Chopin Waltz Talk

Posted by: OG Ryder

Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/08/12 01:44 PM

I don't know why but I am really into Chopin Waltzes right now! What are your favorites? Can you recommend any non-chopin waltzes that I might like?

My fav, such a classical feel and clean sound 3hearts: 69 no 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T01wf1me0mM&feature=relmfu

Next fav, the main theme is with sorrow but the middle sections are so cheery! (anyone catch the similarity to those two measures in C# minor no. 20 middle section?) : 69 no 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T01wf1me0mM&feature=relmfu

Side thought: After listening to these, I keep wondering why Op 9 no 2 isn't seen more as a waltz?... It has that repeating left hand pattern. Can anyone chime in on this?
Posted by: zrtf90

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/08/12 02:18 PM

Brahms wrote 16 waltzes, op 39. They're quite unusual for waltzes, one of them is even in counterpoint, but they're very enjoyable.

The name Strauss rings a bell, too.

The nocturne Op. 9, no. 2 is not a waltz because it isn't written in three-four time; it's in twelve-eight. There are four accents in each bar: strong-da-da, weak-da-da, medium-da-da, weak-da-da. It's as close to a waltz as Chuck Berry's No Particular Place To Go. smile
Posted by: Chris G

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/08/12 02:50 PM

I really like Chopin Waltzes also and the first one you mentioned is one of my favorites ( although the performance you linked to did not really excite me ). I actually prefer to listen to others playing Chopin rather than learning the pieces myself because in order to learn the pieces I would have to start by playing them slowly and at a slow tempo they just seem fell incredibly sad.

No one else is like Chopin so it's hard to suggest alternatives but here is one link you can try: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxDrqdf-U...29C58C3963B286D
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/08/12 04:29 PM

My favourite Chopin Waltz for the moment is the A minor posthumous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smqj_z04i4A


It is really not easy for me - and I expect it will take a while before I have it presentable for performance, but I just love it (and it sounds lovely whether you play it quickly or slowly!)
Posted by: SwissMS

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/09/12 02:07 AM

Well, you picked two of my favorite Chopin Waltzes. I played the Waltz in B Minor (69-1) in the last recital and I am still working on polishing it. Some people play this very fast, and other's play it slower. I think is "sings" best at a moderate tempo. I guess everyone's ear is different.

I am also working on The Waltz in C# minor right now. This one is a little more challenging, but equally beautiful. Again, I think some people rush the "B" section too much. It is such a beautiful transition melody.

I think the challenge with Chopin's Nocturne 9-2 is to not sound like a waltz. With 12/8 time, there are four beats per measure and the right hand dictates the rhythm. When I first played it for my teacher her comment was "too waltz-y, sing the right hand". The progressions in the left hand need to be light and not over accented. I like the suggestion above about how to accent the left hand. I love this nocturne, and it is a lot of fun to play!
Posted by: MaryAnn

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/09/12 02:17 AM

69 1 is my favorite. So many are great, though, it's hard to pick one favorite. I wonder if I'll ever be able to play one...
Posted by: raptor

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/09/12 04:26 AM

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
My favourite Chopin Waltz for the moment is the A minor posthumous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smqj_z04i4A


It is really not easy for me - and I expect it will take a while before I have it presentable for performance, but I just love it (and it sounds lovely whether you play it quickly or slowly!)


I just received my order for a book containing Chopin's easier pieces and this was among the first I encountered. Although it's above my level, I think I might try learn it too as it sounds so nice. smile
Posted by: ChatNoir

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/11/12 04:21 PM

Have you heard this version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKzwWK12mZE
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/11/12 05:03 PM

Originally Posted By: raptor
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
My favourite Chopin Waltz for the moment is the A minor posthumous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smqj_z04i4A


It is really not easy for me - and I expect it will take a while before I have it presentable for performance, but I just love it (and it sounds lovely whether you play it quickly or slowly!)


I just received my order for a book containing Chopin's easier pieces and this was among the first I encountered. Although it's above my level, I think I might try learn it too as it sounds so nice. smile


Raptor, it is above my level too, but I'm getting there. Just be very patient with yourself and be ok with playing it slowly to start with. I figure that when I visit my family this summer I'll "wow" them with a slowwwwwwwww version (but as they don't know the piece they'll be suitably impressed smile )... and I hope that as time passes I'll get it up to a peppier tempo.
There are a lot of other Chopin pieces I'd like to work on, but I know I'm not ready for them.

