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#365156 - 05/29/06 01:16 PM Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Hi,

I have a few questions about the Chopin Etudes.

1) firstly, is there a general consensus on which of the etudes is the hardest?

2) Which ones are more essential to learn than others?

3) Somebody on another thread mentioned how great pianists like Horowitz, Rubinstein and Paderwski could not play all of them. Where exactly are these greatest pianists quoted as having said that?


4) How may of the etudes have you learnt?

Many thanks in advance,

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#365157 - 05/29/06 02:01 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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(3) Abram Chasins, in Speaking of Pianists, tells the story of someone (the manager of the Manhattan Steinway Hall, I think) commenting to Josef Hofmann that he would like to hear Hofmann play all of the etudes, and Hofmann responded that nobody could play them all. Godowsky was just about to record them all when he had his disabling stroke.

(1) The studies present differing technical (not to mention musical) problems. What's hard for one pianist may be easy (or, at least, not so hard) for another. Almost all the complete sets have some deficiency, and I think that the question of the qualities of the various recordings has been dealt with in another thread. I'm especially fond of Perahia and Zayas' sets. Orozco's is also impressive, but I haven't had time to listen to it that deeply. To my ear, the one least likely to be recorded well is Op 10 #2. That chromatic line is totally exposed, and the slightest irregularity is easily heard.

(4) zero, and at my advanced age, I think it's likely to remain at that number.

(2) One of the more professional pianists will have to weigh in on this one.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
#365158 - 05/29/06 02:20 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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I'm Liszt's coffee pal. Offline
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Palindrome offered the best answers to the 1st question. As to number 2, what do you mean by essential? Essential to what?

To number 3, Horowitz in Dubal's Evening's with Horowitz, talks about the etudes a lot and how how cannot play several of them. To number 4, I have attempted to learn the hardest ones and crashed and burned frown

MISERABLY haha

IMO the hardest are Op 25. 6 and Op. 25 11

Or Op. 10 2 as Palindrome said. They all present different levels of difficulty so it really matters where the individual is technically.


So, you're a cannibal.
#365159 - 05/29/06 02:21 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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1) As Palimdrome stated, I think it depends on the pianist. From my experience, however, the etudes most likely to be considered the hardest are 10/2, 10/4, 25/6, 25/11, and 25/12. Others may dissagree though.

2) I don't know how to answer this. I suppose 10/12 could be considered very important for left hand development. If you're ever able to tackle 25/6, your thirds will greatly benefit.

3) Well, Rubinstein states in his autobiography that he isn't willing to play all of the etudes because he simply can't do them all justice.

4) I've played 10/12 and am working on 25/5.


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#365160 - 05/29/06 02:26 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Firstly, let me say that if you do a search for 'chopin etudes' you will find lots of threads that cover many aspects of the etudes. A google search produces more than you might expect as well.

1) No, in a word. There are some which are generally put at the top end - including 10/7, 10/10, 25/4, 25/11 etc.

2) Depends on your deficiencies. There is a guide http://www.pianosociety.com/index.php?id=37 (look near the bottom) that covers the technical aspects of the etudes.

3) The above guide mentions that Horowitz couldn't play one or more of the etudes. Other than that, i'm not sure.

4) Only one at the moment, but i'm working on a few more. I'm devoting almost all of my practise to them at the moment.

Good luck with learning any, if you were thinking of attempting them.

#365161 - 05/29/06 02:52 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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4. Learned 1st half of 25/9 (Butterfly) and decided I just don't like it well enough to put in the effort to learn the rest. Am about half way learning 10/12 (Revolutionary) and find it much more congenial. I anticipate it becoming a permanent part of my repetoire.


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#365162 - 05/29/06 04:05 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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No one has mentioned Op. 10 No. 1 as one of the hardest. From talking to many people who have played them all, from trying them out myself, and from listening to several complete recordings of the etudes, I would rank them by GENERAL difficulty level in this order (the ones in brackets could switch order):

Op. 10: 2, 1, [4, 7], 8, 10, [5, 12], 11, 3, 9, 6
Op. 25: [6, 11, 10], 12, 8, 5, 3, 4, 2, 1, 7, 9

Combined: Hmmm... 10-2, 25-6, 25-11, 10-1, 25-10, 10-4, 10-7, 25-12, 25-8, 10-8, 25-5, 10-10, 25-4, 25-4, 10-5, 10-12,25-2, 25-1, 10-11, 25-7, 10-3, 25-9, 10-9, 10-6

