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 Post subject: ornaments question
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:47 pm 
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I just picked up a new piece last night and in it is a spot with two ornaments over a two notes played at the same time. Attached you can see what I mean. I've never seen that before and doubt I can even do it. Any advice?


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Capture.JPG
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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:19 pm 
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Very weird. As for the advice...practice the voices separately. If you get accustomed to doing both of them separately, maybe you can do them together.

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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:22 pm 
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Thank you, Terez! That's a good idea. This is a little Couperin piece and doesn't sound like what I think is typical Couperin. Although, I'm no expert on his music. I thought ornaments were littered all over his music; this piece has just has a few. But they're 'different'....

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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:48 am 
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If they're different than you're used to from Couperin, I'd be wary of the edition. I know that Bach ornaments differ from edition to edition and you have to consult urtext to see which he actually wrote.

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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:59 am 
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Yes, I believe you are right. I'm thinking that a bunch of ornaments are left out of the score I'm using. I think there is another edition on ISMLP, but it's not easy figuring out which book this piece is from - there are many in the Couperin series. I'll have to do some more checking...

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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:48 am 
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Probably a good idea. One of those random things I remember from music history classes is that Couperin was very persnickety about his ornaments. :wink: He sort of codified them; lots of his contemporaries used his instructions for how ornaments should be played.

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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:13 pm 
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I just found an explanation of this ornament.

This is one of Couperin’s more complex uses of ornamentation. Proper execution of this combination
dictates that the performer first initiates the trill then resolves it with the turn.


Well, that sounds reasonable enough. Except it all has to be done in the space of an eighth note. Yikes!! :shock:
I'm not sure I'm even going to pursue this piece. I sort of have too much on my plate right now anyway. Maybe another time I'll come back to it. Thanks for the tips, Terez! :)

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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:44 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
I just found an explanation of this ornament.

This is one of Couperin’s more complex uses of ornamentation. Proper execution of this combination
dictates that the performer first initiates the trill then resolves it with the turn.


Well, that sounds reasonable enough. Except it all has to be done in the space of an eighth note. Yikes!! :shock:

Well, now the fingering makes sense. :) Bach wrote those like trills with a hook on the end. Much less intimidating than playing two ornaments at once!

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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:11 pm 
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Terez, I just noticed this. What is the translation?

"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:02 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Terez, I just noticed this. What is the translation?

"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin

It's the same quote I used to have in my sig in translation, from a letter to Tytus dated 12 September 1829. This is the Voynich translation:

"I have made close friends with Czerny; we often played together on two pianofortes at his house. He's a good fellow, but nothing more."

And Hedley:

"I am close friends with Czerny and have often played duets at his house. He is a kind fellow, but nothing more."

I love that quote because, knowing Chopin's music, it's easy to imagine how he felt about Czerny's compositions. You can tell from the tone of his letters to his family and to Tytus that Czerny was a longtime, ongoing topic of discussion, basically representing everything Chopin most hated about piano music in general and technique studies in particular. On 19 August 1829, he wrote to his parents: "Czerny is more sensitive than any of his compositions." But when he came home from that first trip to Vienna, he began composing his own etudes. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:25 pm 
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Terez wrote:

"I have made close friends with Czerny; we often played together on two pianofortes at his house. He's a good fellow, but nothing more."

And Hedley:

"I am close friends with Czerny and have often played duets at his house. He is a kind fellow, but nothing more."


Funny! It's like saying to the person, "you are a mediocre human being." :lol: I can definitely imagine Chopin saying things like that...

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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:17 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Terez wrote:

"I have made close friends with Czerny; we often played together on two pianofortes at his house. He's a good fellow, but nothing more."

And Hedley:

"I am close friends with Czerny and have often played duets at his house. He is a kind fellow, but nothing more."


Funny! It's like saying to the person, "you are a mediocre human being." :lol: I can definitely imagine Chopin saying things like that...

Oh, I think Chopin thought Czerny was a lovely human being...just not a musician worth mentioning. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:18 pm 
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Hello Monica,
I recognise a section of "Les barricades mystérieuses", actually one of the most famous harpsichord pieces of F. Couperin.
Couperin provides at the beginning of his first book of harpsichord pieces a table of ornaments. The one you point out is not mentioned, but the upper sign appears (see the attached picture). According to Couperin, if you had only the top sign, you should play

D-C-Bb-C.

My best hypothesis is that, by adding the bottom sign, he means he wants another note, so that you have to play there

C-D-C-Bb-C

which is consistent with the fingering indicated (3-4-3-2-3).
This is quite tricky to play on a piano, given the tempo of this piece. On a light harpsichord keyboard, it is easier. When I play this piece, which has actually few ornaments as compared to most others from the same composer, I simplify this ornament (I just play C-D-C). Not sure a baroque purist would agree :oops:


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File comment: Ornament called "double" by Couperin
ornament.jpg
ornament.jpg [ 26.36 KiB | Viewed 1248 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:25 pm 
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Hi Francois and Happy Valentine's day to you! :)

You are correct--this is "Les barricades mystérieuses". I heard someone in my piano group play it recently and liked it, so I printed it out when I got back home. I didn't know that it was popular! Thank you for the advice..I may have to simplify that ornament too. But don't tell anyone.... :)

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 Post subject: Re: ornaments question
PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:24 pm 
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I'm not sure you need to cram all the five notes into the space of an 8th.
You could space them out a bit and play the C-D-C as triplet 16ths fitting into an 8th, and the Bb-C as ordinary 16ths fitting into the next 8th (coinciding with the printed Bb).

However, simplification seems a good idea. I'd be tempted to override Couperin's guidance (if that's going to make him turn in his grave, let it) and play it as a 4-note turn D-C-Bb-C as four 32nds fitting into an 8th if speed permits (it seems to lie under the fingers better that way). You don't have to play the piece as fast as Bruno Procopio does.

Or you could slam on the brakes at that point and linger on the slowed-down ornament to draw attention to the fact that the recurring rondo part is about to come again (which it should do a tempo).


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