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#468383 - 07/13/02 03:30 PM calling all chopin experts  
Joined: May 2002
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johnmoonlight Offline
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johnmoonlight  Offline
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Lancaster, pa
I love chopin's Nocturnes and am trying to decide which one to tackle. I would appreciate any advice on the LEAST technically difficult of my favorites: no 1 Bflat minor op 9
no 2 Eflat op9
no 1 Gminor op37
no 1 fminor op55
no 21(can't remember opus #) Cminor
THANKS! smile


While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.
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#468384 - 07/13/02 03:40 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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jgoo Offline
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IMO, the easiest of the Chopin Nocturnes (that I've played, anyway) is Op.37 No.1. If you're looking for an easy Chopin Nocturne to play, this is your one. It will take a bit of practice, as always, but you'll get it soon enough.


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#468385 - 07/13/02 04:18 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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shantinik Offline
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The question really should be which is the easiest to play WELL. The notes for Opus 9 No 2 are not hugely challenging (I'm told, and have seen, watching my daughter), but to play it well is extremely difficult.

My favorite is the E Minor, Opus 72 #1.

#468386 - 07/13/02 04:42 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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aznxk3vi17 Offline
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Johns Hopkins University
Do Chopin a favor... don't play his posthumous pieces, ESPECIALLY that one. There were reasons for them not being published, and not being discovered isn't one of them.

I agree with Op. 37 no. 1 being technically the easiest. Remember, musically, they are all a challenge. Also... all those grace notes are played ON, not before, **ON** the beat. The only exceptions are the exceptionally long strings of grace notes, the ones consisting of 4 or more notes. Additionally, according to a personal friend of Chopin (his name escapes me), the middle section was to be played more swiftly, but he forgot to mark it in the autograph, and so subsequent editions also didn't put it in. Remember that rubato doesn't mean slowing TEMPO down, the accompaniment remains strictly in time, and the right hand wavers. Don't overdo it either. Despite all the free adjustments to tempo most professionals take with Chopin... it is completely contrary to his desires. To him, a piece is always the same length, it is the details inside that piece that change.

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#468387 - 07/13/02 04:45 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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Robert Offline
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San Diego
I am currently working on No. 21 in C minor. There is no opus number because itís a posthumous work. I think it is very beautiful and maybe one of the least technically challengingly which is probably why my teacher chose it for me!

#468388 - 07/13/02 04:48 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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MacDuff Offline
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Op. 32, No. 1 (B Major) is easier (for me) than Op. 9, No. 2. People tend to love or hate the stormy ending of Op. 32, No. 1.

I've just started to work on Op. 15, No. 2 (F-sharp Major). It seems like this one will be rather annoying to work out.

#468389 - 07/13/02 04:49 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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aznxk3vi17 Offline
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Johns Hopkins University
I LOVE the stormy ending to Op. 32 no. 1, it's one of my favorite nocturnes!

#468390 - 07/13/02 11:13 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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magnezium Offline
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magnezium  Offline
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Singapore
in increasing order of difficulty:

g minor
E flat
c minor
f minor
b flat minor

or so i found.

#468391 - 07/13/02 11:35 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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ryan Offline
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ryan  Offline
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Colorado
I do not believe that the idea of keeping the accompaniment at a fixed tempo while using rubato in the right hand works in the music of Chopin. And I do not believe that this is what Chopin wanted. He is known to have suggested this style of playing only a few times, and in each case it was for music by another composer. Also, according to eye witnesses Chopin did not play his own music in this style. Mikuli, one of Chopin's students, stated it something like this: sometimes the leaves of the tree shake in the wind (i.e. right hand rubato) and other times the branches and even trunk shake (i.e.both hand rubato).

Chopin most often wanted his music performed as if it were sung in a bel canto style. It would not be possible for a singer to sing in this style if the accomaniment were in a rigid tempo. The tempo of the accompaniment changes to help support the efforts of the singer.

Also, sometimes Chopin would play his music with a lot of rubato and other times with very little. His concept of his own music was not static, but changed with his current mood and feelings.

Ryan

#468392 - 07/13/02 11:40 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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aznxk3vi17 Offline
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Johns Hopkins University
True, it depends on the music. Music with a definite underbeat in the left, such as the waltzes and mazurkas especially easily call for some rubato. In others, like pieces with simultaneous chords and the like call for tempo rubato... it's a matter of style and judgement really... sorry I was a little hasty in my declamations.

#468393 - 07/14/02 01:00 AM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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PerfectPitch Offline
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Yonkers, NY
Hi Johnmoonlight!

Try playing Chopin's Nocturne in F major; this piece is so beautiful, and it isn't too difficult. smile


A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of. - Burt Bacharach
#468394 - 07/14/02 05:39 AM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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johnmoonlight Offline
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johnmoonlight  Offline
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Lancaster, pa
Perfect Pitch, do you know which opus number that piece belongs to?


While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.
#468395 - 07/14/02 10:14 AM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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magnezium Offline
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Singapore
Op. 15, No. 1.

It's not that easy, imho.

#468396 - 07/14/02 08:25 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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PerfectPitch Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by magnezium:
Op. 15, No. 1.

It's not that easy, imho.
I see what you mean! The only thing that isn't easy is the middle part of Chopin's Nocturne op. 15, no. 1! smile For the left hand, there are a few jumps and arpeggios, but the right hand is a little challenging! In otherwords, each hand does different things! But compared to the others, I still don't think it's that difficult. It's a beautiful piece. Let me know what you think of it! smile wink


A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of. - Burt Bacharach
#468397 - 07/14/02 08:45 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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johnmoonlight Offline
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johnmoonlight  Offline
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Lancaster, pa
Thank-you all for your sincere input...I've decided on op 9 number2; it has special meaning for me. During residency, during some of the toughest times of my life, this piece served as a sort of "guiding light"...absolutely beautiful with a feeling of longing. Do any of you have pieces that have a definate personal significance beyond the notes themselves? I would love to hear your stories. smile


While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.
#468398 - 07/14/02 10:57 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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PerfectPitch Offline
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Yonkers, NY
You're welcome!

I love the Nocturne no. 2 op. 9! This piece is beautiful, too! smile


A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of. - Burt Bacharach
#468399 - 07/15/02 07:37 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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Bernard Offline
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Bernard  Offline
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North Groton, NH
Op. 9, No. 2 is the first nocturne I learned. I love it, it is sooo tender and yet so strong and after that voluptuous climax, the ending just melts. I feel my muscles relax just thinking about it. To me this piece is about the power of love, both emotional and physical.


"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown
#468400 - 07/15/02 10:29 PM Re: calling all chopin experts  
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ryan Offline
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ryan  Offline
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Colorado
aznxk3vi17 - I think the right-hand rubato works well in ornamented passages. For example, Op. 9 No. 1. Apparently Chopin did not play these in strict tempo, but started each passage slowly and accellerated all the way to the end. However, he did not slacken the overall tempo, which he thought would have put more emphasis on each passage than what was needed.

At least this is my understanding to date, which will probably change at some later date smile

Ryan


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