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Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions? (Read 3377 times)

Offline lagin

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Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
« on: January 25, 2006, 04:19:21 AM »
Okay, I want your opinions people.  To give you an idea where I'm at, I just finished Beethoven's Pathetique sonata first movement, or rather I'm just at the perfecting stage now.  I have it at 132 to the half note, and don't really like it much faster, though if I had to, I could get it faster.  My teacher said that this summer after my exam in June, she'ld like me to learn the Moonlight Sonata (all of it - 3rd movement, too).  So my question is, knowing where I'm at, what do you guys think of me learning Chopin's Nocturne in C sharp minor, op. 27, no. 1. 

(And for the record, a nineth is very comfortable in each hand, a nineth plus a semitone is still quite doable, and I can play a tenth on the outside of the keys if I need to, both hands.)

Oh, and since I've not played or listened to much Chopin before, is this very overplayed?  I'm already pushing it with the Moonlight for my next exam (not the one in June, but in late 2007 or early 2008).

Thanks everyone!

Edit:  The fast left hand part is the bit I'm questioning.  Especially those 2 bars with the killer leaps.
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piano sheet music of Nocturne


Offline arensky

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #1 on: January 25, 2006, 05:34:52 AM »
There are two Chopin Nocturnes in c# minor; op. posthumous and op.27#1; which are you referring to? You can definitely handle the op. posthumous but I say go for op. 27#1, it's not that much harder, and it's a better piece IMO.
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Offline lagin

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #2 on: January 25, 2006, 05:51:00 AM »
I'm pretty sure it's not the post humous one.  It doesn't say post. beside the title in my syllabus.  So which one is the one that switches to 3/4 time in the middle?  That's the one I have the sheets for.
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Offline arensky

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #3 on: January 25, 2006, 05:19:53 PM »
I'm pretty sure it's not the post humous one.  It doesn't say post. beside the title in my syllabus.  So which one is the one that switches to 3/4 time in the middle?  That's the one I have the sheets for.

It's op.27 #1. Do it, it's one of Chopin's greatest pieces!  :)
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Offline jas

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #4 on: January 25, 2006, 08:49:05 PM »
It's not overplayed; it's played less often than its counterpart in D-flat. It's a great piece. If you want to hear a good recording, listen to Claudio Arrau play it. It's fantastic. :)

Jas

Offline gruffalo

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #5 on: January 25, 2006, 09:18:16 PM »
its a beautiful piece. i would say you are ready to learn it, but you could also choose to learn another nocturne and save this one for one you really think (your own opinion of yourself) as ready to handle it musically, and play it musically. it is a very special piece but that is up to you. i think you should be ok to learn it.

Gruff

Offline lagin

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #6 on: January 25, 2006, 11:44:36 PM »
Thanks for your votes of confidence guys.  I'm sure musically I'd be fine with it, it's just technically that I was worried about.  With the Pathetique and the Moonlight there are fast runs and arpeggios which I'm good at, but those left hand leaps in the Chopin where it goes E flat up to E flat, back down to first E flat, up to the A flat an 11th higher, then back to first E flat, then up to C a 13th higher, then back down to first E flat, then up to E flat 2 octaves higher, then back down and then up to the A flat an 18th higher, all in just under a second, that worries me.  I know my hardest obstacle in the Pathetique was the ascending chordal passages because of the jumps (in the Allegro).  I have them down fine now, but these jumps looked way scarier.  On the other hand, too, it is only one bar and I have 2 years to learn it and develope the technique.  I think I just might go for it.  I'll run it by my teacher next time I see her.  Thanks again everyone. 

If anyone who has learned this has some tips, besides go slow and count correctly, I'd love to hear them.
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Offline gruffalo

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #7 on: January 27, 2006, 03:40:04 PM »
nocturnes in general arent as technically difficult as other pieces. when i mean musically difficult, i dont mean because you may not be musical. you will find that these pieces are difficult to get the sense of structure and flow etc.

