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#2025632 - 02/01/13 10:28 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Kuanpiano]
argerichfan Online   sick
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8825
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
I cheat by performing the Godowsky etudes which are easier than the originals...

You're not laughing (okay, no smiley) I hope. There is some truth in that.
_________________________
Jason

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#2025642 - 02/01/13 10:53 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: argerichfan]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
I cheat by performing the Godowsky etudes which are easier than the originals...

You're not laughing (okay, no smiley) I hope. There is some truth in that.


Indeed, there is! With some of the etudes, anyway.

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#2025667 - 02/02/13 12:37 AM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Orange Soda King]
argerichfan Online   sick
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8825
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
I cheat by performing the Godowsky etudes which are easier than the originals...

You're not laughing (okay, no smiley) I hope. There is some truth in that.


Indeed, there is! With some of the etudes, anyway.

Well, it is an interesting situation.

David Saperton -who knew Godowsky- was a great champion of the Chopin paraphrases, and recorded several of them.

I heard them once back-to-back with a few recordings he made of the Chopin originals. Perhaps I wasn't in full command of my senses (was I going through unrequited love as a misty-eyed uni student?), yet it very much seemed to me that Saperton was apparently more comfortable in Godowsky territory, rather than Chopin territory. He seemed mildly flummoxed with Chopin's originals, technically and musically. Certainly he was no match for Ashkenazy.

From that point on, I have always suspected -for all the build-up of fancy counterpoint and embroidery- Godowsky's sugary confections are actually NOT more difficult than the originals.

But IMO Godowsky's Tower of Babel fails a simple acid test: I can listen to all of Chopin's Op 10 or 25 in one sitting, yet I cannot listen to more than three or four of the Godowsky paraphrases in a row without my ear growing very tired (and exasperated) with a sound world which is so constricted and impotent emotionally. If one wishes to gild the lily, do so in moderation.

Which brings me to my point that I think the Godowsky paraphrases are more interesting to look at in score than to listen to.
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Jason

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#2025675 - 02/02/13 12:50 AM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I can't listen to either sets all the way through back to back, haha.

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#2025679 - 02/02/13 01:07 AM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: argerichfan]
Thrill Science Offline
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Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 513
Loc: California
That's an interesting comment. I can listen to op 10 or 25 all the way through easily. I've done it an uncountable number of times in my 50 years.

But I can't listen to the Liszt Etudes without getting exhausted!
_________________________
Robert Swirsky
Thrill Science, Inc.

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#2025682 - 02/02/13 01:12 AM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Orange Soda King]
outo Offline
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Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 529
Loc: Finland
The etudes are IMO great compositions and have a lot of musical value. He may have had the idea of the technical concerns in his mind but could not help to create new musical ideas as well. They were written at the time when he got to know many virtuoso pianists and understood that he had his own unique way of playing and probably wanted to show others what could be achieved with his way. This is my theory, obviously cannot be proven smile

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#2025701 - 02/02/13 02:20 AM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Damon]
trigalg693 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 563
Originally Posted By: Damon

thumb I like the Chopin etudes, but they strike me as pop tunes with a technical problem thrown on top. Hard to learn, easy to memorize.


It seems that it is again us two defending this rational viewpoint that I believe most people share (how often do you see Chopin etudes programmed?) against the angry hordes of die-hard Chopin fans.

Gotta love this forum.

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#2025706 - 02/02/13 02:45 AM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: outo]
kuifje Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 110
Originally Posted By: outo
The etudes are IMO great compositions and have a lot of musical value. He may have had the idea of the technical concerns in his mind but could not help to create new musical ideas as well. They were written at the time when he got to know many virtuoso pianists and understood that he had his own unique way of playing and probably wanted to show others what could be achieved with his way. This is my theory, obviously cannot be proven smile

I think this sounds very plausible

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#2025743 - 02/02/13 06:16 AM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7767
I think they are pretty varied in musical worth. Certainly op. 10, no. 3 is a keeper, musically. But the one just before it, to me, is just not very interesting as music. True, it's more interesting than many Czerny studies, but that's not saying a great deal.

