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double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle #1963597
09/24/12 09:50 AM
09/24/12 09:50 AM
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Otis S Offline OP
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I have a question for those of you who have played Chopin's Barcarolle. How do you play the double trills:

1. As a timed trill (e.g. 32nd notes synchronized with the left hand)
2. As an untimed trill. If so, what is the approximate tempo that you use for the double trills?

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Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: Otis S] #1963624
09/24/12 11:07 AM
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We'll see what the verdict is when the Chopin experts weigh in -- but I personally hear this definitely as a timed trill. It's very difficult to accomplish, but necessary to the musical context. It's one of the many reasons why I gravitate to a slower tempo on this work. I also like to hear that trill dynamically shaped, as well as "in time" -- the effect is so beautiful in context.

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: Otis S] #1963638
09/24/12 11:38 AM
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I play pretty strictly 4 'notes' of the trill to each 8th note of the accompaniment ('notes' in 'quotes' because each 'note' is actually 2 notes) except to the extent that toward the end you might have to do it just a little differently, maybe just one extra note or one fewer, to enable yourself to land on the right note at the end. (This may depend on whether you begin the trill on the principal notes or the upper notes.) Or, if you prefer, you can make it come out right just by playing around with the nachschlag -- i.e. the doohickey at the end of it. smile

Good question! It's good to know what we're doing with these things rather than just slopping our fingers on the keys and "whatever." grin

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: Otis S] #1963649
09/24/12 12:02 PM
09/24/12 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Otis S
I have a question for those of you who have played Chopin's Barcarolle. How do you play the double trills:

1. As a timed trill (e.g. 32nd notes synchronized with the left hand)
2. As an untimed trill. If so, what is the approximate tempo that you use for the double trills?


#1, but 6 notes to an 8th note instead of 32nd notes.

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: jeffreyjones] #1963657
09/24/12 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
....6 notes to an 8th note instead of 32nd notes.

Huh....either you take a slower tempo than I do, or you can double-trill 50% faster!

P.S. My usual speed, counting 8th notes individually, is just about 160-168. (Of course we don't 'count' it that way -- we count the broader groupings -- but I'm putting it that way for what we're talking about here.)


edit: Jeffrey -- I wonder if maybe you're counting the notes differently than I did, and maybe you play the double trill slower than I do!
When you said "6 notes," were you counting each double-note as 2 notes? (I counted them as 1.)

Last edited by Mark_C; 09/24/12 02:44 PM.
Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: Otis S] #1963861
09/24/12 06:16 PM
09/24/12 06:16 PM
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dolce sfogato Offline
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it's a trill, it's Chopin, it's untimed, faster than 32-notes to the eight-notes, a TRILL, it's just in thirds, that shouldn't stop anyone from playing a TRILL. (if it does, one's thirds aren't up to the desired level)


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: Otis S] #1963862
09/24/12 06:17 PM
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dolce sfogato Offline
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they don't have anything in common with f.i. Mendelssohn's Rondo op.14, those are 16th against 8th.


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: Mark_C] #1963870
09/24/12 06:30 PM
09/24/12 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
....6 notes to an 8th note instead of 32nd notes.

Huh....either you take a slower tempo than I do, or you can double-trill 50% faster!

P.S. My usual speed, counting 8th notes individually, is just about 160-168. (Of course we don't 'count' it that way -- we count the broader groupings -- but I'm putting it that way for what we're talking about here.)


edit: Jeffrey -- I wonder if maybe you're counting the notes differently than I did, and maybe you play the double trill slower than I do!
When you said "6 notes," were you counting each double-note as 2 notes? (I counted them as 1.)


That would make sense as playing 48th note double trills would seem virtually impossible to do unless a very slow tempo is used for the piece.

Thanks for all of the responses received so far. It is interesting that people do use a diversity of timings for playing the double trill.

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: jeffreyjones] #1964145
09/25/12 09:53 AM
09/25/12 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
#1, but 6 notes to an 8th note instead of 32nd notes.

