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Chopin: Etude Op. 10 No. 12 in C Minor

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Frédéric Chopin - Etudes :
Etude, Op. 10 No. 12
Etude Op. 10 No. 12  in C Minor by Chopin piano sheet music
Key: C Minor Year: 1832
Level: 8+ Period: Early Romantic
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext (612 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: Scholtz edition (1215 kB)

A war cry at the piano

The Revolutionary Etude, an intense, tempestuous work that sounds like a chaotic battle, is the twelfth and last piece in Chopin's first set of Etudes. It was written in 1831 at about the same time as the November Uprising, Poland's failed revolt against Russia. As this etude's alternative title suggests, Chopin seems to have written it as a response to the Polish revolt, and he poured many of the emotions that he was feeling at the time into the work.

Until the time of Chopin and Liszt, etudes were written as educational exercises intended to focus on and improve technique, but the etudes written by these composers were intended as fully developed pieces intended for concert performances. Like most of Chopin’s Etudes, the Revolutionary is very difficult to play, but unlike most of the others, the difficulties are mainly in the left hand. A heroic, fanfare-like melody is played by the right hand while the left hand creates an impression of chaos and intensity by making continuous fast runs up and down the keyboard.

One of the more interesting aspects of the piece is its abrupt ending. It ends with a descending sweep in both hands that ends in a C major chord, supposedly brighter and more positive-sounding than the rest of the piece, which is in c minor. However, the arrival of this chord is so abrupt that the effect is anything but soothing. An unexpected touch to one of Chopin's more intense works, and possibly an allusion to the end of the first movement of Beethoven’s Sonata op 111, which Chopin is known to have admired.

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xx Chopin Etude Dynamics
January 03, 2003, 03:00:14 PM by Le-ackt

I have been playing Chopin Etude #12 Op10 ,the " Revolutionary Etude" , I wonder anyone could tell me The Dynamics about this Piece , like should left hand be blue and softer or play it louder and more defining . Should the Right hand be Pouring loud or lighter? .
and Could anyone also tell me what is the best way to handle the Etude 12 Op25 , the Ocean Etude. should it be Loud and Angry or be softer and Gentle .
thanks ~ these 2 and Excellent Masterpiece with full of Emotions .

xx Revolutionary Etude
May 13, 2003, 02:10:35 AM by BoliverAllmon

Here's a question for you. In every recording I have heard of Fantasie Impromptu in the measures where you accent a 16th note on every beat. It gives the effect of quarter notes with the bass flying like crazy. Shouldn't the same effect be produced in parts of Revolutionary Etude? I haven't heard it played this way, but was thinking that it should be done the same way.


xx etude op.10 no.12, Chopin
May 25, 2003, 12:21:32 AM by xpletus

I am having a lot of difficulty playing the fourth page, the part with triplets on the right hand and 16th notes on the left. Does anyone have any tips, particularly in getting it up to speed? Thanks in advance

xx Op 10  no.12 edude by chopin
July 10, 2003, 11:01:21 AM by piani0player

   Because my left hand is not very strong so i am planning to include this piece for my end of year exam.but i wonder how to practice the left hand to play up to speed because they are very fast.could you tell me exactly how to get start practicing this piece and how many hours should i spend on it if i want to get up to concert stardard in less than 3 months,possible? i like this piece very much.
thank you

smiley Revolutionary Etude... in Octaves!
July 12, 2003, 03:12:51 AM by e60m5

Hey guys. I haven't been to this forum in a while, as I've been overseas for a couple of weeks... it's nice to be back.

Earlier tonight, I read about Alexander Dreyschock's feat of playing the Revolutionary Etude in octaves.

Here's an interesting link, with an account of this feat and Liszt's response...


Now... I think I've found my goal for the next year or so.  Grin

Yeah, I'm going to try to be the second guy to play this etude in octaves. Do you guys think I'm insane for trying...?

I mean, it is possible, after all, that guy did do it...

What are all your opinions on this? I do know the piece, as I learnt it 6 years ago and still remember it fine. So, I don't have to learn the notes... just the technique...  Wink

Have I finally gone insane?

xx Cheating permitted on the Revolutionary?
August 22, 2003, 04:37:30 AM by allchopin

For the first run in Chopins Revolutionary, would it be "permittable" to play this with the right hand?  I mean, you have the space of a sixteenth note to move your hand down, and its far easier with the right... So Why not?

xx Chopin's Revolutionary Etude
September 08, 2003, 03:53:36 AM by xenon

I was wondering if I could get a good indication of which tempo is appropriate for this etude.  There are many "conflicting" speeds, and I would like to know what is suitable.

