Beethoven vs. Chopin.

Posted by: tsunami713

Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/06/09 07:27 PM

I'm playing the "Waldstein Sonata" and the 4th Ballade by Chopin. My teacher first told me it was almost impossible to have the 4th ballade concert ready in 3 months. But after I memorized it in less than two weeks, he suggested the waldstein 3rd as harder.

1. Which is harder in your opinion. the 3rd mvmt of waldstein or Chopin's F Minor Ballade?

2. Is the F Minor Ballade really the hardest of the four ballades?

3. I've listened to the 4th scherzo by chopin. sounds hard, but does anybody know how difficult that is compared to either the waldstein or the ballade i'm playing.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/06/09 08:17 PM

1. IMO they are at extremely similar levels of difficulty. Some people will have more trouble with one, some will have more with the other.

I would guess that more people might say the Chopin is harder; I have more trouble with the Beethoven.

2. Most people would say that the F minor Ballade is indeed the hardest, but it's subjective and varies by the person, and to a large extent I'd say that all of the ballades are at the same basic level of difficulty, which is EXTREME. For me the 1st ballade is both harder and "scarier" than the 4th, and even the 2nd ballade is "scarier." Different things are harder for different people.

3. Funny you should be asking about the 4th Scherzo, because I've just gone through a year-long joy-and-struggle with it. Again, it depends on the person, and it depends on exactly what we mean by "playing" the piece, but I think it requires a level of pianistic skill that is well beyond any of those other pieces. I thought I could play it fine, till I tried performing it. ha
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/06/09 08:22 PM

It depends on your technical aptitudes. I have more trouble with Chopin Ballade 2 or Beethoven Sonata Op. 22 than Ravel's Toccata from Le Tombeau de Couperin. The F Minor Ballade and Sonata Op. 53 are both difficult pieces though. Technically speaking, the first and second movements aren't too bad, and the third (for me) progressively becomes more difficult.

Sorry if that wasn't a help. I think they're about the same, personally. And I think they're difficult to compare, AND I don't see as much point comparing pieces of different styles than pieces of the same style (say, Ballade 4 and Ballade 1 or Appassionata and Waldstein. But those are totally different discussions).

Having only played Ballade 2, my opinion on difficulties of the Ballades aren't the most credible. Click at your own risk! Hehe...
Click to reveal..
I've heard many say Ballade 4 is the hardest, but the majority of them that say that haven't played all or any of the Ballades. Many that have played all the Ballades say 1 is the hardest, although many that have played all say 4 is the hardest. I think 1 is easy (or easier, anyway) to musically understand, but is technically as challenging as 4.


EDIT: Whoa, I didn't think those would actually work! Haha!
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/06/09 08:22 PM

Since you're playing both the "Waldstein" and the Chopin Ballade, what does the opinion of others of the comparative difficulty of these works matter? And, if you're playing both of those, you presumably have enough knowledge, background and skills to determine the comparative level of difficulty of the fourth Scherzo, too.

Regards,
Posted by: PartyPianist

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/06/09 09:45 PM

Haha Bruce, you beat me to it lol

I wonder "how" you have committed Chopin's 4th Ballade to memory in 2 weeks, Tsunami. Are you going to spend the next 2 years trying to "uncommit"?

The significant difference is the "glissando" octave section in the Waldstein final movement. Many professional performers have avoided this work because of the glissando. I play it to a fashion, but do not do it as well as others. My grand fear are the glissandos in Balakirev's Islamay Fantasy. Brahms Paganini Variations Book I are doable for me.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/06/09 09:51 PM

Originally Posted By: PartyPianist
....The significant difference is the "glissando" octave section in the Waldstein final movement. Many professional performers have avoided this work because of the glissando....

I don't think most pianists regard that as a singular stumbling block on the piece, first of all because much else is very difficult but also because in many quarters (if not most) it's considered acceptable to have the L.H. 'help out' on it (I've seen it performed that way a couple of times by professionals, albeit resulting in enragement on the parts of some) plus that you don't necessarily have to fly through those octaves anyway.

In Rubinstein's later years, I heard him play the sonata, and he played that section at a tempo where there was no pretense of those octaves being "glissandi." And it was all right. Of course we might say "well it's OK for Rubinstein but so what"; I'm saying that it was OK, period. But obviously I know that others would have a different view.
Posted by: tsunami713

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/06/09 11:55 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Since you're playing both the "Waldstein" and the Chopin Ballade, what does the opinion of others of the comparative difficulty of these works matter? And, if you're playing both of those, you presumably have enough knowledge, background and skills to determine the comparative level of difficulty of the fourth Scherzo, too.

Regards,


I'm trying out for the Young Artist Guild (http://www.mtac.org/programs/yag/index.shtml), and I need to know quick if I can manage both pieces by Feb 26 which is the regional test. March 6 is the final test. Well I can tell whether the Minuet in G by bach is easier compared to the Inventions because they're both much below by level, but I cant compare stuff that's close, if you get what I mean.
Posted by: tsunami713

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 12:01 AM

Originally Posted By: PartyPianist
Haha Bruce, you beat me to it lol

I wonder "how" you have committed Chopin's 4th Ballade to memory in 2 weeks, Tsunami. Are you going to spend the next 2 years trying to "uncommit"?

The significant difference is the "glissando" octave section in the Waldstein final movement. Many professional performers have avoided this work because of the glissando. I play it to a fashion, but do not do it as well as others. My grand fear are the glissandos in Balakirev's Islamay Fantasy. Brahms Paganini Variations Book I are doable for me.


I have a nice memory, and I thank God for that. Try practicing around 4-7 hrs a day, and if your memory is well enough, you'll be able to memorize stuff quick wink Anyway, I use the scale version of the glissando section. The scale version is pretty challenging, but not that hard compared to the left hand of 1st mvmt of waldstein's section starting from measure 23 and ending on measure 30. Maybe its just my hands are small, but that BF#AB part's reach makes evenness impossible.
Posted by: kennywood

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 12:09 AM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Since you're playing both the "Waldstein" and the Chopin Ballade, what does the opinion of others of the comparative difficulty of these works matter? And, if you're playing both of those, you presumably have enough knowledge, background and skills to determine the comparative level of difficulty of the fourth Scherzo, too.

Regards,


I couldn't agree more. If you're working on the 4th Ballade, then, surely, you're familiar with the other three. No offense, but I have a hard time taking your post seriously.
Posted by: PartyPianist

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 12:31 AM

Tsumani

Now 1.5 hours - no time. Before 3-4 and 7-8 hours at week ends. I rarely commit to memory. Those who commit to memory easily have "perfect pitch". The danger those with perfect pitch face is "learning a work wrong".

