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#527589 - 08/13/03 10:38 PM Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Krazypaul Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 133
So, ok. I think i will hold off on the rach 3 for a while now. How about this song? It was played on the movie "The Pianist" (where spilzman, or however you spell it, played it for the german officer in the abandoned house). I like this piece, it's awesome, but as a precautionary, i would like to here from you guys again and see if anyone who has played it would be willing to share their opinion of this piece. Thx again.

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#527590 - 08/13/03 10:50 PM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
walletbmw Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/05/03
Posts: 9
Loc: Evans GA
I am studying this piece now, of coure the "PIANIST" did inspire a little, but I just love all 4 of the Ballades, so why not start with the first one??? It is a true test of the spectrum of the piano, from delicate to virtuose. I have been playing in my spare time off and on for about 2 months now and have quite a bit of it down. Anyone else have any experience with this piece? I especially like the last 2 pages of so, where the pace picks up again after the gradual build-up and ends in thundering octaves.

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#527591 - 08/14/03 12:18 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
KrazyPaul, you're going to turn me into KrazyBernard if you go on calling Chopin's Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 a song It's a Ballad, and a beautiful piece of music, one of my favorites and one that I will hopefully learn some day in the not too distant future.
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#527592 - 08/14/03 08:23 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
Boy, have I hear that tune before.

Yes Bernard is right. It is not a "song." "Songs" are on MTV. It is a "piece," "composition," "work," etc.
It's up to you. You can use the word "song" to describe Rach 3, Chopin Ballade #1, Beethoven's Fifth, or any other works that do not have lyrics or singing, as much as you want. Just don't do it if you want to be taken seriously. The reason is, only people who know nothing about classical music use the term "song" to describe those pieces, and if you use that term you are putting yourself in that category.

Anyway, enough ranting, and back to the little ditty in question - Chopin's Ballade #2:
When played very well it is a beautiful and profound piece of music. When played by someone who is not yet up to it technically and musically, it is a hackneyed, overplayed warhorse.

What else have you played so far, again?

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#527593 - 08/14/03 08:41 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
sandman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/13/01
Posts: 605
Loc: toronto
Im learning this piece right now, it is a favorite of mine, i'll caution you though, difficulties both musical and technical abound throughout...the coda is quite hard..and giving me a lot of trouble....that said it is a popular piece to learn..a common choice for RCM ARCT level...that and scerzo #1...although i really dont like Scherzo #1.

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#527594 - 08/14/03 09:50 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Phlebas:
You can use the word "song" to describe Rach 3, Chopin Ballade #1, Beethoven's Fifth, or any other works that do not have lyrics or singing, as much as you want. Just don't do it if you want to be taken seriously. The reason is, only people who know nothing about classical music use the term "song" to describe those pieces, and if you use that term you are putting yourself in that category.
[/b]
Actually, I've heard a professional percussionist(a graduate of Julliard and Mannes)use the word "song" to describe what classical pianists usually call a "piece". Of course, the fact that he teaches high school music may have something to do with it because he might tend to use the student's natural language out of habit.

Frankly, I think the habit some posters have of chastizing other posters every time they call a "piece" a "song" is wearing thin and of extremely minor importance. Like the percussionist friend of mine, I think it is much more important to get the student's interested in and appreciative of classical music than to correct them all the time.

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#527595 - 08/14/03 10:50 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
Pianoloverus,

Maybe it's because that was my post #666.

I haven't checked, but I think this is one of the first times I have "chastised" anyone here for this reason. Also, I prefer to think that I offer my own opinions most of the time rather than correct people all the time.

Sorry if you find my high-brow manner annoying, but I just like to hear and see correct terminology. Consider your feedback noted.

[edited to remove sarcastic comment]

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#527596 - 08/14/03 10:55 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
PianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 902
Loc: Philly, PA
This is one of my favorite pieces by Chopin. I love the Rubenstien recording- It makes me not want to play it, because I know I will never live up to that high of a standard!!

Anyways, this piece, like much of Chopin, has it's own little traps and difficulties. The Ballade is based on epic stories, poetry- being this, it also takes a lot of time to mature under your fingers and in your mind. Don't rush through it, trying to learn it quicky. This is a peice that helps usher in maturity and understanding of sound levels and tone.

What else have you done by Chopin? If you haven't done much, may I suggest looking at some of his preludes first? These are just as poetic and beautiful, and help you to understand Chopin's style more fully.
_________________________
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff

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#527597 - 08/14/03 11:28 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17670
Loc: Victoria, BC
Pianoloverus:

I'm sorry if I offend, but I am very much in Phlebas' camp on the question of "song" vs "piece", "composition", "work," etc.

