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chopin prelude #1 (take 2) (Read 6533 times)

Offline pianistimo

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chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
« on: January 29, 2007, 06:20:26 PM »
here's my second try.  more agitated.  oops.  what happened here.  i accidentally got the old one.  let me try again. 

piano sheet music of Prelude


Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #1 on: January 29, 2007, 06:26:38 PM »
How do you delete a recording?  or is it impossible?  i want to delete the old one and just leave 'take 2.'  well - i guess it is good for comparison.

Offline skve

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #2 on: January 29, 2007, 07:51:25 PM »
IMO you still play it too slowly. Try to play it in 30-40 seconds

Offline pianowolfi

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #3 on: January 29, 2007, 08:19:32 PM »
Well yes I must admit that I agree with skve. It is way too slow. And Arrau said that this prelude has something orgasmic (sorry to mention that on this forum but it is really what he said). And this sounds actually more like the lullaby after to me...Though a very beautiful one ;D

Offline counterpoint

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #4 on: January 29, 2007, 09:27:06 PM »
I think, pianistimo plays really beautiful. There are thousands of piano players, who play this piece 4, 5 , 6 times faster, but many of them don't care about the music. Tempo isn't everything.

I never thought, that this turbulent and stormy piece can sound that lovely.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #5 on: January 29, 2007, 09:45:09 PM »
wow.  i thought for sure i was going to get 'taken to task' by you too, counterpoint.  thanks for the encouragement.  i'll try a take 3 in a couple of weeks and sort of play a bit faster and agitated more - but try to keep the feeling.  sometimes i get so worried about the notes when i play faster - then i can't put any feeling into it.  but, if i actually memorize it - like i would like to, then it will sound more homogenous. 

the problem when you get to be in your fourties is that people's names start escaping you - and what comes next in the music.  i never had this problem before.  it plagues me like death.  i mean- death to music is stopping.  but, when i really feel the piece - i can pick out the notes kinda quickly. 

pianowolfi, - you and my teacher (without saying it) like that romantic sturm und drang.  i, on the other hand have to REALLY work to make anything sound really orgasmic.  my teacher told me that i had to exaggerate everything more.  at first it sounded like not being true to myself - but i see what he means.  the audience has to be pulled in and not lulled to sleep.  and, yet - it IS a prelude after all.  (debating with myself) at least at the end i will please counterpoint - as it seems to switch 'gears' at the end.

Offline counterpoint

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #6 on: January 29, 2007, 09:50:58 PM »

the problem when you get to be in your fourties is that people's names start escaping you - and what comes next in the music.  i never had this problem before.  it plagues me like death.  i mean- death to music is stopping.  but, when i really feel the piece - i can pick out the notes kinda quickly. 


Whom do you tell this - I have a 5 at the beginning of my age  :-[
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #7 on: January 29, 2007, 09:55:11 PM »
and here i thought for sure you were in your 30's or something.  well, excuse me.  really - it's a matter of just practicing, too.  i mean - you probably practice every day.  for me- a little bit every day - but not enough.  if you don't use it you lose it.

now, i'm a little worried about my pedalling!  for two weeks i was so facinated by this casio keyboard that i only played on it.  so today i go downstairs - and my pedal foot is in slow motion.  i feel like kicking it.  i feel like i'm on one of those talk shows where someone survives a car accident and is partially paralyzed.  also, i want piano lessons again badly. 

Offline counterpoint

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #8 on: January 29, 2007, 10:11:51 PM »
and here i thought for sure you were in your 30's or something. 

I always think, I've stopped growing older when I was 17. That were really great times in the Seventies, phantasies of free life, revolution and so on. Today life is so egoistic, materialistic and fatalistic. I feel like a stranger in this rough world.

EDIT:

The pedal can never be too much in Chopin Preludes (that's my personal opinion only)
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #9 on: January 29, 2007, 10:27:57 PM »
never too much?  you mean - pedal frequently but not mushy.  yes.  i like that, too.  watching any of the pros - they make it look so easy.  looking like they are barely moving.  but, the foot is fluttering all the time.

