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Problem with a measure in Chopin's Op. 44

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by Horowitzian, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    Most of what I have learned so far has fallen under my hands easily. But there's one measure that's really been getting me. I was wondering if any of you had any advice on how to master it. I can play either hand's part by itself, but I cannot put them together to save my life! :oops:

    I've attached a screenshot of the specific measure, and one of the bar in which it falls. Please note that I do not use the Klindworth edition for a study score; this is just an easy way to illustrate the measure.
     
  2. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    I took this excerpt to the piano and played it through a couple of times. Indeed, it's tricky! :roll: I suspect the main difficulty is with that sixteenth-note E-flat octave, C-grace note, and C-octave (RH) group? I found it easier to play the C-grace note with the thumb instead of the third finger. And I believe you have to play the grace note before the beat, so that the C-rolled octave and the rolled chord below it are rolled at the same time. The three notes or octaves end up following each other in rapid succession.

    I know I'm probably not saying anything you don't already know, but I hope it's helpful in solving your problem. Getting "blocks" when you're in the middle of a piece you've otherwise nailed is absolutely no fun!
     
  3. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    Thanks, I'll try your suggestions when I practice today. The problem is putting the two hand's parts together. Hopefully I can make some headway on it now... :D
     
  4. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Things like this are where the Chopin rubato comes in handy - so long as your left hand keeps the tempo, the right hand doesn't have to be exactly as it's written. :lol: But to get as close as possible (or even exact, though that's a bit boring), I suggest slow and soft and a lightweight, floating hand, until it comes to feel natural. There are similar spots in various Chopin thingies, and this method of practice works best for me.
     
  5. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    Thanks, Terez, I'll keep that in mind. ;)
     
  6. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Yeah, I know...not really all that helpful, eh? :lol: I have one measure (25/7 m. 26) that's giving me grief at the moment as well. Measures like yours, I don't have so much of a problem with, but this one is annoying me. :evil:
     
  7. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    Oh, no. I'm still HS, but the floating hand idea allowed me to play the LH rolls much more fluidly. :)

    What's your measure look like?
     
  8. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    EDIT: okay, here 'tis - the measure that's vexing me is the one on the middle line, and the LH trill going into it, but I figured I'd give context:

    [​IMG]

    I haven't even decided which fingers to use for the trill yet. I'm leaning towards 1-3 now, with 1 on the B and 3 on the C# (this score agrees with that, but IIRC my Mikuli edition does not - edit, I checked, and Mikuli doesn't even suggest a fingering there. So I guess it's a good sign that the fingering I was leaning toward was suggested by someone :lol:).

    When I originally began working on this piece, I figured that other measures would give me more trouble than this one (for instance, that measure on the 3rd line), but no...it's this one.
     
  9. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    AHEM - yeah, that measure looks like a real pain in the neck. :roll:
     
  10. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Yeah, well - it's probably not as painful as it looks, actually. :lol:
     
  11. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    1-3??? B and C# respectively? LH? :shock: I don't see how that could possibly work. Wouldn't it be the other way around, with 1 on C# and 3 on B? I'd say that measure calls for lots of slow practice. What exactly is vexing you about this measure? ;)
     
  12. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Well, having my thumb on the black key just doesn't seem to work. And it's possible - only takes a slight curving of the wrist and bending under of the thumb to make it comfortable (try it!) - and after having tried several finger combinations, that one seems to be the most comfortable.

    I suppose what is vexing me the most about the measure is the back-and-forth aspect of it, and the changing note values. And you're right - it will just take a lot of slow practice to make it happen.
     
  13. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    I'll try it in a bit. ;) Dang, it must be hard with all those differing note values. I'd almost rather have a continuous polyrhythm like the Fantaisie-Impromptu, but I'm sure it can be mastered. :D Do you practice HS? I always isolate big runs immediately when I start a piece and learn them first. Quite a few of them in Op. 44, too. :)
     
  14. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    Watch this video of Valentina Lisitsa playing this Etude. Might be a good hand shot at the point you are having trouble. BTW, she has a lot of great vids in HQ and even HD on her channel. 8)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRrduXWh0Ag
     
  15. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Terez, I suspect that the fingering there is for a trill that starts with the main note (which is probably wrong, since in Chopin trills usually start with the upper note), in fact just before the trill there is a "2" on the B.
     
  16. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Yeah, I considered that, and I just did my piano lesson (on a nice Steinway in the recital hall, woo!) and I realized I was using 2-1, with the thumb still on the B, so that I don't have to change to a thumb pivot to get down - I'm already there (3 goes on the A#). Seems to save trouble. I tried a few other ways and didn't find anything that felt less awkward.

    I will say that Chopin gets easier and easier (and this is all relative, mind) the more Bach I play...which, admittedly, is not much, quantity-wise. I just play the same Bach a lot. I'm learning so very much about the key of E minor.
     
  17. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    I missed this post:

    Yeah, I just need to do it over and over again until it feels right. I do love the accelerando effect it creates, and though it's marked with some tempo variation, I'd like to keep it as steady as possible for that reason.

    Yes, I always practice hands-separate (writing it out cause it took me a while to even figure out what you were talking about :lol:). Well, obviously I do both, but working out difficulties is much easier by practicing hands-separate every now and then, especially for the fiddly bits.

    I think she's overrated. :lol:

    I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again - it's much harder for an unattractive female pianist to make a name for herself than it is for an unattractive male to do the same (though I'll admit it plays a part for both).

    But I will watch the video anyway, because she's better than me. ;)
     
  18. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    Well, I don't hold her in as high regard as Horowitz and a few other greats. :lol: I think she's improved over the years, and shows in the video of the complete Schubert/Liszt Schwanengesang (also on her YT channel) that's she's capable of more than pure technical brilliance. ;)

    Now off to practice my difficult measure. :shock:
     
  19. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    I just looked at my pdf of the Cortot edition of the Etudes. The LH of the first beat of the measure in question is notated as one 32nd note tuplet, with 13 notes. Interesting.

    I also posted a detail of the trill. ;)
     
  20. Horowitzian

    Horowitzian New Member

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    And here is Cortot's introduction to this Etude. :)
     

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