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Chopin Prelude 20 (Read 5257 times)

Offline steve jones

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Chopin Prelude 20
« on: January 31, 2006, 04:05:59 PM »

Hi all,

Quick recording I made just of Chopin prelude 20. Been working on this piece for a few weeks in an attempt to develop my chord work. Will be doing Prelude 9 next, so this seems like good prep for that one.

Recording sounds terrible, so I hope you have your sick bucket ready! Piano is horrible, room is horrible, gear is worse... ok enough excuses, lol. Actually, I think the mic moved a bit while i was playing, eek!

Anyway, would love to hear any suggestions. Obviously I need to work on it more, get the timing better, dynamics more even etc (just more practice at the end of the day).

Any other pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Steve J


piano sheet music of Prelude


Offline steve jones

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #1 on: January 31, 2006, 04:08:00 PM »

You think maybe the tempo is a a little high for largo? Just had a listen to some recordings and I think it might be  :-\

Offline Mayla

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #2 on: January 31, 2006, 04:56:41 PM »
.
"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline zheer

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #3 on: January 31, 2006, 10:27:12 PM »
Cool, you might want to try this. When you play a chord, keep the sustain pedal on and only change pedal once you have playd the second chord, that way the 2 chords melt into each other. Basically for a brief momment 2 chords will be on top of each other, but once you let go ov the pedal the first chord will disappear and the second chord will remain under your finger tips.
" Nothing ends nicely, that's why it ends" - Tom Cruise -

Offline kd

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #4 on: January 31, 2006, 11:07:24 PM »
Very nice. I think you might work on the rhythm a bit: it is dotted 8th and a 16th (x--x), so it is important not to make it sound like two 8th triplet notes (x-x). At that tempo (which could be a little slower) there is even no need to use anything like metronome, this can be counted in mind easily. But overall I like it. Keep up the good work and be sure to post Prelude 9 as well. Good luck.

Offline infectedmushroom

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #5 on: January 31, 2006, 11:47:56 PM »
You play it a little bit too fast imo, but I do like your performance! I enjoyed listening and keep up the good work.  :)


Btw: I'm planning to learn this piece and I might start next week. From the look of the sheet music, this piece doesn't look that difficult, but I can be wrong... !?

Offline jlh

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #6 on: February 01, 2006, 01:01:36 AM »
Good job!

Have you heard the 10 variations on this prelude by Busoni (K.213)?  Check it out, they're pretty good. ;D
. ROFL : ROFL:LOL:ROFL : ROFL '
                 ___/\___
  L   ______/             \
LOL "”””””””\         [ ] \
  L              \_________)
                 ___I___I___/

Offline steve jones

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #7 on: February 01, 2006, 01:37:04 AM »

Hey, thanks all for the wonderful feedback!  :D


Mayla,

Some great suggestions that I will certainly bear in mind. Iv been working on the piece for about 2 weeks, so not much time for interpretive considerations. I have quite a few recordings, but my fave is the one by Stahlbrand. He did the exaggeration of the cres at the end, and also a little unorthedox, I did like it! Both he and Kissin both drop the volume greatly after the first section, and I must admit, I adopted this. You're quite correct, I found the pp a struggle - trying to voice the upper line properly at that low volume was hard and I didnt get it right at all.

Then again, I wanted to develop my chord work with this piece, so practicing with the greatest dynamic range was important.

Also, the rit at the end of the second section is something I usually try to emphasize more. Didnt happen so much that time, but I will make sure to give it more attention in future.


Zheer,

Thanks, will give that a try. Usually I lift the pedal just as I strike the next chord, so not to get any 'spillage'. But Im very new to pedally generally, so its something I would like to explore further. Im doing Prelude 4 at the moment, and Im having a right mare with the pedally on this one!


Kd,

You are quite right, the rhythm is very dodgy in parts. Something I shall be sure to practice, cheers.


Infectedmushroom,

I actually agree, when I listen back to the recording I thought the tempo might be a little high. With respect to difficulty, I cant really say to be honest without knowing the pieces you've done previously. If you are handy at chord work at volume, then it should be a breeze for you. There is a fairly tricky chord (depending on your hand size) that involves 5 notes over a ninth, but Im quite sure that most people could handle it without to much trouble.


jlh,

I havent no mate, but I will hunting for those pronto. Thanks for the heads up!

Offline systen

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #8 on: February 01, 2006, 01:44:32 AM »
I like your recording, it's very nice. Maybe a bit too fast in some passages, but what does that matter?... It sounds cool to me! Also, you played the "volume changes" (don't know how to call it in English), very nice.

Your recording reminds me of a recording of Kissin playing the Chopin Prelude No.20... And that's not negative!  ;)

Offline mwhite

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #9 on: February 02, 2006, 05:41:35 PM »
Thanks Steve.  You did a good job.

