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Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve (Read 4031 times)

Offline aragonaise

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Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
« on: January 28, 2007, 05:07:09 AM »
Hi all,

this piece needs a lot more practice (especially the coda con fuoco), but I submit them to you all first for further inputs before I embark on that final journey!

Please comment according to the section numbers:

1) Intro solemn theme
2) fast transition
3) Waltz theme (1st)
4) Middle revolutionary theme
5) Waltz theme (2nd)
6) Coda con fuoco


piano sheet music of Ballade 1


Offline pianistimo

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #1 on: January 28, 2007, 12:31:03 PM »
i love how you went into the waltz - but like me - you get a bit wild and just forget about making this a practice tape and make it a performance one after the waltz.  you speedup and add pedal.  so of course, this sounds more performancy.  but, you know what - it's so good to practice without pedal like you did at the beginning!  i should stay slow with metronome because my waldstein is all over there with the tempo.

very amazing fingerwork!  it sounds so solid, too.  now, as you get faster and faster - lighten up.  it will allow your fingers to be perfect - and the sound will be just as loud because you have more notes packed into a small space.  i try to follow my own advice - but i'm sure i'm lacking, too in places (especially the lh where it overpowers the rh and i know it). 

ps  i do love the solid bass in yours.  just remember - the bass carries.  it will cover up some of the sound.

wow!  that last part is something too!  i'm sure chopin would have liked to hear your final performance. 

Offline xardas

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #2 on: January 28, 2007, 02:59:44 PM »
Hi

I have a pretty good recording of this. Maybe played by Arrau... But I'm not sure.
Good luck

Xardas
(Don't worry... Be crappy! :E)   
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Offline imbetter

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #3 on: January 31, 2007, 01:08:36 AM »
my opinion isnt exactly 100% true since my first ballade isnt perfrect either but:

1) Intro solemn theme: not much to say about this but you might want to concider playing it with the pedal
2) fast transition: this was good kinda like the way i play  it
3) Waltz theme (1st): this was good to
4) Middle revolutionary theme: I thought this was too fast and lacked emotion as this is the most emotion part (IMO) of the piece
5) Waltz theme (2nd): this was good
6) Coda con fuoco: it was too slow and not enough con fuoco.

this is just my opinion.
"My advice to young musicians: Quit music! There is no choice. It has to be a calling, and even if it is and you think there's a choice, there is no choice"-Vladimir Feltsman

Offline molto-marcato

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #4 on: January 31, 2007, 01:15:26 PM »
ok here my thoughts:

1)ok
2) much more emphasis should be placed on the dynamics. The agitato part was mf at best. Play it forte.  After that comes even piu forte and then it declines slowly until it rises again in the arpeggio part.
Additionally, imo, i would hold the left hand octaves in the agitato part on page 2 a little longer while bringing out the accent in the laft hand figure (this returns later in the scherzando part).
The piu f part could be played a little more brilliantly.
3)i would consider playing it a little slower and more expressive
4)See above, brilliance, dynamics and pedalling could be improved.
5)ok
6)so many wrong notes  ;) , i had a hard time listening, but still you can play through it, just practice even more. Increase speed and emotion.

I'm working on it aswell at the moment and while i have the piece ready in my mind i still cannot play further than part 4. Yet i'm somewhat obsessed with it (it's so beatiful) and hope to have it up to speed in maybe two months.

Please post a recording once you feel major improvement.

Best regards

Offline ganymed

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #5 on: February 01, 2007, 01:55:12 PM »
ive send that recording to you through irc right xardas?
its by Krystian Zimerman , dont know if i spelled him correctly ^^.
"We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come."

Milan Kundera,The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Offline gruffalo

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #6 on: February 01, 2007, 03:16:06 PM »
ive send that recording to you through irc right xardas?
its by Krystian Zimerman , dont know if i spelled him correctly ^^.

if it's from zimerman's set of the ballades, this is not a good performance of Chopin, nor to zimerman's usual standards.

Offline ganymed

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #7 on: February 01, 2007, 07:38:02 PM »
i think zimermans g minor ballade sounds wonderful :o if you have a better recording
then gimme gimme  ;D
"We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come."

Milan Kundera,The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Offline aragonaise

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #8 on: February 02, 2007, 11:21:24 AM »
Hi pianistimo,

you are really the antithesis of Simon Cowell, so good with kind words.
I'm sure chopin would have liked to hear your final performance.  ...thank you very much for such a compliment!