Offline counterpoint

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #10 on: January 29, 2007, 10:45:06 PM »
never too much?  you mean - pedal frequently but not mushy.  yes.  i like that, too.  watching any of the pros - they make it look so easy.  looking like they are barely moving.  but, the foot is fluttering all the time.

No, just the opposite, I meant: you can use many, many pedal, chaos, confusion, muddle - that's what it's supposed to sound like, not clean and tidily. Okay, not all the time, but in many of the preludes  :)
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Offline rachfan

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #11 on: January 30, 2007, 12:32:17 AM »
Hi pianistimo,

I just listened to your version of the Prelude No. 1.  (My recording of this piece is over on Page 8 of the Forum, just to assure you that I put my own performance out there for scrutiny too, and everyone here, as we know, scrutinizes, haha  :P .

As you know, I enjoy your playing a lot.  And you have an enormous repertoire.  I don't know how you maintain it so well!!

A few words about your tempo in this prelude.  Chopin, instead of using a tempo marking in this case, chose to use the mood descriptor, Agitato.  The only other preludes where he indicated moods was in 21 and 25 (posthumous).  The others all have tempo markings.  As you know, that implies agitated, hurried and restless.  By contrast your interpretation is perhaps teneramente or cantabile--certainly very lyrical. 

Sometimes in creating a set of pieces, a composer starts with a "curtain raiser".  That's how I view this Prelude No. 1.  Other examples would be Rachmaninoff's Prelude Op. 32, No. 1 (I posted that one here too) and Liszt's Preludio, the opener for his Transcendental Etudes. 

So when Chopin writes Agitato, he really means agitato.  Pianists can interpret that a degree or two either way, but to play the prelude slowly involves taking a really big liberty with it.  Again, your playing is lovely, but your tempo misses the intended mood.  Maybe you could do a "Take 3" later on and bring it up to speed? 



   
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #12 on: January 30, 2007, 12:40:45 AM »
ok.  rachfan.  thank you for the insight.  i was hoping too, for some more indication of pedalling rather than on the first beat of everything.  did chopin really write this pedal indication - or at the agitato speed can you get away with pedalling on the dotted sixteenth?  how to bring that out?  only by fingers?  hold pedal throughout each measure?  i'm still thinking about this.

i surely would like to see the original. 

**going to listen to yours.  are you serious?  that is really a quickie.  seems that i prefer something between yours and mine.  i think mine is still a slight bit too slow.  yours is certainly so fast that i'm wondering about any sort of enjoyment one might get from it.  (please don't take offense). 

but, then again - the time signature is 2/8 - making the eighth note the main beat.  and, at an agitato type of tempo.  on my computer desk i am tapping sets of two eighth notes at an agitato tempo (fast moderato).  putting three sixteenth notes to that sets it somewhere closer to your tempo than mine - but still - i hear it in my head just slightly slower than yours. 

i guess that is why each of us interprets this interpretable tempo differently. 

Offline imbetter

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #13 on: January 30, 2007, 01:20:32 AM »
too slow its supposed to be really fast.
"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 rachfan

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #14 on: January 30, 2007, 02:02:40 AM »
Hi pianistimo,

The autograph manuscript is in the National Library in Warsaw, Poland.  The original Breitkoph & Hartel Edition and C. F. Peters Edition were considered to be quite faithful to the manuscript.  But Chopin often changed his mind about certain details, so it would be difficult to consider any edition to be definitive, as we know from Klindworth's and Mikuli's commentaries.  (Chopin probably drove his publishers nuts.)

Here's the deal on the pedaling: The triplets in the LH starting on the downbeats of every measure are extended upward by the RH figuration.  When played up to tempo, the pianist gets the sensation that the two hands are almost executing rolls.  The RH plays the end of the roll on the double notes of the second beat.  So think of the bass triplet rolling up toward that second beat, the RH double notes being the "objective".  (Only the tops of those double notes are voiced.) 

