2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
45 members (clothearednincompo, DSC, Boboulus, CyberGene, Cutec, brennbaer, Alan3666, Carey, chaplincap, EssBrace, 5 invisible), 1,339 guests, and 624 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 44
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 44
Why is it written ff? I don't understand.

I asked my teacher and she said because it's a polonaise, and polonaises usually end like "BANG! BANG!" But to me that's not a convincing argument, because Op.61 is the most un-polonaisic polonaise Chopin wrote. And since Choin wrote differently for Op.61, there is no reason to assume the last chord has to be ff to preseve the character of a poloanise.

Playing last chord ff sounds very awkward and obstrusive, especially after the ritentuo section that end in pp. One could argue that the last tonic chord serves as a declamation, but if it's a declamation, one single ff chord after 2 pp chords does not sound very strong to me.

Would you agree that it will be more musically effective if the last chord were written pianonissimo?


Yay! I can play piano...
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,298
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,298
...because it's a polonaise, and polonaises usually end like "BANG! BANG!"

I think you might suggest to your teacher that she look at some Polonaises.

To take only those of Chopin :
No 1 (Op 26, No 1) ends pianissimo (pp)
No 2 (Op 26, No 2) ends pianississimo (ppp)
No 3 (Op 40, No 1) ends fortissimo (ff)
No 4 (Op 40, No 2) ends fortississimo (fff)
No 5 (Op 44) ends pianissimo (pp) followed by a fortissimo (ff) chord
No 6 (Op 53) ends fortissimo (ff)
No 7 (Op 61) ends pianissimo with a fortissimo (ff) chord.
No 8 (Op 71, No 1) ends forte (f)
No 9 (Op 71, No 2) ends mezzo-forte that is, a forte in the penultimate bar followed by a diminuendo.

So, apart from, perhaps the Op 53, where are all the "BANG! BANG!" endings.

Your teacher might also look at some of the other works of Chopin that have similarly accented endings :
The Nocturne in F minor, Op 55, No 1, ends quietly in F major arpeggios in the upper register, followed by four bars of F major chords, played f
the Nocturne in E-flat, Op 55, No 2, ends similarly: pianissimo, rallentando but with two bars of E-flat major chords played f
The last three pages of the F# major Impromptu are all played p, but the last two chords are ff
The third impromptu, in similar fashion, ends quietly but the final three bars go from fto ff

As to your last question, Chopin obviously intended the Polonaise to end fortissimo; whether or not you think it would be "more musically effective" is your choice. It's not what Chopin wrote.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 631
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 631
To my ears, this last section of the P-F is clearly a battle tableau - it couldn't be more literal. The four bars that precede the 'forte assai' are the final charge, then there's the clashing of the arms, the cannon fire, and a horn fanfare signals the arrival of the galloping cavalry (sempre ff) to smite the enemy. As the foes disperse, the music relaxes and winds down, the victor surveys the spoils (last line) and raises a clenched fist in triumph (last chord). I can't see how it could end any other way!

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,298
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,298
Quote
Originally posted by jpw101:
To my ears, this last section of the P-F is clearly a battle tableau - it couldn't be more literal. The four bars that precede the 'forte assai' are the final charge, then there's the clashing of the arms, the cannon fire, and a horn fanfare signals the arrival of the galloping cavalry (sempre ff) to smite the enemy. As the foes disperse, the music relaxes and winds down, the victor surveys the spoils (last line) and raises a clenched fist in triumph (last chord). I can't see how it could end any other way!
We each have our own way of interpreting music and expressing what it means to each of us is our individual prerogative. I am one, however, who eschews "literal" or specific programmatic interpretations of abstract music. I neither see nor hear the charge, the cannon fire, the galloping cavalry, nor do I see the "clenched fist in triumph".

I am reminded that, after all, the "polonaise" is a dance form, and from Chopin's pen, it is a concertized dance form. I don't think that one should totally lose sight of that.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,754
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,754
Quote
Originally posted by BruceD:
I am reminded that, after all, the "polonaise" is a dance form, and from Chopin's pen, it is a concertized dance form. I don't think that one should totally lose sight of that.

Regards,
Very true. I've never gone in for the programmatic aspects of Romanticism, and Chopin was a Classicist in that respect. However, this being titled Polonaise-Fantasie, the polnaise aspect is much less up front than in, say, Op. 53.

