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Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116023
12/06/06 03:55 AM
12/06/06 03:55 AM
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Norway
Ragnhild Offline
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I have been struggling with playing Chopin and have found no rules how to do it before today, but now I know there is one rule :

No fudge !

The LH triplets of 55.1 have caused me problems since I started working on it. One advice that helped me a little was:
Make sure that your LH (even when small as mine) are above the piano, not flat hand as in many other Chopin-movements but the wrist up and the fingers downwards.

(hard to explain this in English smile )

Ragnhild


Trying to play the piano:
http://www.box.net/public/dbr23ll03e
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Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116024
12/06/06 05:16 AM
12/06/06 05:16 AM
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California
Sarah M Offline
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Well after seeing how anti-fudge you all are, I played this piece over and over tonight and now I can play that part without too much fudge. Phew.

I'm hoping it will be clean by the end of the week.

Rag, I think I know what you are saying. My hands are small too but I'll try your method tomorrow.

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116025
12/06/06 09:19 AM
12/06/06 09:19 AM
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Posts: 4,697
Illinois
loveschopintoomuch Offline OP
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Thanks Ragnhild...I'll try your method. It certainly sounds reasonable. smile

And Sarah...you MUST be quite accomplished. thumb To make up your mind and then your fingers just follow through is amazing to me.

My brain and my fingers don't communicate too well with each other. I hear the music in my head, but my fingers usually turn a "deaf ear." laugh

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116026
12/06/06 09:54 PM
12/06/06 09:54 PM
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California
Sarah M Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Thanks Ragnhild...I'll try your method. It certainly sounds reasonable. smile

And Sarah...you MUST be quite accomplished. thumb To make up your mind and then your fingers just follow through is amazing to me.

My brain and my fingers don't communicate too well with each other. I hear the music in my head, but my fingers usually turn a "deaf ear." laugh

Kathleen
Thanks, I don't consider myself accomplished but it's very kind of you to say that and I appreciate it!

When the brain and fingers don't connect I think it might be because the conscious mind is too predominant. I find if you think too much of which notes you must play, it usually does not flow. It's similar to "paralysis through analysis." So what I try to do is let 90% of my conscious mind wander away from the piece and daydream while playing. Then the subconscious kicks it and it knows which notes to play from previous repetition.

I don't know if I'm making any sense or just sounding crazy. lol.

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116027
12/06/06 10:27 PM
12/06/06 10:27 PM
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California
Sarah M Offline
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I looked up what the italian words in the piece mean. The list below includes measure, word, and definition.

1. Andante - moderate tempo
21. dim. - decrease volume
24. rit. - gradually slow down tempo
41. a tempo - return to original tempo
44. cresc. - smoothly increase volume
48. piu mosso - more quickly
69. rallent. - gradually slow down
71. stretto - quicken tempo
73. tempo primo - original tempo
77. molto legato e stretto - very smooth, quicken tempo
91. dim ed. accel - decrease volume, gradually accelerate
98. a tempo - return to original tempo
poco - little
dim e rit. - decrease volume, slow down

Sorry if you already know this stuff. I knew less than half of the words so I figured it might help someone else as well.

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116028
12/07/06 09:31 AM
12/07/06 09:31 AM
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Illinois
loveschopintoomuch Offline OP
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Thank you, Sarah, for the list. I, for one, do not know all of the definitions. I was going to buy a music dictionary, but...thanks to you, I don't have to.

I've read so much about the mind...all three of them, conscious, subconscious, and unconscious. And I think you are correct in that I concentrate too much/hard on reading and playing the right notes and once I do this, I breathe a sigh of relief, and I don't allow it to sink into whatever part of my brain that will allow me to bring it up again the next time. Eventually, it does...after about 20 times of playing.

I read it that book I've often referred to by Joseph Hofmann that believes (and most experts agree) that the eariler you learn something, the more likely it will stay with you. I can play, from memory, almost all of Fur Elise (ugh), which I learned when I was 15 (about 52 years ago). Yet, I couldn't remember the Dflat prelude that I taught myself when I was 30. However, when I relearn it, it did come back fairly easily.

One interesting fact about Joseph Hofmann, who was quite a remarkable and brilliant pianist. He had in his reportorie (sp?), over 250 compositions...he could play that many, from memory! As a child of eight or ten, his memory was equally as impressive, perhaps knowing over 50 full-length (20-40 pages) pieces.