Thanks to Mayla too:

"Lastly, there is something I am finding funny about this piece and its various performers and editors.  In measure 3, beat four, that C chord is written as Major as the E was naturaled on beat 2."

I was puzzled by this myself.  I read the E natural, but it didn't sound right because all of the recordings that I had heard played the Eb. 

Mike

Offline steve jones

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #10 on: February 02, 2006, 08:59:20 PM »

Oops...

Looking at the score I believe you are quite right Mayla! I must have just playing it to ear more than as it was written (makes sense as I usually try to memorize from the start and usually play without the score). Sounds like of weird though with the major chord, not sure I can get used to that!

Offline rafant

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #11 on: February 03, 2006, 05:56:11 PM »
Well, you have the notes, and you do well in requesting advise to improve. I think this lovely Prelude must sound as a funeral march and a lower tempo is better. Suggestions:

i) Avoid that chords sounds as hammer blows.
ii) Highlight the melody; the melody notes needs legato.
iii) Pay more attention to the dynamics: your 1st staff is sounding level. 2nd staff must start "p" and 3rd staff must start "pp"; try to enhance such a contrast, since it has a great effect when played properly
iv) 2nd and 3rd staffs must end with "ritardando".

Good luck!


Offline steve jones

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #12 on: February 03, 2006, 10:40:09 PM »

Rafant,

All good suggestions, thanks!

i) Actually, it didnt sound like that when I was playing so maybe it was the horrific recording. I may be playing the FF a little hard though, and will work on taming it.

ii) This is something I find difficult, and are trying to work on. Iv found that if I try to 'point' at a melody note it brings it out more. I had this very same problem with Moonlight Mvt 1, and I am going to spend some time working on this (maybe Bach 3 part Inventions might help?).

iii) I emulated the dynamics quite a bit from the recordings I have, but in retrospect I can see what you mean. The contrast between p and pp is almost none existent.

iv) Have corrected this now.

Also, I have now adopted a lower tempo and a more somber feel. Will post another rec as and when I think I have something more to offer.

Thanks again all for the advice!

Steve J

Offline rafant

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #13 on: February 10, 2006, 05:20:14 PM »
About highlighting the melody: a challenge is that this is carried out by the weak fingers of the right hand. First be sure that you are producing solid, full chords (I don't meaning loud chords, but complete ones). Then familiarize yourself with the melody notes by playing the melody isolated from the chords. Keep that sound in your head as a model and then add the chords, but listen carefully your own sounds until you achieve to hear the melody clearly among the harmonies. I think that gradually your fingers will adapt to produce the sound you want to hear.

Offline mkljackson

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #14 on: February 11, 2006, 06:07:51 PM »
It's way too fast. Play it so slow that it takes 5 minutes to play, and listen to yourself. It sounds like you're in a hurry to finish the song.

Offline steve jones

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #15 on: February 11, 2006, 08:55:31 PM »

Lads,

Have made many a revision since then. This recording was made when I had finishing 'learning' the piece, but before Id spent any amount of time considering the interp.

Im still not happy about my playing of this piece but I have changed quite a bit:

- Slower tempo

- More emphasis on the medody (quite hard to bring it out actually!)

- Greater use of rubato in phrasing


However, I do feel that some of the critisisms regarding the fullness, or tone of the chords is a result of the instrument / recording. I know its cliche to blame the gear, but I can assure you that 'tone' of the recording is not very representative of the true performance.

I will try to make another recording using a better piano / set up. Mine is about ready for the scap heap!  ;D




Offline mkljackson

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #16 on: February 11, 2006, 10:37:01 PM »
Well, at least you know what you did wrong, and I'd love to hear the new recording.

Offline steve jones

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Re: Chopin Prelude 20
«Reply #17 on: February 11, 2006, 11:10:47 PM »

Indeed, I should probably have marked it a 'work in progress' in the first place. The recording was never intended to be a finished product. Never the less, I am VERY glad that I posted it at this early stage, as I have be granting some wonderful advice - stuff I might not have got if Id waited.

Something that struck me recently was the importance of bringing out the melody at the top of each chord. Listening to Argerich's recordings of Preludes 20 and 9, I can see that she is very good at this. I find it difficult to do while keeping the chord solid, but its something to work on certainly.

With respect to tempo, this is something Iv been pondering quite a bit. Iv only heard one recording with any great amount of rubato, but I actually quite like it (breaks the monotony a little). However, I feel inside me that this monotony of rhythm is important to the overall effect of the piece.

Thanks again for all the help people, it hasnt fallen on deaf ears!

And Im sure it will help me infinitely with Prelude 9 which Im currently working on. This one is step up, and Im finding the left hand tricky (on the trills). But Im sure I will get there. Will post you a recording when it is under my fingers.