I also think it can be difficult for those of us who have attempted any of them to sort out the musical interest from the technical interest. I don't think I can recall a single time when, hearing someone play them, the technical aspect didn't come into play in how I appreciated the performance. To me, that tells me they aren't working as pure music. YMMV, of course.







Edited by wr (02/02/13 06:17 AM)

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#2025759 - 02/02/13 07:37 AM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: wr]
outo Offline
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Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 529
Loc: Finland
Originally Posted By: wr


I also think it can be difficult for those of us who have attempted any of them to sort out the musical interest from the technical interest. I don't think I can recall a single time when, hearing someone play them, the technical aspect didn't come into play in how I appreciated the performance. To me, that tells me they aren't working as pure music.


They are working pretty well as pure music for many of us who don't dare to attempt to play them smile

OTOH whatever piece I have played changes as a hearing experience after that. Not necessarily for the worse though.

But maybe you do have a point, I listened to the etudes for years as just music played by the greats, without even seeing the scores, so my view is probably very different...


Edited by outo (02/02/13 07:37 AM)

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#2025773 - 02/02/13 08:30 AM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: trigalg693]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19230
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: trigalg693

It seems that it is again us two defending this rational viewpoint that I believe most people share (how often do you see Chopin etudes programmed)...?
Quite often in my experience, at least for one book.

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#2025852 - 02/02/13 11:33 AM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4526
Loc: in the past
Well Jeffrey, you said something along the lines of "other composers have tried to come up with similar exercises..." and so this is what largely the etudes are - exercises. Whereas Liszt and Rachmaninoff are more musical works.. IMHO.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2025861 - 02/02/13 11:57 AM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
ABC Vermonter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/09
Posts: 236
This is another aspect of cheating: "I’ve been surprised that even some professional pianists are rather inaccurate listeners. In an audition, a young player flew through Chopin’s Étude, opus 10, no. 2. She omitted the middle notes of many of the three-note chords in the right-hand part. After she left the room, some remarked on the speed and perfection of her playing. When a colleague pointed out that the piece had been simplified by leaving out those middle notes, not everyone agreed that the notes had been omitted."

The entire essay: http://www.artsjournal.com/pianomorphosis/2011/10/piano-ear.html

BTW, Prof. Bruce Brubaker is a wonderful masterclass teacher.

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#2025887 - 02/02/13 12:32 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: ABC Vermonter]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 513
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter
When a colleague pointed out that the piece had been simplified by leaving out those middle notes, not everyone agreed that the notes had been omitted."

The entire essay: http://www.artsjournal.com/pianomorphosis/2011/10/piano-ear.html

BTW, Prof. Bruce Brubaker is a wonderful masterclass teacher.



If it helps you make music, you can always master it with the cheats, and return to it when your technical skills pick up.

(And by "cheats" I don't mean overtly simplifying the music, just solving a problem here and there--as I do--by not holding a note or omitting a doubled note, etc.)

Now back to practicing!
_________________________
Robert Swirsky
Thrill Science, Inc.

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#2025892 - 02/02/13 12:37 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Pogorelich.]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3726
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich
...and so this is what largely the etudes are - exercises. Whereas Liszt and Rachmaninoff are more musical works.. IMHO.

This is the musical opinion I'm astonished to find around here. I'd never heard it before. To me, the etudes have the same musical worth as the nocturnes.

-J
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#2025894 - 02/02/13 12:41 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Pogorelich. Offline
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Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4526
Loc: in the past
I'm puzzled how anyone can think that... most of the etudes contain pure harmonic significance, and something like the nocturnes or the sonatas have so much more melodic and musical substance...

I don't mean that in a bad way, the etudes are great and very useful.
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

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#2025896 - 02/02/13 12:43 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich
...and so this is what largely the etudes are - exercises. Whereas Liszt and Rachmaninoff are more musical works.. IMHO.

