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#2171516 - 10/24/13 10:06 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Mark_C]
A Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 301
Loc: St Louis
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
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.


What are you talking about!?? Hammerklavier sonata is really easy! Learned it as my first piece XD grin


Edited by A Guy (10/24/13 10:07 PM)

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#2171531 - 10/24/13 10:49 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8113
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark C
...Liszt Feux Follets...

Or, as some like to spell it, Fo Fallay.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2171575 - 10/25/13 12:21 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Damon]
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9014
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: Damon

Everything fits under the fingers.

Assuming, of course, you have enough fingers. In playing the Franck organ works, I tend to run out of fingers, then it dawns on me: oh yeah, Franck must have had an extra finger on both hands.

And just ask Pogo- she has played the piano part of the violin sonata and knows what I mean!
_________________________
Jason

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#2171593 - 10/25/13 01:10 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Polyphonist]
jeffreyjones Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2431
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
It is very pianistic. Try the opening - it fits under the fingers very nicely.


I think I see what you did there. The first two chords do, indeed, fit under the fingers quite easily.

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#2171594 - 10/25/13 01:14 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: jeffreyjones]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5032
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
It is very pianistic. Try the opening - it fits under the fingers very nicely.


I think I see what you did there. The first two chords do, indeed, fit under the fingers quite easily.


Don't forget the last two.

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#2171595 - 10/25/13 01:21 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: jeffreyjones]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20002
Loc: New York
JJ: No comment about your apparent contradiction? grin

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#2171600 - 10/25/13 01:32 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Mark_C]
jeffreyjones Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2431
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
JJ: No comment about your apparent contradiction? grin


Just because I don't think it's especially difficult, doesn't mean I will get it right every time!

Anyway, I play it at a breakneck speed, with a violent demeanor, and take lots of risks. At least I did in the recording I put up in the recordings forum today. If I tried to emulate Richter's studio recording, I would probably be more accurate.

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#2171604 - 10/25/13 01:44 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: jeffreyjones]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20002
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Just because I don't think it's especially difficult, doesn't mean I will get it right every time!

Here's hoping you said that with a smile. smile

This piece is very hard. It's not a snap or a breeze, with or without good fingerings. It takes a lot of work, and it's a bit treacherous even for the very best of players.

I think that about covers it. grin

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#2171606 - 10/25/13 01:50 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Mark_C]
jeffreyjones Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2431
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
Just because I don't think it's especially difficult, doesn't mean I will get it right every time!

Here's hoping you said that with a smile. smile

This piece is very hard. It's not a snap or a breeze, with or without good fingerings. It takes a lot of work, and it's a bit treacherous even for the very best of players.

I think that about covers it. grin


If you say so. Between the 4 scherzi, I felt the first one was the easiest to learn and memorize, and most comfortable to play. The other three have difficulties that I have much more trouble overcoming, especially the E major.

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#2171607 - 10/25/13 01:57 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: jeffreyjones]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20002
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: jeffreyjones
....Between the 4 scherzi, I felt the first one was the easiest to learn and memorize, and most comfortable to play. The other three have difficulties that I have much more trouble overcoming, especially the E major.

Oy. ha

You think that negates any of what I said?


I happen to think the 3rd is less hard, but that doesn't matter. That's a very hard piece too.


BTW, I don't think "memorizing" is one of the greater challenges of these pieces, but even so, I wouldn't say they're a breeze to memorize. smile

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#2171613 - 10/25/13 02:06 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5032
Loc: USA
They're all so hard. Why are we fighting over this? grin

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#2171615 - 10/25/13 02:08 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20002
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: JoelW
They're all so hard. Why are we fighting over this? grin

Because some people said it's not that hard, and they need to be shouted down to avoid having our esteemed site promulgate misinformation. grin

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#2171629 - 10/25/13 02:52 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22273
Loc: Oakland
I believe that if you cannot figure out how difficult a piece is by yourself, it is too difficult for you.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2171631 - 10/25/13 02:55 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: BDB]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5032
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
I believe that if you cannot figure out how difficult a piece is by yourself, it is too difficult for you.


