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#2141940 - 08/31/13 07:03 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Lately on this board there seems to be some criticism of Ashkenazy, imagine that?, glad to know so many folks here play better than he does.

Here we go again with the "you have to be better than someone before you can criticize them" fallacy. Personally, I'm not a fan of Ashkenazy's Chopin at all. I won't go into detail on why this is so, because the thread would go too far off track. If you'd like to start a different thread on the subject, Jason, I will post my thoughts there.
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#2141944 - 08/31/13 07:14 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: argerichfan]
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Lately on this board there seems to be some criticism of Ashkenazy, imagine that?, glad to know so many folks here play better than he does. (Why not listen to his recording of the last movement of Prokofiev 8? In comparison, Berman sounds so uncomprehending.)

Ashkenazy is the best I have heard. You can find it on yt.
But in your comment you criticize(as you commonly do)another pianist with considerble reputation who I'd assume plays far better than you do.

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#2141950 - 08/31/13 07:40 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
argerichfan Online   sick
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Well Poly, my good mate, who is to say which of us is right or wrong? I think Ashkenazy's Chopin E Major surpasses even Rubinstein.

Or am I not hearing properly... that is always a possibility. Perhaps my training in organ and church music is merely foolish here.

Good that we got that settled.
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Jason

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#2142000 - 08/31/13 10:23 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: argerichfan]
Damon Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan

Lately on this board there seems to be some criticism of Ashkenazy, imagine that?, glad to know so many folks here play better than he does. (Why not listen to his recording of the last movement of Prokofiev 8? In comparison, Berman sounds so uncomprehending.)


So happy that you are better than Berman...
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#2142021 - 08/31/13 11:24 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Damon]
JoelW Offline
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: argerichfan

Lately on this board there seems to be some criticism of Ashkenazy, imagine that?, glad to know so many folks here play better than he does. (Why not listen to his recording of the last movement of Prokofiev 8? In comparison, Berman sounds so uncomprehending.)


So happy that you are better than Berman...


smirk


...argerichfan, the old "let's see you do better" argument is not an argument.

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#2142022 - 08/31/13 11:26 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Offline
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Lately on this board there seems to be some criticism of Ashkenazy, imagine that?, glad to know so many folks here play better than he does.

Here we go again with the "you have to be better than someone before you can criticize them" fallacy. Personally, I'm not a fan of Ashkenazy's Chopin at all. I won't go into detail on why this is so, because the thread would go too far off track. If you'd like to start a different thread on the subject, Jason, I will post my thoughts there.


I think that would be an interesting thread... listing pianists and explaining in detail why we like or dislike their playing.

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#2142044 - 09/01/13 12:13 AM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Well Poly, my good mate, who is to say which of us is right or wrong? I think Ashkenazy's Chopin E Major surpasses even Rubinstein.

Who said I'm a fan of Rubinstein's? (Don't get me wrong, I love him in general, but his performance of this scherzo doesn't satisfy me.)
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Polyphonist

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#2142056 - 09/01/13 12:31 AM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Offline
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What's your preference?

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#2142133 - 09/01/13 06:05 AM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Damon]
argerichfan Online   sick
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Originally Posted By: Damon

So happy that you are better than Berman...

Where did I say that I am better than Berman? I was simply commenting that IMO Ashkenazy's recording of Prokofiev 8 is superior to Berman. Follow the recordings with the score and see what you think.
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Jason

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#2142142 - 09/01/13 07:25 AM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: argerichfan]
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Damon

So happy that you are better than Berman...

Where did I say that I am better than Berman? I was simply commenting that IMO Ashkenazy's recording of Prokofiev 8 is superior to Berman. Follow the recordings with the score and see what you think.
You criticized some posters for criticizing Ashkenazy, and said that they couldn't play as well as Ashkenazy and thus shouldn't criticize him. But then you criticized Berman in the same post.


