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Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
#1566844 11/30/10 04:52 AM
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I'm sure it has been discussed before, but my searches didn't find anything on these forums.

In the third measure, final chord, I have heard the E played both as an E but also Eb. A search of the IMSLP scores shows some each way. My score (Alfred) indicates E (natural sign on second chord, no return to flat).

Whenever I hear it played with the E it seems strange. Which do you play?

Last edited by Bart Kinlein; 11/30/10 04:53 AM.

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Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
Bart Kinlein #1566945 11/30/10 09:10 AM
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I have the Paderewski and the Salabert/Cortot editions. Both have E flat. This last edition also says the following: "Corrected with pencil by Chopin on Jane Stirling's copy".


Jose
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Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
Bart Kinlein #1567056 11/30/10 12:11 PM
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Originally Eb, then I heard my roommate in college play it on guitar and he played E and asked him wtf, then I tried it with E and I thought it was lousy, then eventually I decided I liked the E better, then Eb for a while again, then later it would change from day to day.

Now? Dunno, haven't played it in years. ha

Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
Bart Kinlein #1567064 11/30/10 12:21 PM
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I like to play an E flat.

If you do the natural, as written, (generally there is no correction of the accidental at the start of the bar), then you're creating a perfect IV - V - I cadence.

It just sounds out of place to me. The C minor lends itself much better I think smile

Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
Bart Kinlein #1567166 11/30/10 02:41 PM
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Thanks all for your responses. As a final thought, I'm playing this piece (and others) for a retirement community next week. I've been thinking about making it less morbid for the tenants, most of whom will be in their 80s. So maybe a baroque-like ending in C
major yippie would cheer things up!

Last edited by Bart Kinlein; 11/30/10 02:42 PM.

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Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
Bart Kinlein #1567212 11/30/10 03:46 PM
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From Brian Ganz's notes to his edition:

"M. 3: It is impossible to know with certainty whether the final chord of this measure was intended by Chopin to be minor or major. Apparently he inserted the flat before the last E of the measure in a student’s copy of the Preludes. It is possible to find fine editions and recordings that give it in major and equally fine editions and recordings that give it in minor. Therefore, I recommend that performers decide for themselves which reading they prefer. They may even play it differently on different occasions, perhaps not even knowing themselves which chord they’ll choose until the moment arrives. I have done this myself, though I prefer the minor and usually play it as such."


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
Kreisler #1567223 11/30/10 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
"They may even play it differently on different occasions, perhaps not even knowing themselves which chord they’ll choose until the moment arrives."

I really like this approach. I wonder to what other decisions (taking a repeat, executing an ornament) I can apply it.

-J


Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
beet31425 #1567253 11/30/10 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by Kreisler
"They may even play it differently on different occasions, perhaps not even knowing themselves which chord they’ll choose until the moment arrives."

I really like this approach. I wonder to what other decisions (taking a repeat, executing an ornament) I can apply it.
This applies extremely well to having several (practiced!) variants of a particular ornament, and choosing during the performance which one to use.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
beet31425 #1567280 11/30/10 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by Kreisler
"They may even play it differently on different occasions, perhaps not even knowing themselves which chord they’ll choose until the moment arrives."

I really like this approach.

-J



If only I could do this on every note.. :P

Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
beet31425 #1567378 11/30/10 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
Originally Posted by Kreisler
"They may even play it differently on different occasions, perhaps not even knowing themselves which chord they’ll choose until the moment arrives."

I really like this approach. I wonder to what other decisions (taking a repeat, executing an ornament) I can apply it.

The one thing I know I do this on is fingering, and that's probably a bad idea....

-J


Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
Bart Kinlein #1567401 11/30/10 08:17 PM
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Actually, choosing a fingering or note when the moment arrives is an extremely important skill. The problem comes when we arrive at a moment and are unable to choose what we do. After all, if the next note is truly a choice, then we can choose to play the correct one. When people play wrong notes, it's not because they choose to play them, it's because they happen without being chosen.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
Bart Kinlein #1567486 11/30/10 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bart Kinlein
.....So maybe a baroque-like ending in C
major yippie would cheer things up!

No! Anything but that!!! ha

Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
Kreisler #1567492 11/30/10 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
Actually, choosing a fingering or note when the moment arrives is an extremely important skill....

Yes! It takes a certain amount of confidence in our own ability to play in a manner other than "automatic pilot" and "learned motor responses," which not everyone might be comfortable with. It took me a while.

I find myself doing different fingerings mostly according to 2 things:

1. Differences between pianos (main factor)

The factors are hardness of action, and weakness or loudness of certain registers. If I find myself on a piano where the action is significantly stiffer than usual, I might use a 'stronger' finger on certain notes to make sure they really come out. And sort of likewise if a register (usually the upper treble) is relatively weak, and if there is a note or passage that I want to bring out strongly. This was a factor when I did the video of the late Scriabin sonata: the upper treble was pretty weak and I did several fingering changes to compensate in some passages.

2. The condition of the hands at different times (huh???) ha

This is more of a thing as I get older; maybe it's normal with age, I don't know, never talked about it with anyone. The hands just feel and behave differently at different times, depending on how 'stretched out' or 'contracted' they are. The fingering changes are mostly about the outer fingers on octaves or chords, like whether to use "4" or "5" on some octaves.

Life is tough sometimes. whome


Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
Bart Kinlein #1567495 11/30/10 11:09 PM
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From Bailie's book on Chopin:
On the E flat/E natural problem at the end of b.3, players must consult their own ears. Recent generation of pianists have been raised with the idea that it is poor form to play E flat (in other words, a C minor chord). It raises a wry laugh to find that the E flat has been generally "reinstated". Chopin evidently forgot to indicate the "return" to the E flat here, and it is actually pencilled into the copy belonging to Jane Stirling.



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Re: Chopin Prelude c minor - third measure
Bart Kinlein #1567711 12/01/10 10:17 AM
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Chopin really composed himself into a corner in that measure. To my ears, neither solution sounds quite right, but I prefer E natural.


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