It was said that he played every piece perfectly...every rest, every dotted quarter note, every pedal marking, tempo, composer's directions, and on and on. And yet, he played with exceptional clarity and emotion. Truely, if not the greatest, one of the greatest pianists of all time.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116029
12/08/06 05:14 PM
12/08/06 05:14 PM
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California
Sarah M Offline
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Here's the online music dictionary I used:
http://www.music.vt.edu/musicdictionary/

You can use that in the future if you don't feel like getting that dictionary.

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116030
12/08/06 08:18 PM
12/08/06 08:18 PM
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Illinois
loveschopintoomuch Offline OP
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Great. Thank, again.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116031
12/09/06 11:30 PM
12/09/06 11:30 PM
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Florida
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Nancy - thought I use this thread to answer your question about 3 vs 2 from December bar.

3 vs 2 and 4 vs 3 are actually easy. When you see 9 vs 4 or 11 vs 6, now that's a lot more difficult if you try to count. And you see this sort of stuff all over in Chopin Nocturnes. The trick is to practice hands separately and with metronome. But do NOT make the accent on the beat even while you practice. When each hand is fully confident with its part, you can put both hands together. But it's likely that when you first put 2 hands together, you will count in your head again. Don't count! With both hands playing, focus on playing the rhythm correctly on one hand and don't worry too much about the other hand; the idea is to be able to play at least one hand correctly no matter what else is going on. When that hand is good, shift your focus to the other hand.

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116032
12/10/06 12:08 AM
12/10/06 12:08 AM
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Roswell, Georgia
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Okay, I think I get it. Instead of counting against each other (I use the old standard, "Cold Cup Of Tea"), I should be counting against the regular beat/rhythm of the piece for each hand, then put them together.

Why do you say not to accent on the beat?

Thanks,

Nancy


Estonia 168
Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116033
12/10/06 10:28 AM
12/10/06 10:28 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by NancyM333:
Why do you say not to accent on the beat?
You only put the accent where you see accent mark on the music. If you put accent on every beat in a smooth flowing passage, "it's like pounding your listeners steadily in the head" as my teacher said. laugh

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116034
12/10/06 09:34 PM
12/10/06 09:34 PM
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Roswell, Georgia
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That would take some getting used to. I think I've always counted triplets as TRIP-uh-let, putting an accent on the first note. Of course, triplets are often part of 2 vs. 3, so that's how I've always sounded them out. But now that you point that out, one of the reasons I sound like I'm "limping" through this section in the Beethoven is because he did put accents on several of the other notes, so it makes for a weird sounding rhythm.

Thanks for the advice. I'll give it a try.

Nancy


Estonia 168
Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116035
12/12/06 02:12 AM
12/12/06 02:12 AM
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California
Sarah M Offline
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Sometimes I feel like I don't understand this piece. I just played it a few times and it felt like I was just playing notes and none of it made any sense. It's almost like someone talking to you in a foreign language. You can hear it but none of it registers.

Does anyone else feel this way when they play it or is it just me?

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116036
12/12/06 12:05 PM
12/12/06 12:05 PM
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California
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Here's an update on my progress, sorry I don't post very often. I've finally gotten to where I can 'decently?' play all the way to the finale and from memory. I haven't yet learned the legato e stretto finale part though. It frightens me! But it's the only thing keeping me from finishing this piece and I'll have to get to it eventually, hehe. :p

I avoided the triplets section like the plague for a very long time and finally decided to get to it, though it seemed an impossible task. Well it was really a rush when I finally got them to work!

I'll try and record it sometime later if I can remember to, thanks for all the interesting posts and tips everyone! laugh

On a side note, I've recently started working on Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2, and memorized the first page, and have a recording up here:

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/32/3370.html

And I started on Prelude Op. 28 No. 4 after hearing a lovely recording by Kathleen awhile back, but I haven't got it memorized and when I play from the score, well, it's not so great, particularly the stretto part where I tend to 'stutter' a lot, mostly due to the big awkward stretches in the LH. :p

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116037
12/12/06 01:54 PM
12/12/06 01:54 PM
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Posts: 4,697
Illinois
loveschopintoomuch Offline OP
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Dear AS: (As I mentioned once before, I think), I refuse to refer to you by your chosen forum name.

