#1971181 - 10/10/12 06:28 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Damon
....he never asked to be talked out of playing it. I think it galls you that he isn't showing the proper respect for your god. smile

Sure, a big part of what galls me is what he expressed about the Ballade, but there's more, including that someone who views the piece that way isn't (isn't) appreciating what it is and is probably better off not playing it yet. Actually I don't believe that he truly thinks what he said about the piece and that it's just wishful thinking -- which is part of the problem too.

But, about what he asked or didn't ask: I assume you're a fairly sophisticated individual. grin
And that therefore you realize that people don't necessarily express things directly.

Let's take a look at what he did ask directly: If we are to take it at face value, the only reason he started this thread was because of abstract intellectual curiosity about whether other people have ever done similar miscalculations, and how it turned out -- with no wish, unconscious or otherwise, to express his concern about his miscalculation and to get reactions that might affect what he does.

If you believe that.....well I won't even complete that thought, because I'm pretty sure that if you think about it, you don't believe that. ha

He didn't do that.
People don't do that.
Sorry. smile
If debrucey spends as much times as you do overanalysing everything he definitely won't finish the Ballade. He might not even make it through breakfast before it's time for dinner. Fortunately, I don't think he has this problem.

Debrucey is a serious conservatory student. The idea that he doesn't have proper respect for any composer or any piece of music is quite silly, I think. He's decided to devote his life to this pursuit. Even if, for the sake of argument, debrucey is not showing proper respect for this piece the idea that someone should be personally offended by that is very silly.


Edited by pianoloverus (10/10/12 11:24 AM)

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#1972427 - 10/12/12 07:00 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Nikolas]
Bobpickle Offline

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Registered: 05/24/12
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Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Well, Mark has been the one talking all the time on how difficult this work is and how you're basically underestimating its difficulty. And he's also the one to be using constantly the haha emoticon, so I quoted that with the haha... Probably not a pun, but fun none the less for me! grin


ha

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#1972580 - 10/13/12 01:41 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
DonaldLee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 143
I wished I would have followed this thread since its genesis. It's always been rather interesting for me to watch other people's progress on repertoire. I would say you will be fine. The 4th Ballade is really captivating, but not nearly as hard as it sounds, IMHO. Now, I just wish I could thin down my required repertoire for college to one ballade for two months. As of now, I'm expected to have perfected Les Adieux, the Grieg Concerto, Schubert D.935, and Ginastera's first sonata by December. Good fortunes and happy practicing!!

Donald Lee
_________________________
Currently working on:
Brahms Op. 118
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#1972774 - 10/13/12 01:58 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Quaver Pyjama Offline
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Registered: 08/26/11
Posts: 114
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I thought you were insinuating something to do with erections lol.

[ohgodwhy]

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#1974922 - 10/17/12 11:02 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
TrueMusic Offline
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Debrucey, I'm in a similar [although much less serious] situation - I've been spending to much time polishing my Beethoven Sonata that I've completely ignored learning parts of it....and my teacher told me two days ago to have the whole thing memorized and relatively playable by our next lesson [Monday]. I'm not prepping for any performance right now but I can definitely feel the strain of having to fly through the learning process...but it's actually boosting my confidence a lot because I'm figuring out I can learn music pretty dang quick if I need to!
_________________________
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Polish:
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New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20

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#1990450 - 11/24/12 07:12 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
I just posted a video of my progress in the member recordings section if anybody is interested in how I am managing so far lol

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#1990797 - 11/25/12 07:40 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Gatsbee13 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 483
Loc: So Cal
^ couldn't find the video in member recordings.. can you post a link? thx

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#1990800 - 11/25/12 07:54 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Gatsbee13]
ChopinAddict Offline
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Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6092
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He means the sub-forum of the Pianist Corner, not the other members recording forum.
Well done for such a short time frame, by the way!
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#1990810 - 11/25/12 08:24 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK

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#1990814 - 11/25/12 08:32 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
gooddog Offline
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Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4766
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Impressive...and in such a short amount of time. Congratulations!
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Deborah

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#2017482 - 01/19/13 07:11 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Kuanpiano Offline
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To continue with the mad thread-bumping...I also did some bad planning and will be performing this Ballade in a few days...and I gave myself too little time to prepare in the same vein laugh.

