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Topic: Chopin 3rd Scherzo--what's up with the rhythm?  (Read 1611 times)

Offline thalberg

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Chopin 3rd Scherzo--what's up with the rhythm?
on: June 23, 2005, 02:06:56 PM
Hi All,

You know how in the middle section of the Chopin 3rd Scherzo, there's the chorale that alternates with the extremely pretty, soft descending scale/arpeggio figure?  Well, I've noticed on recordings that no one plays that exactly in rhythm--it's impossible to count along.

In trying to figure out what they ARE doing, I've noticed that they (the pros on the recordings) seem to squish the scale arpeggio into four bars instead of 4 bars plus two beats.  But I'm not sure if I'm right.  Any thoughts?

Offline Rach3

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Re: Chopin 3rd Scherzo--what's up with the rhythm?
Reply #1 on: June 24, 2005, 03:04:23 AM
Quote
Well, I've noticed on recordings that no one plays that exactly in rhythm--it's impossible to count along.

"No one"? Have you heard every single recording? I know some pianists who take this passage with strict rhytmic accuracy. The general idea of this passage is to think in 3 - the melodic Gb on the downbeat providing the tension and the Db on the next downbeat being the resolution. I think of the top notes as being sort of melodic - at the least, more important than the rest.

edit: What you might be hearing is probably just rubato or some kind of tempo relaxation; like a poco. rit. over the fast notes, or a slight delay on the huge leap from the chorale (it's very difficult to get there in one beat). In Argerich's debut recital recording (for example), she gets to the top late and then tries to make up for it by rushing the first few beats.
"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
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Offline anda

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Re: Chopin 3rd Scherzo--what's up with the rhythm?
Reply #2 on: June 24, 2005, 05:35:21 AM
i'm not sure what you mean - yes, there's always a rubato on the bar with the last chord and the begining of the downruns. except for this bar, everything else should be in same tempo. and i don't think you can count in 3 (the tempo is too fast for that), but in 1.

Offline Rach3

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Re: Chopin 3rd Scherzo--what's up with the rhythm?
Reply #3 on: June 24, 2005, 07:00:54 AM
If you quote my post I said
Quote
think in 3
which is very different from
Quote
count in 3 (the tempo is too fast for that)

-Rach3
"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
--Richard Wagner

Offline anda

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Re: Chopin 3rd Scherzo--what's up with the rhythm?
Reply #4 on: June 24, 2005, 02:47:48 PM
If you quote my post I said

think in 3

which is very different from

count in 3 (the tempo is too fast for that)

-Rach3

yes, you did - sorry, my mistake (that what happens when you try to read in english as fast as in your native language...)

still - you think in 3 this passage? why? - i mean, what's the advantage?

sorry again for my confusion.

Offline Rach3

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Re: Chopin 3rd Scherzo--what's up with the rhythm?
Reply #5 on: June 24, 2005, 03:03:01 PM
Quote
still - you think in 3 this passage? why? - i mean, what's the advantage?

The principle - always subdivide to the smallest possible unit when thinking. It's good for rhytmic accuracy.
"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
--Richard Wagner

Offline anda

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Re: Chopin 3rd Scherzo--what's up with the rhythm?
Reply #6 on: June 24, 2005, 04:37:21 PM
you mean when you practice slow? yes, of course. i didn't understand you were talking about this (ok, i get it now :) )

Offline thalberg

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Re: Chopin 3rd Scherzo--what's up with the rhythm?
Reply #7 on: June 24, 2005, 06:19:29 PM
If one of you knows of a recording that's strictly in rhythm, please tell me--I'd actually like to have one for reference.  When I played it strictly in rhythm, my teacher said it sounded wrong, so I found this other way and now she likes it.  I just really thought the descending scale/arpeggios were supposed to be faster than everything else.  If you count just on the first beat of the measure (like counting in one), you realize that although the last chord in each series should get five counts (five measures), it ends in many recordings after precisely four counts.  It's like the pianists thought that a chord lasting five counts would sound weird.  The subdivisions don't line up--they just squish to fit four counts.  I know because I've counted along this way and it works. 

And no,  I mis-spoke, I have not listened to all recordings.  Just Argerich and Rubinstein.  Who else do you like?

Offline anda

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Re: Chopin 3rd Scherzo--what's up with the rhythm?
Reply #8 on: June 24, 2005, 07:29:33 PM
which argerich recording?

i can't think of anyone playing strictly rhythmical - after all, what's the point in playing chopin completely rubato-free?

anyway, an interesting recording:
https://classic.manual.ru/Rachmaninov-performer/Chopin_Scherzo_3.html

best luck

Offline whynot

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Re: Chopin 3rd Scherzo--what's up with the rhythm?
Reply #9 on: June 25, 2005, 03:42:23 PM
Yes, what IS up with the rhythm?  I heard gobs of recordings of this before I ever saw the score (I was dating someone enamored of the piece), and I was flabbergasted when I saw the written music.  "It says this, and people play that?"  I don't like it when there's so much rubato that you can't even imagine the score being what it actually is.  It's really put me off this piece. 

Offline thalberg

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Re: Chopin 3rd Scherzo--what's up with the rhythm?
Reply #10 on: June 25, 2005, 11:26:08 PM
Thanks, whynot, you're the first person who seems to feel like I feel! 
 

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