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Social Media, Authenticity & How Not to Play Beethoven’s Für Elise

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Author Topic: What does the Raindrop Prelude convey to you?  (Read 3702 times)
henrah
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« on: February 06, 2007, 10:44:14 PM »

From my limited knowledge, to me it is a sad Chopin, sad that his wife and her child have gone for a walk and he misses them, and the raindrops are aggravating him as he composes. As he takes more notice of the raindrops, thunder starts to roll in the distance and it eventually overwhelmes the sound of the rain. Suddenly paranoia hits him: it's been a long time since his spouse and her child left for their walk and they haven't returned, and the storm outside ignites thoughts in his head that they might be in danger. Just as he realises he is deluding himself, they return, and now the rain means nothing to him: he takes no notice of it anymore. He finishes his composition happy that he can be with them again.

That is the story I envisage when I play this piece. I remember reading that he composed this piece when he was on the island (malaga maybe?) that he was sent to to help with his breathing difficulties (can't remember the illness he was diagnosed with), and the island had a lot of rainy weather, not sunny at all which is what he thought it would be like.


So back to the topic title and question: what does the raindrop prelude convey to you?
Henrah
Henrah
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piano sheet music of Prelude (Raindrop)
soliloquy
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2007, 11:21:42 PM »

Snow flakes.  Chopin was wayyyyyy off.
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leslieb547
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007, 11:26:53 PM »

The island was majorca, in the mountains, in winter. the weather was miserable, he was miserable, he had consumption. He should have gone in the summer, it's lovely! the raindrop is one of my favourite pieces to play. interesting how different pianists take it at different speeds. I heard Angela Hewitt play it as an encore in a recital just a few months ago, fully a minute longer than anyone else I have ever heard and it was breathtaking!
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pianowolfi
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2007, 08:16:08 AM »

Cannons hidden under flowers. A walk over the abyss. To me it's a dark piece.
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ahinton
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007, 08:51:22 AM »

Cannons hidden under flowers.
Cannons and flowers? We're now in Cziffra territory, are we not?!

Best,

Alistair
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Alistair Hinton
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counterpoint
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2007, 09:31:07 AM »

Cannons and flowers? We're now in Cziffra territory, are we not?!

Best,

Alistair


No, it was Robert Schumann, who has written this about Chopin's Mazurkas  Cheesy
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If it doesn't work - try something different!
henrah
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2007, 05:34:04 PM »

All very interesting! Any more?
Henrah
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Currently learning:<br />Liszt- Consolation No.3<br />J.W.Hässler- Sonata No.6 in C, 2nd mvt<br />Glière- No.10 from 12 Esquisses, Op.47<br />Saint-Saens- VII Aquarium<br />Mozart- Fantasie KV397<br /
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2007, 10:24:34 PM »

Mine's not too special, going off the title literally I imagine a cool summer drizzle, calmly falling from the sky straight down, no wind...  Falling heavier, colder, the wind begins to rustle the trees about, the sky darkens slightly before the thunder.  All viewed safely from behind a window.

Just the weather, I haven't got any stories to go along.

I get similar imagery from the finale of Beethovens 'tempest', only harder, windier...  and I'm in the middle of it all, getting furiously soaked!

I think that imagery comes from actually walking around in rainstorms with the music playing in my headphones Grin

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henrah
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2007, 11:37:28 PM »

Ah, through a window, a much more subtle interpretation. I think that in my interpretation it starts inside, through a window like you described, but then my attention shifts to the outside and everything is far more apparent. I really want to record it so I can share it with you guys. Hopefully the next time there's a concert here I'll get my godfather to record it.
Henrah
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Currently learning:<br />Liszt- Consolation No.3<br />J.W.Hässler- Sonata No.6 in C, 2nd mvt<br />Glière- No.10 from 12 Esquisses, Op.47<br />Saint-Saens- VII Aquarium<br />Mozart- Fantasie KV397<br /
ahinton
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2007, 12:08:33 AM »

Ah, through a window, a much more subtle interpretation. I think that in my interpretation it starts inside, through a window like you described, but then my attention shifts to the outside and everything is far more apparent. I really want to record it so I can share it with you guys. Hopefully the next time there's a concert here I'll get my godfather to record it.
Henrah
A fine prelude for piano by a fine pianist with an excellent grasp of what works well on his instrument, that's what - neither "rain" nor "drops" enter into it; when it rains in England, as so often it does, I could only wish that the drops fell as infrequently as the quavers in that piece's opening measures. A composer recently observed in an interview how marvellously large-scale these Chopin Préludes are, despite the fact that many of them occupy little or no more than a single page of music; the composer's name is Elliott Carter - and I assure you that it wasn't raining when he said this...

