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[youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording> (Read 2946 times)

Offline classical pianist

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[youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
« on: November 08, 2007, 06:10:51 AM »


Always welcome all comments and critics!!  :)

(excuse me for the bad sound quality... )

piano sheet music of Ballade 1


Offline prongated

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #1 on: November 08, 2007, 07:38:10 AM »
I'm surprised - this is very eccentric. You're just indulging yourself there I think. Interesting voicing distorts everything else, tempo is too fast than you can handle (esp. middle section; and the beginning is maestoso!!), not to mention the random rubatos...I just can't listen to/enjoy it ><

It probably didn't matter much if everybody thinks you're Horowitz - although even so I doubt very much he'd get away with it. Sorry if I don't sound too pleasant - this is one of the worst performance of Chopin Ballade 1 I've heard in my life. And unexpected, judging by some of your other performances on youtube.

Offline counterpoint

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #2 on: November 08, 2007, 08:31:33 AM »
prongated, didn't you sleep well...?  ::)  ???  >:(  :D

This is an incredible good performance, I don't have words how good it is. It's one of the best g minor ballads I ever heard. My highest compliments to classical pianist!!!
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Offline pianowolfi

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #3 on: November 08, 2007, 09:52:50 AM »
Wow, very controversal comments :P

To me this is an interesting performance that makes me listen more attentively to a piece that I have heard being played 100 times by different pianists, which sounded all the same :P And, a lot of pianists, including Horowitz, after all can't play this piece well imo, it's something, well, very special.  (LOL ;D What am I saying here)

Yes you are quite subjective, sure. But it has temperament and emotion and it lives. Something I don't like so much is the quite hard, almost brutal sound in some parts, especially in the last part. Do you have a tendency to stiffen up in your arms when it gets "technical" ? If I dare to suggest anything I would say you might work a bit on this, smoothening it and make it all in all more "round" sounding.

Offline gerry

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #4 on: November 08, 2007, 11:43:56 AM »
Yes, the temperement and emotion are there, but I have to agree that it's somewhat mannered in the tradition of Horowitz--i.e. those explosive little countermelodies--but Horowitz doesn't sacrifice the main melody when he does this! You need to play the piece accurately before adding those clever bits. That being said, your performance is only painful to listen to because it's so close to being really outstanding. You just didn't go the extra mile and, as a result your otherwise credible performance is marred by the clumsy left-hand blunders. I wouldn't be so harsh if you were a just an average pianist, but you show an incredible amount of promise and you should attempt to really polish a piece before playing before an audience--you owe it to yourself as well as them. Thanks for sharing your work and having the guts to put it "out there" for criticism. Oh and three cheers for the Bosie 225.
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Offline mcgillcomposer

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #5 on: November 08, 2007, 12:36:42 PM »
It doesn't bother me that you find an interpretation unique to yourself, but it is offensive to actually change what Chopin wrote, as you have done. If what Chopin wrote wasn't appropriate or the best thing, he would have just been an amateur composer - this he was NOT.

Anyway, you have a decent technique and fairly good control over voicing - so don't let my post spoil your day.
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Offline prongated

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #6 on: November 08, 2007, 12:54:25 PM »
prongated, didn't you sleep well...?  ::)  ???  >:(  :D

Actually no I didn't >< thanks for asking :) but I still stand by what I said ^^

But it has temperament and emotion and it lives.

I agree. I mean, he's played very well before...this is just something I didn't expect and I probably did overreact...but indeed, that's music for you ^^ what was it someone said; "What passion cannot musick raise and quell?" Works in so many levels ;D

Offline lazlo

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #7 on: November 08, 2007, 05:17:42 PM »
Well, its a unique/original performance. I liked a lot of the rubato and general phrasing. Dynamically I think a lot more of the range could have been used. It tended towards loudness. Especially in the faster/more difficult sections, the left hand became really overbearing. Generally though, the left hand could have just been brought down a lot. The beginning was taken at a pretty fast clip. In and of itself I like the way you played it, but in choosing to play it at such a brisk pace, you really limit the contrast you can create when the first fast section comes up. If the opening had varied a bit more dynamically, then it might have worked, but the fast speed, plus the loudness made the first two pages seem kind of hazy. Good work at any rate, a really difficult piece.

Offline classical pianist

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #8 on: November 08, 2007, 05:58:31 PM »
Before I post this VDO here... I already knew that Chopin's 1st ballade always evokes countless controversal comments....

I, in any case, thank for all comments and critisms.  :) I'd accept all with sincere thanks!

still, i don't think it's proper to compare me with the great horowitz, and, I never claimed to be such an outstanding musician.