Importantantly, the first note of each triplet creates either a  tonal or harmonic quasi pedal point (for lack of another term) for each measure.  So it is imperative that the pedal "catch" that first LH note each and every time!  If you miss one, it will sound clipped.  Holding the pedal through each measure as Chopin indicates is fine, since the notes within any measure are harmonic.  The last note played by the RH is sometimes not harmonic, but it matters not.  The reason is that you are lifting your wrist off those notes anticipating the 16th rest that the RH "plays" on the next downbeat--so those particular notes tend to be soft and deemphasized anyway.  So this is not a situation where the pedal will create a mud flow. 

Incidentally, some of those bass notes on the downbeats are scalar.  For example in measures 4, 5, 6, and 7, the starting bass note progresses thusly: E, F, F# and G.  Starting again at measure 16, another example, you have G, A, B, C, D,  E.  The listener needs to hear those scales.  Catching them securely in the pedal will ensure they don't get lost.  Note the the RH has it own scales as well, as in measures 11 and 12,  that is, G, A, B, C which then voice leads to the C# in 13.  You probably already picked up on that. 

In the stretto section, one has to add energy to push on through in order to intensify the sense of agitation and excitement, climaxing at the ff--which brings us back to tempo again.  That is, if you're not aleady up to intended tempo, there won't be much excitement.

On you question on dotted notes: Notice that in the first measure, the G taken by the RH thumb is indeed dotted.  Look closely--it's double-stemmed in the dual role of a 16th (the up stem) AND and an 8th (the down stem) note.  So the up stem associates it rhythmically with the following 16th note C and melodically leads to that note.  The down stem leads it to the A played by the RH thumb, which with the top A above it played with the 5th finger, forms an octave.  So as an 8th, it is functioning to extend time duration, meaning that you need to hold that dotted 8th for FULL VALUE to carry its sound through the RH double notes on the second beat, thereby taking on yet another function, a harmonic function in that instant.     

I hope I answered your questions.  Sorry for the long explanation.  Once I start talking about a score, I can't help myself.   :)

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Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #15 on: January 30, 2007, 02:22:37 AM »
i vociforously disagree.  after playing it with no pedal on the downbeat (but connecting merely by fingers) and pedalling on the dotted sixteenths- there is a very clear pedal note (without pedal) on the downbeat still!  it sounds unmushy and very beautiful to hear the held dotted sixteenth -which, btw, is the only note of the entire group of sixteenths to be held as noted by the long bar in the middle.

now, i'm not trying to tell YOU what to do.  just stating that i am sure, for a fact, this is how i meet chopin.  i have met him today.  this is his message to me.

(ok.  call me crazy)

and, when you get to measure 18 - THAT is where the pedal is on the downbeat.

the scalular stuff is boring if you know what to expect and what is coming.  what is unusual about this prelude are the unexpected twists and turns of second note - and rhythms that change.  especially when you get to the 'p' section.  it suddenly becomes etherial and lovely and no longer agitato.  it whispers to you at the end - like a consolation.

Offline rachfan

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #16 on: January 30, 2007, 02:38:51 AM »
Hi pianistimo,

Here is the basic rule I follow for pedaling: If the composer actually wrote it into the score as Chopin did here, I always abide by it.  If an editor wrote it in, I ignore it unless it makes sense and can be justified.  When I say "makes sense", I mean in the context of the register of the keyboard where the notes are being played, the dynamic level, consideration for any neighboring tones in the passagework, presence of bass pedal points, need for half or quarter pedals to ensure clarity of line, etc., etc.  I only buy either urtext scores or otherwise highly respected editions available to avoid the follies of editors to the greatest extent possible.   

