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Author Topic: Chopin Fantasie-Impromptu  (Read 3579 times)
fleetfingers
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« on: July 07, 2012, 11:34:19 PM »

Hello,

I have been recording this piece every so often on a K Kawai grand piano, trying to get it to a point where people would truly enjoy listening to it. I would love to receive some constructive criticism from listeners with advice on what changes to make. Or, tell me if I'm far off the mark and no where close to being good . . .

Just a little note about the end: I have everything memorized except the last page, and in the recording, I lost my place or something, so you can hear me fumbling around trying to fake it until I could get back on track . . . hard to do at that speed. Grin So, ignore that; I'll memorize it this week, and then hopefully it will be fine.

Please tell me what you think and how I can improve. I'll re-record in a week or two and post.

Thanks.

Flash mp3 player

* Fantasie-Impromptu.mp3 (2608.63 KB - downloaded 369 times.)
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piano sheet music of Fantaisie-Impromptu
johnmar78
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 08:59:42 AM »

very good attempt Fleet, why dnt you post this is under"student section" so you can have a continious update just like I did.

At the beginning first 40 sec, here is my findings that need to be further investigate.
1) Little too forceful in each notes you played this applied to both hands.

2) I had a feeling of over pedaling.

3) lack of tempo control, I had a feeling that you get a little too excited and spun out of control Cheesy

4) decending chromatics RH, I think you played it from A instead of Ab.

5) ending last bar, I dnt think you have played(timed ) it correctly-read score again please.

Resolution:

Slow down and use metronome, but pretending you are counting the beats. Once  you get everything nice and tidy, you can apply little bit of rubato if you like Wink

Ok now, I hope this does not upset you, if you think its good enough then just ignore what I have metioned above. Thanks for sharing your work..
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jollisg
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 10:42:18 AM »

I agree with johnmar78. Here are my tips:

1) Practice super slow and rhythmical. Even when able to play a piece fast - you will have benefits by practice slow. But even when you practice slow - have the musical expression in mind!

2) Have variation in your practice. For example, practice right hand alone and practice;
a) Staccato
b) Legatissimo
c) Accent different beats - first you accent the 1st semiquaver, then the 2nd, then the 3rd and 4th
d) (This is really fun!) Play the semiquavers as triplets!
This gave me a lot of control over the whole piece.

3) Even when you have memorized the piece, go back and read the scores. Like the first part (with the semiquavers) is mostly piano I think, with some exceptions (at least in the edition I use).

4) Try to listen and feel the music. If you are able to - close your eyes or play in a dark room. This will make it sound less like "now I'm pressing that key, and not this....". I personally can't play the fast parts without looking, but I close my eyes in the middle part. This will only help if you're comfy with the keyboard Smiley

This was more like tips on how to practice. I practiced like this when I learnt the piece Smiley For how long have you studied the piece?
Keep on with the good work! Smiley
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 10:50:48 AM »

4) decending chromatics RH, I think you played it from A instead of Ab.

It was actually a B...

but as for everything else - you're right on the money.

Also - in the 'B' section - work on your mordents... You play Cb Dbb (C natural essentially) Cb Bb instead of Cb Db Cb Bb, over the first of the four quavers.
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candlelightpiano
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 12:53:38 AM »

I wish I had your fleet fingers!!!!  You're like a Speedy Gonzalez here!  Someday I hope to be able to play this piece as swiftly as you did here.

No one has mentioned this but it appears to me (and I could be wrong) that in the Moderato Cantabile section, you're not getting the 2/3 polyrhythms for example in bars 43, 47 and other similar bars.  Birba gave me lots of tips on FI and he particularly mentioned that I wasn't getting the polyrhythms here, too. When you play it, instead of four eighth notes in bar 43 and other similar bars, it sounds like a dotted rhythm.  I think you should be able to count an even three-and-four-and for those eighth notes but in yours, it sounds like a dotted rhythm.

Also are you sure you're getting the correct notes in the LH of bars 33/34 and the beginning of the RH chromatic run?

If my hearing was wrong, my apologies.   Embarrassed  I AM a very inexperienced piano player.

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fleetfingers
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 03:51:51 AM »

very good attempt Fleet, why dnt you post this is under"student section" so you can have a continious update just like I did.

Thanks, johnmar, for the idea - I think I will start a thread in the student section with my next recording. I hope that you and others will continue to give me feedback.

At the beginning first 40 sec, here is my findings that need to be further investigate.
1) Little too forceful in each notes you played this applied to both hands.

2) I had a feeling of over pedaling.

3) lack of tempo control, I had a feeling that you get a little too excited and spun out of control Cheesy

This is exactly what I was looking for, thank you! I have learned this without a teacher, and no one has heard it except my family members. Anyway, I didn't know the notes sounded too forceful, so I will work on lightening them up. Same with pedal; good to know.

As for number 3, this is very helpful feedback. I do not feel out of control, but of course if it sounds that way, it's not good. Is the tempo too fast, or do you think if I insert some rit. and rubato it will sound more controlled?

5) ending last bar, I dnt think you have played(timed ) it correctly-read score again please.

Do you mean the very end, when I switch chords? Or do you mean the end of section A (I wasn't sure if you stopped listening after 40 seconds)? Please clarify, and I will take a look.

Ok now, I hope this does not upset you, if you think its good enough then just ignore what I have metioned above. Thanks for sharing your work..

