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fantasie in f minor, chopin (Read 6795 times)

Offline pianistimo

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fantasie in f minor, chopin
« on: June 19, 2007, 02:47:59 AM »
i'm attempting to learn this.  one of my pianist friends played this so many years ago.  now, i want to try.  any advice would be most welcome.

in fact, if anyone has played this before - do you mind posting?  i only play three pages on here. but will post more later.  this is my favorite work of chopin.


piano sheet music of Fantasia


Offline pianistimo

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #1 on: June 19, 2007, 03:13:13 AM »
i just noticed that it turns cut-time at measure 43.  no wonder i remember my friend speeding up there.  i was like'wow - what's happening now?'

does anyone have the fingering for page 5 (measures 53-67 or so)?

Offline mcgillcomposer

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #2 on: June 19, 2007, 04:05:36 AM »
Pianistimo,

Nice start :). Here is some general advice to give you a few things to think about.

1) Just a technical problem...you are playing the eight followed by a sixteenth rest and then sixteenth note like triplets. Count a subdivision of four in your head until you get the hang of it. So... ONE two three FOUR, instead of ONE two THREE.

2) This work has A LOT of repetition, although it is not exact repetion. Be aware of what Chopin changes each time, whether it be the local climax of the melody, the harmony, the rhythm, etc. Reflect these differences in your playing...if you bring out the subtle variations in different ways, your playing will achieve a much greater variety and will be more interesting to listen to.

3) Pay attention to Chopin's pedal markings...you tend to underpedal (granted this is MUCH better than over-pedalling, but still).

4) The poco a poco doppio movimento requires a much larger crescendo. We are going from p to ff! Think of these as get-up-and-RUN passages. Try thinking of it like this: Here we go - oh not quite...ah calming down again...NO...this is promising...YES YES YES...AGITATO!

There are other things to talk about, but that should give you some ideas for the next while. Keep working and good luck!
Asked if he had ever conducted any Stockhausen,Sir Thomas Beecham replied, "No, but I once trod in some."

Offline jlh

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #3 on: June 19, 2007, 06:24:25 AM »
Do you realize you're playing this in E minor and not F minor??

 ;D
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Offline quasimodo

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #4 on: June 19, 2007, 07:23:46 AM »
Do you realize you're playing this in E minor and not F minor??

 ;D

 :o
" On ne joue pas du piano avec deux mains : on joue avec dix doigts. Chaque doigt doit κtre une voix qui chante"

Samson Franηois

Offline pianistimo

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #5 on: June 19, 2007, 10:54:03 AM »
dear jlh,

respect.  i had just finished playing for my husband and he said - can you move my piece down 1/2 step.  i forgot to move it back up and it was late and i was sightreading the piece.  i did think - this sounds a bit flat.  but, it was more sightreading issue and i was somewhat unsure of the piece -- so i didn't catch that.  (my digital automatically transposes  down by 1/2 steps).

thank you thank you mcgillcomposer for your comments.  i will make the rhythms more precise and the thirtysecond rests and notes crisper.  i will watch for changes in the repetition.  and, climaxes in all three (melody, harmony, and/or rhythm).  i will try to reflect them in my playing by writing them in so i don't forget.  once it's established in my head what i'm trying to do - then it comes more second nature.  and, can you point out particular pedal markings that i'm not doing that bother you.  one of my teachers used to use the pedal sometimes for  quick accents as well as long pedallings.  it's the way it shows up in the verlag - too.  the first pedal mark starts on the half-note in the second measure and carries the first two beats of the next measure with it.  i'll work on that.  everything else in the verlag is quite sparing on the first page - but the second and third have much more.

say, on the third page at measure 43 - the fingering is really bizarre for cut-time.  it shows 5 to 1 and then a fingerpedal switch to 5.  this seems ridiculous at this speed.  i would rather play 5 to 1 and hold the lh where it is and continue with rh on the last of the triplet (holding 1 with rh thumb).  it's pedalled anyways - so we can do what we like, right?!  as long as the notes are strong - they will carry.