Best,

Alistair
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pianowelsh
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2007, 12:17:56 AM »

I personally see perhaps a bit more hope in the piece than some of you there are moments that are quite up lifting and affirmatory. Certainly there is a struggle in the music with feelings of doubt and depression which recur but things are ok (at least surface - temporary) by the end of the piece and a kind of balace mental/spiritual/physical has been restored at the end. Chopin doesnt let his guard down completely in this piece - his aristocratic composure remains intact....just.
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arensky
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2007, 01:44:11 AM »

Snow flakes.  Chopin was wayyyyyy off.

Cool. I can see that.  Cool

It reminds me of a full moon on a cloudy night and the clouds are moving quickly across the sky, obscuring then revealing the moon, always changing.
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amanfang
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2007, 02:46:07 AM »

Depends on who is playing it.  For example, my student who begged to play it (she was technically ready, but not musically ready) it conveyed more along the lines of "chinese water torture" than Raindrop Prelude.     Roll Eyes

Anywaaay....

I also imagine looking at the rain from inside.  It seems to be a sort of melancholy mood - not in despair by any means.  It is solitude, personal.  As the mind wanders in a melancholy sort of state, the thinking becomes a bit more serious, almost morbid.  There could be even some fear and intense upset.  But eventually those thoughts disappear, and once again the melancholy, but serene state of mind returns.
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rc
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2007, 01:25:20 AM »

Ah, through a window, a much more subtle interpretation. I think that in my interpretation it starts inside, through a window like you described, but then my attention shifts to the outside and everything is far more apparent. I really want to record it so I can share it with you guys. Hopefully the next time there's a concert here I'll get my godfather to record it.
Henrah

That interpretation is probably better suited for the minor section, it naturally commands more attention.  I could see it going as far as standing in an open door for that part, feeling the power more directly, but still out of the rain.

I'd like to hear your interpretation, be sure to let us know when you get it up!  Hopefully I don't miss it.
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webern78
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2007, 01:37:49 PM »

Nothing, just the raw sensation of the music. Sorry, i'm a big proponent of absolute music, i have no use for poetry or imagery...   Grin
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rc
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« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2007, 03:45:15 AM »

I find both approaches useful, it's fun to play around with how we look at a piece.  For the most part I keep things absolute, using imagery here and there to help achieve an effect...  When a piece is titled, it's often the first impression before I even hear the piece, and winds up influencing my imagery.  Like when a book has illustrations in it, or on the cover, they influence how I see the characters in my mind (that really irks me, I never imagine imagery from a book the same way the artist draws it, and it makes some dissonance when I read).

I used to be strongly against sharing imagery of music, but now I think it can be useful to share the intended effect, or help non-musicians appreciate the music...  So long as it's not concrete, imagery ought to be more symbolic than literal.
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apion
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« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2007, 04:12:10 AM »

Dancing ladybugs
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moi_not_toi
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« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2007, 12:44:56 AM »

The sheer depression he experiences being unable to go out and whoop Liszt's a** for stealing his gurl George.
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« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2007, 03:46:03 AM »

hmm.  i shall never think of this prelude in the same way.

i was onto the dance thing, too. excepting i never thought it would be ladybugs.  something like - it's raining outside.  the fireplace is going inside.  two people are just dancing to some music.
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berrt
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« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2007, 09:27:57 AM »

George Sand and the children were off to the town, and he was left alone in the former cloister on that cold and rainy day. In the middle part i can hear the medieval gregorian chants reverberating of the old ivy-covered walls...

I still have to travel to valdemossa although i think it is disney-land-like made up touristical attraction.

B.
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