Which book did you get?
Posted by: FarmGirl

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/11/12 08:37 PM

Cheryl and Raptor, I am 100% certain that you are perfectly capable of playing the a minor piece or Op 69. Someone mentioned c# minor, now that's a bit harder. I love Chopin waltz, nocturne, sonata, ballade, mazurka, prelude, etude .... just about everything he wrote. He's such a special composer. I get totally affected by his music - I mean, emotionally - his music takes me to a different world. He's a God's gift to humanity.
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 02:34 AM

Farm Girl - I love your encouragement!

I too am convinced I can play the Aminor (and I convinced my teacher too smile ) As for the other work - did you mean 69 N1 or 69 N2?

I think perhaps you meant the Bm (N2) - I love that one too and having started on the Am, I find it less intimidating, though I recognize that it too would (will ! ) be a long-term project!
Posted by: WiseBuff

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 07:09 AM

Cheryl
I love the version you posted...beautiful. Back to the waltz it is. I'm noticing new details in this time around...need to work on smoother pedaling. I tend to use too much pedal on Chopin and make it blurred when it should not be.
Posted by: Andy Platt

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 10:47 AM

Originally Posted By: casinitaly


I think perhaps you meant the Bm (N2) - I love that one too and having started on the Am, I find it less intimidating, though I recognize that it too would (will ! ) be a long-term project!



Interesting, because the Bm waltz is (IMHO) notably harder than the Am. Perhaps the first section is similar in difficulty, but the second (and definitely the trio) are quite a bit harder. Though, there are two versions and the one in the Alfred book is slightly easier than the other edition which I learned.
Posted by: Samuel1993

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 11:12 AM

The Waltzes are amongst my favorite Chopin works! laugh My favorites are probably Op.64 No.2 in C sharp minor, Grande Valse Brilliante in E flat and the Posthumous one in B minor (Op.69?). I love them because though they're not "easy" so-to-speak, they lie so beautifully under the fingers and are so nice to play casually. Listeners love them as well.

I also adore this Posthumous one in F minor:-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1WwyKXwIN0

Many people aren't familiar with this one.
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 11:25 AM

Originally Posted By: Andy Platt
Originally Posted By: casinitaly


I think perhaps you meant the Bm (N2) - I love that one too and having started on the Am, I find it less intimidating, though I recognize that it too would (will ! ) be a long-term project!



Interesting, because the Bm waltz is (IMHO) notably harder than the Am. Perhaps the first section is similar in difficulty, but the second (and definitely the trio) are quite a bit harder. Though, there are two versions and the one in the Alfred book is slightly easier than the other edition which I learned.


smile Andy, I didn't mean it would be easier, just less intimidating smile Somehow getting through this first Waltz, which has already moved my skills up notches in weeks has made a lot of material seem more approachable - still very challenging -but not scary, if you see what I mean?

Now I have to go and listen to the links that have been posted so far today - so much great music to check out!
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 11:27 AM

Originally Posted By: WiseBuff
Cheryl
I love the version you posted...beautiful. Back to the waltz it is. I'm noticing new details in this time around...need to work on smoother pedaling. I tend to use too much pedal on Chopin and make it blurred when it should not be.


Glad you like it WiseBuff - that performer has several pieces up on youtube and tends to play them just a bit more slowly than most other versions I've found.
Posted by: thurisaz

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 11:33 AM

I've been wanting to learn the posthumous waltz in A minor for a while:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZJt-oWDD7U

Unfortunately, I've been too busy lately to dedicate enough time to the piano. I have worked a bit on the jumps in the left hand, since I still don't have a good enough sense of the piano to manage those smoothly without looking. I think I'll learn a lot from this piece: I'm looking forward to working more on it!
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 11:41 AM

Chatnoir - the version you posted, played by Anievas, is charming - very fast, but charming (the flowers are pretty too).

Thurisaz - Ashkenazy's version is one of the first I heard - and he plays it very quickly too - it is beautiful played at an upbeat tempo.

I am glad (for my sake) that it sounds pretty when played slowly too!

Samuel1993 - the Fm waltz is lovely - but significantly more difficult! I don't think I can even think about aspiring to that one for a while!
Posted by: ZoeCalgary

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 11:44 AM

Waltz in A minor posthumous: I'm going to put this on my fun to learn pieces to do after I do my exam in a couple of weeks. I am absolutely fascinated with this piece and hope I can make it sound as magical as when I hear others play it. I believe it is within my reach but I will have to work hard at it to make it sound nice. A very good challenge with a beautiful piece of music.
Posted by: GlassLove

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 12:06 PM

Originally Posted By: casinitaly


I am glad (for my sake) that it sounds pretty when played slowly too!


