Chopin's Easier Works

Posted by: devils4ever

Chopin's Easier Works - 11/17/04 07:56 AM

All,

Lately I've been getting into Chopin's works. I have an EASY version of some of his works. I would like to play some of his works in their original form. What are his easiest pieces?

TIA.
Posted by: DuCamp

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/17/04 08:28 AM

Fantaisie Impromptu Op.66 \:D
You might wanna check some of his nocturnes, like Op.9 No.01 and 02.
Posted by: mound

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/17/04 08:30 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by DuCamp:
Fantaisie Impromptu Op.66 \:D
oh my god.. he's just kidding \:\)

 Quote:

You might wanna check some of his nocturnes, like Op.9 No.01 and 02. [/b]
agreed.. some of the preludes are pretty and not too hard.. The first piece I ever learned was the Chopin prelude in Eminor.. Don't waste your time with "simplified" versions of anything. There is plenty of actual repertoir that's "simple" in it's complete form.

-Paul
Posted by: devils4ever

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/17/04 09:23 AM

Thanks for the replies. I looked at the Nocturnes and I think they're a little too advanced for me. The Prelude in Emin (Op28, No 4) looks like my level.
Posted by: Cindysphinx

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/17/04 12:43 PM

You could try "Albumleaf."

Also, I think Chopin's Waltz in A minor (don't have the Op. number, but I'll get it if you're interested) isn't bad. It *looks* bad at first glance, but it's easier than it looks if you break down the left hand and identify the patterns. It was my second recital piece.

I recommend a book called "Introduction to Chopin." It comes with a *CD* so you can decide which ones you like before spending the time on them.
Posted by: PhilipE

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/17/04 12:47 PM

Check out the Mazurkas. \:\)
Posted by: signa

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/17/04 01:25 PM

his prelude op.28 - 4 & 7 perhaps are the easist.
Posted by: Luckychwee

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/17/04 09:19 PM

I am very new and anyone can tell me roughly how long should a fresh beginner start learning chopin with weekly hour lesson and 1-1.5 hrs practice sessons daily ?
Posted by: signa

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/17/04 09:39 PM

after a year, you should be ready for some easy Chopin. but to play his etudes, you might have to wait another 2 years. of course, everyone is different, so it's just a guess.
Posted by: Luckychwee

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/17/04 09:53 PM

Thanks Signa

How long have you been self learning ?? I admire your patience & hardwork put in.
Posted by: signa

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/17/04 10:12 PM

thanks. it's about 3.5 years, which i said it already in another thread in response to your question. time will tell what and how much you can accomplish, and if you love playing piano, it will take you to where you want to be...
Posted by: teachum

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/19/04 05:18 PM

Here's a good book: Chopin - 14 of his easiest pieces (not arrangements) by Alfred. Preludes Op. 28 - 4,6,7 all very doable. Also Waltz in A Minor that Cindy mentioned and Waltz in B minor. Another that I haven't gotten to yet, but looks good, is Largo in Eb Major. The book also has several Mazurkas.
Posted by: Jeffrey

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/19/04 09:50 PM

I just got the Alfred book teachum mentioned. Alfred as a really good series of books of original, not simplified pieces, by Bach, Mozart, Chopin, and others, that a late beginner/early intermediate piano player can play.

In Chopin: The First Book For Pianists (Willard Palmer, Alfred Publ) they include: Albumleaf, Mazurka in C Major Op.7 No. 1; Waltz in A Minor, Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4, Prelude in B minor, Op. 28 No.6 and Prelude in A Major, Op. 28, No. 7, and Mazurka in F major Op. 68, no. 6

According to the book, some of these were written for his amateur piano students for them to practice, but are authentic Chopin works, not abridged or simplified.
Posted by: btb

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/20/04 05:26 AM

Mound, signa, teachum and Jeffrey are right on the money with their suggestion of Prelude no. 4 Opus 28 in E Minor. The single note treble outline is just the thing for coming to terms with the regular quarter-note bass pulse of steadily falling chords. Gets a bit tricky briefly with the "turn" and disparate bass chord at measure 16 but what a gem to add to one's repertoire.

If a bit more advanced, nothing wrong with well-known Prelude 7 in A Major (only 16 measures) and 6, the quite enchanting "Raindrop" Prelude.

