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Chopin etudes op 10/25

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by Anonymous, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Dear piano friends,

    i've got a question. I'm exercising the Chopin etudes at the moment. I would like to ask you, if there's a best way to bring the particular etudes in a better order to learn them more efficiantly ? I know it depends on the individual situation of every piano player. But, does a kind of "common sense" exist between piano educationalists ?
    THX for your answers in advance ! :wink:
     
  2. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    IMO, the most logical order for ANY pianist to take in learning Chopin études is to begin with the ones that are easiest for you. You can figure that out by sight-reading through all of them (highly recommended) and getting a feel for their difficulty relative to your comfort zones, or you can take the word of everyone else on which ones are easiest (purely relative term when dealing with those two sets). The easier études will polish the techniques you were already somewhat comfortable with, and then you can move on to techniques you have a bit more difficulty with, saving the most challenging for last.

    Learning them in the order they're published probably makes the least sense of any order you could choose.
     
  3. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Voltaire said "Common sense is the least common of all." With that in mind, "Easy" is relative term - the etudes that seem easier technically are more difficult musically, and vice versa. The perceived difficulty of the etudes varies among different individuals, depending on your agility, strength, and span. I am not sure if there is a consensus among the conservatory level members for the etudes, but all I know is that you should first learn several of the Preludes, before tackling the etudes. More or less, here are the Etudes in order of increasing difficulty (for my hands):

    -Op. 25, No. 9 in G-flat Major, "Butterfly"
    -Op. 10, No. 9 in F minor
    -Op. 10, No. 3 in E Major
    -Op. 10, No. 5 in G-flat Major, "Black-Key"
    -Op. 25, No. 1 in A-flat Major, "Aeolian"
    -Op. 10, No. 12 in C minor, "Revolutionary"
    -Op. 10, No. 1 in C Major
    -Op. 25, No. 7 in C-sharp minor
    -Op. 25, No. 12 in C minor, "Ocean"
    -Op. 10, No. 4 in C-sharp minor

    You may know this already, just remember to move your arm across to guide you to reach any arpeggios, and develop a relaxed and flexible shoulder. Otherwise = tendonitis + anti-inflammatory drugs or worse...

    May the Force be with you when playing Chopin Etudes!
     
  4. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Hmm, everybody forgets about the 10/6 in E-flat minor. That's the easiest by far.
     
  5. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Perhaps from a technical standpoint, but take a pianist who isn't so strong of a music reader and this etude turns into a morass of accidentals! :lol:

    Abby Whiteside wrote some good stuff on the Chopin Etudes; you should look her up.

    Pete
     
  6. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I strongly suggest thoroughly learning the Preludes, before venturing to the etudes! I don't mean to have all of opus 28 note perfect and world-class level; just make sure you've put in the necessary time (a few years, IMO) to have reasonably mastered the Preludes.

    After you've done that, it should be abundantly clear as to the order in which to learn the Etudes. Also, they will be FAR easier on your playing mechanism than if you jump in cold-turkey.

    Do you play the Preludes?

    Pete
     
  7. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Sure, but the 10/4 was on that list, and the middle section of that is hardly easy reading (I always have to look at the keys more than the page in that section or I get confused, lol). I love it when Chopin modulates to enharmonic keys via accidentals. :lol:
     
  8. Mikhail Kaykov

    Mikhail Kaykov New Member

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    I think the most difficult Chopin etude is Op. 25/6. Just HELL.

    -Mikhail Kaykov
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Megabump ! It makes little sense to reply to a 15-month old posting. The original poster is no longer even here, presumably removed from the forum as his/her username is Anonymous.
     
  10. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    I found 25/6 to be easier than many. And hush Chris; there's no such thing as an outdated discussion on Chopin etudes. :wink: (Says the girl who shows up after having been absent a few months herself.)

    I am working on 25/11 now; my teacher insists it's the hardest of all the etudes, but I disagree. I think 25/12 is more difficult simply because the technique is so consistent and tiring. 25/11 changes technique every four bars or so, to the variety makes it easier for me to play without tension. I had the same problem with 25/1 as I had with 25/12.
     
