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Favourite Piece outta these by chopin (the ones included of course)
Polonaise (Heroic) Opus 53 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
Ballade No. 1 in G minor 30%  30%  [ 6 ]
Ballade No. 4 in F Minor 30%  30%  [ 6 ]
Ballade No. 3 in Ab Major 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Fantasy in F Minor 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
1st Scherzo 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
2nd Scherzo 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
2nd Impromptu Op. 36 in F Sharp Major (I'm not sure many of you will have listened to this much, it is beautiful though) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Fantasy Impromptu 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 20
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 5:30 pm 
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Terez, I hate to say this, but I am totally lost because I don’t really get what you mean. There are no d-flats since the calando section is back in f-sharp major. And to me, the climax is at the Piu mosso section – all those big inverted chords filling up each measure. Or are you talking about the section right before that when it changes from A-major to F-sharp major – right hand trilling on thirds and left hand playing octaves? (that's the third time the main theme returns) I show that has a crescendo leading into it. The calando section only has one loud-ish point, the 1st low f-sharp and then it diminishes until the very very end.

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 7:57 pm 
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Ugh! I'm so embarrassed. I just realized that you meant the nocturne not the Barcarolle. Jeez, you must think I'm a moron. Oh well...I'm practicing the 27/2 seriously now, and can't wait to get it down. One problem though - Tears keep welling up in my eyes by the time I get to the end and I can't see the music. But the beauty of this piece touches me deep inside. It's perfect.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 12:54 am 
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Ugh! I'm so embarrassed. I just realized that you meant the nocturne not the Barcarolle. Jeez, you must think I'm a moron. Oh well...I'm practicing the 27/2 seriously now, and can't wait to get it down. One problem though - Tears keep welling up in my eyes by the time I get to the end and I can't see the music. But the beauty of this piece touches me deep inside. It's perfect.

No, no, no morons here. :) I should have deleted the first part of what I quoted from you to be more clear.

Chopin obviously had a lot of respect for Beethoven's Op. 27 No. 2, since the apparent reason why he never published the Fantasie-Impromptu is because he felt it was plagiaristic of the Moonlight (presumably the 3rd movement, though I don't really hear anything plagiaristic about it).

And yes, it is certainly perfect. That one part...you know the part, with the little notes, in the 3rd occurrence of the main theme...is the only thing that has ever kept me from performing it, though I did play it for a jury my first semester in college - I had to do that part slowly (I was able to master the rest of the technique, but not that). But that's been ten years - I could probably get it down, now. :) But the calando I think is the most perfect part of it...though the aforementioned section with the temptation to continue to crescendo is also awesome. This Nocturne definitely wins among pieces of comparative length for Chopin.

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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 3:43 am 
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One of the passage in Chopin Impromtu is exactly same with one of the passage in Moonlight Sonata mvt 3 in notes.


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 4:05 am 
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I'm having a really hard time thinking of what that passage might be, just running through both of them in my head.

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 1:43 am 
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Terez wrote:

And yes, it is certainly perfect. That one part...you know the part, with the little notes, in the 3rd occurrence of the main theme...is the only thing that has ever kept me from performing it, though I did play it for a jury my first semester in college - I had to do that part slowly (I was able to master the rest of the technique, but not that). .


Yes, I do know that part with the little notes. I've been into this piece for a few days now, and most of it is going fine. I'm trying to be good and practice just this part over and over and it's slowly getting better but it has a ways to go. I don't mind, though, as I still love the music. And a funny thing happened yesterday - It turns out that my cleaning lady also cried when she was doing her job and I was practicing the nocturne. I thought it was because of how terrible I played it. But she said, no, it was the beauty of the music that touched her. I could only say, "I know exactly what you mean."

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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 4:28 am 
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There's a technical name for those little notes, but I'll be durned if I can remember what it is. :?

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 4:29 pm 
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Quote:
most pianists do not play it the way it was marked. A big crescendo into the 3rd occurrence of the main theme is NOT ACCEPTABLE, because a diminuendo is marked. It is very tempting, though...

But the real climax is right before the calando section at the end. That last D-flat at the beginning of that calando section should be loud, loud! That is the climax! And to play the aforementioned tempting crescendo is just to create a false climax.


