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#2208324 - 01/04/14 08:47 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: lolatu]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 250
Thanks everyone for your contributions to this thread! smile

lolatu, I also am using the Mikuli edition. What do you think about starting at the beginning and then focusing on the sections that Richard has outlined above? I'm thinking in terms of discussion. I wouldn't mind going through the sections and talking about things that need focusing on.

I rather liked neuralfirings breakdown of the piece so, hopefully it is ok with neuralfirings if I post it here!

http://musical.neuralfirings.com/category/analysis/

1.Bars 1-7: Introduction
2.Bars 8-32: Theme I in G minor
3.Bars 33-35: Transition/Candenza
4.Bars 36-44: Theme I, at double speed
5.Bars 45-66: Transition/Modulation
6.Bars 67-81: Theme II in Eb major
7.Bars 82-93: Theme I, used as a transition section
8.Bars 94-105: Theme I in A minor
9.Bars 106-125 Theme II in A major, more grandiosly grand
10.Bars 126-137: Transition and foreshadowing the waltz
11.Bars 138-149: The Waltz in Eb major
12.Bars 150-165: Not sure what this is
13.Bars 166-169: Theme II in Eb major, more elegantly grand
14.Bars 170-193: Theme I used again as transition, descending down toÖ
15.Bars 194-205: Theme I in G minor, same as first time it was presented
16.Bars 206-207: Cadenza down to the infamous coda
17.Bars 208-241: Coda con crazy
18.Bars 242-248: Cadenza, chromatic runs up then down the piano
19.Bars 249-257: Cadenza, scales with Theme I snuck in
20.Bars 258-264: Final descending flourish to the end

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#2208325 - 01/04/14 08:49 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 250
INTRODUCTION: BARS 1-7.

Bars 1-7: the introduction of the piece. It is marked as ďCĒ or common time, which is like 4/4 time isnít it?

Bars 1-3 : The piece is initially marked ďLargoĒ which means in a very slow tempo (slower than adagio). Inside the first bar there is ďpesanteĒ which means heavy and ponderous. The first three bars are all in one phrase for both the RH and LH so to me this means to play them smoothly and legato. What is the best way to pedal these first three bars? My copy of the score does not show any pedal but I believe in the Play it Again book, the score showed a pedal mark up to the end of the second measure?

The passage is marked forte with a decrescendo throughout bar 3, though the piece is not marked piano until bar 4. So maybe not too softly in bar 3. Perahia says the G to the F# at the end of bar 3 is like a sigh. What might that mean in terms of playing it?

Bars 4 and 5 are also caught under one phrase so should be played smoothly. There are two triplets, one in bar 4 (A, G and Eflat) and one in bar 5 (Fnatural, Eflat and D). At the end of bar 5 there is a rest , and then a half rest beginning bar 6. I have ďstillĒ written over that section. I must have read that in PiA book.

Bar 6 and 7 show a decrescendo for the RH and a crescendo for the LH. There is also an interesting rolled chord in bar 7. Is it acceptable to play the Bflat in the RH after the rolled chord in the LH?

Wow lots of details just in the first 7 measures. None of which I can yet play. ( I havenít tried anything but the notes so far).

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#2208394 - 01/04/14 11:55 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
So my own journey with this piece has taken a few steps back. I've been practicing on my digital piano (Yamaha P105, for lolatu) so far. I had a chance to play on my baby grand while visiting my parents over Christmas, and I have to say.. it was much harder to get the good tone on my acoustic piano. Eek! Unfortunately, I don't have an acoustic here to practice on so I'm not quite sure what to do about that.

I treat this piece as a marathon. When my friends run marathon, none of them expect to do it at a professional level. Half of them have really bad times, but they finished and they've accomplished something. They keep training and hopefully will hit a better time at the next marathon, but there's no shame in getting a bad time.

P.S. Re: Valencia
Feel free to post anything from my blog, just link back to the article, which you did.

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#2208396 - 01/05/14 12:04 AM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7606
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Valencia
Bar 6 and 7 show a decrescendo for the RH.

I don't see a decrescendo for the RH.

Originally Posted By: Valencia
Is it acceptable to play the Bflat in the RH after the rolled chord in the LH?