I still have not perfected Chopin's F minor ballade and I have been playing it for 10 years!!!!! Because, at a high level, we manipulate motor memory I suspect you will have problems with this work - long term.

One of the other contributors here said that Chopin is the hardest to play. She is right in a way, because you must grow with Chopin. The score will manage you and not the other way around. A work of the complexity of the ballade needs 2 years of contemplation at least, before anyone is ready to say they "know" it.

Regards the Waldstein, a scale version is not the original, so there no "fair" comparison. I don't like glissando 3rd's (cf Liszt's Rakoczy March - 15th Hungarian Rhapsody) or 8ves so I don't rush to works because of them.
Posted by: currawong

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 01:11 AM

Originally Posted By: PartyPianist
Those who commit to memory easily have "perfect pitch".
Any evidence for this statement?
Posted by: kennywood

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 01:17 AM

Originally Posted By: PartyPianist
Tsumani

Now 1.5 hours - no time. Before 3-4 and 7-8 hours at week ends. I rarely commit to memory. Those who commit to memory easily have "perfect pitch". The danger those with perfect pitch face is "learning a work wrong".

I still have not perfected Chopin's F minor ballade and I have been playing it for 10 years!!!!! Because, at a high level, we manipulate motor memory I suspect you will have problems with this work - long term.

One of the other contributors here said that Chopin is the hardest to play. She is right in a way, because you must grow with Chopin. The score will manage you and not the other way around. A work of the complexity of the ballade needs 2 years of contemplation at least, before anyone is ready to say they "know" it.

Regards the Waldstein, a scale version is not the original, so there no "fair" comparison. I don't like glissando 3rd's (cf Liszt's Rakoczy March - 15th Hungarian Rhapsody) or 8ves so I don't rush to works because of them.


Interesting points here.
I don't have perfect pitch and memorize quite easily.
I don't at all agree any work needs "2 years" (or whatever length of time) of contemplation before one "knows" it. Of course, with time, you will come to "know" any work more thoroughly, but there is not some magical time limit on when you'll be ready to tackle a work. It differs from pianist to pianist according to ability.
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 02:12 AM

Originally Posted By: tsunami713
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Since you're playing both the "Waldstein" and the Chopin Ballade, what does the opinion of others of the comparative difficulty of these works matter? And, if you're playing both of those, you presumably have enough knowledge, background and skills to determine the comparative level of difficulty of the fourth Scherzo, too.

Regards,


I'm trying out for the Young Artist Guild (http://www.mtac.org/programs/yag/index.shtml), and I need to know quick if I can manage both pieces by Feb 26 which is the regional test. March 6 is the final test. Well I can tell whether the Minuet in G by bach is easier compared to the Inventions because they're both much below by level, but I cant compare stuff that's close, if you get what I mean.


I don't see what your above statement changes and, no, quite frankly, I don't get what you mean, nor am I sure what you are now asking. You initially asked which of two pieces is the more difficult; it now seems that you are trying to determine whether you'll be ready for the YAG competition by 26 February.

You are still the only one who knows what you may be capable of. Since you say you are already playing the two pieces in question, it seems evident to me that you should know how far along you are in managing them. How would we know whether or not you'll be able to "manage" them - and to what standards - by 26 February?

If you must know which is more difficult for you - since each of us reacts differently to different technical and artistic challenges - and whether you'll be ready for the YAG, why don't you rely on the opinion of your teacher? It would seem to me that s/he would be best equipped to answer your question in the context of your own musical development, if you are unable to answer it for yourself.

Regards,
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 02:21 AM

Originally Posted By: kennywood
.....If you're working on the 4th Ballade, then, surely, you're familiar with the other three. No offense, but I have a hard time taking your post seriously.

I wouldn't assume that. People may work on things in odd sequences.

The first major piece I ever worked on was Chopin's F# minor Polonaise. I wouldn't necessarily have known how the other polonaises (except the A-flat) compared to it.

I was gonna give other personal examples too but what for..... smile

I thought the questions were maybe the slightest tad naive but I didn't doubt their sincerity.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 02:23 AM

Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: PartyPianist
Those who commit to memory easily have "perfect pitch".
Any evidence for this statement?

Not only is there no evidence for it..... I'm going to disprove it in the next 3 seconds.

I don't have perfect pitch, and I memorize very easily.

(Too bad I have trouble with the playing, though.) ha
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 02:25 AM

Originally Posted By: kennywood
.....I don't have perfect pitch and memorize quite easily....

People are gonna think I just copied off of your post. smile
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 03:37 AM

The short answer: if you are good enough to play the music, you are good enough to answer the question for yourself without asking about it at an online forum.

A slightly different short answer: the demands are stylistically and technically so different that there is really no point in comparing them.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 03:47 AM

I don't understand the impatience that some members sometimes show about things like this, especially with newer members.
I've gotten my share of it myself. While I've been extremely impressed and gratified about the site overall, this one aspect has been mildly discomfiting.

The creator of this thread is new here. He wants to start getting involved. He posted some questions to begin a conversation and to get some views. Why do you want to tell him to just figure it out himself?

Both in normal conversation and online, people often will ask things that they could figure out themselves. They're making conversation. Plus, maybe he thinks that what you could tell him will add to what he could figure out himself.

I see no reason not to be nicer.
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 03:58 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
I don't understand the impatience that some members sometimes show about things like this, especially with newer members.
I've gotten my share of it myself. While I've been extremely impressed and gratified about the site overall, this one aspect has been mildly discomfiting.

The creator of this thread is new here. He wants to start getting involved. He posted some questions to begin a conversation and to get some views. Why do you want to tell him to just figure it out himself?

Both in normal conversation and online, people often will ask things that they could figure out themselves. They're making conversation. Plus, maybe he thinks that what you could tell him will add to what he could figure out himself.

I see no reason not to be nicer.


Stick around, and you too may eventually figure it out.

Impatience with these "which is harder" questions is a long tradition here (and with good reason), and it is one I fully uphold.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 04:16 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
....Impatience with these "which is harder" questions is a long tradition here (and with good reason), and it is one I fully uphold.