That's looks pretty good. I've heard plenty of contradicting opinions, of course. I think Horowitz was the one who said that to play it perfectly as written, 25-10 is nearly impossible. Having said that, it's also one of the easiest etudes to fake simply by using more pedal and not holding the inner voices down for their entire duration. Some people would say the thirds is the hardest, but actually I've noticed there are a lot more people out there with very natural thirds. For them, that etude is not very difficult. I think there are fewer people with a natural technique for 10-2. Also, what makes the winterwind very difficult is endurance, I think, not necessarily as much technique (of course it is very technically challenging). Take any given page of the winterwind and learn it and it's not so bad. Putting them altogether is a different story. 10-1 is also a test in endurance. Without proper technique/training, your arm will fall off halfway through the piece. Some measures in 10-1 are nearly IMPOSSIBLE with the suggested fingering. Although Cziffra seems to be able to do them just fine: http://youtube.com/watch?v=pf2accwGEaU&search=piano%20etude

Also, some etudes I put lower in difficulty for me are actually very tough, like 10-11. Also, some people like to say 10-6 is the hardest to interpret. I might buy that, but just looking at its technical difficulty, you must put it as the easiest.

Of course this is all subjective, and my experience is different from all of yours. Some of these orders I'm not quite sure of, but I think it's a pretty good list. Feel free to revise it if you like.


“The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful? And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”
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#365163 - 05/29/06 04:13 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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when i mentioned about learning 10.2 to my teacher, i got a firmly 'NO' and he said that even some really good pianists wouldn't touch that one. so, i said how about playing it slowly, and he just replied, "there's no point..."

so, i guess this one is among the most difficult etudes, but i will try it anyway, slowly of course, and just treat it as an exercise and don't tell my teacher! btw, i only tried 1st 2 bars which are managable at slow tempo...

i learned only 10.9, but need to relearn it now.

#365164 - 05/29/06 04:30 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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1) I would think op. 10 no. 2, op. 10 no. 7, op. 10 no. 10, op. 10 no. 4, op. 25 no. 6, op. 25 no. 11, because these are the ones that sound like nothing when I try to sightread through them.

2)Depends on what technique you want to require. For arps, try op. 10 no. 1, op. 25 no. 12, op. 10 no. 8. For chromatics, op. 10/2. Etc. But I know many people play the Revolutionary (op. 10 no. 12)

3) No idea

4) 0


Yiteng

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#365165 - 05/29/06 05:18 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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1) Not a general one, the etudes are different for everyone. I think 10/2, 10/7 and 25/10 (played as written) are amongst the hardest..

2) 10/10 - Chopin uses this technique quite a lot in his writing and I found it a useful bolster to my ability. However they are all 'essential' IMO.

3) I read that Horowitz couldn't play the 25/10 because of the middle notes - I might be wrong. And Kapell often complained about 10/2 in his diaries.

4) Op.10 - 1,3,5,6,9,10,12

#365166 - 05/29/06 05:24 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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1) Op.10 No.1, Op.10 No.4, Op.25 No.10 and Op.25 No.11 I think are generally considered to be the hardest but it does of course depend on your technique.

2) All of them laugh . But specifically I'd go for the ones that encompas the most techniques in one study.

3) I believe Horowitz said he found Op.10 No.1 the hardest. As is the trend with my little bits of trivia, I have no idea where I heard this.

4) Ive learned the Revolutionary, which I'm now working on getting up to speed. Ive also nearly finished Op.10 No.3 and I'm planning on doing Op.10 No.9 next.

#365167 - 05/29/06 05:26 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Dont quote me on this, but i heard somewhere/ someone say that op 10 no.1 is the most difficult. But id like to think it depends on the weakneses/strength of the pianist. If he/she is good at arpeggios then 10 1 might not be the most difficult..

edited to say: i think i heard it (no.3) from the same source as you, Bruce-san

#365168 - 05/29/06 05:27 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Quote
Originally posted by skeletony:
Dont quote me on this, but i heard somewhere/ someone say that op 10 no.1 is the most difficult. But id like to think it depends on the weakneses/strength of the pianist. If he/she is good at arpeggios then 10 1 might not be the most difficult..
Op.10 #1 is very tough if you can only reach an octave (as many people can) and may require some working with the fingering, but for us fortunate people with wide stretches, it's much more straight forwards!

