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Favourite Piece outta these by chopin (the ones included of course)
Polonaise (Heroic) Opus 53 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
Ballade No. 1 in G minor 30%  30%  [ 6 ]
Ballade No. 4 in F Minor 30%  30%  [ 6 ]
Ballade No. 3 in Ab Major 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Fantasy in F Minor 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
1st Scherzo 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
2nd Scherzo 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
2nd Impromptu Op. 36 in F Sharp Major (I'm not sure many of you will have listened to this much, it is beautiful though) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Fantasy Impromptu 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 20
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 Post subject: Favourite Piece outta these by chopin
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:57 am 
I would like to see, the opinions of many: just for fun and for ideas of which piece i should learn next

My personal favorites are his 4th ballade, 2nd impromptu, 1st ballade, and polonaise 53. The last two are probably my favourites because i play them, as tends to happen hahaha. Anyway to avoid bias I'd say my favourite piece altogether by chopin is the 4th ballade, except i prefer the coda of the first ballade. I also think the 2nd Impromptu is awesome-I'm not sure there is a recording on this site-if someone knows the piece please put a recording up-i only have a few of this piece!. I may learn that...mmmm-How difficult is it?

I only included the more popular large scale works of Chopin, for any who are missing there favourites (which is more than likely)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:00 pm 
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ofcourse the first ballade simpely mindblowing I love it :D.

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FIRST Ballade without a doubt.


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First Ballade

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:02 pm 
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1 Scherzo. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:58 pm 
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1st Ballade

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:54 pm 
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A close run between ballade 1 and 4 but I choosed 4.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 3:04 am 
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Ha! I just said I hate picking favorites when it comes to Chopin, and here I go voting again.

I picked the 4th Ballade because I only recently fell in love with it - within the last year. I was raised listening to the 1st and the 3rd Ballades, and I love both of them (though the 1st more), and I was introduced to the 2nd Ballade in high school, and fell in love with it, too.

I'm not sure what had turned me off about the 4th Ballade before...I think it was perhaps the simplicity of the opening 7 bars, though it sounds stupid to say it now. The main theme is beautiful, and more beautiful in each of its variations...and when the theme of the opening 7 bars comes back in the middle, it's downright profound. :)

Anyway, I love all of the pieces on that list. I wouldn't say that the 2nd Impromptu is my favorite Impromptu, but I am familiar with it. If it's for solo piano by Chopin, I am familiar with it - and the Concertos, too...but sadly, I don't have recordings of the Concertos. I had them once, but I don't know what happened to them, and I don't have them on my computer. I have recordings of all the solo works, though, including the posthumous ones. :D

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 3:39 pm 
4th Ballade. The other masterworks are IMHO Polonaise-Fantaisie, 3d Sonate and Barcarolle.

Sandro.


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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 7:50 pm 
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Sandro Bisotti wrote:
4th Ballade. The other masterworks are IMHO Polonaise-Fantaisie, 3d Sonate and Barcarolle.

Sandro.

And the Allegro de Concert! :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 10:34 pm 
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Oh, I forgot about the Barcarolle. I love that one too. I got it about three-quarters-of-the-way learned some time ago. Same with the Bolero. I really should get back to them someday.

I'm editing this a couple hours later, because I just played through the nocturne 27/2 and it is the most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard. I just love it.

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 4:51 am 
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Chaotica wrote:
And the Allegro de Concert! :wink:

Hmmmm.... I played through that one again last week, after not having touched it for about 20 years, and finally decided it is an utterly tedious piece of work. With all due respect to Chopin, it's no good even if it does have its moments.
But I guess you were joking Chaotica !

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 6:44 am 
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techneut wrote:
But I guess you were joking Chaotica !

Though I didn't believe someone would take me serious ( :P ) I wasn't really. People keep hating and bullying this piece, but I actually love it. Of course, it isn't among the best Chopin pieces because it's on the rather light-hearted side. And it may sound a bit like his early works, which are imho really tedious, but I think it is much more beautiful.

Whether the musical content is really worth taking all these technical diffculties, I don't know, either.

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 7:31 am 
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Chaotica wrote:
Whether the musical content is really worth taking all these technical diffculties, I don't know, either.

