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Chopin: Nocturne op.48 n.1

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Anonymous, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Augmented seventh? There is not such a chord there.

    Good! If you believe it's more logical to rewrite Chopin than trying to understand the logic of what he actually wrote, well, I bow before your irrefutable logic. :lol:
     
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    > Augmented seventh? There is not such a chord there.

    from the bass F-Ab-C-E. minor triad with major 7th. As harmony on a strong tempo (the third being) very usual in Thelonious Monk or Mal Waldron, less in Chopin.
    But probably you have reason, this is a "passing" harmony, and it's not an error of the editor.
    My fault, very probably. But I'm not desperate for this, considering certain misundestanding of
    the meanings (for example, to ignore the bel-canto style situation and phrasing, or the unwritten but wanted by Chopin pause between 2nd and 3rd bar; this last not sure? but why Von Lenz must be less sure and sincere than a copyist?) one hundred time more important than occasional and rare misreadings or wrong decisions about the text.
    Sincere my greetings to you and Chris (great also in these questions) to have found these wrong notes.
    As probably also you and Chris, I hope and think it's not because these 3 notes (they do not sound so unbearable) between other 5000 that one likes or dislikes this recording......I think that if I'll repeat the recording with those 3 E natural, this recording will continue to be liked and disliked by the same listeners that likes or dislikes this one with those 3 Eb.

    All best,
    Sandro
     
  3. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is an interesting interpretation of the nocture. I can't say that I care too much about how you played this piece. I can say that it is something new.
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Thank you Juufa for your kind words. I'm happy for the feedbacks, a good balance between
    "interesting, intense" and "artificial, manneristic". Too sad to have nobody interested in you,
    too dangerous to have everybody who likes. So it's ok.
    As all the amateurs here, I play in the more sincere and personal way I know (also who think
    to play in "objective" style make thousands of very personal and particular choices).
    Each of us love music with about the same intensity, but each one of us has "his master voice"
    (imprintings, teachers, historical and present favourite pianists, personal history and tastes, above all aesthetic values and hierarchies...), and evaluate the same thing in different ways. Funny.
    Again thank you, and all best,
    Sandro.
     
  5. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    We would call that a minor-major 7th - actually, don't know why I'm saying "we" since Alf is apparently Italian too :lol: - but the term "augmented 7th" definitely implies an augmented triad.
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    > the term "augmented 7th" definitely implies an augmented triad.

    Ok. Thank you Terez.
    All best,
    Sandro.
     
  7. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Back to this, for the sake of friendly discussion, and since you seem to have a passion for understanding Chopin's true intent:
    From all that I've learned of the da capo aria form, the entire purpose of repeating the A section is to change it into something different - to magnify it from what it was before. For the singer, this would involve more embellishment and ornamentation, different inflections, etc., and you see this of course with the dramatic rhythm of the repeat of the A section...but iirc some composers actually wrote out the da capo (as of course Chopin did) so that they could change things harmonically. For Chopin, changing to major when it was minor before is one of the most common alterations he makes in ABA form for dramatic effect. And I don't even know that "dramatic effect" is the proper way to say it. I like to think of it with this metaphor, and this goes along with your interest in the question/answer interpretation, on a broader, more general scale: In the opening A section, he is telling you something. He telling it to you, but you don't really understand what he is telling you, so in the B section, he gives you backstory, or sidestory, or just in general details that you need to know to understand what he was telling you. Then he tells you again, and this time, he tells you just slightly differently than he did before, giving you even more understanding of the subject (pun intended) than it seems he originally intended. All the while, though he is the teacher and you are the student, the piece is a discussion, with not one, but many questions and answers.

    By the way, measure 65 was not the first harmonic variation from the opening A section; there was a change to G major on the 3rd beat of measure 56, when it remained in g minor in measure 8.