Offline phil13

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #8 on: January 28, 2006, 05:06:12 AM »
... but those left hand leaps in the Chopin where it goes E flat up to E flat, back down to first E flat, up to the A flat an 11th higher, then back to first E flat, then up to C a 13th higher, then back down to first E flat, then up to E flat 2 octaves higher, then back down and then up to the A flat an 18th higher, all in just under a second, that worries me...

That is practically the climax of the passage. I think that if Chopin had wanted us to play against the metronome, he wouldn't have written such expressive, rubato passages and powerful climaxes, like this one. When you get it up to tempo, take your time with those measures (1 and a half to 2 seconds per measure, maybe?) and then speed up when the left hand starts playing the chromatic tremolo starting at the fifth.

Phil

Offline lagin

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #9 on: January 28, 2006, 05:11:37 AM »
Good idea, Phil!  Oh, sorry gruffalo, I guess I misunderstood you.  My teacher will be able to give me some additional pointers with that, so I think we can manage it.  Thanks for helping me to decide everyone.  Now my only problem is that it is in the exact same key as the sonata (Moonlight ) that I'm playing right before it.  I'll have to ask my teacher how picky examiners are these days about such things.
Christians aren't perfect; just forgiven.

Offline phil13

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #10 on: January 29, 2006, 03:18:16 AM »
  Now my only problem is that it is in the exact same key as the sonata (Moonlight ) that I'm playing right before it.  I'll have to ask my teacher how picky examiners are these days about such things.

I don't know- probably depends on who are your judges.

But in any case, it sounds out of place to play two pieces in the same key unless their moods are VASTLY different. The 27-1 nocturne reminds me a lot of the 1st movement of Moonlight, while the agitated 3/4 section reminds me of some parts of the 3rd movement... Moonlight in a can, you might say.

Stick another Chopin nocturne or a different Romantic piece in between those two to give each one some room to breathe, and good luck learning the Moonlight! It's also a gorgeous piece.

Phil

Offline lagin

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #11 on: January 29, 2006, 05:28:40 AM »
Okay, what if I went, Bach, then Moonlight, then Rach, then Chopin?  I just don't know how the 3rd movement of the moonlight back to back with the Rach would sound.  Do you think it would be too much action all at once?  I was also thinking of ending with perhaps no. 2 from Morel's Deux etudes de sonorite, as my concert etude.  I just can't find the score to see what key it's in (if any).  Does anyone know?  That still leaves me with one more piece to stick somewhere once I decide on it.  I should probably stick my last one somewhere in between all that opening minor stuff though.
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Offline phil13

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #12 on: January 29, 2006, 05:10:53 PM »
Okay, what if I went, Bach, then Moonlight, then Rach, then Chopin?  I just don't know how the 3rd movement of the moonlight back to back with the Rach would sound.  Do you think it would be too much action all at once?  I was also thinking of ending with perhaps no. 2 from Morel's Deux etudes de sonorite, as my concert etude.  I just can't find the score to see what key it's in (if any).  Does anyone know?  That still leaves me with one more piece to stick somewhere once I decide on it.  I should probably stick my last one somewhere in between all that opening minor stuff though.

What Bach? What Rach?

Phil

Offline amaryllith

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #13 on: January 29, 2006, 10:45:55 PM »
I'm working on this piece at the moment. I've known it (and all of the other nocturnes) very intimately from when I first began "getting into" classical music (in spite of having played piano from a young age)-- thus I've sight-read it so many times over the past several years I can play most of it from memory. I've practiced the middle section a bit and can play it up to tempo. However, I still don't feel that I've properly begun to work on it. The depth and beauty of this piece deserves so much careful consideration that I'm almost afraid to.

I wouldn't, however, discourage you from learning it. But I'd consider what gruffalo said -- this piece is musically difficult...for a musical person. Though not difficult, the slow sections were "technically" difficult for me in terms of dynamics and nuances -- just the amount of control you need within your hand. I wouldn't have been able to play the left hand part with the same control I can get out of it (my hand) now when I was learning the Pathetique a few years back. But I never played the Pathetique very well, so... ;) It's difficult to play that left hand part without "bumping" a note.

