88man wrote:You must be having so much fun learning 25/11...... NOT! They say it's the most devilish to play.
I suppose I can see why. It's also very, very, VERY satisfying to play, at well below performance tempo. Very rewarding work, and I have to fight myself to keep from practicing 5 or 6 hours every day on it. Chopin said no more than 3! But I would say that 10/4 is the most 'devlish'. There are a few I think are more difficult than 25/11 obviously, but I think that some might agree that 10/4 is one of them. 25/11 has a sense of gravity, perfect weights and balances, that 10/4 does not have IMO. That is what makes it more difficult for me.
88man wrote:I don't envy you having to learn all these etudes, but I can respect you for taking on the challenge of doing so. I looked over your list, I would place 10/2 Am and 25/6 G#m in the most difficult category for my hands. Wow! You must have very agile fingers?
Not really. I have actually worked on 25/6 and I think it's not so difficult as many others, even though I didn't quite get it to performance tempo. I am not very good. But Alfie and I have been arguing about 10/2 in email, and since I have never really worked hard on this one, I will have to concede that I probably have no idea what I am talking about.
88man wrote:25/12 and 25/1 are not difficult once you start learning them, it's just an endurance issue. Pssst: Finger push ups help!
I am not so sure any more that endurance is exactly the right word for what these two require. I think that the arm/wrist/finger technique must be just exactly so, and if it's not, then the tension will cause damage whether or not your 'endurance' is good. I am still thinking of peppering my senior recital with several from op. 25; probably 1, 6, 11, and 12, but I don't think I will play them as a group. Probably open the program with 25/1, then play maybe some Debussy and a Beethoven sonata, and end the first half with 25/11. Then open the second half with 25/6, then play the Bach c minor partita, then end with 25/12. If I can do it.
But, if your piano's action is stiff, you may run out of steam fast.
I have a piano to practice on in my teacher's office - a Kawai that's been reworked a lot - that is wonderfully fluid and delicate. Can't get a sound out of it, but I imagine it's similar to the sort of piano that Chopin loved. I prefer playing on the Steinway in the recital hall of course - I love that sound - but I try not to treat it as a practice piano too often. It makes me feel guilty. There is another piano in my teacher's office - a Howard, also heavily reworked - that has stiff action, and my teacher uses it to practice because it makes performance easier, but I can't do it. Plus, she has hand injuries, and she concedes that it's probably because she's always favored practice pianos with stiff action.
88man wrote:BTW, why don't you post any recordings of this great repertoire?... I'd love to hear more Chopin Etudes on PS...
I don't have any recording equipment. Maybe one day I can afford some, and then I will record the ones I have worked on. I might play 25/11 for recital class, and if I do, there will be a recording, but the sound will probably not be all that great, and since it's live (in front of a few hundred music students) there is bound to be an error or three that I just can't live with, lol. But I will probably post it in the general forum for the curious, as usual.