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Chopin Ballade No. 4 (Read 3098 times)

Offline pianalytical

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Chopin Ballade No. 4
« on: May 21, 2007, 07:08:09 AM »
I don't know if this is the right place to post this question, but...

I have both the Paderewski (Dover) and Peters Edition of this Ballade (no. 4). When I compare them, bars 72-73 are quite different. The notes in the back of the Paderewski Edition suggests that "the most generally accepted version" is not the version they actually use, but the version that happens to be in the Peters Edition.

What version should I use?

Also, as a general rule, do most pianists use Paderewski or Peters or some other edition for Chopin?

Thanks.

piano sheet music of Ballade 4


Offline invictious

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #1 on: May 21, 2007, 09:19:23 AM »
I don't have any of both versions
It would be greatly if you can post snippets from both editions you are talking about.
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Offline mikey6

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #2 on: May 22, 2007, 12:09:10 AM »
I was told by a Chopin scholar the Padarewski edition is close to the worst available.  Get the Henle and work with the Cortot as well.
You'll see that there are (I think) the same differences you're talking about between those 2.  I also had this discussion with a teacher - there is no urtext for Chopin, he was always changing things, so play whichever you like.
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Offline pianalytical

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #3 on: May 22, 2007, 04:40:28 AM »
Thanks for both your responses. I don't think I have hardware to post snippets from both editions...

But I appreciate the comment about checking out the Henle and Cortot.

Just my luck, two editions isn't enough. sigh.

...However, I would have liked more feedback from more people. I would think that the choice of editions for Chopin would have made for more opinions and comments. Did I post in the right forum or should I have chosen Performance instead of Repertoire?

Offline thalberg

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #4 on: May 22, 2007, 05:38:34 AM »
Did I post in the right forum or should I have chosen Performance instead of Repertoire?

This forum has WAY more replies than the performance one, so you were setting yourself up for success by posting here. 

Offline jlh

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #5 on: May 22, 2007, 06:26:29 AM »
I use the Paderewski edition (Dover) and looked in the back in the notes as well. 

I'm relearning this one currently and have decided for myself to use the "generally accepted" way of doing it, as is described in the notes.  My way differs a bit though and I'm not sure how I will play this part, in that for the 8th semiquaver I've been playing Cb-Db-Gb instead of Cb-Ebb-Gb.  Also, I play a Bbb (A) for the 11th semiquaver instead of a Bb.  You won't find too many recordings that play a Bb there.
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Offline pianalytical

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #6 on: May 22, 2007, 09:39:21 AM »
Thanks jlh,

I appreciate your comments. My plan had been to use the "generally accepted" way. You've helped convince me that is the right path to take.

...Actually the Bbb for the 11th semiquaver is how the "generally accepted" way reads in my Paderewski (Dover).

But you're also saying that you may stick with the Cb-Db-Gb for the 8th semiquaver (as Paderewski shows in the score vs. the "generally accepted" notes).  Have you heard recordings using that combination?

Otherwise, are you using Paderwski throughout? There are a lot of notes for this piece. For another small example, in bar 153, GE (and the Peters edition I have, which apparently must have used the GE score) uses a semiquaver rest at the beginning as the P. notes shows. I think I prefer that semiquaver rest (over the quaver rest) even though the P. notes has a good argument.


BTW, I like your signature. Gotta love that SNL.


Offline jlh

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #7 on: May 23, 2007, 03:44:12 AM »
You know, that whole section I am pretty liberal with... I generally take only a semiquaver rest in the RH in 153.  I don't strictly meter both hands together.  There is a definite pulse, but the RH is basically doing its own thing.

As far as the 8th semiquaver in that other spot, I'm not sure what I'll end up doing.  It's been long enough since I've played it that I can't remember exactly what I did before, but I should make up my mind soon, since I have to play this in like 3 weeks!

