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Ballade #1 in g minor op.23
Ballade #2 in F major op.38
Ballade #3 in Ab major op.47
Ballade #4 in f minor op.52

Chopin's Ballades (Read 2493 times)

Offline arensky

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Chopin's Ballades
« on: August 15, 2005, 09:25:40 AM »
Love it?

Hate it?

Records good and bad, best and worst?

Memorable live performances?

Do tell, we ( well, I) want to know what you think of what you've seen and heard....
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"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Sheet music to download and print: Ballades by Chopin



Offline Kassaa

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 09:48:47 AM »
I'm going to a concert of Earl Wild 25 september, and he's going to play all the Chopin Ballades ;D
Everything will pass, and the world will perish but the Waldstein Sonata will remain.

Offline chopiabin

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #2 on: August 15, 2005, 09:53:02 AM »
I personally love all of them, though I must say that the first and third ballades are my favorites, with the fourth coming in a very close second.

Offline arensky

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #3 on: August 15, 2005, 10:10:41 AM »
Enjoy, Kassaa! I know I would, I would like to go, but I'm sure it's a long way to go.... :-\
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"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline stevie

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #4 on: August 15, 2005, 12:13:25 PM »
it changes all the time, i love them all so much and almost equally, i go on cycles of preferring each one and getting a little tired of the others, because of this i voted for no2, because im addicted to it right now.

Offline Bouter Boogie

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #5 on: August 15, 2005, 01:19:46 PM »
Definitely the 4th one!
"The only love affair I have ever had was with music." - Maurice Ravel

Offline nanabush

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #6 on: August 15, 2005, 03:33:26 PM »
Ab major IMO is the best.  I like the G minor and F minor, not so much F major, but I love the third Ballade the most.
Interested in discussing:

-Prokofiev Toccata
-Scriabin Sonata 2

Offline chopiabin

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #7 on: August 15, 2005, 06:47:19 PM »
I'm currently working on the third ballade, and I must say that it is absolutely amazing. The end is so cool and perfect.

Offline arensky

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #8 on: August 15, 2005, 07:17:18 PM »
Yay Bouter Boogie!!!! I like the 4th too, but how to pick? This was hard, I put myself in the position of what if I could only have one, because I really love them all.  I think they're all difficult, but 1 and 4 have an edge over the other two in that department. I think they're all great I just like the 4th one best, it's personal.

I feel that Rubinstein excels in these pieces above all others, although I would be remiss not to mention; Richter and Michelangeli in #1, Ashkenazy in all 4,  Rachmaninov and Guiomar Novaes(does anyone else enjoy her playing anymore?) in #3. And many others. Who do y'all like? ;)

Oh, how could I forget; in 1981 I heard Horowitz play #1 and #4 back to back in Boston and a month later at the Met in NYC; the g minor had the late period Horowitz wrong notes, no matter, it was unbelievable. :o The f minor was the best performance of this piece I ever expect to to hear, a couple mistakes of no consequence, and the most emotional playing I have ever heard, :'( particularly at the Boston recital. His tone color, was unbelievable, shades of green and blue floating out of the piano. Which reminds me; does anyone out there experience synesthesia to any degree; I do, with really great people; everytime I heard Horowitz live this happend; I had the impression(?) of colors floating out of the piano; Mephisto Waltz; Purple, Blue, Red/Pink. G minor Ballade; blazing orange/gold, yellow. Does anyone else experience this?

Two more Ballade performances; Garrick Olsohn(sp) playing #2, excellent. Thomas Stumpf, a superb pianist from Boston, playing #1.

take care all, gotta run! :)
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"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline chopiabin

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #9 on: August 15, 2005, 10:58:30 PM »
I totally see colors for different pieces -

1st ballade - lots of slate blue and other shades of blue, some greens, some black - very beautiful

2nd  - I don't listen to it very much, but I guess it would be shades of pale green with various shades of red in it

3rd - It's really hard to describe, there are too many different colors

4th - Mostly reds, burgundies, grays and blacks 

Offline da jake

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #10 on: August 16, 2005, 05:32:27 AM »
I always think of the 4th Ballade as blue, heh.

Greatest piece of music of the 4 - a masterpiece.

No question.
"The best discourse upon music is silence" - Schumann

Offline dinosaurtales

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #11 on: August 16, 2005, 06:19:43 AM »
I always think of the 4th Ballade as blue, heh.

Greatest piece of music of the 4 - a masterpiece.

No question.

What he said.
So much music, so little time........

Offline Waldszenen

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #12 on: August 16, 2005, 08:03:57 AM »
4 - 1 - 3 - 2 is the order that I like them - but they're all masterpieces IMO.


