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#2081594 - 05/12/13 09:39 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
xcvbnml Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 21
Just curious -- what do people find so technically difficult about the 4th ballade? I always hear about it's immense technical difficulties and was intimidated to learn it, but I found that it fits quite well under the hand and didn't think it was particularly difficult to get up to speed at all. Certainly nowhere near the upper level of technical difficulty

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#2081610 - 05/12/13 10:17 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6648
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
If I were faced with the choice, Chopin would win hands down. That said, for as much as I love the work I would choose something altogether different, since I hear it from everyone (unfortunately). It's one of those works that should be in any serious pianist's rep, but not all those who believe themselves to be the serious sort should have tackled it.
By the way, I agree with Kuan's statements regarding the ballades. Well put, Kuan.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2081615 - 05/12/13 10:34 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: Polyphonist]
AldenH Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 412
Loc: Texas
Firmly in the camp of the supremacy of the Fourth Ballade, but the Liszt does have value and I enjoy listening to it from time to time.

Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

Etude, Op 25 No 12
(It's interesting to note that the Ballade contains a four-bar passage near the end which is extremely similar to this last Etude.)


Yes! It's very striking. Today I noticed another close connection with Op. 25: the RH figuration in the second half of m. 212 is extremely reminiscent of Op. 25, No. 11: a descending chromatic scale in the upper voice with the lower voice alternating between two notes a third apart.

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#2081633 - 05/12/13 11:59 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2151
Loc: Canada
Ouch....come on, let's be civil.
_________________________
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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#2081639 - 05/13/13 12:36 AM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7777
Loc: New York City
Civility restored. grin
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2081652 - 05/13/13 01:07 AM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: xcvbnml]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19871
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: xcvbnml
Just curious -- what do people find so technically difficult about the 4th ballade? I always hear about it's immense technical difficulties and was intimidated to learn it, but I found that it fits quite well under the hand and didn't think it was particularly difficult to get up to speed at all....

Speaking as someone who thought you played Islamey better than some others were saying, I think it's a good bet that if you shared a recording of the Ballade, it would show much of what's technically hard about it. I would have to guess from how you're expressing this that you didn't take care of the piece as well as you think. Maybe you didn't exactly finish working on it, left it as a 'work in progress' but figured you basically had it? That doesn't necessarily tell you the story.

As to what's so hard about it: Many, many things, some of which are mentioned in the 1st post. The thing that is usually said is "the coda," but that's just part of it -- and even in the coda, some of the very difficult things are besides the most obvious things.


Edited by Mark_C (05/13/13 03:01 AM)
Edit Reason: Shortened (why not....) :-)

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#2081676 - 05/13/13 02:44 AM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: dolce sfogato]
pianojosh23 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 607
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Chopin beats Liszt, not only here, nerely everywhere.


Oh please. I hear that said so often, and as usual it is said by one who finds much of Liszt's music to be empty. Can't we just say they're both great masters and leave it at that? Chopin was interested in different things musically than Liszt, and their music is so different because of it. Their music has a different way about it, and Chopin's subtlety and structural depth, and more melodic writing are no more valid ways of composing than Liszt's extreme emotions, his symphonic textures, his storytelling/expounding on ideas through thematic transformation. Liszt often put the program first and didn't put any more in his music than what was needed to tell the story -completely different than Chopin's ideal- and in his own way he is a master and a revolutionary.

Are the Chopin Etudes really greater than Liszt's?
The F Minor Fantasie and the PF greater than Liszt's Don Juan and Norma?
Are the Chopin Preludes greater than the Annees and the Harmonies Poetiques?
As for the Ballade comparison...they are so different. True, the Chopin has more depth, but Liszt wasn't striving for that in this piece. He wanted to tell a story and added nothing more than the essentials for that story. In its own way it is a masterpiece and has its own marvellous virtues. But, look at a piece like the Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen variations. Is Chopin's fourth Ballade really the greater work? Or is it just a work from a radically different composer?