Just as I continue to correct my students when their terminology is not correct - not because I necessarily enjoy doing so, but because, eventually, I want to help them avoid being ridiculed - so I think it really is well-intended to correct posters who continue to use the generic "songs" for works that are not songs. As Phlebas says, it puts them in a category which suggests they don't know enough of what they are talking about to distinguish among the various genres of classical music. The professional from Juilliard (note the spelling of this school, please!)notwithstanding, I will continue to politely (I hope) fight against the sloppy (careless? lazy?) thinking that this kind of error represents.

I guess this usage is just another example of the Internet's tendency to homogenize or "dumb down" the finer points of the English language.
For, I am told, almost all music files on Internet sites are called songs because most of them are songs, regardless of their genre, and that this is the origin of the use of the word "song" in the contexts we are referring to.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#527598 - 08/14/03 03:28 PM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Krazypaul Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 133
 Quote:
Originally posted by Phlebas:
Boy, have I hear that tune before.

Yes Bernard is right. It is not a "song." "Songs" are on MTV. It is a "piece," "composition," "work," etc.
It's up to you. You can use the word "song" to describe Rach 3, Chopin Ballade #1, Beethoven's Fifth, or any other works that do not have lyrics or singing, as much as you want. Just don't do it if you want to be taken seriously. The reason is, only people who know nothing about classical music use the term "song" to describe those pieces, and if you use that term you are putting yourself in that category.

Anyway, enough ranting, and back to the little ditty in question - Chopin's Ballade #2:
When played very well it is a beautiful and profound piece of music. When played by someone who is not yet up to it technically and musically, it is a hackneyed, overplayed warhorse.

What else have you played so far, again? [/b]
Well, recently i have been playing PIECES ;\) from Liszt and Beethoven. On Liszt, i mostly tried to play all of his Hungarian rhapsodies(still can't, only on Hungarian No. 8 going through from the first rhapsody but excluding HR2 since i already knew that one a while ago). Beethoven, i just picked out sonatas and worked on a few. That's mostly what i have been working on in the last few months. I usually play more diverse types of classical music by different composers but lately i have been going head-on in one direction.

If you think it is necessary, what piece(S) should i play from Chopin to get use to the techniques he used in the Ballad No.1?

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#527599 - 08/14/03 03:40 PM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17670
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Krazypaul:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Phlebas:
[qb]
If you think it is necessary, what piece(S) should i play from Chopin to get use to the techniques he used in the Ballad No.1? [/b]
What does your teacher say?
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#527600 - 08/14/03 07:41 PM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Krazypaul Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 133
 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Krazypaul:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Phlebas:
[qb]
If you think it is necessary, what piece(S) should i play from Chopin to get use to the techniques he used in the Ballad No.1? [/b]
What does your teacher say? [/b]
Never had one

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#527601 - 08/14/03 09:19 PM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
virtuoso_735 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 996
Loc: California
You dont have a teacher and learned to play some of the Hungariun Rhasodies and Beethoven sonatas? Well, about the Ballade no.1, it is a difficult piece, but if you played the pieces you listed properly, then I dont think the Ballade will be too big of a problem. The Coda is probably the hardest section, so work on that first and then when you get to that section, you will already know it. BTW, the version of the Ballade in "The pianist" is a very shortened version.
_________________________
"If music be the food of love, play on." -William Shakespeare

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#527602 - 08/14/03 10:27 PM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Krazypaul Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 133
Yeah, i'm aware of that. Heh, that just adds more fun to it! ;\) I wish the signatures weren't flats because i hate reading flats....oh well.

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#527603 - 08/14/03 10:31 PM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
The D's Pianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/01
Posts: 624
Loc: Southwestern Oregon
Speaking of the first Ballade, when I was at a week-long piano institute last week, a 15-year-old played this for a masterclass. There were 20 of us in the institute, and this kid was definitely in the top 4 or 5. It was crazy. He was, of course, still working on it, but he didn't show any signs of it being too difficult for him. Just normal "haven't-had-it-for-long-enough" mistakes.

A girl (17) who takes from the same kid's teacher played the fourth Ballade. Again, it was mad. She's really good.

I'm telling you, as I told one of the professors there, "Prodigies are the source of my anguish."

...of course i try not to let the accomplishments of others put me down it's just that in the music business one tends to get jealous and i know that's not good that it will only deter my progress but that's ok i'm over it...

...i think...

\:D
_________________________
Musically,
Benjamin Francis
http://www.myspace.com/benjaminfrancis
(I just changed my sig., so no grief, yeah?)
----------
Sofia Gilmson regarding Bach:
"Bach didn't write the subject; he wrote the fugue."

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#527604 - 08/15/03 03:29 PM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Krazypaul Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 133
 Quote:
Originally posted by The D's Pianist:
Speaking of the first Ballade, when I was at a week-long piano institute last week, a 15-year-old played this for a masterclass. There were 20 of us in the institute, and this kid was definitely in the top 4 or 5. It was crazy. He was, of course, still working on it, but he didn't show any signs of it being too difficult for him. Just normal "haven't-had-it-for-long-enough" mistakes.