Edited by pianoloverus (09/01/13 07:27 AM)

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#2142344 - 09/01/13 04:21 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
dolce sfogato Offline
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trying to avoid all the antagonism here, my humble thoughts about the 4th scherzo: I think it's the best of the 4, the most difficult it is surely, not only technically (very difficult indeed!), but also and foremost musically, in lesser hands it can sound repetitious, with a rather dull-sounding barcarolle/nocturne-ish trio and a superficial scale to sum up things..But it's so much more! The essence of the 2nd mov. of St Saens 2nd pico is there, Moszk. and the likes found a lot of inspiration here, Chopin invented a new technique, no where in the etudes can one find such broken chord sequenses, and the lightheartiness of the piece is a rare thing among the later works, quite difficult to catch, a gem, and a milestone, and a hard one to perform, the hardest of the 4. I prefer this to the others.
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#2142420 - 09/01/13 06:43 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: dolce sfogato]
argerichfan Online   sick
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Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
...my humble thoughts about the 4th scherzo: I think it's the best of the 4, the most difficult it is surely, not only technically (very difficult indeed!), but also and foremost musically, in lesser hands it can sound repetitious, with a rather dull-sounding barcarolle/nocturne-ish trio and a superficial scale to sum up things..But it's so much more!

Wonderful post, dolce! (I really should have quoted you in entirety.)

Poly, any comments?

Maybe I'll be forgiven for preferring Ashkenazy, though I didn't seriously think anyone here thought they played it better... I was just letting off some steam because, well, I do admire Ashkenazy. (Not in all composers of course, but his Chopin has always been very special to me.)
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#2142445 - 09/01/13 07:22 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Poly, any comments?

Maybe I'll be forgiven for preferring Ashkenazy, though I didn't seriously think anyone here thought they played it better... I was just letting off some steam because, well, I do admire Ashkenazy. (Not in all composers of course, but his Chopin has always been very special to me.)

Remember, I'd like to keep this thread on track. Please start another thread if you wish to discuss this.
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Polyphonist

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#2142447 - 09/01/13 07:27 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
Kuanpiano Offline
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He was asking if you had any comments on Dolce's post (I think...)
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Working on:
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Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2142457 - 09/01/13 07:42 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Kuanpiano]
argerichfan Online   sick
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Registered: 11/15/06
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Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
He was asking if you had any comments on Dolce's post (I think...)

Exactly. thumb
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#2142461 - 09/01/13 07:47 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
Kuanpiano Offline
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Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2139
Loc: Canada
And to add my opinion, I totally agree with his opinion - it's a really tough piece to play well. Though certainly it's beneficial to learn it early...before the fear of its musical difficulties becomes too overwhelming!
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Rachmaninoff - Preludes op. 23 nos. 3,4,6, op. 32 no.12
Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2142506 - 09/01/13 09:35 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: dolce sfogato]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
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Ah, I see what you meant. It was a little unclear. smile

Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
I think it's the best of the 4,

Agreed, although this is subjective.

Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
the most difficult it is surely, not only technically (very difficult indeed!), but also and foremost musically,

Also agreed. It's the most difficult, by far, musically and technically. And the range of technique required is enormous - fast scales, double octaves, lightning-quick silvery passagework, various double notes, handling multiple melodies (polyphony), etc, etc.

Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Chopin invented a new technique, no where in the etudes can one find such broken chord sequenses,

Yes, you're right. I never really thought of it this way, but it's true that this is the first place where this technique is used. By the way, you meant blocked chord sequences, not broken. smile

Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
and the lightheartiness of the piece is a rare thing among the later works, quite difficult to catch, a gem,

Yes, it is unlike the majority of Chopin's output, and consequently stands out as a shimmering masterpiece even among late Chopin, some of the greatest repertoire ever written for the piano.