Hi imbetter,

about part (4), you meant the octaves? Somehow because Horowitz also played at fast speed, I was compelled to try it also. Illogical I know...

Hi marcato,

sorry for the torture. Will strive to make the next recording less painful to listen to.

Btw, any idea how to practice such a piece? I admit this is my most ambitious piece to date, the last one nowhere near in scope and depth(andante spianata and fantasie impromptu). I just keep repeating and repeating the con fuoco parts, but I cannot guarantee ZERO wrong notes like normal pianists do.

In other words, is it simply MORE PRACTICE? or something more fundamental which I miss?
 








Offline molto-marcato

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #9 on: February 02, 2007, 12:47:12 PM »
Ok sorry for my harsh words, i tend to be a little unpolite at times  ::). You are still more into this piece than i am.

I actually don't exactly know how you practice this piece. Do you play from the beginning to the end, eventually practicing difficult parts, or do you take on a small section, like the leggiero part in 4) or the first 4 measures of the presto con fuoco part and practice it for the whole session, doing maybe rhythmic variations, super slow practice, HS, or whatever. I would actually go for the latter variant.

I think this piece is great for learning a lot of technical and musical issues. For me it has shown me, that my octave technique needs improvement.

Regards

Offline aragonaise

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #10 on: February 03, 2007, 11:21:32 AM »
Hi

I have a pretty good recording of this. Maybe played by Arrau... But I'm not sure.
Good luck

Xardas

What a great recording this is. Better than anything I've heard.Thanks for sharing, and pray do find out who is the pianist!


Offline imbetter

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #11 on: February 03, 2007, 01:37:19 PM »
What a great recording this is. Better than anything I've heard.Thanks for sharing, and pray do find out who is the pianist!



woops im thinking of the wrong part. I'm thinking of the main theme; after that fast evil part after the first waltz theme.
"My advice to young musicians: Quit music! There is no choice. It has to be a calling, and even if it is and you think there's a choice, there is no choice"-Vladimir Feltsman

Offline starseeker

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #12 on: February 11, 2007, 10:18:15 AM »
Hi aragonaise,

That's a very good piece!  You have great talent.

Have a listen to my long favourite interpretation of the Ballade No 1.  It is a 1990 recording by Peter Frankl, 8 mins 24 sec.

What do you think?


Offline ganymed

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #13 on: February 11, 2007, 05:44:57 PM »
ive send xardas this recording , aragonaise  from my complete chopin collection here is the proof that zimerman played this o_o



btw: if anyone needs professional chopin recordings just msg me ^_^ i got everything
im willing to share
"We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come."

Milan Kundera,The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Offline ail

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #14 on: February 28, 2007, 06:45:06 PM »
Hi

I have a pretty good recording of this. Maybe played by Arrau... But I'm not sure.
Good luck

Xardas

This piece, and this interpretation, are true miracles.

Offline walking_encyclopedia

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #15 on: February 28, 2007, 10:56:46 PM »
In other words, is it simply MORE PRACTICE? or something more fundamental which I miss?

hey bro, i really enjoyed that, but before you start preparing the piece for performance, here are my thoughts:

take out all the pedal, and use the metronome!! your rhythms are sometimes very incorrect, and the speed tends to become fast at the technically 'easy' sections and lags (with lots of wrong notes) in the technically 'hard' sections.

masters of this piece make the slow sections very tranquil and peaceful, and the fast sections very agitato.

just work on cleaning it up, man. work each part SLOWLY and dont worry so much about the speed until you can nail every note. then work it back up to speed, add pedal, and imo listen to emanual ax's rec of this, its amazing

good luck

danny

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Ballade No 1 --- Need comments to improve
«Reply #16 on: March 01, 2007, 12:29:04 AM »
Hi aragonaise,

I have played this very difficult piece but never in recital because I've had many problems with it, esp. the coda.  I think you have a nice feeling for Chopin and your ideas are good, but of course the accuracy and tempos need work.

You may never play this note-perfect and you don't need to!  Unfortunately though, it's necessary to work on it as though you are trying for that. 

I agree with practicing it slowly--you can do this in sections, selecting out the harder ones.  Try to stay disciplined and don't increase the speed until you nail it at slower speed.  Practice the rapid and difficult passage work in different rhythms.  Work on smoothness of your scales (slow to fast practice again).  I hear skipped beats in the recording in the coda--?  You can't get away with leaving out stuff!  ;)

Once you have the notes down securely at tempo, start thinking about the unity of the piece and the transitions between sections, so they are smooth and flow into one another. 

Have fun!

Teresa