Terez, and anyone else who has an opinion about this: I just played through this nocturne for my teacher yesterday, and he pointed out the complete opposite. I have a Schirmer edition, which supposedly is pretty terrible, full of incorrect markings, etc...My teacher said to get the Paderewski edition which is more accurate. Basically, that diminuendo is a crescendo leading into a fff at the third occurrence. This is the climax. So I just got home from the music store with the new book in hand, and on top of that, I have listened to several recordings of this. All but one of them have it the 'loud' way. So...when I record this, you probably will not like the way I play it, because I'm going with the crescendo. But isn't it nice that here on the site we can discuss things like this?

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 10:39 pm 
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Go with whatever you like, of course (you won't be the first to play it that way, obviously), but the edition I have two different publications of a Mikuli edition, and I trust Mikuli over anyone else, with Chopin. ;)

But just a question to throw out there - how can you have a climax, and then an entirely new development of the main them after the climax?

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 3:01 am 
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Who is right in this case? I know that Mikuli is a trustworthy source, but this Paderewski book claims, and this is word for word in the book, “ it is based primarily on Chopin’s autograph manuscripts, copies approved by him and first additions."
And here is what it says regarding the measure with the diminuendo/crescendo. “Bar 45 – The French Edition and the German Edition give a long diminuendo sign after f, and the word diminuendo. The Oxford edition, however, adds scrscendo after f in bar 45 and fff in bar 46. In the copy belonging to Madame Jedrzejewics, this crescendo and fff are also written in pencil in place of the word diminuendo, which is crossed out.”

I can appreciate both versions as I play this piece, first one way and then the other. However, the crescendo does seem to make better sense to me as it leads to the reinstatement of the main theme in a final and triumphant manner. And I believe the lead-in to the climax actually begins at measure 42.
As to your question, I don't think Chopin followed any form with the nocturnes. And if he did, the section that you believe to be the true climax is actually a secondary climax. However, I think it is all part of the end.

All in all, I am not an expert here, nor am I very analytical when it comes to music. I just want to play it the best I can. I do appreciate all the information I can get about Chopin's music, though, so if you have any other insights, please don't hesitate to share them.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 4:12 am 
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Who is right in this case?

I believe that this question is fairly meaningless, in spite of my strong feelings on the subject. Interpretation will always be just that, and in such a case where the composer is 150 years dead and reputable sources have contradicting opinions, it is up to each performer to decide what is right for them.
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I know that Mikuli is a trustworthy source, but this Paderewski book claims, and this is word for word in the book, “ it is based primarily on Chopin’s autograph manuscripts, copies approved by him and first additions."

Here is a direct quote from the Mikuli edition:
Quote:
Lamenting the innumerable errors found in earlier French, German and English publications, [Mikuli] sought to provide the reader with a reliable edition based on several sources - especially printed scores corrected in Chopin's own hand; scores in which Mikuli himself noted down the composer's comments during students' lessons; and significant reminiscences by discerning witnesses to Chopin's rare performances.

I also have a Scholtz edition that agrees with Mikuli on the diminuendo, though I trust it mainly because of Mikuli.
Quote:
And here is what it says regarding the measure with the diminuendo/crescendo. “Bar 45 – The French Edition and the German Edition give a long diminuendo sign after f, and the word diminuendo. The Oxford edition, however, adds scrscendo after f in bar 45 and fff in bar 46. In the copy belonging to Madame Jedrzejewics, this crescendo and fff are also written in pencil in place of the word diminuendo, which is crossed out.”

I would question, certainly, why the original marking was discarded, and by who.
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I can appreciate both versions as I play this piece, first one way and then the other.

It's good that you can at least appreciate both. I know I do - when I first started working on the piece, I didn't even notice the diminuendo marking, and simply played it how I wanted to play it. My mom had marked out the diminuendo, as well. It took a lot of consideration for me to appreciate the original marking.
Quote:
However, the crescendo does seem to make better sense to me as it leads to the reinstatement of the main theme in a final and triumphant manner.

Can the final statement of the theme truly be considered to be "triumphant", though? It seems rather...reserved, to me. Questioning, even. Especially considering that C-flat in measure 47, which creates a completely new variation of the theme.

I did misspeak earlier, though, about the calando section, which I believed started in measure 60, which is where I perceive the climax to resolve. The calando isn't actually marked until measure 68, of course.
Quote:
And I believe the lead-in to the climax actually begins at measure 42.