To the matter at hand, I think the chord works best as written. If you feel it doesn't work, don't play it.


Hank Drake

Admin: https://www.facebook.com/groups/VladimirHorowitzPianist

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 255
A
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 255
Bruce- the majority of your forte symbols are typo'd

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
The f minor fantasy (Op. 49) ends similarly. Quiet, then Bang, Bang. Maybe it's just something Chopin liked to do every now and then. laugh


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 921
P
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 921
I just performed that fantasy in recital. GORGEOUS piece. Lovely melodies and structurally conducive to a really special musical experience. I think I would've liked a soft ending...but eh, what can ya do? wink

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,298
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,298
Quote
Originally posted by asherf:
Bruce- the majority of your forte symbols are typo'd
What do you mean? Are you suggesting that the dynamics marked in the editions I consulted - and which are consistent from edition to edition (Novello, Peters, Henle) - are not authoritative? That the "majority of them" are "typos"?


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 122
P
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
P
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 122
BruceD- No, what asherf is saying is that your symbols are not correct with the actual word for the symbol. Such as:

ppp-pianississimo
pp-pianissimo
p-piano
f-forte
ff-fortissimo
fff-fortississimo

I'm almost positive that is the correct translation for the terms, however, I may be wrong and you may be right seeing as how I'm not familiar with the polonaises. See what you wrote, make sure thats what you intended.

-dane

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 255
A
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
A
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 255
it's mostly the fortes he wrote "forte - ff"

It's not the biggest deal in the world, something I would do and I'd probably do much worse with it, just a little mistake. Just a tad confusing when reading through. No need to make a full thread on it though :p

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,298
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 25,298
Quote
Originally posted by asherf:
it's mostly the fortes he wrote "forte - ff"

It's not the biggest deal in the world, something I would do and I'd probably do much worse with it, just a little mistake. Just a tad confusing when reading through. No need to make a full thread on it though :p
Thank you for the corrections. Theoretically, they weren't typos - mistakes in typing - they were errors due to carelessness on the one hand and ignorance on the other. I have edited my post accordingly.

Thank you.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,654
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,654
Quote
Originally posted by Kreisler:
The f minor fantasy (Op. 49) ends similarly. Quiet, then Bang, Bang. Maybe it's just something Chopin liked to do every now and then. laugh
And the Barcarolle end Bang, Bang - actually it's more like: "Bang, Bang! Bang, Bang!"

D)

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 44
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 44
Quote
Originally posted by Phlebas:
Quote
Originally posted by Kreisler:
[b] The f minor fantasy (Op. 49) ends similarly. Quiet, then Bang, Bang. Maybe it's just something Chopin liked to do every now and then. laugh
And the Barcarolle end Bang, Bang - actually it's more like: "Bang, Bang! Bang, Bang!"

D) [/b]
I am glad you guys brought this up. I actually have the same issue with Op.49, Op.60, etc. But the barcarolle has a downward cres. scale that paves the way for the ff chords. So the Bang! Bang! ending does not sound as obstrusive as the one in Op.61.

For me, some of the choices composers made in their music are hard to "make sense," so I am willing to consider a programmatic description especially when a musical justification is apparently elusive. It's easy to say "That's what the composer did, play it that way. If you don't like it, dont' play it." But It's another thing to try to explain WHY the composer made certain choices in a musical, historical, or even a programmatic context.

Anyway, thanks for everyone's posts. cool


Yay! I can play piano...
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 29,783
B
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 29,783
He did it so the audience would wake up and start applauding! wink


Semipro Tech
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 395
R
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
R
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 395
The end of Chopin's Sonata op. 35. has also this "Bang Bang" ending which I don't see the point of. It sounds unnatural and is annoying to play. Why doesn't it and like prélude 14, a "fade out"?


Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
.nausicaa OP. (elementary version)
by WarDesu - 07/23/21 07:09 PM
Selling the sizzle if not the steak
by cfhosford - 07/23/21 06:25 PM
For the Experts
by Epee - 07/23/21 12:43 PM
Another question about piano positioning
by Cassia - 07/23/21 12:16 PM
1992 Yamaha C3 vs new CX2
by MusterMark - 07/23/21 10:19 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics208,177
Posts3,115,879
Members102,217
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5