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Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: beet31425] #1925638
07/11/12 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
I'm interested and surprised, by the way, at how people are ranking the Polonaise-Fantaisie so highly. It's very hard to pull off successfully, no doubt. And it's technically not easy. But I don't think there's anything in there in the same league as the first Ballade's scherzo and coda, or the second and fourth Ballades's codas, or op.53's middle section octaves, or large stretches of the F minor Fantasie.


I agree. I hate to add this caveat because I get annoyed when others do it, but I think it's the hardest to hold together musically of all things listed.

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Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: beet31425] #1925639
07/11/12 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
I'm interested and surprised, by the way, at how people are ranking the Polonaise-Fantaisie so highly. It's very hard to pull off successfully, no doubt. And it's technically not easy. But I don't think there's anything in there in the same league as the first Ballade's scherzo and coda, or the second and fourth Ballades's codas, or op.53's middle section octaves, or large stretches of the F minor Fantasie....

Maybe I think everybody's underestimating everything ha because I think you're way underestimating the Polonaise-Fantaisie. I could point out individual measures which IMO are as hard as anything in those other pieces, plus, not unlike late Scriabin (which it points toward!), it's off-the-charts in its conceptual difficulty, involving not just the structure but also just getting it in your head how some of the things are supposed to sound, and making them sound that way.

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Mark_C] #1925641
07/11/12 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
I could point out individual measures which IMO are as hard as anything in those other pieces, plus, not unlike late Scriabin (which it points toward!), it's off-the-charts in its conceptual difficulty...

I'll grant you the conceptual difficulty.

I'll challenge you on the other. Find individual measures or a passage or section of the P-F which is as hard, mechanically, as the coda of the 4th Ballade, at speed. The statement of the theme towards the end with the chords is hard, but not that hard.

-J


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: beet31425] #1925650
07/11/12 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
I'll challenge you on the other. Find individual measures or a passage or section of the P-F which is as hard, mechanically, as the coda of the 4th Ballade, at speed.....

You're on! grin

I'm gonna start with something that might be a surprise, and which few people might think of in such a way but which I think is a gimme (and there's plenty more where this comes from!)....

The fast B major scale in that "statement of the theme toward the end."

IMO being able to play that at tempo (any semblance of a reasonable tempo) and with some proper sweep and being able to land reasonably fluently on the chord at the beginning of the next measure, requires that somebody be as excellent a pianist and musician as just about anything.

And, while we're looking right there, those two sets of octaves-sixths sextuplets that follow.

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy] #1925652
07/11/12 11:37 PM
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I can't say that the 1st Ballade's scherzo, nor the Heroic's octaves are all that difficult (to me at least), but I do agree that the 4th Scherzo is ridiculous. I worked on it for a while, learned it, performed it, then decided that I'd better put it away for now, because I wasn't doing it any justice.


Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Mark_C] #1925653
07/11/12 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by beet31425
I'll challenge you on the other. Find individual measures or a passage or section of the P-F which is as hard, mechanically, as the coda of the 4th Ballade, at speed.....

You're on! grin

I'm gonna start with something that might be a surprise, and which few people might think of in such a way but which I think is a gimme (and there's plenty more where this comes from!)....

The fast B major scale in that "statement of the theme toward the end."

IMO being able to play that at tempo (any semblance of a reasonable tempo) and with some proper sweep and being able to land reasonably fluently on the chord at the beginning of the next measure, requires that somebody be as excellent a pianist and musician as just about anything.

And, while we're looking right there, those two sets of octaves-sixths sextuplets that follow.


Good example-- that is one of the harder parts!

One thing that helps with the scale is to take the first two notes before the chord, and then the rest works out perfectly as six scale notes per chord. I find myself slowing down a bit, but still bringing off the "proper sweep", I think.

The octaves/sixths that follow also give me trouble, especially the first set.

I can't imagine any of this is as hard as the 4th Ballade's coda, but... maybe we're each just afraid of the piece we don't play. smile

-J


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Kuanpiano] #1925660
07/11/12 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Kuanpiano
....the 4th Scherzo is ridiculous. I worked on it for a while, learned it, performed it, then decided that I'd better put it away for now, because I wasn't doing it any justice.

+1 grin

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: BruceD] #1925664
07/12/12 12:03 AM
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There's nothing wrong listening to a piece before you learn it. In fact I think it's a disadvantage not to do so. When you get to know the piece by listening to great players play them, you are setting a general expectation for how well particular passages within the piece should be played, helping you understand whether or not you are ready for the piece. Not to mention, listening to a piece can be the sole reason for wanting to learn that particular piece. When I listen to piece and am struck with an original idea about it, that greatly influences me to learn it.. All this being said, I can't think of one negative aspect of listening to a piece before cracking open the score.

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy] #1925686
07/12/12 02:23 AM
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I wonder, is the Op 48 No 1 harder than any of the other major works by Chopin that I listed, or is it the easiest?