The tension starts truly building in measure 36, and it's a beautiful passage, certainly. It just doesn't speak to me as a climax, because it leaves so much unresolved, and I feel that measures 56-60 resolved all the remaining "questions" of the piece, with 60-the end being sort of a reminiscence of the whole ordeal - I know it's odd to put music into words like that, but I guess I can't think of any other way to describe it.
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As to your question, I don't think Chopin followed any form with the nocturnes.

All of them do have form, and many of them are similar in form, but it is true that they don't all follow a particular form.
Quote:
And if he did, the section that you believe to be the true climax is actually a secondary climax. However, I think it is all part of the end.

And we're back to interpretation again, which is fine, of course. :)
Quote:
All in all, I am not an expert here, nor am I very analytical when it comes to music. I just want to play it the best I can. I do appreciate all the information I can get about Chopin's music, though, so if you have any other insights, please don't hesitate to share them.

I love analysis, personally - it's just a passion of mine. I discovered a love for music theory in college, which of course just deepened my love for Chopin exponentially, as I feel he accomplished, harmonically, what none had accomplished since Bach, and he essentially brought Bach's principles into the 19th century. I used to analyze Chopin in my free time in college, but I don't claim to be an expert, either. Not by a long shot. ;)

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 2:06 pm 
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Can the final statement of the theme truly be considered to be "triumphant", though? It seems rather...reserved, to me. Questioning, even. Especially considering that C-flat in measure 47, which creates a completely new variation of the theme.

That’s because you are diminuendo-ing.
That c-flat does have a magical sense to it, though. In my book, the measure right after that drops down to pp. And that gives it what I call a ‘goosebump’ effect.

But here is something I found in a book that I don't understand. (Chopin: The Man and His Music)


The companion picture in D flat, op. 27, No. 2, has, as
Karasowski writes, "a profusion of delicate fioriture." It really
contains but one subject, and is a song of the sweet summer of
two souls, for there is obvious meaning in the duality of voices.
Often heard in the concert room, this nocturne gives us a surfeit
of sixths and thirds of elaborate ornamentation and monotone of
mood. Yet it is a lovely, imploring melody, and harmonically most
interesting. A curious marking, and usually overlooked by
pianists, is the crescendo and con forza of the cadenza. This is
obviously erroneous. The theme, which occurs three times, should
first be piano, then pianissimo, and lastly forte.



Do you get that? Is the cadenza that long measure (52) with all the 'little' notes, or the shorter on at measure 60?

Quote:
I love analysis, personally - it's just a passion of mine. I discovered a love for music theory in college, which of course just deepened my love for Chopin exponentially, as I feel he accomplished, harmonically, what none had accomplished since Bach, and he essentially brought Bach's principles into the 19th century. I used to analyze Chopin in my free time in college, but I don't claim to be an expert, either. Not by a long shot.


My shot is even longer than yours. ( :? :) , :?: , ) You sound like you know what you’re talking about more than I do. I get into more of the personal life of Chopin, things like how he dressed, the restaurants he went to, the women he associated with, what he said in his letters, etc… But thanks for an interesting discussion on this most wonderful nocturne. It sure isn’t easy to play, and I thought I would have had it down by now, but nope. :x

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 7:00 pm 
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Quote:
The companion picture in D flat, op. 27, No. 2, has, as
Karasowski writes, "a profusion of delicate fioriture." It really
contains but one subject, and is a song of the sweet summer of
two souls, for there is obvious meaning in the duality of voices.
Often heard in the concert room, this nocturne gives us a surfeit
of sixths and thirds of elaborate ornamentation and monotone of
mood. Yet it is a lovely, imploring melody, and harmonically most
interesting. A curious marking, and usually overlooked by
pianists, is the crescendo and con forza of the cadenza. This is
obviously erroneous. The theme, which occurs three times, should
first be piano, then pianissimo, and lastly forte.


Do you get that? Is the cadenza that long measure (52) with all the 'little' notes, or the shorter on at measure 60?

Since the only con forza in the piece is at measure 52, I'll assume that's what he's talking about. Does your edition not have it? All of mine do. Is he saying that it is erroneous to ignore the con forza, or that the marking is erroneous? I would assume the former, but I could be wrong.

