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#2169805 - 10/21/13 11:08 PM Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1?
A Guy Offline
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Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 305
Loc: St Louis
What other chopin piece would you say it's closest in difficulty to? I realize this is a completely subjective question, it's just for my interest.

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#2169814 - 10/21/13 11:35 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Originally Posted By: A Guy
What other chopin piece would you say it's closest in difficulty to? I realize this is a completely subjective question, it's just for my interest.

Interesting question. smile

I don't think it's really comparable to anything, because I think it's impossible to talk meaningfully about degree of difficulty without also talking about type of difficulty, and there isn't really anything else like it.

If I had to pick something, I'd say the 2nd Scherzo, because it has sections that are sort of comparable in type.

Runner-up: Maybe the Winter Wind Etude (Op. 25 #11)

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#2169815 - 10/21/13 11:39 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
A Guy Offline
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Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 305
Loc: St Louis
idk in my opinion, the scherzo no. 2 seems harder. Idk, it's all subjective smile I like your answer of the winter wind étude though, the long line of notes and everything considered. Isn't it op. 25 though?

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#2169817 - 10/21/13 11:41 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
Mark_C Online   content
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You're darn right it's Op. 25. grin

I made a mistake at first and wrote "23" because I had that opus number on my brain from the Rachmaninoff thread. I quickly corrected it, but you were too fast for me. ha

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#2169823 - 10/22/13 12:02 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Mark_C]
A Guy Offline
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Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 305
Loc: St Louis
Haha ok smile

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#2170187 - 10/22/13 05:36 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
dolce sfogato Offline
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Registered: 03/29/10
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It's incomparable to any other piece, even by Chopin, that's why it is a masterpiece.
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couch� de bonne heure, but not anymore!

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#2170195 - 10/22/13 05:48 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: dolce sfogato]
DanS Offline
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Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 665
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
It's incomparable to any other piece, even by Chopin, that's why it is a masterpiece.


I always got the feeling that Saint Saens had this piece in mind when he wrote the Allegro Appassionato.
_________________________
"In opera, there is always too much singing" -Debussy

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#2170196 - 10/22/13 05:50 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: dolce sfogato]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5108
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
It's incomparable to any other piece, even by Chopin, that's why it is a masterpiece.


Define incomparable.

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#2170200 - 10/22/13 05:54 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
dolce sfogato Offline
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Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2715
UNIQUE
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couch� de bonne heure, but not anymore!

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#2170204 - 10/22/13 06:00 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: dolce sfogato]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5108
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
UNIQUE


Sure, it's unique, but not THAT unique. I could (and do) compare it to the other three. grin I feel that it's the weakest of the four, and rightfully so. He was experimenting with his new idea for the 'scherzo' and he was not quite in his mature phase yet.

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#2170211 - 10/22/13 06:15 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
ScriabinAddict Offline
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Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 335
It's pretty damn difficult. Especially when taken at the indicated tempo (had editions that went up to 126(!) per dotted half). I would say it's my favorite of the 4, not too big on the e major unfortunately.


Edited by ScriabinAddict (10/22/13 06:29 PM)
Edit Reason: o

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#2170213 - 10/22/13 06:20 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: A Guy
What other chopin piece would you say it's closest in difficulty to? I realize this is a completely subjective question, it's just for my interest.
Baille divides Chopin's pieces into around seven difficulty levels. There are at least 30 pieces listed in highest level including all the Scherzi, Ballades, Sonatas, big Polonaises, and many of the Etudes. One might benefit from breaking her hardest group into say two groups, but attempting to be any more precise than that seems a pointless exercise to me.

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#2170216 - 10/22/13 06:38 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: ScriabinAddict]
Polyphonist Offline
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Posts: 8418
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: ScriabinAddict
It's pretty damn difficult. Especially when taken at the indicated tempo (had editions that went up to 126(!) per dotted half). I would say it's my favorite of the 4, not too big on the e major unfortunately.

That's a problem. grin
_________________________
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Polyphonist

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#2170235 - 10/22/13 07:16 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: ScriabinAddict]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5108
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: ScriabinAddict
It's pretty damn difficult. Especially when taken at the indicated tempo (had editions that went up to 126(!) per dotted half). I would say it's my favorite of the 4, not too big on the e major unfortunately.


Whose recordings of the E major have you heard?

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#2170238 - 10/22/13 07:22 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: JoelW]
Polyphonist Offline
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Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8418
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: ScriabinAddict
It's pretty damn difficult. Especially when taken at the indicated tempo (had editions that went up to 126(!) per dotted half). I would say it's my favorite of the 4, not too big on the e major unfortunately.


Whose recordings of the E major have you heard?

Yeah, you probably don't like it because you haven't heard Bunin play it. grin
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2170241 - 10/22/13 07:29 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Polyphonist]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5108
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: ScriabinAddict
It's pretty damn difficult. Especially when taken at the indicated tempo (had editions that went up to 126(!) per dotted half). I would say it's my favorite of the 4, not too big on the e major unfortunately.


Whose recordings of the E major have you heard?

Yeah, you probably don't like it because you haven't heard Bunin play it. grin


You know me. But really, I didn't get this piece until I heard Bunin's. I'm a Bunin advocate, okay? grin One interpretation can make ALL the difference.

