Playing Chopin

Questions and discussion on technical, teaching and performance matters
stng21

Playing Chopin

Post by stng21 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:46 pm

Hi
i'm starting to learn the Chopin fantasy impromptu. Any ideas on the best way to get the 3/4 beats down and tips on memory, kind of out of shape when it comes to memory


Mod edit: I interfered with the thread title...
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Re: fantasy impromptu

Post by Arjuna » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:54 pm

I always memorise away from the piano, so that I can "practice" anywhere (with or without the score). It's not easy - in fact, it's the most difficult part of my practice regime - but it does work. Once you're used to it, you should be able to momorise about a page a day, depending on the music - fugues, for example, seem to take much longer than something like the fantasy improptu would. I use to spend months trying to memorise a single work (say, 3-5 pages) at the piano. Now I spend more time at the piano without a score than with one (of course I still use the score at the piano from time to time so that I can check details of dynamic, articulation, phrasing, etc.).
As far as the rhythm is concerned, I wouldn't think of it (or play it for that matter) as 4 notes over 3 but rather two beats per bar. Practice each hand separately until you feel the two beats. Then when you put your hands together all you need to do is make sure the first notes/rest of each beat are together.
That's how I practiced the fantasy impromtu. I'm sure there are other methods, some of which may suit you better.
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Re: Playing Chopin

Post by HullandHellandHalifax » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:42 pm

I have a query about the left hand in bar 8 of the Prelude No.6 in B minor. Everyone will have copies of the music so I don't feel the need to reproduce it here.
In the right hand there are 4 chords with melody notes being quavers A#-B-D-C# followed by a crotchet rest, in the left hand we have quavers E-E#-F#(crotchet)-D-C#(quavers), sounding alone in the rest enjoyed by the right hand. In the Paderewski edition these last two notes are phrased to lead into the reprise of the opening left hand melody, also in the Cortot edition I think. However Chopin does not do this anywhere else in this prelude and I do not feel these two upbeat notes as upbeats but as an echo of the right hand and that the following phrase thus properly begins in bar 9 on the 1st beat exactly as the beginning. I therefore use a very slight rit on those two notes emphasising their echo nature before a return to "a tempo" on the first beat of bar 9. The notes receive different accents depending on your view of how they should be performed, so in fact quite an important question as to how we should read them.
I haven't seen the manuscript so I don't know what Chopin wrote regarding the phrasing, but what do you all think of this problem, should these two notes be regarded as an echo or as an upbeat leading back to the melody.
looking forward to some erudite thoughts from the Chopin experts here
Brian

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Re: Playing Chopin

Post by Timtin » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:53 pm

In the Klindworth edition, those 2 notes in the left hand are phrased such that
may be regarded as an echo of the notes in the right hand. They're definitely not
treated as lead-in notes to bar 9. The fingering of 4 - 3 - 5 seems to confirm this.

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Re: Playing Chopin

Post by HullandHellandHalifax » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:18 pm

Timtin wrote:In the Klindworth edition, those 2 notes in the left hand are phrased such that
may be regarded as an echo of notes in the right hand. They're definitely not
treated as lead-in notes to bar 9. The fingering of 4 - 3 - 5 seems to confirm this.
Thats interesting Tim, thanks, just the sort of info we need.
In the Paderewski edition the D and C# are fingered 1 and 3 implying that they are to be treated as lead-in notes to the melody proper in bar 9, so Klindworth and Paderewski are absolutely disagreeing with each other here...who is right I wonder?

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Re: Playing Chopin

Post by fredbucket » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:09 am

HullandHellandHalifax wrote:I haven't seen the manuscript so I don't know what Chopin wrote regarding the phrasing, but what do you all think of this problem, should these two notes be regarded as an echo or as an upbeat leading back to the melody.
I am certainly (not!) a Chopin expert here, but if you check out the editions published during Chopin's lifetime (and therefore one presumes with his imprimator) you'll find the answer to your question. I must admit I find the Klndworth editions of his works somewhat unreliable in many ways. I would suggest these editions call into question many of the editorial additions made subsequently by others.

http://chopin.lib.uchicago.edu/gsdl/cgi ... l=CL3.12.1

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Fred(erick)

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Re: Playing Chopin

Post by Timtin » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:11 am

Well, I don't know if Klindworth is right or wrong, but at least he is consistent,
in the sense that the phrasing of the notes in the left hand of bars 8 and 9
mirrors those of bars 2 and 3. In both these cases and several others in this
prelude, the bar lines seem to be treated as a 'drawing in for breath' points.

If you like your Chopin sexed up, these clips come highly recommended:-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqWdNxG4ask
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrKs91ri ... re=related

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Re: Playing Chopin

Post by fredbucket » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:38 am

Timtin wrote:Well, I don't know if Klindworth is right or wrong, but at least he is consistent
...which may not have been the way Chopin intended.

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Fred

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Re: Playing Chopin

Post by Timtin » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:18 pm

I suppose that, as with any form of editorial control, the wishes
of the author may not necessarily be represented accurately.

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Re: Playing Chopin

Post by HullandHellandHalifax » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:35 pm

fredbucket wrote:
Timtin wrote:Well, I don't know if Klindworth is right or wrong, but at least he is consistent
...which may not have been the way Chopin intended.

Regards
Fred
...on the other hand Klindworth may have edited his "version" to include changes and playing differences handed down from composer to pupil etc the famous "tradition". One thing we know for certain, very few composers play their music they way they wrote it and saw it in print so it remains open to argument what is the best result, for me musically, Klindworth is in my camp, but I am certainly not going to say he is right and all the rest are copying the first edition. I really would like to see a copy of the manuscript since Chopin wrote very neatly and hopefully find a pupils testimony somewhere to hopefully clarify things (though more than likely we will end up with more questions than when we started).
thanks for the imput so far.
Brian

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