Non-sequitur.

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#2171633 - 10/25/13 02:56 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20002
Loc: New York
Actually it sequits quite fine. smile

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#2171634 - 10/25/13 02:58 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5032
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Actually it sequits quite fine. smile


I don't think so. smile

OP didn't ask us anything about whether or not he could play it..

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#2171638 - 10/25/13 03:04 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: JoelW]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 20002
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Actually it sequits quite fine. smile
I don't think so. OP didn't ask us anything about whether or not he could play it. smile

Well yeah. (I forgot.) ha
But BDB was only saying was what he was saying, and I said what I said about what he was saying. grin

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#2171643 - 10/25/13 03:21 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22273
Loc: Oakland
Actually, difficulty can be measured on a scale of 2: 1 if you cannot play it, and 2 if you can. That makes as much sense as any other measure.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2171644 - 10/25/13 03:21 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3894
Loc: Bay Area, CA
For what it's worth, here's my experience with this Scherzo:

For a while I struggled, a lot. I'd always thought of it as one of the most ferocious statements in music, and I struggled to convey that, while I struggled to get the notes. It was never in control, and always exhausting.

Then (under my teacher's guidance) I started playing it much quieter. Slightly more elegantly. I began to feel that, yes, it did fit under the fingers, and I saw that many of the phrases on the first page were just based on the B minor arpeggio. I began to play it very light, and fast, and lean-- and only then did I achieve the level of ferocity that I wanted from the beginning. It never became easy, but this new approach placed it under my control (and made it sound better).

-Jason
_________________________
Beethoven op.111 first movement -- Liszt 11th Hungarian Rhapsody -- Rachmaninoff B minor Prelude -- Chopin first Ballade

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#2171646 - 10/25/13 03:25 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: Mark_C]
JoelW Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5032
Loc: USA
Oh well. As long as we're all just 'saying what we're saying' grin, I think everyone should learn the Impromptus before they play the larger works. I see them as an important segue. I think that a lot of students get a feeling of affirmation of their technique from conquering the posthumous one. Sadly, not enough go for the 2nd. I think it's even harder than the 4th. It's odd, really. It's hardly the kind of structure that his other three are. It's in a world of its own. I think I saw someone call it a 'mini-Ballade' here on PW some time ago. I like that. I wish he would have written more of these mini-Ballades with the same format. Maybe call title them "Ballade petit". grin

Would have been a lovely Chopin genre I think.

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#2171684 - 10/25/13 07:31 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: beet31425]
DanS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 617
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Then (under my teacher's guidance) I started playing it much quieter. Slightly more elegantly.


Yes! That's what people very often miss in Chopin, it needs elegance and grace. It should never sound like a bullfight.
_________________________
"In opera, there is always too much singing" -Debussy

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#2171726 - 10/25/13 09:44 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: DanS]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19941
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: DanS
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Then (under my teacher's guidance) I started playing it much quieter. Slightly more elegantly.


Yes! That's what people very often miss in Chopin, it needs elegance and grace. It should never sound like a bullfight.
Surely that depends on which Chopin piece is under discussion. I'd say the Scherzo No.1 is one of his most angriest and most ferocious pieces. I think the poster you quoted was talking mostly how he improved his technical control of the piece. He says that "only then did I achieve the level of ferocity I wanted".


Edited by pianoloverus (10/25/13 09:46 AM)

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#2171731 - 10/25/13 10:01 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: DanS]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19941
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: DanS
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Then (under my teacher's guidance) I started playing it much quieter. Slightly more elegantly.


Yes! That's what people very often miss in Chopin, it needs elegance and grace. It should never sound like a bullfight.
Surely that depends on which Chopin work is being discussed. I think the Scherzo No.1 is one of his most angry and ferocious works, and "elegant" is not really part of the picture.

My impression is that the poster you quoted was describing how he developed the technical control for the piece. He said something to the effect that this was how he was able to achieve the level of ferocity he required.