#365169 - 05/29/06 05:31 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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1) general population of pianists would say 10/2, 25/6, 25/10, 10/7 and a bunch of others. For me though 10/2, 10/6, and 25/6 were hard.

2)the problems portrayed in 10/12 are apparent in some form or another in the of the op. 10 etudes. But I don't think that there is one absolutely essential etude that would significantly help with another.

3)Horowitz said the 10/1 was the most difficult, but then again that man talked alot. Kapell wrote in his journal regarding the "a minor etude" (10/2) and how he was trying to tackle it.

4)Op.10= 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12
Op.25= 1, 11, 12
Post.= 1, 2, 3


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#365170 - 05/30/06 02:38 AM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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While Op.10/1 and 10/2 are (to a discerning listener), tough to play really well, they are not all that difficult to crash through with a few practices - and definitely worth the effort. Your sight-reading improves dramatically after these etudes. Large stretches become second nature after 10/1, and after 10/2 you never seem to run out of fingers!! Once you reach 5, just cross over 3 to a black note and keep running up the scale! Beethoven would be proud. (Not).

I used to think Op.25/6 was impossible, but after two weeks practising third trills on every surface I can find it now seems much more doable (don't need to be at a piano, the desk at work is just fine to get the finger movement up to speed).

Op.10/4 is tremendously frustrating as you speed it up, especially the bars with the spaced out chords and the middle section.

Still think 25/11 is impossible...


Ever imagined a world without hypothetical situations?
#365171 - 05/30/06 08:47 AM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Quote
Originally posted by signa:
when i mentioned about learning 10.2 to my teacher, i got a firmly 'NO' and he said that even some really good pianists wouldn't touch that one. so, i said how about playing it slowly, and he just replied, "there's no point..."

signa :

If your teacher told you there is "no point" to your learning this Etude because he believes you'll never bring it up to performance level, he may have a point. I don't agree with him, however, that there's "no point" in practicing this exercise slowly. Using this Etude as a flexibility exercise for fingers 3, 4, and 5 of the RH is very useful.

Regards,


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#365172 - 05/30/06 10:06 AM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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I agree most vigorously and robustly with Bruce on this; there is much to be learned from playing pieces which are beyond one's current ability, but a more leisurely pace; especially those written as studies, and doubly especially for Op10/2.

Even at half-speed this is very useful for practicing moving thumb/3/4/5 under/over each other as necessary. If one can then increase the speed towards the marked tempo whilst maintaining evenness and legato, then all power to your elbow[1]; if not, it's still a worthwhile exercise IMO at much slower speeds.

- Michael B.
[1] Well, all parts of your entire right arm really smile .


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#365173 - 05/30/06 11:41 AM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Quote
Originally posted by I'm Liszt's coffee pal.:
As to number 2, what do you mean by essential? Essential to what?
I sure newton wanted to know which of them that are likely to benefit your technique the most when playing pieces, not studies. One etude I WOULDN'T list as essential would perhaps be op 10 no 5 for instance (I may be wrong, not having studied it myself), while op 10 no 3 would be great for learning legato playing, syncopation and, to a certain extent, polyphonic playing. Someone who has practiced op 10 no 7 (double-notes) will have little trouble in learning the last two pages of the 2nd ballade.

I think that a lot of pianists suffer from thinking that they absolutely NEED to play the etudes at the speed that they are supposed to be played. Why? The etudes are there to help you with different technical problems, which should be practiced slowly for a long time, before speeding up. An old classmate of mine who only played fast pieces, nothing else, learned op 10 no 4 and played it almost in tempo, but he NEVER practiced it slowly. In the end, he didn't get better at all and he had no time to consider the interpretation of the piece since he just wanted to play it fast... I have studied several etudes, but have only performed one in public (in tempo, of course! smile ). While I was studying in Poland, my teacher often pointed out that he didn't care too much about if I could play the etude as I would on a concert, but he wanted me to concentrate on what I could learn from it, technically (and musically, of course).


To answer your 4th question, I have studied: op 10 no 1 (the only one I've performed on concert), 4, 7, 9 (working on it now) and 12. From op 25, I've only practiced some on no 1. I have also practiced op 10 no 2, but in extremely slow tempo.

