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#1990452 - 11/24/12 07:13 PM Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel...
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Obviously it still needs a lot of work, but I will be sticking with this piece at least until the summer.


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#1990519 - 11/24/12 10:46 PM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
MathGuy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 232
Loc: California
You've certainly made great progress in the two months you've been working on it (according to the thread in the main forum).

I wouldn't change a thing - especially if you're performing it in three days. You'll surely do lots of other things with this ballade in the next, say, forty years or so, but right now you've got an accurate and serviceable rendition to get the ball rolling.

Don't forget to brush up on your other recital pieces! :-) And best of luck.

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#1990538 - 11/25/12 12:25 AM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19715
Loc: New York
Will you be performing it as planned? From what you said here, it's not clear. As you know, we always have our various suggestions, and what we might offer depends on things like whether it's being performed very soon (as it seems MathGuy also was thinking).

One thing I can say regardless of that: There are many very good things, including the coda -- especially the very end, from about 12:10 on, which is unusually beautifully done. You make it lyrical, which is rare.

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#1990562 - 11/25/12 02:02 AM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
trigalg693 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 622
Hmmm...the one thing that stood out to me was the stuff in the first few bars coming back in A major or whatever, it's marked pp and I think trying to play it extra soft makes it really chilling and profound, this just didn't do it for me. Maybe loosen up a little (more rubato) as well haha.

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#1990575 - 11/25/12 04:03 AM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I'm performing it on tuesday, but I would still like to hear more long term suggestions.

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#1990577 - 11/25/12 04:07 AM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Sorry, I had to upload it again, so the link above doesn't work any more.


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#1990638 - 11/25/12 10:01 AM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19715
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I'm performing it on tuesday, but I would still like to hear more long term suggestions.

It's great that you're so open about it, but in line with what MathGuy said about not changing anything so soon before the performance, I think it's better if we hold off on most of it till after, and I certainly will. Maybe it's different for you, but for most people, the only thing that a lot of input would do right now would be to mess them up. Go with what you've got and if anything just firm it up -- and let most of the comments and suggestions come after. An exception, of course, would be whatever your teacher sees fit to be telling you, because he knows you and your playing very well, and knows how to take into account the upcoming performance.

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#1991059 - 11/26/12 12:12 PM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5295
Loc: Philadelphia
Well-played, sir. I knew you had it in you to get this piece in 2 months' time. I am not such an expert on the ballades that I could discuss intricate details, but I was able to hear in a couple places where a few notes did not lead to the next phrase/section--almost like you were still working to get those few notes under your fingers. Over a 12-minute piece, it was nearly unnoticeable, and certainly nothing over which to worry. I am absolutely certain that as you stick with the piece, anything I may have heard will iron itself out. You always play very well. smile
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1991240 - 11/26/12 08:13 PM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
Arghhh Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 1061
Great work on this piece. One thing I noticed at the beginning is that sometimes either the meter (it's in 3? I don't have the score handy) or your thumb interferes with the phrasing of the melody so that the last note in the phrase is louder than the previous note.

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#1991273 - 11/26/12 11:10 PM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5245
Loc: Europe
I think that for a couple of months work, this is top notch. I'm sure that there are things to change and make 'better' in a sense, but right now it IS presentable and that's all it matter.

And since it's Tuesday: Best of luck today! Break a leg! smile
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1991308 - 11/27/12 02:12 AM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: Nikolas]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6294
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
I think that for a couple of months work, this is top notch. I'm sure that there are things to change and make 'better' in a sense, but right now it IS presentable and that's all it matter. And since it's Tuesday: Best of luck today! Break a leg! smile


DITTO !!!! This is quite an accomplishment for only two months work. thumb
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YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#1991313 - 11/27/12 03:34 AM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: Arghhh]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: Arghhh
Great work on this piece. One thing I noticed at the beginning is that sometimes either the meter (it's in 3? I don't have the score handy) or your thumb interferes with the phrasing of the melody so that the last note in the phrase is louder than the previous note.


I'm not sure what you mean, but you may be describing something that's intentional. The metre is in 2 (6/8) so I guess that means I need to take it a little faster lol

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#1991400 - 11/27/12 09:38 AM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Right. Concert done and dusted. Criticise away people laugh.