And, Chopin beats Liszt 'nearly everywhere,' let's just forget Liszt's varied output and innovation, that Liszt wrote many orchestral pieces (of which the Faust Symphony is as complex, structurally deep, innovative and profound as almost anything Chopin wrote, certainly a match for Chopin's second piano Sonata, just as Liszt's sonata is a match for Chopin's third, in their own ways), and works like Les Preludes, Tasso, and Orpheus that show a far more varied artist, not to mentioned the fact that these works, in their way, match most of Chopin's large scale single movement works. What about the vocal music? Chopin's piano works are scintillating, but could he have dreamed of writing a great, 3 hour Oratorio like one of Liszt's greatest masterpieces, Christus? Or the 13th Psalm? or the Gran Mass? What about the fact that Liszt's lieder are probably superior to that of Chopin? What about Liszt's organ masterpieces like the Ad Nos Fantasia and Fugue? What about the transcriptions, showing awe inspiring pianistic ingenuity that had never been dreamed of beforehand? Chopin didn't do any of this. He has his unique music and Liszt has his.

The Chopin fans around here talk as if Liszt is a child compared to their idol, and I acknowledge that he is one of the greats and indeed one of my favourites, but something has to be said for Liszt's own individual mastery that speaks to some every bit as much as that of Chopin, and it would probably be more if people gave Liszt and his entire output/ideas/innovations as much of a chance, not to mentioned his superior versatility as a composer. You might prefer Chopin's style, that doesn't mean he's greater. The different kinds of achievement in their life are not comparable.


Edited by pianojosh23 (05/13/13 02:51 AM)

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#2081693 - 05/13/13 03:29 AM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: pianojosh23]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Chopin beats Liszt, not only here, nerely everywhere.


Oh please. I hear that said so often, and as usual it is said by one who finds much of Liszt's music to be empty. Can't we just say they're both great masters and leave it at that? Chopin was interested in different things musically than Liszt, and their music is so different because of it. Their music has a different way about it, and Chopin's subtlety and structural depth, and more melodic writing are no more valid ways of composing than Liszt's extreme emotions, his symphonic textures, his storytelling/expounding on ideas through thematic transformation. Liszt often put the program first and didn't put any more in his music than what was needed to tell the story -completely different than Chopin's ideal- and in his own way he is a master and a revolutionary.

Are the Chopin Etudes really greater than Liszt's?
The F Minor Fantasie and the PF greater than Liszt's Don Juan and Norma?
Are the Chopin Preludes greater than the Annees and the Harmonies Poetiques?
As for the Ballade comparison...they are so different. True, the Chopin has more depth, but Liszt wasn't striving for that in this piece. He wanted to tell a story and added nothing more than the essentials for that story. In its own way it is a masterpiece and has its own marvellous virtues. But, look at a piece like the Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen variations. Is Chopin's fourth Ballade really the greater work? Or is it just a work from a radically different composer?

And, Chopin beats Liszt 'nearly everywhere,' let's just forget Liszt's varied output and innovation, that Liszt wrote many orchestral pieces (of which the Faust Symphony is as complex, structurally deep, innovative and profound as almost anything Chopin wrote, certainly a match for Chopin's second piano Sonata, just as Liszt's sonata is a match for Chopin's third, in their own ways), and works like Les Preludes, Tasso, and Orpheus that show a far more varied artist, not to mentioned the fact that these works, in their way, match most of Chopin's large scale single movement works. What about the vocal music? Chopin's piano works are scintillating, but could he have dreamed of writing a great, 3 hour Oratorio like one of Liszt's greatest masterpieces, Christus? Or the 13th Psalm? or the Gran Mass? What about the fact that Liszt's lieder are probably superior to that of Chopin? What about Liszt's organ masterpieces like the Ad Nos Fantasia and Fugue? What about the transcriptions, showing awe inspiring pianistic ingenuity that had never been dreamed of beforehand? Chopin didn't do any of this. He has his unique music and Liszt has his.