Zimerman's rendition is my favourite.
Fortune favours the musical.

Offline stevie

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #13 on: August 16, 2005, 12:04:18 PM »
4 - 1 - 3 - 2 is the order that I like them - but they're all masterpieces IMO.


Zimerman's rendition is my favourite.

yeah, his studio recordings are great, but this video i have of him playing them is even better

Offline stevie

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #14 on: August 16, 2005, 12:08:57 PM »
I'm currently working on the third ballade, and I must say that it is absolutely amazing. The end is so cool and perfect.

its the odd one out, the only one to end in the major key

i used to hate the ending, but now i understand and love it too.

Offline Aziel

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #15 on: August 16, 2005, 12:11:21 PM »
Currently: No. 1 ;D
♪...Aziel Musica... ♪

Offline spirithorn

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #16 on: August 16, 2005, 08:55:50 PM »
MY favorite is definitely the 4th, which may be the most profound piece for solo piano in the romantic repertoire (IMO, of course).  I think all four are masterpieces.  I heard Ashkenazy close a recital many years ago with the 4th, and it was breathtaking.
"Souplesse, souplesse..."

Offline raffyplayspiano

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #17 on: August 17, 2005, 03:05:29 AM »
the fourth, the fourth, the fourth!!

the first ballade comes in a distant second.   :)

raffy
**Raffy plays the piano**

Offline arensky

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #18 on: August 17, 2005, 03:51:49 AM »
 I concur, spirithorn.  But Raffy, not too distant for the 1st :)

the 1st is the "Extrovert Ballade"

the 2sd is the  "Psychotic Mood Swing Ballade "

the 3rd is the "Happy Ballade"

the 4th is the "Introvert Ballade"

I'm being silly ::)

back to Scriabin, I'm changing my Preludes again.....
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"One never knows about another one, do one?" Fats Waller

Offline nanabush

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #19 on: August 17, 2005, 05:59:03 PM »
That's the reason I like the third, it's so happy sounding..
Interested in discussing:

-Prokofiev Toccata
-Scriabin Sonata 2

Offline maxy

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #20 on: August 17, 2005, 09:59:06 PM »
Ballade 1, 2, 3 are all gems.  Yet, Ballade 4 is at least one step further.

Offline Motrax

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #21 on: August 18, 2005, 01:19:43 AM »
I'm gonna have to say the 2nd is my favorite, though the 4th comes close behind. Then the 3rd and 1st are tied slightly behind that.
"I always make sure that the lid over the keyboard is open before I start to play." --  Artur Schnabel, after being asked for the secret of piano playing.

Offline theprincess

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #22 on: August 18, 2005, 01:36:49 AM »
My favorite is the 4th, with the 1st a close second.  Actually, the fourth ballade is my favorite piano piece ever, and I am very obsessed with all of the ballades. The second is my least favorite although it is alot of fun to play. I am preparing to play all four ballades for a recital next year sometime. My favorite recordings are Rubenstien and Zimmerman. Zimmerman especially for the 4th.....it's just amazing.

Offline burstroman

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #23 on: August 19, 2005, 01:41:03 AM »
The A-flat, in the recording by Richter is "transcendental".

Offline Waldszenen

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #24 on: August 19, 2005, 11:21:04 AM »
yeah, his studio recordings are great, but this video i have of him playing them is even better

That video - if it's Zimerman plays Chopin and Schubert then I've got it too.
Fortune favours the musical.

Offline Bouter Boogie

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #25 on: August 19, 2005, 03:46:20 PM »
4 - 1 - 3 - 2 is the order that I like them - but they're all masterpieces IMO.


Zimerman's rendition is my favourite.

Yeah, I agree :) Zimerman plays them fabulous!
"The only love affair I have ever had was with music." - Maurice Ravel

Offline presto agitato

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #26 on: August 20, 2005, 12:14:17 AM »
num 4 with Zimerman
The masterpiece tell the performer what to do, and not the performer telling the piece what it should be like, or the cocomposer what he ought to have composed.

--Alfred Brendel--

Offline franzliszt2

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #27 on: August 20, 2005, 07:52:27 PM »
Number 4!!! it has to be, it's absolutly amazing,especially the development of the main theme. The whole work is genius, Chopin at his best.

However all the ballades are amazing. The best Ballade is when you hear them all one after the other, then it becomes an amazing experience.