Also, each piano brand, and each piano within a given brand all have their own idiosynchracies when it comes to applying pedal.  Pedaling is art, not science and, in the end, must be governed by the pianist's ear.   
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Offline counterpoint

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #17 on: January 30, 2007, 10:55:21 AM »
I would play it sort of this way  :)

If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline pianowolfi

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #18 on: January 30, 2007, 02:00:48 PM »
I would play it sort of this way  :)



Is that you, counterpoint? Or is that Joseph Bacon? To me this is pretty good but still a bit slow, as i admit. :)

Offline counterpoint

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #19 on: January 30, 2007, 02:18:37 PM »
Is that you, counterpoint? Or is that Joseph Bacon? To me this is pretty good but still a bit slow, as i admit. :)

Who is Joseph Bacon   ::)

I knew, that people will say, that's still too slow, but that's how I play it  ;D
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Offline pianowolfi

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #20 on: January 30, 2007, 06:44:15 PM »
Who is Joseph Bacon   ::)

I knew, that people will say, that's still too slow, but that's how I play it  ;D

I don't know who he is, this name just appeared when I played your file on Windows Media Player. But good job anyway counterpoint! Thank you for sharing! :)

Offline hakki

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #21 on: January 30, 2007, 09:13:55 PM »
I always think, I've stopped growing older when I was 17. That were really great times in the Seventies, phantasies of free life, revolution and so on. Today life is so egoistic, materialistic and fatalistic. I feel like a stranger in this rough world.



Ditto. Couldn't have said it better.

Regards,

Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #22 on: January 31, 2007, 12:38:47 AM »
i just saw an autograph of the first prelude with no pedal markings.  editor's mistake on placement, imo.

Offline rachfan

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #23 on: January 31, 2007, 01:08:37 AM »
Hi, Counterpoint,

I think your rendition, although very nice, is still just a little too slow.  The comments that follow are not directed at you, Counterpoint, as your speed approaches what it ought to be.  But I'll include them for others to read.

I do believe that trying to put this piece over to a recital audience, master class, a competition jury, an audition adjudicator, a piano performance faculty jury, etc. at an extraordinarily slow tempo that cannot create the sense of agitation, would be virtually impossible.  There might be a few in this thread that would say, "Well, that's the way I FEEL the piece."  But that is subjectivity that does not take into consideration the clear intent of the composer as indicated through his markings, and performance practices handed down through Chopin's students like Descombes or Klindworth to succeeding generations.  Nor can that sentiment be justified by musicology, analysis of the score, principles of musicianship, or musicality.   I also cannot support distorting a score even in the privacy of one's living room at home.  The question on any pianist's mind in playing this prelude should be, "What would Chopin think of this?"
 
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Offline rachfan

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #24 on: January 31, 2007, 01:39:49 AM »
Hi pianistimo,

Sorry, but I must differ with you on pedal markings in the autograph manuscript.  I'm looking at a photo of it for Prelude No. 1 reproduced in the Paderewski Edition (The Fryderyk Chopin Institute Polish Music Publications), a highly respected edition with a distinguished editorial committee.  Not only are the "Ped." marks clearly written, but unlike many printed editions where the publishers only show that for the first three measures followed by "simile" for the rest of the piece (as the pedaling is self apparent), Chopin wrote Ped. on every first beat of EVERY measure right through the  coda!!!  The Agitato is also unmistakeable.  He signed the prelude at the far right end of the G clef in the first line.  So the fact is, pedaling is NOT left to the imagination there.   I would grant that given the richer resonance of today's pianos, the artist might lighten the pedal in certain places, but that should be the extent of modifying it.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #25 on: January 31, 2007, 01:51:53 AM »
i see none on the autograph i found.  maybe they are two separate ones?  there is a third stave on mine that has a pedal note (perhaps this is pedal indication?) of 'a' on the 'and' of the first beat (dotted sixteenth) and a 'c' right after the 'and' (beat 2) of second duple in treble.  this would indicate two things to me.  that #1 pedal COULD be on the second of sixteenths - and let up after the second note of a duple.  that is exactly where the pedal notes are marked!  this is also a paderewski autograph.