The Chopin fans around here talk as if Liszt is a child compared to their idol, and I acknowledge that he is one of the greats and indeed one of my favourites, but something has to be said for Liszt's own individual mastery that speaks to some every bit as much as that of Chopin, and it would probably be more if people gave Liszt and his entire output/ideas/innovations as much of a chance, not to mentioned his superior versatility as a composer. You might prefer Chopin's style, that doesn't mean he's greater. The different kinds of achievement in their life are not comparable.


I think anyone who doubts Liszt's musical abilities are ignorant or worse. Just listen to some of Liszt's more lyrical music such as his consolations and leibestraums. I don't prefer Liszt's style over Chopin, but he was definitely musically capable.

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#2081710 - 05/13/13 04:30 AM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: JoelW]
pianojosh23 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/08
Posts: 607
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Chopin beats Liszt, not only here, nerely everywhere.


Oh please. I hear that said so often, and as usual it is said by one who finds much of Liszt's music to be empty. Can't we just say they're both great masters and leave it at that? Chopin was interested in different things musically than Liszt, and their music is so different because of it. Their music has a different way about it, and Chopin's subtlety and structural depth, and more melodic writing are no more valid ways of composing than Liszt's extreme emotions, his symphonic textures, his storytelling/expounding on ideas through thematic transformation. Liszt often put the program first and didn't put any more in his music than what was needed to tell the story -completely different than Chopin's ideal- and in his own way he is a master and a revolutionary.

Are the Chopin Etudes really greater than Liszt's?
The F Minor Fantasie and the PF greater than Liszt's Don Juan and Norma?
Are the Chopin Preludes greater than the Annees and the Harmonies Poetiques?
As for the Ballade comparison...they are so different. True, the Chopin has more depth, but Liszt wasn't striving for that in this piece. He wanted to tell a story and added nothing more than the essentials for that story. In its own way it is a masterpiece and has its own marvellous virtues. But, look at a piece like the Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen variations. Is Chopin's fourth Ballade really the greater work? Or is it just a work from a radically different composer?

And, Chopin beats Liszt 'nearly everywhere,' let's just forget Liszt's varied output and innovation, that Liszt wrote many orchestral pieces (of which the Faust Symphony is as complex, structurally deep, innovative and profound as almost anything Chopin wrote, certainly a match for Chopin's second piano Sonata, just as Liszt's sonata is a match for Chopin's third, in their own ways), and works like Les Preludes, Tasso, and Orpheus that show a far more varied artist, not to mentioned the fact that these works, in their way, match most of Chopin's large scale single movement works. What about the vocal music? Chopin's piano works are scintillating, but could he have dreamed of writing a great, 3 hour Oratorio like one of Liszt's greatest masterpieces, Christus? Or the 13th Psalm? or the Gran Mass? What about the fact that Liszt's lieder are probably superior to that of Chopin? What about Liszt's organ masterpieces like the Ad Nos Fantasia and Fugue? What about the transcriptions, showing awe inspiring pianistic ingenuity that had never been dreamed of beforehand? Chopin didn't do any of this. He has his unique music and Liszt has his.

The Chopin fans around here talk as if Liszt is a child compared to their idol, and I acknowledge that he is one of the greats and indeed one of my favourites, but something has to be said for Liszt's own individual mastery that speaks to some every bit as much as that of Chopin, and it would probably be more if people gave Liszt and his entire output/ideas/innovations as much of a chance, not to mentioned his superior versatility as a composer. You might prefer Chopin's style, that doesn't mean he's greater. The different kinds of achievement in their life are not comparable.


I think anyone who doubts Liszt's musical abilities are ignorant or worse. Just listen to some of Liszt's more lyrical music such as his consolations and leibestraums. I don't prefer Liszt's style over Chopin, but he was definitely musically capable.


