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#2004665 - 12/26/12 04:05 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: BruceD]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6098
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: btb
[...]Chopin needed 20 pages (according to my edition)
to write down this racy work....

26 in the Joseffy. eek

[...]How many other people do that -- i.e. see how many pages the score is when they start working on a piece, and keep on checking as you go along to see what fraction of the way you are? And, sort of curse when you see how far there still is to go?
[...]


Well, if one is counting - and why would one? - it's 23 pages in the well-printed Henle. It would make more sense (if one is counting - and why would one?) to count the number of measures, wouldn't it?

Regards,


I do that too of course, and I actually prefer it. smile But Mark_C said "checking as you go along to see what fraction of the way you are" (the italics are mine), so it is basically the same.
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#2004707 - 12/26/12 07:55 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: Kuanpiano]
square-39 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/08
Posts: 57
"Every piece is difficult. The more you know, the more difficult it gets, so every piece is difficult."

Vladimir Horowitz

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#2004780 - 12/27/12 02:46 AM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: im@me]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
My reason for mentioning the number of pages to my Schirmer’s Edition (21 pages to the Scherzo 4) was intended to indicate that poor old Fred had his time cut out (at that hectic Presto pace) to squeeze in 872 measures .

While listening to the work, I was turning pages rather fast ... (as though trying to get done before the house burnt down).

My guess is that Chopin wanted to spread the score to capture those slowing rubato passages ...so masterfully captured by Rubinstein.

My quack says that, after my attempting to play the giddy piece ... not only is the fifth metacarpal bone (RH pinky) cracked ... but my back has been put out ... necessitating traction.

You chaps have been warned!

Who said Scherzo 4 was easy?

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#2004823 - 12/27/12 07:33 AM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: im@me]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Where is the original poster?
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website

mp3\wav files

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#2005543 - 12/28/12 01:09 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: im@me]
im@me Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/21/12
Posts: 68
The reason I ask was purely curiosity, i'm tackling the 1st and 3rd

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#2005565 - 12/28/12 01:27 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: im@me]
DameMyra Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1945
Loc: South Jersey
Working on the 3rd right now. Some awkward bits especially for a small hand.
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#2005574 - 12/28/12 01:37 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: DameMyra]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4793
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: DameMyra
Working on the 3rd right now. Some awkward bits especially for a small hand.
I'm working on it too and I have small hands. I've got some great workarounds. Where are you having problems?
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2005696 - 12/28/12 05:27 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: gooddog]
DameMyra Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1945
Loc: South Jersey
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: DameMyra
Working on the 3rd right now. Some awkward bits especially for a small hand.
I'm working on it too and I have small hands. I've got some great workarounds. Where are you having problems?


Deborah,

I've sent you a PM.

Sharon
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#2005856 - 12/29/12 01:43 AM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: btb]
Ferdinand Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 937
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: btb
...
My quack says that, after my attempting to play the giddy piece ... not only is the fifth metacarpal bone (RH pinky) cracked ... but my back has been put out ... necessitating traction.
...

I hope you are joking. Hard to tell sometimes.
Wasn't there a critic who wrote, in a review of Chopin's newly published Etudes, that the pianist attempting them should be sure to have a surgeon standing by?

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#2005857 - 12/29/12 01:44 AM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: Ferdinand]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19726
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Ferdinand
....Wasn't there a critic who wrote, in a review of Chopin's newly published Etudes, that the pianist attempting them should be sure to have a surgeon standing by?

A guy named Rellstab.
This is the only thing I know about him. I've been pretty content not to know more. ha

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#2005860 - 12/29/12 01:48 AM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: Mark_C]
ScriabinAddict Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 333
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Ferdinand
....Wasn't there a critic who wrote, in a review of Chopin's newly published Etudes, that the pianist attempting them should be sure to have a surgeon standing by?

A guy named Rellstab.
This is the only thing I know about him. I've been pretty content not to know more. ha


He's also the one who supposedly gave the "Moonlight" sonata its name.

