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Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 #1757872
09/23/11 07:26 AM
09/23/11 07:26 AM
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Posts: 351
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Samuel1993 Offline OP
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Hi there,

I can play this piece through to a reasonable standard. But I have a couple of questions. Here's the score (scroll down to page 5):- http://imslp.info/files/imglnks/usi...Chopin_Valses_Durand_9709_Op_64_scan.pdf

- In bars 4 & 5 with the main motif, there's a semiquaver rest. I've noticed most pianists ignore this and pedal through the bar. It still sounds good, but isn't that going against what's actually written, rhythmically speaking? However, when I try incorporating the rest, it just sounds abrupt and too staccato. How do you guys go about this part?

- I have two copies of this Waltz, one is the complete Waltzes by ABSRM, and the other is from a Chopin book printed by Alfred. They both have conflicting ideas regarding the 'Piu Mosso' section. ABRSM says NO pedal should be used in the Piu Mosso, except for certain bars (i.e the chromatic climb at the end of the phrase). My Alfred edition however, says to use pedal throughout, press it on the first beat of each bar, and raise on the last. I find this pianists interpretation the ideal sound for the Piu Mosso:-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdmXc84a6iE
If I use no pedal, it sounds way too 'dry' if that makes sense.

- How do you go about pedalling in the 'Piu Lento' section? There's so many held notes that the voicing doesn't came across properly when pedal's used, it just sounds blurred.

Thanks for your help!

Last edited by Samuel1993; 09/23/11 07:27 AM.

Currently working on...
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu in C sharp minor Op.66
Mozart - Piano Sonata in E flat K.282
Liszt - Romance in E minor "O pourquoi donc" S.196
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Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Samuel1993] #1757907
09/23/11 09:45 AM
09/23/11 09:45 AM
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Sviatoslav Offline
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- bars 4 & 5 are probably 3 & 4 (the bar number 1 is the first complete bar, so, in this piece the G is in bar #0). The pedal in Chopin is usually very precise (what we see in current scores are his pedals); notes indicate the actual length of notes as the hands execute them, not how long the sound is supposed to be.

- Pedals are written in the "Piu' Mosso" section; so, they should be executed that way.

- Same here with the pedal; the "Piu' Lento" section is (as the rest of the piece actually) a challenge to keep separate the 3 layers of sound - bass, 2nd and 3rd beat in the left hand, and melody. Usually the melody is in front, is the most present, second comes the bass, and just third the 2nd and 3rd beat at the left hand. This last one is crucial because is for most of the time just like "whispered"; if you bang it it will destroy the whole sound and everything will seem mixed together in a very noisy sound.

Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Samuel1993] #1757913
09/23/11 10:10 AM
09/23/11 10:10 AM
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About the first question, the answer is very simple:

Rests don't always/don't necessarily mean silence.

Especially in Chopin, they may mean something else, including a "choreographic" indication, i.e. what you do with your hand -- i.e. lift it off the keyboard, which can be for various reasons. Or, sometimes it means you take longer than the marked value till the next note (whether or not you 'play' the rest as a silence). Or sometimes it can even mean you take shorter before the next note! It is a varied notation, and often ambiguous. Perhaps on purpose. smile

Which does it mean here??? Your choice.

Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Samuel1993] #1757965
09/23/11 11:48 AM
09/23/11 11:48 AM
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To put what Mark said more clearly: Chopin knew the difference between finger legato and sustaining with the pedal. Really, I think he was the first composer to fully grasp the difference and make something of it in his music, and no one really followed his lead until Debussy.

Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: jeffreyjones] #1757966
09/23/11 11:49 AM
09/23/11 11:49 AM
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Well I'm not sure you want to put it exactly that way. ha
(Although I do agree with what you said about finger legato.)

Anyway I'm not sure how much clearer we can be than "a rest doesn't necessarily mean silence." smile

That's really his main answer, because his uncertainty was based simply on his assuming that it does -- which lots of people do, including many fairly advanced people.

Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Samuel1993] #1758228
09/23/11 09:23 PM
09/23/11 09:23 PM
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I hope you listen to lots of people playing this piece. I'm not too impressed with the musicality of this performance. Where are the delicious inner voices played by the RH thumb, etc.?


