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#2305385 - 07/22/14 01:31 PM Performing Chopin's preludes
JoelW Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5076
Loc: USA
Does one have to learn all 24 to perform them? I'd like to learn a chronological selection (6 or 7), but not the whole set yet. Would it be bad to perform this in a formal setting, as part of a larger program?

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#2305388 - 07/22/14 01:35 PM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: JoelW]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3943
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Most professionals play them all together, but there's no need for the rest of us to do so, even in a formal setting. Indeed, there has been debate on whether Chopin intended all of op.28 to be performed together, and whether they even work well that way. So do whatever you want.

-J
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Goldberg Variations (so far:-->V15 (halfway done with fingering! but <1% done really...))

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#2305389 - 07/22/14 01:35 PM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: JoelW]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6399
Loc: St. Louis area
Horowitz didn't.....but of course, he sucked. So if you don't want to suck, you better learn them all.
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#2305390 - 07/22/14 01:36 PM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: JoelW]
Vid Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 1041
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
No.

Good idea.

Not at all. I heard a program not long ago where Chopin preludes where interspersed with smaller preludes by other composers. It was quite effective.
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Kawai VPC1, Pianoteq, Galaxy Vintage D

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#2305414 - 07/22/14 02:10 PM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: Damon]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6758
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Damon
Horowitz didn't.....but of course, he sucked.
Wrong thread !!!! grin
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#2305416 - 07/22/14 02:13 PM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: JoelW]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6758
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
I had a teacher once (in high school) who programmed the entire set - and played them all beautifully. Certainly something I could never do myself - because a couple of them are just too freakin' difficult. smokin
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Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2305431 - 07/22/14 02:35 PM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: JoelW]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13825
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Complete sets of anything is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the 19th century, even movements of Beethoven sonatas were broken up and performed separately.
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"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#2305790 - 07/23/14 08:02 AM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: Kreisler]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2442
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Complete sets of anything is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the 19th century, even movements of Beethoven sonatas were broken up and performed separately.


Right. And even so, it is still universally common to play popular miniatures outside of the complete cycle. You don't always have a block of 50 minutes available to you.

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#2305798 - 07/23/14 08:38 AM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: JoelW]
bennevis Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 6204
Sviatoslav Richter is the only great pianist I know of who never played them complete in concert, but he does play them in groups, following Chopin's key sequence - which makes sense for quite a few of the Préludes, because they are preludes to the ones that come next. Several of the preludes don't work when played in isolation, or as precursors to a different prelude than the order in the set.
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"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2305982 - 07/23/14 02:12 PM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: bennevis]
Polyphonist Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 8166
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Sviatoslav Richter is the only great pianist I know of who never played them complete in concert, but he does play them in groups, following Chopin's key sequence - which makes sense for quite a few of the Préludes, because they are preludes to the ones that come next. Several of the preludes don't work when played in isolation, or as precursors to a different prelude than the order in the set.

It is often a good idea to play them in pairs, so they complement one another. For example, 10 and 11 together, or 4 and 5 together, or 20 and 21 together. (20+17 is an odder grouping that I'm also quite fond of.)
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Polyphonist

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#2305984 - 07/23/14 02:18 PM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: JoelW]
JoelW Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 5076
Loc: USA
20-21 is a great pair. 21-22 wouldn't be bad either. 21 is actually probably the best major-key prelude in the whole set in my opinion.

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#2306254 - 07/24/14 01:09 AM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: JoelW]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6287
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
As Chopin didn't say they had to be performed as a set, it's up to you. At any rate it is better that you perform a few well rather than the whole set and a couple in the set not so well.
_________________________



Music is my best friend.


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#2307109 - 07/25/14 06:24 PM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: JoelW]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2695
In this century, and the one before, the common practice is/was to perform the preludes as a set. Some pianists didn't, most do now, and it is a good tradition, all 24 keys within say 40 minutes, and a full psychogram of the composer, what else does one want? I think it is a fall back to luckily lost manners to just make a nice pick of things to perform
: A movement of this, ANOTHER thingy of that and to conclude: THE bombshell of that, Chopin did just the right thing in keeping his preludes short: we can play through all 24 keys/pieces/moods and have a rollercoaster of an experience.
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Longtemps, je me suis couch� de bonne heure, but not anymore!

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#2307272 - 07/26/14 07:24 AM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: JoelW]
yok Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/01
Posts: 464
Loc: New Zealand
Argerich played op.28 19-24 when she won at Warsaw.

I have a vague recollection that Busoni began the tradition of performing these preludes as a set.

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#2307275 - 07/26/14 07:37 AM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: dolce sfogato]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8290
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
...Chopin did just the right thing in keeping his preludes short: we can play through all 24 keys/pieces/moods and have a rollercoaster of an experience.


But do we want to experience that kind of rollercoaster? I don't think so.

If played at full concentrated emotional intensity, both audience and performer are going to be a mess before the half-way point. But if played at somewhat less intense intensities (which is the norm these days), what's the point?

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#2307323 - 07/26/14 10:58 AM Re: Performing Chopin's preludes [Re: dolce sfogato]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6399
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: dolce sfogato
In this century, and the one before, the common practice is/was to perform the preludes as a set. Some pianists didn't, most do now, and it is a good tradition, all 24 keys within say 40 minutes, and a full psychogram of the composer, what else does one want?


About 20 minutes less Chopin.
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