Thanks for answering sort of tongue-in-cheek.
Or at least I think you did. smile

P.S. Look for me to remain impatient with the impatience. I have great sympathy for newcomers, even when I'm no longer one.
Posted by: currawong

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 04:22 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
I have great sympathy for newcomers, even when I'm no longer one.
When you've clocked up your 1000th post in a month maybe? won't be long now, will it - grin
I have sympathy for newcomers too, but I also think there's nothing wrong with encouraging people to do some thinking for themselves. And no harm in pointing out that for some of these questions there just aren't any answers that are worth the time to write.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 04:27 AM

Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
I have great sympathy for newcomers, even when I'm no longer one.
When you've clocked up your 1000th post in a month maybe? won't be long now, will it - grin

....and the amazing thing is I'm still looking for my first good post. smile
Quote:
.....no harm in pointing out that for some of these questions there just aren't any answers that are worth the time to write.

But then why not just ignore those posts? Stay away from them and say nothing, if that's how you feel? And maybe there are others who will feel otherwise.

I mean, I did feel otherwise. I gave answers to all his questions, and I thought they were worth the time to write.
I enjoyed writing those answers.

And I think those answers were excellent, if I do say so myself ha
Posted by: currawong

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 04:36 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
But then why not just ignore those posts? Stay away from them and say nothing, if that's how you feel? And maybe there are others who will feel otherwise.
Of course. And I do. I ignore many, many posts, otherwise I'd have a much higher post count than I do for the time I've been here smile. However, as I said, I still think it's worth pointing out to a poster that some questions cannot be answered meaningfully (even by BruceD smile )
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 05:07 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkCannon

But then why not just ignore those posts? Stay away from them and say nothing, if that's how you feel?



Why? I have no idea why you think my response should have been repressed. It wasn't gratuitous - I really do think that what I said is true, and I think there is no fault in letting the OP know that some people think that way.
Posted by: PartyPianist

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 05:25 AM

Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: PartyPianist
Those who commit to memory easily have "perfect pitch".
Any evidence for this statement?


My coach/teacher who is a Professor at the Wollongong Conservatorium, name Slobodan Zivkovic told me "the trouble with my pupils with perfect pitch is they learn the notes too easily. I have to be very careful with their preparation."
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 02:11 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
I don't understand the impatience that some members sometimes show about things like this, especially with newer members.
I've gotten my share of it myself. While I've been extremely impressed and gratified about the site overall, this one aspect has been mildly discomfiting.

The creator of this thread is new here. He wants to start getting involved. He posted some questions to begin a conversation and to get some views. Why do you want to tell him to just figure it out himself?

[...]


It's not necessarily impatience; it's sometimes a case of mild disbelief or just bewilderment. It's hard to understand why a student who is playing such works as the Chopin Fourth Ballade and the Beethoven "Waldstein," and who already has an opinion from his teacher on the question, would ask an internet forum to opine for him which of two pieces is the more difficult. Someone playing at that level surely has enough musical experience and knowledge to judge a work's difficulty by reading through it. He already knows, one might presume, that various difficulties, both musical and technical, offer different challenges to different pianists.

Therefore, the question posed seems like a very peculiar one with which to "start a conversation." A more engaging way to "start a conversation" - particularly from someone whose claims suggest pretty advanced pianism - might be to raise some particular technical or interpretive challenges for discussion or opinion.

And since you are bringing some of us to task for the way we respond to forum posts, I would hope that you would realize that, as individuals, we all have our own ways - whether you approve of them or not - of responding on internet forums (fora?).

Regards,
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 02:18 PM

Originally Posted By: wr
.....I have no idea why you think my response should have been repressed. It wasn't gratuitous - I really do think that what I said is true, and I think there is no fault in letting the OP know that some people think that way.

WHY?

This was a new member. Would you rather he/she hadn't joined, or hadn't begun posting? That kind of reply is sort of like scaring the person away. Why would you want to do that, on a post which at worst is a little insipid but might be (and was) of some interest to some other people?

Sorry, but I think it's tantamount to saying "You stink" to a beginning student.....
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 02:26 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
.....It's not necessarily impatience; it's sometimes a case of mild disbelief or just bewilderment. It's hard to understand why a student who is playing such works as the Chopin Fourth Ballade and the Beethoven "Waldstein," and who already has an opinion from his teacher on the question, would ask an internet forum to opine for him which of two pieces is the more difficult.....

Good answer -- but I have a good answer to your good answer.

First of all, as I mentioned in a much earlier post, it's entirely plausible (although I agree not common) that someone who plays those pieces would legitimately have that question. I gave the example of myself, back in the day, when the first major piece I worked on was Chopin's F# minor Polonaise and I didn't have much idea how it compared to other pieces. (I didn't realize for decades that it's considered a very hard piece.)

But the main thing here is that I think you and others are being a bit too concrete about the reasons that people say or ask certain things. As I said in another above post, even if someone does know an answer or could figure it out himself, he might ask the question "to make conversation," to start making contact, to get a ball rolling between himself and others. You mean you yourself never do that? If you don't, you're unusual. It's a content of the social graces of our society. And I would think that on an internet site it's not uncommon for a new member. As long as they're not saying anything objectionable -- and this person certainly wasn't -- I think they should be welcomed, not slammed down. And this was a slam down.

Quote:
....since you are bringing some of us to task for the way we respond to forum posts, I would hope that you would realize that, as individuals, we all have our own ways - whether you approve of them or not - of responding on internet forums (fora?).


Of course y'all have your ways of posting and replying, and I don't pretend to think it matters if I "approve" or not. But I hope that what I'm saying might have an effect on how people view these things. I'm not sure that some of the people here realized that they were sort telling this new member to take his ball and go home.

P.S. I don't know if it's forums or fora either. smile
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 03:43 PM

I don't understand why the same select group of people say the exact same thing in each one of these threads (if you can play these pieces, then you should know). First of all, many people are curious about what other people think. Second, it is hard to tell what is more difficult at speed when you can only play through both pieces very slowly. I am learning Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto, which is obviously a hard work; however, when I was deciding which concerto to learn, I requested for people that had already played these pieces to give me their opinion, and this helped me in my decision. It is annoying and unhelpful to tell the people to decide on their own if they ask a question.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 03:47 PM

Originally Posted By: xtraheat
I don't understand why the same select group of people say the exact same thing in each one of these threads (if you can play these pieces, then you should know). First of all, many people are curious about what other people think.....I requested for people that had already played these pieces to give me their opinion, and this helped me in my decision. It is annoying and unhelpful to tell the people to decide on their own if they ask a question.

Thanks.
I was afraid I'd be a minority of one on here.

I knew that I couldn't be the sole believer in what I was saying, but who knew if anyone else would happen to join in.

And I think we can be pretty sure our new member Tsunami appreciates it too.
Posted by: currawong

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 04:18 PM

Originally Posted By: PartyPianist
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: PartyPianist
Those who commit to memory easily have "perfect pitch".
Any evidence for this statement?