#365174 - 05/30/06 12:14 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Quote
Originally posted by BruceD:
Quote
Originally posted by signa:
[b] when i mentioned about learning 10.2 to my teacher, i got a firmly 'NO' and he said that even some really good pianists wouldn't touch that one. so, i said how about playing it slowly, and he just replied, "there's no point..."

signa :

If your teacher told you there is "no point" to your learning this Etude because he believes you'll never bring it up to performance level, he may have a point. I don't agree with him, however, that there's "no point" in practicing this exercise slowly. Using this Etude as a flexibility exercise for fingers 3, 4, and 5 of the RH is very useful.

Regards, [/b]
thanks BruceD for encouragement! i guess that my teacher's main concern about this etude is how dangerous it would be by playing it inproperly, and he said it's very hard on RH in fast tempo. but i am trying it slowly now and let my right wrist be very supple and play everything in very light touch, which i think works so far, and with 3,4,5 fingerings to the 1st few bars, i don't even feel very awkward at all but feel the fingers are almost always comfortably laying at the right place after each 16 note group. i am glad even that i have no problem playing it slowly.

#365175 - 05/30/06 12:26 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Quote
Originally posted by fnork:
[...] While I was studying in Poland, my teacher often pointed out that he didn't care too much about if I could play the etude as I would on a concert, but he wanted me to concentrate on what I could learn from it, technically (and musically, of course).

[/QB]
That sounds like good advice to me! There is so much technique that one can develop if one studies, intelligently, the Etudes of Chopin. Granted, there's little point in trying to play (at) them if your technique is that of a beginner, but if you have reached a moderately advanced stage in your technique I think there's much to be gained from working on some of the Chopin Etudes.

Regards,


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#365176 - 05/30/06 12:55 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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I've worked all of Op. 10 up to speed and many of Op. 25, but none of them could be considered ready for public performance. There is a certain point of complete relaxation and fluidity you need in order to play the etudes publicly, with technical accuracy and musical skill. That's really hard to achieve.

Since it depends on your hand shape, your training, and the action on your piano, some etudes suit people better than others. But to generalize about Op. 10 with which I am more familiar:

10/1's difficulty is often misunderstood. It is not especially beneficial to have a large hand, since the stretches were never intended to be captured as chords. Instead, it helps to have a very supple hand with wide webbing, in order to open and close the hand with the greatest flexibility. I've watched pianists with small hands manage this etude splendidly.

10/2 stands out as particularly difficult for most pianists, professional or otherwise. 10/2 is not simply awkward but unnatural in its demands to cross 3, 4, and 5 over each other in a variety of combinations, at high speed.

10/3 is also underrated, since many pianists choose to play the melody as part of a chord, rather than highlight the melody against the quieter chords in the right hand. I think only Ashkenazy does this well on recordings.

10/7 is impossible without a very efficient key repetition on your piano.

10/9 is the most operatic of all the etudes and requires great dynamic range without recourse to the una corda pedal. This is harder than many realize.

10/10 looks easy at first but is one of the harder etudes to play at tempo.

10/11 demands flexibility in stretches but its harmonic genius is so profound that it is well worth practicing just for yourself at a slow tempo.

10/12 is difficult but not that daunting (though many of us struggle with endurance). Again, the sharp drop from forte to piano in the melody is often ignored by pianists, and this holds as well for 10/5.

Pretty much everything you need to have technically is found in the etudes - much more so than the Transcendental Etudes or any other pieces. But the principal innovation is on suppleness and relaxation,, and nothing else in the piano literature is so merciless in demanding these qualities.

If I were you I would learn them all, at least Op. 10. At least learn them at a level you can enjoy them and sense the improvement in your technique, even if you don't intend to play them publicly. They are a lifetime of challenge, and what do you have to lose?

#365177 - 05/30/06 12:56 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Quote
Originally posted by BruceD:
That sounds like good advice to me! There is so much technique that one can develop if one studies, intelligently, the Etudes of Chopin. Granted, there's little point in trying to play (at) them if your technique is that of a beginner, but if you have reached a moderately advanced stage in your technique I think there's much to be gained from working on some of the Chopin Etudes.

Regards, [/QB]
Exactly. You will learn so much from slow practice, just working on a few measures or a page. Always practice so that you can concentrate on everything you do - watch your fingers to make sure that they are close to the key, make sure that you are always relaxed etc... THEN you can speed up a bit, and eventually you'll realize that you've learned a lot. At that point, it may not be necessary to keep speeding up the etude, if you have been practicing op 10 no 2 for instance, as signa has. Which piece on earth requires you to play chromatics with those fingers at that speed? I do realize that if you actually HAVE mastered a piece like that, then there are a lot of things that you won't have to worry about when playing other works, so it's still good to keep working on the etude. But at the same time, isn't it better to conquer new technical problems with other etudes rather than becoming an expert of playing chromatics with difficult fingerings? I would say that you could practice an etude every day for a few weeks but not more, and continue to the next one.