My performance sounds harsh also because of bad sound capture... strong volumn goes directly to the microphone...  :(

I'm surprised - this is very eccentric. You're just indulging yourself there I think. Interesting voicing distorts everything else, tempo is too fast than you can handle (esp. middle section; and the beginning is maestoso!!), not to mention the random rubatos...I just can't listen to/enjoy it ><

It probably didn't matter much if everybody thinks you're Horowitz - although even so I doubt very much he'd get away with it. Sorry if I don't sound too pleasant - this is one of the worst performance of Chopin Ballade 1 I've heard in my life. And unexpected, judging by some of your other performances on youtube.

You are right, you don't sound pleasant at all and I was also surprised by that. Still, I did take care of your strong critism and read it over and over again.

But, there is no "Maestoso" written anywhere by Chopin, is it? and, the 1st theme is "Moderato" (surely not slow) in a compound duple time (6/4) where we have 2 beats in a bar with a feeling compound time (like triplets) and we cannot lose any of these elements. I did it with phrasings.
Those Voicings I did it because it's beautiful and it emphasizes the 6/4 time... The RH blended away by the natural singing phrase and comes up with those syncopation to the 6/4 time.... like 2 singers... that what i was doing... sorry if it doesn't convince you. In my opinion, if we read the LH line as a choral line... it confirms that these voicing should be heard, isn't it?
I thank you that you do appreciate my other VDOs... and I will come up with some more works... plus I will try to make a better recording of this ballade as well.

It doesn't bother me that you find an interpretation unique to yourself, but it is offensive to actually change what Chopin wrote, as you have done. If what Chopin wrote wasn't appropriate or the best thing, he would have just been an amateur composer - this he was NOT.

Anyway, you have a decent technique and fairly good control over voicing - so don't let my post spoil your day.

Thanks for this comment as well but sorry i'm not agree... I believe I didn't make anything but those written by chopin, well,... ofcourse, except those wrong notes and missing sounds.

Anyway.. I do thank for all!!

 :) :) :) :D

Offline rachfan

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #9 on: November 08, 2007, 06:30:45 PM »
Hi classical,

The Chopin sound I always hear in my mind, so use as my own standard, is Rubinstein's.  (Probably everyone has their own ideal.)  Your interpretation and rendition are very creative, which is not a bad thing, as long as it does not substantially ignore performance practices and veer toward idiosyncratic playing.  That needs to be your constant guide.  This is a significant piece that you will keep in your lifelong repertoire.  As time goes on, you'll discover new and deeper insights into the score which will influence your approach to performing it.  I believe you've made a fine start on this ballade at present, having overcome many technical challenges.  You know where all the problem areas are and can work on refinements.  I notice you also analyze details in the score enabling you to advance justifications for your interpretive choices, which is positive.  Also, you take responsibility for your performances. 

As far as the recording quality: The piano appears to be a Borsendorfer.  In all my years, I've yet to hear one that can play a dynamic over ff where its voice doesn't crack, fall apart, and sound like glass shattering.  I've always considered the piano to be overrated.  (Others may disagree, of course.)  I believe that accounts for some of the harshness evident in the recording.  I don't attribute any of it to your playing at all.       
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Offline prongated

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #10 on: November 09, 2007, 02:43:19 AM »
But, there is no "Maestoso" written anywhere by Chopin, is it?

I don't have the score with me at the moment, but the opening has either Maestoso or Largo - it's big and shouldn't be that fast. That's me anyway ;)

and, the 1st theme is "Moderato" (surely not slow) in a compound duple time (6/4) where we have 2 beats in a bar with a feeling compound time (like triplets) and we cannot lose any of these elements. I did it with phrasings.

I agree.

Those Voicings I did it because it's beautiful and it emphasizes the 6/4 time... The RH blended away by the natural singing phrase and comes up with those syncopation to the 6/4 time.... like 2 singers... that what i was doing... sorry if it doesn't convince you. In my opinion, if we read the LH line as a choral line... it confirms that these voicing should be heard, isn't it?

I'm simply not convinced it's the main melody - the balance doesn't sound right to me there.


Thanks for this comment as well but sorry i'm not agree... I believe I didn't make anything but those written by chopin, well,... ofcourse, except those wrong notes and missing sounds.

Do play once looking at the music doing exactly everything the music says - dynamics, articulations, tempo etc. You may be surprised how many decrescendos he wrote in. It took me a long time to see this...but you're probably a lot smarter than I am ^^

On a sidenote, of the performances available on Youtube, to date I personally find Michelangeli's the most faithful to the score - even though he played in a manner that has pretty much been superseded today.

