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Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? #2896243
10/01/19 06:01 PM
10/01/19 06:01 PM
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Ijustplaypiano Offline OP
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Hey piano players of the web,
I just want a comparison between Chopin etude in f minor opus 25 no 2 and rachmaninoff etude opus 33 no 8. These pieces are from the RCM 10 etude list. Would it be possible to give me a brief overview of the technical challenges in both etudes and specifically what those challenges are? Also if you had to decide, which etude is easier technical-wise?
I want to play either a rachmaninoff or Chopin etude for my level 10 practical and a technical comparison will really help me decide which etude would suit my abilities better.
Much thanks!


Working on:
Preparing for RCM 10 piano exam
Chopin etude op. 25 no 2
Beethoven sonata op 28 pastorale
Bach WTC
Some Chopin nocturnes
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Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: Ijustplaypiano] #2896295
10/01/19 11:20 PM
10/01/19 11:20 PM
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The problem with your question is twofold:

1) we don't know what your abilities are and
2) what is difficult for one may be less difficult for another by virtue of their individual skills and abilities.

While each Etude may have its unique challenges, the fact that they are both on the RCM Level 10 list suggests that they are relatively equal in difficulty.

My suggestion would be to take the time to work through each one and find which one is better for you. If you are already at the level of preparing for the RCM Level 10 examination, I would think that you would have the tools to figure out which challenges you would handle best.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: Ijustplaypiano] #2896311
10/02/19 02:03 AM
10/02/19 02:03 AM
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For what it's worth, I think the Chopin is more difficult. The biggest difficulty in the Rachmaninoff is in the left hand, and it really depends whether you've encountered similar technical problems in previous pieces.

Nobody can say which piece will be more difficult for you.

Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: BruceD] #2896423
10/02/19 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
The problem with your question is twofold:

1) we don't know what your abilities are and
2) what is difficult for one may be less difficult for another by virtue of their individual skills and abilities.

While each Etude may have its unique challenges, the fact that they are both on the RCM Level 10 list suggests that they are relatively equal in difficulty.

My suggestion would be to take the time to work through each one and find which one is better for you. If you are already at the level of preparing for the RCM Level 10 examination, I would think that you would have the tools to figure out which challenges you would handle best.

Regards,


Thanks for your reply!
Maybe my question wasn’t that clear. I’m wondering if the Chopin or rachmaninoff has specific technical difficulties like fast runs or large leaps. Basically I wanted to know what made each piece an etude and what technical aspect each piece focuses on.


Working on:
Preparing for RCM 10 piano exam
Chopin etude op. 25 no 2
Beethoven sonata op 28 pastorale
Bach WTC
Some Chopin nocturnes
Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: Ijustplaypiano] #2896448
10/02/19 11:45 AM
10/02/19 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Ijustplaypiano
Maybe my question wasn’t that clear. I’m wondering if the Chopin or rachmaninoff has specific technical difficulties like fast runs or large leaps. Basically I wanted to know what made each piece an etude and what technical aspect each piece focuses on.
Don't you want to listen to them to see if you like them? Although you can undoubtedly find a YT performance with the score shown there's always IMSLP if necessary.

Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: Ijustplaypiano] #2896457
10/02/19 12:19 PM
10/02/19 12:19 PM
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Better yet, look at the scores of both of them to see for yourself which would be better. Since they are etudes, you should look for the one that concentrates on the weakest points of your technique. Also, there is no shame in learning both of them. Or others, for that matter.


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Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: BDB] #2896476
10/02/19 01:22 PM
10/02/19 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Better yet, look at the scores of both of them to see for yourself which would be better. Since they are etudes, you should look for the one that concentrates on the weakest points of your technique. Also, there is no shame in learning both of them. Or others, for that matter.


