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Easy Chopin

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by wiser_guy, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I know that the preludes (op.28) have been over-played and over-performed but still, they are very convenient for someone getting a bite of Chopin's music, listener and pianist alike.
    I've chosen No. 4, 7 and 20. The 'easy' ones. At present, these are the only ones I could do.

    As a small tribute to my mother who liked and played the valses, I've also included a small posthumous valse. I practically grew up listening to her play Chopin's valses at such an extent, that in those days I was under the impression that Chopin wrote valses only.
    Anyway, this is No.16 which I think is also missing from the site's listing.

    I hope you enjoy the music.

    Chopin - 24 Preludes Op.28 - 4: Largo ( 5:35 )
    Chopin - 24 Preludes Op.28 - 7: Andantino ( 2:15 )
    Chopin - 24 Preludes Op.28 - 20: Largo ( 5:07 )
    Chopin - Valse Posthume No.16 ( 5:58 )
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Good playing as always. I liked the preludes better than the waltz, which is rather breatless and lacking in elegance. The preludes are generally good, save for one or two weak notes. The only thing I take exception with is the too short note that starts prelude 7, that is a bit of a blemish.
    I have uploaded these and will update the site tomorrow.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Very nicely played, Pantelis. Pretty straight forward on the preludes, which I like, and I found nothing wrong except that you are an E-flat man! (that's a joke - get it?)

    I especially like how you played the waltz. Great!


    Chris - your program is spitting out goofy times again.
     
  4. Jennifer

    Jennifer New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Very nice playing. I must say I like the waltz the best followed by the A major prelude. Both very sensatively played :)
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Ah yes, I see these times are off. Must be because the files are encoded with variable bit rate. So much for trying to automate things :x

    All - please write your mp3 files with CBR (Constant Bit Rate) encoding.
     
  6. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thank you Chris, Monica and Jennifer for listening.

    Pitfall of being a memoriser and arrogantly ignoring the score thereon. You are right, the starting 'levare' is a quarter note. A pitiful mistake.

    Sorry Monica, I had to take sides.
    Although all my scores have an E-flat, I find E natural surprisingly interesting. But you don't allow double recordings of the same piece...

    P.S. This was supposed to be "opus twenty-eight" in my opening post but somehow this smiley thing crept in. I had smileys disabled though (?).
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I've seen that happen more often here. It seems inevitable that such things creep in after playing from memory for a long time. If nothing else, that's a great excuse for me not to memorize, hehehe...

    I side right with you in the E-flat camp. No amount of reasoning would make me accept the E natural.

    Nope, you have smilies enabled in your profile. But you can disable them for a specific posting. It is good practice to Preview your message before posting, so that you can notice things like that, and decide to disable the smilies. A combination like

    8)

    will be auto-converted to a smilie unless you disable them (which is what I did for this posting). Of course you can simply put a space in between, to prevent this.
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Stubborn...
     
  9. rsmullyan

    rsmullyan New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I particularly liked the waltz and the N0. 4.
     
  10. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi wiser,

    You did a wonderful job playing these Chopin Preludes.

    In No. 4, I liked your careful, variable voicing of the changes of harmonies within the LH chords, playing those LH chords inside the keys, your sensitive treatment of the sigh motifs in the RH, the unhurried turn in measure 16 leading seamlessly to the G, and the voicing of the bottom A# of the LH chord in 23 observing the voice leading from the B in the prior measure. The two grace notes in the RH in 11 and 19 theoretically have no value, and might have taken on a bit too much significance, even though I recognize the tempo being largo. I tend to play those a bit shorter to give them less emphasis.

    No. 7: This is one of the most difficult pieces ever written. Moritz Rosenthal once said in his 60s that he was still studying the Prelude in A and constantly gaining new insights into the piece. You play it very well indeed. The only two quibbles I would have is that the repetitive chords on the 2nd, 3rd beats and downbeat of the following measures are intended to be equal in sound. In the first line you tend to make diminuendos within those repetitions, which would be hard to justify. Also in measure 12, the climax chord on the downbeat there is at the end of a crescendo, but you play a subito piano there, which, again, would be hard to justify from the score.

    No. 20: Like Monica, I still prefer the E natural, but I agree that most editions now show the E flat. You use arm weight in the chords to good advantage to enrich them. The crescendo toward the end of the piece actually starts on the third beat of measure 11, but you begin it in measure 12. Where this is a funeral procession moving into the distance, I believe that the crescendo in any case should be played non troppo--rather subtle--so that the last chord can end quietly. You tend to play the last chord mf. But that just my interpretation. I've actually heard some people play the last chord ff! Sounds like you make good use alternating the 3rd, 4th and 5th fingers of the LH to facilitate the the legato octaves there, and do so very successfully. By the way, have you ever tried taking the middle C in the last chord in the treble clef and redistributing it to the LH thumb? It gives the chord a guaranteed unified attack, even if you're voicing the top of the RH and bottom of the LH. Just wondering.