Offline mcgillcomposer

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #6 on: June 19, 2007, 11:13:55 AM »
say, on the third page at measure 43 - the fingering is really bizarre for cut-time.  it shows 5 to 1 and then a fingerpedal switch to 5.  this seems ridiculous at this speed.  i would rather play 5 to 1 and hold the lh where it is and continue with rh on the last of the triplet (holding 1 with rh thumb).  it's pedalled anyways - so we can do what we like, right?!  as long as the notes are strong - they will carry.

As a general rule, yes. Just make sure that the composer has not indicated a specific fingering to reflect the phrasing. This occurs A LOT in Beethoven to achieve certain phrasing, or a specific articulation. If the fingering is editorial, there is no reason to follow it when you can find a solution that works better for you. If you go against the composer's own indications, just be careful that you aren't compromising a specific effect that s/he wanted to achieve.
Asked if he had ever conducted any Stockhausen,Sir Thomas Beecham replied, "No, but I once trod in some."

Offline jlh

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #7 on: June 19, 2007, 06:09:58 PM »
respect.  i had just finished playing for my husband and he said - can you move my piece down 1/2 step.  i forgot to move it back up and it was late and i was sightreading the piece.  i did think - this sounds a bit flat.  but, it was more sightreading issue and i was somewhat unsure of the piece -- so i didn't catch that.  (my digital automatically transposes  down by 1/2 steps).


No problem.  I was going to listen to the whole recording but had to stop after the first page because it was bothering me since I've played this before.  I figured it was a digital piano transposition oversight.  I used to catch my students all the time in class piano when they'd have something transposed by accident (usually from a previous user of the keyboard) and they'd play something and I'd tell them to fix the transposition on it or something... frequently they would say it's not transposed, and I'd tell em to check again.  My perfect pitch is working just fine I'd tell em... ;p
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LOL "”””””””\         [ ] \
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #8 on: June 19, 2007, 08:08:03 PM »
i guess it gives a whole new character for a piece - but that you caught the 1/2 step transposition means you have a very good ear.  in fact, i was tired and i knew something was bothering me, too.  i just couldn't figure what exactly it was. ?  strange for someone who is attempting to have more of a professional career.  does this mean i'm headed for a 1/2 way piano house?  some things in life just depress me.  i'm comforting myself by the fact it was late at night. 

what do you think about using the rh sooner than it calls for in the cut-time section?  basically using the lh only for the immediate octave - and possibly the rh alone for the rest of the section or doing some kind of cross over (either playing one note with lh - held note - or a few notes).  what fingering do you use there?

Offline jlh

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #9 on: June 19, 2007, 09:01:14 PM »
what do you think about using the rh sooner than it calls for in the cut-time section?  basically using the lh only for the immediate octave - and possibly the rh alone for the rest of the section or doing some kind of cross over (either playing one note with lh - held note - or a few notes).  what fingering do you use there?

I wouldn't use the RH earlier than written.  You'll run into problems doing it that way.  The key is to, as soon as the LH thumb plays the octave, reach the LH 2nd finger to do the 5th.  A little practice is all you'll need.  It's absolutely doable and in my humble opinion the way it's written is the best way.  Good Luck!

Josh
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LOL "”””””””\         [ ] \
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Offline pianistimo

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #10 on: June 19, 2007, 09:17:11 PM »
thank you for the fingering.  that's what verlag has - but i like the idea of just crossing over the 2 and not attempting a finger-pedal - but rather a sort of brush. 

good luck - as in 400 hours of work.  yes.  i know.  that's hardly luck - but some would call it that.  maybe in three years.  what do you think? is three years realistic.  i set two for the mussorgsky.  now, why do i think this so much harder?  maybe because you have to make it coherent?  the mussorgsky has the tempos set and everything - and it's a case by case study.  this one - you don't have time to examine the last case before you go on to something else.  a passionately unforgiving piece.

Offline jlh

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #11 on: June 19, 2007, 09:29:49 PM »
I would still switch from the 1 to the 5 on the octave, but this is done very quickly -- while the 2 is crossing over.  This way you can still hold the notes as indicated without being in an awkward position.  Damper pedal is recommended...  ;)
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LOL "”””””””\         [ ] \
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Offline prongated

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #12 on: June 21, 2007, 02:45:40 PM »
...I'd really like to listen to the end product! Quite interesting what you did in the section after the F major resolution. And I hope you practise on a real piano...much harmonic shifts cannot be realised on a digital I think...