Yes I actually do have the scores for both the pieces in the RCM 10 etude book. I listened to Valentina lisitsa’s performance of the Chopin etude and it seems rather fast to me. I don’t have much worries for the rachmaninoff except for the middle section where it is faster.
I’m thinking about doing the Chopin etude since it is shorter and quicker than the rachmaninoff. I don’t want to do another slow piece because I already have quite a few slower pieces in my repertoire (Chopin nocturne post 72 no 1, Beethoven pastorale sonata, arabesque no 1, etc)
What is the best recording for this etude? I’m kinda nervous this is my first Chopin etude haha


Working on:
Preparing for RCM 10 piano exam
Chopin etude op. 25 no 2
Beethoven sonata op 28 pastorale
Bach WTC
Some Chopin nocturnes
Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: Ijustplaypiano] #2896483
10/02/19 01:50 PM
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It is about time to wean yourself from recordings. Listen to yourself as you play and adjust accordingly.


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Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: BDB] #2896503
10/02/19 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BDB
It is about time to wean yourself from recordings. Listen to yourself as you play and adjust accordingly.

Yeah I can understand that. However you’ve got to understand that I’m not a professional, I’m a high school freshman. I listen to recordings to give me a sense of what the piece sounds like, so I don’t go playing a completely wrong interpretation of the piece.

I know what you’re probably going to say, that I shouldn’t depend on recordings. However a recording usually gives me a perspective on the piece. I don’t know if that’s a good thing to do, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.


Working on:
Preparing for RCM 10 piano exam
Chopin etude op. 25 no 2
Beethoven sonata op 28 pastorale
Bach WTC
Some Chopin nocturnes
Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: Ijustplaypiano] #2896519
10/02/19 03:27 PM
10/02/19 03:27 PM
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I listen to recordings of the piece I am learning but a total of around five different ones, one time each. The problem to avoid is that you do not want to mimic any other performance but want to have your own interpretation. If you listen, do it sparingly.

Others here will never listen to others.


"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
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: Ijustplaypiano] #2896520
10/02/19 03:31 PM
10/02/19 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Ijustplaypiano
[...]I want to play either a rachmaninoff or Chopin etude for my level 10 practical and a technical comparison will really help me decide which etude would suit my abilities better.
Much thanks!


What other Etude are you planning to play for your exam? The syllabus does state that you have to "prepare two technically contrasting Etudes from the ... list" of Etudes (p. 85 of the Piano Syllabus). So whether you choose the Chopin or the Rachmaninoff (the Rachmaninoff being the easier of the two), you still have to choose another contrasting Etude; I am sure you know that.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: BruceD] #2896536
10/02/19 04:51 PM
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Yeah I know that
I have a piano lesson after school today- I’m pretty sure my teacher will help me decide on a technically contrasting etude from the Chopin one. I’m thinking maybe the Czerny or the burgmuller.
If you guys have opinions I’m open to suggestions


Working on:
Preparing for RCM 10 piano exam
Chopin etude op. 25 no 2
Beethoven sonata op 28 pastorale
Bach WTC
Some Chopin nocturnes
Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: Ijustplaypiano] #2896548
10/02/19 05:49 PM
10/02/19 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Ijustplaypiano
Yeah I know that
I have a piano lesson after school today- I’m pretty sure my teacher will help me decide on a technically contrasting etude from the Chopin one. I’m thinking maybe the Czerny or the burgmuller.
If you guys have opinions I’m open to suggestions


That's by far the best route to take: Ask your teacher. S/he knows your skills and abilities and what might best suit them; we don't.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: Ijustplaypiano] #2898078
10/07/19 10:36 PM
10/07/19 10:36 PM
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Here is my belated blundering analysis:

I have looked at both, but for whatever reasons, I might be a little more familiar with the Rachmaninoff.

The Chopin etude is labeled presto, already intimidating me.
The Chopin etude seems to be something of a ‘light’ 'perpetuum mobile' (citation *) in the right hand at first. Maybe someone could find a way to make it a dance. Regardless, the style is straightforward and seemingly simple. In almost all measures, the right hand and left hand each play one note at a time, with the right hand playing precisely twice as quickly as the left hand. The left-hand arpeggios must be musical and can involve jumps of around a 10th, often climaxing on a black key.