Speaking of which (for this ballade), I realized that the first theme that the left hand plays - the descending scale - becomes the counterpoint in the polyphonic section, and is also used as other transition material throughout the rest of the piece. I wasn't aware of how tightly this piece was constructed until recently..
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#2017533 - 01/19/13 09:18 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Kuanpiano]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
To continue with the mad thread-bumping...I also did some bad planning and will be performing this Ballade in a few days...and I gave myself too little time to prepare in the same vein laugh.

What's this vein stuff? ha

What about "There is a change in the program...."

BTW, nice other observation. smile

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#2017538 - 01/19/13 09:33 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
Kuanpiano Offline
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Registered: 05/06/10
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Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
To continue with the mad thread-bumping...I also did some bad planning and will be performing this Ballade in a few days...and I gave myself too little time to prepare in the same vein laugh.

What's this vein stuff? ha

What about "There is a change in the program...."

BTW, nice other observation. smile

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/in_the_same_vein ??

No change in program, the show must go on! :P
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#2017544 - 01/19/13 09:39 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Kuanpiano]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
No change in program, the show must go on! :P

A show doesn't depend on playing what we're not ready to play. smile

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#2017600 - 01/19/13 11:52 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
No change in program, the show must go on! :P

A show doesn't depend on playing what we're not ready to play. smile


I guess not for Kuanpiano, but for me, yes it does, since it's a degree recital and my rep is already set and submitted... Lol smile

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#2017623 - 01/20/13 01:27 AM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
btb Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
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Loc: Pretoria South Africa
My reference book says of this work

“Loveliest of all is the Ballade in F minor Opus 52.
“It’s witchery is irresistible” says Huneker.
The motives of the first theme recur so often, especially (a) that the inflection must be artfully varied to avoid monotony. Just how these nuances should be applied —
for instance, whether the repetition of (a) should be fainter or stronger in any particular place — can hardly be determined beforehand; a good pianist had best trust the inspiration of the moment to give it the right flexibility to his performance.

This will accord with the extremely intuitive character of the piece, which is a whole from a form that on the surface seems disjointed.
It is advisable to start with coda (immediately after the five long pianissimo chords) quite moderately in time and force, increasing the speed when you feel safe.
An accelerando of this kind is easy and effective, whereas it is humiliating and ineffective to begin at top speed and be obliged to slacken. A broadening of tempo should always sound intentional, never as if forced by technical difficulty.”

My own take relates to the first tricky 13 measures
(but happily going at an easy Andante con moto gait)... where the ever-inventive Chopin develops a sort of syncopated treble rhythm ... by lacing in an “inner voice” to his broad octave chordal theme ...
once you get over this finger-busting passage, the going gets easier.

The opening comment ... “It’s witchery is irresistible” should arm the pianist to beard the lion in his den .

PS Lions are flesh-eating ... however Androcles plucked a thorn from the paw of a lion so they say ...
which helped him to outlive the munching of wild beasts in the Colosseum ... but then, I wasn't around at the time to confirm.

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#2017798 - 01/20/13 12:16 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: Orange Soda King]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
No change in program, the show must go on! :P

A show doesn't depend on playing what we're not ready to play. smile


I guess not for Kuanpiano, but for me, yes it does, since it's a degree recital and my rep is already set and submitted... Lol smile


Same.

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#2017821 - 01/20/13 12:56 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19641
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Originally Posted By: debrucey
Same.

Oh. grin

I think it's an unfortunate rule.
And if it was me, in such a situation I would have tried to get an exception. But in any event, if you had said so we wouldn't have been suggesting so hard that you might change it.

If you did say it and I kept saying "change it" anyway, I apologize. ha

(I know you said it had been submitted, but didn't notice you saying it was anything like you "had to" go with that.)

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#2017862 - 01/20/13 02:27 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2114
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
No change in program, the show must go on! :P

A show doesn't depend on playing what we're not ready to play. smile


I guess not for Kuanpiano, but for me, yes it does, since it's a degree recital and my rep is already set and submitted... Lol smile


Same.

Not a degree recital, but same in every other aspect :P
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#2018029 - 01/20/13 08:14 PM Re: Two months to learn Chopin's 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2600
Loc: Manchester, UK
I hadn't submitted it then, but I have now.
Everything this year is leading towards my final recital. As hard as it was learning the Chopin in 2 months, I'm glad I forced myself to do it because I am now better prepared for my final recital than I would be had I taken the easy option and learned or relearned something else.

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