Offline pianistimo

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #13 on: June 21, 2007, 07:42:31 PM »
what did i do?  hit a wrong note?  i'm wondering now what i did.  oh. dear - did i play it in F major too soon.  yes.  i could have done that.  leave the A -natural?  well, as a way to defend myself (if i did this) i would say there is an A-natural in measures 41-42.  but, still no excuse.  have to listen to this again to remember what i did.

Offline prongated

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #14 on: June 22, 2007, 08:05:36 AM »
what did i do? hit a wrong note? i'm wondering now what i did. oh. dear - did i play it in F major too soon. yes. i could have done that. leave the A -natural? well, as a way to defend myself (if i did this) i would say there is an A-natural in measures 41-42. but, still no excuse. have to listen to this again to remember what i did.

...lol no no no nothing to do with wrong notes...I was referring to the way you play the 'accompaniments' (marked staccato) starting in bar 21...it's quite complimentary, although I think mcgill's point about following the pedalling also applies here - at least I wouldn't let it sound fully detached.

Offline rachfan

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #15 on: June 23, 2007, 04:18:12 AM »
Hi pianistimo,

Here's a constructive observation.  I realize you've just started this piece, so it's still very new to you.  But I've noticed this same quirk in several of your other recordings as well.  It has to do with continuity (or lack thereof).  Whenever you make an error (and we all drop some notes at times, including me), it seems to startle you into an abrupt halt, whereby you do a retake of the measure, phrase, figure, or oftentimes just a single wrong note--which would be fine in a practice session, where the conventional wisdom is to stop, analyze the cause of the error, correct it at once, and repeat the correction several times to change the "habit" of execution in that troublesome spot.  In a live performance or a recording, however, you really have to totally ignore the error, gloss over it, or otherwise continue on your way (improvising if necessary) to ensure musical continuity.  (The very same principle would hold for a memory slip as well.)  Otherwise, the listener also becomes distracted and likewise enmeshed in the error and correction process too, which, I would have to believe, you as performer would want to avoid.   My advice is, no matter what, keep on going!

You might feel entirely different about this, and I do understand and respect that,  but I just wanted to share my thoughts on it, as you do it fairly frequently. 
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline pianistimo

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #16 on: June 23, 2007, 06:19:37 PM »
dear rachfan,

of course, stopping is not good.  i was sightreading this - and some of the other pieces i've posted.  but, in recital and for choirs i do what you do - and keep going.  this piece is very new to me and i want to make sure and set in my ears the correct chords - so i don't continue to play the wrong note/s.  that's all.

and, to get some more practice time so that i can play the piece entirely through and put some more feeling into it.  i agree that the ideal is to improvise a bar or two.  unfortunatly, i don't know if this will EVER happen between me and chopin - but beethoven and mozart - yes.  i do that.  i suppose that all it takes is getting to know the composer well enough to guess what they are going to do.

each note is so important in chopin.  you can't second guess him until you've played the piece several times correctly.  with mozart- you just say - ok. i'm in G major and we're headed for wherever and just play a few diddly notes.  with chopin - it's where your hands are headed.  must get to the next location.  it's like driving around in a very fast sports car.  you can't just stop and look around.

Offline rachfan

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #17 on: June 23, 2007, 08:07:38 PM »
I hear you on practice time.   Last winter I invested considerable effort in the Chopin "Fantasie".  I was using the Henle edition and don't have it in front of me, but seem to recall it was 21 pages.  The problem is that my wife doesn't like piano, classical music, or practicing, so I have to wait for her to go out on errands.  Although I got the piece somewhat playable through very economical and intelligent practicing, I just could not get enough practice time to really refine it.  It was extremely frustrating to me, so I finally shelved the Fantasie.  Maybe someday I can go back to it.  For the present I invest only in shorter, doable pieces that I can feasibly bring to recital level in the practice time realistically available to me.  Right now I'm doing the difficult Bortkiewicz Impromptu "Eros" (10 pages which is workable for me) along with a few easy Grieg lyric pieces, for example. 