Like you, I actually prefer it played slowly!!!!
Posted by: raptor

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 12:22 PM

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Originally Posted By: raptor
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
My favourite Chopin Waltz for the moment is the A minor posthumous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smqj_z04i4A


It is really not easy for me - and I expect it will take a while before I have it presentable for performance, but I just love it (and it sounds lovely whether you play it quickly or slowly!)


I just received my order for a book containing Chopin's easier pieces and this was among the first I encountered. Although it's above my level, I think I might try learn it too as it sounds so nice. smile


Raptor, it is above my level too, but I'm getting there. Just be very patient with yourself and be ok with playing it slowly to start with. I figure that when I visit my family this summer I'll "wow" them with a slowwwwwwwww version (but as they don't know the piece they'll be suitably impressed smile )... and I hope that as time passes I'll get it up to a peppier tempo.
There are a lot of other Chopin pieces I'd like to work on, but I know I'm not ready for them.

Which book did you get?



The book I have is called: "Easier piano pieces No.39 Chopin An Introductory Album" by ABRSM publishing.

I showed the piece to my teacher and she picked up a few things for me to look out for, one was to use the correct fingering otherwise I'd run out of fingers and the other was how to break it apart to practice and learn it.

Thanks for the advice on playing it. It certainly does still sound nice at a slow tempo so hopefully that will keep me satisfied until it's up to a faster tempo.
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 12:51 PM

Originally Posted By: raptor
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Originally Posted By: raptor
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
My favourite Chopin Waltz for the moment is the A minor posthumous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smqj_z04i4A


It is really not easy for me - and I expect it will take a while before I have it presentable for performance, but I just love it (and it sounds lovely whether you play it quickly or slowly!)


I just received my order for a book containing Chopin's easier pieces and this was among the first I encountered. Although it's above my level, I think I might try learn it too as it sounds so nice. smile


Raptor, it is above my level too, but I'm getting there. Just be very patient with yourself and be ok with playing it slowly to start with. I figure that when I visit my family this summer I'll "wow" them with a slowwwwwwwww version (but as they don't know the piece they'll be suitably impressed smile )... and I hope that as time passes I'll get it up to a peppier tempo.
There are a lot of other Chopin pieces I'd like to work on, but I know I'm not ready for them.

Which book did you get?



The book I have is called: "Easier piano pieces No.39 Chopin An Introductory Album" by ABRSM publishing.

I showed the piece to my teacher and she picked up a few things for me to look out for, one was to use the correct fingering otherwise I'd run out of fingers and the other was how to break it apart to practice and learn it.

Thanks for the advice on playing it. It certainly does still sound nice at a slow tempo so hopefully that will keep me satisfied until it's up to a faster tempo.

Thanks for the name of the book - I see it is easily available to me on Amazon ...time for a little present to my self methinks smile Mind you many of the pieces are available for free at

free-scores.com

I downloaded the Waltz69 N2 and Prelude Op 28N4 1 page,very slow...) and showed them to my teacher - she said she saw no reason for me to wait to start trying them out (not really studying them, but to start looking them over and getting a feel for them).


Did I mention I'm in a very good mood today?
Posted by: FarmGirl

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 02:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Andy Platt
Originally Posted By: casinitaly


I think perhaps you meant the Bm (N2) - I love that one too and having started on the Am, I find it less intimidating, though I recognize that it too would (will ! ) be a long-term project!



Interesting, because the Bm waltz is (IMHO) notably harder than the Am. Perhaps the first section is similar in difficulty, but the second (and definitely the trio) are quite a bit harder. Though, there are two versions and the one in the Alfred book is slightly easier than the other edition which I learned.


I meant c# minor as I wrote. I think it was op 64. Cannot really verify the # now but it's a good one
Posted by: Andy Platt

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 03:18 PM

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Quote:
Thanks for the advice on playing it. It certainly does still sound nice at a slow tempo so hopefully that will keep me satisfied until it's up to a faster tempo.