That is exactly the problem with this work. It's an overlong pile-up of grand gestures and laboured virtuoso passages. There sure are good melodies here, but they get bogged down in all the rhetoric. A bit like in some Alkan pieces, but rather less convincing.
I used to have a soft spot for this piece too. But seems like it's gone now....

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 4:34 pm 
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Oh, I forgot about the Barcarolle. I love that one too. I got it about three-quarters-of-the-way learned some time ago. Same with the Bolero. I really should get back to them someday.

I'm editing this a couple hours later, because I just played through the nocturne 27/2 and it is the most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard. I just love it.

Pianolady, though I do have a hard time picking favorites with Chopin, this has always been one of my very favorites. I am very picky about it too, because most pianists do not play it the way it was marked. A big crescendo into the 3rd occurrence of the main theme is NOT ACCEPTABLE, because a diminuendo is marked. It is very tempting, though...

But the real climax is right before the calando section at the end. That last D-flat at the beginning of that calando section should be loud, loud! That is the climax! And to play the aforementioned tempting crescendo is just to create a false climax.

/rant, hehe


...maybe I should have listened to any recordings of this Nocturne on this site before I commented...I hope I didn't offend anyone. :(

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Terez, I hate to say this, but I am totally lost because I don’t really get what you mean. There are no d-flats since the calando section is back in f-sharp major. And to me, the climax is at the Piu mosso section – all those big inverted chords filling up each measure. Or are you talking about the section right before that when it changes from A-major to F-sharp major – right hand trilling on thirds and left hand playing octaves? (that's the third time the main theme returns) I show that has a crescendo leading into it. The calando section only has one loud-ish point, the 1st low f-sharp and then it diminishes until the very very end.

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 7:57 pm 
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Ugh! I'm so embarrassed. I just realized that you meant the nocturne not the Barcarolle. Jeez, you must think I'm a moron. Oh well...I'm practicing the 27/2 seriously now, and can't wait to get it down. One problem though - Tears keep welling up in my eyes by the time I get to the end and I can't see the music. But the beauty of this piece touches me deep inside. It's perfect.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 12:54 am 
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Ugh! I'm so embarrassed. I just realized that you meant the nocturne not the Barcarolle. Jeez, you must think I'm a moron. Oh well...I'm practicing the 27/2 seriously now, and can't wait to get it down. One problem though - Tears keep welling up in my eyes by the time I get to the end and I can't see the music. But the beauty of this piece touches me deep inside. It's perfect.

No, no, no morons here. :) I should have deleted the first part of what I quoted from you to be more clear.

Chopin obviously had a lot of respect for Beethoven's Op. 27 No. 2, since the apparent reason why he never published the Fantasie-Impromptu is because he felt it was plagiaristic of the Moonlight (presumably the 3rd movement, though I don't really hear anything plagiaristic about it).

And yes, it is certainly perfect. That one part...you know the part, with the little notes, in the 3rd occurrence of the main theme...is the only thing that has ever kept me from performing it, though I did play it for a jury my first semester in college - I had to do that part slowly (I was able to master the rest of the technique, but not that). But that's been ten years - I could probably get it down, now. :) But the calando I think is the most perfect part of it...though the aforementioned section with the temptation to continue to crescendo is also awesome. This Nocturne definitely wins among pieces of comparative length for Chopin.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 3:43 am 
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One of the passage in Chopin Impromtu is exactly same with one of the passage in Moonlight Sonata mvt 3 in notes.


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 4:05 am 
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I'm having a really hard time thinking of what that passage might be, just running through both of them in my head.

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 1:43 am 
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Terez wrote:

And yes, it is certainly perfect. That one part...you know the part, with the little notes, in the 3rd occurrence of the main theme...is the only thing that has ever kept me from performing it, though I did play it for a jury my first semester in college - I had to do that part slowly (I was able to master the rest of the technique, but not that). .


Yes, I do know that part with the little notes. I've been into this piece for a few days now, and most of it is going fine. I'm trying to be good and practice just this part over and over and it's slowly getting better but it has a ways to go. I don't mind, though, as I still love the music. And a funny thing happened yesterday - It turns out that my cleaning lady also cried when she was doing her job and I was practicing the nocturne. I thought it was because of how terrible I played it. But she said, no, it was the beauty of the music that touched her. I could only say, "I know exactly what you mean."

