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Hi I'm new here. I'm a huge Chopin fan (he's my favourite composer), and I just found this thread on the Internet. I've read through all the 419 pages (twice, actually). It seems like the people here know a lot about Chopin.

I'm looking for some good Chopin biographies. Here are some I've read:

1. Fryderyk Chopin: a Life and Times (Alan Walker)
2. Chopin: Prince of the Romantics (Adam Zamoyski)
3. Chopin's Funeral (Benita Eisler)
4. Selected Correspondence Of Fryderyk Chopin (Arthur Hedley)
5. Chopin: Pianist and Teacher: As Seen by His Pupils (Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger)

P.S. Is it too late to join this thread?

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You have some good recommendations there HSW. If your at all into listening to Audible, “Life and Works: Frédéric Chopin” , written and narrated by Jeremy Siepman, is really well done.


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Originally Posted by HSW
P.S. Is it too late to join this thread?

Welcome HSW!

For a thread that has been kept going for 13 years, is there any such thing as "too late?" laugh


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Okay, I'm a month in, I've got the Middle C key nailed, and feeling ready to give the more simplistic Chopin scores a try. Which do you guys recommend?! laugh

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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Okay, I'm a month in, I've got the Middle C key nailed, and feeling ready to give the more simplistic Chopin scores a try. Which do you guys recommend?! laugh

According to Piano Syllabus, the easiest Chopin piece for piano is:


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"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Okay, I'm a month in, I've got the Middle C key nailed, and feeling ready to give the more simplistic Chopin scores a try. Which do you guys recommend?! laugh

According to Piano Syllabus, the easiest Chopin piece for piano is:


Whoa... so that's what a score looks like! Where's the middle C? Just point me in the right direction and I'm so doing this!!!

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Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by AnthonyPaulO
Okay, I'm a month in, I've got the Middle C key nailed, and feeling ready to give the more simplistic Chopin scores a try. Which do you guys recommend?! laugh

According to Piano Syllabus, the easiest Chopin piece for piano is:

Whoa... so that's what a score looks like! Where's the middle C? Just point me in the right direction and I'm so doing this!!!

You so got this! grin


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

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"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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HSW: Welcome! Definitely read Siepmann (didn't know he could be found in an audio version), and also Jim Samson. Don't pay too much attention to Eisler. And if you've read through this entire thread, I salute you and your persistence.

AnthonyPaulO: Also welcome! When I see someone say something like "I know where middle C is and now I want to play Chopin," and then, "so that's what a score looks like!" I've got to wonder if he's pulling our leg. Maybe you could pick out some of his single-note melodies at this point. Otherwise, PLEASE find a teacher, online if you can't find one at home. There is no substitute.

That arrangement of Wiosna is NOT Chopin's easiest piece, although it is very accessible (to someone who has played for a couple of years of average practice time and doesn't have exceptional ability). There is a list of his simpler pieces a few posts back in this thread-- though as Sibylle pointed out when she listed them, they are not easy. He didn't really write anything easy. You always have to pay very close musical attention even when your fingers don't have to do too many things at once.

(For comparison, my students typically took about a year to start playing the Bach Anna Magdalena's notebook stuff, that is, to be able to handle independent lines in the two hands. Around the same to start on Chopin's E minor prelude. Your mileage may vary.)

Best wishes. Be patient.


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Originally Posted by Elene
AnthonyPaulO: Also welcome! When I see someone say something like "I know where middle C is and now I want to play Chopin," and then, "so that's what a score looks like!" I've got to wonder if he's pulling our leg. Maybe you could pick out some of his single-note melodies at this point. Otherwise, PLEASE find a teacher, online if you can't find one at home. There is no substitute.

I took it as a joke! smile


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
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Is there a complete list of the difficulty levels of Chopin's complete works? Preferably using ABRSM standards, since I'm not that familiar with other grading systems.

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Originally Posted by HSW
Is there a complete list of the difficulty levels of Chopin's complete works? Preferably using ABRSM standards, since I'm not that familiar with other grading systems.

This is a list graded to ABRSM/Trinity standards, though it's meant for GCSE and 'A' Level students:

https://qualifications.pearson.com/...evel-Music-Difficulty-Levels-Booklet.pdf

You can see that there are only a small handful of pieces (mostly mazurkas) graded below 8. Above 8 is diploma level.


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Originally Posted by Elene
AnthonyPaulO: Also welcome! When I see someone say something like "I know where middle C is and now I want to play Chopin," and then, "so that's what a score looks like!" I've got to wonder if he's pulling our leg. Maybe you could pick out some of his single-note melodies at this point. Otherwise, PLEASE find a teacher, online if you can't find one at home. There is no substitute.