The fingering/gestures of either etude, but particularly the Chopin (because the trickinesses and solutions are less obvious), should probably be worked out carefully by checking what each measure is up to. I have not gone this far with the Chopin etude.

I wonder if the Chopin etude is largely a study in phrasing. If you can figure out how you want the phrase to go, and let the phrase play the song (with your wrist or arm or, say, fingers) rather than sticking the individual notes, perhaps the 'presto' would be less forbidding. Perhaps—but it might be dangerous to try the phrasing in isolation or at a carelessly fluctuating speed; the tempo and -music- from -both- hands must fit together somehow.

The Rachmaninoff also deserves good phrasing—what else can you make of a melody starting on 4 of the same note, cantabile? The focus of the melody must occasionally pass between the two hands -smoothly-.

But the etude-tableau is something of a contrast, even so. Here there is polyphony in one hand, frequently enough. The texture changes somewhat. You sometimes are moving a scale of chords. The left and right hands sometimes cross or otherwise interfere with each other. There is some change in the rhythm, although actually 16th notes traverse it most of the time and the occasional intrusion of triplet (er, 48th notes) doesn't seem to add difficult polyrhythm. Then we speed up at the 32nd notes, where actually one should be careful to read the rhythm correctly to know when the left hand starts moving again and when it suspends a moment.

Frequently one crosses out of an open chord into an arpeggio in the Rachmaninoff.

Rachmaninoff also has a wideish dynamic range here, sometimes soft, but the quickest moments are often fortissimo.

So the Rachmaninoff etude-tableau appears to have a more varied technique. In part, this might actually mean the Chopin etude hides its technique more subtly—the way Chopin has you cross fingers or whatever differently in different measures does vary, but these changes are less immediately obvious than changes in the etude-tableau.

The etude-tableau is labeled moderato, except for brief moments where you are told to pick up the speed. However, it lives in 16th notes. Still, except -possibly- at the quick interludes, I fear the speed of this etude less than the speed of the Chopin etude.


Memorization: I believe a large swath of the Chopin repeats—whether this helps one progress, or serves as a way of getting lost. The Rachmaninoff etude has more variety, and different sections stand out on the page, and, surely, in playing.


Quotes:
After much searching, I rediscovered this site: http://www.pianolibrary.org/composers/chopin/ assigning difficulty levels
(which also ranks some Rachmaninoff works, but not the etudes-tableaux), and was disappointed to find that it doesn't seem to offer very much description.

Now, for a thesis on teaching Chopin etudes (accessed as a pdf on ProQuest):
(*
The Chopin Etudes: An Indispensable Pedagogical Tool for Teaching Technological Technique,
Andreas Klein,
For partial fulfilment of a DMA at Rice 1989)
(pages 43-44)

As a summary, this piece 'blends extreme smoothness and high speed with subtle tonal shading and coloristic pedaling', and Andreas Klein emphasizes that 'implied harmonies' must be especially carefully pedaled on decay-averse modern pianos. Perhaps for extreme smoothness, the description emphasizes that both lines should have an 'unaccented flow' and the combination of their rhythms should be seamless or something.

In fact, http://www.ourchopin.com/analysis/etude25.html claims combining the parts is the main difficulty. It almost appears to claim the difficulty is made greater because the notes are divided in 3s; is this an argument against playing so seamlessly as to ignore accents? (But I maintain an ignorance of meter and its stilted implications. Sometimes.) At least this is not 2 against 3, and the left-hand notes actually end with the right (barring any rubato).


Anyway, the Chopin etude looks simpler, but I seem to find the Rachmaninoff etude-tableau more approachable…

Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: winterflower] #2898159
10/08/19 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by winterflower
Here is my belated blundering analysis:

I have looked at both, but for whatever reasons, I might be a little more familiar with the Rachmaninoff.

