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#2131761 - 08/12/13 12:46 PM Chopin ballade no.1
Alex Persson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/27/13
Posts: 7
Hello, i just got done with the Revolutionary Etude by Chopin also waltz in A, And i'm wondering if you guys think its possible for me to maybe start with The chopin ballade in g minor? Or is it better to wait with it for a while? Otherwise i was thinking about fantasie impromptu but it may be hard aswell? Please give me some tips guys.:D

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#2131779 - 08/12/13 01:11 PM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1337
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
The fantasie-impropmtu is nowhere near as hard as that Ballade.
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2131991 - 08/12/13 07:12 PM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Do you have a piano teacher with work you work closely and regularly that could provide you personal advice on the matter? Surely none of us here can tell you of what you are and aren't capable not knowing you.

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#2132123 - 08/13/13 05:04 AM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: laguna_greg]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4776
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
The fantasie-impropmtu is nowhere near as hard as that Ballade.

Understatement. frown
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#2132183 - 08/13/13 09:20 AM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11685
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Alex Persson
Hello, i just got done with the Revolutionary Etude by Chopin also waltz in A, And i'm wondering if you guys think its possible for me to maybe start with The chopin ballade in g minor? Or is it better to wait with it for a while? Otherwise i was thinking about fantasie impromptu but it may be hard aswell? Please give me some tips guys.:D
What else have you played recently? The skills required for the Ballad are much more complex than the Etude or the waltz, so I agree with going for the FI instead. Or, you could try one Ballad No. 3 in A-flat major. This is easier than No. 1, but still quite a leap from the other pieces you've just completed.
_________________________
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Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2132209 - 08/13/13 10:27 AM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Gary D.]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1337
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: laguna_greg
The fantasie-impropmtu is nowhere near as hard as that Ballade.

Understatement. frown


Yup!
_________________________
Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
1931 Bechstein C - now sold
http://www.triangleassociates-us.com/about_us (my day job)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Taubman (a recent article I wrote about one of my teachers)

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#2132595 - 08/14/13 02:06 AM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 173
On a related note, I stumbled across this site: http://alanrusbridger.com/playitagain

The editor of the Guardian made it a project to learn Ballade No 1, a year-long project documented.. VERY well documented. Rather than scouring Google and Wikipedia for tips (you know.. what I do), he was able to personally interview musicians like Murray Perahia and Emmanuel Ax! I guess that's how the editor of a major newspaper would approach a piece like this.

You can see their notes on an annotated score here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://alanrusbridger.com/sites/default/files/balladewebscore.pdf&chrome=true

In addition to the scores, there are videos, blog posts, he wrote a book about this experience, there's a film... lots of stuff. And as a bonus, it's very well written and easy to read.

Anyway, I haven't dug too deep into his website (there's also a video & book.. lots of documentation!), but it seems like a rich source of information. Maybe others who have looked at Rusbridger's site more in depth can comment?

Bonus: short blog post on this ballade that breaks down the piece into 11 high level chunks http://memorisingmusic.com/2013/02/19/analysis-of-chopins-ballade-in-gminor/


Edited by neuralfirings (08/14/13 02:22 AM)

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#2132615 - 08/14/13 03:29 AM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5454
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Alex Persson
Hello, i just got done with the Revolutionary Etude by Chopin also waltz in A, And i'm wondering if you guys think its possible for me to maybe start with The chopin ballade in g minor? Or is it better to wait with it for a while? Otherwise i was thinking about fantasie impromptu but it may be hard aswell? Please give me some tips guys.:D

You can always try the Ballade first and see how far you can get. Without knowing how well you can play the Revolutionary Etude, I can't really make a recommendation either way.

