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#2032556 - 02/13/13 04:00 PM Re: Chopin's Nocturne in Eb - left hand from heck [Re: jawhitti]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2461
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: jawhitti
Originally Posted By: Old Man

But in classical music, there is no broad outline on a relatively empty canvas. The picture is already complete. Every stroke, every color is already there, and it's the artist's job not to add or subtract, but to restore it and make it live again.

I don't disagree that every note is important. but at the same time classical music most definitely *is* constructed in a framework, and comes from a tradition where improvisation *was* important. This particular piece is obviously done that way, with the RH theme mutating throughought the piece in a very improvisatory manner. Chopin developed practically everything that way, he didn't sit down and compose at a desk like Beethoven in his later years.

I would be the first to admit I'm not worthy to presume to "improve" Chopin's efforts but let's not pretend that his pieces aren't composed in a very improvisatory manner.

I think I said earlier that notating chords would be less useful for contrapuntal works like Bach. You're absolute spot on there. I tried and it just doesn't work. Somewhat ironically though his work is renowned for its use of sequences and motifs -- elements that are considered in the jazz world to be important elements to a good solo. Bach and his son Carl Philip Emmanuel were legendary improvisers in their day, as were Chopin, Liszt and Beethoven.

As I said I personally am not worthy of "riffing on" the Nocturnes but I don't think it is stylistically inappropriate to do so. They all did. The idea that the sheet is holy writ from which one must not deviate is a fairly modern idea.

You make good points, but you're not going to be able to apply these ideas to most pieces by Chopin, Liszt, or Beethoven. The Nocturne in E-flat is an exception; there is even an alternate version written by Chopin himself with much more florid embellishments. I would also see no issues with using Liszt's opera paraphrases or Hungarian Rhapsodies as basis for improvisation, and many pianists have. They are fun pieces born out of the improvisatory tradition, and making modifications to the music on the fly is in the same spirit with which he conceived it.

But, much of these same composers' output is the result of years of refinement and hard work. Liszt's Transcendental Etudes have their germ in a work he wrote as a teenager; over the course of 26 years, he revised and elaborated on them several times to arrive at the set we know today. What choice does one have but to respect that and play the music as written? And would you really want to change anything in Chopin's Preludes? I wouldn't.

I reacted to your post the way I did because I've had to play an awful lot of bad pop music. I gag a little whenever I see guitar tabs. If you give me a lead sheet or anything that is less than fully fleshed out, I will refuse to play it. It's not my job to compose on the behalf of songwriters who have no ability to write music.

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#2032575 - 02/13/13 04:41 PM Re: Chopin's Nocturne in Eb - left hand from heck [Re: JoelW]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6399
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Where is exactly is 'heck'?

Heӏӏ is censored, so it is converted to heck.

Music is my best friend.

#2032596 - 02/13/13 05:14 PM Re: Chopin's Nocturne in Eb - left hand from heck [Re: ChopinAddict]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 782
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Where is exactly is 'heck'?

Heӏӏ is censored, so it is converted to heck.

I think the question is why? It censors, or converts he*l, but it has no problem with 4 of George Carlin's 7 dirty words. Very peculiar.

And no, I'm not going to prove it. laugh

#2032609 - 02/13/13 05:58 PM Re: Chopin's Nocturne in Eb - left hand from heck [Re: Old Man]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6399
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Yes, it is funny it should be censored, while worse words are not. smirk

Music is my best friend.

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