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 Post subject: Will my birthday gift backfire?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:44 pm
Posts: 5
My wife's birthday is in a few days. In addition to purchasing gifts for her, I also typically do something sentimental for her on her birthday. Something which is usually paid for in time, rather than money. After having fooled around with many of Chopin's Nocturnes, I recently discovered Op.72 and thought I would secretely practice it and perform it for her on her birthday without her having to labor through all the mistakes of practicing the piece.

That was a month ago, and its coming along nicely. However, yesterday I had "The Pianist" soundtrack playing during dinner and my wife commented that Op.72 is "just too sad to appreciate" or something like that. With her birthday tomorrow, I am in a pinch! If I perform it, she is going to feel embarrassed. But otherwise, my birthday gift this year will be a little below par.

Thoughts?
Thanks, Ben


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 Post subject: Re: Will my birthday gift backfire?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
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As a 'wife' myself, I think your wife would appreciate your 'gift' no matter if it happens to be a piece she does not think is very romantic. On the other hand, you don't want to make her sad on her birthday. Sorry, but you have a pretty good dilema going here...

I'm not sure how well you can sightread or how quickly you can learn a piece, but if you want to try a different nocture, one that is not overly difficult and is romantic in nature, then I would suggest Op. 15/2, Op. 27/2 (my favorite!), Op. 32/1 - pretty easy except it ends on a minor chord which all of a sudden changes the whole feel of the piece. But you can play it as a major chord which is what I have done because it was marked that way in my book. There is also Op. 37/1 which is pretty easy. Best wishes! :)

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: Will my birthday gift backfire?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Wow Ben, I had to break out laughing when I got to the part where your wife reveals her opinion on the work! Why not turn the table and say,
"You know, I got to thinking about what you said about that Chopin piece, and I was wondering if it were played by another pianisit if you would think the same thing. I want to play it for you right now!"

Good luck ... let us know how it works out.

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Will my birthday gift backfire?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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Location: Netherlands
It's a peculiar thing to say, that a piece is "just too sad to appreciate" - especially when the piece is wistful rather than overtly sad.
Could it be your spouse is not really attuned to classical music ? Or is she a compulsively cheerful person who does not take to sadness or nostalgia ?

As Eddy says - go on with it, make her realize this is not sad music. And even if it is, well, sad is beautiful. The sadder the better !
Nothing beats a good hearty weep now and then :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Will my birthday gift backfire?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
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techneut wrote:
Nothing beats a good hearty weep now and then :wink:


I can't believe you said that.... :shock:

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

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


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 Post subject: Show must go on
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:36 pm 
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For better or worse I decided to perform it without bringing up the dinner conversation in any way. I was nervous playing and made a few mistakes but nothing catastrophic. Afterwards, my wife was appreciative and thanked me. For a moment I thought she might not have put it together, but then she finished with "I recognize the song, you said it was Chopin?"


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 Post subject: Re: Will my birthday gift backfire?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Whew!

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Eddy M. del Rio, MD
"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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