This is the musical opinion I'm astonished to find around here. I'd never heard it before. To me, the etudes have the same musical worth as the nocturnes.

I agree, including with the surprise at what we're seeing, although I'd say it's a different kind of musical worth with the etudes, which includes an appreciation of it being in the context of an etude. You might say I'm giving 'extra credit' for that; I'm not sure because for me that appreciation is such an inherent aspect of the appreciation of the music and of what the composer did.

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#2025912 - 02/02/13 01:30 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: beet31425]
Damon Online   happy
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6080
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich
...and so this is what largely the etudes are - exercises. Whereas Liszt and Rachmaninoff are more musical works.. IMHO.

This is the musical opinion I'm astonished to find around here. I'd never heard it before. To me, the etudes have the same musical worth as the nocturnes.

-J


I find this opinion more astonishing, and I don't dislike the etudes. But to compare them musically to Chopin's more thoughtful pieces is an exercise in worship, IMO.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2025921 - 02/02/13 01:52 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Damon]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3726
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Damon
I find this opinion more astonishing, and I don't dislike the etudes. But to compare them musically to Chopin's more thoughtful pieces is an exercise in worship, IMO.

Nope, not an exercise in anything; we just have different opinions.

Chopin is far from my favorite composer. I'm not even familiar with his concerti. But I got keyed on to the poetry in the etudes from an early age, and they remain some of my favorite compositions of his. I've always thought of them as pure music, no different from the other wondrous varieties of his output.

But given our very divergent views regarding Chopin vs. Liszt, I'm not surprised if we not only don't agree, but fundamentally don't understand each other. smile

-J
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#2025922 - 02/02/13 01:56 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: beet31425
....I'm not even familiar with his concerti....

You're kidding!

Try the F minor a little....


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#2025926 - 02/02/13 02:07 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
Regarding whether the "musical" value of the Etudes does or doesn't include an appreciation of the 'technique' aspects (of both composer and performer):

It's hard for me to see that people think those things can or should be separated. Like....(warning, remote analogy coming) ha in the above video, is our appreciation of the music not influenced by our seeing and knowing that the performer is about 150 years old? grin

For me it certainly is, just as when I heard Horszowski play at 98 or 99, that was an extreme extra factor in the appreciation of the music. Likewise, when a child plays classical music very well but not necessarily extraordinarily, some people don't understand that there's much more interest in it than when any number of adult professional pianists play much better. Epiphenomena are part of the phenomenon. smile
At least for many people, and I'd guess for most.
And with the etudes, I think this would apply even to most people who don't know anything about playing the piano or who aren't particularly into classical music. I think they still usually have some appreciation for what's going on, and that their sense of the music per se includes a contribution from that.


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#2025929 - 02/02/13 02:18 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Mark_C]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3726
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
And with the etudes, I think this would apply even to most people who don't know anything about playing the piano or who aren't particularly into classical music. I think they still usually have some appreciation for what's going on, and that their sense of the music per se includes a contribution from that.

Maybe I'm even more a purist than you, then!

Because I think I could take someone who doesn't know music, say to them "here's some Chopin", play an etude... and (if I play it right) have the same kind of overall musical/emotional connection as if I had played a nocturne or a mazurka. The epiphenomenon of its being an etude is, for me, far from the essence of the thing.

Following your pattern of vaguely related musical metaphors smile , the fact that these pieces are "etudes" is a little like the fact that Beethoven wrote his late sonatas when deaf. An important fact, and something everyone "should" know, but in the end a bit of a formal curiosity compared to the intensity and wonder of the music itself.

-J
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#2025943 - 02/02/13 03:04 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: beet31425]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: beet31425
....Because I think I could take someone who doesn't know music, say to them "here's some Chopin", play an etude... and (if I play it right) have the same kind of overall musical/emotional connection as if I had played a nocturne or a mazurka. The epiphenomenon of its being an etude is, for me, far from the essence of the thing.