The Fantasie-Impromptu is a lot easier than the Ballade, but it's not simple, either. FWIW, I learned the Ballade first, then went back to learn the Fantasie-Impromptu because I have to teach it.
_________________________
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#2132798 - 08/14/13 12:41 PM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
NeilOS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/06
Posts: 617
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Alex Persson
Hello, i just got done with the Revolutionary Etude by Chopin also waltz in A, And i'm wondering if you guys think its possible for me to maybe start with The chopin ballade in g minor? Or is it better to wait with it for a while? Otherwise i was thinking about fantasie impromptu but it may be hard aswell? Please give me some tips guys.:D


Try working out the coda first. If this feels like it will go, then it's likely that you'll have success with the piece.
_________________________
Concert Pianist, University Professor, Private Teacher in Los Angeles
Blog: http://www.pianoteacherlosangeles.com/

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#2134312 - 08/17/13 11:19 AM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
pianogirl87 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 107
Loc: New Jersey
Learn the Fantasie-Impromptu first. The Ballade requires not only much more technical skills, but extensive musical aspects as well. I know this from learning the latter many years ago.
_________________________
Pianist/Accompanist/Piano Instructor

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#2134432 - 08/17/13 04:36 PM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
Post a recording of you playing the Revolutionary and I will tell you if the Ballade will be a good idea.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2140921 - 08/29/13 07:27 PM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
Jonathan Baker Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 282
Loc: New York City!
Originally Posted By: Alex Persson
Hello, i just got done with the Revolutionary Etude by Chopin also waltz in A, And i'm wondering if you guys think its possible for me to maybe start with The chopin ballade in g minor? Or is it better to wait with it for a while? Otherwise i was thinking about fantasie impromptu but it may be hard aswell? Please give me some tips guys.:D


In one way the C minor etude was a good preparation: it is unrelenting in its technical onslaught which in turn requires the cultivation of stamina and careful management of energy expenditure, qualities needed in the Ballade even though it does have moments of relative repose.

Some pieces have restricted technical requirements...say, a Mozart sonata will require beautifully regulated alberti bass, clean scale work, etc. but largely it may be confined to a limited few technical necessities. Or another example, Chopin's C minor prelude requires very even strong chords with the upper voice of the chord singing clearly, but that is it for the most part...

But this particular Ballade requires a full palate of technique from all angles: fast octave runs that must be right-on-the-money accurate, scales sweeping up and down fully exposed for what they are, arpeggios, quite a few large leaps landing on full chords, a lot of octave 'displacement', and the sort of right hand filigree passagework that Rachmaninoff later lavished in his works. Although the work is flawless as a musical drama with each section evolving into the next, it seems, technically, to be 12 very different pieces in one. That's the challenge when I approach this piece. In sports terms, it is a triathlon.

Whenever I approach this piece I feel like taking a deep breath and pray for guidance, like a high-diver before he takes the perilous plunge.
_________________________
Jonathan Baker
http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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#2142513 - 09/01/13 09:54 PM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 248
some inspiration for you:

www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2044915/Chopin Ballade no. 1 in G-mino.html#Post2044915

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#2142578 - 09/01/13 11:58 PM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Valencia]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Valencia
some inspiration for you:

www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2044915/Chopin Ballade no. 1 in G-mino.html#Post2044915

Don't listen to that recording, it's a train wreck.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2142610 - 09/02/13 01:32 AM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Polyphonist]
synergy543 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/11
Posts: 102
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: Valencia
some inspiration for you:

www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2044915/Chopin Ballade no. 1 in G-mino.html#Post2044915

Don't listen to that recording, it's a train wreck.

The number of cruel comments I read on this board never ceases to amaze me. Shame on you!

I found Sam Rose's work inspirational. Achievements such as his should be applauded instead of shot down. To make such a self-disciplined effort is not easy in a world of instant gratification and cruel comments. Its hard to lift yourself up surrounded by mindsets of mediocrity. Watching Sam's work and listening to his positive comments makes me want to work harder than ever myself. Thanks for the inspiration Sam!


Edited by synergy543 (09/02/13 01:35 AM)

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#2142778 - 09/02/13 11:59 AM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 248
I’m sorry Sam Rose. I never would have posted a link to your work here had I thought it would be attacked with mean-spirited and unhelpful comments. Please don’t let such comments stop you from performing this piece. I think you play it beautifully.