Yes but on what I've seen dolce is very knowledgeable about much of Liszt's music, much of t just doesn't seem to be to his taste. I overreacted a bit with my post, and I am a bit biased due to my passion for Liszt's music, but I do struggle when told that chopin was flat out better as a composer. It's my problem, getting emotionally involved with something that I know isn't important. Regardless, try asi might, it does get to me.


Edited by pianojosh23 (05/13/13 04:31 AM)

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#2081713 - 05/13/13 04:35 AM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: pianojosh23]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Yes but on what I've seen dolce is very knowledgeable about much of Liszt's music, much of it just doesn't seem to be to his taste. I overreacted a bit with my post, and I am a bit biased due to my passion for Liszt's music, but I do struggle when told that chopin was flat out better as a composer. It's my problem, getting emotionally involved with something that I know isn't important. Regardless, try asi might, it does get to me.


We're all emotionally invested in things that aren't worth fighting over. It's human nature. At least you can admit it.


Edited by JoelW (05/13/13 04:01 PM)
Edit Reason: typo that flipped my point upside down

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#2081888 - 05/13/13 12:44 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: pianojosh23]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8935
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23

Yes but on what I've seen dolce is very knowledgeable about much of Liszt's music...

Definitely, and the Liszt Sonata is currently in his repertoire, according to his signature.
Quote:
It's my problem, getting emotionally involved with something that I know isn't important.

Only worry when you stop getting emotionally involved. I fully understand your passion for Liszt -which I share- and part of what makes this board fun is the sense of a shared delight at reading other people's musical loves and passions.

I feel very passionately (in addition to Liszt) about Beethoven, Wagner, Elgar, and organ and church music. That is what makes my life so rich, that is what makes it such a joy, and that is what often sustains me in dodgy times.

(I also feel passionately that Rach 3 is not the god-ordained masterpiece that everyone else seems to think, but I'm obviously the odd one out wink ) .
_________________________
Jason

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#2081904 - 05/13/13 01:08 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: JoelW]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 778
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Yes but on what I've seen dolce is very knowledgeable about much of Liszt's music, much of it just doesn't seem to be to his taste. I overreacted a bit with my post, and I am a bit biased due to my passion for Liszt's music, but I do struggle when told that chopin was flat out better as a composer. It's my problem, getting emotionally involved with something that I know isn't important. Regardless, try asi might, it does get to me.


We're all emotionally invested in things that are worth fighting over.

I think you're only half-right, Joel.

Yes, we're all emotionally invested in things. But no, they're seldom worth fighting over. Which is one of the problems in this forum. Personally, I would choose Chopin over Liszt any day. And there are many who would choose Liszt over Chopin any day. But is it worth fighting over? Hardly. Freddy and Franz are long gone, so whose honor are we defending? If the truth be told, it's usually our own. smile

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#2081915 - 05/13/13 01:29 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
Shaylee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/10/13
Posts: 38
I love Chopins 4th Ballade, for me it would be definitly Chopin, maybe Liszt is little easier, but I didnt play his Ballade. Liszt's pieces fit hands very well :-)
_________________________
"If you want to understand the music, you don't even need ears as much as heart"

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#2081938 - 05/13/13 02:24 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: argerichfan]
Goomer Piles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/14/13
Posts: 159
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
I feel very passionately (in addition to Liszt) about Beethoven, Wagner, Elgar, and organ and church music. That is what makes my life so rich, that is what makes it such a joy, and that is what often sustains me in dodgy times.

How grand to have a life that is 'so rich' and 'such a joy'.

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#2081980 - 05/13/13 04:00 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: Old Man]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Yes but on what I've seen dolce is very knowledgeable about much of Liszt's music, much of it just doesn't seem to be to his taste. I overreacted a bit with my post, and I am a bit biased due to my passion for Liszt's music, but I do struggle when told that chopin was flat out better as a composer. It's my problem, getting emotionally involved with something that I know isn't important. Regardless, try asi might, it does get to me.