On improvising, several years ago I was accompanying a choral program following three rehersals.  In one of the numbers, after the piano introduction, the conductor miscued the singers and it instantly fell apart!  I was able to improvise immediately cycling back to a point where the conductor could comfortably restart the chorus, which she did, and it turned out fine.  Another time I was on stage with a local tenor who had a memory blackout.  I kept that one going too.  Incredible!   
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline pianowolfi

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #18 on: June 23, 2007, 10:44:11 PM »
The problem is that my wife doesn't like piano, classical music, or practicing, so I have to wait for her to go out on errands. 

Omg I just can't keep quiet, is this really true?  How in the world can you stay with her or she with you?  :o And how did you reach your very high level of playing, is she out shopping the whole day? :o :P Just wondering.

Offline pianistimo

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #19 on: June 23, 2007, 11:04:09 PM »
i hear you on that one, too.  my family tells me to 'quiet down.' or, 'we're watching a show - put on your headphones.'  of course, it's hard on the ears to always have headphones on - but i put them on and turn the volume down.  it's not like real practicing.  i like to have the sounds surrounding me.  but, the repetition - i can understand that they don't like.

enjoy your wife!  even though you don't share music - you can share other things.  namely passionate things.  i can't stand sports.  i don't know why.  it jsut seems ridiculous to me to watch people spitting and swinging bats above their heads.  i don't care what the score is.  but, sometimes - i just go and sit near my hsuband and pretend.  it's not really that effective - but i feel like sometimes he has more of a tendency to love the cat when she does that.  so i thought ...hmmm.  i'll just be like the cat and sit next to him for five minutes max.  after that i get fidigity. 

Offline pianistimo

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #20 on: June 23, 2007, 11:30:12 PM »
say - this chopin fantasie is all about what chopin has to say at measure 199 isn't it?  i mean - in the middle of everything - he stops and just 'talks.'  what is he saying here?  we will never know?  what is he attempting to get across to this 'princess catherine de souzzo?'  i love you.  i have this mad fantasie about you.  forget everything that came before and everything afterwards - it is only this simple message that i start and end with?  (personally, i never heard of her before).  did chopin have an uncanny ability to wield a sort of magical romantic power over women and enjoy crushing them with it?

and this key thing.  f-minor to B major.  if it was not romantic music- it would naturally fall into Bb major or A or C.  but, B is a tri-tone isn't it?  so, he's saying 'you devil woman.  i will write something devilish for you.'

Offline rachfan

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #21 on: June 24, 2007, 02:00:03 AM »
Hi wolfi,

On proficiency (and thank you for the compliment, by the way): I studied with a fine teacher for 10 years prior to college (I was a Paderewski Gold Medal recipient).  She was a New England Conservatory of Music grad, and had studied with David Barnett, a student of Alfred Cortot and Howard Brockway; also with Albion Metcalf, a pupil of Tobias Matthay; and as well with Miklos Schwalb, a student of Ernst von Dohnanyi.  She focused on all the essential fundamentals.  So I lucked out there.  About 20 years later I decided to study again, this time for 7 years with an artist-teacher with a MM in Performance from Boston University, who had studied for a long time with Anthony di Bonaventura, a pupil of Isabella Vengerova.  He was in a DMA program at the time, and had played a NY debut in Carnegie Hall.  He was very demanding, which was a good thing, and we focused mostly on repertoire, artisitic fine points and mainly interpretation (which we debated endlessly).  So I was very fortunate there as well.  Having excellent teachers was key.

Now to answer your question directly.  During studies with my second teacher (by then I was married, of course), my wife was working part-time two days per week.  That's when I jammed in all my practicing!  Nowadays, I do very well learning on my own (which is the whole purpose of studing with teachers--to learn to teach yourself).  But I would really enjoy meeting with an artist-teacher on occasion (there are a few in my city) to be heard.  The idea would not be lessons per se; rather, what I would want at this stage is for the teacher to be more of an occasional piano coach.  I miss that kind of interaction. 