The Chopin etude is labeled presto, already intimidating me.
The Chopin etude seems to be something of a ‘light’ 'perpetuum mobile' (citation *) in the right hand at first. Maybe someone could find a way to make it a dance. Regardless, the style is straightforward and seemingly simple. In almost all measures, the right hand and left hand each play one note at a time, with the right hand playing precisely twice as quickly as the left hand. The left-hand arpeggios must be musical and can involve jumps of around a 10th, often climaxing on a black key.

The fingering/gestures of either etude, but particularly the Chopin (because the trickinesses and solutions are less obvious), should probably be worked out carefully by checking what each measure is up to. I have not gone this far with the Chopin etude.

I wonder if the Chopin etude is largely a study in phrasing. If you can figure out how you want the phrase to go, and let the phrase play the song (with your wrist or arm or, say, fingers) rather than sticking the individual notes, perhaps the 'presto' would be less forbidding. Perhaps—but it might be dangerous to try
the phrasing in isolation or at a carelessly fluctuating speed; the tempo and -music- from -both- hands must fit together somehow.

The Rachmaninoff also deserves good phrasing—what else can you make of a melody starting on 4 of the same note, cantabile? The focus of the melody must occasionally pass between the two hands -smoothly-.

But the etude-tableau is something of a contrast, even so. Here there is polyphony in one hand, frequently enough. The texture changes somewhat. You sometimes are moving a scale of chords. The left and right hands sometimes cross or otherwise interfere with each other. There is some change in the rhythm, although actually 16th notes traverse it most of the time and the occasional intrusion of triplet (er, 48th notes) doesn't seem to add difficult polyrhythm. Then we speed up at the 32nd notes, where actually one should be careful to read the rhythm correctly to know when the left hand starts moving again and when it suspends a moment.

Frequently one crosses out of an open chord into an arpeggio in the Rachmaninoff.

Rachmaninoff also has a wideish dynamic range here, sometimes soft, but the quickest moments are often fortissimo.

So the Rachmaninoff etude-tableau appears to have a more varied technique. In part, this might actually mean the Chopin etude hides its technique more subtly—the way Chopin has you cross fingers or whatever differently in different measures does vary, but these changes are less immediately obvious than changes in the etude-tableau.

The etude-tableau is labeled moderato, except for brief moments where you are told to pick up the speed. However, it lives in 16th notes. Still, except -possibly- at the quick interludes, I fear the speed of this etude less than the speed of the Chopin etude.


Memorization: I believe a large swath of the Chopin repeats—whether this helps one progress, or serves as a way of getting lost. The Rachmaninoff etude has more variety, and different sections stand out on the page, and, surely, in playing.


Quotes:
After much searching, I rediscovered this site: http://www.pianolibrary.org/composers/chopin/ assigning difficulty levels
(which also ranks some Rachmaninoff works, but not the etudes-tableaux), and was disappointed to find that it doesn't seem to offer very much description.

Now, for a thesis on teaching Chopin etudes (accessed as a pdf on ProQuest):
(*
The Chopin Etudes: An Indispensable Pedagogical Tool for Teaching Technological Technique,
Andreas Klein,
For partial fulfilment of a DMA at Rice 1989)
(pages 43-44)

As a summary, this piece 'blends extreme smoothness and high speed with subtle tonal shading and coloristic pedaling', and Andreas Klein emphasizes that 'implied harmonies' must be especially carefully pedaled on decay-averse modern pianos. Perhaps for extreme smoothness, the description emphasizes that both lines should have an 'unaccented flow' and the combination of their rhythms should be seamless or something.

In fact, http://www.ourchopin.com/analysis/etude25.html claims combining the parts is the main difficulty. It almost appears to claim the difficulty is made greater because the notes are divided in 3s; is this an argument against playing so seamlessly as to ignore accents? (But I maintain an ignorance of meter and its stilted implications. Sometimes.) At least this is not 2 against 3, and the left-hand notes actually end with the right (barring any rubato).