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 4:28 am 
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There's a technical name for those little notes, but I'll be durned if I can remember what it is. :?

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 4:29 pm 
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most pianists do not play it the way it was marked. A big crescendo into the 3rd occurrence of the main theme is NOT ACCEPTABLE, because a diminuendo is marked. It is very tempting, though...

But the real climax is right before the calando section at the end. That last D-flat at the beginning of that calando section should be loud, loud! That is the climax! And to play the aforementioned tempting crescendo is just to create a false climax.


Terez, and anyone else who has an opinion about this: I just played through this nocturne for my teacher yesterday, and he pointed out the complete opposite. I have a Schirmer edition, which supposedly is pretty terrible, full of incorrect markings, etc...My teacher said to get the Paderewski edition which is more accurate. Basically, that diminuendo is a crescendo leading into a fff at the third occurrence. This is the climax. So I just got home from the music store with the new book in hand, and on top of that, I have listened to several recordings of this. All but one of them have it the 'loud' way. So...when I record this, you probably will not like the way I play it, because I'm going with the crescendo. But isn't it nice that here on the site we can discuss things like this?

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 10:39 pm 
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Go with whatever you like, of course (you won't be the first to play it that way, obviously), but the edition I have two different publications of a Mikuli edition, and I trust Mikuli over anyone else, with Chopin. ;)

But just a question to throw out there - how can you have a climax, and then an entirely new development of the main them after the climax?

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 3:01 am 
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Who is right in this case? I know that Mikuli is a trustworthy source, but this Paderewski book claims, and this is word for word in the book, “ it is based primarily on Chopin’s autograph manuscripts, copies approved by him and first additions."
And here is what it says regarding the measure with the diminuendo/crescendo. “Bar 45 – The French Edition and the German Edition give a long diminuendo sign after f, and the word diminuendo. The Oxford edition, however, adds scrscendo after f in bar 45 and fff in bar 46. In the copy belonging to Madame Jedrzejewics, this crescendo and fff are also written in pencil in place of the word diminuendo, which is crossed out.”

I can appreciate both versions as I play this piece, first one way and then the other. However, the crescendo does seem to make better sense to me as it leads to the reinstatement of the main theme in a final and triumphant manner. And I believe the lead-in to the climax actually begins at measure 42.
As to your question, I don't think Chopin followed any form with the nocturnes. And if he did, the section that you believe to be the true climax is actually a secondary climax. However, I think it is all part of the end.

All in all, I am not an expert here, nor am I very analytical when it comes to music. I just want to play it the best I can. I do appreciate all the information I can get about Chopin's music, though, so if you have any other insights, please don't hesitate to share them.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 4:12 am 
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Who is right in this case?

I believe that this question is fairly meaningless, in spite of my strong feelings on the subject. Interpretation will always be just that, and in such a case where the composer is 150 years dead and reputable sources have contradicting opinions, it is up to each performer to decide what is right for them.
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I know that Mikuli is a trustworthy source, but this Paderewski book claims, and this is word for word in the book, “ it is based primarily on Chopin’s autograph manuscripts, copies approved by him and first additions."

Here is a direct quote from the Mikuli edition:
Quote:
Lamenting the innumerable errors found in earlier French, German and English publications, [Mikuli] sought to provide the reader with a reliable edition based on several sources - especially printed scores corrected in Chopin's own hand; scores in which Mikuli himself noted down the composer's comments during students' lessons; and significant reminiscences by discerning witnesses to Chopin's rare performances.

I also have a Scholtz edition that agrees with Mikuli on the diminuendo, though I trust it mainly because of Mikuli.
Quote:
And here is what it says regarding the measure with the diminuendo/crescendo. “Bar 45 – The French Edition and the German Edition give a long diminuendo sign after f, and the word diminuendo. The Oxford edition, however, adds scrscendo after f in bar 45 and fff in bar 46. In the copy belonging to Madame Jedrzejewics, this crescendo and fff are also written in pencil in place of the word diminuendo, which is crossed out.”

I would question, certainly, why the original marking was discarded, and by who.
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I can appreciate both versions as I play this piece, first one way and then the other.

It's good that you can at least appreciate both. I know I do - when I first started working on the piece, I didn't even notice the diminuendo marking, and simply played it how I wanted to play it. My mom had marked out the diminuendo, as well. It took a lot of consideration for me to appreciate the original marking.
Quote:
However, the crescendo does seem to make better sense to me as it leads to the reinstatement of the main theme in a final and triumphant manner.