I listened to your first page of the nocturne. I know I say this to everyone, but I REALLY mean it to you. I love your tempo and your light and graceful touch. I thought it was 98% perfect. Please do record the rest so we can hear it all the way through. This nocturne has been played to death by everyone for years and years, and yet it manages to always sound fresh and soulful. It's just one of those pieces that refuses to "give up," so to speak, thanks to the genius of its creator. Again, a heartfelt performance.

And thank you for your compliment on my recording of the 4th. I am so pleased that you were inspired to learn it after listening to me. It's really a shock, in a way. I have yet to memorize it because it is so slow and easy to play right from the music. And that stretto part took me many weeks to get right. And to this day, I always wonder if I'll be able to make that jump and come down on the right chord. And I am pleasantly surprised when I do!!

I must give you credit for almost finishing the nocturne. Now I know I'm the only one who is dragging her feet. I'm still trying to get the triplet section to sound somewhat like what I hear on a recording. I know one day it will all take off on its own...much to my amazement.

I think part of my problem is that I am trying to learn about 6 other pieces at the same time. And this means I don't devote as much effort to it as I should. But I'm afraid to drop the others because then I KNOW I will FORGET them COMPLETELY. As has been so often said...so much music, so little time.

Please keep in touch more.

Regards,
Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116038
12/12/06 02:17 PM
12/12/06 02:17 PM
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AnotherSchmoe Offline
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Thanks Kathleen, it really means a lot to me! I would have recorded the entire 9.2 but I still only have the first page learned, but I'm working on it. Thanks again for the kind words, really helps me to push on! Keep up the good work yourself, sounds like you're doing wonderful. Would love to hear more recordings from you also.
It's too bad that we can't all just 'beam ourselves' into a room together and have our own little concert. A lot of great people in here that I would love to be able to meet and hear play in person. smile

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116039
12/12/06 02:30 PM
12/12/06 02:30 PM
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Illinois
loveschopintoomuch Offline OP
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Wouldn't that be something!! I agree, so many, many wonderfully supportive and kind people here. I wish I could give a hug to each and every one.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116040
12/12/06 03:43 PM
12/12/06 03:43 PM
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California
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Alright, here's the 55.1, what I've learned so far anyways, this is all played from memory.

http://www.savefile.com/files/334135

Recorded this about 5 minutes ago. Hope you approve! :p

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116041
12/12/06 05:22 PM
12/12/06 05:22 PM
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90 miles West of New Orleans
Mike White Offline
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I know the feelilng...How long have you been working on this piece? This one is on my list. I like Kathleen am working on several pieces at a time and don't give that much time to just one. For me, I get tired of playing the same thing over and over. I have gotten through the Minute Waltz several times without too many mistakes, but the recorder was not on at the time, (red dot).
Keep up the good work.
Mike

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116042
12/12/06 06:43 PM
12/12/06 06:43 PM
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Illinois
loveschopintoomuch Offline OP
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AS: For a few minutes there, I thought I was listening to the recording I had made of myself playing it. confused

Of course, I never got to the triplet part. :rolleyes:

But, your "rendition" is more accomplished than mine. Most excellent!! You should be so proud of yourself. laugh

Congratulations thumb

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116043
12/12/06 10:27 PM
12/12/06 10:27 PM
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California
Sarah M Offline
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Nice recording Another. I like your improvised ending too lol.

When you guys play it, it sounds real but when I play it for some reason it sounds fake and robotic. Maybe I'm not using enough expression or something.

Yamaha, I've been working on it for almost 4 weeks now. Unlike you guys I'm not working on too much other stuff simultaneously, just a couple waltzes (the minute one and this other thingy in g-flat). When I say I don't get it, I mean that on a mental level. I can play the notes more or less ok.

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116044
12/12/06 10:33 PM
12/12/06 10:33 PM
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Thanks, been working on it for quite a long time now. But I'm still afraid to go near the 4th page. help

I would love to hear a recording from you Sarah, I'm sure you play it just great, we naturally tend to over-criticize ourselves, even when it's not really necessary. And Minute Waltz, sounds like you're doing very well! I love listening to that but it seems quite a bit too fast for me to attempt yet. smile

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116045
12/13/06 03:43 AM
12/13/06 03:43 AM
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Norway
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AnotherSchmoe, nice playing, but you should have your piano tuned smile

Ragnhild


Trying to play the piano:
http://www.box.net/public/dbr23ll03e
Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116046
12/13/06 10:14 AM
12/13/06 10:14 AM
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Illinois
loveschopintoomuch Offline OP
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Ragnhild: You should hear my piano. Even though I have it tuned 4 times a year, the poor thing has seen better days (maybe when someone who knew how to play, owned it). eek

Sarah: I think a lot about your "problem" with relating to the nocturne. I firmly believe that we need to have an emotional connection to a piece if we hope to play it well.