Thanks for the name of the book - I see it is easily available to me on Amazon ...time for a little present to my self methinks smile Mind you many of the pieces are available for free at

free-scores.com


The book I have (probably a similar selection) is Chopin: An Introduction to his Piano Works (Book & CD)
Posted by: GlassLove

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 04:29 PM

Andy,
You and I have the same book. I like the CD that came along with it. I especially like the tempo of the A minor posthumous waltz on that recording.
Posted by: MaryAnn

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/12/12 10:56 PM

I was looking around for a book yesterday after reading this thread and found the one Andy linked to. I'm glad to see it endorsed here. Though... I have alot of Chopin recordings so maybe free downloads are the way to go... (I'm not ready for Chopin yet, but I keep a long wish list at Amazon)
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/13/12 05:25 AM

FarmGirl, I had a listen to the Cminor (c sharp minor 64 n2) ...it is really pretty but I think I have to wait on that for a while indeed!

Glasslove - I remember you telling me about your Chopin book too - nice to see that Andy is enjoying it too.

We have quite a new little group of Chopin lovers growing here, don't we?
Posted by: SwissMS

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/13/12 05:49 AM

Absolutely! Lots of Chopin Lovers here! I am working on the Waltz in C# Minor and now I want to play the A minor waltz too. I am also working on the Nocturne in Eb Major (9 2), and relearning Nocturne in E minor (72 1). I absolutely love that one (72 1), but I never played it well in the past. Maybe this time around!
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/13/12 07:11 AM

JimF just told me about the Prelude in B minor (Op 28 No. 6) ...... If you look at the music it is intimidating, but when you listen to it and hear how slow it is.... you feel you just might be able to do it.

I found another good site for downloading Chopin:

http://chopinfiles.com

There are 2 waltzes in A minor. I believe most of us are talking about the Posthumous one which (my research shows smile ) is refered to as Waltz No.19 in A minor, or Op.posth.P2 No.11 (BI 150)

But the other is Waltz in A Minor, Op. 34, No. 2
Here is a little performance by Horowitz -he makes it sound very easy!

Posted by: FarmGirl

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/13/12 11:26 AM

SwissMs, Nocturne in Eb Major (9 2) is absolutely beautiful. I I love c# minor waltz too. I played it 3 or 4 years ago. That was one of the first pieces I learned with my current teacher. It's beautiful but not easy at all (LOL). I was sight reading Chopin's waltz after I found out that Cheryl is doing a minor. I have never played them before but I was able to play op 69 #1 and 2 with slow speed. But not the c# minor even though i studied it before, I will have to make effort to bring it back.

By the way, fellow Chopin lovers, I decided to create a little Chopin repertoire. Everyone loves his music. It will be nice to play some of his stuff whenever I have people over. If you are starting out with your Chopin pieces, it's a really good idea to keep them alive. I was looking at my books to see what I played before. I got quite a bit. A nocturne Op 72 - 1 (e minor p.h) from year ago when I briefly came back to piano in college. I am self studying the Op 9-2 nocturne. Besides the c# minor one, 2 waltz and 1 mazurka from my college days as well. a minor waltz and raindrop prelude from childhood. I know a couple of pieces are tough to sight read. See what I mean. I just tried Op 24 #1 Mazurka.. I could somehow play it with extremely slow speed. I have some hope. It's coming back and actually, my touch got a lot better now. Phew! I remember I used to struggle to get the rhythm and keep the left hand chord together and quieter. So I guess, it's my achievement of the day too.
Posted by: FarmGirl

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/13/12 11:34 AM

I also discovered I studied another Mazurka... Op 68 #2. It was really fun to play. It makes me really ashamed now. My gosh, what have i been doing for all these years. I could have kept all those pieces alive.. And I should be much better than I am now. I guess this is what happens if you don't continue. ...Anyway, I work on building it up now from the c# minor waltz...
Posted by: Stubbie

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/13/12 05:21 PM

Bad thread! Bad thread!

I don't need more stuff to learn! ha

Okay, so I just listened to the A Minor (Posthumous) link posted by CAS--that recording is drop-dead gorgeous--and downloaded the sheet music. Off now to give it a test drive.
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/13/12 05:29 PM

FarmGirl, I agree with you ...that is to say, as soon as I have any sort of Chopin repertoire, I will work hard to keep it fresh and pretty so that I can always have it at my fingertips!

I think it is wonderful that this thread has stimulated so much enthusiasm among us.