We're all emotionally invested in things that are worth fighting over.

I think you're only half-right, Joel.

Yes, we're all emotionally invested in things. But no, they're seldom worth fighting over. Which is one of the problems in this forum. Personally, I would choose Chopin over Liszt any day. And there are many who would choose Liszt over Chopin any day. But is it worth fighting over? Hardly. Freddy and Franz are long gone, so whose honor are we defending? If the truth be told, it's usually our own. smile


Oh wow... I totally meant to type "aren't"!!!

Sorry for wasting your post on a measly typo.

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#2082083 - 05/13/13 08:08 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: argerichfan]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6248
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: argerichfan

(I also feel passionately that Rach 3 is not the god-ordained masterpiece that everyone else seems to think, but I'm obviously the odd one out wink ) .


I like it, but I share your preference for the 2nd.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2082122 - 05/13/13 09:13 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: Old Man]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8027
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Yes but on what I've seen dolce is very knowledgeable about much of Liszt's music, much of it just doesn't seem to be to his taste. I overreacted a bit with my post, and I am a bit biased due to my passion for Liszt's music, but I do struggle when told that chopin was flat out better as a composer. It's my problem, getting emotionally involved with something that I know isn't important. Regardless, try asi might, it does get to me.


We're all emotionally invested in things that are worth fighting over.

I think you're only half-right, Joel.

Yes, we're all emotionally invested in things. But no, they're seldom worth fighting over. Which is one of the problems in this forum. Personally, I would choose Chopin over Liszt any day. And there are many who would choose Liszt over Chopin any day. But is it worth fighting over? Hardly. Freddy and Franz are long gone, so whose honor are we defending? If the truth be told, it's usually our own. smile


The history of music is rife with emotional factionalism. A famous example of it is the The War of the Romantics .

It's funny, just last night after reading this thread I was thinking about how unbelievable it is to me that in 2013 people can actually still be arguing over the relative merits of Liszt and Chopin. Really? Why compare them at all? I think I know part of the answer to that - in a way, it's the culture in action, arguing with itself over what it values, and somehow, it seems that Chopin and Liszt have come to represent a sort of polarity. I'm not exactly sure how to say what that polarity seems to be about to me - maybe it is between "inward" and "outward", if that makes any sense.

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#2082151 - 05/13/13 10:29 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: JoelW]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 778
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Old Man
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Yes but on what I've seen dolce is very knowledgeable about much of Liszt's music, much of it just doesn't seem to be to his taste. I overreacted a bit with my post, and I am a bit biased due to my passion for Liszt's music, but I do struggle when told that chopin was flat out better as a composer. It's my problem, getting emotionally involved with something that I know isn't important. Regardless, try asi might, it does get to me.


We're all emotionally invested in things that are worth fighting over.

I think you're only half-right, Joel.

Yes, we're all emotionally invested in things. But no, they're seldom worth fighting over. Which is one of the problems in this forum. Personally, I would choose Chopin over Liszt any day. And there are many who would choose Liszt over Chopin any day. But is it worth fighting over? Hardly. Freddy and Franz are long gone, so whose honor are we defending? If the truth be told, it's usually our own. smile


Oh wow... I totally meant to type "aren't"!!!

Sorry for wasting your post on a measly typo.

ha Joel, I'm not one bit concerned about "wasting a post". (Some might say ALL of my posts are wasted!) But I am glad you clarified your position, because there truly are things worth fighting for, but an internet forum ain't one of them. laugh

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#2082478 - 05/14/13 02:06 PM Re: Should I learn Liszt's 2nd ballade before Chopin's 4th? [Re: Goomer Piles]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8935
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Goomer Piles

How grand to have a life that is 'so rich' and 'such a joy'.

I hope that wasn't meant sarcastically. Emoticons can often clarify intent.
_________________________
Jason

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