The purity and beauty of this work really can't be expressed in words.
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Polyphonist

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#2142509 - 09/01/13 09:38 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Chopin invented a new technique, no where in the etudes can one find such broken chord sequenses,

Yes, you're right. I never really thought of it this way, but it's true that this is the first place where this technique is used. By the way, you meant blocked chord sequences, not broken. smile


Very interesting. I'm tempted to compose an etude for this technique.

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#2142523 - 09/01/13 10:13 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
argerichfan Online   sick
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Registered: 11/15/06
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Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

The purity and beauty of this work really can't be expressed in words.

Quite true, but I might add the 'Missa Solemnis'. No words AT ALL for that! blush
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#2142525 - 09/01/13 10:19 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: argerichfan]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
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Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

The purity and beauty of this work really can't be expressed in words.

Quite true, but I might add the 'Missa Solemnis'. No words AT ALL for that! blush

We could mention a variety of works to go into this category. Sections of Bach's Goldbergs and Beethoven's Diabellis, the latest Beethoven Sonatas, many late Chopin works, some things by Rachmaninoff (Vespers and the 3rd (or 2nd, Jason grin) piano concerto), etc.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2142527 - 09/01/13 10:21 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7579
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
Chopin invented a new technique, no where in the etudes can one find such broken chord sequenses,

Yes, you're right. I never really thought of it this way, but it's true that this is the first place where this technique is used. By the way, you meant blocked chord sequences, not broken. smile


Very interesting. I'm tempted to compose an etude for this technique.

Please do! I'd love to see it. smile

How about this; I'll write one too. grin
I'm sending you a PM.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2142528 - 09/01/13 10:22 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Online   content
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Originally Posted By: JoelW
Very interesting. I'm tempted to compose an etude for this technique.

.....although maybe about 90% of Mendelssohn consists of that. ha


I know, it doesn't really.....

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#2142533 - 09/01/13 10:27 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Mark_C]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Very interesting. I'm tempted to compose an etude for this technique.

.....although maybe about 90% of Mendelssohn consists of that. ha


I know, it doesn't really.....

Well, yes, there's some of it in Mendelssohn, and some in Liszt (you know the passage I'm thinking of grin), but Chopin was the first to use it in the way...well, in the way that he used it. grin You know what I mean, even though one can't really put it into words.
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Polyphonist

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#2142542 - 09/01/13 10:51 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
argerichfan Online   sick
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Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
...even though one can't really put it into words.

Nor could I ever put Hilary into words, but I digress.

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Jason

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#2143185 - 09/03/13 12:11 AM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
albumblatter Offline
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hWixwdOWT8

Murray Perahia playing a bit of Scherzo 4 and talking about it! Quite short, but quite lovely.

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#2143555 - 09/03/13 05:49 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Offline
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Does anyone think it's harder than opp. 52, 58?

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#2143579 - 09/03/13 06:42 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: JoelW]
Kuanpiano Offline
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Registered: 05/06/10
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Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Does anyone think it's harder than opp. 52, 58?

Having studied all three, there are a few things that make it hard to compare:

Op. 52 culminates at a "point" - the coda. This makes structuring, pacing, and continuity difficult (since no sections repeat exactly). It means that the furious technical demands at the end are harder because of the emotional intensity, plus it has to be played well in order "climax" the piece appropriately.

Op.58 has multiple movements and is a lot longer. There are more varieties of moods, structuring (especially the first movement) remains difficult, and pacing of the performer's energies is important so you don't get too tired by the time the finale starts. Each movement has their own technical and musical difficulties, but at least there is a break between each movement.

Op. 54 has a lot of repetitions with very slight variations each time, so while the primary theme is easy to clarify to the listener, it has to be played well in conjunction with the other material to sound meaningful, instead of repetitive. There's also the lightness which is hard to bring off, but at least formally it's more workable than the other two works.