here's my fifth take:


Offline rachfan

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #26 on: January 31, 2007, 02:13:47 AM »
There is the autograph, one known copy, and three original editions--French: Catelin et Cie; German: Breitkfph & Hartel; and English: Wessel & Co.  I don't have those here, but I just pulled the Schirmer Edition off the shelf (generally not a favorite edition of mine).  It turns out that the editor for Schirmer was Rafael Joseffy, one of the best.  This one was published in the last year of his life.  Interestingly enough, he showed the Ped. marks throughout every measure of the piece, just like in Chopin's autograph! 
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #27 on: January 31, 2007, 02:33:13 AM »
if ashkenazy played it the other way - he also must have looked at the autograph that i see.  the pedal notes are not on the first beat.  by chopin's own hand.  (picture found in the paderewski edition).

i think that is also why ashkenazy chose to play it duple rhythm (because of pedal notes specifically on  1 AND a - two AND  (on the 'ands').

**i think as long as you have a reason for playing something a certain way - it's ok.  i mean- chopin isn't going to get up now from his grave and hit one of us over the head.

here's my reasons:

first pedal (on first AND) - to hold the dotted sixteenth throughout (only note held that long)

second pedal marking (to let off the pedal) bECAUSE - G will clash with A.  he writes a C as the note to let go of the pedal - and that is the note in the middle of the G and A.

Offline rachfan

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #28 on: January 31, 2007, 03:41:41 AM »
I think nearly all pianists play the prelude in 2/8 as indicated, and are careful not to fall into the error of playing it in 3/8.  In the autograph I'm looking at, the P and the e of Ped. appear directly under the first beats, so Chopin doesn't leave much to interpret there--it's plain to see.  I hear your reasons for pedaling on the AND.  But doing so misses the opportunity to sustain the sonorous low note beginning each measure.  It gets lost that way, despite its role as the chief harmony for what follows.

In the Paderewski Edition, first measure, the pedal release symbol comes directly on the A octave played at the end of the measure--not the preceding C.  The releases in the autograph are variable.  For example, in the first measure it looks like it occurs before the A octave, but in the next measure directly at the octave.  (I call it an octave since both notes are played as an octave by the RH, even though they are not notated as such.) 

There is really not much danger of a pedal smudge on those last 16ths anyway.  First, you are lifting the RH wrist to end the figure which diminishes the volume of those notes. It's a weak tone at the end of a weak beat. 

Secondly, from a practical execution standpoint, you'll be in the act of releasing the pedal on the last 16th octave, thereby creating a half or quarter pedal effect at that instant guaranteeing clarity of sound on the way to full release, so as to be able to prepare for a "syncopated pedal" one nanosecond after you have sounded the new bass downbeat note, but still catching its richness in the new pedal to pervade the remainder of that measure.  At a tempo enabling real Agitato, it all happens so naturally and quickly, that you don't even have to think about it in the act.   
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #29 on: January 31, 2007, 03:47:42 AM »
there is no indication that is not to be played fast.  i'm not arguing that.  i'm arguing that it is not meant to be continuously played the same throughout.

here's take 10:


Offline rachfan

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #30 on: January 31, 2007, 04:08:03 AM »
Pianistimo, You play it very lyrically and seductively.  As I say, I like your playing a lot--but it generally needs to be faster paced to achieve the character of this piece.  I do agree with you that it's not one tempo throughout.  When I play it, for example, I establish the agitato feeling, but at the stretto I push to put more urgency into it, and then approaching the coda I slow down very considerably, introduce a lyrical atmosphere, and finally stretch out that last leisurely arpeggio.  So no argument there. 