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#2005861 - 12/29/12 01:51 AM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: ScriabinAddict]
Ferdinand Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 937
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: ScriabinAddict
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Ferdinand
....Wasn't there a critic who wrote, in a review of Chopin's newly published Etudes, that the pianist attempting them should be sure to have a surgeon standing by?

A guy named Rellstab.
This is the only thing I know about him. I've been pretty content not to know more. ha


He's also the one who supposedly gave the "Moonlight" sonata its name.

Strike two!

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#2005863 - 12/29/12 01:55 AM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: Ferdinand]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19726
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Ferdinand
Strike two!

ha

But actually.....all things considered, ultimately, wasn't that nickname a GOOD thing?

I think anything that reasonably (or at least not unreasonably) smile popularizes classical music is good, and there's no doubt that this nickname has done that. And after all, it was such popularization, although different types of it, that pulled me into classical music: Popular songs that were based on classical pieces (partiularly "Till the End of Time," from Chopin's Ab Polonaise) and the use of classical music in cartoons were what did it for me.

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#2006298 - 12/30/12 12:22 AM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: Mark_C]
Ferdinand Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 937
Loc: California
That's an interesting question, meriting its own thread.

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#2006307 - 12/30/12 12:49 AM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: Mark_C]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6294
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Ferdinand
Strike two!

ha

Popular songs that were based on classical pieces (partiularly "Till the End of Time," from Chopin's Ab Polonaise).......


Mark - I'm a tad older than you - and I wasn't aware this song existed until you mentioned it here......thanks !!!

A rendition by Perry Como.......
http://youtu.be/KFXA_-2cIYU
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#2006310 - 12/30/12 01:00 AM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: carey]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19726
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: carey
A rendition by Perry Como.......
http://youtu.be/KFXA_-2cIYU

....and how about Doris Day:



And actually it wasn't directly from the song that I got into this music, but.... As a kid I went to summer camp for a few years, and y'know, they had this thing called "color war" -- don't know if it still exists at kids' camps. The camp would be divided into two teams and over the course of a few days there would be various sports events, and then it would end with a "sing" where each team would do songs that had been written by the counselors. One of the songs that my 'team' did was based on "Till the End of Time," and somehow it absolutely grabbed me despite the complete wrecking of the polonaise rhythm, which of course is a pretty basic thing. When I got back home to my piano lessons, I asked my teacher what this thing was. She bypased the whole "Till the End of Time" thing (which I didn't learn of till years later) and just said it's from the Chopin polonaise.

P.S. In later years, through the internet I was able to find the counselor who had put together that song (and also did a lot of other terrific musical stuff at the camp) and let him know how wonderfully influential he had been for me. And BTW in his rendition of the song, he brought the melody closer to the original Chopin. (If not the rhythm.) grin

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#2006460 - 12/30/12 10:02 AM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: Mark_C]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6294
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: carey
A rendition by Perry Como.......
http://youtu.be/KFXA_-2cIYU

....and how about Doris Day:


Mark - I would normally do this through a PM - but since you don't accept them.... smile

Funny you should pick the 1945 Doris Day version with Les Brown. In 1945, in NYC my Mom dated Les Brown's brother, Clyde "Stumpy" Brown who played trombone in Les' band. A few years later in Los Angeles, Stumpy would stop by our house to visit - driving a little British made MG sports car (open top - two seater). Nice guy. (His nickname apparently had something to do with the fact that he wasn't very tall.)

Now - back to Chopin. I've been working on the A-flat Polonaise myself and hope to record it in the next few weeks. Finally mastered the LH octaves in the middle section. Fingering was the key.

Cheers !!
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#2006541 - 12/30/12 01:06 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: carey]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19726
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: carey
Mark - I would normally do this through a PM - but since you don't accept them.... smile

Funny you should pick the 1945 Doris Day version with Les Brown. In 1945, in NYC my Mom dated Les Brown's brother, Clyde "Stumpy" Brown who played trombone in Les' band. A few years later in Los Angeles, Stumpy would stop by our house to visit - driving a little British made MG sports car (open top - two seater). Nice guy. (His nickname apparently had something to do with the fact that he wasn't very tall.)....