Yes; the whole thing is rolled, but be careful not to lose the thread of the melody.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2208398 - 01/05/14 12:09 AM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
Valencia, this is now I approached this introductory section. It's not to say this is the right way (I am not a professional or a teacher), but just to give you an idea of how I thought about each section and then how I implemented my interpretation. I also included the images of the bars to make it easier to follow. smile

---

Re: Bars 1-3 : The piece is initially marked ďLargoĒ which means in a very slow tempo (slower than adagio). Inside the first bar there is ďpesanteĒ which means heavy and ponderous. The first three bars are all in one phrase for both the RH and LH so to me this means to play them smoothly and legato. What is the best way to pedal these first three bars? My copy of the score does not show any pedal but I believe in the Play it Again book, the score showed a pedal mark up to the end of the second measure?



This section to me is like a booming voice (think: James Earl Jones) saying "once upon a time." So I wanted to something heavy and clear (but not too clear).

I foot-pedal each individual note in the first measure and finger pedal them (I'm holding down at most two notes per hand at a time), and towards the end of this section I keep my pedal down.

I find the pedal gives it a certain gravity that is good for the pesante-ness of this introductory section. But, too much pedaling in the beginning makes this section mirky, and I think this section is a very clear call to action. Thus, I foot pedal every note. However, I also like a little bit of sustain to add to the drama, hence the finger pedaling.

---

Re: Perahia says the G to the F# at the end of bar 3 is like a sigh. What might that mean in terms of playing it?



How I interpreted it is that the "sighs" shape the dynamics, so billowing crescendo (inhale) followed by a light decrescendo, sort of like a very gentle brushstroke.

---

Re: Bar 6 and 7 show a decrescendo for the RH and a crescendo for the LH. There is also an interesting rolled chord in bar 7. Is it acceptable to play the Bflat in the RH after the rolled chord in the LH?



I haven't thought of it that way. I play it with Bb in right hand and D in left hand at the same time. But hey, if you like it your way.. go for it. I do play the Eb with my right thumb though. I find it gives it more weight and it's such a pretty note.



Edited by neuralfirings (01/05/14 12:11 AM)

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#2208487 - 01/05/14 04:36 AM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: neuralfirings]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7606
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: neuralfirings
I haven't thought of it that way. I play it with Bb in right hand and D in left hand at the same time.

I can't see how that could be right. It makes much more sense to roll it.
_________________________
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Polyphonist

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#2208520 - 01/05/14 07:04 AM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2398
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
M1: <bravado> I'm going to be brave and fight for my country! I lift the pedal on each C and again on the G for the sigh. The sigh, ah, <sentimentality> the country I haven't seen since...is it still there?

The four note drop to the sigh occurs six times in the scherzando with an intervening F.

M6: Chopin Institute score shows an accent on the C, Mikuli shows a decrescendo from C to G. Both show the crescendo.

M7: I play the Bb after a very quiet rolled chord almost as a four note chord.

Neural, is there a way of containing those images in a smaller box or leaving them as a link? If they mean I have to scroll to read the ends of each line of text I'm not going to be very active here.
_________________________
Richard

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#2208708 - 01/05/14 02:46 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
zrtrf90: Do you know how to write the UBB code to make smaller images? I have the opposite problem of you, whenever I read a post with a bunch of bar numbers (in M158.., then in M60..) my eyes glaze over because I tire of constantly referring to/from the score. I can do links though in the meanwhile.

re: M7: I play the Bb after a very quiet rolled chord almost as a four note chord. -- this is interesting!! I don't see the Bb as part of the chord at all, I see it more as part of the melody C-G-Bb...stuff happens and resolves to.. G in M9 (http://www.notablescores.com/pieces/1?start=7&end=9). And because so much happens between the Bb in M7 and the G in M9, I feel compelled to make it stand out even more than other melodic notes. It is kind of an amazing cliffhanger. This type of cliffhanger happens a lot in his transitions. Other examples:

http://www.notablescores.com/pieces/1?start=32&end=36 -- A in M32 cliffhanger and resolves to the G in M36.

http://www.notablescores.com/pieces/1?start=65&end=69 -- F in the left hand of M65 resolving to E in the right hand in M69.

By the way, I'm using the term "resolving" in a purely emotional sense.

Polyphonist: First, I think playing the right hand at the start in measure 7 (http://www.notablescores.com/pieces/1?start=7&end=7) connects the right hand melody (C-G-Bb) better. Second, the roll squiggles don't extend to the upper staff.



Edited by neuralfirings (01/05/14 02:46 PM)

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#2208864 - 01/05/14 06:04 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: neuralfirings]
dire tonic Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/17/11
Posts: 1283
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: neuralfirings
..whenever I read a post with a bunch of bar numbers (in M158.., then in M60..) my eyes glaze over because I tire of constantly referring to/from the score.