On tempo I'm trying to find an analogy to get my point across better.  Maybe this: You approach the piece like a dreamy reverie...  but its really more like an energetic impromptu.
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #31 on: January 31, 2007, 10:22:51 AM »
yes. i'll gradually be able to speed it up as i practice it.  i take consolation that chopin sometimes gave free reign to students (especially timid ones) to play it as they 'feel it.'  right now, this is how i feel it.  but, in a week or two - when playing it faster - i'll probably see what you mean, more.

thanks for your kind words and thoughtful advice, too.  i did read your messages twice. 
**just enlarged my page to original size - and i DO see the pedal markings - and they appear on the first beat.  sorry about that!  mine were so small that it looked like an angled line.  i still feel that when one plays this piece very fast - the pedalling can be minimized to the second of the sixteenths and the fingers can 'pedal.'  but, not everyone likes to play this way.  more minimal.

now, on my interpretation of there being a duple against triple on second beat - that is probably just the way i like to hear it.  i base it on chopin's idea that the last beat of a phrase is weak.  therefore - to keep the line going with strong feeling - to end the top line before the bottom gives that strong melody with weaker last note accompaniment.

i realize this is a matter of private interpretation - and probably not what everyone chooses.  to quote from 'eigeldinger:  chopin: pianist and teacher as seen by his students - 'a long note is stronger, as is also a high note.  a dissonance is likewise stronger, and equally so a syncopated note...'

i haven't found anything there yet on his first prelude specifically - but am looking.  it would also provide some valuable information.  especially from his student mikuli who later provided us with some notes to most of chopin - as he remembered what chopin said during the lessons and wrote it into his edition. 


Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #32 on: January 31, 2007, 10:49:46 AM »
ps  one of liszt's students was like me - and stubbornly played chopin the way he heard it.  his name was karl klindworth.  (1830-1916)

Offline counterpoint

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #33 on: January 31, 2007, 10:54:12 AM »
Some other thing attracted my attention:

I listened to several recordings of this prelude on the jpc.de website.
Almost every pianist emphasizes the  melody line in the middle voice, so there is almost no accent on beat 2 of each bar, where are the dissonances (!) It sounds very straightforward, but not very interesting. In my opinion, the accentuated dissonances (beat 2 of every bar) are the main thing of this prelude - not the uninteresting melody line in the middle voice.

EDIT:

In this point of view, pianistimo's version is better as all the mainstream versions.
If it doesn't work - try something different!

Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #34 on: January 31, 2007, 04:49:06 PM »
thanks, counterpoint!  i guess we all learn from each other really.  i love masterclasses because you can hear one piece played several ways.  i've really never even heard this performed live before - so couldn't tell you which way i even prefer -because i just came up with my interpretation by the way i read it.   it's kind of nice when there IS flexibility to play something the way you want to or the way you hear it. 

Offline rachfan

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #35 on: February 01, 2007, 12:43:50 AM »
Hi pianistimo,

Yeah, you're pretty stubborn  :P, but you can see I'm very persistent too.  Anyway, I'm really glad that you're now open and willing to pick up the tempo.   :)    :)   I think once you get there, it'll sound more convincing to you.  The interesting thing is that your slow practice has been all to the good.  Playing it adagio, you've worked on tone, dynamics, nuances, points of emphasis, pedaling, and a rhythmic concept that you can defend.  At faster speed when we're a little more hassled, you might not be able to savour certain things to the extent you do now, but you'll be surprised at how much you actually can incorporate into your performance. 

I appreciate your seeing that I was trying to assist you in your interpretation.  There were moments when I probably even annoyed you.  You don't need to take all of my advice.  But if you take even just one idea, then our dialogue will have been well worth it to me.

You can certainly finger pedal the first bass note of each measure.  I still prefer to pedal those notes though to achieve a more cosistent sound.

On Mikuli, yes, Chopin did make changes in the scores during lessons, but not just there.  He'd make changes in playing his own music in recital.  And, as I said before, he could drive his publishers crazy with change requests.  Because of all the ambiguity, we're left wondering, for example, about the famous E or E flat in the last chord in the RH of measure 3 of Prelude No. 20 in Cm.  There again, the original published versions showed E naturals, but he wrote a flat into a pupil's score.  Yet there are convincing arguments for playing the note either way.  (I play E natural.  I posted about half the preludes in this forum.)  Never a dull moment with Chopin!

