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Imogen Cooper Tempus Fugit
The Piano Visions recital series at the Art Academy in Stockholm welcomed British Pianist Imogen Cooper for two recitals in November 2021. The program offered a glimpse into her earlier life, by including repertoire by Ravel and Liszt, which she worked on during her student years in Paris and Vienna. Read more >>

Topic: About "Ossia" and "Coda"  (Read 4368 times)

Offline allchopin

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About "Ossia" and "Coda"
on: October 13, 2003, 03:45:57 AM
1)  Who/what is Ossia, and why do we care about this?  Why are these small sidenotes always harder than the actual music?  Are these for study?

2)  Usually a Coda is for repeating (to coda, D.c. al coda, etc) but in some recordings this Coda does nothing. What is the purpose?
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline davy10tunes

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Re: About "Ossia" and "Coda"
Reply #1 on: October 13, 2003, 11:50:41 AM
"Ossia"  is just an option for the performer.It is not always more difficult, sometimes it is easier! Also sometimes an editor can offer his own "Ossia" if he thinks the composer has made a mistake.Personally I like to have a choice, it makes things more interesting.

A "Coda" does not have to do anything, it simply marks the end of a piece.In Italian the word coda means tail.
Having said that some composers codas do more than just finish a piece off.

Btw, about the Ossia question, are you refering to any particular piece?

David
DAVROS

Offline allchopin

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Re: About "Ossia" and "Coda"
Reply #2 on: October 13, 2003, 07:31:09 PM
Oh I have seen Ossia's everywhere (is Ossia a past pianist or what?) in Chopin (fantasie-impromptu, nocturne #1 Op. 48 in c minor), Liszt (pag. etude #2), and other pieces.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline davy10tunes

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Re: About "Ossia" and "Coda"
Reply #3 on: October 13, 2003, 07:44:47 PM
Ossia is just a (italian) term used like any other.For example:
"Allegro" - "quick, fast"etc.
"staccato" - "short, detatched"
"Ossia" or "O sia" as the Italians say, means " It may be "
What edition of the fantasie impromtu do you have because I don't recall ever seeing a "Ossia" in that piece.
I hope I have explained the meaning of "Ossia" clearly for you.
:)
David
DAVROS

Offline allchopin

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Re: About "Ossia" and "Coda"
Reply #4 on: October 13, 2003, 08:49:25 PM
Ok, I see.  I still dont understand the point of this, though.  Why would they think that the composer messed up?  They wrote it!

I have the Schirmer version (Fontana, not autograph)- the Ossia is in the slow section, on one of the right-hand falls with grace notes.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline Wired

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Re: About "Ossia" and "Coda"
Reply #5 on: October 14, 2003, 12:12:19 AM
Just because they wrote it doesn't mean that they're markings on the paper weren't confusing for the people who edit them today. Most likely after writing so many songs on paper by hand, you'd end up with some errors.

Offline Wired

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Re: About "Ossia" and "Coda"
Reply #6 on: October 14, 2003, 12:13:08 AM
I didn't necessarily mean that ;) I meant that there would be some markings that might be misinterpreted by the people who were to reproduce the song in the first place.

Offline rachfan

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Re: About "Ossia" and "Coda"
Reply #7 on: October 14, 2003, 04:54:56 AM
davy hit it right.  In Italian ossia means "or", "otherwise" , "or else", all meaning an alternative way of playing a passage.  I'm glad that composers include these options.  For example, what would we do without the ossia in Rachmaninoff's big cadenza in the first movement of the third concerto?  Most, but not all, artists opt for the ossia, not the more straightforward version there.  

Most codas consist of a few measures added to the end of a piece to create a more effective termination.  Without the coda, many a piece would end on a "weak note".  Some of the most lovely codas I've ever played appear in the Rachmaninoff Preludes, for example.

Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline eddie92099

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Re: About "Ossia" and "Coda"
Reply #8 on: October 14, 2003, 07:20:47 PM
Quote
Oh I have seen Ossia's everywhere (is Ossia a past pianist or what?) in Chopin (fantasie-impromptu, nocturne #1 Op. 48 in c minor), Liszt (pag. etude #2), and other pieces.


In the Liszt, I learnt the ossia and the original. In performance I like to play the original version first and the ossia second since it occurs twice. Cherkassky did this with the Rach 3 ossia  - deciding which cadenza to do on the spur of the moment!
Ed
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