Not upset at all!!! I'm very grateful that you took the time to listen and respond. Just what I was looking for. Thank you! Smiley
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fleetfingers
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 04:08:13 AM »

4) Try to listen and feel the music. If you are able to - close your eyes or play in a dark room. This will make it sound less like "now I'm pressing that key, and not this....". I personally can't play the fast parts without looking, but I close my eyes in the middle part. This will only help if you're comfy with the keyboard Smiley

This was more like tips on how to practice. I practiced like this when I learnt the piece Smiley For how long have you studied the piece?
Keep on with the good work! Smiley

Thank you, jollisg, for listening and responding! Smiley I appreciate the practice tips and will try to keep most of it piano with a softer touch. I also love to play with my eyes closed . . . in fact, I think they were for much of this recording. My favorite is to play in the middle of the night in a dark room.

I started this piece a little over two years ago. It used to make my hands tired, and I wondered if I'd ever be able to play it. There were other challenges to work through. So, it took a few months to learn and build up the stamina to play without getting fatigued.  Even then, it was very amateur-sounding, and I wasn't happy. I started to hate it . . . does that happen to anyone else? Put it away for about a year, took it out again, put it away again, and now it's out. Smiley So, it's been a while, but it's not like I've been consistently working on it, if that makes sense. Could be the reason for some mis-readings because I revived it from memory (haha, except the last page). Thanks again for commenting!
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fleetfingers
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 04:19:14 AM »

It was actually a B...

but as for everything else - you're right on the money.

Also - in the 'B' section - work on your mordents... You play Cb Dbb (C natural essentially) Cb Bb instead of Cb Db Cb Bb, over the first of the four quavers.

Yes, I started from B. I see now on the score that it should be a G#.  Grin Embarrassed

Thanks for listening, perfect_pitch! I will watch those notes in the B section . . . again, I cannot believe you can hear such details. I appreciate you pointing it out. Smiley
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fleetfingers
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 04:27:04 AM »

I wish I had your fleet fingers!!!!  You're like a Speedy Gonzalez here!  Someday I hope to be able to play this piece as swiftly as you did here.

Thanks for listening, Choo! I know that you have been working on this piece, and I value your insights. Haha, I laughed at the speedy gonzalez comment. I don't want it to sound too fast or out of control, but I do want to play it as fast as it's supposed to be. Maybe it could stand to be a little slower.

No one has mentioned this but it appears to me (and I could be wrong) that in the Moderato Cantabile section, you're not getting the 2/3 polyrhythms for example in bars 43, 47 and other similar bars.  Birba gave me lots of tips on FI and he particularly mentioned that I wasn't getting the polyrhythms here, too. When you play it, instead of four eighth notes in bar 43 and other similar bars, it sounds like a dotted rhythm.  I think you should be able to count an even three-and-four-and for those eighth notes but in yours, it sounds like a dotted rhythm.

Also are you sure you're getting the correct notes in the LH of bars 33/34 and the beginning of the RH chromatic run?

I will take a look at the rhythms in the cantabile section, particularly the bars you point out. Also, I'll check out the LH in 33 and 34.

Thanks, Everyone! I am so glad I posted - this is very helpful, and I'd appreciate any other comments anyone has!
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johnmar78
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« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 07:08:02 AM »

Hey Fleet, how was your seating heights,a higher seating gives you more on finger jobs like playing Mozart, and a lower seating focused more on forearm and sholuder, say playing Racmoninoff..etc. If you required "stamina", this could means you MAY used too much forearm power that causes fatique?-correct me if I am wrong. Try work more on your fingers(higher seating) that you hands can flow much smoothly. the impromutu should be played lightly and brisky but effortlesly.....aim for that. and start slowly ok.

Yes, the ending BAR= the last bar. C# to G# from my memory...

If you can play the first 40 bars slowly-at your speed and controlled, you have make a big improvement already. Wink

Looking forward for your next one--say one month. Wink
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starstruck5
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 02:53:23 PM »

You captured the spirit of this piece amazingly well -I don't want to repeat other observations -apart from the polyrhythms in the Moderato Canatabile -Definitely being played as dotted notes -

This section could be played more refectively and sedately -I still got a sense of you  wanting to rush forward -when Chopin in fact has written this as as a contrasting section -if you make a list of everything the Presto respresents -write down the opposite word and if you apply this -you will play it the way Chopin intended -

Finally when the piece winds down towards the end -you need to give a feeling that that the storm has passed -the passion has all been spent-there is nothing left to say, nothing left to give.

You have the capabilties to play this piece to a professional standard -I am impressed.

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candlelightpiano
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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2012, 03:18:18 PM »

I started this piece a little over two years ago. It used to make my hands tired, and I wondered if I'd ever be able to play it. There were other challenges to work through. So, it took a few months to learn and build up the stamina to play without getting fatigued.  Even then, it was very amateur-sounding, and I wasn't happy. I started to hate it . . . does that happen to anyone else? Put it away for about a year, took it out again, put it away again, and now it's out. Smiley So, it's been a while, but it's not like I've been consistently working on it, if that makes sense. Could be the reason for some mis-readings because I revived it from memory (haha, except the last page). Thanks again for commenting!

I'm relieved to hear you say this.  Gives me hope.  I haven't given up on it but I worked on it quite intensely for three months, but have hardly practiced piano the last three months and heaven knows when I'll be back working on it.  I hope to be able to play it at least half as well as you do in two years.  I'll never be able to play the runs as brilliantly as you play yours.  Your runs are pretty phenomenal.  I think that when Czerny composed his school of velocity, he had you in mind as his model student!  As Starstruck says, you have the capabilities to play this piece at a professional standard.  Very impressive!

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