Also, I wouldn't worry too much about memorizing these etudes as fast as possible. Instead, concentrate the technical problems of just the first page or the first measures. I promise that you will have to work on it for a long time anyway and eventually, you'll be able to play it in your sleep as well smile

#365178 - 05/30/06 02:46 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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I found 10/2 to be useful as an exercise, although there's no way I could play it at tempo.

I learned 10/9, 25/1, 25/7, and 10/12, which tested my left hand endurance to its maximum. I had to really warm up and play it thorugh a few times slowly before I could get through the Revolutionary without having my left hand tensing up.

I think the easiest are probably 25/1, 25/7, and 10/9. The only part of 25/1 that gave me trouble were the extended A-flat arpeggios at the end; I find the A-flat arpeggio a little awkward to play in both hands. 25/7 I think is even more beautiful than 10/3, and the big rolling scale in the LH is a shade easier than the con bravura section of 10/3.

#365179 - 05/30/06 04:31 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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there's no doubt that it's impossible to rank the chopin studies individually due to the fact that every individual is different. As for me, opus 10 is a bit harder than opus 25 on the whole. From what I know about opus 10, my own personal scale would look like this: (easiest to hardest) 6,9,3,12,4,5,8,1,7,10,11,2 (that no.11 is super hard IMO)


JOHN
#365180 - 05/30/06 06:41 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Quote
Originally posted by Max W:
13) I read that Horowitz couldn't play the 25/10 because of the middle notes - I might be wrong. And Kapell often complained about 10/2 in his diaries.
I know Horowitz played the octave etude (and recorded it). I think he also said it was impossible to play as written up to tempo, because of the inner voices.

Has anyone here heard Agustin Anievas' Chopin Etudes? They might be my favorite complete set. Very imaginative, colorful playing, and spotless technique.


“The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful? And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”
-John Cage
#365181 - 05/30/06 06:50 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Quote
Originally posted by blaude:
Has anyone here heard Agustin Anievas' Chopin Etudes? They might be my favorite complete set. Very imaginative, colorful playing, and spotless technique.
blaude :

Anievas' recording was the first I owned when it was first issued on vinyl. I'm grateful it was re-issued on CD. It remains one of my favourite performances, too.

Regards,


BruceD
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#365182 - 05/30/06 06:53 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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That's good to know. It's interesting: the album I own of his etudes also has his ballades and waltzes which I'm not all too fond of. He just really nailed it with the etudes.


“The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful? And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”
-John Cage
#365183 - 05/30/06 07:04 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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My teacher raves about Lugansky's CD, which I've not heard yet. I have the Arrau, Pollini and Magaloff recordings.

- Michael B.


There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.
#365184 - 05/30/06 07:25 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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I had the privilege to hear Ashkenazy's early recording of the etudes from when he was 16. I thought it was just phenomenal, but I don't think it's commercially available anymore. Anyone know where I might find it?


“The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful? And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”
-John Cage
#365185 - 05/30/06 08:06 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Quote
Originally posted by blaude:
I had the privilege to hear Ashkenazy's early recording of the etudes from when he was 16. I thought it was just phenomenal, but I don't think it's commercially available anymore. Anyone know where I might find it?
blaude :

Well, here it is, at $99.00

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...5053?s=classical&v=glance&n=5174

Regards,


BruceD
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#365186 - 05/30/06 10:54 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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For me, the hardest ones were 10/2, 10/4, 25/11

Favorite recording is still Pollini's

Played them all

#365187 - 06/01/06 09:03 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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I've played. Op. 10 No. 12, Op. 25 No. 12, and am working on Op. 10 No. 04 and Op. 25 No. 11.

I believe Op. 10 No. 02 is the hardest

#365188 - 06/01/06 09:59 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Quote
Originally posted by blaude:


Has anyone here heard Agustin Anievas' Chopin Etudes? They might be my favorite complete set. Very imaginative, colorful playing, and spotless technique.
I had the pleasure of attending a Hong Kong recital of his in 1990, I think, where he played op10 in the first half, and op25 in the second.

Stunning...

