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#2035593 - 02/19/13 12:52 AM Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor
a226 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
Hi everybody,

I have started to learn Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor.
I have two questions:

1- Beside the sheet music, as a reference, I've also chosen to take lessons from this performance, which I found pretty good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9k5jOZ3_w0

How do you rate this pianist? Can I consider it as an authentic reference?


2- I can play Erik Satie's Gnossienne 1~3 pretty well (got acclaim from a couple of pianists), but I found this piece much more difficult. Is it really way more difficult than Gnossiennes? Or maybe it just needs practice?


By the way, I have been playing piano for about 5 years.


I appreciate your help.

Thanks a lot,
Mike

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#2035597 - 02/19/13 12:57 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Hello! I'll just deal with the Chopin and leave the Satie comparison to others.

Originally Posted By: a226
How do you rate this pianist? Can I consider it as an authentic reference?

Depends what you mean by "reference." If you mean making sure that you have the notes and the basic rhythms right, it's pretty good (at least for about the first minute, which is how much I listened to). If you mean a guide for how to play the piece -- "taking lessons," as you put it -- no way; it's not real good. I mean, it's OK smile but, I'd say the player is around low-level intermediate. He does a pretty good job at getting the notes for someone at his level, but that's about it.

BTW I can't imagine how he managed to get ADS on his page, but more power to him.

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#2035603 - 02/19/13 01:09 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
a226 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
By taking lessons I didn't mean the notes (because I play based on the sheet). I meant the dynamic and some technical issues like pedaling and finger positioning, etc... Thanks anyway smile

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#2035604 - 02/19/13 01:11 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#2035606 - 02/19/13 01:13 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: a226
By taking lessons I didn't mean the notes (because I play based on the sheet). I meant the dynamic and some technical issues like pedaling and finger positioning, etc...

I figured, but I was trying to be kind to the guy. grin

It's lousy for that. It's sort of a "student effort," that's all.

What Daviel posted is excellent (of course!), but don't feel you need to copy what she does -- not just because some of what she does is a little eccentric (which it is, and actually I think some parts of it aren't real good but forget that) smile but because there's an unlimited number of possible good ways to play it.

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#2035609 - 02/19/13 01:17 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6075
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
It's not really bad, but I think there are much better performances than that (also on YouTube), particularly if you want to really learn from it and use it as a model, as you say...
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2035611 - 02/19/13 01:20 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
a226 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
Thanks smile

So anybody has an answer to my second question? Actually this piece does not look too difficult, but the speed and the fact that it is in C# minor makes it difficult, I think.
Anyway, I'm at the beginning of playing it, but I'm kind of scared smile

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#2035612 - 02/19/13 01:20 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4138
I believe this is the very best waltz Chopin ever wrote. Well, it's certainly my favorite... by FAR! It's much more than a show piece. And that middle section... don't get me started.

I believe it's much harder than the Satie. But try it and see if you can handle it. Do you have a teacher to help you assess situations like these?

This is my favorite rendition:

(Take note of his use of staccatos, and the relaxed middle section. Most people rush this IMO.)



Edited by JoelW (02/19/13 01:37 AM)

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#2035614 - 02/19/13 01:28 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4138
Originally Posted By: a226
the fact that it is in C# minor makes it difficult


Just be glad it's not in A minor.

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#2035615 - 02/19/13 01:29 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: a226
the fact that it is in C# minor makes it difficult
Just be glad it's not in A minor.

Yeah -- and of course a lot of people wouldn't get that. smile

It's harder to read in C# minor, but easier to play.

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#2035616 - 02/19/13 01:29 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6075
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
It says here that the Gnossiennes are Early Advanced (SMP 8) level, which actually surprises me because I would have judged them much easier than the waltz - probably early intermediate.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2035617 - 02/19/13 01:32 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4138
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: a226
the fact that it is in C# minor makes it difficult
Just be glad it's not in A minor.