- me too.

Your images all look fine and centred to me, maybe Richard could adjust something in his browser?

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#2208883 - 01/05/14 06:35 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2398
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
The images are fine...but they cause the text to scroll off the end of the screen. I'll resort to the Print Topic option, which keeps the text and causes the images to scroll off screen! smile

In the meantime I'll save up for a 24" monitor at home (and a wider desk)! wink

Originally Posted By: neuralfirings
I don't see the Bb as part of the chord at all, I see it more as part of the melody C-G-Bb
The Bb IS part of the melody. If those three notes were played to 'fifty-three' the chord is like a slow 'thr' in 'three' and the Bb the 'ee'. smile
_________________________
Richard

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#2209022 - 01/05/14 10:58 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
lolatu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 465
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Valencia

1.Bars 1-7: Introduction
2.Bars 8-32: Theme I in G minor
3.Bars 33-35: Transition/Candenza
4.Bars 36-44: Theme I, at double speed
5.Bars 45-66: Transition/Modulation
6.Bars 67-81: Theme II in Eb major
7.Bars 82-93: Theme I, used as a transition section
8.Bars 94-105: Theme I in A minor
9.Bars 106-125 Theme II in A major, more grandiosly grand
10.Bars 126-137: Transition and foreshadowing the waltz
11.Bars 138-149: The Waltz in Eb major
12.Bars 150-165: Not sure what this is
13.Bars 166-169: Theme II in Eb major, more elegantly grand
14.Bars 170-193: Theme I used again as transition, descending down toÖ
15.Bars 194-205: Theme I in G minor, same as first time it was presented
16.Bars 206-207: Cadenza down to the infamous coda
17.Bars 208-241: Coda con crazy
18.Bars 242-248: Cadenza, chromatic runs up then down the piano
19.Bars 249-257: Cadenza, scales with Theme I snuck in
20.Bars 258-264: Final descending flourish to the end


This is great! I've been through and labelled my score with these.

Some of the technical questions, like how to play the Bb, can be answered by listening to a recording (e.g. Zimerman). He plays it like it's part of the rolled chord.

Richard - try pressing 'Ctrl' and '-' keys in your browser should make everything smaller so it fits... then 'Ctrl' and '0' to get it back to normal size.
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Pianoteq Stage / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22; In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810

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#2209039 - 01/05/14 11:18 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: neuralfirings]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7606
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: neuralfirings
Polyphonist: First, I think playing the right hand at the start in measure 7 (http://www.notablescores.com/pieces/1?start=7&end=7) connects the right hand melody (C-G-Bb) better.

The problem is that the LH rolled chord doesn't sound like one chord anymore if you do that.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2209095 - 01/06/14 02:22 AM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
(hope it's not too random)

If it hasn't been mentioned already, Graham Fitch's article on the first Ballade here has a link to Alfred Cortot's edition of the piece, which, like his edition of the etudes, includes exercises for various passages as well as tips for constructing additional ones which might come in handy. While Cortot was known for altering the music in places, his pedagogic advice was well-received.

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#2209181 - 01/06/14 07:44 AM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2398
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
lolatu, thank you so much for that. I had no idea Explorer had a zoom feature.

I should practise piano less and explore Explorer more! smile

I differ from the breakdown, apart from the odd bar here and there, at M166.

I see M166-180 as commensurate with 68-82 (and 106-125) and M180-194 with M82-93, which together form the second theme. I'd like to tie up M125-137 the same way but I can't.

Thanks, Bob. Yes, some of the preparatory exercises are spot on, especially the ones for shifting hands.
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Richard

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#2209227 - 01/06/14 10:01 AM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
What do you mean "I'd like to tie up M125-137 the same way but I can't."?

(link to bars: http://www.notablescores.com/pieces/1?start=125&end=137)

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#2209818 - 01/06/14 09:36 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2398
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Oh, all I meant was that in the three instances of the second theme, M68-82, M106-125 and M166-180 the middle occurrence wasn't followed by the same material. If M125-137 is based on M82-94 I'm missing it. That's all.

But you can go back to your images now! smile
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Richard

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#2210200 - 01/07/14 01:01 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
neuralfirings Offline
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Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
Ah! I see. The first and last statement of Theme II goes directly into statements of Theme I. However, the middle statement of Theme II is preceded by Theme I, and it goes into a little interlude. The waltz, the transitional sections. It's like a little intermission after all the drama.

