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I'd never much thought of this passage this way before, because it's such a familiar piece and passage that it doesn't seem "weird" -- it's more like it-is-what-it-is, which is how it often is when something is familiar. But stepping back from it and trying to look at it freshly, which is never fully possible but we can try, I'm thinking that this is just plain weird (not in a bad way) ....and if I hadn't come across it till I knew more about music than when I did start knowing it, I would have been like "wtf."
Let's have some fun with it. I'll hold back on saying what passage I'm thinking of, to see if it's one of the first things that occurs to anyone else.
But I will say what I think is the second weirdest passage in Chopin that jumps to mind. It's the part in this Mazurka at 1:30....
However, as entire Chopin pieces are concerned (which I realize is off-topic strictly), the Fourth Scherzo is decidedly weird (unless put alongside, say, Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique 1st movement) But it least it works in its own bizarre way, leaving in a class of its own that G minor Nocturne (Op 15/3) - well, weird falls way short of adequate.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein
Great replies! Nobody has said the passage I had in mind, but (hint!).... It's not in the Polonaise-Fantaisie. (BTW to Joel: Good to see you! I think you haven't been around much lately, but then again neither have I.)
The thing about the Polonaise-Fantaisie is that the whole piece is so continuously borderline-weird that no single passage stands out to me as being that weird.
I agree about that part near the end of the Barcarolle being a bit weird.....heck, it is weird .....but (just quibbling about fine meanings) to me it's more futuristic than "wtf." The passage I'm talking about is (to me) utterly "wtf" -- if I put aside my familiarity with it, which makes it feel almost normal.
MarkC: does it , your weirdest, happen to be in Op. 54?
Originally Posted by JoelW
I don't see how Op. 54 is weird at all.
....and I'm in between the two of you on the 4th Scherzo.
In terms of the overall feel of the piece, I'm with what Joel said; in fact it's like the opposite of weird. To me the weirdest thing about the piece as a whole is how un-weird for Chopin it is.
BUT, there are some things within it that are a bit weird considering the context of such a relatively joyous piece. Plus, to me, there's technical curiosity which to me feels kind of weird (and I've mentioned it before): that the very hardest little part of the piece is something that doesn't sound at all hard and doesn't seem like it should be hard, but it screws the heil outta me....9:49 - 9:51 on here:
I wonder if that part is within what you meant here:
Originally Posted by pianorigami
....near the end, I am mostly confused. Do you have any idea where I mean?
....I don't see how you can rate that over some of the other nasty runs in the piece.
Well I didn't either.
It's something about the weirdness (to me) of the counterpoint that's going on. The voices seem in conflict. I don't mean that there's anything wrong or bad about it -- it's great. But it's confusing to my head and fingers, no matter how well I know what's going on. That kind of thing is what's hardest for me (I mean, except for something that I just can't play altogether).
First thing I thought of was an extremely dissonant run in the Tarantella, but it's not really that strange.. just violent and jarring. Development section of the Third Sonata, first movement would have to be my real pick. It is all over the place.
First thing I thought of was an extremely dissonant run in the Tarantella, but it's not really that strange.. just violent and jarring.
You mean the 'scale' part that's sort of (I think) in F-flat major (although with a pedal-point E-flat at the bottom), "poco a poco piu animato"? If so, I agree with how you describe it, and yeah, I'd say we can call it "weird" too.
Development section of the Third Sonata, first movement would have to be my real pick. It is all over the place.
I agree -- but to me neither of these if as "weird" as the passage I meant. Maybe I should have just called the quality "wtf" rather than weird.
Anyway, whatever I call it, I have a feeling that when I say what passage I'm talking about, everybody will just groan.
It's not in the Polonaise-Fantaisie....The thing about the Polonaise-Fantaisie is that the whole piece is so continuously borderline-weird that no single passage stands out to me as being that weird.
The main weirdness (or more like "wtf-ness," as I said later) is its context. It's like it comes suddenly from nowhere, with nothing to do with what came right before or what comes after. (In terms of "music theory elements," it does relate to things that came earlier in the piece, but in its tone and spirit, I'd say it doesn't, although that depends a lot on how it's played, and in any event I think most people would agree that it's a great departure from what surrounds it.) The passage itself, besides the context, isn't much weird at all, although indeed it doesn't have much connection to anything else in Chopin, and, again especially the way some people play it, can seem like it's from a totally different era and (maybe) continent.