Yes, I am generally using the P throughout, as this is the only edition I own, and the notes in the back are pretty thorough in noting differences in other editions.  I'm by no means an authority on this piece or any other piece, but if you have other questions about what I do, I'll be glad to help if I can!   ;D

I played about 3 minutes of this piece for a 30 yr old opera singer last Sunday.  When I had to leave I stopped playing and looked over to her (I was hosting her and someone else last weekend) and she was weeping.  That doesn't happen too often when I play, but I must've captured what the piece was supposed to capture in order to affect her like that...  She said she was amazed.  I'll have to remember what I did!! lol
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Offline jlh

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #8 on: May 23, 2007, 05:24:48 AM »
BTW, I'm finding the coda to be more troublesome than I remember it being...  :-\
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Offline christiaan

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #9 on: May 23, 2007, 08:46:38 AM »
Use Edition Peters. Their fingering are the best. I`ve used Peters for the Chopin Etude op. 25 no. 1 and the Ballade No. 1 and it worked for me. Scrap everything else exept PETERS!

Offline christiaan

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #10 on: May 23, 2007, 08:50:50 AM »
Use Edition Peters. Their fingering are the best. I`ve used Peters for the Chopin Etude op. 25 no. 1 and the Ballade No. 1 and it worked for me. Scrap everything else exept PETERS!

Offline athykay

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #11 on: May 28, 2007, 12:31:24 AM »
For what it's worth (probably not much ;) ) I'm using the Dover.  Both my son and I are working on the piece.  He is in college, but home for a week or two before he goes back for his summer research program.  In the meantime, we're dueling with the 4th ballade.    I love it, but it is a B----!

My feeling about editions is that is doesn't matter a whole lot. Yeah, fingering ideas can be great, but we don't all have the same fingers and hand spreads, and so they're just suggestions.  The other thing is that all of these editors, whether they're Cortot or Paderewiski are just layering on their own interpretations, which may be good, but might really suck.

My son's teacher (very recently dedeased :( ) was an 89 year old woman who studied under Cortot at the Ecole Francaise.  She had much pride and also a healthy dose of irreverance toward the master.  She clearly had internalized much of his interpretation and method, but OTOH, she knew what she didn't like about his interpretations.  So, who's to say who which edition is best?
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Offline athykay

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #12 on: May 28, 2007, 12:35:55 AM »
JLH, I love your account of having made the opera singer cry with this piece.  That really resonated with me as I feel that this is perhaps one of the most emotive pieces I've ever played and I'm still finding new nuances to draw on and a deepening understanding of the piece a year or so after having taken it on. 

I'm really curious, though, which section of the piece was it that brought her to tears?  I have these inner debates with myself about which section is the most gut-wrenchingly beautiful.

I'd be interested it to hear from others which section you find the most beautiful and why.
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Offline jlh

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #13 on: May 28, 2007, 12:47:37 AM »
We had just finished a recording session with a choir we both sing in, and as we were about to leave, I started from the beginning of the piece.  Didn't make it to the descending chromatic scale when I played...
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Offline athykay

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #14 on: May 28, 2007, 01:54:47 AM »
Nice!  I'm finding the beginning the hardest nut to crack.  So much of the later parts are so entrenched in technical acumen that they can quite divert one's attention.  But, the begininning is the core - the very elements of the piece laid bare.  Those six upper rh hand g notes repeated, slightly crescendoing as the left hand softens - like a bell tolling - a theme that repeats throughout the piece.  It's such a simple concept but so difficult to execute.  I think if you were able to bring someone to tears with the beginning, you really understand the piece - no small accomplishment.
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Offline jlh

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Re: Chopin Ballade No. 4
«Reply #15 on: May 28, 2007, 01:57:08 AM »
Just goes to prove that you don't need fireworks to move someone with music.  I think the simplicity in the beginning is the piece's greatest asset.  As with anything, it can be affected very easily by the performer to the point where people turn heads in a bad way. ;)
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LOL "”””””””\         [ ] \
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