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: JoelW] #1925699
07/12/12 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by scherzojoe
When I listen to piece and am struck with an original idea about it, that greatly influences me to learn it.. All this being said, I can't think of one negative aspect of listening to a piece before cracking open the score.


Read the second sentence first and then go back and read the first sentence. Now think about that for a second, joey. The point is... YOU are being struck by someone ELSES "original" idea and as long as you continue filling up your head with the ideas that others have then you'll continue to wallow in mediocrity, because you'll not have any original ideas of your own, nor will you know how to express them, because your concept of whatever it is that you're working on has been so influenced by what someone else has already done. I challenge you to open your score and "learn it from scratch"... leave the recordings on the shelf... do not hit "play". Learn something new for YOURSELF. Discovering it on your own is the way to make it personal.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy] #1925824
07/12/12 11:30 AM
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I wonder, isn't it best to start with Op 48 No 1 or is it as hard as any of the Scherzos?

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: stores] #1925916
07/12/12 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by scherzojoe
When I listen to piece and am struck with an original idea about it, that greatly influences me to learn it.. All this being said, I can't think of one negative aspect of listening to a piece before cracking open the score.


The point is... YOU are being struck by someone ELSES "original" idea .


No, stores. I do have original ideas of which I have never heard anybody play before.

In fact, I still stand by my argument that it's a good thing to listen before you learn. Hearing many different interpretations of a particular piece gives context and helps you understand the piece better. I for one have never had any artistic struggles due to listening before learning. It hasn't stopped my creativity.

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy] #1925920
07/12/12 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jorleyy
I wonder, isn't it best to start with Op 48 No 1 or is it as hard as any of the Scherzos?


Just toy with the technical difficulties of all of these pieces and see which one suits you the best. Most of all, pick the one that you want to learn the most. This can really effect your learning. Think of it - are you going to make better progress learning a piece you love or a piece that's just okay? In other words, if you love math but hate history, which class do you think you will excel in?

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy] #1926013
07/12/12 07:20 PM
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I think you're asking too many questions. smile

You're splitting hairs.

We don't know if any of these pieces are appropriate for you. I'd guess from your questions that at least a few of these definitely shouldn't be considered, and you can gather from the replies which ones those are. Among the more doable ones, there isn't any clear difference in difficulty. Any might be OK for you, or maybe none are. I think the best is to decide just based on which of those you like best, rather than which is a tiny bit easier than the others.

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Mark_C] #1926021
07/12/12 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C

I think the best is to decide just based on which of those you like best, rather than which is a tiny bit easier than the others.





Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy] #1926250
07/13/12 11:23 AM
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Yes you are right Mark.. Although I can't help I actually find it amusing to compare difficulties of these kind of pieces and see how people find different pieces more difficult than others.

I mean for example, one can say for certain that Chopin's 2nd Scherzo is TECHNICALLY harder than Bach's Italian Concerto or Beethoven's 8th Piano Sonata... But let's say, that if one is at the technical level at playing these works by Bach and Beethoven, no more and no less, how many years away is he from getting to the technical level of playing Chopin's 2nd Scherzo at the same level as he is now able to play the Italian Concerto? For example, if we follow the ABRSM, this would be a technical ability difference of two years, because Italian Concerto is DipABRSM level and the Scherzo is LRSM, so could that be correct?

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy] #1926256
07/13/12 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Jorleyy
....one can say for certain that Chopin's 2nd Scherzo is TECHNICALLY harder than Bach's Italian Concerto....

Not necessarily. And maybe that example shows how un-simple these things are.

For me at least, I'd say in fact that the Bach is harder.

Quote
....let's say, that if one is at the technical level at playing these works by Bach and Beethoven, no more and no less, how many years away is he from getting to the technical level of playing Chopin's 2nd Scherzo at the same level as he is now able to play the Italian Concerto?

As per the above, my answer would be a negative number.

BTW, I'm assuming we're talking about playing the pieces quite well, not even great, but quite well. But I can see that someone could make a beginner's effort at the Italian Concerto before making a beginner's effort at the Scherzo.

A lot about this depends on what we're talking about. smile

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy] #1926262
07/13/12 11:52 AM
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Yes, it all depends on what we are talking about.. I for example believe that Vladimir Horowitz found ie easier to play the Scherzo than the Italian Concerto.. But when you say a negative number, do you mean that it would take one year or more? Or do you mean that if one is able to play the Italian Concerto he is probably able to play the Scherzo?

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy] #1926263
07/13/12 11:59 AM
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Since I said the Bach is harder for me than the Scherzo, it meant that when I was able to play the Bach (if indeed I am) ha I had already been able some time ago to play the Chopin. (I thought that was clear from what I had just said before the "negative number" thing.)

Remember, it's not about what "one" would be able to do. I was giving myself as an example. As a few of us have said, it differs for different people.

Re: Chopin Major Works [Re: Jorleyy] #1926265
07/13/12 12:01 PM
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I see :P I misunderstood.. Generally though, I believe that people would consider the Scherzo harder, that's why I asked :P

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