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#534022 - 04/03/08 07:28 PM Revolutionary Etude  
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hopinmad Offline
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Eryri/Manchester
I was going to ask about this in my other Chopin Etudes thread eventually but decided that I'd post a thread dedicated to it.

I don't play the piece by the way. I play only 3 of the etudes, I'm not very good, and I'm afraid that's why I'll be disagreed with my opinion about this piece.


I've heard it spoken of as an easy piece, without great difficulty, a cliche piece, that no one doesn't play, one of Chopin's easier etudes. But I can't see this! When I look over the score it seems very difficult! I considered learning it, as in to be my next etude, but thought it was a bit too difficult, especially with the complicated rhythms that come in the recapulation.


Firstly, it's fast. Secondly, it's not just fast scales, but big wide arpeggios requiring it seems great flexibility from the wrist, such as those just before a phrase ends with a Bb major chord. Thirdly, the main LH figure is quiet, and has to "swell" out dramatically, even with all the speed and energy. Fourthly, the big RH chords that are in the rhythm: dotted quaver - semiquaver - minim (or a long note anyway), given the speed, and the expression required in them (con fuoco), it's not exactly easy is it? Lastly, the complex rhythms I mentioned, these rhythms are difficult to play aginst the semiquavers and require excellent timing and rhythm control. It's a difficult piece!


I always feel discouraged when I hear of it talked of as an easy piece!


Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin
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#534023 - 04/03/08 08:12 PM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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Alexander Hanysz Offline
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Try playing some of the other Chopin studies, then come back to this one!

#534024 - 04/03/08 08:25 PM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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I'll agree with him. It's not as easy as Fur Elise by any means, but it's no Op. 10 No. 1 or 2!


Amateur Pianist, Scriabin Enthusiast, and Octave Demon
#534025 - 04/03/08 09:05 PM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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I think when people say it is easy, they think of it in context of the other etudes, like Alexander said. My professor/teacher assigned me 10/1. Then after I had learned and performed it, she assigned me the revolutionary. After the 10/1, the revolutionary was a piece of cake.


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

J.S. Bach
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#534026 - 04/04/08 01:11 AM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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A lot of the piece is repetition. If you try actually playing it, you might find it easier than you thought it would be... It fits quite nicely under the hand.

#534027 - 04/04/08 03:21 AM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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wr Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by blacvi:
It fits quite nicely under the hand.
Except for those spots where it doesn't. smile

#534028 - 04/04/08 03:48 AM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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argerichfan Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by dnephi:
I'll agree with him. It's not as easy as Fur Elise by any means, but it's no Op. 10 No. 1 or 2!
Well, yes. The Revolutionary was the first Chopin etude I studied. Make of it what you will, but if I had it to do it over again... these days I'm not certain -in some sense- that it is much easier than those Op. 10 etudes.


Jason
#534029 - 04/04/08 05:54 AM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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hopinmad Offline
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Well I play 10/1, better than my other two at the moment, but 10/12 still looks very diffiuclt!


Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin
#534030 - 04/04/08 10:15 AM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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-Frycek Offline
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SC Mountains
10/12 is very straightforward. There's nothing tricky about it. I think that's what people mean when they call it (relatively) easy. It just needs a heck of a lot of careful slow practice to build a good foundation. Try playing the left alternately stacatto and legatto and at varying speeds with the emphasis on slow at first. This will get it into you head. Also the dynamics are what make the piece really come to life. It if is even and the dynamics are right it's musical at any speed. And Chopin repeated himself quite a bit. 10/12 is actually a 3 page piece spread over five pages. Once you get the first couple of pages down it moves much more quickly.


Slow down and do it right.
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#534031 - 04/04/08 11:53 AM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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Alexandria, Egypt
I won't call (relatively) easy and straightforward Frycek laugh

It requires tremendous left hand control and evenness that blurs at the speed required. This is also when you are not counting the RH chords which I found very difficult for my hands.

I gave up in weeks' time.

#534032 - 04/04/08 08:16 PM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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IpsoPhatso Offline
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Not trying to hijack the thread, but I figured I'd post this video of a guy playing the revolutionary etude. His left hand is as clean and powerful as I've ever heard. Amazing ability.
Video

#534033 - 04/04/08 10:20 PM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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argerichfan Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by -Frycek:
10/12 is very straightforward.
But so is 10/1, to me a lot less complex than certain musical demands with 10/12. I admire you for finding the Revolutionary a cake walk, care for drinks sometime? wink


Jason
#534034 - 04/04/08 10:41 PM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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-Frycek Offline
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SC Mountains
It's been far from a cakewalk, more like a long slow walk uphill. I've been working on it for two years without a teacher and have grown into it. So it's not been a cakewalk by any means but if it hadn't been relatively straightforward I wouldn't have been able to do it at all.