A girl (17) who takes from the same kid's teacher played the fourth Ballade. Again, it was mad. She's really good.

I'm telling you, as I told one of the professors there, "Prodigies are the source of my anguish."

...of course i try not to let the accomplishments of others put me down it's just that in the music business one tends to get jealous and i know that's not good that it will only deter my progress but that's ok i'm over it...

...i think...

\:D [/b]
15? oh. wow...................wait, 15????>???

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#527605 - 08/15/03 04:56 PM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
15 is possible for the first ballade. I know of at least 4-5 high school pianists that can handle it fairly well in the Houston area alone.

If you start when you're 7 or 8 years old and work consistently well, it's very possible.
_________________________
"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)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#527606 - 08/15/03 05:24 PM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17670
Loc: Victoria, BC
I heard a fourteen-year old play the first Ballade this summer. I was impressed, for the most part, with his technique; he has more than I do! All the notes were there, except in a couple of instances where the piece just started to run away from him. I felt however - and no disrespect is meant - that he had little sense of Chopin's style. He might just as well have been playing Beethoven - which he also did, on another occasion.

This raised a question for discussion in a subsequent class. When you have young students with exceptional technique, what do you, as a teacher, give them to play, given that they have little "life experience," and that they lack the maturity necessary to really understand and fully interpret so-called "mature" works. Do you let them try the big works, knowing that in future years they will come back to them with a greater sense of their depth, or do you try to find less profound works that still respond to their technical abilities?

The discussion, alas, was never pursued as one student took violent exception to the fact that some of us should dare criticize a young pianist for what he lacked rather than praise him for what he did. The objector could not understand that we were not criticizing, but pursuing a valid pedagogical argument, an argument which is supported by many world-class pianists who admit to not daring to tackle - for public performance - the (fill in the blank with the appropriate work and composer) until they had the "maturity" to do so.

But, I - as I inclined to do - digress. My apologies.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#527607 - 08/15/03 05:29 PM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
Bruce, I agree. Even the pianist Robert Taub, said it took 8 years before he could perform Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" sonata, Op. 106. This was not just for technical reasons, but to gain a bigger understanding of the work as well.

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#527608 - 08/15/03 08:52 PM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
The D's Pianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/01
Posts: 624
Loc: Southwestern Oregon
I don't think any work has an age prerequisite. However, I think that if someone is going to tackle something, they should make sure they are going to make every attempt to truly understand it.

I don't think age is a factor...

Just my opinion, of course.
_________________________
Musically,
Benjamin Francis
http://www.myspace.com/benjaminfrancis
(I just changed my sig., so no grief, yeah?)
----------
Sofia Gilmson regarding Bach:
"Bach didn't write the subject; he wrote the fugue."

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#527609 - 08/16/03 09:10 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Krazypaul Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 133
I agree with dpianist, it's not the age, but rather the experience, natural talent, and desire/determination to learn that distinguishes different aged pianists.

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#527610 - 08/17/03 02:24 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
I just put on this piece before I opened this thread. It is very beautiful. I've been trying to learn it recently, and I've pretty much gotten it down, however at a very slow pace in some parts. I hope to continue improving. Does anybody have advice on how to speed things up a bit? No matter how much I practice, I can never seem to be able to play well the faster I try to make anything. \:\(
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#527611 - 08/17/03 06:19 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Philip Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/05/03
Posts: 76
Loc: United Kingdom
I agree with BruceD. It doesn't help their egos much to think that they can play X great work up there with X great pianist either when really they're only mediocre in all but their ability to hit notes.

However, I also disagree with the kind of snobbery older people can develop along the lines of 'you should be at least 40 before you learn that' etc., some people CAN understand the profound works in their teens and you have to accept that too. Although they're probably rarer than the ones who can play the notes.
_________________________
"Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best."
-Henry Van Dyke

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#527612 - 08/17/03 08:25 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Phlebas Offline


Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 4654
Loc: New York City
As long as someone can handle the technical problems in a piece, they should be "allowed" to play it even at a young age. What are talented kids supposed to do, stick to Chopin Waltzes and Nocturnes until they're "mature" enough?
If they are not up to it technically, they probably should wait a bit. However, if they are not 100% mature enough musically to render an artistic interpretation, they should still go ahead and study the piece with the assumption that they're playing will mature at a later age, and they will learn something from the process of learning a piece like the one in question.