He didn't break between op25 11 and 12, but just went straight into no 12... That was a really good effect. Never heard it before...

#365189 - 06/02/06 10:19 AM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Quote
Originally posted by Peter MN:
Played them all
How long did you take to learn them all?


Yiteng

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is never enough for music."
-Sergei Rachmaninoff.
#365190 - 06/02/06 11:54 AM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Which of the Chopin Ballades is the easiest and why?


Terry
#365191 - 06/02/06 12:02 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Blaude:

I can't believe you mentioned that album. I was perusing a Glen Ellyn Illinois store shortly before Christmas. It was an antique store, and they had some LP's. I noticed there were a lot of classical LP's, so I flipped thru them. I came across this Chopin Etudes album of which you speak. At least I think it's the same name. Recorded in 1967 or so? He's an American I think. Does that sound right? Anyway, I bought the album (for 50 cents!), and it did sound good - the ones I listened too anyway. But I didn't rip it yet, since I figured I had enough mp3's already of this stuff. Maybe I should. I never dreamed anyone else had ever heard of this guy.

#365192 - 06/02/06 02:58 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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Yiteng,

I have learned them parallel to other pieces in my conservatory and college years, say in a span of 6 years.

Peter

#365193 - 06/02/06 03:59 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions..  
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blaude Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Rick:
Blaude:

I can't believe you mentioned that album. I was perusing a Glen Ellyn Illinois store shortly before Christmas. It was an antique store, and they had some LP's. I noticed there were a lot of classical LP's, so I flipped thru them. I came across this Chopin Etudes album of which you speak. At least I think it's the same name. Recorded in 1967 or so? He's an American I think. Does that sound right? Anyway, I bought the album (for 50 cents!), and it did sound good - the ones I listened too anyway. But I didn't rip it yet, since I figured I had enough mp3's already of this stuff. Maybe I should. I never dreamed anyone else had ever heard of this guy.
I've talked to a few people who also swear by his Chopin etudes. The recording was first introduced to me by my old piano teacher in high school. I don't know much about Anievas, but I think he's more dedicated to teaching than performing (not sure where he teaches). He also has a recording of the Rach concertos out.

MMSGA: That concert must have been amazing! I've always wondered what it would be like to witness all of the Chopin etudes live in the same recital performed by one person, let alone Anievas!


“The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful? And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”
-John Cage
#2466824 - 10/05/15 05:21 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions.. [Re: newton2060]  
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1) I believe this has been answered satisfactorily here in this thread. However I would like to add , in my experience, the middle section of 10 3 is as hard as any etude I actually practiced or dabbled in. This is an etude in itself. Others have difficulty mainly due to trying to get up into speed and accuracy due to speed, but most of the middle section of 10 3 requires a physical observation of one's movements to encompass what is asked to be played even at a slow pace. Most specifically, the sixths descending portion of that middle section, and the little bit prior to that.

2) I dont think anything is essential to learn, but working on 10 4 and 10 5 have improved my overall technical grasp of things very clearly and has been observed by others as well (teacher, fellow students, spouse, mom).

3) dont know. No point in trying to look into this. Tackle an etude and if you deem it still impossible or difficult even after few returns to it, you can make your own mind and statement of it.

4) I first started with 10 3. Not that I knew what an etude even was back then. It was in a music book typical of Korean bookstores of the most famous pieces. I chose that one because the beginning melody was soo beautiful. Then it got hairy. I put it away and returned to it a few more times over the course of the years, but I still cannot get over the hump in 'comfort' of the hands trying to encompass that middle part.
I later stated to myself, this must be one of the harder etudes just due to this section.
I also learned (well, still practicing and will for rest of my life) 10 2, 10 4, 10 5, 10 12, and 25 2. I did try 25 12 a couple times in the past and halted.

10 2 is a very delicate piece. It is a great warm up to getting into practice mode as well. Try thinking of your right hand 3,4,5 fingers as feathers. You do in the beginning solidly press the keys all the way to engrain the piece into your hand, but later as you advance, you must lighten the right end fingers almost fluttery.
It is very UN intuitive in the beginning stages due to the unusual fingering , but it gets real sensible later and it has allowed my horizons to broaden on how I approach other pieces as well sometimes.

