Terez, now I feel like you've just been yanking our collective chains.
How could you even think that you could play Chopin Etudes if you have "no natural facility for the piano" and are essentially self-taught? The Chopin etudes (some of the pinncale of piano literature) are then way over your head (and hands) and you would really do well to step way back and train
, the way everybody else has that can perform the Chopin etudes in an artistic and successful manner.
For your information, IMO the Czerny Etudes are meant only to be highly concentrated studies on technical matters (as a continuation of Kohler), but many of his studies are very musical - and very demanding technically - especially from the School of Legato and Staccato
, and The Art of Finger Dexterity
. Since you're having trouble with Chopin, I'm sure you would have trouble with these too. As opposed to the "more mechanical" etudes of Czerny which are extended by Cramer and Clementi, the "more artisitic" may begin with Streabbog and Burgmuller, and continue with Heller and the others listed in my earlier post, and these two lines blend together in works of Moskowski, Moscheles, etc. All of these are NOT exercises. At the same time one should be doing exercises like Schmitt (develops independence of the fingers in closed hand position), Phillip fully-diminshed 7th exercises (the superlative training for developing independence of the fingers with the hand in open position), as well as all scales and arpeggios in every concievable combination of difficulty (always and forever), Kullak studies and etudes for octaves, Berens exercises and etudes for the LH, Moskowski's School of Double-Notes. To all this is added repertoire, which always includes Bach. Nothing prepares for Bach; one starts with the easier didactic works and progresses through them (Notebook and other Preludes, Inventions, Sinfonias, 1 French Suite, WTC and Partitas, ... well until you die or can play the Goldberg Variations from memory. *[Was it you that posted earlier that you spent (or would dedicate) five years to practicing the Rachmaninoff Rhapsody? That is insane. If it was you, you are in denial. If you can't learn to play it in one year, forget it, it's beyond you and no matter how much you try, you will not be able because you lack foundation and breadth.] Piano literature is a library as big as an ocean, but to play great masterworks, A. you have to have natural facility for the piano, B. you must have opportunity to train well and thouroghly, C. you must take advantage of that oportunity, D. you must work VERY HARD for MANY years. There are no cutting corners (Arthur Rubinstein cut corners in his early technical training, and later retreated from concertizing for a year to work on what he had skipped).
You seem to repeatedly scorn the notion of graded training, yet every great pianist goes through it. I will bet you that Ms. Babic can list a veritable catalogue of technical work she did prior to advancing to the Chopin Etudes. You should identify what you can play as well as any artist can play, and that should be your baseline to begin (?) training. (But these things must be done when in our youth
(Well, I think I've had a catharsis.)
Edit: * Oops, this wasn't you. Please disregard the bracketed section.