    Are you sure about that - that the minor-major7 never appears in Chopin elsewhere? I'm pretty sure it does - and it may well be that in each case the 7th could be analyzed as a passing tone, but I really don't think it's all that uncommon. For example, it's also used (in passing tone style) in measure 59, and stranger chords are also result from passing tones, such as the G-#11 in measure 60.

    As to the pause to separate the question and answer of measures 2 and 3 - I definitely see no reason to doubt Von Lenz at all, but my perception of such a pause, and my interpretation of the fact that Chopin concentrated so much time on getting the student to play it correctly, would be that it should be something almost imperceptible - very subtle, and just enough to separate the question and answer. Also, from everything I've read about Chopin, he would wish for the left hand to keep in tempo, and the hesitation to be expressed only in the melodic hand. So I can understand why many here feel that it is over-exaggerated. But nevertheless, I respect and appreciate the passion with which you approached this piece, and though you played it very much differently than I would play it, you did manage to stir my passions a bit with your rendition of the finale.

    Congrats on the fruits of your hard work. :D
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ah, this reminds me of somebody explaining how one should do a presentation :

    First, you tell them what you're gonna tell them.
    Then you tell them.
    Lastly, you tell them what you just told them.
     
  9. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Exactly. ;)
     
  10. Anonymous

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    >
    From all that I've learned of the da capo aria form, the entire purpose of repeating the A section is to change it into something different - to magnify it from what it was before. For the singer, this would involve more embellishment and ornamentation, different inflections, etc.,

    Ever interesting and brilliant your words. In fact, this "da capo" is not regular, canonic.
    The melody is the same, without the ornamentations of these cases, but the orchestration changes.

    > He telling it to you, but you don't really understand what he is telling you, so in the B section, he gives you backstory, or sidestory, or just in general details that you need to know to understand what he was telling you. Then he tells you again, and this time, he tells you just slightly differently than he did before, giving you even more understanding of the subject (pun intended) than it seems he originally intended. All the while, though he is the teacher and you are the student, the piece is a discussion, with not one, but many questions and answers.

    Great Terez, really. After the "materia di mezzo" (the 2 sections between the aria ant its return)
    the Aria is the same and it is not the same. Something happened in the central section and a new
    light suits the beginning theme; it is blocked and free. Probably not the same your concept, but not so far.

    >Are you sure about that - that the minor-major7 never appears in Chopin elsewhere?

    Not sure. Only my memory. Probably bad memory.


    > Also, from everything I've read about Chopin, he would wish for the left hand to keep in tempo,

    But IMHO one problem is also the conception of tempo (the "regular" tempo, of the L.H.). Not
    sure it was so metronomic. I prefer to think to two different levels of freedom for the two hands,
    and not one (l.h) blocked and the other free.

    >and though you played it very much differently than I would play it, you did manage to stir my passions a bit with your rendition of the finale.

    Honoured by these last words as for the criticism.
    About this finale.....I've no problem to admit that the knowledge of the Samson Francois
    version changed my ideas about this masterwork (it was a masterwork also before the Francois CD :) , ok, but it was a different piece for me). Nobody as him uses the left hand in the final section to obtain that climax.

    >
    Congrats on the fruits of your hard work.

    :) Difficult to play piano, difficult to record piano, difficult to speak about piano (in my poor english more difficult), being neither a piano-pro, nor a sound engineer, nor a musicologist.
    But it's so funny to try to play decently these games....

    Thank you and all best,
    Sandro.
     
  11. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think it's not especially useful to focus on a single chord there. That Eb wouldn't make any sense from a voice-leading point of view. The triplets upper voice goes from E natural to F, and could not possibly pass through the E flat. Technically, the E natural at the 3rd beat is a suspension with an upwards resolution on the 4th beat. And that E natural is not in contradiction with the chord progression as hinted at measure 17 in the A section. The dominant 7th at the 2nd beat resolves at the 3rd beat, but you just hear a bass note, it's enough. In the Da capo section the beautiful device of shifting the melody is also applied to harmonies and the “filling” you would expect on 4th beat of ms.65 is shifted to the 1st beat of ms.66, while bass notes and main theme don't change.