My coach/teacher who is a Professor at the Wollongong Conservatorium, name Slobodan Zivkovic told me "the trouble with my pupils with perfect pitch is they learn the notes too easily. I have to be very careful with their preparation."

That doesn't logically translate to "those who commit to memory easily have perfect pitch". It may translate to "those who have perfect pitch are often good memorisers"...
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 04:33 PM

It's been suggested on previous occasions that people may post apparently sincere yet actually frivolous questions about advanced repertoire as an oblique way of boasting without appearing to do so and as a covert way of fishing for compliments.

"I began playing last year and I've just started learning Mazeppa. Do you think I'm making normal progress?"

"I'm learning Rach 3 but I don't know what fingering to use on the first page. Can somebody help me?"


Sometimes these inquiries are made in naïveté, and sometimes they're transparently calculated to impress. In any case, I've seen answers to such questions that were far more brusque and dismissive than anything in this thread.

Steven
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 04:33 PM

Originally Posted By: currawong
.....That doesn't logically translate to "those who commit to memory easily have perfect pitch". It may translate to "those who have perfect pitch are often good memorisers"...

Yes -- and in fact it doesn't even approximately translate into that. smile
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 04:36 PM

Originally Posted By: sotto voce
It's been suggested on previous occasions that people may post apparently frivolous questions about advanced repertoire as an oblique way of boasting without actually appearing to do so and a covert way of fishing for compliments....
Sometimes these inquiries are made in naïveté, and sometimes they're transparently calculated to impress....

Yes indeed.
If someone does that habitually, or even I suppose just more than once smile it's obnoxious.

Otherwise, and especially IMO if it's from a new member, that's different.

The reason I said anything about it on this thread was that it was about a new member, and a young one to boot. It would seem to me that we want to encourage such people to come here and be here, not slam them down.
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 06:57 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
Originally Posted By: wr
.....I have no idea why you think my response should have been repressed. It wasn't gratuitous - I really do think that what I said is true, and I think there is no fault in letting the OP know that some people think that way.

WHY?

This was a new member. Would you rather he/she hadn't joined, or hadn't begun posting? That kind of reply is sort of like scaring the person away. Why would you want to do that, on a post which at worst is a little insipid but might be (and was) of some interest to some other people?

Sorry, but I think it's tantamount to saying "You stink" to a beginning student.....


This person seems perfectly capable of dealing with the responses he got; it is rather condescending to think he isn't. When I respond to a post, I don't especially pay attention to writer's age unless they make of point of it; this person didn't, that I noticed. But now that you have brought it up as an issue, I checked his profile and see he is a high school senior. And is into rap, metal, and hip hop. All of which lead me to think he doesn't particularly need to be treated with kid gloves.

My post, in the context of the whole thread, was simply reinforcing a message several others had already given. And I still think it is a perfectly legitimate response to the question. Feel free to disagree, but you aren't going to change my mind (nor my online persona).
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 07:59 PM

wow you all need to stop being so elitist and arrogant. He asked a simple question... He could care less what your all's opinion is on the fact that he is asking this question. If you don't have an answer, don't post... Simple as that
Posted by: currawong

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 08:45 PM

And calling people with a genuine opinion "elitist and arrogant" helps how?

wr only defended his opinion because it was criticised. Why don't we all accept that each other's opinions, as opinions, are valid. Novel, eh? smile
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 09:23 PM

Originally Posted By: xtraheat
wow you all need to stop being so elitist and arrogant. He asked a simple question... He could care less what your all's opinion is on the fact that he is asking this question. If you don't have an answer, don't post... Simple as that


If you think that I and others are being elitist and arrogant, that would seem to be a problem on your part, since we aren't. And, speaking of arrogance - you aren't in a position to say whether he does or does not care about opinions about his question. I hope he does care, and as a result, tries to frame such questions with a little more thought in the future. And finally, when people say that a question should really be answered by the person asking it, or is otherwise unanswerable, it is an answer to the question. Whether you like that answer is a whole different issue.
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 09:26 PM

No, the "correct" answer would to give your opinion on the issue that is in question, rather than tell him whether or not he should be able to ask it. It IS arrogant to say that he should care and "try to frame such questions with more thought", as this is a public forum, and not only was there nothing wrong with the question that he asked, but you are also telling him what he should and shouldn't be able to ask
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 09:28 PM

Originally Posted By: wr
....This person seems perfectly capable of dealing with the responses he got; it is rather condescending to think he isn't.....he doesn't particularly need to be treated with kid gloves....

As with the earlier thing of "why would someone ask questions like that," I think you're taking what I said too concretely.

It's not just about "him," it's about how it might affect others who are thinking of joining and posting, and it's about the basic atmosphere of the site toward newcomers, younger people, and those who maybe don't know as much as you do or don't have exactly the same kinds of social approaches.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 09:31 PM

Originally Posted By: xtraheat
wow you all need to stop being so elitist and arrogant. He asked a simple question... He could care less what your all's opinion is on the fact that he is asking this question. If you don't have an answer, don't post... Simple as that

Well said.

This site in general seems to be characterized by an unusually decorous level of respect and regard for others. But this particular aspect, which arises a fair amount, seems like an exception. They feel they're reacting appropriately to naive or stupid posts; I think it's essentially elitism, or maybe just unthinking-ness.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 09:34 PM

Please at least consider that he's as right on this as your might be.
I think he's righter.
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 10:05 PM

Originally Posted By: xtraheat
No, the "correct" answer would to give your opinion on the issue that is in question, rather than tell him whether or not he should be able to ask it. It IS arrogant to say that he should care and "try to frame such questions with more thought", as this is a public forum, and not only was there nothing wrong with the question that he asked, but you are also telling him what he should and shouldn't be able to ask


I did give my opinion on the question, and have no idea why you think only direct answers to questions are permissible. It ain't gonna happen. To me, it is fairly obvious that posting a question is an invitation to comments on the question itself as well as to getting answers, especially in cases where the question is problematic.

And no, I don't agree with your idea about what is arrogant. There is nothing arrogant about saying I think the question is not a good one and could have been better thought out. It's my opinion. The OP can take it or leave it. And there's also nothing arrogant about my hope that he understands why some of us responded as we did and takes it into account in the future.
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 10:07 PM

I still don't understand what was even remotely wrong with his question?
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 10:13 PM

This place becomes ever more ridiculous by the day.

Steven
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 10:15 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
Originally Posted By: wr
....This person seems perfectly capable of dealing with the responses he got; it is rather condescending to think he isn't.....he doesn't particularly need to be treated with kid gloves....