Working on: Reworking Bartok's Suite Opus 14, Chopin's Polonaise Op.40, The Military (so much fun!)
Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: LeaC] #1758231
09/23/11 09:29 PM
09/23/11 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Lea's Muse-ic
I hope you listen to lots of people playing this piece. I'm not too impressed with the musicality of this performance. Where are the delicious inner voices played by the RH thumb, etc.?

+1

I'd go even further. There's no subtlety of touch, and in short, it's very un-Chopinesque. He's a very decent amateur (which ain't chopped liver) smile but that's it. It's not anything to take as a model.

edit: I got curious to look up who he is -- and it turns out he's a professional, at least sort of. I'm flabbergasted -- and I stick with what I said up there, at least regarding his playing of Chopin.

Last edited by Mark_C; 09/23/11 09:34 PM.
Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: LeaC] #1758234
09/23/11 09:34 PM
09/23/11 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Lea's Muse-ic
I hope you listen to lots of people playing this piece. I'm not too impressed with the musicality of this performance. Where are the delicious inner voices played by the RH thumb, etc.?


I must agree too... That performance is not exactly exemplary.



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Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Samuel1993] #1758235
09/23/11 09:37 PM
09/23/11 09:37 PM
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The performance is very good, the people on these forums will criticize absolutely anything. The inner voices are there if you listen, he just doesn't make them obnoxiously loud and unbalance the piece, which is apparently what you want. All you guys will say to criticize his playing is meaningless nonsense like "where is the music?".

Last edited by Leland; 09/23/11 09:39 PM.
Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Mark_C] #1758237
09/23/11 09:37 PM
09/23/11 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C

Especially in Chopin, they may mean something else, including a "choreographic" indication, i.e. what you do with your hand -- i.e. lift it off the keyboard, which can be for various reasons.


That is what it is here I think. Bailie always insists to lift your hand off the keyboard in such cases.



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Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Leland] #1758240
09/23/11 09:41 PM
09/23/11 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Leland
The performance is very good, the people on these forums will criticize absolutely anything. The inner voices are there if you listen, he just doesn't make them obnoxiously loud and unbalance the piece, which is apparently what you want....

Most of the melody notes are obnoxiously loud. And that's not even the main problem about them, which is that they almost all sound the same.

Please allow for the possibility that we're hearing something that's really there, rather than that we're being hypercritical. The performance is not very good, except by an intermediate standard.

Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Leland] #1758292
09/23/11 11:31 PM
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I just listened to this again. That oom-pa-pa bass is awful!


Working on: Reworking Bartok's Suite Opus 14, Chopin's Polonaise Op.40, The Military (so much fun!)
Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Samuel1993] #1758299
09/23/11 11:44 PM
09/23/11 11:44 PM
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The question of that rest and whether to hold the pedal is quite vexing, IMO. Various pianists do it various ways. If I remember correctly, it's been written (possibly in Eigeldinger) that Chopin's students could never quite please him with it. I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case.

I've tried doing it differently (more connected or less connected) on different repeats within the piece. I don't have an absolute answer. It's interesting to experiment with-- you can do so many things with this simple motif.

The comment about rests often meaning a "choreographic" indication in Chopin, raising the hand, is apropos.

Elene

Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: LeaC] #1758450
09/24/11 11:35 AM
09/24/11 11:35 AM
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Lea's Muse-ic,
I'm taking lessons again after a couple decades away, and I'm studying this piece. Can you tell me some measures that you are referring to when you mentioned the "delicious inner voices played by the RH thumb?" I must have completely missed something. smile

Also the oom-pa-pa bass--I have been playing the bass in the Piu mosso sections with a little emphasis on the bass note and then lighter on the two following chords. I think you mean by oom-pa-pa bass that he plays them (bass note and following two chords) all too loud and all the same?
Thanks so much. I am learning so much from all of you. Kathy


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Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Samuel1993] #1758502
09/24/11 02:04 PM
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OK, have one of my scores out. The Piu mosso section has two sections, one a repeat of the first. In the repeat of this section, you can hear the RH thumb voice played very subtly in the performance sited. Mm. 1- 8 of the repeat here has the thumb playing G# G# F# E D# C# down to G# (a 7.3 m. phrase.) I wish I could just play it for you, however, I am tecnically (computer equipment, that is) challenged at the moment.