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#1991454 - 11/27/12 11:48 AM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5295
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Right. Concert done and dusted. Criticise away people laugh.

In that case, it sucked. smokin

Truthfully, though, there ain't much to criticize. You came, you saw, you kicked its @$$. wink
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1991525 - 11/27/12 02:16 PM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19271
Loc: New York City
I thought the tempo for much of the piece was very slow. I did look up the timing on a lot of Youtube performances by well known pianists and your performance wasn't that slow compared to at least some of them and even took the same time as a few of them. But I think they all played the the technically difficult(not just meaning the coda) parts quite a bit faster. I actually thought your posted performance was meant to be just the speed you could play it at present(not the final performance tempo) until I realized you would be playing it in a few days.

What else was on your recital?

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#1991548 - 11/27/12 03:03 PM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: Derulux]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: Derulux

Truthfully, though, there ain't much to criticize.


In British english most ize endings are spelled ise.

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#1991551 - 11/27/12 03:07 PM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: pianoloverus]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I thought the tempo for much of the piece was very slow. I did look up the timing on a lot of Youtube performances by well known pianists and your performance wasn't that slow compared to at least some of them and even took the same time as a few of them. But I think they all played the the technically difficult(not just meaning the coda) parts quite a bit faster. I actually thought your posted performance was meant to be just the speed you could play it at present(not the final performance tempo) until I realized you would be playing it in a few days.

What else was on your recital?


Well I would certainly say it was quite a safe speed, this obviously being because I haven't known it very long. But to be honest, there are bits of it, such as the coda, which I think are often taken too fast. If you look at the score, the coda is in the same tempo as the rest of the piece, but people often take it much faster. I agree that the tempo I set at the beginning is too plodding though. I think it works in a performance at that speed (it was find this afternoon) but it will become a bit faster as I know it better. I would advise against making performance decisions based on a quantitative analysis of youtube videos though.

The rest of my programme was Beethoven bagatelles and moonlight sonata, and some rachmaninoff etudes.


Edited by debrucey (11/27/12 03:09 PM)

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#1991557 - 11/27/12 03:27 PM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19271
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I would advise against making performance decisions based on a quantitative analysis of youtube videos though.
I only used the timings of other Youtube performances to check/verify my initial reaction that your performance seemed slow. I was actually surprised that some fo the performances had timings close to yours although I think those performances still had the more technically challenging parts performed considrably faster than on your video.


Edited by pianoloverus (11/27/12 03:28 PM)

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#1991569 - 11/27/12 03:43 PM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I find it so strange that someone would choose to play the technically challenging parts considerably faster than the rest of the piece. There are a few places where Chopin writes in accels but they are few and far in between. I guess it's just performance practice.

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#1992429 - 11/29/12 01:44 PM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
Tim Adrianson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1044
Greatly enjoyed your presentation of the Ballade, Debrucey! I tend to agree with you that there is a perception that the virtuosic portions of this piece need to be quite fast and explosive,but there is no specific indication of this on the printed page, and Chopin was quite exacting in his directives. I think that there is a certain richness of expression to be gained in not being so propulsive in gesture.

As far as longer term considerations are concerned -- I find the present performance too dutiful by half, somewhat foursquare and prosaic. I would look for more subtle voicings, particularly in the left hand. Also, I don't think the dynamic range is sufficient at several junctures -- Chopin specifically called for "pp" at several points, and I never really heard that convincingly presented. I also think that there are three different "songs" with different character that occur as the Ballade (the story?) progresses, but in your performance I get more the sense of one extended line, which for me gets a little, well, boring. For example, I would look to emphasize the restless, yearning element of the "big" song, and perhaps emphasize the hymnlike character of the second, just for the sake of heightened contrast.

In context,I fully understand your decision to provide "safe" choices in the short term. But I think there is much more to be mined, in terms of expressive impetus, and particularly so within your overall perspective of the tempos. Hope to hear another posting from you in six months or so. Thanks for sharing this!

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#2000731 - 12/17/12 03:07 PM Re: Chopin 4th ballade in two months, the sequel... [Re: debrucey]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Thankyou all for your kind words. I look forward to posting an improved version of this sometime next year smile

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