Can the final statement of the theme truly be considered to be "triumphant", though? It seems rather...reserved, to me. Questioning, even. Especially considering that C-flat in measure 47, which creates a completely new variation of the theme.

I did misspeak earlier, though, about the calando section, which I believed started in measure 60, which is where I perceive the climax to resolve. The calando isn't actually marked until measure 68, of course.
Quote:
And I believe the lead-in to the climax actually begins at measure 42.

The tension starts truly building in measure 36, and it's a beautiful passage, certainly. It just doesn't speak to me as a climax, because it leaves so much unresolved, and I feel that measures 56-60 resolved all the remaining "questions" of the piece, with 60-the end being sort of a reminiscence of the whole ordeal - I know it's odd to put music into words like that, but I guess I can't think of any other way to describe it.
Quote:
As to your question, I don't think Chopin followed any form with the nocturnes.

All of them do have form, and many of them are similar in form, but it is true that they don't all follow a particular form.
Quote:
And if he did, the section that you believe to be the true climax is actually a secondary climax. However, I think it is all part of the end.

And we're back to interpretation again, which is fine, of course. :)
Quote:
All in all, I am not an expert here, nor am I very analytical when it comes to music. I just want to play it the best I can. I do appreciate all the information I can get about Chopin's music, though, so if you have any other insights, please don't hesitate to share them.

I love analysis, personally - it's just a passion of mine. I discovered a love for music theory in college, which of course just deepened my love for Chopin exponentially, as I feel he accomplished, harmonically, what none had accomplished since Bach, and he essentially brought Bach's principles into the 19th century. I used to analyze Chopin in my free time in college, but I don't claim to be an expert, either. Not by a long shot. ;)

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 2:06 pm 
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Can the final statement of the theme truly be considered to be "triumphant", though? It seems rather...reserved, to me. Questioning, even. Especially considering that C-flat in measure 47, which creates a completely new variation of the theme.

That’s because you are diminuendo-ing.
That c-flat does have a magical sense to it, though. In my book, the measure right after that drops down to pp. And that gives it what I call a ‘goosebump’ effect.

But here is something I found in a book that I don't understand. (Chopin: The Man and His Music)


The companion picture in D flat, op. 27, No. 2, has, as
Karasowski writes, "a profusion of delicate fioriture." It really
contains but one subject, and is a song of the sweet summer of
two souls, for there is obvious meaning in the duality of voices.
Often heard in the concert room, this nocturne gives us a surfeit
of sixths and thirds of elaborate ornamentation and monotone of
mood. Yet it is a lovely, imploring melody, and harmonically most
interesting. A curious marking, and usually overlooked by
pianists, is the crescendo and con forza of the cadenza. This is
obviously erroneous. The theme, which occurs three times, should
first be piano, then pianissimo, and lastly forte.



Do you get that? Is the cadenza that long measure (52) with all the 'little' notes, or the shorter on at measure 60?

Quote:
I love analysis, personally - it's just a passion of mine. I discovered a love for music theory in college, which of course just deepened my love for Chopin exponentially, as I feel he accomplished, harmonically, what none had accomplished since Bach, and he essentially brought Bach's principles into the 19th century. I used to analyze Chopin in my free time in college, but I don't claim to be an expert, either. Not by a long shot.


My shot is even longer than yours. ( :? :) , :?: , ) You sound like you know what you’re talking about more than I do. I get into more of the personal life of Chopin, things like how he dressed, the restaurants he went to, the women he associated with, what he said in his letters, etc… But thanks for an interesting discussion on this most wonderful nocturne. It sure isn’t easy to play, and I thought I would have had it down by now, but nope. :x

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 7:00 pm 
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Quote:
The companion picture in D flat, op. 27, No. 2, has, as
Karasowski writes, "a profusion of delicate fioriture." It really
contains but one subject, and is a song of the sweet summer of
two souls, for there is obvious meaning in the duality of voices.
Often heard in the concert room, this nocturne gives us a surfeit
of sixths and thirds of elaborate ornamentation and monotone of
mood. Yet it is a lovely, imploring melody, and harmonically most
interesting. A curious marking, and usually overlooked by
pianists, is the crescendo and con forza of the cadenza. This is
obviously erroneous. The theme, which occurs three times, should
first be piano, then pianissimo, and lastly forte.