The only "problem" is that I foresee a life-long addiction in the making here. Nah, that's not a problem - at least not one I'm planning to worry about!
Posted by: FarmGirl

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/13/12 06:20 PM

I can envision someone starts Chopin 12 step program thread. Not kidding you. My teacher told me a couple of adults (old adults like me) refuses to learn anything else.
Posted by: chopinfan22

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/14/12 01:36 AM

As my screen name might suggest I absolutely love Chopin and especially his waltzes. I was happy I saw this thread because it seems to be a good place to ask this question rather than starting a new thread about it. I really, really want to learn Chopin's Waltz No. 14 in E minor. However, on the difficulty rating list it is graded as a 8 and I have only done level 7 pieces up to this point. Also graded at level 8 are his etudes and many other pieces I would be terrified to learn at the moment so I guess my question is just how accessible is this waltz? Reading through the music it seems doable, and seems to play to some of my strengths but with Chopin you really never seem to know until you start playing (at least for me). Just as a frame of reference some of the level 7 pieces I have played include Chopin's Minute Waltz, Nocturne in C# minor (post op), Claire de Lune and several Bach preludes. I'm currently a college student so I have no teacher to ask so hopefully some of you more familiar with the piece may be able to offer some advice! Thanks in advance for any help.
Posted by: Sparky McBiff

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/14/12 09:02 AM

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
My favourite Chopin Waltz for the moment is the A minor posthumous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Smqj_z04i4A


It is really not easy for me - and I expect it will take a while before I have it presentable for performance, but I just love it (and it sounds lovely whether you play it quickly or slowly!)


Thanks.
I've never heard this piece before, it is really nice.

I wanted to be able to play it so I just downloaded the sheet music.
I found it pretty simple to play right through the first time.
(Although it will take me a little bit to polish it so that I can play it as smoothly as in the link).

Maybe I am better at sight reading than I thought since I don't really know where I stand in comparison to others since I don't take lessons and almost always just play for myself.

But thanks for introducing me to this nice piece.
Posted by: FarmGirl

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/14/12 01:38 PM

Originally Posted By: chopinfan22
As my screen name might suggest I absolutely love Chopin and especially his waltzes. I was happy I saw this thread because it seems to be a good place to ask this question rather than starting a new thread about it. I really, really want to learn Chopin's Waltz No. 14 in E minor. However, on the difficulty rating list it is graded as a 8 and I have only done level 7 pieces up to this point. Also graded at level 8 are his etudes and many other pieces I would be terrified to learn at the moment so I guess my question is just how accessible is this waltz? Reading through the music it seems doable, and seems to play to some of my strengths but with Chopin you really never seem to know until you start playing (at least for me). Just as a frame of reference some of the level 7 pieces I have played include Chopin's Minute Waltz, Nocturne in C# minor (post op), Claire de Lune and several Bach preludes. I'm currently a college student so I have no teacher to ask so hopefully some of you more familiar with the piece may be able to offer some advice! Thanks in advance for any help.


Yeah, e-minor waltz is beautiful. If you have done minute waltz and c# minor, it's within your easy reach. I don't think you need my advice. Just approach this as you approach other pieces. I usually 1) study the score first, 2)Play through slowly the piece without ornaments etc to find out tough spots, 3) make lesson plans (assign warm up exercises to those tricky spots that will derail you later, group up similar sections etc..) i do hand separately whenever i find tough spots and when I am memorizing long phrases (i memorize base first - because I am a memory retard). If i cannot even play a few bars without holding my head, that's usually a sign that the piece is beyond my ability and consult my teacher since I have one now. Hope it helps you... BTW the nocturne is super beautiful. I don't have it in my book - it ends at nocturne number 19. I just downloaded it from sheet music plus. Thank you for this.
Posted by: chopinfan22

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/15/12 05:48 PM

Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
Originally Posted By: chopinfan22
As my screen name might suggest I absolutely love Chopin and especially his waltzes. I was happy I saw this thread because it seems to be a good place to ask this question rather than starting a new thread about it. I really, really want to learn Chopin's Waltz No. 14 in E minor. However, on the difficulty rating list it is graded as a 8 and I have only done level 7 pieces up to this point. Also graded at level 8 are his etudes and many other pieces I would be terrified to learn at the moment so I guess my question is just how accessible is this waltz? Reading through the music it seems doable, and seems to play to some of my strengths but with Chopin you really never seem to know until you start playing (at least for me). Just as a frame of reference some of the level 7 pieces I have played include Chopin's Minute Waltz, Nocturne in C# minor (post op), Claire de Lune and several Bach preludes. I'm currently a college student so I have no teacher to ask so hopefully some of you more familiar with the piece may be able to offer some advice! Thanks in advance for any help.


