\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Learning the Ballades (Read 2726 times)

Offline walking_encyclopedia

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 87
Learning the Ballades
« on: April 25, 2007, 03:42:22 PM »
I have mastered the first Ballade of Chopin, and I'm interested in learning the other three. How difficult musically/technically are the other three compared to the first?

thanks

Sheet music to download and print: Ballades by Chopin



Offline nicco

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1191
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #1 on: April 25, 2007, 04:26:04 PM »
I'd say about 43.8 dvorph per finger, in chromatic order.
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline imbetter

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1264
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #2 on: April 25, 2007, 08:29:40 PM »
2 and 3 are both easier in my opinion, but the fourth is probaly harder than all three combined  ;)

I've studied the first myself
"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 elevateme_returns

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 757
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #3 on: April 25, 2007, 08:38:41 PM »
...yet you still havent put it on youtube even though like 6 months ago you said you would.

but on topic yep the 4th is obviously the hardest of the lot. although they all have nasty moments, the 2nd one is probably the easiest
elevateme's joke of the week:
If John Terry was a Spartan, the movie 300 would have been called "1."

Offline imbetter

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1264
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #4 on: April 25, 2007, 08:43:15 PM »
...who cares. its just a piece that most people with multiple years of experience could learn. it may seem odd that i can play it because im 12 but ive had 7 years of experience and look at arrau who played liszt transcendental etudes and brahms paginini variations at 11 (even though im no claudio arrau  ;)). I told the truth that i was lying about islamey but thats one of the hardest pieces on earth that i shouldnt be ashamed of not playing but the first ballade is VERY VERY FAR from being one of the hardest pieces ever written. There are many other people on pianostreet that claim they play hard pieces, harder than the g minor ballade, why dont you nag them about it?

I hope i proved my point well.
"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 walking_encyclopedia

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 87
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #5 on: April 26, 2007, 07:05:00 AM »
...who cares. its just a piece that most people with multiple years of experience could learn. it may seem odd that i can play it because im 12 but ive had 7 years of experience and look at arrau who played liszt transcendental etudes and brahms paginini variations at 11 (even though im no claudio arrau  ;)). I told the truth that i was lying about islamey but thats one of the hardest pieces on earth that i shouldnt be ashamed of not playing but the first ballade is VERY VERY FAR from being one of the hardest pieces ever written. There are many other people on pianostreet that claim they play hard pieces, harder than the g minor ballade, why dont you nag them about it?

I hope i proved my point well.

sure, whatever... depending on what you would consider 'hard' obviously to you hard means technically advanced, whatever that means.

the really hard pieces are pieces such as the chopin ballades, where very advanced musicality is much more required than say islamey by balakirev. judging by your description of 'hard', i wouldn't want to hear your rendition of chopin's ballade. so stick to your flashy fast pieces, until you grow up and realize that there are way too many pianists out there who can play fast, and very few who can express their music in a deep, emotionally satisfying performance.

didnt mean to rant but im tired of all these arguments about 'hard' pieces. the purpose of my thread was to compare the four ballades, not attract kids to brag about how young they are and how 'hard' their pieces are.

Offline nicco

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1191
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #6 on: April 26, 2007, 07:25:03 AM »


didnt mean to rant but im tired of all these arguments about 'hard' pieces. the purpose of my thread was to compare the four ballades, not attract kids to brag about how young they are and how 'hard' their pieces are.

But dont you see? Comparing difficulty and musicality is totally SUBJECTIVE. It doesent matter if anyone says "this is hard, but that is harder." If you want to find out how hard it is, sit down at the piano and try.
"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline invictious

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1033
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #7 on: April 26, 2007, 08:57:35 AM »
Personally I'd say number 3 is the easiest
but if you can play number 3, then the order of the ballades don't really matter.

There has been great dispute between whether number 2 or number 1 is harder. musically number 1 is harder because it's so overplayed, you might play it just like them and make it boring
Bach - Partita No.2
Scriabin - Etude 8/12
Debussy - L'isle Joyeuse
Liszt - Un Sospiro

Goal:
Prokofiev - Toccata

>LISTEN<

Offline frederic chopin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 69
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #8 on: April 26, 2007, 01:29:36 PM »
No doubt that the fourth ballade is the hardest.