*As Elene crushes his fragile ego and spirit beyond a black-hole's horizon, he is suddenly ashamed and most painfully aware of his nakedness and inadequacy. Who would dare pick from the forbidden scores? Run away! He races through the forum looking for the way out, but the crowd starts to envelop him, gawking at the spectacle slowly unfolding before their eyes. Panic starts to settle in as he frantically searches beyond the masses of demons mocking him, searching for an exit, for a light out of the tunnel, for release... Over there! His eyes find their target and he sprints towards it, away from the ridicule, the shame, the crime scene of the murder of innocence itself. The entrance to the forum welcomes him with the warmth and succor of a mother's womb and as he turns around one last time he sees the sign he once ignored: 'Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.' It was a mistake, and he paid dearly for it with his innocence. Never again would he dare to dream, to soar high above the clouds, to reach out and touch the tip of Chopin's finger and bask in the sound of middle C... of home.*

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Hmm..., maybe join a writer's forum?

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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Hmm..., maybe join a writer's forum?


I was thinking something similar-- maybe AnthonyPaulO has a calling in writing humorous melodrama, or melodramatic humor, or some such thing.

As one of the people who's been around here since nearly the beginning, I must say that I've never seen anything quite exactly like his posts.

(Though some years ago we did have a young guy who started as a complete beginner and learned the Fantaisie-Impromptu without being able to play anything else previously. Or at least that was his story-- but he did submit recordings.)

At any rate, we've done something useful in listing Chopin's easier works. Thanks to those who posted info on that subject.

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Originally Posted by Elene


Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Hmm..., maybe join a writer's forum?


I was thinking something similar-- maybe AnthonyPaulO has a calling in writing humorous melodrama, or melodramatic humor, or some such thing.

As one of the people who's been around here since nearly the beginning, I must say that I've never seen anything quite exactly like his posts.

(Though some years ago we did have a young guy who started as a complete beginner and learned the Fantaisie-Impromptu without being able to play anything else previously. Or at least that was his story-- but he did submit recordings.)

At any rate, we've done something useful in listing Chopin's easier works. Thanks to those who posted info on that subject.

Elene


lol Elene, I was just trying to inject some melodramatic humor since you responded so seriously to my Chopin post, which was a joke after all. All in good fun... laugh

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Chopin took Bach's Prelude and Fugues to Majorca. Do we know why? Bk1? Bk2? I have it in the back of my mind he was going to edit them??

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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
Chopin took Bach's Prelude and Fugues to Majorca. Do we know why? Bk1? Bk2? I have it in the back of my mind he was going to edit them??


I have not read anything about Chopin’s intent with the Bach WTC but I do know that Chopin was writing a method book for piano as a scant outline in his handwriting has been published. It might be related, but then again, maybe Chopin intended to just play them 😊

Edited to add: just found one reference that the WTC influenced Chopin’s op 28 that was written in Mallorca. Perhaps there is your link

Last edited by dogperson; 09/02/19 12:04 PM. Reason: Op 28

"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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I'd have to look it up, but I do seem to remember references to Chopin working on editing the WTC, at least his own copy of it. There was no edition published with him having worked on it, but it would have been useful for his own practice and teaching.

If I'm not mistaken, Wim Winters wrote that Chopin used Czerny's edition of the WTC. I think we talked about that somewhere back in this thread. Brain gettin' old here.....

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Originally Posted by Elene
I'd have to look it up, but I do seem to remember references to Chopin working on editing the WTC, at least his own copy of it. There was no edition published with him having worked on it, but it would have been useful for his own practice and teaching.

If I'm not mistaken, Wim Winters wrote that Chopin used Czerny's edition of the WTC. I think we talked about that somewhere back in this thread. Brain gettin' old here.....


Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger has published a facsimile of the Parisian edition (RIchault) that Chopin used in lessons with a pupil. The connection to Czerny is that Chopin apparently copied Czerny's metronome markings into the Richault score, The main interest, though, lies in the number of textual and dynamic changes that Chopin made to the score. If you're interested to try playing various Preludes and Fugues "à la Chopin," it's well worth owning.

Eigeldinger Chopin-Bach facsimile edition

Jeff Kallberg

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Quote
Leafing through the pages of this copy of the Well- Tempered Clavier I, one cannot fail to be struck by the neatness with which the signs and words indicating tempo, metronome marks, phrasing, articulation, dynamics, left-hand octaves, and so on, have been notated. All of Czerny's indications (probably taken from the 1843 Veuve Launer edition), save fingerings, have been copied out by Chopin. The systematic copying stops after Prelude 7, as do the sporadic indications in ink.
Thanks folks, I was hoping you were still with us Jeff - hopefully having a nice summer holiday. The quote from your link (above) seems to indicate all Chopin added was Czerny's indications. Are the 'textual and dynamic' changes Chopin and not Czerny?. I do now remember it coming up before - I knew this!

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