Synergy543, I’m glad you were inspired by Sam Rose’s performance of this piece. He inspired me as well….so much so that I’ve started learning this Ballade. I’m not as talented as Sam, so it will probably take me much longer to be able to play it as well as he does, but I’m going for it anyway. So far I’ve memorized the scherzando and the coda. I hope anyone else who loves this piece and wants to learn it will give it a try.

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#2142880 - 09/02/13 03:34 PM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7571
Loc: New York City
Just to clarify - I did not intend for my comment to discourage any prospective learners from starting this piece, and I did not in any way imply that Sam's work is any less than exceptional for a pianist of his experience. However, I do not think anyone should LISTEN to his performance, because it will convey the wrong ideas and instill bad habits. He cannot be expected to play the piece well after only 2 and a half years of playing the piano. Read all his "inspirational" posts if you want, fine. I just don't recommend watching the video, especially if you haven't already listened to and studied numerous recordings from great pianists like Horowitz, Rubinstein, and Zimmerman.

I agree that my other post did not contain enough information for you to understand this, and I apologize if I offended anyone.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2159428 - 09/29/13 12:22 AM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
Sam Rose Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 670
Loc: Los Angeles
I just bumped into this thread tonight. I know better at this point than to be discouraged by someone like Polyphonist. And in many ways, I agree with him.

I wouldn't really recommend anyone do what I did. It's mostly a path to endless frustration. I don't think ANYONE was recommending listening to my train wreck to get any interpretive ideas. For that, you listen to the greats, or go to an accomplished teacher for advice. They were just suggesting looking at my efforts for proof that if you work hard, you can make faster than expected progress (which I believe I have, even if I have thousands of miles to go before I can do any justice to a masterpiece like this ballade).

Understand that beginners need inspiration, and try not to shoot them down with such harsh words, even if you are on the internet, where nothing feels real. You were a beginner once, although you were probably a young child at that time (correct me if I'm wrong). There's no need to make other people look small in order to make yourself look big.
_________________________
Playing since age 21 (September 2010) and loving it more every day.
"You can play better than BachMach2." - Mark_C
Currently Butchering:
Chopin Ballade no 1 in G minor Op.23
My Piano Diary: http://www.youtube.com/sirsardonic
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#2159874 - 09/29/13 11:18 PM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Sam Rose]
Michael Sayers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 983
Loc: Stockholms ln, Sverige
Hi Sam,

I think what you did is exceptional for a short period of effort, and that you should not feel discouraged from continuing and going as far as you can.

I knew one person who started piano a bit earlier, when he was 16, but by the time he graduated from the University of North Texas he had won the U.N.T. Concerto Competition. He played the Liszt 2nd Concerto with an orchestra in the final round. And I knew someone else who started piano at that same age and went to Southern Methodist University in Dallas on a music scholarship, however he switched to mathematics in the end!

The key for them was a willingness to work hard which is something you evidently are doing.

Keep up the effort!


M.

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#2161558 - 10/04/13 03:31 AM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
Alan Lai Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 309
Loc: USA/Hong Kong
Please, no Ballade No. 1.

Try Ballade No. 2, 3.

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#2162864 - 10/07/13 05:32 AM Re: Chopin ballade no.1 [Re: Alex Persson]
PianistOne111 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 292
Loc: Utah
If he likes the first then he should play the first. Liking something can give one that much more motivation to push through challenges.

Long ago, I also played Op. 10 No. 12, immediately followed by the first ballade. I won a state competition with the ballade so I'd say at least it didn't suck. Alex, whether or not you're ready to play the ballade doesn't depend much on how well you play Op. 10 No. 12. Speaking purely about technique, there are only perhaps 2 difficult things in the etude (e.g. wider-than-an-octave hand positions in the left hand and fast right hand octaves). The ballade is more difficult technically, and has a wider variety of these (relatively) difficult things. However, each one IMO is only slightly more difficult than what you'd encounter in the etude. There are just more of them; you'll have to solve more problems. What might make it difficult (relatively) for most people is its length, variety of textures, long lines, dynamic range, and the many ways you can make it sound wrong. If you've got agreeable taste, then most people should like it.
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