10 4 is the most fun. Many ways to interpret this piece. It is a diabolical little piece and I imagine a caricature red devil w beard (Turkish?) skipping around causing havoc in people's minds. The strength of skill is determined in this one by the ability to evenly play the chromatics and the transitions from certain measures to the next. The chromatics hung me up for the longest time, I could never get faster but my Russian piano professor taught me a few fundamental tips on how to approach the chromatics and suggested czerny for the chromatics and I have gone up in speed cleanly.

10 5 is very difficult. accuracy is everything in this piece and right rhythm of the triplets in 4 time. the rhythm gets easy to work out quickly but accuracy is a train wreck for me on the last page. That is the most difficult part. I have worked on htat last page many months. and now it is better but still fear it when I approach it when playing.
Also, if you are prone to sweaty palms, this piece is NOT for you (or it is for you, depending on how you look at it) That last page is horrendous for me due to my constant sweating of palms.

10 12 is such a lush piece. I enjoy playing through this just for slow speed and try to express the left hand in wind rush and not overpowering this is the key. Everyone here will say that dont let left hand overpower, of course, but yet to see in real life any student play the left hand quietly but speedily and revolutionarily.


Originally Posted by newton2060
Hi,

I have a few questions about the Chopin Etudes.

1) firstly, is there a general consensus on which of the etudes is the hardest?

2) Which ones are more essential to learn than others?

3) Somebody on another thread mentioned how great pianists like Horowitz, Rubinstein and Paderwski could not play all of them. Where exactly are these greatest pianists quoted as having said that?


4) How may of the etudes have you learnt?

Many thanks in advance,


debussychopin.
#2466828 - 10/05/15 05:36 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions.. [Re: newton2060]  
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Incongruous Offline
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Music is an art, not a sport. Hardest in what sense?
I would like to know how many people have actually played them.


I have small hands. I found Op. 25 No.6, No.10 and No. 11 easier than what people told me about them. I can't do Op. 10 No.1 and No.2 to save my life. Op. 10 no 3-5 weren't that bad. I've never even sightread Op.10 No. 6. Op. 10 No.9 wasn't at all anything impossible. Op. 10 No. 12 was alright, I mean it fit my hands well.

Op. 25 No.1 I think is harder than most people think. I think its rare to hear a really good rendition of this.
Op. 25 No.2 Easy.
Op. 25 No.9 Easy.


This is based on my experience.






*sigh* this is a 9 year old thread.

Last edited by Incongruous; 10/05/15 05:37 PM.
#2466850 - 10/05/15 06:54 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions.. [Re: newton2060]  
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Thread age is irrelevant when it comes to music and discussions of music/concepts of music.

I get it if it is a current trends or sports forum , but there's no harm bringing up old threads to continue good conversation about music.


debussychopin.
#2466867 - 10/05/15 08:10 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions.. [Re: newton2060]  
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I also do not understand the stigma with reviving old threads. I'd rather see people contributing to an old thread, instead of starting a new one on the same subject. So I'd like to contribute my own 2 cents.

I think that op 10 no 2 is easily the most difficult etude. Next is probably op 10 no 1, then op 25 no 11.

I've played through them all, but I know op 10 very well and have performed about half of op 10, usually in sets of 3 or 4.

The first one I learned was op 10 no 1, which was probably not a good move. I had no idea what I was doing and it was way beyond me. Good ones to start with are op 10 no 3, 5, 6, 8, 12 and op 25 no 2.

The etude from op 25 I actually know pretty well is no 6, the double thirds one, and honestly I think there are many etudes that are much harder. I actually think op 10 no 7 is quite a bit more difficult.


"I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well."

J.S. Bach
#2466890 - 10/05/15 10:28 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions.. [Re: Cheeto717]  
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Originally Posted by Cheeto717
I also do not understand the stigma with reviving old threads. I'd rather see people contributing to an old thread, instead of starting a new one on the same subject. So I'd like to contribute my own 2 cents.

Resurrecting an old thread is fine as long as you don't expect the previous participants to respond to your contribution. grin In this particular thread only two (possibly three) of the original participants are still actively posting on PW.

Interesting discussion, however.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
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YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
#2467111 - 10/06/15 05:08 PM Re: Hardest Chopin Etude? and other questions.. [Re: newton2060]  
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I have studied them all, performed them all, still do, and had problems with them all, but not anymore, so it's a long time ago that I had to conquer them. Still, the ones that keep me busy more than the others are: op.10 nrs.1/4/7 and op.25 nrs.4/6/11, this should be no surprise, but as a daily routine they give me some good and some bad mornings, but we remain friends, it's for life.


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!
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