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Chopin Concerto No. 1 in E minor

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by pianolady, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I love this concerto. A little while ago I purchased the Music Minus One cd so that I could get a little taste of what it's like to play with an orchestra. I will probably be able to only play the second movement, the Romance, all the way through. But that's okay with me. It is so beautiful. Has anyone else here ever used this Music Minus One series? It's fun but frustrating at the same time. The tempo is different than what I would like, and there's an oboe, or bassoon, or horn, ( I can't remember right now) that sounds like a goose and it kind of spoils the mood sometimes. Plus, I can only play around with this after my piano has just been tuned, otherwise it's terrible.
     
  2. robert

    robert New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I have never tried it but a person I know (Malcolm who also wrote the study guide for the Chopin etudes) played along both concertos Minus One. Quite a project you got there :).
     
  3. joeisapiano

    joeisapiano New Member Piano Society Artist

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    lol, i defininatly feel your pain! the tempos they pick they say are something like the 'average' tempos picked by most performers, when in reality they are totally wacked out and sometimes vary randomly within a phrase! intonation is a huge issue and the quality of the performances is rather low. (you should hear the octaves in the Tchaik 1st PC!!! :shock: yuck!) one last complaint is that the music is a very poor quality most of the time (as compared to urtext) and only recently have they started coming out with CD only options. otherwise it's a fun way to practice at home. another option is to get a CD of your favorite artist playing the piece, turn it up to full volume, and play away! the only bad part is you may pick up a lot of their individuality so it might be good to limit your use of that. (also, the tuning issues vanished when I played with a 'real' recording instead of MMO.

    what's the 'plovdiv philharmonic' anyways?!?!?!?
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    IIRC Plovdiv is the second or thrid largest city in Bulgaria, itself not the most
    sohisticated European country (actually the poorest). I bet it is not a very good
    orchestra to put it mildly. Never done Music Minus One but I think that is the problem with it, real
    third-rate performances. Obviously you don't get the Berlin or London phils with Rattle
    and Haitink to record concertos without a soloist.

    So pianolady, must your piano be tuned to the pitch of the recording ? I wonder how that
    works if you have more than one such a CD, and they're not quite the same pitch... Or does it not get as bad as that ?

    As for the Chopin PC, do you really need the orchestra part to play iot, or can that just be filled in with the piano (as in the op.22) ?
     
  5. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Another possibility would be to use a program like CoolEdit to adapt the recording pitch to the piano pitch. Sound will for sure not get better, but should work that way. And no need to pay for a piano tuning.
    And I think, even if it is a third rate orchestra, the purpose is to have a practising aid, so I do not think that it is such a problem to have no top level orchestra accompaignement. Should be enough for the humble PianoSociety musicians, or not?

    Are there Music Minus One CD's available for all common piano concerts?
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Technically, this is an option. Not sure if it's practical though, if you don't have a pretty powerful PC with CoolEdit and hifi speakers in reach of the piano.

    Heh yes, humble we are :) It doesn't have to be the Vienna Philharmonic but if it's played really badly the surely that spoils some of the fun. OTOH, as they say in Holland, "You need an old bike to learn to cycle."
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    My piano goes sharp in the winter and flat in the summer, or maybe it's the other way around. MindenBlues probably knows. Anyway, I've put the CD in every boom box and stereo we have in the house, thinking that maybe a different machine will play the CD differently, but it wasn't so. The only time my piano matched the pitch on the CD was right after it's tuned. When the pitch was not matched with the piano, it wasn't totally like playing in a different key, but it was enough to really annoy me.

    Maybe Joeisapiano's idea to play with a better orchestra would work if you had a machine that could take out the piano, like a Karaoki machine that plays concertos without the soloist. I don't know if there is such a thing.

    I don't have that Cool Edit program you talk about.

    Yes, the Chopin PC needs the orchestra part. But the second movement has more piano time, plays most of the time, and it's not as hard as the other two parts. Like you know, in the Op. 22, the piano plays all the way through and is complete without the orchestra. (I love that piece, too)

    Yes, they have a web site. www.musicminusone.com

    I do this just for fun. I fell in love with this concerto and had to find myself an orchestra. This is the best I could do.
     
  8. MindenBlues

    MindenBlues New Member Piano Society Artist

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    The thing is easy to explain. With raising humidity wood expands, and that's why the strings get stretched more. That's why, normally it goes sharper in seasons with high humidity, in Germany in the summer, and flatter during low humidity. Same happens on other wood instruments too.

    Thank you for the link. Don't we all just play for fun in the end, at least the amateurs like me who do not get paid for playing? The Chopin Concerts are great, easy to fall in love with...
     
  9. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Music minus one is great. I'm learning Chopin's e minor concerto with it right now. I also like to use digitally altered recordings with the piano part subdued and/or the tempo altered (slowed down, usually). I also have recorded myself playing the accompaniment for practice. The man who invents the pocket orchestra.... :lol:
     

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