As with the earlier thing of "why would someone ask questions like that," I think you're taking what I said too concretely.

It's not just about "him," it's about how it might affect others who are thinking of joining and posting, and it's about the basic atmosphere of the site toward newcomers, younger people, and those who maybe don't know as much as you do or don't have exactly the same kinds of social approaches.


There are all kinds of people and personalities here. I'm a grumpy old geezer who doesn't feel any special obligation to go out of my way for youth or newbies (even though I sometimes do, when I think it is merited). You may as well get used to it, or maybe it would be a better idea to hit my UserID with the "Ignore this user" feature that is offered on this site and spare yourself some pain.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 10:15 PM

I think Beethoven could have kicked Chopin's a....rear. Or in other words, what an awesome thread!
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 10:16 PM

You still haven't said what was wrong with his question
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 10:17 PM

Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
Please at least consider that he's as right on this as your might be.
I think he's righter.


That who is as right about what?
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 10:37 PM

Originally Posted By: xtraheat
You still haven't said what was wrong with his question


I said it in my original post in this thread, and others have said more or less the same thing.

The main thing is that he was asking for a comparison that just can't reasonably be made, and it can't reasonably be made for a couple of reasons. One is that the demands of the two pieces are not directly comparable in terms of difficulty - the styles of writing for the piano are very different, but both have significant hurdles. Can anybody really say whether the octave glissando passage in the Beethoven is more difficult than the fast double notes in the Chopin, for example? I sure can't.

The other reason is that nobody can answer the question for the OP anyway; only the person doing the playing can answer that, and hopefully, if they are capable of playing advanced music of this kind, they should be able to sort out which is the harder for them. Or perhaps decide it is a tossup. It is entirely possible that even if all of us here universally agreed that the Beethoven was harder, the OP might have a tougher time with the Chopin. I don't think any of us can say which is the harder for any given pianist, unless we are intimately familiar with their playing and technical development, such as a teacher would be.
Posted by: jotur

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 10:38 PM

I don't play this repertoire, or at this level. But from my experience with mathematics, or accounting, or skiing, or any number of other activities, I think "at this level you have the experience and judgement to figure this out, and what's more you have far more knowledge of your abilities than anyone on this forum" is a more than legitimate response. And one which I didn't think anyone here was rude about. The response that "the two pieces are so different, and piano players are so different, that one can't make a comparison that says one is harder than the other" also seems like a legitimate response to me, and I didn't find any rudeness in any of those responses. I didn't find it rude that posters pointed out that the question was/is essentially unanswerable.

But MarkC's insistence that so many here are so out of line, as he seems to think here and in a couple of other threads, seems - hm, what was that word I used? - smug, that was it - to me smile

But, as Mark says, he's not perfect smile We can agree on that.

Cathy
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: jotur
....as Mark says, he's not perfect smile We can agree on that.

I don't remember saying it, but I certainly agree. ha

To me the issue is that people who take the attitude that I criticized are discouraging new and younger members from being here via put-down and intimidation, however unintended.
Posted by: tsunami713

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 11:30 PM

Guys stop arguing. This forum is here to bring together people to share their love of one of the most beautiful languages in the world-music, and especially piano. I believe that it would be interesting to see different people's views on the subject i brought up and from the said perspectives, get some understanding of how the majority of you believe these pieces should be performed. On the contrary to my expectations, we are talking about social aspects of the forums.

Whether I could answer the question myself or not is totally off topic, because I would not have posted the question if I could have received the answer I wanted by myself. I think we should agree on this point too.

I believe we should focus less on what we have been talking about, and more on what makes each piece difficult or what could make each piece more difficult than the other through a more detailed explanation as to why is this particular section of the piece for example the coda of the 4th Ballade, harder, than the coda of the 3rd movement of the waldstein. Or how the shaping is harder in ___, or more along these lines.

Thank you!
Posted by: jotur

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 11:41 PM

tsunami713 - those are far more specific issues than your first post implied :), just as the information about needing to have something ready by Feb 26 was more specific than your first post. So, I still don't see that the responses to your first post were off topic. And, it appears to me, that many of the answers are, still - it depends. On your abilities, on your experience. For one pianist perhaps one of those codas is harder, for another the other one. One might discuss how they are different for each of us, but - from what I read here, for this repertoire, "harder" isn't really a definable issue in any absolute way. So I guess I agree with wr - there are more accurate ways of asking what you want to know, since "which is harder" still doesn't, to me, appear to be a question with an answer.

JMO of course.

Cathy
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/07/09 11:52 PM

Originally Posted By: tsunami713


Whether I could answer the question myself or not is totally off topic, because I would not have posted the question if I could have received the answer I wanted by myself. I think we should agree on this point too.


I believe we should focus less on what we have been talking about, and more on what makes each piece difficult or what could make each piece more difficult than the other through a more detailed explanation as to why is this particular section of the piece for example the coda of the 4th Ballade, harder, than the coda of the 3rd movement of the waldstein. Or how the shaping is harder in ___, or more along these lines.

Thank you!


I think you are trying to get some objective evaluation of which is the harder. But I personally don't think such a thing exists, and wonder why you do think it does, if that is what you are after. Is it because of what your teacher said? If so, maybe you could ask your teacher exactly what it is that makes the one more difficult than the other and let us know the response. Then we might have something more concrete to talk about.

On the other hand, it entirely possible to discuss the difficulties of each piece as a standalone piece. For example, simple stamina is an issue in the Beethoven, especially in the notorious passage of sixteenth note triplet broken chords that seems to go on forever. The mood changes in the Chopin are terribly difficult to grasp, and then to communicate, once grasped. Etc. Etc. Etc. I just have no idea how one would compare the two, though.





Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 12:00 AM

Originally Posted By: tsunami713
[...] Whether I could answer the question myself or not is totally off topic, because I would not have posted the question if I could have received the answer I wanted by myself. I think we should agree on this point too.

I don't agree with that at all.

Originally Posted By: tsunami713
I believe we should focus less on what we have been talking about, and more on what makes each piece difficult or what could make each piece more difficult than the other through a more detailed explanation as to why is this particular section of the piece for example the coda of the 4th Ballade, harder, than the coda of the 3rd movement of the waldstein. Or how the shaping is harder in ___, or more along these lines.

In my opinion, anyone with the technical ability to learn and play those pieces wouldn't need to ask those questions of other people.

The purpose of this thread is even less clear now than it was at the outset. I assumed that the original question was naive but sincere; it now appears that you want others to do your thinking for you.

Steven
Posted by: tsunami713

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 12:01 AM

Fair enough then. And I believe that objective can be created when the subjective of everyone is combined if possible. But as you said, why don't we analyze each piece separately.

