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 Post subject: Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (help!)
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 1:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 25
Does anyone ever post here? o.O

I was wondering if I could get some tips for this song. I've been working on 1. the tempo (though I think it's fine now?) and 2. dynamics. It's definitely a tough song to play up to speed, but I'm working on it. Any tips would be appreciated!
Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (help!)
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 2:08 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:07 pm
Posts: 649
Location: Carbondale, IL
I listened to your recording. I think you have the general idea of the piece. I don't have the score but nevertheless I imagine there are phrase marks that end at around :32 so I would have liked more of a ritardando there. If you listen to many recordings here, I think you will agree it sounds mroe natural. I liked your crescendo to :55. I think you have mastered the uneven time that the right hand sets against the left. Also, if this were to be considered for the site you would want to put 3 seconds of silence at the beginning and end of the performance. I heard the recorder turn on sounds like it was on a music stand :) but nobody wants to hear that so cut it out. Good to hear this piece, nice job practicing and I look forward to the finished product!

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (help!)
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:59 am
Posts: 242
I think this is a successful performance of a challenging piece. Hats off for learning ANY of the Op. 10s. I'm not going to bother commenting on any recording/production issues as I assume this is just a practice recording.

What could make it even better? I have only one suggestion but it would affect the whole piece. Consider what to do with the descending lines of the main theme (0:07-0:10 and similar). Think about how to shape that line the first couple of times we hear it, both in terms of dynamics and in terms of rubato, and then think about whether you want to vary the shape on the repeats. The voicing is quite good -- we clearly hear the slower high voice over the faster-moving inner voices -- but that high voice is itself not shaped much at present and there is no rubato which results in a NOTE, NOTE, NOTE sort of sound.

Thanks for sharing your work in progress :) (I hope more people make use of PS's feedback and I plan to post some WIP Schumann soon....)

P.S. As there is no vocal part to this etude, it's a "piece" not a "song" ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (help!)
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 5:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 25
Thanks for the quick replies!

@hreichgott: By rubato, are you referring to the "line?" I've actually been working on that for what seems like forever, and it's still bugging me. Does forming that line mainly come from the fingers or from dynamics ... or something else?

And yes, it was just a practice recording :)

I am also wondering how to "warm up" the left hand. It seems like I've been getting better at starting the piece the last week or so, but it still takes a few lines to really get going. It's kind of annoying, especially when it comes time for performance ...


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (help!)
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 2:25 am 
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"Shape" is mostly a property of dynamics, but attack/articulation comes into it too. If you were singing or saying the line, where would the points of emphasis be? That gives you a clue about where to be louder or softer, where to use a more firm strike with the finger vs. a more leaning strike (of course it's legato overall).

"Rubato" means squeezing the tempo ahead in some places and stretching it out in others. Rubato means "robbed" -- the idea is that time is stolen from some beats and given to other beats nearby. Rubato has to be done tastefully and in keeping with the musical material. I assume you've already listened to a bunch of good recordings of this piece, but if not, go on Youtube or Spotify and listen to a few. You'll notice differences in rubato right away.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (help!)
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:00 pm
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Thanks! I'll definitely work on those points today. It seems as though the right hand is essentially legato during those phrases (e.g. after the first two measures, throughout the first "long" phrase) ... although the music itself marks a staccato above each note.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (help!)
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 6:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9479
Location: Netherlands
echoyjeff222 wrote:
Does anyone ever post here? o.O

Not nearly enough. But then we only created this section recently. People still need to find their way, and get used to the fact that things do't need to be as polished as in the Audition Room.

echoyjeff222 wrote:
I was wondering if I could get some tips for this song.
It bugs us old farts that today's youngsters call any piece of classical music a song. It's a bit like calling every man a dude, or every girl a chick. But we are not going to turn that tide - so let's not argue too much about it. We can probably blame Apple for this degeneration in vocabulary.

Technically you are well matched to this etude. An occasional dropped note in the LH or a little slip in the RH but nothing to worry about. As you transcend the technical side you might want to work on shaping your lines, adding more dynamics and subtle rubato. It still sounds a bit too much note-by-note. But you'll get there, no doubt.

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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (help!)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:14 am 
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Posts: 25
Here's a recording from tonight's practice. I've been trying to work on the things that you guys mentioned ... how do you guys think it's going?

I realize that it's about 6-7 seconds longer than last time, but that's because I've been focusing on bringing out certain parts, making sure I don't "thump" the notes as much ...


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (help!)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:09 pm
Posts: 367
Location: Athens, Greece
I listened to both your recordings. First of all, it's nice to play a Chopin etude for practice. Any etude. I myself play three or four of them as practice pieces.
But recording one as a performance piece is another thing. There, you discover how challenging these compositions really are.

Last thing I want to do is discourage you but I honestly think you have to start from the beginning! You are in a dead end here. You have rushed your playing to a velocity level where you don't seem to follow. The music is ahead of you all the time. I know that you get anxious to bring the etude to speed but you have to consider that all these folks who play it and make it seem like a child's play have studied it exhaustively, they have painfully walked every note with hands and mind. What you hear from them is the result of years of dedication and practice and why hide it, in some cases extreme talent. It's wrong to think that gaining speed is the final step to a finished performance.

To my ears you have to practise really slow, and I mean really slow, for some time. Every note should be clear, your tempo should be steady. Only when you are sure that you have mastered the piece in a slow speed, then you increase your tempo. I know this is a slow process but unless you are a rare talent, this is the only way. In any case, give it a try. I am sure that you will discover the beauty of this music, essential to keep you practising, even in a slow tempo and your improvement will act as an added motive to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (help!)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:30 pm 
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It's definitely better! There is much more shape in the melody line now. Keep melody-alone practice as part of your routine and it will keep getting better still.


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 Post subject: Re: Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 9 (help!)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
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Location: Netherlands
Yes it's better - as it should be when you've worked on it significantly. I don't agree with wiser_guy that you are speeding above your capabilities here.
I guess at the moment you are going for the big picture, and I think you are on the right way with that. But there is some truth in the idea that you should take a step or two back and look at all the fine details again. I find practice often a combination of these two approaches.

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Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
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