  11. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Re:

    The more I look at this list, the more strange it seems to me. And I know that 88man was speaking of his hands specifically, but it still seems strange. This is roughly how I would order them, from easiest to most difficult, for my hands (leaving out a few I have not played enough to judge):

    10/6 - E-flat minor
    25/7 - C-sharp minor (cello)
    10/5 - G-flat major (black keys)
    25/9 - G-flat major (butterfly)
    10/3 - E major
    25/10 - B minor (octaves)
    10/12 - C minor (revolutionary)
    10/7 - C major (repeated notes)
    10/9 - F minor (wide left hand!)
    10/8 - F major (LH melody, RH runs)
    25/1 - A-flat major (aeolian harp)
    10/1 - C major (RH arpeggios)
    25/6 - G-sharp minor (thirds)
    10/2 - A minor (chromatic)
    25/11 - A minor (winter wind)
    25/12 - C minor (ocean)
    25/4 - A minor (LH jumps from hell)
    10/4 - C-sharp minor
    10/11 - E-flat major (ROLLS! BIG, KEYBOARD-SPANNING ROLLS IN BOTH HANDS.)

    I left out 10/10, 25/2, 25/3, 25/8, and 25/5.

    (Edited because I realized I mixed up 10/4 and 25/4 - also I moved 10/2 and 25/6 up the list since I haven't gotten either to performance tempo and others think they are very difficult.)
     
  12. Op31n2

    Op31n2 New Member

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    In no way is the Revolutionary more difficult than the Harp.

    25/9
    10/6
    10/3
    10/12
    10/9
    10/5
    12/1
    25/1
    25/11

    That's all I've studied of them thus far, and the last two I didn't finish (yet).

    I can't picture one part of the Revolutionary that should take more than a day or two to understand. It's all rudiments and stamina... The middle? I learned all but the middle in a week, and give or take another week and half for the middle section with clean transitions.
     
  13. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    I am also working on 25/1 and 25/11 right now...I just played 25/1 for a jury but it needs some improvement, and I think I might play it for a coming recital. I also might play 25/ 10-12 instead, but I am reluctant to put anything at all on the program after 25/11. When you play Chopin etudes in a group, no one claps until they're all done, and it would just be too weird to play 25/11 without applause. :lol:

    But you think 25/9 is easier than 10/6? Really? I think 10/6 is the easiest by far, to the point where it wouldn't matter what sort of technically difficulties are easy for the individual pianist. Yes, it has some difficulties, but they're really not comparable to anything else in either 10 or 25.

    Also, by 12/1 I guess you meant 10/1. I would think it's harder than 25/1, but I've never really worked on 10/1 so I couldn't say.
     
  14. Op31n2

    Op31n2 New Member

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    Maybe it's just my problems with grace notes, but (yes, I meant 10/1) I found 25/1 to be a real difficulty. The butterfly is a matter of figuring out the chord progression, and the pattern is all there for you. Meh, I don't know any pianists at my school (which is by far, NOT a school of music - 13 majors, 50+ minors, I was the only piano major that graduated in 2k7) that doesn't know it.
     
  15. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Terez wrote:
    Hi Terez, I bet I've been away from PS longer than you have?! :lol: The original poster was asking if there was an academic order of difficulty for the etudes. My list was a recollection of the chronology in which I learned the Etudes when taking lessons during high school and early college. I just looked back at 20 year old recital programs to compare the chronology of Etudes among 3 different pupils, and the list seems more or less consistent... Ah, memory lane :) I only listed the one's I learned, and I haven't learned any new since college when I stopped taking lessons, so it's not a complete list as yours...

    You must be having so much fun learning 25/11...... NOT! :p They say it's the most devilish to play. I don't envy you having to learn all these etudes, but I can respect you for taking on the challenge of doing so. I looked over your list, I would place 10/2 Am and 25/6 G#m in the most difficult category for my hands. Wow! You must have very agile fingers?... 25/12 and 25/1 are not difficult once you start learning them, it's just an endurance issue. Pssst: Finger push ups help! :wink: But, if your piano's action is stiff, you may run out of steam fast. Playing these etudes you have to be both a good sprinter and a good marathon runner.

    BTW, why don't you post any recordings of this great repertoire?... I'd love to hear more Chopin Etudes on PS...
     
  16. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    I suppose I can see why. It's also very, very, VERY satisfying to play, at well below performance tempo. Very rewarding work, and I have to fight myself to keep from practicing 5 or 6 hours every day on it. Chopin said no more than 3! :lol: But I would say that 10/4 is the most 'devlish'. There are a few I think are more difficult than 25/11 obviously, but I think that some might agree that 10/4 is one of them. 25/11 has a sense of gravity, perfect weights and balances, that 10/4 does not have IMO. That is what makes it more difficult for me.