If I had to express my performance beliefs in general, I would say that the role of the artist is that of a medium between the composer and the audience.  The artist has the lofty duty and obligation to convey the composer's intent and musical message in a way that is faithful to the score.  In doing so, the artist must not bring any attention to himself or herself (e.g., mannerisms), but must instead let the music speak for itself.   
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #36 on: February 01, 2007, 12:49:13 AM »
agreed.  something between your tempo and mine.  i'm not annoyed.  i just think a prelude shouldn't be an etude.

but, hey - we're two different people with two different ideas of what chopin meant with 'agitato.'  he didn't specify a speed.

Offline rachfan

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #37 on: February 01, 2007, 01:58:15 AM »
I think that every Chopin Prelude is a mini-etude.  For examples, No. 2 might be how to play a long line of double notes in an accompaniment in a piece that sounds like a moving catepilla.  No. 4 might be how to handle differential voicing in repeated bass chords and how to keep those chords very quiet at the same time.  No. 6 might be how to play melody in the LH and accompaniment in the RH.  The tiny No. 7 in A is a lifetime etude for virtuosos and amateurs alike--how to bring performance as close as possible to perfection, which can never be achieved.  No. 13 might be how to create an atmospheric sound in a romantic piece.  No. 15 could be how to play cantabile juxtaposed with ostinato figuration.  No. 17 might be how to voice melody in moving chords, with accompaniment in the same hand.  No. 20 might be how to produce rich and sonorous tone with arm weight at differing dynamics while voicing the tops of legato chords to form melody.  No. 21 might be how to continuously expand and contract the hands while executing double notes.  And No. 23 could be how to play fluid patterns of figuration with legato touch.  Etc.  There is as much to be learned from a Chopin prelude as a Chopin etude.  These brief pieces are to be enjoyed with all of their wonderful contrasts, but they offer great insights to the pianist too. 
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline pianistimo

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #38 on: February 01, 2007, 11:49:30 PM »
shall we tackle #2?  i like how you describe what you think chopin was intending for each.  i'll continue getting this one up to speed.  am trying to enlarge my repertoire.  (don't laugh - since i'm very serious about these preludes).  i have one ballade and one etude.  but the etude i do not like to perform.  i play it very well around midnight after practicing six hours.  at least with the ballade and nocturnes you get a break.  oh, yes - and i bought the f minor fantasie. i heard a friend play it many years ago.  i never bothered to get the fingering because i never thought i'd play it.  now, i want it.

Offline rachfan

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Re: chopin prelude #1 (take 2)
«Reply #39 on: February 02, 2007, 12:37:48 AM »
Hi pianistimo,

Expanding your repertoire!?!  Egad!  You have the widest repertoire on this forum!   ::)   Anyway,  yes, go for Prelude No. 2, as it is probably the most unusual of the entire set, at least in my opinion.  Plus, I don't think it's a characteristic piece of Chopin, more experimental if not a total enigma. 

I tackled the Fantaisie in F last year.  I found it frustrating though.  It's a large scale work, of course--I can't remember exactly, but 24 pages or so.  My wife dislikes classical music and hates piano in particular.  So to keep the peace, I limit practice sessions to a couple of hours on Saturday while she leaves to do errands.  The Fantaisie demands four hour sessions.   So while I found I could play it, I could not really polish it with so little practice time available.  It became a futility, so I put it away.  I'll pick it up another time.  Then I did something that was a first for me--that summer I played film music.  Yes!  Cornish Rhapsody, The Dream of Olwen, and Warsaw Concerto, all in the solo versions, haha!  I had a blast doing it.  Where they are semi-classical works, you get to apply all of your studied technique in new ways to wonderful effect.  I loved it. 

Anyway, post your Prelude No. 2 when you're ready.  I'll post mine below if you'd like to hear it. 
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.