I don't see that you're disagreeing with what I said, maybe just seeing differently what's going on in the person's head. I meant that the person has "the same kind of overall musical/emotional connection"!

Quote:
Following your pattern of vaguely related musical metaphors smile , the fact that these pieces are "etudes" is a little like the fact that Beethoven wrote his late sonatas when deaf....

Yes -- but there's a big difference. The things I was talking about are tangible parts of the performance, not involving any external factor or requiring any external knowledge. (About the age thing, I was assuming we can see the performer, as in the Rubinstein video.)

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#2025946 - 02/02/13 03:16 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
MusicaMusique Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/27/12
Posts: 47
Oh, I need to ''cheat'' like that all the time because I have short finger, and I think it is okay to ''cheat'', think about when you closed your eyes, you won't know a person using which finger to touch your back, they feel all the same, right?

grin
_________________________
http://tmblr.co/ZKFc3uUhVdhZ

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#2025955 - 02/02/13 03:58 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: MusicaMusique]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 513
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: MusicaMusique
Oh, I need to ''cheat'' like that all the time because I have short finger, and I think it is okay to ''cheat'', think about when you closed your eyes, you won't know a person using which finger to touch your back, they feel all the same, right?


Exactly! I'm glad I'm not the only cheater here--or at least not the only one who will admit to it. (Maybe we can pitch a new reality show: "Cheaters: Piano")
_________________________
Robert Swirsky
Thrill Science, Inc.

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#2025983 - 02/02/13 05:38 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: beet31425]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7767
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich
...and so this is what largely the etudes are - exercises. Whereas Liszt and Rachmaninoff are more musical works.. IMHO.

This is the musical opinion I'm astonished to find around here. I'd never heard it before. To me, the etudes have the same musical worth as the nocturnes.



I have some dim memory of reading that Chopin himself shared the opinion that his etudes, or at least some of them, weren't as musically valuable as his other compositions. Maybe someone knows the exact reference - I could be misremembering it.

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#2026007 - 02/02/13 06:57 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
Okiikahuna Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 111
Well, since confession is good for the soul, I admit: Years ago when I was in college, I left those two right hand octaves out of the 10-2 A minor etude. You know, the F octave with the Ab in the middle in the Db chord, and the G octave two bars later in the Eb chord. Nobody noticed (I think they were distracted by the fact that my performance generally sucked), but I've still been wracked with guilt for many years.

Oh, and while I'm at it: That story about being injured by an IED while playing La Campanella in Iraq was made up as well. The truth is, I can't even play La Campanella.

I feel much better now.

K.

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#2026010 - 02/02/13 07:03 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19230
Loc: New York City
I think a big difference between the Chopin Etudes and the ones by Liszt or Rachmaninov is that the Chopin Etudes are mostly much shorter.

Thus one cannot really expect them to be as musically developed as a longer work. But, for me, that doesn't make the huge majority of them less significant than the etudes of Rachmaninov or Liszt anymore than one would say the mostly very short Chopin Prelude(quite a few of which could pass as etudes) are minor works.


Edited by pianoloverus (02/02/13 07:06 PM)

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#2026020 - 02/02/13 07:36 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Damon]
argerichfan Online   sick
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8825
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Damon

... and I don't dislike the etudes. But to compare them musically to Chopin's more thoughtful pieces is an exercise in worship, IMO.

Well I took note of the 'IMO', but I totally disagree. Your use of the word 'worship' is utterly insulting, I have no problem rating the etudes amongst the finest of Chopin's works.

Sorry mate, did you ever study music at uni?
_________________________
Jason

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#2026025 - 02/02/13 08:08 PM Re: How do *you* cheat? (Chopin Etudes) [Re: Thrill Science]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
I don't get it... why is the musicality of Chopin's etudes being questioned? They're all lovely little gems of music! (especially op. 25)

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