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Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne #2934395 01/15/20 07:19 PM
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Dirkjan Offline OP
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Hello people,

This is my very first post on this Forum. I don't really know exactly how it works in here so i'll just take a stab at it.

Tiny background. I played keyboard when I was 15 until it broke a few years later. I never had any lessons and figured al out by myself. Haven't played since, only one or two hours a week in my public library free Concert Piano (with headphone ability.)

About six weeks ago i bought an electrical piano, namely the Casio PS-X 870. It has been great fun. Absolutely fascinating how quickly things come back.

I'm a very big fan of Chopin. I know the Nocturne op 09 no 02 by heart (which is a good reasonably easy piece to start with I think.)

Now i've almost learned op 55 no 1, and also no 20 and 21. These are one of the easier pieces and I chose them for exactly this reason. I started on op 48 no 2 but I just can't seem to get that melody sing. It just seems wooden and stiff. The pedaling and left hand in this piece is something I really struggle with.

I am nowhere gifted or special. I just like playing the piano. I spend at least two hours a day on it.

What would be a good next Chopin nocturne (or perhaps other piece from Chopin) that I could be add to my repertoire?

Many Thanks

Dirkjan.


Self-taught piano player with a newly bought Casio PX 870.
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Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: Dirkjan] #2934414 01/15/20 08:06 PM
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Moo :) Offline
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Welcome. If you are coming back from a break I would try suggest considering some Chopin preludes. They have some excellent shorter works that are with some easier than the nocturnes. also re Chopin opus 9 no 2. I took this to my first lesson back as an adult and there really was loads I did not know. This was despite learning it in lessons as a child. I say this as Chopin was one of the hardest composers I find to play even with lessons. Perhaps it is possible but it is not something I think you can easily work out yourself.

Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: Dirkjan] #2934416 01/15/20 08:17 PM
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bennevis Offline
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I suggest three of the easier Preludes (Op.28) to develop a singing tone and line without too much technical difficulty getting in the way:

No.4 in E minor - develop RH phrasing and bel canto line, keeping the accompaniment subdued throughout.

No.6 in B minor - imagine a cello playing the melody in LH (Chopin's favorite instrument after the piano was the cello), and the RH plays the accompaniment. Again, the 'cello' line must sing - like a great baritone:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbnIUaqpZKw

No.15 in D flat - forget about raindrops, concentrate on the balance between melody and accompaniment (which changes hands in the middle).

BTW, make sure you master legato pedalling first. "The pedal is the soul of the piano."


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: Moo :)] #2934417 01/15/20 08:18 PM
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Dirkjan Offline OP
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Thank you for your reply.
I'm familiar with his preludes, there some preludes I could work on, the easier ones. But there are preludes that are insanely difficult.


Self-taught piano player with a newly bought Casio PX 870.
Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: bennevis] #2934421 01/15/20 08:27 PM
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Dirkjan Offline OP
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Thank you that is actually pretty helpful.
Pedalling is something I struggle with. I know when to pedal according to sheet but it just dont get it right.

Last edited by Dirkjan; 01/15/20 08:28 PM. Reason: grammar

Self-taught piano player with a newly bought Casio PX 870.
Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: Dirkjan] #2934423 01/15/20 08:33 PM
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I am playing C sharp minor prelude which has a difficult cadenza. This e minor one is very popular. You pedal each harmony change.

https://youtu.be/Hj3daBN5F-o

Last edited by Moo :); 01/15/20 08:33 PM.
Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: Dirkjan] #2934428 01/15/20 08:43 PM
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bennevis Offline
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Originally Posted by Dirkjan
Thank you that is actually pretty helpful.
Pedalling is something I struggle with. I know when to pedal according to sheet but it just dont get it right.

Here are the principles of legato pedalling, without which Romantic music cannot be successfully performed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-qGrG5rVFc

Note that the pedal 'flick' comes immediately after the harmony change. It needs a lot of practicing to master, in conjunction with your ears. This is not easy to hear on a digital which has poor sustain (push the sustain control to its highest, if your digital permits it) but on an acoustic, the muddiness that occurs if you mistime the pedal change is very noticeable.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: Dirkjan] #2934438 01/15/20 09:04 PM
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I suggest not limiting your pieces to Chopin. But if you want some more Chopin pieces that might be appropriate here are a few:
Nocturne in e minor Op. 72
Waltzes in a minor Op. 34 no.2, A flat major Op.69 no.1, b minor Op. 69 no.2
Preludes in A flat major, E major, A major, c minor. a minor

Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: Dirkjan] #2934824 01/16/20 12:47 PM
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i was gonna suggest eminor one as well

def do that one!

Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: Dirkjan] #2934969 01/16/20 05:43 PM
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You might want to take a look at some of John Field's Nocturnes. Many of them are quite good, not super-difficult, and they're not terribly overplayed.


What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.
Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: Dirkjan] #2934979 01/16/20 06:23 PM
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I agree w/ the above advice about starting with Preludes. You don't want to learn a Nocturne and later down the road, realize you learned it wrong (wrong notes, wrong fingering, etc). I am paying the price right now for attempting to learn some Chopin pieces that are way above my level and now its taking me twice as long to learn some of his Preludes, Nocturnes and Waltzes because I rushed ahead and only focused on the melody and ignored fundamental aspects of the piece that require much more detailed work on technique and theory.

My first Chopin piece was actually the Prelude in E minor (Op 28 # 4) and the A minor Waltz, followed by the C# minor Prelude (Op 28# 20). Then I started on Waltzes (Op 64 # 1/2 and Op 69 # 1/2) which are great pieces to work on. I think jumping into a Nocturne before attempting the Preludes or Waltzes may be unwise, the easiest Nocturnes are Op 72 # 1 and the C# one thats very popular, and Op. 55 # 1.


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Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: AssociateX] #2934996 01/16/20 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by AssociateX
I agree w/ the above advice about starting with Preludes. You don't want to learn a Nocturne and later down the road, realize you learned it wrong (wrong notes, wrong fingering, etc).

The OP has already learned three or four Nocturnes.

Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: pianoloverus] #2935475 01/17/20 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by AssociateX
I agree w/ the above advice about starting with Preludes. You don't want to learn a Nocturne and later down the road, realize you learned it wrong (wrong notes, wrong fingering, etc).

The OP has already learned three or four Nocturnes.


I have learned nocturne op 9 no 2 by heart. I've learned bits and pieces of other nocturnes and other Chopin pieces but apart from that one I really don't know any piece fully.

I have an annoying habbit of changing my current piece into another halfway.

Last edited by Dirkjan; 01/17/20 06:56 PM.

Self-taught piano player with a newly bought Casio PX 870.
Re: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: Dirkjan] #2935489 01/17/20 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirkjan
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by AssociateX
I agree w/ the above advice about starting with Preludes. You don't want to learn a Nocturne and later down the road, realize you learned it wrong (wrong notes, wrong fingering, etc).

The OP has already learned three or four Nocturnes.


I have learned nocturne op 9 no 2 by heart. I've learned bits and pieces of other nocturnes and other Chopin pieces but apart from that one I really don't know any piece fully.

I have an annoying habbit of changing my current piece into another halfway.


Ask yourself why you abandon the music: boredom? Too difficult? Taking too long to finish?!once you find the reason, take steps to fix it.... something shorter? Easier? Different? I’m not understanding why you are looking for a new Chopin when you have lovely pieces waiting to be finished, but only you can answer that. I would personally prefer to finish what I start; it is more satisfying than something half-done (for me )!

Last edited by dogperson; 01/17/20 07:19 PM.

"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: Suggestions for my next Chopin Nocturne [Re: dogperson] #2938167 01/24/20 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Ask yourself why you abandon the music: boredom? Too difficult? Taking too long to finish?!once you find the reason, take steps to fix it.... something shorter? Easier? Different? I’m not understanding why you are looking for a new Chopin when you have lovely pieces waiting to be finished, but only you can answer that. I would personally prefer to finish what I start; it is more satisfying than something half-done (for me )!


Usually I listen to some piece from Chopin and think "that's really beautiful, if I learn this I'll be invincible". And then a few weeks later the same thing happens with another piece. This repeats more often than I'd like to admit.

I think it might be better to focus on some of his easier pieces instead of diving in his difficult works. I think some of his easier waltzes or preludes might be a good decision for now.


Self-taught piano player with a newly bought Casio PX 870.

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