DuCamp is clearly a bit over the top in suggesting the mighty Fantasie-Impromptu Opus 66. Mound couldn't resist his irreverent war-cry "oh my god.. he's just kidding".
Posted by: mound

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/20/04 05:53 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:
Mound couldn't resist his irreverent war-cry "oh my god.. he's just kidding". [/b]
Posted by: devils4ever

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/20/04 07:20 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by teachum:
Here's a good book: Chopin - 14 of his easiest pieces (not arrangements) by Alfred. Preludes Op. 28 - 4,6,7 all very doable. Also Waltz in A Minor that Cindy mentioned and Waltz in B minor. Another that I haven't gotten to yet, but looks good, is Largo in Eb Major. The book also has several Mazurkas. [/b]
Is this the book you're talking about?

I don't see Albumleaf listed though. \:\(
Posted by: devils4ever

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/20/04 07:23 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Cindysphinx:
You could try "Albumleaf."

Also, I think Chopin's Waltz in A minor (don't have the Op. number, but I'll get it if you're interested) isn't bad. It *looks* bad at first glance, but it's easier than it looks if you break down the left hand and identify the patterns. It was my second recital piece.

I recommend a book called "Introduction to Chopin." It comes with a *CD* so you can decide which ones you like before spending the time on them. [/b]
Cindy, is this the book/CD you're talking about?
Posted by: markjpcs

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/20/04 07:40 PM

Sorry I'm not Cindy but I know that book! I have it.

It is a great intro to Chopin and his "easier" works.
Posted by: teachum

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/21/04 11:36 AM

Devils - Yes, that is the book! It's a really nice book.
Posted by: Cindysphinx

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/21/04 03:32 PM

Actually, that's not the book I have.

Mine is "Chopin: An Introduction to his Piano Works." Second edition, edited by Palmer, published by Alfred. It came with a CD by that same artist Valerie what's-her-name.

The main difference is that there are 19 pieces in the book I have. Here's the closest version I could find (which has 18 pieces):

Chopin Book

This edition doesn't seem to come with the CD, but you can buy it separately:

Chopin CD
Posted by: David Kirkham

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/21/04 04:47 PM

I would be very careful of what recordings you listen to. I bought a "Chopin Super Hits" CD and I think it is terrible! I hope I NEVER sound like some of those recordings. Straight into the trash.

I did listen to the Arthur Rubenstein recordings the other day and I think I am going to have to buy them. The whole set is only $1500 or so at Amazon.

I think I'll have to settle for the Nocturnes CD. by itself. My mom tells me she likes Jose Iturbi even more...I just can't find any Chopin recordings of his.

David \:\) \:\) \:\)
Posted by: devils4ever

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/22/04 08:16 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Cindysphinx:
Actually, that's not the book I have.

Mine is "Chopin: An Introduction to his Piano Works." Second edition, edited by Palmer, published by Alfred. It came with a CD by that same artist Valerie what's-her-name.

The main difference is that there are 19 pieces in the book I have. Here's the closest version I could find (which has 18 pieces):

Chopin Book

This edition doesn't seem to come with the CD, but you can buy it separately:

Chopin CD [/b]
Hmmm.....the closest I can find is this . It's edited by Palmer and has the CD by Valery Lloyd-Watts. Unfortunately, it only has 10 pieces. \:\(

I guess this will be the one to get.
Posted by: teachum

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/22/04 08:18 AM

Another performer I like for Chopin in Idel Biret. She has about 6 CDs of Chopin. I found them at B&N.
Posted by: PhilipE

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/22/04 08:25 AM

This CD:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/det...nce&s=classical

by Richard Goode is one of the best Chopin discs I've bought in a while.

It contains:

Polonaise-Fantasie
Nocturne Op.55 No.2
5 Mazurkas
Scherzo No.4
Barcarolle
Posted by: markjpcs

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/22/04 08:28 AM

I have some of Idel Biret's recordings of Chopin. "Chopin Favorites" I think it is called.

I like her playing but others here do not. I have not heard a lot of performers play Chopin so my exposure is limited.
Posted by: Nina

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/22/04 08:37 AM

IMHO, Rubinstein is the definitive performer for almost all of Chopin's works... most especially the waltzes. I've spent probably hundreds of hours as a kid listening to his recordings. I have his sound so entrenched in my ears, though, that it becomes what I compare everyone else to.