    Not really. I have actually worked on 25/6 and I think it's not so difficult as many others, even though I didn't quite get it to performance tempo. I am not very good. :lol: But Alfie and I have been arguing about 10/2 in email, and since I have never really worked hard on this one, I will have to concede that I probably have no idea what I am talking about.

    I am not so sure any more that endurance is exactly the right word for what these two require. I think that the arm/wrist/finger technique must be just exactly so, and if it's not, then the tension will cause damage whether or not your 'endurance' is good. I am still thinking of peppering my senior recital with several from op. 25; probably 1, 6, 11, and 12, but I don't think I will play them as a group. Probably open the program with 25/1, then play maybe some Debussy and a Beethoven sonata, and end the first half with 25/11. Then open the second half with 25/6, then play the Bach c minor partita, then end with 25/12. If I can do it.

    I have a piano to practice on in my teacher's office - a Kawai that's been reworked a lot - that is wonderfully fluid and delicate. Can't get a sound out of it, but I imagine it's similar to the sort of piano that Chopin loved. I prefer playing on the Steinway in the recital hall of course - I love that sound - but I try not to treat it as a practice piano too often. It makes me feel guilty. There is another piano in my teacher's office - a Howard, also heavily reworked - that has stiff action, and my teacher uses it to practice because it makes performance easier, but I can't do it. Plus, she has hand injuries, and she concedes that it's probably because she's always favored practice pianos with stiff action.

    I don't have any recording equipment. Maybe one day I can afford some, and then I will record the ones I have worked on. I might play 25/11 for recital class, and if I do, there will be a recording, but the sound will probably not be all that great, and since it's live (in front of a few hundred music students) there is bound to be an error or three that I just can't live with, lol. But I will probably post it in the general forum for the curious, as usual.
     
  17. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Oh, I agree that 25/1 is much more difficult than 25/9 (even though a friend of mine who is playing all of Op. 25 thinks that even 25/9 is difficult because the pattern is tiring, and the stretching). I would just disagree that 10/6 is more difficult than 25/9; I don't see how anyone could argue that any of the etudes is less difficult in terms of technique than 10/6. Yes, it requires some clever fingering (which is given for you!), and musical sensitivity, but they all do. Yes, it has some weird accidentals, but so do many of the others, and also, reading accidentals is nothing compared to what is required in the other 23 etudes in terms of technique.
     
  18. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yes Terez, 10/4 and 25/11 are both devilish to play at tempo. You know you're in for a treat when the tempo is marked 'Presto con fuoco!' Practicing 5 to 6 hours a day is remarkable dedication. I've often wondered how long one chooses or needs to practice. Perhaps it may depend on your aims in music: Performance or Teaching?... When growing up, it seemed I had all the time to practice, but I didn't have a great piano. The biggest tease of my life is having a gorgeous Steinway B, but not having time to practice 1 hour a week... Hopefully at 40, I can work a 4-day schedule and play more music?!... I am optimistic! :D

    Terez wrote:
    You're right, I used the word 'endurance' loosely to describe the cumulative effects of repetition on tension when playing Etudes. As far as finger strength exercises go, one can easily do finger push ups by leaning against a wall to start. My thought is that once you develop finger strength only up to a point, you can decrease the overall tension slightly, and hence increase 'endurance.' Gearing up for an Etude marathon is all about tension and release (relaxation) cycles, arm/wrist height, back position, chair height, gravity, etc. This reminds me of a discussion I had about tendon physiology and injury (9th thread down): viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4164&start=0

    Terez wrote:
    That's a quite a bit of hot pepper on your plate!... Great, when will the tickets go on sale?... Most of the Etudes you mentioned are tension builders. Perhaps it may look better to play one less Etude in order to keep the Etudes as a group? However, the order you mentioned can certainly work too. In any case, good luck in your challenging program!

    George
     
  19. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  20. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Super-bump. I just figured I'd see if anyone else felt like talking about Chopin etudes. I just started working on 10/1 yesterday, which I've never tried to play before. I have always been disparaging of this etude in comparison to others, because I always found it relatively uninteresting musically, but after two days I'm starting to see why people like working on it so much.

    Also working on these (some of them I have been playing for a while):

    10/2
    10/3
    10/4
    10/6
    25/1
    25/6
    25/7
    25/11
    25/12

    I might also try 10/8, 10/9 ,10/11 and 10/12, and maybe also 25/10. Not sure yet. Since my recital requirements are complete, I don't have to work on anything else right now.
     

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