Yeah -- and of course a lot of people wouldn't get that. smile


All white keys must be easy, right? wink

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#2035622 - 02/19/13 01:35 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
a226 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
ChopinAddict:

Yeah, like you, I would say this waltz is way more difficult than Gnossiennes. This is why I asked.

Let's see what others say!



Edited by a226 (02/19/13 01:36 AM)

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#2035625 - 02/19/13 01:41 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6075
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I think you can do it though. Although I wouldn't have rated the Gnossiennes level 8, this waltz is not extremely difficult. But I think you should first try to play it on your own rather than looking at YouTube, really feel the dynamics and the phrasing yourself etc.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2035626 - 02/19/13 01:43 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: JoelW]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6075
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: a226
the fact that it is in C# minor makes it difficult
Just be glad it's not in A minor.

Yeah -- and of course a lot of people wouldn't get that. smile


All white keys must be easy, right? wink


On a very old piano it would be all black keys. smile
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2035696 - 02/19/13 07:42 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19095
Loc: New York City
The Chopin is quite a few levels above the Satie both technically and musically. The performance is what I'd call an somewhat average student performance so using it as a model for technique, fingering, or the musical aspects is not ideal although I guess the overhead view of the hands could be helpful for some. For this piece there are many YouTube performances by world class professionals with closeups(not overhead)of the hands, and those might be better models.

I thought there were some less than good fingering choices in the video. I would get a good student edition of this piece that has extensive fingering and pedaling suggestions. This is a piece where there are many possible fingering choices especially on the first page so you need to experiment about which is best for you. You can also find many editions of this piece at IMSLP, and there will be a variety of fingering suggestions in those editions.

For phrasing and dynamics the first thing by far is to carefully follow the markings in the score and not worry about "interpreting". Finally, I think the second and last page(which will probably prove to be the hardest technical challenge) can be played somewhat slower than many professional performances and still sound good. So I wouldn't be overly concerned about matching the typical professional's speed there.

Here's an example of probably a good student edition:
http://www.amazon.com/Chopin-Waltzes-Complete-Masterwork-Editions/dp/0739016741


Edited by pianoloverus (02/19/13 12:08 PM)

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#2035783 - 02/19/13 10:59 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
a226 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
Thanks. That was helpful.

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#2035822 - 02/19/13 11:50 AM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
daviel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 933
Loc: Waxahachie, Texas
Here's another version:

http://youtu.be/wTSu1jjKpgI
_________________________
"She loves to limbo, that much is clear. She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier"
http://roadhouseallstars.com/

David Loving, Waxahachie, Texas

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#2035858 - 02/19/13 01:00 PM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
a226 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
Yeah, I've already watched the great performances like the one by Valentina Lisitsa and especially Horowitz several times. I know they are far better. I just wanted something with an overhead view of the hands smile

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#2035860 - 02/19/13 01:02 PM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19285
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: a226
....I just wanted something with an overhead view of the hands smile

We might be able to help still better if you say what kinds of things you're looking for on that....

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#2035868 - 02/19/13 01:17 PM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
a226 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
Actually nothing special, I think I got helpful comments in this post.

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#2035880 - 02/19/13 01:39 PM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
Thrill Science Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 505
Loc: California
This piece has been recorded many, many times. You can go to Amazon Mp3 (for example) and purchase versions from Van Cliburn to Liberace. You should get a good feel as to the range of interpretations this way.

The performance you showed was reasonably articulate (though a little sloppy on the chromatic runs) and sound, but there are much more interesting interpretations. It's also on the slow side.

I'd listen to Rubenstein and Horowitz to get started....

What are you looking for in an overview shot of the hands? How it's fingered?

It's a beautiful piece and a great choice.


Edited by Thrill Science (02/19/13 01:45 PM)
_________________________
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Thrill Science, Inc.

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#2035892 - 02/19/13 02:05 PM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: daviel]
Brad Hoehne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 332
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: daviel


Wow, I love how Yuja Wang brings out the melody in the last repeat section of the "8th note passage" (for lack of a better descriptor). I find it particularly striking how she moves the phrase of that melody from the right hand to the left hand. The Horowitz is lovely as well, I too like his use of staccato.