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#2210231 - 01/07/14 01:28 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
zrtf90 Offline
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Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2398
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
That's about the gist of it but I don't see M36-43 as a contraction of Theme I, more a separate theme, like a second half of Theme II or a bridge/transitional theme of some kind.
_________________________
Richard

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#2214197 - 01/13/14 09:27 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 250
Sorry for the long hiatus from this thread. Iíve been away visiting family. Has anyone started their study of the Ballade yet?

Bobpickle, thanks for the link to the article! There are some good practice tips there for the waltz section. smile

Lolatu I listened to Zimerman. wow. there are lots of things he does differently compared to horowitz or rubinstein. I'll have to listen to his playing several more times and take some notes!

Thanks Richard and neuralfirings for your input on the intro. Neuralfirings, good description of the sighs. Iíll practice that throughout bars 8-20--perhaps exaggerating the crescendo and decrescendo, just to get the hang of it. Also Iíll keep a listen for those other cliffhangers, thanks for pointing them out!

Some initial thoughts on the next section:


THEME I IN G MINOR: BARS 8-32


Bar 8: the piece switches to 6/4 time and is now marked ďmoderatoĒ which means moderate tempo. My score shows the pedal to start on the D in the LH, and to let up on the last note of the bar which is an A. Then there are no pedal marks for the rest of this section which seems strange.

There is an accent on the C of the RH, and I have the last two notes of Bar 8 and the first note of bar 9 in the RH circled: Bb, A and G. Probably from Play it Again. Above it I have written ďimportant descent: a sigh/sadnessĒ. So this is a place to practice the crescendo and decrescendo.

Regarding the repeating notes in the LH and RH, I have a note to make the second note or chord a little weaker than the first, like a heartbeat.

In the RH of the section there is Theme 1: C, D, F#, Bb, A, G which as neuralfirings pointed out, comes back many times throughout the piece. Am I reading it right that the C is held through the D, F#, Bb and then released on the descending notes of A and G?

At bar 21 there is a change. This passage perhaps starts slower and then gains a little tempo over the next couple of bars. When I play this section with my LH, rather than changing fingers on the half note, Iíve been keeping my thumb anchored on it and then just pivoting over the top to strike the quarter note that follows with my second finger.

When a melody starts in the LH at bar 24 I have a note about bringing that out. This section seems to build to the trill in bar 25. Or maybe it builds to the start of bar 28?

The LH trill in bar 25 is on the F and Enatural. There is a crescendo marked under that trill. Does the trill start on the F to the E natural?

It will take me awhile to be able to play bars 21-25 or 26 so that I can give it a sense of building up. I may have to memorize it first.

Iím not sure yet what to say about bars 26-31. Except that this section seems to slow down and emphasizes something important. Just listening to Zimerman play and it sounds like the build up carries into it after the trill. (from 1:35 to about 1:45).

At bar 32 there is the cliffhanger noted by neuralfirings (the A in the RH with an accent over it). Then it moves into the transition section with the little notes.


BARS 33-35: TRANSITION/CANDENZA

Not sure what to say about this section except that Iíve been trying to learn the little notes. I had similar little notes in the Chopin Mazurka 17/4, only not so many of them. Found it tricky to get them sounding relaxed and improvised. Then of course there is the job of getting the LH to join them.

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#2215499 - 01/15/14 11:56 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
lolatu Offline
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Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 465
Loc: UK
I have memorized the intro and have played the next section a bit. It's hard to concentrate and not carry on playing into the next parts when I get the end of section 2! Truthfully, I've been working more on other pieces. I'm making special efforts to memorize some that I've been playing for a while, and it really helps in getting to know the music fluently. Will try to do the same with each section of the Ballade too.

Just keep listening to Zimerman - he's the best. BTW did you notice how in the video he swaps his piano stool near the end of the piece? Guy has talent.

In other news, I've just got hold of a new stand for my digital piano, which will enable me to practice longer, harder, faster... wobbles no more.
_________________________
Kawai CA95 / Pianoteq Stage / Sony MDR-7506 / Steinberg UR22; In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810

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#2217487 - 01/20/14 04:58 AM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
chopinoholic Online   content
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Registered: 05/02/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
So how are things going? I haven't started practising yet, but I always play through the whole piece and mark parts that I know will require more attention with a big circle and a comment with my crayon. Later on I will work on these spots more thorough.
I always play the whole piece before practising a certain part. I usually decide on the spot which part that is.

Quote:
Just keep listening to Zimerman - he's the best.

