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#2064563 - 04/14/13 04:02 PM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2630
Loc: Netherlands
a few thoughts: it is a masterpiece by a great master, but he wrote more of the same caliber, why this quasi-mythical status of the 4th ballade? I prefer the 1st, or the 2nd/3rd sonatas, or the barcarolle...It has it's difficulties, technically and musically indeed, as much as a Mozart-sonata, the Goldbergs, the Kinderszenen, may be not in the same quantities, but nevertheless. It's 'holy' reputation is a miracle to me, it's a pinnacle in the repertoire, indeed, as are so many other pieces, there are thirds in the coda, or difficult passages in the variations of the main theme, or some tricky negotiations of the climax of the 2nd theme, well, ok, fine.
It is quite hard to bring it all together as a whole, fine, what about the Liszt-sonata? It's 'just' one of the staples of every serious pianist's repertoire, and should get everyone's attention, but that applies to so many other pieces, it's a pianist's 'duty' to pay attention to it, and to all the other material left to us: we, humble reproducers of the great masters of days gone by.
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#2064603 - 04/14/13 05:34 PM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
Ferdinand Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 936
Loc: California
Leif Ove Andsnes played the Ballade at Wigmore Hall on April 9. Here is a link to a recording (audio)

BBC Radio 3 Andsnes recital - Chopin

The entire recital can be heard also. He played Beethoven, Bartok, Liszt, and more Chopin.

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#2064614 - 04/14/13 06:10 PM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: Ferdinand]
DameMyra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1943
Loc: South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Ferdinand
Leif Ove Andsnes played the Ballade at Wigmore Hall on April 9. Here is a link to a recording (audio)

BBC Radio 3 Andsnes recital - Chopin

The entire recital can be heard also. He played Beethoven, Bartok, Liszt, and more Chopin.


Thank you for the link!
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#2065236 - 04/15/13 11:26 PM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: dolce sfogato]
Goomer Piles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/13
Posts: 128
Cortot’s edition has a really nice suggestion for the passage at mm 223 and 225. In the 2nd through 6th triplets, he suggests taking the single notes in the right hand with the left hand instead. It makes for a nice climbing pattern where the notes (E-flat, G-flat, E-flat above) and (A, C, A above) span an octave and can be fingered easily with 5-4-1.

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#2065240 - 04/15/13 11:33 PM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: Goomer Piles]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19708
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Goomer Piles
Cortot’s edition has a really nice suggestion for the passage at mm 223 and 225. In the 2nd through 6th triplets, he suggests taking the single notes in the right hand with the left hand instead. It makes for a nice climbing pattern where the notes (E-flat, G-flat, E-flat above) and (A, C, A above) span an octave and can be fingered easily with 5-4-1.

I do a different 'swindle' in those measures, as suggested by one of my teachers:
I take the previous two lower 'R.H' notes in each instance with the L.H., but not the notes you said.

But I'm going to try what you said.

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#2065245 - 04/15/13 11:42 PM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
I think it should be played the way Chopin intended it to be played; it can be voiced best that way. Why screw around with that for a cheap technical swindle?
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Polyphonist

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#2065247 - 04/15/13 11:44 PM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19708
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
I think it should be played the way Chopin intended it to be played....

Here we go again. ha

(All I mean is, this is an old -- and very respectable -- debate.) smile

What you said is based on the assumption that the clef notation necessarily means "how it is to be played." Many people feel that's absolutely untrue. I think it's only -- only -- to show what's going on musically, but you can play it with your nose if you feel you can do it better that way. After all, this isn't an etude....

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#2065252 - 04/15/13 11:58 PM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
I think it should be played the way Chopin intended it to be played....

Here we go again. ha

(All I mean is, this is an old -- and very respectable -- debate.) smile

What you said is based on the assumption that the clef notation necessarily means "how it is to be played." Many people feel that's absolutely untrue. I think it's only -- only -- to show what's going on musically, but you can play it with your nose if you feel you can do it better that way. After all, this isn't an etude....

You don't see that the way it's written is clearly the way the voice leading works?
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Polyphonist

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#2065255 - 04/16/13 12:00 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19708
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
You don't see that the way it's written is clearly the way the voice leading works?

Sure! Didn't you think I was including that in "what's going on musically"?

I guess you think that's synonymous with 'which hand to play things with.' There's a very large contingent that doesn't agree.

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#2065265 - 04/16/13 12:14 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Oh I love that song!! crazy

But seriously, just love the piece and love the journey it will take you as you learn to tackle the technical difficulties and musical depths of it. smile Also, make sure the melodies feel like a singing voice.

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#2065272 - 04/16/13 12:34 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
You don't see that the way it's written is clearly the way the voice leading works?

Of course I do! Didn't you think I was including that in "what's going on musically"?

I guess you think that's synonymous with 'which hand to play things with.' What I'm telling you is, there's a very large contingent that doesn't agree.

And you're part of that group?
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#2065275 - 04/16/13 12:35 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I certainly am. Although I never thought of that solution, I might try it.

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#2065281 - 04/16/13 12:56 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I certainly am. Although I never thought of that solution, I might try it.

What is the musical justification for it? The fact that it makes it a little easier is a very bad reason...
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Polyphonist

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#2065291 - 04/16/13 01:16 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
No it's not. It's a very good reason.
If the musical result is the same, which in this case I'm convinced it would be, there doesn't need to be a musical justification.