Do you get that? Is the cadenza that long measure (52) with all the 'little' notes, or the shorter on at measure 60?

Since the only con forza in the piece is at measure 52, I'll assume that's what he's talking about. Does your edition not have it? All of mine do. Is he saying that it is erroneous to ignore the con forza, or that the marking is erroneous? I would assume the former, but I could be wrong.

Quote:
I get into more of the personal life of Chopin, things like how he dressed, the restaurants he went to, the women he associated with, what he said in his letters, etc… But thanks for an interesting discussion on this most wonderful nocturne. It sure isn’t easy to play, and I thought I would have had it down by now, but nope. :x

I have read both the Huneker and Liszt biographies, and the Letters, but I honestly don't remember much of it. It's probably time to read them again. :)

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 9:22 pm 
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Since the only con forza in the piece is at measure 52, I'll assume that's what he's talking about. Does your edition not have it? All of mine do.


Well, that stumped me for a moment. In my new book (Paderewski) there is no con forza at measure 52, but there is at measure 57. Then I went back to my old book, and there is con forza at both places.

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Is he saying that it is erroneous to ignore the con forza, or that the marking is erroneous? I would assume the former, but I could be wrong.


I don’t know anymore. I’m way past being confused. I’m just going to play and stop thinking about it so much. Btw – I did a little more ‘research’ on Youtube (amazing things to watch there)and watched Pollini, Lang Lang, and a guy who looks like a rock star but plays well. Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... rch=Search

It’s funny, because I just saw Pollini play this in a concert a couple weeks ago. At the time, I was mesmerized and wasn’t really analyzing anything. I did feel like it was a wonderful performance, but now on this YouTube version, I think he plays it way too fast. Lang Lang, on the other hand, plays it exactly the way I wish/want to play it. You have to get over him floating off into outer space, but his playing here is sublime. Gave me goosebumps all over.

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I have read both the Huneker and Liszt biographies, and the Letters, but I honestly don't remember much of it. It's probably time to read them again.


It’s been around 5 years since I read them, along with Niecks two-volume books. I have a couple other Chopin books that I use for a little writing project and whenever I re-read them, I learn something I missed before. I think it’s funny that some of these books are like the editions of his music in that they contradict each other. Liszt says that Chopin’s eyes were blue, but Huneker and Niecks (I think) overruled him and claim that Chopin’s eyes were light brown. Hmmmm.

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 12:17 am 
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Well, that stumped me for a moment. In my new book (Paderewski) there is no con forza at measure 52, but there is at measure 57. Then I went back to my old book, and there is con forza at both places.

In Mikuli, measure 57 is a con fuoco. I don't suppose it makes a great deal of difference, in the end. :)

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I did a little more ‘research’ on Youtube (amazing things to watch there)and watched Pollini, Lang Lang, and a guy who looks like a rock star but plays well...It’s funny, because I just saw Pollini play this in a concert a couple weeks ago. At the time, I was mesmerized and wasn’t really analyzing anything. I did feel like it was a wonderful performance, but now on this YouTube version, I think he plays it way too fast. Lang Lang, on the other hand, plays it exactly the way I wish/want to play it. You have to get over him floating off into outer space, but his playing here is sublime. Gave me goosebumps all over.

I watched Lang Lang first, and I agree that his tempo is about perfect - actually, his "Chopin rubato" is almost perfect, too. Since you've read so much about Chopin, I'm sure you've come across the idea of the Chopin rubato - it is one of the most talked about misinterpretations of Chopin's music. Keep the tempo steady with one hand, feel free to use rubato with the other, don't over-exaggerate ritards and such - very much unlike the free rubato common in his time and throughout the remainder of the Romantic period. You should be able to waltz to his waltzes, and so on. That is one of the first nitpicks I usually have with any performance of Chopin, taking too much liberty with the tempo. And just about everyone does it. It seems counter-intuitive not to.