Maybe because I'm half Polish and have just a tiny bit of knowledge about the history of Poland, I do feel a very strong attraction to this nocturne, especially to the very beginning.

I once mentioned a theory about a polonaise, but I have since changed my mind. It goes much deeper than that.

Now, everytime I play or listen to it, I am reminded of the proud struggle Poland has sufferred to finally become a "free" country. Of course, every country has a history, but I think Poland's is quite unique in that in the past, every country (it seems) took a chunk of it. And there was a time when Poland did not exist at all.

But it never gave up hope or lost its cultural identity. And thanks to the courage of Poland and Lech Wałęsa, the Solidarity movement greatly contributed to the collapse of Communism all over Eastern Europe. I think this is something of which to be quite proud.

I have no idea what Chopin was thinking when he wrote this piece. But, for me, it draws me in, and I can feel the music because I equate it with a strong and proud people for whom I have the greatest respect and love.

Just my thoughts... smile

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116047
12/13/06 10:18 AM
12/13/06 10:18 AM
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Washington metro
Piano Again Offline
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I've been working on this piece for about three weeks, and I have memorized all of it and am trying to fix the shaky places where I drop notes.

I worked on the last page first, BTW. I think it's always a good idea to practice the hardest parts first.

RE interpretation: I think this piece is all about tone, making the piano sing. If it were a string piece, you would use very expressive vibrato and shape each phrase as if it were being sung by a human voice.

I noticed that in my edition (it's Schirmer, I don't remember the ed.'s name), there are a few differences from the free version linked to on the first page of this thread. I don't know which is correct.


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Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116048
12/14/06 03:04 AM
12/14/06 03:04 AM
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Norway
Ragnhild Offline
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I really liked the way you explained how to play the 55.1, Piano Again:

Quote
If it were a string piece, you would use very expressive vibrato and shape each phrase as if it were being sung by a human voice.
It is so good to have people playing piano who has knowledge of other instruments as well.

For me the only way to present the first two pages with the main theme is to "sing" it as it were a song with new lyrics second time.

You're right. Kathleen, not all pianos can be tuned (yours is not too bad, though). I have quite good pitch and it sometimes is a curse because if I hear music played on a piano out of tune I can not enjoy any of it frown

Ragnhild


Trying to play the piano:
http://www.box.net/public/dbr23ll03e
Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116049
12/14/06 05:49 AM
12/14/06 05:49 AM
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California
Sarah M Offline
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Thanks for the historical perspective, kathleen. I'll think of that when I play it and maybe it will help.

I recorded myself on my laptop tonight and discovered three things:

1. My piano needs to be tuned pretty badly.
2. Recording makes me very nervous and my hands get very slippery.
3. I still have work to do on this piece. frown frown

One more week. Then I WILL post a clip here no matter how it sounds at that point. There, that should motivate me! lol.

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116050
12/14/06 03:27 PM
12/14/06 03:27 PM
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Ragnhild: Yeah, sorry, it bugs me too hehe. It's an old beater and needs a lot of work done and I don't know if it's worth the money so I'm just not going to bother getting it worked on, I'm saving up for a Yamaha YDP 223 digital instead, which I've been looking into for awhile and it should blow my current acoustic out of the water (Not to say that digitals are better, but a good digital is better than a bad acoustic imo). The piano I currently play on is one my grandmother bought for me for $100 a year ago, but it sure beats the old 61-key
toy-ish keyboard I used to have before that. :p

Hopefully I'll have the Yamaha within the next several months though, then I can record on that.

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116051
12/16/06 11:28 PM
12/16/06 11:28 PM
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California
Sarah M Offline
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Are you supposed to pedal the angry triplet passage? It gets real muddy if you do but on the other hand if you don't it loses some of its power.

Re: Chopin Nocturne Study Group #1116052
12/17/06 08:29 AM
12/17/06 08:29 AM
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Posts: 4,697
Illinois
loveschopintoomuch Offline OP
4000 Post Club Member
loveschopintoomuch  Offline OP
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,697
Illinois
That's a very good question, and I know what you mean. I think if you start out slowly and build up the intensity with each measure, you can control the muddiness and still use the pedal.

JMHO,

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
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