Quote:
I get into more of the personal life of Chopin, things like how he dressed, the restaurants he went to, the women he associated with, what he said in his letters, etc… But thanks for an interesting discussion on this most wonderful nocturne. It sure isn’t easy to play, and I thought I would have had it down by now, but nope. :x

I have read both the Huneker and Liszt biographies, and the Letters, but I honestly don't remember much of it. It's probably time to read them again. :)

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2007 9:22 pm 
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Since the only con forza in the piece is at measure 52, I'll assume that's what he's talking about. Does your edition not have it? All of mine do.


Well, that stumped me for a moment. In my new book (Paderewski) there is no con forza at measure 52, but there is at measure 57. Then I went back to my old book, and there is con forza at both places.

Quote:
Is he saying that it is erroneous to ignore the con forza, or that the marking is erroneous? I would assume the former, but I could be wrong.


I don’t know anymore. I’m way past being confused. I’m just going to play and stop thinking about it so much. Btw – I did a little more ‘research’ on Youtube (amazing things to watch there)and watched Pollini, Lang Lang, and a guy who looks like a rock star but plays well. Here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... rch=Search

It’s funny, because I just saw Pollini play this in a concert a couple weeks ago. At the time, I was mesmerized and wasn’t really analyzing anything. I did feel like it was a wonderful performance, but now on this YouTube version, I think he plays it way too fast. Lang Lang, on the other hand, plays it exactly the way I wish/want to play it. You have to get over him floating off into outer space, but his playing here is sublime. Gave me goosebumps all over.

Quote:
I have read both the Huneker and Liszt biographies, and the Letters, but I honestly don't remember much of it. It's probably time to read them again.


It’s been around 5 years since I read them, along with Niecks two-volume books. I have a couple other Chopin books that I use for a little writing project and whenever I re-read them, I learn something I missed before. I think it’s funny that some of these books are like the editions of his music in that they contradict each other. Liszt says that Chopin’s eyes were blue, but Huneker and Niecks (I think) overruled him and claim that Chopin’s eyes were light brown. Hmmmm.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 12:17 am 
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Well, that stumped me for a moment. In my new book (Paderewski) there is no con forza at measure 52, but there is at measure 57. Then I went back to my old book, and there is con forza at both places.

In Mikuli, measure 57 is a con fuoco. I don't suppose it makes a great deal of difference, in the end. :)

Quote:
I did a little more ‘research’ on Youtube (amazing things to watch there)and watched Pollini, Lang Lang, and a guy who looks like a rock star but plays well...It’s funny, because I just saw Pollini play this in a concert a couple weeks ago. At the time, I was mesmerized and wasn’t really analyzing anything. I did feel like it was a wonderful performance, but now on this YouTube version, I think he plays it way too fast. Lang Lang, on the other hand, plays it exactly the way I wish/want to play it. You have to get over him floating off into outer space, but his playing here is sublime. Gave me goosebumps all over.

I watched Lang Lang first, and I agree that his tempo is about perfect - actually, his "Chopin rubato" is almost perfect, too. Since you've read so much about Chopin, I'm sure you've come across the idea of the Chopin rubato - it is one of the most talked about misinterpretations of Chopin's music. Keep the tempo steady with one hand, feel free to use rubato with the other, don't over-exaggerate ritards and such - very much unlike the free rubato common in his time and throughout the remainder of the Romantic period. You should be able to waltz to his waltzes, and so on. That is one of the first nitpicks I usually have with any performance of Chopin, taking too much liberty with the tempo. And just about everyone does it. It seems counter-intuitive not to.

That being said, I do feel like Lang Lang's melodies were understated, and one issue of his performance brings up another question - what are your dynamic markings at measure 62-65? In Mikuli, I have fz/p at the beginning of 62, with a diminuendo beginning in the end of 63 and ending with a crescendo in the second part of 65. In Scholtz, I have no dynamic markings in 62, but the diminuendo is marked in the same place, but without a duration specified, with a p in the beginning of 65 (same crescendo in the later part of the measure).

Also, Lang Lang did seem to pretty much ignore the con forza in measure 52.

I agree that Pollini played it too fast, and he also took liberties with the tempo, such as his accelerando in measures 38-45, and he seemed to neither crescendo nor diminuendo in our little area of contention, not to mention ignoring the con forza just as Lang Lang did.

Quote:
I'm not sure who the rock star person is that you're talking about, though. :)
Liszt says that Chopin’s eyes were blue, but Huneker and Niecks (I think) overruled him and claim that Chopin’s eyes were light brown. Hmmmm.

Hmmm, indeed...

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