Yeah, e-minor waltz is beautiful. If you have done minute waltz and c# minor, it's within your easy reach. I don't think you need my advice. Just approach this as you approach other pieces. I usually 1) study the score first, 2)Play through slowly the piece without ornaments etc to find out tough spots, 3) make lesson plans (assign warm up exercises to those tricky spots that will derail you later, group up similar sections etc..) i do hand separately whenever i find tough spots and when I am memorizing long phrases (i memorize base first - because I am a memory retard). If i cannot even play a few bars without holding my head, that's usually a sign that the piece is beyond my ability and consult my teacher since I have one now. Hope it helps you... BTW the nocturne is super beautiful. I don't have it in my book - it ends at nocturne number 19. I just downloaded it from sheet music plus. Thank you for this.

Thanks for the response! I am really excited to start learning it because it seems like a lot of fun to play. I'm glad to hear that it should be in my reach. Also you're welcome for the Nocturne, it is really wonderful and one of my favorite Chopin pieces. It is actually used in the beginning of the movie the Pianist and after I heard that(and several other Chopin pieces in the movie) a few years ago, I really started to become obsessed with his music haha.
Posted by: MaryAnn

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/15/12 08:30 PM

That movie seems to deserve a lot of credit for turning people here on to piano playing and Chopin! I was already a Chopin addict when the movie came out, after hearing a work colleague sight read a waltz on our boss's baby grand. First, I loved the music. Second I was insanely jealous that she could sight read such a difficult piece when piano wasn't even her primary instrument (she played violin) and in any case hadn't played in a long time. That was probably the peak of my anger/annoyance at my parents for not getting me lessons as a kid. I can credit a movie with turning me on to the Goldberg Variations, though (32 short films about Glen Gould). I only have myself to blame for not starting lessons then!
Posted by: DadAgain

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/15/12 11:10 PM

Theres no doubt Chopin Waltzes are special...

My daughter is having a reasonable stab at the Amin at the moment - but although she has all the notes, dynamics, structure etc well down pat, she really struggles to get the feeling of her phrases sounding clean... Perhaps its a maturity thing that is beyond her years? (Its only her 8th birthday today).

I love playing the C#min (64 #2). It spretty straight forward to play once you've got your right hand around the rapid ascending flourish and the whole thing can be beautifully mournful if played slowly or sparkling and robust if played a little faster.

For my mind however, the heart wrenching beauty of Chopin comes from his Nocturnes - I've been addicted to them for decades and really look forward to sitting in on daughters lessons when the time comes to hear what her teacher has to say on how to improve them (I learn SOO much from sitting in on her lessons!)
Posted by: FarmGirl

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/16/12 02:14 AM

DadAgain - Your daughter is amazing. Playing Chopin a minor waltz at age 8. I was barely playing Burgmuller arabesque then. Interesting to hear that she struggles to get the feelings.. it's usually the opposite for us adults beginners and returners. Many of us get feeling / emotion contained in the piece but have to develop the skills to express them.

I love Nocturnes too but they are not easy to sight read. I have to actually practice them (LOL) while many waltz / mazurka are relatively easier to read due to the steady rhythm and lots of patterns. If I have time, I love nothing better than noodling around my Chopin books. Which nocturne do you like? Do you have life time favorite?
Posted by: raptor

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/19/12 12:33 PM

I've decided to work on the A minor waltz for the recital, but at the moment I am not sure I'll be able to make it in time. I am approaching learning the piece by analyzing it for patterns and memorizing it using them instead of trying to read from the sheet and play at the same time although I can sort of do that slowly.

So far I can play the first half of the first page hands together with a few mistakes. Following that there is the first fast section that I've finished figuring out the notes are and am working on memorizing and playing slowly. So I've worked up to about the end of the first page so far.

There seems to be a lot of repetition with slight differences in the song, so some parts in the 2nd page don't look too challenging, but there is another fast section that I'm sure i'll struggle with and will need to decipher as well. The notes in the fast section has a lot of ledger lines, trills and leading notes which are all intimidating to me.

Does anyone have any tips on learning these fast tricky sections? What do you suggest to do to speed up these sections once you've figured out what notes to play?

casinitaly, how are you tackling those fast tricky parts?