By stamina, you mean that your wrist will eventually give in?

By mood changes in chopin, I believe the hardest mood change is actually in the first and second pages (between the first intro of the theme and the second intro of the theme). A lot of people won't notice it, but Gb6 diminished chord in the left hand implicates a minor tone change already, since the melody is exactly the same but the left hand chord changes. I believe its supposed to give it a sinking feel. I would actually say that this whole piece has an icy feel to it. Of course, its talking about love or beauty, romance etc..but particular in an icy tone. Its like a dance on ice I suppose!
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 12:04 AM

WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD!!!!!!!!
Posted by: tsunami713

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 12:05 AM


The purpose of this thread is even less clear now than it was at the outset. I assumed that the original question was naive but sincere; it now appears that you want others to do your thinking for you.

Steven [/quote]

This isn't a calculus question. You can't simply have other people think for you. And this should be a discussion not a flame thread. This topic isn't just simply answering a question. As all forum topics are, they are here to provide a good discussion of what different pianists all over the world believe. We are not experts on debate or literature. You're simply missing the point-simply to talk about piano.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 12:11 AM

tsunami713,

I stand corrected. Your last two posts have given me a much better sense of the purpose of this thread.

Steven
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 01:10 AM

Originally Posted By: tsunami713
This isn't a calculus question.....And this should be a discussion not a flame thread. This topic isn't just simply answering a question. As all forum topics are, they are here to provide a good discussion of what different pianists all over the world believe. We are not experts on debate or literature. You're simply missing the point-simply to talk about piano.

Bravo!!!

I'm thrilled that you came back on here, and that you helped get the discussion to this better level. And, need I say, you're doing a great job.

There's an irony here, IMO. Putting things in admittedly simplified terms, some of your 'critics' are sort of saying that you were a bit dense in your questions and posts. The irony is that they themselves are being limited (and rigid) in their apparent view of what is or isn't reasonable material for a discussion forum, not to mention for human discourse in general. I see that some have come around, with your having clarified where you were coming from. I wish they could find it in themselves to be more open to such possibilities from the git-go, especially with new and young members; you shouldn't have to work so hard to show it to them.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 01:12 AM

Originally Posted By: sotto voce
tsunami713,

I stand corrected. Your last two posts have given me a much better sense of the purpose of this thread.

I hadn't??? ha
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 01:23 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
There's an irony here, IMO. Putting things in admittedly simplified terms, some of your 'critics' are sort of saying that you were a bit dense in your questions and posts. The irony is that they themselves are being limited (and rigid) in their apparent view of what is or isn't reasonable material for a discussion forum, not to mention for human discourse in general.

There's irony here, no doubt about it, but that's not it.

Steven
Posted by: currawong

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 01:32 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
The irony is that they themselves are being limited (and rigid) in their apparent view of what is or isn't reasonable material for a discussion forum, not to mention for human discourse in general. I see that some have come around, with your having clarified where you were coming from. I wish they could find it in themselves to be more open to such possibilities from the git-go, especially with new and young members; you shouldn't have to work so hard to show it to them.
Oh do give it a rest!
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 01:40 AM

Alrighty, I actually don't know any of the pieces that the OP has posted (me and my limited repertoire...sigh), but I'm going to take the plunge and try to bring this thread back on topic. So a few questions for the OP to get the more knowledgeable forum members thinking:

1) What techniques do you typically have the most trouble with? (e.g. playing cleanly and rapidly, pedaling, etc.)
2) Which composer do you find harder to understand interpretively?

And for those who have studied or performed these works, simply state which one you think is harder and why, without over-analyzing why the question was asked.
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 01:46 AM

Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
The irony is that they themselves are being limited (and rigid) in their apparent view of what is or isn't reasonable material for a discussion forum, not to mention for human discourse in general. I see that some have come around, with your having clarified where you were coming from. I wish they could find it in themselves to be more open to such possibilities from the git-go, especially with new and young members; you shouldn't have to work so hard to show it to them.
Oh do give it a rest!


Couldn't have said it better myself. grin
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 01:49 AM

Originally Posted By: wr
Couldn't have said it better myself. grin

Great. Let's see what you can do better. ha
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 01:50 AM

There -- done. smile

P.S. Before you criticize me too much, realize that something may have been accomplished here.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 01:53 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
Originally Posted By: sotto voce
tsunami713,

I stand corrected. Your last two posts have given me a much better sense of the purpose of this thread.

I hadn't??? ha

You can't make this stuff up.

Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
And for those who have studied or performed these works, simply state which one you think is harder and why, without over-analyzing why the question was asked.

Nor this.

Steven
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 02:05 AM

Umm...I was just making a tentative suggestion, but I'm sorry if I offended you. It's rather amusing how the Beethoven vs. Chopin thread has turned into a PW against each other thread. help
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 02:08 AM

I completely didn't understand what he thought couldn't be 'made up," about my post or yours.

(I mean, maybe about mine a little bit ha but not yours.)

I expect to be put down for this post too.
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 02:12 AM

Originally Posted By: tsunami713
Fair enough then. And I believe that objective can be created when the subjective of everyone is combined if possible. But as you said, why don't we analyze each piece separately.

By stamina, you mean that your wrist will eventually give in?



Not really. It's that the piece requires some really big bursts of energy, over and over, and in that particular passage, it is difficult to start with a high level of energy in that broken chord figuration and maintain it all the way to the end, together with adding in the sforzandi. You just get tired. The figuration is somewhat awkward, for one thing.

Quote:


By mood changes in chopin, I believe the hardest mood change is actually in the first and second pages (between the first intro of the theme and the second intro of the theme). A lot of people won't notice it, but Gb6 diminished chord in the left hand implicates a minor tone change already, since the melody is exactly the same but the left hand chord changes. I believe its supposed to give it a sinking feel. I would actually say that this whole piece has an icy feel to it. Of course, its talking about love or beauty, romance etc..but particular in an icy tone. Its like a dance on ice I suppose!


For me, the mood seems to frequently shift throughout the piece, and it is very hard to create a through-line of musical sense, because the structure is not straightforward. The mood shifts don't seem particularly "logical" to me on the surface. I have rarely heard even professional performances that convince me all the way through from first note to last. More often, I get the sense that the pianist is sort of wandering around sniffing the emotional flowers and making pretty sounds until the coda, when suddenly things get all serious and dramatic for no particular reason at all. No compelling story has been told, and I think Chopin is one of the story-telling composers, at least in most of his works.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 02:19 AM

Originally Posted By: MarkCannon
I completely didn't understand what he thought couldn't be 'made up," about my post or yours.