Although it is good to listen to other pianists, but I wouldn't just stick to one IMO. Maybe you end up copying him (Krystian Zimerman in this case) instead of creating your own interpretation.
This is just my opinion.
_________________________
Paul


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#2218372 - 01/21/14 05:39 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2398
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: Chopinoholic
I always play the whole piece before practising a certain part.
This is dangerous for me. In my youth I was a faster learner but even now I can pick up a wrong note/fingering very quickly and find it difficult to overcome. For pieces I'm going to learn I tend to just read through a section, without playing, and investigate slowly, one hand at a time.
Originally Posted By: Chopinoholic
Although it is good to listen to other pianists, but I wouldn't just stick to one IMO. Maybe you end up copying...
I agree several pianists is better than one but copying has good and bad sides. True, it may stifle our own creativity, particularly with that particular piece, but it may also serve to improve technique if a virtuoso can bring out a phrase just so and you really have to work to match it. We all have our own uniqueness and copying tends towards the things that appeal most to us but seldom leads us down one path. It is still a valid learning tool in many of the arts. I still long for the day I can copy Rubinstein or Pogorelich and sound like them. smile
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Richard

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#2218415 - 01/21/14 06:44 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 250
A few questions:

-Which fingers for the trill in bar 25?

-Anyone have suggestions for the RH fingering in order to maintain legato in:

bar 27, (the climb up from B natural, C, D and EbóI run out of fingers on the D))
bar 28 (the Eb to the D legato)ójust slide finger 5 off to the D?
bar 29 (G#, A, Bb, C)órun out of fingers on the Bb)
bar 30 (upper C to Bb)

Or it is ok to just rely on the pedal in these places for legato?

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#2218433 - 01/21/14 07:09 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2398
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
M25 trill: 1-2 (1-4 might be workable)
M27: use 4 on Eb
M28: yes, 5-5
M29: 3 on Bb, 5 on C
M30: 5 on C, 4 on Bb

You shouldn't need pedal to maintain the legato here.
_________________________
Richard

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#2219757 - 01/23/14 11:05 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 250
Lolatu, great news about the stand for your piano! You definitely canít have wobbles while trying to learn the ballade!

Chopinoholic, I think to start I will try to learn up to bar 65. I havenít yet really practiced 36-43, though I started a bit of that tonight. Iíd like to try to memorize that over the next week.

I frequently go over the little notes in bar 33. They still need a lot of work. Iím not sure how to time the LH with those.

I need to work on the notes and then the build up of bar 24 into the trill and beyond.

Iíve also started working through bars 44-65, especially the trapeze part. However, Iím still working on playing it through at a slow tempo.

Thanks Richard for these fingering suggestions! Very helpful!

One more question, for the first trapeze part of the piece, starting on M48, for the LH, how are people playing it? Mainly what fingers do you use to hit the D in the last quarter beat of that bar? Do you use 3, or do you use finger 5 and quickly switch off to 1 so that 5 is free to hit the G at the beginning of the next bar?

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#2219760 - 01/23/14 11:09 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 250
Next sections.... smile

BARS 36-44: THEME 1 AT DOUBLE SPEED

neuralfirings, can you explain how this is theme one at double speed? Iím not sure I understand.

Bars 36-39: Iíve only just started practicing this section. It starts piano.

Bars 40-43: this section is marked agitato. It starts forte. Beats 2 and 5 have the emphasis (whereas they were not marked in bars 36 to 39). I have a note that says the LH comes out on beats 3 and 6.

This section builds up and leads into the crazy trapeze part in bars 48 to 53.

Well thatís a sparse analysis. Maybe Iíll have more thoughts after I practice it.



TRANSITION/MODULATION: BARS 45-66

This section marks the transition between Theme 1 in G minor (Bars 8 to 32) and Theme II in Eb Major (Bars 67-81). It is marked ďsempre piu mossoĒ which means always moving or with more motion. 44-48 seem to follow one pattern, and then there is a switch through bars 48 to 53. In the latter bars there is an accent on the LH chords in each measure. There is an octave change in the LH in M50, and in the RH in M51. It looks like the entire RH from 48-53 is under one phrase so much be played smoothly. This is an interesting trapeze section for the RH, which I believe PiA also noted.

M48 is marked forte. But then what happens in bars 52-55?

M56-65 is very beautiful and reminds me of stormy, treacherous waves in the ocean slowing down and coming to a calm. My score is marked crescendo on the way up of each RH run and diminuendo on the way down. I have a note to make the LH chords in 56/57, 60/61 and 64/65 prominent. But this whole section also comes to a calm by the end with a riten. by M66 and then the first pp of the piece in M68.

