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Op. 15 No. 1 of Chopin ends with a C preceding the final F. I've always felt like that last C is just a bit too much dominant when played as written, and actually takes away from the beauty of the passage for me. I like to emphasize the A and block the last two notes. You might think I'm crazy, but that's just me. What passages do you feel weirdly about?
I think you're probably not "smorzando-ing" enough.
Maybe all you need to do is more smorzing.
Just smorz as much as you need to, to not have those last notes be too much.
It's all in the degree of smorzing.
BTW, I'm really glad you said it, because I never really realized before how extremely much the smorzing should be, and why!
I checked Rubinstein's again just to be sure I wasn't crazy... he smorz's quite a bit. Still sounds wrong to me! Could be that he prolongs the C. Could also be that I hear it in common time with the final F being on the 1 of the imaginary next bar. However I try to make sense of it, I always wind up liking it better when I make the A sing and block the C-F.
.....I always wind up liking it better when I make the A sing and block the C-F.
I think I like that idea!! (As long as you don't mean hitting the A too loud -- just enough to "sing" - and that by "blocking" you mean just getting extremely soft on them.)
(I really never heard that term before!)
What I mean by "block" is to play the last two notes together, as opposed to as written, which essentially functions as a slow roll. What you described works too. Whether or not the C and F are played together, I think the most important thing is to get that A ringing out clearly. A lot of people give too much emphasis to the C, which, for me, takes away from the feeling of perfect, beautiful resolution.
...as long as you don't mean hitting the A too loud...
Of course. You wouldn't want to overdo it... Just enough 'ground' the dominant above it, and to feel the beautiful resolution from the Bb.
Moszkowski's Etincelles has the entire closing passage marked ppp. I like that fine, except that I so much want to explode with ff on the last 2 notes, and so that's what I did when I learned it and when I played it for my teacher. He was very complimentary and said a few specific things, but nothing about those last 2 notes, which was unusual because, well, he would usually never leave something like that alone, so I asked about it. He said, oh yes, that was wrong. I said I knew that it says ppp, but I played it the other way "because it fits my personality better." He said nothing. I asked if he knew what I meant. He said no, it says pianississimo, so I don't understand what it means about fortissimo fitting someone's personality better....
Here's the piece (with the last 2 notes played properly). BTW I had to look around a lot to find something like that, because, as I just discovered, most of the top pianists play a different version of the ending. I first learned of this piece from Horowitz's recordings and I knew that he played it that other way, but didn't know that anyone else did. Since they do, I wonder if it's an alternate version by Moszkowski, or if it's just that all those people are doing Horowitz's version.
so I asked about it. He said, oh yes, that was wrong.
I find it funny how teachers often behave as if there is one way to play a piece of music. Composers don't play their music the same exact way every time. They might even do radically different things here and there. You just can't have 10 different versions in print, so composers choose the most "commercially right" way to publish, which is understandable. The next time he tells you you're wrong, tell him HE's wrong!.
...The next time he tells you you're wrong, tell him HE's wrong!.
Not even I would ever do that.
The most I ever did was....well I'll leave out what I said, and just say what he said back: "No I will not sit down and try it your way and see how good it feels."
I think you hurt is pride... You were probably right!
I don't mean to sound antagonistic towards teachers; I think teachers can be of great importance overall. I just never had a teacher, so I might be a little more free-spirited than most about how things "should" be played. I had just two or three lessons in my life, and the teacher enlightened me on some valuable principles. I think this is where teachers shine most, rather than enforcing what they think is a written-in-stone interpretation. Of course they are, in most cases, extremely important for technical development as well...