Chopin - Waltz Op. 34, No. 1 - Opinions on tempo, ritardando

Posted by: Pistos

Chopin - Waltz Op. 34, No. 1 - Opinions on tempo, ritardando - 12/02/12 02:43 PM

I'm reviving this piece (for personal enjoyment), and wanted to get some opinions and discussion about the tempo this piece should be played at. I don't mean how many beats per minute (though if you have an opinion on that, feel free to voice it), but rather questions like: whether people think this piece should be played in absolute, strict tempo from start to finish; whether there can or should be ritardandos and accelerandos in places; whether the sections can or should differ in tempo from one another.

The copy I am reading from is the Dover Publication of the Paderewski Edition, ISBN 0-486-24316-8. In this edition, there is, literally, *no* instance of either ritardando or accelerando (or the like) anywhere in the piece, from beginning to end. I tried to play it along with a metronome, keeping strict time (at least in the left hand), but I have to admit, it either felt unexciting in some parts (at, say, 170 bpm), or rushed in the section(s) from bars 82 through 145. It seems rather more fun (if nothing else) to accelerate beginning at least at bar 294, if not earlier (perhaps jumping to a higher tempo at bar 246).

Thoughts?
Posted by: Pistos

Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 34, No. 1 - Opinions on tempo, ritardando - 12/02/12 04:02 PM

Here's a youtube video of Evgeny Kissen playing it. He is _far_ from keeping a single bpm throughout the piece.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tLBJqRnQuWA
Posted by: Pistos

Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 34, No. 1 - Opinions on tempo, ritardando - 12/02/12 04:08 PM

And Arthur Rubinstein:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KLscY15Z0r0

Lots of freedom with tempo displayed there.

(It looks like I'm answering my own question. smile )
Posted by: Pistos

Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 34, No. 1 - Opinions on tempo, ritardando - 12/02/12 04:15 PM

Claudio Arrau:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuPJQ5Tx-Hs

who takes a more subdued tempo than the others.
Posted by: Pistos

Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 34, No. 1 - Opinions on tempo, ritardando - 12/02/12 04:16 PM

So if it's supposed to be played with liberty in the tempo throughout, why wouldn't Chopin have written that explicitly?
Posted by: Jolteon

Re: Chopin - Waltz Op. 34, No. 1 - Opinions on tempo, ritardando - 12/03/12 04:35 AM

With this kind of music it is largely up to the pianist.

I've read somewhere that, with regard to Chopin's pedal instructions, he often doesn't write it in because it's either so simple that it's obvious, or it's so complex that writing it in would be far too time-consuming. It wouldn't be too far-fetched, then, to imagine that he'd take the same approach to subtle tempo changes like this.