This waltz has long been one of my standard pieces. It's sort of my "Stairway to Heaven" for testing out pianos I come across in my day to day life. The OPs original link to the overhead video, seems adequate for getting hand position and rhythm down. However, the performance is, quite frankly, really boring. The left hand seems particularly un-dynamic, and just plods along. My advice would be to watch the video closely to get the hand position and reconfirm your rhythms, and then, once you've gotten those things down, never watch it again.

Don't worry about it being in C# minor, once you get the notes down, I think you'll find the black notes work as a kind of "crutch", helping you place your hand more precisely.



Edited by Brad Hoehne (02/19/13 02:11 PM)
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#2035948 - 02/19/13 03:58 PM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: Brad Hoehne]
a226 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Brad Hoehne


Don't worry about it being in C# minor, once you get the notes down, I think you'll find the black notes work as a kind of "crutch", helping you place your hand more precisely.



Yes, but I sometimes have difficulty placing my Pinkie on the black notes at higher speeds. I know this is because I'm really amateur smile

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#2036036 - 02/19/13 06:09 PM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6075
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
One thing you should consider when looking at the professional renditions on YouTube though is that those pianists are professionals and have been playing for many years. Some people feel depressed when they look at top performances and think they will never be that good. Take them as an inspiration, an incentive to get better and better. Don't feel like you should reach their level now and that if you don't it is bad. I have read quite a few threads here at PW where people thought they should give up because they hadn't reached the level of some performance on YouTube in spite of all possible efforts. Take them as an inspiration and just do your best.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2036074 - 02/19/13 07:51 PM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
a226 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
Thanks for your advice. I hope I become a " Chopin Addict" like you one day wink

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#2036131 - 02/19/13 10:28 PM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: ChopinAddict]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1454
Originally Posted By: ChopinAddict
One thing you should consider when looking at the professional renditions on YouTube though is that those pianists are professionals and have been playing for many years. Some people feel depressed when they look at top performances and think they will never be that good. Take them as an inspiration, an incentive to get better and better. Don't feel like you should reach their level now and that if you don't it is bad. I have read quite a few threads here at PW where people thought they should give up because they hadn't reached the level of some performance on YouTube in spite of all possible efforts. Take them as an inspiration and just do your best.


It is a good advice for those who do not enter amateur competitions. For those entering amateur competitions, it can be fatal to have this philosophy in learning a new piece. Performances by professionals posted in Youtube can be an excellent tool to gage whether we have the ability to play close to that quality or not. The judges even in amateur competitions will consider that we cannot play the piece if we play with amateurish qualities. Of course, very unlikely that we can match exactly the same quality as those of professionals. People play with amateurish qualities will not advance to the semifinal.

Amateurish qualities = scales are not played evenly, no dynamic (flat), inconsistent tempi, etc. Interpretations is a subjective matter. Usually real amateur pianists will have more problems than just unusual interpretation.

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#2036133 - 02/19/13 10:32 PM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: RonaldSteinway]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6075
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
I don't think that right now (from what he said) he intends to enter a Chopin competition for outstanding amateurs because this is his first waltz. Maybe later, then he can raise his standards.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2036142 - 02/19/13 10:54 PM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6075
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Originally Posted By: a226
Thanks for your advice. I hope I become a " Chopin Addict" like you one day wink


Chopin is the poet of the piano. 3hearts I hope you will learn to really love him. He will make you happy! thumb
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2036145 - 02/19/13 11:04 PM Re: Questions about Chopin's Waltz Op. 64, No. 2 in C# Minor [Re: a226]
a226 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 18
Loc: USA
Yeah, I don't intend to enter a competition! I play just because it's fun. I don't feel depressed when I compare my performance to the top ones, but I try to take them as inspiration and improve myself. Besides, considering dynamic is always my priority, and I think I'm good at that part, compared to my hands abilities smile

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