Slow down and do it right.
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#534035 - 04/04/08 11:21 PM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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argerichfan Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by -Frycek:
It's been far from a cakewalk, more like a long slow walk uphill. I've been working on it for two years without a teacher and have grown into it. So it's not been a cakewalk by any means but if it hadn't been relatively straightforward I wouldn't have been able to do it at all.
Sorry, long night at the London clubs. With due respect, neither 10/1 nor 10/2 have any of the emotional (for both me and Chopin) baggage of 10/12.

When I first studied 10/12 as a teen all seemed so well... subsequent forays -after 10/1 and 10/2- have only confirmed that what came so easily to me back then... well why not anymore? I can't figure it out, can you?

This is truly an alarming situation. As a boy, music that seemed such a walk in the park (and oh, how I reveled in my silly mastery), now it all seems totally frightening and horribly complex to me.

Every day I live, I am more in awe. I listen to Beethoven, Liszt and Wagner; I listen to Franck and Elgar; I listen to the glorious musical Anglican tradition. Frycek, I'm getting smaller by the day!

Some here might prefer that, but at least I'm honest enough to admit it. O great mystery and all that stuff...


Jason
#534036 - 04/05/08 01:00 AM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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Tenuto Offline
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Take heart argerichfan, try not to despair.

The last 3 years I got up off of my big lazy derrier and got back on the virtuoso track again and WOW did I surprise myself!

All things are possible, with a positive attitude. If you really want to get back to the big time pieces you used to play, just decide where you want to start.

I decided to start with a Chopin Etude that always bothered me, even when I was in college. When I mastered that one I mastered some other Etudes, etc. and now I feel like the real ME is back.

Argerichfan: what "impossible" piece would you love to master right now? Or, would you rather spend more time at the pub, mate?

#534037 - 04/05/08 06:31 AM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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-Frycek Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by argerichfan:
Sorry, long night at the London clubs. With due respect, neither 10/1 nor 10/2 have any of the emotional (for both me and Chopin) baggage of 10/12.

When I first studied 10/12 as a teen all seemed so well... subsequent forays -after 10/1 and 10/2- have only confirmed that what came so easily to me back then... well why not anymore? I can't figure it out, can you?

This is truly an [b]alarming
situation. As a boy, music that seemed such a walk in the park (and oh, how I reveled in my silly mastery), now it all seems totally frightening and horribly complex to me.

Every day I live, I am more in awe. I listen to Beethoven, Liszt and Wagner; I listen to Franck and Elgar; I listen to the glorious musical Anglican tradition. Frycek, I'm getting smaller by the day!

Some here might prefer that, but at least I'm honest enough to admit it. O great mystery and all that stuff... [/b]
You're not getting smaller. You're getting bigger. You're growing into the burden. You're just now realizing how heavy some of this stuff is. Heavy but really very simple, very straightforward. The great heroic emotions always are. It just takes a matured solid psyche to handle them at their full weight. As for 10/12 - it's straightforward - It's angst, and fury and betrayal, and pity all very comprehensible. Just a lot to take. It's a homesick teenager imagining his mother and sisters raped, his father helpless and impoverished, his sister's grave desecrated and and his city burning. It's a young man too frail to fight and too far away to be of any help so he can "only weep and pour out his misery at the piano."


Slow down and do it right.
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#534038 - 04/05/08 02:22 PM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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hopinmad Offline
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Concerning what argerichfan said about seeming to get smaller . . . when you are learning a piece, you reach a stage and you realise how much work is left. Then, when you learn it more so, there is yet more work to be done, if you know what I mean . . . it is never-ending . . .


Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin
#534039 - 04/07/08 06:17 PM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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I think this piece is a lot harder than many claims. - Frycek: Let us hear your version.


"Silence is music too"
#534040 - 04/07/08 06:32 PM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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Quote
Originally posted by Anders39:
I think this piece is a lot harder than many claims. - Frycek: Let us hear your version.
October 17th, 2008 Etude recital


Slow down and do it right.
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#534041 - 04/07/08 07:04 PM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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hopinmad Offline
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Ah, yes!

Am I still doing 10/1 am I?

Where's the thread for it . . .


Patience's the best teacher, and time the best critic. - F.F.Chopin
#534042 - 04/08/08 09:34 PM Re: Revolutionary Etude  
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I just started working on this piece. One of my friends played it and I thought it sounded really hard. When I saw the music, I thought it was even harder. I haven't played it for very long, but I find that about the first page is really nice. Then you get to the next page and encounter many double sharps, and I haven't had time to work that out yet because I have had to practice for a recital. I think that after a lot more slow practice on certain spots the piece will be really fun to play, but there are some parts that I think are easy and just stick in my mind.


Currently working on:
Chopin's Etude 10-12
Beethoven's Sonate Pathetique
Khachaturian's Toccata
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