Some other Chopin works or parts of works where I think elegance is not really part of the picture: Ballade No.2 except for the slow sections, codas of Ballades Nos. 1 and 4, much of Scherzo No.2, first two movements of Sonata Op. 35, Etudes Op. 25 Nos. 10-12, Preludes in D minor and B flat minor, middle section of Nocturne Op. 15 No.1, etc.

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#2171758 - 10/25/13 10:37 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
A Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 301
Loc: St Louis
Wow, everyone's contributing a lot to this discussion! Thanks to everyone! Regarding the questioning of whether I can play the piece: I THINK I can, but that is why I am asking this question. I have not played it before. I usually don't have a problem with the musicality aspects of chopin pieces, but obviously this piece does have a nasty technical side. Do you think the technique required is much more than the Prokofiev I'm playing (see signature)?

@BDB (I assume that comment was meant regarding me): I have not tried to play some of the notes, and I have spent around 30 seconds looking at the notes, and listened once to a youtube recording. I do not have time right now, since I'm preparing for a competition in 2 weeks smile

@JoelW: I, too, have only played the fantasie impromptu and not the others

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#2171791 - 10/25/13 11:44 AM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: pianoloverus]
DanS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/12
Posts: 617
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: DanS
Originally Posted By: beet31425
Then (under my teacher's guidance) I started playing it much quieter. Slightly more elegantly.


Yes! That's what people very often miss in Chopin, it needs elegance and grace. It should never sound like a bullfight.
Surely that depends on which Chopin work is being discussed. I think the Scherzo No.1 is one of his most angry and ferocious works, and "elegant" is not really part of the picture.

My impression is that the poster you quoted was describing how he developed the technical control for the piece. He said something to the effect that this was how he was able to achieve the level of ferocity he required.

Some other Chopin works or parts of works where I think elegance is not really part of the picture: Ballade No.2 except for the slow sections, codas of Ballades Nos. 1 and 4, much of Scherzo No.2, first two movements of Sonata Op. 35, Etudes Op. 25 Nos. 10-12, Preludes in D minor and B flat minor, middle section of Nocturne Op. 15 No.1, etc.


Elegance isn't part of the picture, eh? Well, that's the great thing about music, we can all interpret it the way we like. We're free to play with grace or to bang our way through it. To each his own...
_________________________
"In opera, there is always too much singing" -Debussy

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#2171808 - 10/25/13 12:18 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22273
Loc: Oakland
If you are preparing for a competition, you should not be worrying about other pieces to play. Concentrate on your competition pieces. If you want to play other music for a change or a break, just play things that are fun and relaxing to play.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2171811 - 10/25/13 12:25 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
beet31425 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3894
Loc: Bay Area, CA
What I learned from my teacher in this particular piece was: the path to the most vicious, ferocious harrowing performance is, surprisingly, through elegance.

-J
_________________________
Beethoven op.111 first movement -- Liszt 11th Hungarian Rhapsody -- Rachmaninoff B minor Prelude -- Chopin first Ballade

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#2171812 - 10/25/13 12:28 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: BDB]
A Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 301
Loc: St Louis
Originally Posted By: BDB
If you are preparing for a competition, you should not be worrying about other pieces to play. Concentrate on your competition pieces. If you want to play other music for a change or a break, just play things that are fun and relaxing to play.


Which is why I'm not worrying about it. I'm not playing the piece right now, and I don't think posting this thread on piano world is too much of a distraction.

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#2171824 - 10/25/13 12:52 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: A Guy]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22273
Loc: Oakland
Aha! So this is all a ruse to distract your competition from concentrating on their preparation! smile
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2171828 - 10/25/13 12:58 PM Re: Difficulty of Chopin Scherzo 1? [Re: BDB]
A Guy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/13
Posts: 301
Loc: St Louis
Originally Posted By: BDB
Aha! So this is all a ruse to distract your competition from concentrating on their preparation! smile


You got it! grin

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