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#599116 - 09/01/01 12:11 PM Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
Jon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/21/01
Posts: 21
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
I'm trying to learn the polonaise, and it seems to be quite a bit easier than I expected - EXCEPT for the rapid left-hand octaves in the middle of the piece (after the key change). I want to be able to do them at 100 MM, but right now, I can barely manage 80.

I would like to know if anyone else found this passage particularily difficult. And if so, are there any effective ways to practise?

[ September 01, 2001: Message edited by: Jon ]

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#599117 - 09/01/01 01:55 PM Re: Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
The main reason why that octave passage is difficult is due to endurance. You need very good wrist movement to maintain it at high speeds and without tension, practicing it slowly until you can play it fast without tension is probably the best way to go.

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#599118 - 09/02/01 12:02 AM Re: Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
Jemima Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/12/01
Posts: 140
Loc: Adelaide, South Australia
JUST KEEP IT FLOPPY!!!!!!!

slow, and an OVER EXAGERATED floppy wrist!

its really the only way!

take care!
_________________________
Jemima Martin

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#599119 - 09/02/01 12:11 AM Re: Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1656
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Jon, instead of focusing on speed, try to concentrate on the CLARITY of the repeating octave figure. Playing them without pedal, and with clear articulation will make them sound faster than they are.
_________________________
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

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#599120 - 09/04/01 08:42 PM Re: Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
I've only ever been able to play the first page of this piece. Then, it gets too difficult for me. Just keep at it! This Chopin Polonaise is my most favriote peice of all at the current time. (It changes every so often).
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#599121 - 09/04/01 08:58 PM Re: Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
SottoVoce Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 12
jgoo: really? I can play everything else in this piece EXCEPT the first page! Also I can't play the octaves up to tempo but that's needing more work anyway. How long did it take you to learn and play up to speed the first page?

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#599122 - 09/04/01 11:02 PM Re: Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by SottoVoce:
jgoo: really? I can play everything else in this piece EXCEPT the first page! Also I can't play the octaves up to tempo but that's needing more work anyway. How long did it take you to learn and play up to speed the first page?[/b]



How the hell do you do that?!?!? The first page is so easy, but the rest of the peice is so difficult that it drives me crazy! All of those chords moveing all over the place at high speeds. Those upward passages are the worst! I can never get them! It always sounds like crap when I play them because I do it so slowly. Whats the secret to speeding that part up? Also, how can I improve on the peice overall? I can only play it very very slowly (except the first page I can play up to speed) and I give up by the time I hit the first upward passage. The first page yes, I can play, but the rest no, I can't. I learned the first page in about two to three days, but it took me a bit longer to be able to play it at the intended speed.

[ September 04, 2001: Message edited by: jgoo ]
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#599123 - 09/05/01 12:41 AM Re: Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
SottoVoce Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 12
The upward passage is just a modified scale. Work out a good fingering and you'll have it in no time. I assume you mean the one that starts on an A in both hands? If not then please specify. For the chords, just practice them hands separately. After about a year now, I'm finding that my hands just fall into the right place for the chords. I don't know. Now I JUST can't get those fourth-interval runs in the first page . . .

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#599124 - 09/05/01 02:48 AM Re: Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4110
You can spend days working on those hard parts, especially the octaves and chords, and nothing will come of it if you lack technique. You must have very powerful, loose wrists for that piece to be played well, I would recommned practing octaves with good wrist movement or look at some wrist exersizes in technique books.

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#599125 - 09/05/01 06:51 PM Re: Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by SottoVoce:
The upward passage is just a modified scale. Work out a good fingering and you'll have it in no time. I assume you mean the one that starts on an A in both hands? If not then please specify.[/b]


Yes. That is what is was talking about.
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#599126 - 09/05/01 07:46 PM Re: Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1656
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Interesting. I have never had much trouble with the repeating octave motif, but the introduction, with the double notes, has been the hardest part.

I always have difficulty with parallel runs, it took me forever to master those in this Polonaise.
_________________________
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

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#599127 - 09/06/01 11:18 AM Re: Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
Yep, me too. In fact, even when I had the parallel runs down, it still was rare when I could make it through all of them cleanly. The octaves, on the other hand, sit nicely - especially when you play them with the right technique.

Ryan

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#599128 - 09/07/01 12:03 PM Re: Polonaise in A-flat Op.53
EricL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 140
Loc: Upstate NY
 Quote:
Originally posted by SottoVoce:
Now I JUST can't get those fourth-interval runs in the first page . . .[/b]


Try this to see if it works for you. It certainly worked for me. Instead of playing the fourths with the right hand and bottom notes with the left hand, play the bottom two notes of the parallel chords (i.e., minor thirds) with the left hand, and the top notes with the right hand. The running chords will sound much cleaner and smoother.

I know this wasn't what Chopin intended, but what the heck, I am not a concert pianist performing in front of a demanding audience!

Eric

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