I'm sure there are equally good performances out there by other talented pianists but, fortunately or unfortunately, they'll all be judged against Rubinstein for me.
Posted by: teachum

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 11/22/04 09:55 AM

I certainly do not claim to be an expert on performers - Idel's CD's were affordable for me and she seems to have good credentials. Listening to her work has helped me with the Preludes and my Nocturne. My old piano teacher was a huge Rubenstein fan as well,Nina.
Posted by: devils4ever

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 12/06/04 07:17 AM

Well, I received my "Frederic Chopin: The First Book for Pianists - Book/CD" over the weekend. URL: book/CD

I just started playing the first piece (Waltz in A minor). It's not too difficult for me \:\) and about the right level. Beautful piece. I should have it down in a few weeks. On the CD, I noticed that Valery Lloyd-Watts plays with quite a bit of rubato. More than I would use. Given that this is the Romantic period, I guess this is acceptable?

I haven't played many Romantic period pieces. I've played mostly Classical and Baroque periods.
Posted by: WynnBear

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 12/06/04 07:22 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by devils4ever:
On the CD, I noticed that Valery Lloyd-Watts plays with quite a bit of rubato. More than I would use. Given that this is the Romantic period, I guess this is acceptable?

I haven't played many Romantic period pieces. I've played mostly Classical and Baroque periods. [/b]
I think some pianists over-do the rubato thing with Chopin. As I've always understood it, Chopin used a very steady left hand, and used rubato in the right hand almost exclusively.
Posted by: Varcon

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 12/06/04 07:26 AM

Rubato is acceptable as long as it isn't excessive and warping the rhythm and stability of the performance. Good taste should be your guide. Learn the piece with strict rhythmic impulses and then you have a standard from which you can depart but not too much. Listen to good performers to get an idea of acceptable boundaries. In listening to some of the person's playing you name, I would suggest you find other examples by better artists.

The post by WynnBear is pretty much correct the comparison being, as I remember, the left hand as the trunk of the tree (pretty much immovable) and the right hand moving gently (branches and leaves) above it. Otherwise one runs the risk of storm, hurricane, and tornado!! An 'artist'(and the term is used very loosely) came for a program here and slaughtered the 4th Ballade of Chopin--just awful performance--pounding, banging, excessive rushing--total loss of control. That's something definitely want to avoid.
Posted by: devils4ever

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 12/06/04 08:08 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Varcon:
Rubato is acceptable as long as it isn't excessive and warping the rhythm and stability of the performance. Good taste should be your guide. Learn the piece with strict rhythmic impulses and then you have a standard from which you can depart but not too much. Listen to good performers to get an idea of acceptable boundaries. In listening to some of the person's playing you name, I would suggest you find other examples by better artists. [/b]
Thanks for your response. Which pianist(s) would you recommend?
Posted by: Varcon

Re: Chopin's Easier Works - 12/06/04 08:29 AM

Ah--you ask something that would bring up some variance in opinion. There are several noted pianists famous for their Chopin interpretations--Ignaz Friedman, Artur Rubinstein, Ignace Paderewski, Benno Moiseiwich, Guiomar Novaes. I prefer Novaes, Friedman, and Paderewski tho they are less known now. Friedman's Chopin Mazurkas are pretty much the definitive recordings. Among the young, modern performers some have acquired some fame as Chopin interpreters. I would hesitate to recommend any of them tho as their playing seems rather bland musically. They can dash them off technically but little passion and feeling. Gilels and Richter would be good too. All in all, it's pretty much a matter of taste, background, training, exposure.

Ex., in playing some things for my class I chose one piece played by three different pianists and they did not know which person was performing (recordings, of course). They were to choose the one they liked the best for whatever reason. Of the three choices, Paderewski was always the favorite. I found that rather interesting as he is panned by many for a less than formidable technique. Dubal in his book defends him after listening to some of his recordings. I, too, think he was quite technically proficient when one hears his ability to trill, to create nuances, and to carry off difficult passages with apparent ease. It's an ongoing controversy. Anyway, there are plenty of better performances out there than the one you have! I'm sure others will suggest alternates. In the end, let your own ear be your guide. It should ultimately be your choice as to which pianist(s) you prefer for performing certain composers or styles.