On your other question, yes our marriage has endured for a long time, and I'm sure that will continue into the future.  Sharing a taste in music within a relationship is far more important than I would have dreamed in my 20s--I must admit that.  But pianistimo is right--there are many other aspects of a marriage partner to appreciate as well.   Of course, if I were left to my own devices, I would be practicing 4 hours a day, ha-ha!  Yesterday I wanted to play so badly that I actually ached inside--literally.  But today I got a good slug of practice in during "errands", so that was very satisfying.  But practice time is limited, no question about it. 
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline rachfan

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #22 on: June 24, 2007, 02:05:58 AM »
Hi pianistimo,

Along the line of watching baseball games with your husband, I have attended a few rock concerts with my wife, ha-ha!  Yes, you do have to make a few concessions in married life.  It's like everything else, you have to give a little to get a little.
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline pianowolfi

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #23 on: June 24, 2007, 12:24:00 PM »
But rachfan, I would recommend to separate your practicing, in that you may build or rent  (or what ever is possible) a separate practice room. Of course there need to be concessions in married life. But concessions that hurt like this do never good and will gnaw on you and on the marriage. I talk from experience, I never made concessions in practicing, because I couldn't and because it's my occupation. And though my wife loves classical music it often got too much for her, plus she often would have liked to practice herself too. Okay it's not the main reason that we are separated now, (if it was we would have looked for a solution and saved the marriage :P)  but if I would have to decide again, I would from the beginning separate my practicing. It doesn't work out in the long term. Just my two cents.

(lol we're quite off topic now, it seems ;D)

Offline rachfan

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #24 on: June 24, 2007, 09:55:29 PM »
Hi Wolfi,

I don't think pianistimo minds this short side tangent too much, as she has experienced the practicing/family dilemma too. 

I hear you on the concept of putting physical separation between spouse/family and practicing, and I have thought about it off and on.  The downtown of the city where I reside has many old historic buildings.  The majority of the owners, not all, lease only their ground floors, as they either do not wish to invest in elevators to comply with the federal ADA regulations, or find the problems in building them to be infeasible financially and/or architecturally.  As a result, there is beaucoup vacant space available on upper floors here, and for that reason rents can be as low as $4/SF on upper floors.  However, if you take, say 600 SF on the highest floor at the far end of a corridor to minimize the noise factor for co-tenants, that's still $2,400/year or $200/month before electricity and heat and any other landlord-allocated costs.  (If you're getting the sense that I'm a typical New England yankee, it's true  ;D)  So while a loft studio certainly has allure, to offset that expense I figure I'd have to teach pupils--which would then divert focus and diminish my practice time, that practice time being the whole original intent! 

My house lot is an acre, so yes, there would be room to construct a studio here.  But in the Maine climate it would have to be super insulated, and the heating system would have to be re-sized to accommodate that extra space.  (In this part of the country, oil heat is the norm--hardly anyone uses electric heat (way too expensive), and natural gas  pipelines exist only downtown.)  So I would see this as a very significant facility cost.  Over the long term, it would undoubtedly be cheaper than paying monthly rent.  But financially, neither option motivates me.  And... it would displease my wife who would feel that I was isolating myself in "a solitary pursuit", as she calls practicing, rather than fostering togetherness.  Ay!  It's a no-win, I'm afraid.
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline pianowolfi

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #25 on: June 24, 2007, 11:57:48 PM »
Hmmmmm :P Well of course my two cents end here. But what about an e-piano for the non-errands times?

Offline rachfan

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Re: fantasie in f minor, chopin
«Reply #26 on: June 25, 2007, 01:09:28 AM »
Hi wolfi,

I wouldn't rule out the e-piano, and there are several brands on sale at the Yamaha piano dealership in town.  We have a finished basement, and the e-piano could easily go into the seldom-used bedroom down there.  Next time I'm downtown, I'll have to stop in to sample the wares.  I've only played one, and that was several years ago, as I've always been an accoustic piano afficienado.  But it's certainly a practical and workable idea.  Thanks for  your concern, empathy and suggestions!  This has been a huge frustration for me as you can tell.   :)
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.