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Valentina Lisitsa on Searching for the Rachmaninoff Affinity

When Valentina Lisitsa came to Stockholm to play Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto, it was a welcome fact not only for all her fans but also for anybody well aware of the enormous challenge this concerto means for any performer. In 2013 Lisitsa released her Complete Rachmaninoff Concertos (including the Paganini Rhapsody) on Decca and therefor this was a rare chance for Piano Street’s Patrick Jovell not to talk to her about YouTube but… Sergei Rachmaninoff. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Chopin Ballade in G minor  (Read 2684 times)
ayahav
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« on: September 01, 2002, 01:22:29 AM »

I started playing Chopin's first ballade two weeks ago. I had hardly any problems sight-reading the piece satisfactorily up until the coda. I need some advice on tackling the coda.

Amit Roll Eyes
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piano sheet music of Ballade 1
Colette
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2002, 03:49:09 AM »

yeah this coda is evil for alot of people....the most important thing is to keep your wrists extremely loose. however, your hands and fingers should remain firm (not in the sense that your straining) but they should keep a consistent shape throughout the coda....your wrist should drop as you follow through with the right hand chords....this is only a suggestion, but it worked for me. when i learned this i practiced it verrry slowly one hand at a time...don't try to rush anything or else your outcome wont be what you'd hoped....it also helps to play the left and right hands in rhythmic patters with a metronome. the coda isnt that hard once you stop thinking its hard. just treat it like any other portion of a piece and work through it listening musically, not technically. good luck!
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martin_s
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2002, 12:32:14 PM »

Fingering is important too. In my opinion the first and last bits of the coda is not at all that very difficult, the tricky bit, I find, is the leaping right (and left at times!) hand bit that starts with an A-flat, neapolitan chord. Here there are places where there are different possibilities of fingerings. Just about two good ones, I find. To me, this is all about thinking in terms of positions, and then helping with the wrist when you have to shift position. The different fingerings are all about finding out exactly when and where to shift position. As Colette already pointed out, it is also very important to maintain the arch of the hand, ie to keep the hand and fingers firm. Also experiment with different types of touch, legato, leggiero, staccato etc. and see what approach helps you the most. The left hand needs to be practised on its own too, and it is important, in my opinion, to really care for the left hand when playing this passage. Many people (a certain Mr. V. Horowitz for instance!)  make the misstake to focus too much on the right hand, but lots of the con fuoco qualities actually springs from the left hand part with its accents and syncopations... Trust you'll make it work very soon   Wink
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