Also...so far I've found ms. 46-47 more difficult than 45 or 49. Figures, eh?



Offline lagin

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #14 on: January 29, 2006, 11:07:19 PM »
Bach, Toccata in e minor, and Rach, Prelude in g minor.  See a few posts back for full repertoire so far. 

Thanks for the heads up amaryllith.  I think it will be similar to the first movement of the Moonlight (like Phil said) in that the same sense of perfectly even calmness with, of course, musical shading is needed.  The difference is that this is the left hand instead of the right.  Maybe if I do this (will find out hopefully what my teacher thinks tomorrow), all those left hand exercises and studies my teacher has been giving me will finally have a chance to pay off!

One of the reasons I'm really attracted to these pieces is because they will be for my final performance diploma exam, so to be trully honest, all the pieces I will learn on my own after this will probably never get the same many hours a day for a year and a half to 2 years study.  So the 6 pieces I pick now, will be the most well learned pieces I'll ever have, realistically.  I mean, there will be other pieces I'll learn, but I won't have the "one memory slip = instant fail, or too many "bumps" ect., weaknesses in technique also = fail," hanging over my head with each and every piece.  So if this is "IT," then I want to learn the pieces I really love and learn them well.  I am not pursuing a career in performing, but in teaching, so after this exam, my focus will be off building too much repertoire of this level anyway.   Of course, I'm also being realistic.  For example, my all time favorite Sonata Appassionata is not coming into the equation since it is above where I am at by far.  But here I am, rambling away.... 

With everyone's advice I've decided that I would like to try this Chopin piece, and I can FINALLY ( a week is a long time for me ;D) ask my teacher what she thinks about the combination of it with the Moonlight in the same exam.  Just in case it turns out that I can't do it, what do you guys think about it's counterpart in Db Major?  Is it much harder?  EDIT: Errr...I just looked up the sheet music for it and listened to it, and it seems doable, but WAY more work as far as memory and legato thirds, ect. goes.  And there's no fun middle section!  I really hope I can just do my first choice.  I'll keep you posted after tomorrow.
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Offline amaryllith

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #15 on: January 29, 2006, 11:22:28 PM »
Then learn it. I firmly believe in learning the pieces you love.

Though, I wouldn't compare it to the moonlight sonata...you have a point about the similarity in character and shading...but that left hand part is more difficult in general, and not just because it's left-hand. :)

I would say that the D-flat nocturne is more difficult than this one, both technically and musically. To execute all of that intricate ornamentation in the right hand with elegance, precision, and sensitivity...beyond difficult. And the only reason I haven't learned it yet (even for myself, and not an audience)...

...but I would consider learning 27/1 with the notion of eventually learning the D-flat one as well and playing them as a set, because they're both such extraordinary pieces. Even if you have no intentions of performing them for anyone but yourself and perhaps some friends/family. :) (That's what I plan to do...actually, I plan to learn *all* of the nocturnes...for myself...)

Offline lagin

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Re: Chopin, Nocture in C# minor, opinions?
«Reply #16 on: January 30, 2006, 11:15:29 PM »
Okay, here's the deal.  My teacher says they ( Moonlight and Chopin ), and WAY to similar, same key, same time signature, same triplets, same mood, so even though she really wants me to do the Beethoven since it's within my technical abilities and she herself is very familiar with it, I have decided to push my luck with her patience ;D and change my Sonata instead of doing a different Chopin because I am absolutely in love with my Chopin now, and want to learn it so badly.  Besides, out of all Sonatas, the Moonlight was probably the most suicidal to use for an exam cause it's so well known.  Okay, now I was thinking MOZART.  I would like to learn the one in D Major, K 311.  It's not too long, not too fast, and no hard leaps.  All of the trills seem to be done with strong fingers like 1, 2,3.  Am I missing something here, or do you all think this is a good safe piece for me to learn and use for this exam instead?  And just for the record, how overplayed is it anyway?  Surely it can't beat the Moonlight.  Let me know what you think, okay everyone?  Thanks.
Christians aren't perfect; just forgiven.