(I mean, maybe about mine a little bit ha but not yours.)

I expect to be put down for this post too.

I wonder how a newcomer decides so quickly that he's got everything figured out and that it's necessary to apprise everyone of such through constant, condescending, divisive, self-congratulatory commentary. Will the continual dissection and analysis of threads' dynamics and the persistent criticism of others' opinions and posting styles ever end? Does the psychiatrist imagine himself a pastor, and this his pulpit for preaching?

In particular, I really can't understand why a mature mental health professional would want to have an overbearing, omniscient and omnipresent posting persona—or why anyone presumably trained to diagnose and treat narcissism and other pathologies would apparently have no self-awareness whatsoever.

Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
Umm...I was just making a tentative suggestion, but I'm sorry if I offended you. It's rather amusing how the Beethoven vs. Chopin thread has turned into a PW against each other thread. help

Your "tentative suggestion" was worded as a directive; as an attempt to control the course of this thread, it seemed as patronizing as any other that's been made here.

Steven
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 02:32 AM

I'm sorry if my post sounded like I was trying to patronizingly cut off your conversation, sotto voce, since that was not my intention. I guess in forums you can't really communicate your tone of voice and facial expressions, so it's easy for people to interpret things differently than the intended message. I was simply thinking about how the OP's question might be addressed by members of the forum who had knowledge about those pieces, and perhaps I didn't word my opinion in the most helpful manner.

Now that I think about it, reading a forum post is rather like looking at a score. All the notes are there but sometimes you have no idea what message the composer intended (as wr insightfully pointed out about some interpretations of the Chopin piece).

I'm afraid I do have to disagree with you on one point...the length of time that a poster has been around PW or his/her profession shouldn't be a basis of judging their posts. I myself prefer a forum with old and new members from many diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 02:37 AM

I didn't invent the word upstart (or the concept), and anyone who doesn't think that one's profession is fair game for commentary needn't include it in one's profile.

Steven
Posted by: wr

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 02:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
Umm...I was just making a tentative suggestion, but I'm sorry if I offended you. It's rather amusing how the Beethoven vs. Chopin thread has turned into a PW against each other thread. help


But much of the discussion was exactly about why it is basically impossible to do what you blithely just asked us to do, as if none of the previous part of the thread existed!!! At any rate, it's still close to the full moon, so this kind of outbreak of cantankerousness is to be expected. smile

In answer to your post -

Over the years, I have as an amateur somewhat haphazardly studied both pieces, although not with an expectation of performing them. Years ago, as a student, I did perform the first movement of the Waldstein, to give you an idea of where I am coming from. I am pretty familiar with them at the keyboard, anyhow. But I can't say which I think is more difficult, and that isn't some game I'm playing, but the truth. They are both very difficult, but in very different ways.

I really don't think it is possible to make that kind of "what's hardest" determination for a vast number of unique masterpieces that require virtuoso chops. They all pose unique problems for the player, so there's really not much basis I can think of on which to do that kind of comparison. And I also think it always really boils down to "what is the most difficult for me", and only the individual pianist can answer that (if they think it is important to do so).

Of course, if you are out to impress judges at a competition, that shifts the question into a different realm, but that's not what the OP asked.

I also think that grading systems tend to give people the idea that difficulty is some neatly categorized affair, but it isn't, especially when you get into advanced music. It's mostly opinions, and when applied to any individual, those opinions may not hold up very well.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 02:57 AM

Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
.....I'm afraid I do have to disagree with you on one point...the length of time that a poster has been around PW or his/her profession shouldn't be a basis of judging their posts....

Thanks for that. That's another aspect of some people's posts that I simply do not understand. The things that I've said on here don't depend on longevity.

I know you're not 'taking sides' in this and I'm glad for that, among other reasons because it's just ugly. But I very much appreciate your making it clear that people here don't necessarily share that view.
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 02:58 AM

Very good points, wr. I suppose it's different for every pianist, but I find that there are some composers or pieces that I "get" more easily than others. In terms of comparing the composers in general, I find that Beethoven pieces come a lot easier to me than Chopin does.

It's hard to classify pieces to one difficulty or another, as we've also discussed on the Mozart sonatas thread. I think exam boards tend to expect more from the performance of a piece when it's put at a higher level, but that piece may not intrinsically be more difficult than ones on lower levels. I've gone through an examination board system myself and the pieces that I thought were the easiest to learn and master, I scored the lowest because I was expected to play them with more finesse than some of the "harder" ones. If examiners expected a kid's Fur Elise to be like Valentina Lisitsa's, it'd probably be placed on one of the higher levels of difficulty.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 03:30 AM

Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
......It's hard to classify pieces to one difficulty or another.....

It sure is, even more so when it's something like comparing pieces of different composers like Beethoven and Chopin. I mean, I tried anyway smile but not much.

While on one hand I think it's a bit futile to do rankings of difficulty, I'm also fascinated by them. I remember being transfixed when I first saw the "gradings" of the difficulty of Beethoven's works in Schirmer's von Bulow edition (the gradings apparently done by somebody named Sigmund Lebert). It was even better than seeing rankings of center fielders. smile

Even after I came to feel that such rankings were a bit silly, I still kept coming back to them with curiosity. I must admit I would feel good when I saw that something I was playing was ranked high -- and a bit inadequate when it was the reverse.
Posted by: FunkyLlama

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 03:34 PM

Good God, I weep tears of blood every time I see that 'Ha-Ha' smiley.
Posted by: Damon

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 05:52 PM

What's the record for number of posts in one month?
Posted by: Damon

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 05:59 PM


Quote:
1. Which is harder in your opinion. the 3rd mvmt of waldstein or Chopin's F Minor Ballade?


The F Minor Ballade

Quote:

2. Is the F Minor Ballade really the hardest of the four ballades?

No, the G minor Ballade is the hardest.

Quote:

3. I've listened to the 4th scherzo by chopin. sounds hard, but does anybody know how difficult that is compared to either the waldstein or the ballade i'm playing.


It's harder than both the Ballade, and the 3rd mvmt of the Waldstein.
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 06:10 PM

IMO, the 4th Scherzo is the hardest of the three, but that's just me
Posted by: Damon

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 06:37 PM

I agree, I mistyped before. I'll go back and fix that.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 10:00 PM

Originally Posted By: FunkyLlama
Good God, I weep tears of blood every time I see that 'Ha-Ha' smiley.