That being said, I do feel like Lang Lang's melodies were understated, and one issue of his performance brings up another question - what are your dynamic markings at measure 62-65? In Mikuli, I have fz/p at the beginning of 62, with a diminuendo beginning in the end of 63 and ending with a crescendo in the second part of 65. In Scholtz, I have no dynamic markings in 62, but the diminuendo is marked in the same place, but without a duration specified, with a p in the beginning of 65 (same crescendo in the later part of the measure).

Also, Lang Lang did seem to pretty much ignore the con forza in measure 52.

I agree that Pollini played it too fast, and he also took liberties with the tempo, such as his accelerando in measures 38-45, and he seemed to neither crescendo nor diminuendo in our little area of contention, not to mention ignoring the con forza just as Lang Lang did.

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I'm not sure who the rock star person is that you're talking about, though. :)
Liszt says that Chopin’s eyes were blue, but Huneker and Niecks (I think) overruled him and claim that Chopin’s eyes were light brown. Hmmmm.

Hmmm, indeed...

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 12:00 pm 
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I watched Lang Lang first, and I agree that his tempo is about perfect - actually, his "Chopin rubato" is almost perfect, too. Since you've read so much about Chopin, I'm sure you've come across the idea of the Chopin rubato - it is one of the most talked about misinterpretations of Chopin's music. Keep the tempo steady with one hand, feel free to use rubato with the other, don't over-exaggerate ritards and such - very much unlike the free rubato common in his time and throughout the remainder of the Romantic period. You should be able to waltz to his waltzes, and so on. That is one of the first nitpicks I usually have with any performance of Chopin, taking too much liberty with the tempo. And just about everyone does it. It seems counter-intuitive not to.


Yes, you’re right – Lang Lang’s rubato is perfect. Better than Rubinstein, who I feel at times drags and pushes the beat too much. I really don’t like rubato so much, but I'm saying that because I only notice it in players who exaggerate it. Sometimes I hear someone trying too hard with rubato and I think, “stop messing around so much and play the damn thing.”
But players like Lang Lang are so subtle (in this piece) that you hardly notice it, but it is there. I think that is how Chopin preferred it.

Overall tempo is another tricky subject. Actually, very subjective. In my own playing, I will play a particular piece very differently on certain days depending on my mood. I know fast means fast, but many other tempo markings aren’t so clear. And I read that Chopin once taught a student how to play a certain piece, and she went home to practice it that way. When she came for her next lesson, he was in a different mood and said that the piece should go another way.



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That being said, I do feel like Lang Lang's melodies were understated, and one issue of his performance brings up another question - what are your dynamic markings at measure 62-65? In Mikuli, I have fz/p at the beginning of 62, with a diminuendo beginning in the end of 63 and ending with a crescendo in the second part of 65. In Scholtz, I have no dynamic markings in 62, but the diminuendo is marked in the same place, but without a duration specified, with a p in the beginning of 65 (same crescendo in the later part of the measure).

In the Schirmer edition (editor: Joseffy) I have the exact same markings as your Mikuli. In the Paderewski edition I have only dolciss. At the end of 62 and a dim at the end of 63, and no marking at 65.


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Also, Lang Lang did seem to pretty much ignore the con forza in measure 52.

He must have learned from the Paderewski edition. :wink: But did you hear how he played the LH d-flat an octave lower at measures 46 and 49? I’ve never heard other players do that before, but it sounds nice.

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 2:09 am 
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Lang Lang’s rubato is perfect. Better than Rubinstein, who I feel at times drags and pushes the beat too much.

Ashkenazy does the same thing. And he makes me wonder, because there are times when he uses the Chopin rubato perfectly, keeping the tempo with one hand and using rubato in the other. Why can't he do that all the time?
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But players like Lang Lang are so subtle (in this piece) that you hardly notice it, but it is there. I think that is how Chopin preferred it.

Oh, I noticed Lang's rubato - he's just skilled enough to keep the tempo and express himself at the same time. (I just wish he had brought out the melodies more!)

I think the reason why Chopin preferred it that way (or at least the main reason) is that, if you are listening to a piece that you have never heard before, and the pianist is taking a lot of liberties with the tempo, then the rhythm isn't communicated to you, at all. The rhythm is meaningless, except to the person playing and to those familiar with the piece. So much of the beauty of Chopin is in its fluidity, and if you allow both hands to wander together, then you destroy that fluidity. You have the beauty of what Chopin wrote in your head, but you aren't communicating it to your listeners.
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Schirmer edition (editor: Joseffy)

My mom has always played from the Joseffy edition (she mainly uses the Chopin Album, which is Joseffy, iirc) but I think Schirmer has some Mikuli publications, too. Or maybe that was Edwin Hughes? I don't remember...
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But did you hear how he played the LH d-flat an octave lower at measures 46 and 49? I’ve never heard other players do that before, but it sounds nice.