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#527613 - 08/17/03 08:39 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Philip Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/05/03
Posts: 76
Loc: United Kingdom
Yeah I agree with that as well, Phlebas. My other post probably sounded pretty snobby itself.
_________________________
"Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best."
-Henry Van Dyke

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#527614 - 08/17/03 08:54 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
Just as I continue to correct my students when their terminology is not correct - not because I necessarily enjoy doing so, but because, eventually, I want to help them avoid being ridiculed - so I think it really is well-intended to correct posters who continue to use the generic "songs" for works that are not songs. As Phlebas says, it puts them in a category which suggests they don't know enough of what they are talking about to distinguish among the various genres of classical music. The professional from Juilliard (note the spelling of this school, please!)notwithstanding, I will continue to politely (I hope) fight against the sloppy (careless? lazy?) thinking that this kind of error represents.

I guess this usage is just another example of the Internet's tendency to homogenize or "dumb down" the finer points of the English language.
For, I am told, almost all music files on Internet sites are called songs because most of them are songs, regardless of their genre, and that this is the origin of the use of the word "song" in the contexts we are referring to.

Regards, [/b]
The meanings of words can change and I wouldn't be surprised if in a few years(due to it's overwhelming usage by young people) the word "song" will be an acceptable(according to the dictionary definition) synonym for what you and I would call "piece". There is little enough interest in classical music already and I think this constant need on some people's part to correct those who use the word "song" just turns more people off to classical music. As a teacher myself I sometimes correct student's grammar, but with the word "song" I would not feel the need to correct them. And I don't think many people will ridicule them for using this word.

Perhaps your need to point out my misspelling(sp?)of "Juilliard" in my original post indicates you are a little too concerned with being correct?

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#527615 - 08/17/03 10:02 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I've heard this type of discussion many times over the years and have an observation.

At the artist level, almost any piece can require advanced maturity. Be it a simple Mozart sonata or the Schumann Fantasy, there is a certain something that a wealth of life experience can add to one's performance.

That being said, it is definitely true that it is easier to learn the physical motions required to play the repertoire at a younger age. While the Schumann Fantasy may not be completely understood in all its profound glory at age 18, the 18 year old body would have a much easier time navigating the motions than the 40 year old.

For this reason, almost every professional pianist and teacher I've worked with or talked to over the years has said that it is BY FAR preferable to learn these pieces at a young age. Get them in your fingers while you're young and new repertoire comes faster and easier. Then, when you hit the ripe old age of 35, you'll be able to practice the profundity without having to fuss over the technique.

So, if a piece is over your head in terms of technique but not maturity; or maturity but not technique, then give it a try. It's when someone tackles a piece that's over their heads BOTH in terms of technique and musical maturity that problems start.
_________________________
"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)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#527616 - 08/17/03 10:38 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17670
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
Perhaps your need to point out my misspelling(sp?)of "Juilliard" in my original post indicates you are a little too concerned with being correct? [/QB]
Yes, perhaps ...
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony
Writing from Paris until 15 May, 2014

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#527617 - 08/17/03 11:43 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19099
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
So, if a piece is over your head in terms of technique but not maturity; or maturity but not technique, then give it a try. It's when someone tackles a piece that's over their heads BOTH in terms of technique and musical maturity that problems start. [/b]
I understand your thinking when you say a piece is over your head in maturity but not technique. I am not sure about things when you say it over your head in technique but not maturity. If by over your head you mean a reasonable stretch beyond your present technical level, then it makes sense to me. Is this what you meant?

The problem is that quite a few posters seem to be nearer the idea of "I've recently learned to play with both hands together, can I play the Rachmaninoff Concerto #3?

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#527618 - 08/17/03 11:55 AM Re: Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 (Chopin)
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Well, the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies would be a good example. Musically they're not terribly complex - the phrasing is easy to identify, dynamic shapes and contours are fairly straightforward, and the textures aren't very complicated. But, one needs a pretty solid technique to pull off the passagework, octaves, and quick chords often found in them. So the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies are pieces that are often well within reach of a mediocre pianist's maturity and musical sensibilities, but a bit outside his/her technical abilities.

On the other hand, a piece like the first movement of Beethoven Op. 101 is the other way around. There are no large technical demands, but the demands Beethoven makes on one's sense of phrasing, line, and tonal control are pretty steep.

And why do you think everyone wants to play Rach 3? It's easy to understand musically - or at least much more so than the Brahms concerti (which nobody seems to ask about.) This is why everyone asks to play it.
_________________________
"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)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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Greg Pauley in Concert June 1st, Sunday 3:30pm
by Larry Buck
04/20/14 07:58 AM
Happy Easter!
by Marko in Boston
04/20/14 06:58 AM
Easter Themed Recordings - Kawai CA95
by wolferblade
04/20/14 04:55 AM
First recordings - Some music for Easter
by wolferblade
04/20/14 01:01 AM
Recorded a song on my workstation tonight
by Arizona Sage
04/20/14 12:04 AM
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