Paging Jeffrey, paging Jeffrey.... smile

How are you counting the notes?

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: Mark_C] #1964332
09/25/12 03:25 PM
09/25/12 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
#1, but 6 notes to an 8th note instead of 32nd notes.

Paging Jeffrey, paging Jeffrey.... smile

How are you counting the notes?


Quite approximately, and by memory. smile I don't judge the quality of a trill by the speed, but by the beauty of it. If each note is spoken well it sounds much quicker and more vibrant than it actually is.

My tempo is a moving Andantino. I don't like a Barcarolle that gets bogged down or soggy, but I wouldn't call the way I play it Allegretto as marked.

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: jeffreyjones] #1964349
09/25/12 04:07 PM
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Jeffrey: I guess you didn't understand the question -- if you looked through all the posts it would be clear, but I don't blame you for not. grin

The question was, when you said "6 notes," were you counting each 2-note 'chord' as 2 notes, or as 1?

I counted them as 1. I suspect you were counting them as 2. If you counted them as 1, it would seem to mean you're talking about playing the double trill faster than would be possible.

If you're still unclear on the question, maybe take a look at this post.

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: Mark_C] #1964721
09/26/12 11:53 AM
09/26/12 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Jeffrey: I guess you didn't understand the question -- if you looked through all the posts it would be clear, but I don't blame you for not. grin

The question was, when you said "6 notes," were you counting each 2-note 'chord' as 2 notes, or as 1?

I counted them as 1. I suspect you were counting them as 2. If you counted them as 1, it would seem to mean you're talking about playing the double trill faster than would be possible.

If you're still unclear on the question, maybe take a look at this post.


Why would I count a third as two notes if I was reading horizontally in time? That's silly.

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: jeffreyjones] #1964725
09/26/12 11:56 AM
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OK -- then indeed it means you might be playing those double trills super fast! And no, it wouldn't at all be "silly" to be counting the notes the other way, just a different way. smile

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: Otis S] #1964750
09/26/12 12:51 PM
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Judged on a vague recollection of jeffreyjones playing the first movement of Beethoven's Op. 2 No. 3, I am not surprised that he is playing the double trills really quickly.

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: Orange Soda King] #1964797
09/26/12 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Judged on a vague recollection of jeffreyjones playing the first movement of Beethoven's Op. 2 No. 3, I am not surprised that he is playing the double trills really quickly.

Indeed! I remember that well. I talked about how struck I was by his mastery and apparent ease with those double thirds.

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: jeffreyjones] #1965171
09/27/12 09:16 AM
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Otis S Offline OP
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Jeffrey, thanks for your clarification.

It should be noted that Mark C's tempo for these double trills (about 12 notes per metronome marking at 54 beats per minute, which translates into about 4 notes per metronome tick at 160-168 beats/minute) is also fast. In addition to reaching a tempo in this ballpark, the trills need to be played in a musical fashion with proper voicing and dynamics. To achieve all of these things is not easy.

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: Otis S] #1965227
09/27/12 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Otis S
....In addition to reaching a tempo in this ballpark, the trills need to be played in a musical fashion with proper voicing and dynamics. To achieve all of these things is not easy.

Darn right!
I've slaved over them, re those latter things much more than speed.

BTW I think the key thing, and probably the only thing close to a good generalization, is to beware of having too much of those trills be LOUD.

Re: double trills in Chopin's Barcarolle [Re: Mark_C] #1965309
09/27/12 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Judged on a vague recollection of jeffreyjones playing the first movement of Beethoven's Op. 2 No. 3, I am not surprised that he is playing the double trills really quickly.

Indeed! I remember that well. I talked about how struck I was by his mastery and apparent ease with those double thirds.


Interestingly, I use the same fingering for both the Chopin and Beethoven passages.. 1-4 and 2-3. Very important to keep the fingers tightly close and limit the amount of movement.


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