I did notice a difference, but I was thinking that he just accented them strongly - I didn't realize he played them an octave lower (probably would have realized if I had played this piece any time recently, which, sadly, I haven't).

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 3:14 am 
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I think the reason why Chopin preferred it that way (or at least the main reason) is that, if you are listening to a piece that you have never heard before, and the pianist is taking a lot of liberties with the tempo, then the rhythm isn't communicated to you, at all. The rhythm is meaningless, except to the person playing and to those familiar with the piece. So much of the beauty of Chopin is in its fluidity, and if you allow both hands to wander together, then you destroy that fluidity. You have the beauty of what Chopin wrote in your head, but you aren't communicating it to your listeners.


I may not be following this right, but I never thought of rhythm as something to be communicated. Too me, it's harmony first, melody second. Rhythm would have to fall under tempo in a way, like if the piece makes me nervous or relaxed. If you have never heard the piece, how would you know if the rhythm is correct. Chopin's music is so full of tiny little nuances regarding rhythm like dotted notes, grace notes, turns, 9 notes against four/50 notes against 8, etc. and on top of that you have rubato. Just like fingerprints, two pianists will not have the same way of playing a piece no matter what the rhythm is. Does that makes sense? I'm real tired right now.

Quote:
but I think Schirmer has some Mikuli publications, too. Or maybe that was Edwin Hughes? I don't remember...

Yes, I have other Schirmer books that are edited by Mikuli.



Quote:
I did notice a difference, but I was thinking that he just accented them strongly

I wish I could find that 8va in written music, because I'm liking it more and more and want to have something on paper to prove I'm not just copying Lang Lang.

It just occurred to me that we should have all this under a separate thread. Oh well, I guess if other members had anything to say about this nocturne they would have joined in the conversation.

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 6:31 am 
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I may not be following this right, but I never thought of rhythm as something to be communicated. Too me, it's harmony first, melody second. Rhythm would have to fall under tempo in a way, like if the piece makes me nervous or relaxed. If you have never heard the piece, how would you know if the rhythm is correct. Chopin's music is so full of tiny little nuances regarding rhythm like dotted notes, grace notes, turns, 9 notes against four/50 notes against 8, etc. and on top of that you have rubato. Just like fingerprints, two pianists will not have the same way of playing a piece no matter what the rhythm is. Does that makes sense? I'm real tired right now.

Yes, I know what you're saying, and yes, tempo is (obviously) the root of it. You're talking about the melodic stuff that Chopin likely just improvised in the first place, and this is the stuff that you're allowed to tamper with when you're playing, as you said. But without a strict tempo, the melodic line itself (no matter what you do to it) becomes meaningless. Syncopations are meaningless if they aren't wrapped around a tempo. Melody is both tone and rhythm, after all. But you (perhaps inadvertently) left out two of the most essential aspects of Chopin's work - the phrase, and the line, both of which fall apart without tempo. And the fact that you wouldn't know if the rhythm is correct or not, having never heard the piece before, was sort of my point.

And of course, there are times when rubato just isn't allowed, at all. Have you ever played the 25/1 Etude? Both hands work together for pretty much the entirety of the piece, and there's just not a whole lot of room for rubato. Six against six for the majority of it, but he introduces four against six in the development which, at that speed, creates a bit of a ... vibration in the flutter that was already present, because rhythmically, the elements contend with each other a bit more. Where before the beat was evenly divided into six, here it is eight, and not quite evenly. Quite a bit more vibration (for lack of a better word at the moment - I'm tired too!) with the rare instances of five against six. The particular places where he uses those fives against sixes, harmonically, is genius.
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It just occurred to me that we should have all this under a separate thread. Oh well, I guess if other members had anything to say about this nocturne they would have joined in the conversation.

I don't suppose it matters that we hijacked a thread that was all about Chopin in the first place, anyway. :) But perhaps simply no one noticed that we were having such a lovely discussion in this thread...