This isn't including any of the technical difficulties, but in my experience, in terms of hitting the notes and the importance in hitting the correct notes, you could say that op. 54 and op. 58 are a bit harder than op. 52.
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Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2143585 - 09/03/13 06:50 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Kuanpiano]
JoelW Offline
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4763
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Does anyone think it's harder than opp. 52, 58?

Having studied all three, there are a few things that make it hard to compare:

Op. 52 culminates at a "point" - the coda. This makes structuring, pacing, and continuity difficult (since no sections repeat exactly). It means that the furious technical demands at the end are harder because of the emotional intensity, plus it has to be played well in order "climax" the piece appropriately.

Op.58 has multiple movements and is a lot longer. There are more varieties of moods, structuring (especially the first movement) remains difficult, and pacing of the performer's energies is important so you don't get too tired by the time the finale starts. Each movement has their own technical and musical difficulties, but at least there is a break between each movement.

Op. 54 has a lot of repetitions with very slight variations each time, so while the primary theme is easy to clarify to the listener, it has to be played well in conjunction with the other material to sound meaningful, instead of repetitive. There's also the lightness which is hard to bring off, but at least formally it's more workable than the other two works.

This isn't including any of the technical difficulties, but in my experience, in terms of hitting the notes and the importance in hitting the correct notes, you could say that op. 54 and op. 58 are a bit harder than op. 52.


Thanks for the insightful post, Kuan.

What strikes me about the ballade's coda is the thirds. They scare me. Perhaps it's just a weakness in my technique right now. What was the hardest part for you? (note-hitting wise)

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#2143592 - 09/03/13 07:00 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: Polyphonist]
Kuanpiano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/10
Posts: 2139
Loc: Canada
The thirds, but I sort of suck at them. However think of the clarity you need: IMO, the coda of the ballade is sort of an apocalyptic climax where everything is falling apart - it's less of a sin to fudge the thirds while delivering that musical statement, than it is to screw up the thirds in the fourth scherzo.

However, the primary difficulties in the 4th ballade are musical, not so much technical. And most of the sections aren't all that bad technically (though Mark_C will certainly disagree with me!)
_________________________
Working on:
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Franck - Violin Sonata

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#2143593 - 09/03/13 07:00 PM Re: Chopin E major scherzo Opus 54 [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7579
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Kuanpiano
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Does anyone think it's harder than opp. 52, 58?

Having studied all three, there are a few things that make it hard to compare:

Op. 52 culminates at a "point" - the coda. This makes structuring, pacing, and continuity difficult (since no sections repeat exactly). It means that the furious technical demands at the end are harder because of the emotional intensity, plus it has to be played well in order "climax" the piece appropriately.

Op.58 has multiple movements and is a lot longer. There are more varieties of moods, structuring (especially the first movement) remains difficult, and pacing of the performer's energies is important so you don't get too tired by the time the finale starts. Each movement has their own technical and musical difficulties, but at least there is a break between each movement.

Op. 54 has a lot of repetitions with very slight variations each time, so while the primary theme is easy to clarify to the listener, it has to be played well in conjunction with the other material to sound meaningful, instead of repetitive. There's also the lightness which is hard to bring off, but at least formally it's more workable than the other two works.

This isn't including any of the technical difficulties, but in my experience, in terms of hitting the notes and the importance in hitting the correct notes, you could say that op. 54 and op. 58 are a bit harder than op. 52.


Thanks for the insightful post, Kuan.

What strikes me about the ballade's coda is the thirds. They scare me. Perhaps it's just a weakness in my technique right now. What was the hardest part for you? (note-hitting wise)

For me, the double notes in the coda are definitely the hardest part - the first four bars, just for starters, are very difficult because of the necessity to articulate both voices within the double notes - then, of course, there are the thirds, and then those crazy passages up with double notes and down with the octaves in the LH, and then the last page or so with the cascading unison passages is very difficult to get accurate, and since you're totally exhausted by now (I would usually program this at the end of a concert) that makes it even harder.
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Polyphonist

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