There is a calando above M63 which means dying away or gradually decreasing in tone and speed. And then smorz. above M64 which is short for ďsmorzandoĒ and means to gradually slow down and soften the notes until nothing is heard. A diminuendo that fades slow and is often accompanied by a very gradual ritardando. http://piano.about.com/od/termsrelatingtodynamics/g/GL_smorz.htm

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#2219781 - 01/24/14 12:12 AM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
neuralfirings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/29/13
Posts: 174
re: double speed, I don't really know what I saw originally. I think I heard or read it as double speed, and it made sense at the time.

Good luck on the trapeze section (http://www.notablescores.com/pieces/1?start=48&end=49). It's a doozy. I'm still working on it and I suspect will be for a while before it is up to tempo.

As for fingering, I basically follow the Mikuli editions fingering (the one on Notable Scores). I find that better suits the fingering to the shape of the left hand phrasing. Maybe others have better suggestions?

re: bars 52-55, if we're going with your stormy visuals.. then maybe this is like the tornado taking shape? It winds up faster and tighter and more and more tense, then the winds hit in the next section.

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#2220123 - 01/24/14 03:08 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2398
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: Valencia
One more question, for the first trapeze part of the piece, starting on M48, for the LH, how are people playing it? Mainly what fingers do you use to hit the D in the last quarter beat of that bar? Do you use 3, or do you use finger 5 and quickly switch off to 1 so that 5 is free to hit the G at the beginning of the next bar?
My LH fingering for M48 onwards is 5-3-2-1 for the chord then 1-3-5-3-1, chord, 1-3-5. The second half starts on 5 with 4-3-2-1 for the chord then repeats the first pattern.

I see M36-67 as a bridge passage in two parts, the first increases to M48 (at which the piý mosso should have reached maximum mosso), the second decreases to M67 in three stages from M48-52, M52-56, and M56-67, this last being the soothing hand, rising and falling gently against the comforting gestures of the LH, calming the vexations of the hero at the fate of, perhaps, his beloved country. M56 should presage the dim. and rit. culminating in the calm of 67, out of which will emerge, perhaps, the sentimental reflections of childhood in that country.

The figure in M36 closes with a tied note whereas in the agitato it closes with a rest. I may have misinterpreted your LH "comes out" in beats 3 and 6 but I would prefer "comes off" with a soft staccato. Without this softening and abrupt finish the agitato loses its effect, I think, and the final LH notes would rise rather than fall.
_________________________
Richard

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#2224640 - 02/02/14 01:15 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
Valencia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 250
How is everyone doing with the Ballade?

Thanks neuralfirings and richard. Iíve memorized up to bar 65, but I'm still trying to get 36-43 Ėthat is, to get my fingers to remember which notes to hold down and which to lift up. (because these things are different in 36-39 compared to 40-43). Thanks for pointing out the tied note versus the rest Richard. I'd missed that in all the other details and now have to add that in to this section of practice!

There is *lots* to practice and work on in these first three pages. Do you think it is best to pause here and work in more detail, or continue on to get the next section memorized? (68-93). I have not really practiced this next section at all yet. Once I memorize a section, then I can really start to work on the musical aspects. The memorization is tough though and takes me significant time. Though Iíve learned up to bar 65, my memory is still slow to fire in many places. Thatís the kind of thing that it seems only repetition over time helps. (Unless someone else knows another approach for this problem?) I want to focus on the first 3 pages, but also know that the memorizing of the next part will be a lot of work and wonder if I should get started on it.

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#2224889 - 02/02/14 09:51 PM Re: Studying Chopinís Ballade 1 [Re: Valencia]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2398
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
I won't be going back to this piece until around April, Valencia, when the Tchaikovsky is out of the way.

I would allow the new material to settle in before going further. If you don't do this, there's a higher chance that weaknesses in the passage will be left unattended as you focus more on the newer areas. I tend to get each learned passage to a point where it no longer needs daily repetition and I can keep it simmering on Saturdays and Sundays before going on to the next one.

If your memory is slow to fire in places keep the sections short enough that it isn't a problem. You don't want to memorise the pauses. I wouldn't have all 65 bars as one section for some considerable time.

My feeling is that the hard work ahead will be easier if the current section is no longer draining your reserves but only you and your journal can verify if that's the best way forward for you.

Learning this piece is going to be an adventure. My instinct is to learn all the sections as individual passages and put them together when they're all done and you can run one onto the other without dropping the tempo.
_________________________
Richard

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