Any time! ha
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 10:39 PM

Originally Posted By: xtraheat
IMO, the 4th Scherzo is the hardest of the three, but that's just me

I suppose only one who has played all four in concert could really answer that. My 'big' piece was the Bb minor, but I never seriously worked on the others, though I certainly have read through all of them.

Good grief, that Bb minor was a nightmare, and I found it a major challenge. And whatever your opinion about Argerich, her Bb minor has an insolent -and disgusting- ease to it which ultimately I found very discouraging. Even if you don't care for the interpretation, you have to admire her technical address. It is utterly amazing.

In the central sections, Argerich properly brings out those delicious 'inner voices', though admittedly without the cold poise of Michelangeli. IMO, Argerich owns this piece. Everyone else is boring.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/08/09 10:48 PM

Originally Posted By: argerichfan
Originally Posted By: xtraheat
IMO, the 4th Scherzo is the hardest of the three, but that's just me

I suppose only one who has played all four in concert could really answer that.....

.....and even then they could answer it only for themselves. For me the Beethoven would be the 'hardest' of any of these pieces, but I imagine that for most pianists it would come in behind both the 4th ballade and 4th scherzo.

P.S. I can't stop being amused by that phrase, ".....the 4th scherzo is the hardest of the three." smile smile

The phrase looks like it can't be OK, but if we know what it's about, it is.
Posted by: PartyPianist

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 12:29 AM

I play Waldstein and 4th Ballade to performance standard (I guess). I also play the other ballades and all the other sonatas (including Chopin's) and all the scherzo's as well. All offer different challenges. None are "not hard" (with the exception of Beethoven's sonatines and no 25).

I have neither mastered (as an absolute) the Waldstein (20 years of performance rehearsal) nor 4th Ballade (10 years), if that puts things "in perspective".
Posted by: tsunami713

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 01:00 AM

Maybe those 10 years and 20 years don't really count because you're playing so many pieces in your repertoire. those 20 years i bet only count like a couple weeks or maybe, just maybe, a month if you didn't play anything else.
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 01:06 PM

You have played every single Beethoven Sonata?
Posted by: Inlanding

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 01:17 PM

Hi PartyPianist~~

Not hard to play??? Wow! Maybe you mean hard to play correctly or well?

I would love to hear you play all Pathetique movements and all Sonata No 5 movements.

Please post them. I love listening those two Sonatas and attempting to make them sound even half-way decent at half-speed.

oh heck - throw in all the Tempest and Moonlight Sonata movements as well.

Glen
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 01:17 PM

(Not him, the other guy, i.e. in the prior post, but I wondered too. Anyway I would guess there's a difference between playing and PLAYING.) smile
Posted by: Juishi

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 01:32 PM

I, too, would be interested to hear your playing, PartyPianist. You seem to be able (according to your own posts) to play nearly everything, and you quite broadly talk about your virtuosic skills and wide repertoire, yet you havent't proved anything of your skills.
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 08:22 PM

Yes, how about you post up a recording of, let's say, the last movement of the Hammerklavier, or the first movement of Op.111? And to quote what you said to me earlier: "I will wait with baited breath to see how you talk your way out of NOT providing a recording."
Posted by: PartyPianist

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 09:32 PM

Originally Posted By: xtraheat
You have played every single Beethoven Sonata?


I regularly play all Beethoven's sonatas on rotation, excluding 9 & 10 as I don't currently have the scores. As with anything else performance is a "work in progress" and the most work required would be the final (32) variations. Which do I play well (in my opinion)?

3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 15, 19-21 (except the glissandos), 22, 25, 26 (just), 27, 28, and 31.

Providing I don't take the scherzo and presto non tanto too fast, I play Chopin's #3 well too. To put things in perspective, comparing my performances to others I “tend” to be on the fast end of the scale, my “slow” is often another’s “moderate”. I can perform the Hammerklaviar final movement effectively using a crotchet pulse at 100BPM, maybe 120BPM on a good day. I cannot mimic Glenn Gould’s staggering performance – but I’m working on it grin
Posted by: PartyPianist

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 09:35 PM

Originally Posted By: Juishi
I, too, would be interested to hear your playing, PartyPianist. You seem to be able (according to your own posts) to play nearly everything, and you quite broadly talk about your virtuosic skills and wide repertoire, yet you havent't proved anything of your skills.


The forum's been presented an offer - do something about it thumb
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 09:40 PM

Recording??
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 11:11 PM

I'm lost. smile
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 11:25 PM

I think PartyPianist is referring to this thread. So if anyone lives in Sydney, Australia and has decent recording equipment and a piano, you can listen to him live.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/09/09 11:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
I think PartyPianist is referring to this thread. So if anyone lives in Sydney, Australia and has decent recording equipment and a piano, you can listen to him live.

Oh. ha

(Thanks!)
Posted by: PartyPianist

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/10/09 12:37 AM

Originally Posted By: xtraheat
Recording??


Theoretically "recorded" or "unrecorded" should be the same. To date no recordings.
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/10/09 12:41 AM

Maybe we can shed some light on this controversy. smile

Is it possible that when you say that you "play" all these pieces, what you mostly mean is that you can play through them, but not necessarily at something close to performance level?

That would still be impressive, and maybe it wouldn't shock people so much.
Posted by: PartyPianist

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/10/09 12:49 AM

What is performance level, Mark? That is a more pertinient question?

Could I "pass myself off as a concert pianist"? is what you are really asking.

The answer in yes, I could fool you, lol!

I play all Beehoven's sonatas to performance standard, but some are complete while others are a work in progress. Of course even they complete performances could be improved. I will never quite reach Beethoven.
Posted by: Frozenicicles

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/10/09 01:13 AM

I have no doubt that there are people who are at concert pianist level but choose not to become concert pianists. There are people with extraordinary talents in the word...and being able to perform all the Beethoven sonatas is not unheard of among the greats. PartyPianist, I believe you about your playing and I anxiously await being able to listen to it. thumb
Posted by: xtraheat

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/10/09 07:18 AM

No, you sound like a liar that holds double standards to people. You tell me that you "wait with bated breath to find a way for me to talk my way out of a performance" of the 8th Chopin prelude, which you said is one of the hardest pieces you have ever learned (yet you have learned all of the Beethoven Sonatas, which are exponentially more difficult), yet you just claim nonchalantly claim "no recordings".
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/10/09 11:25 AM

THIS THREAD JUST GETS MORE AWESOME!!!!!!
Posted by: Brendan

Re: Beethoven vs. Chopin. - 12/10/09 11:52 AM

IT IN FACT IS SO AWESOME THAT I'LL MAKE A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME APPEARANCE JUST TO CLOSE IT

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!