DadAgain, you have a very talented daughter! I hope she had a nice birthday. smile

Is anyone else thinking of doing the A minor waltz for the recital too?
Posted by: FarmGirl

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/19/12 11:53 PM

Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
Hi all, somewhere in this thread I mentioned about an adult student of my teacher who had been studying a chopin piece which happened to be her first piano study. I have another person like this woman (sigh) - she is my friend and not a student of my teacher. She loves Chopin and wants nothing but Chopin. She is so enthusiastic that she even listened to International Chopin competition every day. She never missed day. She is probably level 1. She took a lesson from her other friend for a year three years ago. She wanted to know easist Chopin pieces. So I told her either Prelude in E minor, op 28 no.4 or A minor Waltz (number 17). She picked the waltz and asked me for some instructions. She cannot afford a teacher but has a piano her daugher used to use. I am not a teacher but I gave her the following instructions (see further below). Now I deeply regret it. She is having a hard time. I believe any adult learner will reach the level to play this piece. But I guess it was not a good idea to try this after 1 year of lessons. After her reaction, I realized how crazy it was to let her try a piece which is far above one's level. Most of you in the thread was opposed to the idea and I now think you guys are right. I had no idea how difficult it could be to learn this piece first for someone who did not have enough experience. I thought she could learn it since she has more time to practice than most of people. I think I should tell her to stop doing this. Does anyone know a nice beginner's piece that sounds as beautiful as Chopin's?

My instruction to her:

Recommend playing from measures 1 to 5 first hands separately (HS) without pedal or grace notes until you can play the 5 measures smoothly. Count like “One and Two and Three and” for each quarter note. Take time. It’s better to play slow & expressively than fast & messy. After a couple of days, put the hands together. If you can play these 5 measures, you can play the measures 1 to 16, 25 to 30 and 41 to 50. That’s 32 measures out of 56 measures (more than the half of the piece). Add pedal and grace notes after you can play these measures. Each group of measures 17 to 24, 31 to 40 and 51 to 56 presents different musical ideas. So practice each group separately again HS without pedal and grace notes first. Don’t spend too much time until you get sick of it. 30 min. should be the max. in the beginning. In this way, you will get this piece actually much quicker.


This is from my old post. Please ignore the first part of the post. Second half may be useful. I suggest lots of hand separate, especially for the left hand. The chord must be together (should not dribble) and soft as accompaniment. Then work on the melody. For this piece, melody is on the top note of the right hand. So lean on it if you need, so that your right hand can sing the melody. When you start, go through the most difficult part for you in your head - that's the tempo you want to play this piece. If you start too fast, you will be mushy in the middle. Good luck.
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/20/12 06:40 AM

Originally Posted By: raptor


casinitaly, how are you tackling those fast tricky parts?



Is anyone else thinking of doing the A minor waltz for the recital too?


I have been working out the right hand by heart first of all (actually in effect, I'm memorizing the whole thing, I won't be reading the music).
I have played the right hand til I know it and can pretty much "forget about it" and focus on the left. I have a bit of trouble with the leaps, but it is coming along.

I have practiced the right hand slowly and slowly and then a bit faster - however as I can't play the left hand quickly, when I put them together it is pretty slow.

I am thinking of doing it for the recital but not sure if I will feel ready - and that means emotionally as well as pianistically! (is that a word? lol)..... There's been so much talk about this piece and so much listening to it I feel nervous about putting myself "out there" with it.
....and at the same time I'd like to do it as a sort of "benchmark" of where I am at 28 months of playing.
Posted by: RedKat

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/20/12 08:40 AM

Speaking of A minor Waltz. Very beautiful waltz, if played well; and looks very easy. But it is actually not. The most challenging is the LH: big leaps, chords should sound all-notes-together and very soft (very challenging!) otherwise they will easily overpower the delicate melody in the right hand. The key, A minor, makes it worse - without black keys it is very difficult to land the chords at the right place. The only problem with the RH is that very fast ascending dominant arpeggio but doable with a lot of practice.
Currently, I am working on OP.69 n.2, one of my favorite Chopin's waltzes. It is going OK and I am planning to submit it for the coming ABF recital, if I will have enough time to polish it a little bit
Posted by: Stubbie

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/20/12 07:23 PM

Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
......snip.................
This is from my old post. Please ignore the first part of the post. Second half may be useful. I suggest lots of hand separate, especially for the left hand. The chord must be together (should not dribble) and soft as accompaniment. Then work on the melody. For this piece, melody is on the top note of the right hand. So lean on it if you need, so that your right hand can sing the melody. When you start, go through the most difficult part for you in your head - that's the tempo you want to play this piece. If you start too fast, you will be mushy in the middle. Good luck.


FarmGirl, a quick question if I might: what do you mean by "The chord must be together (should not dribble)...

Specifically, what is meant by "should not dribble?" Is the meaning of this phrase that all the notes in the chord should be sounded simultaneously?