Ballades 1, 2 and 3 I find difficult to rank in terms of difficulty - it depends on the individual performer.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
♫ LTCL Piano Performance
♫ ABRSM Grade 8 Theory of Music (Distinction)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Offline piano_ant

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #9 on: April 26, 2007, 02:50:56 PM »
i would say you need to have studied the first three in order to be reasonably prepared for the fourth one...

Offline franzliszt2

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1003
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #10 on: April 26, 2007, 07:58:29 PM »
2nd is the easiest. 4th is the hardest. 3 is hard toplay well. 1st is hardbut not as bad as 4I'd say 1 and 3 are about equal.3 has some nasty passages

Offline sjeon

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #11 on: March 11, 2010, 09:21:05 AM »
The second one: similar in level of difficulty.
Third: easiest ballade.
Fourth: hardest ballade

Offline orangesodaking

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 404
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #12 on: March 11, 2010, 04:26:08 PM »
The difficulty of the Ballades is subjective. I have studied Ballade 2 and spent some time with Ballades 1 and 4, and I actually had no technical hurdles with them like I did Ballade 2 (coda). Musically, Ballade 4 is the deepest and takes a higher level of maturity to do effectively.

Offline john11inc

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 550
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #13 on: March 14, 2010, 09:23:25 AM »
Overall, the fourth is the hardest, certainly.  I'd say the first and second are about on par with each other, although the second one usually gives more pianists trouble, so I'd say it's a bit harder.  The third is kind of hard to classify, really.  Throughout most of the piece it's the easiest, although it has a couple sections that are harder than anything you'd find even in No. 4, so it's really hard to say.  For the most part, No. 3 is the easiest, but there are one or two passages that can really be a bastard, more-so than any of the others.
If this work is so threatening, it is not because it's simply strange, but competent, rigorously argued and carrying conviction.

-Jacques Derrida


http://www.youtube.com/user/john11inch

Offline gyzzzmo

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2210
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #14 on: March 14, 2010, 09:35:09 AM »
I havent done the 3rd myself, but to my opinionthat one is the easiest, then the second, then the first, and then 4th wich is most demanding by far.
1+1=11

Offline gyzzzmo

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2210
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #15 on: March 14, 2010, 09:38:50 AM »
But dont you see? Comparing difficulty and musicality is totally SUBJECTIVE. It doesent matter if anyone says "this is hard, but that is harder." If you want to find out how hard it is, sit down at the piano and try.

Its not that subjective, at least for pieces like ballades that require a wide range of techniques. Also you shouldnt forget that expressing musicality in these pieces requires a shitload of technique.
1+1=11

Offline slow_concert_pianist

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 223
Re: Learning the Ballades
«Reply #16 on: March 15, 2010, 03:34:30 AM »
It is not about "hardest" or "easiest" but about understanding the style that is required.

I gave an analogy that Ballade 1 was a Mazurka. Of course it isn't, never has been, but if you look at how the mazurka has progressed you will understand the comparison. It is also a little cynicism on how many performances of that ballade do not reflect the intend - a song without words. In fact the ballade is much more than a song. It is an epic, so beautifully tendered by both of Liszt's masterpieces.

Chopin's genius is no better suitably wrapped than in all his ballades. Their acute difficulty is in the very perception that makes performance possible. I continually leave a practice session with more questions than progress. As with the bitter debate as to whether the Talmud has "contaminated" Judaism, Chopin's observations and notation of how his music must be played is sacrosanct. Much of the output is delivered by show ponies who mercilessly ignore anything that might hinder their "showmanship". Never fall into the trap of vanity and "fashion", but be the thorough student.

I approach all Chopin's Ballades with utter respect and don't delude myself that the journey will ever end with these monuments.
Currently rehearsing:

Chopin Ballades (all)
Rachmaninov prelude in Bb Op 23 No 2
Mozart A minor sonata K310
Prokofiev 2nd sonata
Bach WTCII no 6
Busoni tr Bach toccata in D minor