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 7:35 am 
Yes i noticed this conversation! I am just about to pick up this piece, and it is because you two kind of drew my attention to it a little more, to the extent that i started listening to more recordings. So you have effectively inspired another person into playing it! ;)


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 12:08 pm 
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Welcome back, Steele. Glad you are going to pick up this nocturne. Don’t hesitate to offer up any more insights or feelings about it.

Now, had to go back and read the past few posts because I forgot what I said.

Quote:
Ashkenazy does the same thing. And he makes me wonder, because there are times when he uses the Chopin rubato perfectly, keeping the tempo with one hand and using rubato in the other. Why can't he do that all the time?

I don’t know why, but that makes me laugh. I suppose the master players have good days and bad days too. Or…and this is sort of way out there…maybe their playing a certain piece at a certain time went a certain way that they didn’t expect, and they just went with the flow. What I mean is: there are times when I’m practicing something very hard, trying to get it to flow right, and then one day I go into some other realm while playing, and my hands unexpectedly play the line, page, section, etc…perfectly. But my brain is so surprised that my hands did it, that it ruins it by bringing me back and the ‘automatic pilot’ effect stops. Could this be why his rubato changes drastically - he's on 'automatic pilot' at times?

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Have you ever played the 25/1 Etude? Both hands work together for pretty much the entirety of the piece, and there's just not a whole lot of room for rubato. Six against six for the majority of it, but he introduces four against six in the development which, at that speed, creates a bit of a ... vibration in the flutter that was already present, because rhythmically, the elements contend with each other a bit more. Where before the beat was evenly divided into six, here it is eight, and not quite evenly. Quite a bit more vibration (for lack of a better word at the moment - I'm tired too!) with the rare instances of five against six. The particular places where he uses those fives against sixes, harmonically, is genius


I love this Etude. It is especially magical. I never thought about how you describe when he changes it to 5 against six or 4 against 6 making it a fluttery sound. To be honest, and again, it’s because I don’t know much regarding analyzing music, but I don’t hear a flutter in those passages. I’m more into the way the LH is singing in those top notes in like a secondary melody. I love that. And as far as Etudes go, this goes along with what you talked about earlier regarding Chopin’s use of phrasing and lines. (yes, very, very important), I also love the Op. 10/3. In my book, though, there is no phrase marking over what I hear as a complete sentence (from beginning measure to bar 5). There are little slurs, but I wonder because Chopin wrote long phrase markings in most other etudes. Oh, well…someday I dig into this one again.

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 5:34 pm 
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Could this be why his rubato changes drastically - he's on 'automatic pilot' at times?

I imagine it's rather because he believes that he's being sparing with rubato, by using it only sometimes (affecting both hands).
Quote:
I love this Etude. It is especially magical. I never thought about how you describe when he changes it to 5 against six or 4 against 6 making it a fluttery sound. To be honest, and again, it’s because I don’t know much regarding analyzing music, but I don’t hear a flutter in those passages. I’m more into the way the LH is singing in those top notes in like a secondary melody. I love that.

Yes, I love that, too...but whether or not you hear the increased tension in those fives against sixes, it's there.
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And as far as Etudes go, this goes along with what you talked about earlier regarding Chopin’s use of phrasing and lines. (yes, very, very important), I also love the Op. 10/3. In my book, though, there is no phrase marking over what I hear as a complete sentence (from beginning measure to bar 5). There are little slurs, but I wonder because Chopin wrote long phrase markings in most other etudes. Oh, well…someday I dig into this one again.

The 10/3 was my first Etude (since I learned the easy bits when I was small). I have never heard a recording of it that makes me happy.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 12:38 am 
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The 10/3 was my first Etude (since I learned the easy bits when I was small). I have never heard a recording of it that makes me happy.


Maybe this can be the next little project. But I first have to finish the 27/2. I've been practicing it so much that I hear it in my sleep, now. At least it's a nocturne. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:44 am 
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I've been practicing it so much that I hear it in my sleep, now. At least it's a nocturne. :wink:

My high school piano teacher used to tell me, emphatically, that nocturnes were not lullabys. She said they were luv songs. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:25 am 
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My high school piano teacher used to tell me, emphatically, that nocturnes were not lullabys. She said they were luv songs.


She's right. :)

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