My edition (Paderewski) indicates 160 to the quarter note.  One person I consulted with had an edition that stated 152 to the quarter note.  I have a very good recording that starts off at 144, but as it progresses, it descends in tempo down to 132 to the quarter.

I was wondering from people who have performed this before, what they felt regarding the tempo.



xx top 10 fastest performance of rev etude
October 06, 2003, 01:06:32 PM by Atahualpa

i studied this etude and i believe i can play it fast already.

can anyone tell me about a really fast (as in fast) performance of F. Chopin's rev etude??

xx Any advice for Chopin Revolutionary Etude
March 19, 2004, 04:52:15 PM by JustinTimberlake

I'm currently working on Chopin's Revolutionary Etude. And I feel extremely lucky to have a great teacher guide me. But i hope to get more tips here, on practising this piece. Thank you Smiley

xx questions about right hand chords of op.10 no. 12
July 31, 2004, 06:35:48 PM by Poland

In this etude, the left hand can be achieved by practising from slow to fast, spending a lot of time, in my case. But the right hand, the chords, which sometimes jumps so quickly, are very hard to conquer.

Can anyone give me any ways or past expereince of doing well in the right hand, for that is where than main melody lies and I don't want it to be weak, un-dynamic etc etc~

thx a lot~!

xx Chopin Revolutionary Etude (Op10 #12)
August 22, 2004, 03:35:23 AM by c_vince

I am an ARCT student in RCM (wonder if any of you know what it is).

I started playing this piece in the beginning of this year, and I still have problems playing it...

I practice it very regularly, and I try hard to fix my problems, but I still can't get it to sound (technically) the way I want it to sound.

My left hand is always tired when I place this piece, and I always break down around the middle (where the beginning returns).. Its really bugging me, because I'm in love with a piece I cannot play... My left hand doesn't want to go as fast as I'd like it,  and regardless of how much I practice this thing, I can't get it to go fast enough, and end up getting super tired near the middle...

does anybody have any pointers of how to practice the piece? My teacher tells me to relax, but with all these fast notes... I can only relax till around the end of the first page.

Thank you for all your help, and hecking with my appologetic nature (I know.. its a problem)

xx Revolutionary etude
November 10, 2004, 08:58:46 PM by Tibor

What's the best way to practice Revolutionary? Practice it bar by bar LH or ...?

xx revolutionary etude tempo
April 02, 2005, 01:16:06 AM by zalmanesd

What tempo does your edition give?
Today, I decided to check using the metronome to check my tempos.
Boy, did I get a surprise.
I have a Quarter Note=112 , which seems slow.  For some reasons, (probably the influence of recordings), I had been playing at around quarter=150-170.
Is it really that easy?

xx Fantasie-Imp or Revolutionary?
May 25, 2005, 09:18:16 PM by chopintod

Howdy all--new to this forum and I can't wait to get involved.   Grin

OK, I have a serious question that I've been wrestling with for a bit now.  I'm an upper-advanced pianist; nearly 18 and I've been studying since 7.  I'm going to college next year, and my teacher wants me to play something really impressive for my last recital (in August).  She's pushing Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu, which I LOVE to listen to, but I'm starting to doubt my ability to learn it completely by August (the 3 vs 4 is really messing me up).  Meanwhile, I found the music for Chopin's Revolutionary Etude today, and I can play through the first 3 pages after about half-hour of practice (not at speed, of course, but accurately).  My question: Should I try to stick with the F.Imp and hope that I learn it by August?

Actually, more to the point, which would be easier for me to learn (by August, remember): Fantasie Imp. or Revolutionary Etude?

Thanks in advance!  Cheesy

xx Chopin Fingerings - Sorry!
June 03, 2005, 12:45:29 PM by p_2005

I know the Revolutionary Etude has been brought up enough times - but then, it is the first Chopin Etude I am doing, so would appreciate any help with the fingerings, particularly in bars 7-8 and 17-18.  The fingerings I'm using at the moment feel too cramped, and I am sure that they will not work when I try the piece any quicker.  Thanks.

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