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Chopin Etudes perspective:
#2629412 04/02/17 01:48 PM
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I've come to view the primary purpose of the Chopin Etudes as "compositional" in nature, and therefore the resulting component of developing a specific piano technique a byproduct

Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
antony #2629442 04/02/17 03:19 PM
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Because the Etudes usually focus on one technical problem I can't really agree. Of course, Chopin was trying to compose great music also, but why concentrate only on one technical problem if writing a great composition was the main motive?

I think some of the Liszt or Rachmaninov Etudes could be better classified as "mainly" (or at least significantly) compositional because they are somewhat less focussed on one technical problem.

Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
antony #2629457 04/02/17 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by antony
I've come to view the primary purpose of the Chopin Etudes as "compositional" in nature, and therefore the resulting component of developing a specific piano technique a byproduct

I mostly agree.
Actually I should say I totally agree because I've posted sort of the same thing a couple of times. grin

I agree in that they seem more a thing of showing how such things can be made into great music, than pieces with which to develop technique. Chopin's etudes are often spoken of as pieces with which to improve your technique of ______ (whatever; fill in the blank), and have sometimes been suggested as such on here. I don't see them much that way; I view them more as pieces for seeing and showing what your technique is.

However, since saying that, I've seen how the etudes can sort of improve your technique. smile
But I still see them mostly the other way, and I think that for any given technical aspect that a person might be wishing to work on, there are far better ways than practicing Chopin etudes.

Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
antony #2629466 04/02/17 04:27 PM
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Was not Chopin said to be amused at Czerny's cranking out exercises and etudes, and that Freddie wished to show everybody what an etude realiy should be?


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Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
Mark_C #2629472 04/02/17 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by antony
I've come to view the primary purpose of the Chopin Etudes as "compositional" in nature, and therefore the resulting component of developing a specific piano technique a byproduct

I mostly agree.
Actually I should say I totally agree because I've posted sort of the same thing a couple of times. grin

I agree in that they seem more a thing of showing how such things can be made into great music, than pieces with which to develop technique. Chopin's etudes are often spoken of as pieces with which to improve your technique of ______ (whatever; fill in the blank), and have sometimes been suggested as such on here. I don't see them much that way; I view them more as pieces for seeing and showing what your technique is.

However, since saying that, I've seen how the etudes can sort of improve your technique. smile
But I still see them mostly the other way, and I think that for any given technical aspect that a person might be wishing to work on, there are far better ways than practicing Chopin etudes.
First, I think the Chopin Etudes are definitely a way to develop technique and have been used by students and teachers extensively like this forever. Almost all students who reach an advanced intermediate or early advanced level are given some Chopin Etudes to improve their technique. That certainly was my experience in high school and college although I could not play the fast ones at a professional tempo.

What could be better than playing great music to work on some technical issue if that issue is something covered in one of the Etudes? Should one really work on some Czerny or even Moszkowski Etude dealing with the same problem when one has the Chopin Etudes available?

IMO it's only if one assumes that one is going to perform one of the Etudes in a high-level situation that your idea of the Etudes as a vehicle to show one's already developed technique makes any sense.

But whether one assumes the Etudes are suitable for learning some technique(me) or more for "what your technique is"(you)...either way that would imply that their "technical" aspect is a significant part of them.

Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
antony #2629475 04/02/17 04:56 PM
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I wasn't implying that the improvement of one's technique would not occur through the study of the Etudes, but that Chopin's intention may have been a challenge to himself and others, from a compositional standpoint, to say "let me show you what can be created by limiting oneself to x, y,z Also, a lot of the technical challenges in his Etudes didn't even exist at the time in other compositions when they were written. He actually created the challenges by writing the Etudes themselves.

You could say op 10#1 is an Etudes for arpeggios, but Chopin was saying "let me show you how I'm going to explode our conception of what an arpeggio can be!"

Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
antony #2629478 04/02/17 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by antony
I wasn't implying that the improvement of one's technique would not occur through the study of the Etudes, but that Chopin's intention may have been a challenge to himself and others, from a compositional standpoint, to say "let me show you what can be created by limiting oneself to x, y,z
Perhaps more like "let me show you what I can create as an Etude to work on x,y,z." OTOH, since etudes certainly existed before Chopin, he may just have decided to write some etudes and, being Chopin, wrote ones that were more musically satisfying than others before him.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/02/17 05:05 PM.
Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
pianoloverus #2629484 04/02/17 05:22 PM
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That may be true as well; it's just that a lot of the technique within didn't exist when written. I think the terms used for these pieces at the time were getting blurred. Did a "scherzo " exist as a stand alone piece the way in which Chopin wrote his at the time...

Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
antony #2629581 04/02/17 10:35 PM
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I think the etudes are a mixed bag, and not all of them are successful musically or technically, and some are not successful either way.


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Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
antony #2629617 04/03/17 02:46 AM
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And I'm of the opinion that Chopin wrote his etudes as a way to teach the world the chopinesque way of playing. If you play them the Czerny way (to name a guy) they are unplayable and unbearable to listen to.
They are a way to provide you with the technique to play -his- oeuvre. Not Beethoven's or Mozart's or Schubert's or whoever..
The technical challenges in them are used to make music instead of dry clinical exercises just as his 'normal' compositions should be played. The interpretation of the music is just as important as the technique.

Last edited by chopinoholic; 04/03/17 03:02 AM.

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Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
BDB #2629648 04/03/17 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
I think the etudes are a mixed bag, and not all of them are successful musically or technically, and some are not successful either way.
Can you give us some specifics?

Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
pianoloverus #2629685 04/03/17 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by BDB
I think the etudes are a mixed bag, and not all of them are successful musically or technically, and some are not successful either way.
Can you give us some specifics?
I can't think of one that isn't successful musically. smile


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Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
Carey #2629723 04/03/17 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by BDB
I think the etudes are a mixed bag, and not all of them are successful musically or technically, and some are not successful either way.
Can you give us some specifics?
I can't think of one that isn't successful musically. smile

Me neither, and 'not successful technically' seems even more inscrutable.

BTW "inscrutable" is sort of a euphemism. ha

Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
BDB #2629777 04/03/17 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
I think the etudes are a mixed bag, and not all of them are successful musically or technically, and some are not successful either way.


I'm in the same camp as those who find all the Chopin Etudes musically satisfying and technically brilliantly conceived.

Regards,


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Re: Chopin Etudes perspective:
BruceD #2629788 04/03/17 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by BDB
I think the etudes are a mixed bag, and not all of them are successful musically or technically, and some are not successful either way.


I'm in the same camp as those who find all the Chopin Etudes musically satisfying and technically brilliantly conceived.

I'm wondering if BDB is pulling our collective leg.


Jason

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