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#2170247 - 10/22/13 07:37 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: JoelW]
ScriabinAddict Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 335
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: ScriabinAddict
It's pretty damn difficult. Especially when taken at the indicated tempo (had editions that went up to 126(!) per dotted half). I would say it's my favorite of the 4, not too big on the e major unfortunately.


Whose recordings of the E major have you heard?


Favorites would include the Godowsky, Moiseiwitsch, and the Bolet recording (Marston?). Still not a huge fan of the piece when compared with others in the set.

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#2170248 - 10/22/13 07:38 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: ScriabinAddict]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5108
Loc: USA
Try Bunin's.

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#2170249 - 10/22/13 07:38 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: JoelW]
ScriabinAddict Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/12
Posts: 335
Originally Posted By: JoelW
One interpretation can make ALL the difference.

Exactly right.

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#2170985 - 10/24/13 01:32 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2450
Loc: San Jose, CA
The B minor Scherzo is just hard to control. I started learning it 20 years ago and I'm still haphazard at full speed - sometimes note perfect, sometimes all over the place. As with a lot of Chopin, accumulated tension is the main culprit.

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#2171134 - 10/24/13 09:16 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
Varcon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 1931
Loc: Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Try Josef Hofmann's recording of the first.

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#2171140 - 10/24/13 09:27 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 20457
Loc: New York City
Most of Chopin's important works have been recorded by hundreds of great pianists. One might prefer one performance over all the others one has heard up to that point, but I hardly think one must find that performance to understand a piece or decide if one likes one of these pieces.


Edited by pianoloverus (10/24/13 09:30 AM)

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#2171156 - 10/24/13 10:07 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Varcon]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2450
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Varcon
Try Josef Hofmann's recording of the first.


Richter's studio recording has the most amazing human touch. He softens the hard edges and the lullaby is so subtle and moving, it'll make a grown man like me cry.

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#2171211 - 10/24/13 11:47 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
Orange Soda King Online   happy
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6298
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
I feel like instead of asking the difficulty of pieces, it could be a little more helpful to ask the difficultIES of pieces. That way, you could get a variety of people's insights.

I am afraid I can't comment on this work, since I haven't really tried it.. But it seems like a lot of notes to wade through, especially at first. So... Many... Notes... I say "at first" because it also seems quite repetitive.

It may be rather awkward, too. Idk if all those fast figures are comfortable to play, especially at that speed.

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#2171214 - 10/24/13 11:50 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Orange Soda King]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8418
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I feel like instead of asking the difficulty of pieces, it could be a little more helpful to ask the difficultIES of pieces. That way, you could get a variety of people's insights.

I am afraid I can't comment on this work, since I haven't really tried it.. But it seems like a lot of notes to wade through, especially at first. So... Many... Notes... I say "at first" because it also seems quite repetitive.

It may be rather awkward, too. Idk if all those fast figures are comfortable to play, especially at that speed.

It is very pianistic. Try the opening - it fits under the fingers very nicely.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2171240 - 10/24/13 12:30 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Orange Soda King]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2450
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I feel like instead of asking the difficulty of pieces, it could be a little more helpful to ask the difficultIES of pieces. That way, you could get a variety of people's insights.

I am afraid I can't comment on this work, since I haven't really tried it.. But it seems like a lot of notes to wade through, especially at first. So... Many... Notes... I say "at first" because it also seems quite repetitive.

It may be rather awkward, too. Idk if all those fast figures are comfortable to play, especially at that speed.


With the right fingering it's a breeze, but I've played it for years and years so take that with a grain of salt. I went through a lot of "wrong" fingerings before finding the one that worked the best.

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#2171260 - 10/24/13 01:04 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: jeffreyjones]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20356
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
....Try the opening - it fits under the fingers very nicely.

Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
....With the right fingering it's a breeze....

With all enormous due respect to these fine members grin ....those things aren't true. At least not for everyone, and (I would say) not for most. The most we can say is that it "lies under the fingers" if you're unusually good at instantaneous stretching, leaping, and/or 'skipping.'

How good do you have to be at those things? Well, better than me ha and I don't stink.

Quote:
....but I've played it for years and years so take that with a grain of salt. I went through a lot of "wrong" fingerings before finding the one that worked the best.

Another reason to take it with a grain of salt is that perhaps your technique is far better than most. smile

Except for a very small minority of players, the piece is absolutely not "a breeze."


BTW Jeffrey, it would seem that what you just said is contradicted by the fact that a pretty good pianist said this just half a day ago: grin

Quote:
The B minor Scherzo is just hard to control. I started learning it 20 years ago and I'm still haphazard at full speed - sometimes note perfect, sometimes all over the place....

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#2171268 - 10/24/13 01:11 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5108
Loc: USA
At least it's not the 4th where you're basically playing Chopin-Mozart.

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#2171387 - 10/24/13 05:00 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Polyphonist]
Damon Online   happy
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6419
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

It is very pianistic. Try the opening - it fits under the fingers very nicely.


Everything fits under the fingers.
_________________________
Horowitz was awesome!

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#2171514 - 10/24/13 09:54 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Damon]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20356
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist

It is very pianistic. Try the opening - it fits under the fingers very nicely.
Everything fits under the fingers.

Yes indeed!

Other pieces that fit under the fingers: grin

Chopin Etude in 3rds
Beethoven Hammerklavier
Schumann Toccata
Liszt Foo Follets

I vacillate between laughing and shaking my head at people saying that hard pieces aren't that hard, which happens here pretty regularly.

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