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#2065294 - 04/16/13 01:18 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: debrucey
No it's not. It's a very good reason.
If the musical result is the same, which in this case I'm convinced it would be, there doesn't need to be a musical justification.

But the musical result isn't the same. You get different voicing, and the RH sounds disconnected, while the LH arpeggios become too prominent.
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#2065295 - 04/16/13 01:28 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
You don't get a different voicing if you are skilled enough to control the sound.

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#2065298 - 04/16/13 01:33 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: debrucey
You don't get a different voicing if you are skilled enough to control the sound.

That's an ignorant thing to say. There will always be a subtle difference and no pianist in the world can control that. Why don't you post recordings of you doing it both ways and I will tell you which one is which.
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Polyphonist

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#2065301 - 04/16/13 01:38 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I never said I was talking about myself.

If no pianist in the world could control subtle voicings then playing fugues would be impossible.

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#2065302 - 04/16/13 01:39 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: debrucey
I never said I was talking about myself.

If no pianist in the world could control subtle voicings then playing fugues would be impossible.

Not so. Fugues are designed to be played the way they are played. Chopin did not designate that passage to be played in this manner.
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Polyphonist

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#2065304 - 04/16/13 01:42 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Irrelevant.

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#2065305 - 04/16/13 01:44 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: debrucey
Irrelevant.

Not at all. Fugues are written so that it will be feasible to play them as the composer intended with the tools available (2 hands). Also, you don't debate by dimissing people's arguments without refuting them. That's what children do.
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Polyphonist

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#2065306 - 04/16/13 01:45 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I haven't dismissed your argument.

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#2065307 - 04/16/13 01:47 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: debrucey]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
You answered it with "Irrelevant", so yes, you did. Plus, it's not irrelevant.
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Polyphonist

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#2065308 - 04/16/13 01:48 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
No I didn't.

In my opinion the fact that Chopin didn't designate a passage to be played with a particular rearrangement among the hands (if indeed that is even arguable) is irrelevant.

This doesn't mean I dismissed your argument, merely that I disagreed with it.


Edited by debrucey (04/16/13 01:51 AM)

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#2065312 - 04/16/13 01:51 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
All right, well, be that as it may, the fact that Chopin split up the passage in a certain way between the hands means that he intended it to be played that way. A minute difference in technical difficulty does not give a pianist the license to change that. Tell me, which pianist plays it the "alternate" way and makes it sound the same as what Chopin wrote?
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Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2065313 - 04/16/13 01:52 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: Polyphonist]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19708
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
....you don't debate by dimissing people's arguments without refuting them. That's what children do.

But Poly, you've made it hard to get anywhere by seemingly ignoring (or forgetting) things that have been said. Your basic premise seems to be that if a composer puts notes on a certain clef, it means they are intended to be played by a particular hand. We're saying that many people just don't accept that principle.

You're presenting arguments for why you think your 'rule' is good. Obviously those who don't accept the rule feel that other things can outweigh the considerations you're mentioning.

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#2065314 - 04/16/13 01:53 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
By the way, I'm going to sleep in a few minutes, so we can pick this up tomorrow if you be so inclined.
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Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2065315 - 04/16/13 01:55 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
....you don't debate by dimissing people's arguments without refuting them. That's what children do.

But Poly, you've made it hard to get anywhere by seemingly ignoring (or forgetting) things that have been said. Your basic premise seems to be that if a composer puts notes on a certain clef, it means they are intended to be played by a particular hand. We're saying that many people just don't accept that principle.

You're presenting arguments for why you think it's good to follow your 'rule.' Obviously those who don't accept the rule feel that other things can outweigh the considerations you're mentioning.

All right. I feel this conversation is not getting anywhere, so have it your way. Even if you disregard the way Chopin wrote it, I think that the passage is clearer and more appealing when the middle notes are taken with the RH as written.
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Polyphonist

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#2065316 - 04/16/13 01:56 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: hopinmad]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
"All right, well, be that as it may, the fact that Chopin split up the passage in a certain way between the hands means that he intended it to be played that way."

Not necessarily. I see no reason why this can be so confidently stated.

Surely the fact that this alternation is new to me despite all the recordings I have listened to shows that it's not so easy to tell the difference as you suggest.

I've already made numerous other rearrangements in other areas of the piece (none of which anyone has noticed), so adding one more doesn't bother me. 'Pianistic license' is a bit of a silly concept in my opinion, and is certainly not something that ever keeps me awake at night. To me, taking something with the other hand is no more drastic than changing a fingering.

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#2065317 - 04/16/13 01:57 AM Re: Chopin 4th Ballade [Re: Polyphonist]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
....you don't debate by dimissing people's arguments without refuting them. That's what children do.

But Poly, you've made it hard to get anywhere by seemingly ignoring (or forgetting) things that have been said. Your basic premise seems to be that if a composer puts notes on a certain clef, it means they are intended to be played by a particular hand. We're saying that many people just don't accept that principle.

You're presenting arguments for why you think it's good to follow your 'rule.' Obviously those who don't accept the rule feel that other things can outweigh the considerations you're mentioning.

All right. I feel this conversation is not getting anywhere, so have it your way. Even if you disregard the way Chopin wrote it, I think that the passage is clearer and more appealing when the middle notes are taken with the RH as written.


Conversations tend not to go anywhere when one of the participants ignores most of what the others are saying.

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