    You did a superlative job with these pieces. Very artistically played!

    David
     
  11. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    @rsmullyan
    Thank you for listening. The waltz is one my favourites too.

    @Rachfan
    David, thank you for your thorough comments. I really appreciate your view on the preludes. All your points considered, I hope I gain from them.

    This is after an Alfredo Perl performance from a few years back, I found this manoeuvre very becoming and ... convenient. Alas, it is my way of cheating the large stretch of both hands required there. I don't think I could safely produce a full sound and convincing voicing if played loudly.

    Again, I had to take sides. My score has this accented but I would be also tempted into pianissimo as I find it to be more natural for this point.
    I play the last chord as you suggest, middle C with the left hand, but I like to keep the pedal down as the chord is essentially a Cm like the one before it. It gives a more resonant closing.
     
  12. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi wiser,

    Yes, I too hold the pedal from the prior Cm chord through the final chord of No. 20 where the tonality is the same. It gives it a richer sound. Way to go!
     
  13. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    These are all up the site at last. It took me ages as my Internet has gone to the dogs once again. It must be the Recession.

    Please check if all is ok.
     
  14. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Everything is fine, as far as I can tell. Thank you once again Chris.


    You too, eh? Never mind, think positive.
     
  15. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I but I do. Whenever my connection is like this I can well forget about PS and go play piano :D
     
  16. Syeles

    Syeles New Member

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    The Preludes are always worth playing and listening to again. They are so simple and yet rich. No matter how "standard" they are played, everyone always has their own touch. And since we all have played them, its fun to compare - every time. My only objection is that E flat in No. 20. I seem to have lost the election on that, but it still sounds wrong to me.... Go E natural! :lol:
     
  17. wiser_guy

    wiser_guy Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to listen, Albert.
    I didn't vote in your election as I stand partly by the E flat group and partly by the E natural. I admit that E natural sounds interesting having a bit of unexpected quality in it, a small surprise, but I wouldn't agree that E flat sounds wrong. No way.
    There should be something else before or after this chord to justify the E natural. Its purpose isn't obvious to me (composition-wise), and Chopin would clearly support it with additional element(s) if he was after something special or extraordinary. I am not a Chopin expert and of course I may be wrong but I just go with what I hear.
     
  18. Syeles

    Syeles New Member

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    OK. Neither way is wrong and there are advocates on both sides. The only real arbiter of this issue died 160 years ago. And from the discussion we've been having, it's even possible he may have played it both ways at different times.

    Neither way is wrong. But E flat is. Er... well to me anyway. Every time I hear it that way it's jarring. It sounds sour and, well, just wrong.

    Here's my considered analysis, for the sake of applying a logical argument to an emotional preference. A pattern is broken, but not in a pleasing way. The first measure begins and ends with C minor. The second and fourth measures both begin and end with major chords. The third measure also begins with a major. To end it with a minor chord (especially C minor) is unexpected. Furthermore, it returns to the root chord in an odd measure with no cadence. Then the resulting suspension is not resolved going into the fourth measure. Rather we are jarred back to a measure full of major with no preparation. I personally don't believe that Chopin was so radical - or Debussy would not have seemed as revolutionary.

    Bottom line, we each like it, as we like it. I grew up with the E natural / C major. I remember my older sister playing it that way when she was a kid. It wasn't until decades later that I heard an E flat version. I just assumed it was a mistake and ignored it for many more years.

    Finally, I decided to listen to the many recordings of it here at the Piano Society before recording my own rendition. I was shocked to find that a small majority of the posted versions made that horrid "mistake". :shock: On top of that the poll agreed. Now you know - I'm still in the denial stage. The best I can do is to appeal to the highest living authority. Probably the most popular recording of this Prelude was made as the bookends to the song "Could It Be Magic" and Barry played E natural! (Barry Manilow is a Chopin expert, ain't he? :wink: )
     
  19. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I don't agree that the third bar starts with a major. The first two chords are unresolved and could go either way. IMO the first four bars are intended to be alternating minor and major, and as such the E natural has no place in bar 3. I also do not feel that in bar 3, the E flat would make it 'return' to the root key. It's merely just touching it before moving on again to the real return in bar 5.

    Then again, the guitar version I often hear during the last minutes of the company fitness sessions has E natural, so that is probably right, as is Barry Manilow. I wonder how Celine Dion would sing it :p
     
  20. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    The first chord in bar 3 is a major chord and so is the first chord in bar 4. But more importantly is that the last chord in bar 4 is major, so it makes sense that the last chord is major (e-natural) as well.
    Maybe that's what Albert just said up above?
     

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