I always play outer the bass notes of the waltzes as a
suggested melody. Same goes for the upper most thumb notes of the same bass patterns (tenor/alto). Chopin has interweaving voices (notes with what we might call "syntax")that are made up of , in the waltzes, the lower bass, the outer bass, and whatever you can find in the RH.

For a very clear demonstration of this, I suggest you listen to Guiomar Novaes. You might have to purchase a CD as I was not able to find an example of this on Youtube. She has some reissued Vox Box recordings on CD.

Likewise, the outer voice in the Pui mosso(the soprano, melody, what have you) also forms a nice descending line beginning one the second eighth note of each measure. As does the thumb in RH of these same measures, on the last note of each m.

For a pleasant study in voicings, try Brahms' Waltze Op.# 39,
No.3. Listen carefully to any outer notes, inner notes, in both clefs, that may be strung together as singable line--(this means skipping passing tones in between). Much as suggested above for the Chopin. Be warned, though, that this little Brahms gem is not as easy as it seems!

There is too much to say about all this for one posting, of course, however, this might point you in the right direction. It really does take a lot of exposure to and practice of the waltzes to actually incorporate this information. You won't get it right way, nor are you supposed to. There are good reasons why it takes so long to get good at the piano! So, don't expect it to happen over night, OK?

Your teacher should be able to explain these aspects of playing to you, and I hesitate to write anything that may conflict with his/her advice.

Good for you for getting back to the piano!
Pedaling, now that's a whole different subject!

Last edited by Lea's Muse-ic; 09/24/11 02:16 PM.

Working on: Reworking Bartok's Suite Opus 14, Chopin's Polonaise Op.40, The Military (so much fun!)
Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: LeaC] #1758503
09/24/11 02:05 PM
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The above post is for Playagain, sorry!


Working on: Reworking Bartok's Suite Opus 14, Chopin's Polonaise Op.40, The Military (so much fun!)
Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: LeaC] #1758570
09/24/11 05:13 PM
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Thank you so much, Lea's Muse-ic!

After reading your first message earlier, I had looked through my sheet music and surmised that you might be referring to the Piu Mosso section where the RH thumb descends like in the first 7 measures and in the repeat, so I'm glad to know that's it. I'll try playing it that way.

My teacher had mentioned an emphasis on the first eighth note of each measure of that Piu mosso section, which also descends each measure, but I liked emphasizing the 2nd eighth note better since it is the highest note, so it seemed nicer to me to flow a bit up to it with the emphasis on the 2nd eighth note, and then descend with each measure. But, I never really noticed the thumbs also descending with each measure.

I have been working on some Brahms Intermezzos, so we have worked on voices, but I wasn't seeing the voicing as much in the Chopin--I was seeing more of the melody, so I am very interested in all your insights! I will look for Giomar Novaes' cd. I haven't heard of her before, and I look forwarding to hearing it.

It's so interesting about the bass notes as a suggested melody, also. I'm starting to hear them more that way as I smooth out the right hand and soften the following two LH chords. So much to learn! smile

I'll get the Brahm's Waltz Op. 39 no. 3 also and try voicing it. I do find the voicing not very easy in Brahms! It's a lot of work for me to play his large chords and emphasize all the correct voicing. But, a fun challenge!

It does take so long to get good at the piano, but I'm seeing so much improvement since I took lessons long ago. My piano teacher is wonderful, too, and I have learned so much reading the threads here.

Thanks so much! I have learned so much! Kathy


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Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Playagain] #1758685
09/24/11 09:57 PM
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I mean Brahms Intermezzi. smile
Kathy


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Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Playagain] #1758688
09/24/11 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Playagain
I mean Brahms Intermezzi. smile

I'm pretty sure either is correct. smile

We run into the same thing with "Scherzi" and "Scherzos." I don't think anyone has ever been corrected for saying scherzos. grin

Re: Chopin Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2 [Re: Mark_C] #1758719
09/24/11 11:39 PM
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Oh, good! smile Thanks!


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