Offline lisztwasgod

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #28 on: August 22, 2005, 09:37:19 AM »
Bolet has killer recording of all of them...flawless in terms of interpretation and expression...might check them out sometime
"Surely you must know I've played it faster" - Cziffra on his recording of Grand Galop Chrmoatique

Offline brewtality

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #29 on: August 22, 2005, 09:47:01 AM »
My favourite is number 1; I prefer the recordings of Hofmann (most incredible phrasing I've heard), Rubinstein (for various parts) and Cortot (I love his emphasis of the bass in the PCF).
For the second and third I like Cortot. For the Fourth, my fav is Hofmann.

Offline nightmarecinema

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #30 on: August 22, 2005, 03:20:14 PM »
My favorite is number 1, with number 4 a close second. The other two are good, though I don't like them nearly as much. I think Rubenstein does them very well, but I also really like  the performances of Peter van Winkel.

Offline arensky

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #31 on: September 27, 2005, 08:18:29 AM »
                                                   Bumpage!
 
                                                         :D
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Offline princessdecadence

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #32 on: September 28, 2005, 10:25:21 AM »
I love the g minor Ballade.  Dislike Horowitz recording of this song, there's 1 good one but I don't know who's on the piano. 

One of Chopin's best pieces this ballade (in my opinion) ;)
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Offline frederic

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #33 on: September 29, 2005, 05:18:22 AM »
AHHH! Would God please rid us of these evil "songs"?!
"The concert is me" - Franz Liszt

Offline arensky

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #34 on: September 29, 2005, 07:32:19 AM »
AHHH! Would God please rid us of these evil "songs"?!


But why, Fred? Inquiring mind wants to know.... :D
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #35 on: September 29, 2005, 07:53:14 AM »
these could hardly be called 'songs.'  they are stories from beginning to end.  unfortunately, i think they are very telling.  to me, the second is hauntingly beautiful.  dedicated to robert schumann, it reminds me of the contrast between the two composers.  occasionally schumann would write something rather scathing about chopin or liszt, but liszt and chopin took it rather lightheartedly and actually engaged schumann.  chopin took it so far as to show schumann (by dedicating this ballade to him) that he was the one that had music by the neck.  chopin was merely trying to 'hang on' despite severe circumstances in his life - and that schumann had nothing to be jealous of (since the deepest forms of music come from great sorrow). now this isn't to say that schumann didn't have some great sorrows, just that he didn't live through what chopin did.

i hear in the beginning strains, the happy town that schumann lived in, and then it focuses in on schumann's happy family, children, wife - all the things that schumann might have been taking forgranted at the time he was criticising (or writing reviews).  then, all of a sudden, a whirlwind of a bit of chopin's memory of his family.  unfortunately, for him, they were pretty much wiped out by the various russian? assaults on his hometown.  the fury of the devastation of his town is left in the contemplation of a lake.  it looks serene and placid, but underneath probably holds the truth of what happened.  (just like bosnia, croatia, and places like that).  these people cannot begin to tell, and chopin probably only could through music, the horrors that happened to people they knew and even their own family.

also, chopin had less ability to put this all in writing, as he was actually trying to forget it all, but couldn't (like a recurring nightmare).  it put his health, and mental stability at risk to write about it, so he stored it in subconcious along with his musical compositions letting it all out.  you can hear the storm pass - in the ballade, as something that was just that - a storm of fury, and then placid happiness of others at the same time (just as the sun rises again) that know nothing of your own sorrow.  chopin has to go on, and he does (as he's moved to paris and decides to go on).

i used to dislike chopin as i thought he merely was weak and too in touch with his feelings, but now i see he was just trying to let them out.  he also had a very good attitude toward other composers despite how they spoke of him.  the fact he included schumann in this dedication means to me, he was quite forgiving and actually took the time to 'speak' to schumann about his own life and i'm sure it quieted schumann down to think about it.

Offline arensky

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #36 on: September 29, 2005, 08:06:04 AM »
i used to dislike chopin as i thought he merely was weak and too in touch with his feelings, but now i see he was just trying to let them out. 

It takes strength to be in touch with your feelings, and let them out. Feminine and sick yes, but weak, no.
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Offline jehangircama

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #37 on: September 30, 2005, 02:20:15 PM »
where can i get an mp3 of no.2?
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Offline cherub_rocker1979

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #38 on: October 01, 2005, 01:05:29 AM »
Murray Perahia is excellent in the Chopin Ballades and so is Krystian Zimerman

My favorite is no. 4

Offline Waldszenen

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Re: Chopin's Ballades
«Reply #39 on: October 01, 2005, 09:07:12 AM »
Bolet has killer recording of all of them...flawless in terms of interpretation and expression...might check them out sometime

Bolet's a legend, amazing sound
Fortune favours the musical.