That's part of why I don't like PM! ha

(You would have wanted to keep that from the rest of the people here?) smile

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#2006555 - 12/30/12 01:33 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: im@me]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4793
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I just had the pleasure of reading a marvelous performance analysis of the 3rd Ballade. I found this unexpected treasure in a used book store and only this morning did I find the time to read the section on the Ballade. The book doesn't cover a vast amount of repertoire, but the Ballade #3 section I just read was extremely helpful. It analyses the technical and interpretive challenges in the piece, measure by measure. I just finished marking up my score and sat back and said, "Wow." :

"Piano Repertoire, A Guide to Interpretation and Performance" by Bela Siki, Schirmer books, 1981
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Best regards,

Deborah

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#2006570 - 12/30/12 02:08 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: im@me]
DameMyra Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1945
Loc: South Jersey
Thanks for the info Deborah. I just checked and they have it at my university library. I will definitely take a look.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher
MTNA/NJMTA/SJMTA

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#2006588 - 12/30/12 02:39 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: DameMyra]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4793
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: DameMyra
Thanks for the info Deborah. I just checked and they have it at my university library. I will definitely take a look.
smile
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#2006678 - 12/30/12 06:20 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: im@me]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2139
Loc: Canada
Back on topic - the 4th ballade is indeed very difficult, but for me, it doesn't pose the same amount of risk as the 1st ballade - the technical difficulties seem "under the hands", compared to the G minor's difficulties being "under the arms" with all of the jumps and leaps.

I'd say that the 4th scherzo is more technically difficult due to the lightness required, but it has less complicated figurations than the two ballades, and it repeats more.
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Working on:
Chopin - Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante
Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2006681 - 12/30/12 06:30 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: Kuanpiano]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19726
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Back on topic - the 4th ballade is indeed very difficult, but for me, it doesn't pose the same amount of risk as the 1st ballade - the technical difficulties seem "under the hands", compared to the G minor's difficulties being "under the arms" with all of the jumps and leaps.

I agree.

I make some distinctions that some people might not: While I consider the 4th ballade extremely hard, including that the musical and conceptual challenges are of the highest order, I agree it doesn't feel as 'risky' or 'scary' as other Chopin pieces including the 1st ballade. And to make another such distinction.... smile

Quote:
I'd say that the 4th scherzo is more technically difficult due to the lightness required, it has less complicated figurations than the two ballades, and it repeats more.

We're at least pretty close on that too. The scherzo certainly has fewer complex figurations, and they are maybe also less complex -- but I'd say it's more 'tricky' to play with adequate pianism and musicianship, and that fewer people can do it.

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#2006795 - 12/30/12 10:47 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: im@me]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Mark, you said that little bit towards the end of scherzo 4 is the most difficult Chopin you have ever played? I'm just wondering which run in scherzo 4 is most difficult for you?

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#2006799 - 12/30/12 10:55 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19726
Loc: New York
I don't think any one "run" stands out; I think many of them -- all of them actually -- are very hard in terms of the aspects I mentioned. If I had to mention one....well it's not really a "run" either, but, the part with the brief complex running 8th note figure in the L.H., with the 8th notes then getting transferred to the R.H. and the L.H. then has the leaping figure with a bit of a melody within it. It's the passage starting at 1:57:
(and the repetition in the recap)


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#2006801 - 12/30/12 11:01 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Ahh, with the weird left hand 'octave turns' and the ascending right hand?

1:58?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8X1Rs_LNeQ


I've heard going up is quite a bit harder than coming back down.

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#2006803 - 12/30/12 11:05 PM Re: Chopin Ballades [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19726
Loc: New York
Yes -- I edited it to give the details while you were posting.

As to whether going up or down is harder, I don't even know what that means. ha
Every bit of the passage is extremely hard. Saying what part is harder or easier is splitting hairs, like wondering which of two great pizzerias is better. grin

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