Just curious. Thanks.
Posted by: raptor

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/21/12 01:09 AM

Thanks everyone for all the replies about how to practice the piece. It's very helpful.

I think i'll try to learn all of the right hand first too. Strangely thats what i'm struggling more on instead of the left hand so it makes sense. The jumping from bass note to chords pattern on the left hand reminds me of Gymnopdie 1 that I played in the last recital, so i think i won't have too much trouble with that.

The descriptions of the dynamics and how to learn the different parts is really helpful too. I'll keep referring to it and see how I go. I'll try skipping the pedal and grace notes for now until i can play it without struggling too much.
Posted by: FarmGirl

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/21/12 03:56 AM

Originally Posted By: Stubbie
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
......snip.................
This is from my old post. Please ignore the first part of the post. Second half may be useful. I suggest lots of hand separate, especially for the left hand. The chord must be together (should not dribble) and soft as accompaniment. Then work on the melody. For this piece, melody is on the top note of the right hand. So lean on it if you need, so that your right hand can sing the melody. When you start, go through the most difficult part for you in your head - that's the tempo you want to play this piece. If you start too fast, you will be mushy in the middle. Good luck.


FarmGirl, a quick question if I might: what do you mean by "The chord must be together (should not dribble)...

Specifically, what is meant by "should not dribble?" Is the meaning of this phrase that all the notes in the chord should be sounded simultaneously?

Just curious. Thanks.


Ok, Let me try to explain.
"together" - means you should hit all the notes of the chord at the same time, so it would almost sound like one sound. Let's imagine a four note chord "CEAC" in your right hand. These note should be played together. It should not sound like "CEA" chord and followed by "C" on the top. If you don't need to emphasize any note, it's usually not too much a problem. But if the melody is in the top note, you have to emphasize the top note (meaning that the top note played a bit stronger), then, it becomes more difficult to play together. The chord may sound broken, some notes may be played tougher but the other notes may not. In addition, it is very common when people strive to project the top note with the 5th finger, the weak 4th finger on "A" may bounce on the key or dribble on the key.. hence, I called it "dribble" - not a musical term. It occurs in both left and right hands. You may get away with a few non-togetherness in a waltz like this but too much of the chords not played together will take the clarity of the piece away. Also watch out your 2nd finger which is very strong and often wind up hitting a "non-melody" note of a chord too strong, which will also take away the clarify and direction of the music away. I hope my English makes sense...
Posted by: Stubbie

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 04/21/12 08:48 PM

Thanks, FarmGirl.

Yes, the basketball "dribble" makes sense for a bouncing 4th finger!

The other meaning for dribble came first to my mind, and I was trying to figure out how something in the chord would trickle, or fall in slow drops! grin
Posted by: DadAgain

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 05/14/12 04:17 AM

Originally Posted By: raptor
...DadAgain, you have a very talented daughter! I hope she had a nice birthday. smile...


FYI: http://youtu.be/2HT1MOykJCg
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 05/14/12 04:52 AM

Originally Posted By: DadAgain
Originally Posted By: raptor
...DadAgain, you have a very talented daughter! I hope she had a nice birthday. smile...


FYI: http://youtu.be/2HT1MOykJCg


Oh my! She's a lovely girl and that was a lovely performance.
She's just 8? Imagine how far she might be able to go with her music!


Posted by: Stubbie

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 05/14/12 10:22 PM

Here is more discussion on how to learn Chopin's Waltz in A minor.

Chopin A minor Waltz--how to practice

Ignore what the one poster suggests about using 1-3-5 fingering for the arpeggio--he later says nope, won't work. Use 1-2-3.
Posted by: casinitaly

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 05/15/12 05:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Stubbie
Here is more discussion on how to learn Chopin's Waltz in A minor.

Chopin A minor Waltz--how to practice

Ignore what the one poster suggests about using 1-3-5 fingering for the arpeggio--he later says nope, won't work. Use 1-2-3.

Very nice link Stubbie - thanks! (btw, I use 1-2-3 also)
Posted by: DadAgain

Re: Chopin Waltz Talk - 05/15/12 05:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Stubbie
.... Use 1-2-3.


There simply is no other way. if you dont go 1-2-3 theres no chance of smoothly getting your thumb under for the next octave. Sure you could do the first triad 1-3-5, but then youd have to 'hop' to the next octave - losing the smooth seemless feel you're after (not to mention the knot you'd end up in at the top octave).