Anyway, the Chopin etude looks simpler, but I seem to find the Rachmaninoff etude-tableau more approachable…
I think this is a case of extreme and unnecessary over analyzing the two pieces. The technical and musical problems in each stay pretty constant throughout each(especially the Chopin) so why not just work on the first half page of each to get a feel for how easy or hard they are for you.

Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: dogperson] #2898611
10/09/19 11:14 AM
10/09/19 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
I listen to recordings of the piece I am learning but a total of around five different ones, one time each. The problem to avoid is that you do not want to mimic any other performance but want to have your own interpretation. If you listen, do it sparingly.

Others here will never listen to others.


I think it is great if we can mimic a professional pianist. If we are not a professional pianist, regardless of how much we want to mimic, it will be very difficult to achieve that. By not being able to mimic 100%, we won't sound like those CDs. Therefore, we do not need to worry of copying them. Unless, you have the ability of a professional pianist that you are so good to be able to mimic them.

Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: Ijustplaypiano] #2898616
10/09/19 11:38 AM
10/09/19 11:38 AM
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I really appreciate all these responses!
So my teacher and I discussed it and she allowed me to start the Chopin etude. It’s nice and short if played at proper speed. I do like the Rachmaninoff more in a musical perspective but I had to go with the Chopin. I’ve always wanted to learn a Chopin etude and this is my first one.
Since RCM 10 also wants a second contrasting etude, what etude (on the RCM 10 syllabus) would contrast with the Chopin?

And p.s my progress on the Chopin is going well. I’m practicing it slowly and working on making the rhythms in the right and left hand blend.


Working on:
Preparing for RCM 10 piano exam
Chopin etude op. 25 no 2
Beethoven sonata op 28 pastorale
Bach WTC
Some Chopin nocturnes
Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: Ijustplaypiano] #2898631
10/09/19 12:32 PM
10/09/19 12:32 PM
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You might enjoy Paul Barton's two part video on 25/2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYfjL6x1CKs

I haven't actually listened to it myself but I have listened to some of his other videos and think they are good. He also made some amazing videos where he plays for elephants who are standing right next to a vertical he has moved outside. At first I thought this was semi-crazy because it seemed so dangerous(bringing new meaning to "taking risks" during a performance), but I think he actually gets to know these elephants on some kind of preserve ahead of time so he's not in much danger:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1qQOGCyRbY

Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: pianoloverus] #2898643
10/09/19 01:10 PM
10/09/19 01:10 PM
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I’ll definately take a look at those.
I’m in Spanish class right now (I’m in high school) and I’m NOT supposed to be on my phone. But literally three quarters of the class is on their phone while we are supposed to be reviewing for a speaking test so yeah.
Also it’s loud in this classroom and I forgot my earbuds at home.


Working on:
Preparing for RCM 10 piano exam
Chopin etude op. 25 no 2
Beethoven sonata op 28 pastorale
Bach WTC
Some Chopin nocturnes
Re: Chopin etude vs Rachmaninoff etude which is easier? [Re: Ijustplaypiano] #2898683
10/09/19 03:31 PM
10/09/19 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Ijustplaypiano
I’ll definately take a look at those.
I’m in Spanish class right now (I’m in high school) and I’m NOT supposed to be on my phone. But literally three quarters of the class is on their phone while we are supposed to be reviewing for a speaking test so yeah.
Also it’s loud in this classroom and I forgot my earbuds at home.


Well, in the vernacular of the Internet: OMG!

So, because just about everyone else does it, it's right that you should do it too? And to admit it while you're at it! As you say : "So yeah" makes it right, does it?

I guess my next question would be; What's wrong with the teacher that this is even happening in a classroom? I suppose, however, that you don't even get it!


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
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