    By the way, I share most of the ideas Terez expressed so ingeniously about Chopin telling and retelling, yet my opinion is that Chopin is a master particularly in not telling. He can be wonderfully reticent and ambiguous, the A section of this Nocturne is exemplar in this respect.
     
  12. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Aren't all of us here from the very same country whose motto is "In Chord We Trust"? :p

    Yes, even in Italy! ;-)
     
  13. Mr Duffy

    Mr Duffy New Member

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    i found your words very insightul. actually they cast a new light on sandro's interpretation (which i'm quite accustomed to) and that was stimulating for further reflections.
    thanks! Mr Duffy
     
  14. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    That description reminds me of my favorite author - Robert Jordan (pen name for James Oliver Rigney, Jr.), who wrote the Wheel of Time series, and who I consider to be on a level with Chopin in sheer artistry - what makes his books so genius is that he does not tell you everything. The balance of story-telling and mystery is perfect, which explains why there are more websites devoted to discussing his books than of any other author in the world. Many debates, discussions, and outright disagreements on not only what will happen next, but what exactly happened already. :lol:

    Aiii, another Italian! hehe...and you're welcome. I first used this metaphor (though in a bit more detail) in reference to the 10/3 etude in E major.
     
  15. robert

    robert Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    According to my view, this is one of Chopin's masterpieces! A mature Nocturne, however not that very much Nocturne like but for the clear melody over partly broken chords in the beginning and the A-B-A form.

    You play this with charm and feeling but my mind cannot really apply your liberal use of rubato and changes in tempo. To me, the beat, melody, notes scream for steadiness in the first A-part. It suggests a serious march with a sad theme, though not a funeral march. Also, it I want it to be faster and not so dragging. The B-part is better but it should be a sheer wave of exploding drama at the end of it until the returning A-part (now in triplets). Also, you tend to loose speed when the A-part returns and it should really be agitato and almost be played as fast as you can.

    Sorry for being so critical but your understanding for music where you really try to pull the essence out of it music does not work for me in this Nocturne. I think one should simply play the notes and not do very much about it.
     
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    > first A-part. It suggests a serious march with a sad theme, though not a funeral march.

    A march. Ok. This is not exatly "simply play the notes" as you write, it's an interpretation
    (who tell to "play simply the notes" being IMHO the more personal and particular interpreter).
    For you a march, for me a Bellini-style cantabile. An image for each one, all good and all wrong
    images. Your criticism seems to me very logic, starting from your conceptions.

    > Also, you tend to loose speed when the A-part returns and it should really be agitato

    The return of A must be played at the same initial tempo. So it's my opinion that here I play
    a bit more fast than the correct tempo. This is for the sound that I feel to heve not (because my technique, my piano, and the acoustic of the room).
    I read the "agitato" as " nervous, and with a certain grade of disorder", and then I play the chords
    not always regulary in rhythm and with their notes played not ever simultaneosly. To help the construction of this nervous and irregular emotional situation, trying at the same time to separate
    the melody and to leave it in another world (and someone here saw this perspective, for my happiness).

    >and almost be played as fast as you can.

    The march become a run. Interesting, but it's not my point of view.

    > Sorry for being so critical but your understanding for music where you really try to pull the essence out of it music does not work for me in this Nocturne.

    Why sorry? Being sincere is a value.

    > I think one should simply play the notes and not do very much about it.

    Not possible, I repeat. Objectivity in interpretation is an evident contradiction.
    The ambition to not-interpretate being the stronger interpretation, the more particular interpretation.
    This serial and non-personal approach became very powerful (and destroying) in certain '900 aestethic tendencies, but luckily and for my greater happiness begin to fade (and to show its disasters). Be clear, nothing against your kind and sincere words, but this idea of the objective approach is "smoke gets in my eyes" (beautiful melody Jerome Kern, but in that song the sense was different).

    All best,
    Sandro
     

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