Oh and three cheers for the Bosie 225.

As far as the recording quality: The piano appears to be a Borsendorfer.

It's a 1922 Steinway O guys. Still, I guessed it was a Yamaha :o ><

Offline gerry

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #11 on: November 09, 2007, 03:08:13 AM »
A Stienway O??? Wait a minute guys - the video show him playing on a Bosendorfer 225 - It says Bosendorfer on the side and when he leaves the stage you can see the size. Are my eyes deceiving me? Or is this some kind of joke?
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Offline prongated

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #12 on: November 09, 2007, 03:17:31 AM »
A Stienway O??? Wait a minute guys - the video show him playing on a Bosendorfer 225 - It says Bosendorfer on the side and when he leaves the stage you can see the size. Are my eyes deceiving me? Or is this some kind of joke?

>< Sorry!!! I wasn't thinking when I typed that up! I was referring to his studio piano...obviously this is a Bosendorfer! ::)

Offline classical pianist

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #13 on: November 09, 2007, 03:41:13 AM »
Ummm... the Steinway O was in my other VDOs. But this one is really Bosendorfer, an old one as well, but ... in a terrible condition, really.

Offline rachfan

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #14 on: November 09, 2007, 10:40:32 PM »
I could barely read the Borsendorfer logo, as it is quite dark in the video.  But the giveaway is the piano case.  Unlike other manufacturers, Borsendorfer doesn't make their case as one unit in a wood press.  Instead, they assemble it as two units.  If you look where a grand normally starts to curve gently beyond the lid prop stick, with the Borsendorfer the side of the case very abruptly juts inward toward the plate.  That's the point where the two units of the case are joined.  I think if classical pianist could have played on a Steinway or Baldwin, the sound would have been superior.   
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline emill

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #15 on: November 11, 2007, 03:02:29 AM »
prongated, didn't you sleep well...?  ::)  ???  >:(  :D
This is an incredible good performance, I don't have words how good it is. It's one of the best g minor ballads I ever heard. My highest compliments to classical pianist!!!

Fully agree .... the incredible performance.

I feel the problem lay in the recording level which was
likely set high almost "hard limiting" so that the differences
between the soft passages and loud ones became much, much less.
member on behalf of my son, Lorenzo

Offline le_poete_mourant

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #16 on: December 24, 2007, 03:29:44 AM »
I'm more with prongated on this one. The thing that bothers me most is the liberties taken with tempo.  There is something to be said for rubato, of course, and especially in Chopin, but there is just too much here and that makes it difficult to listen to.

I do not know if you practice with metronome; if you don't, you need to go through the piece strictly, rhythmically. I know there are tempo changes, but just try it.
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Offline gerry

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #17 on: December 26, 2007, 07:09:15 AM »
I think some of the fault lies with attempting to add in mannerisms and eccentricities too early in the process of learning a piece. With the increased access we have now to recordings, I feel many developing musicians try to imitate unique performances before they have a command of the basic piece. It's important to learn the piece correctly, live and grow with it a while and gradually develop your own interpretation rather that the other way around.
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Offline viking

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #18 on: December 26, 2007, 09:04:47 PM »
It's just a bad piece.  I wish I never learned it.  At least he is trying to make it interesting instead of the 1000s of horrendous flat performances...  But still, such a horrible piece...

Offline thierry13

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #19 on: December 26, 2007, 10:23:33 PM »
It's just a bad piece.  I wish I never learned it.  At least he is trying to make it interesting instead of the 1000s of horrendous flat performances...  But still, such a horrible piece...

HAHAHA genuis  8)

Offline sette_md

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Re: [youtube] Chopin Ballade no.1 <live recording>
«Reply #20 on: December 27, 2007, 04:22:42 AM »
You are no doubt a great pianist and I d like to compliment you. A. Rubinstein said that he didn't like very much to record because 3 months later if he heard it he d find  lots of things that he'd have done in a diferent way. So, let me make some remarks. You perfomance is technically perfect but you don't seem 100% confortable as far as interpretation is concerned. Your dynamic seem somehow mechanical, academic, let's say that you are doing the right thing in the right place in the right moment. Too right!!
Add more value to silence! Silence is music and has a lot to tell us.
In short, I see that you are young and I don't have the right to talk about your personal life but maybe you haven't suffered enough in life. For someone to play this piece as it should be there must be a lot of grief deep inside.
I had a sensation that the feelings you expressed were external , outside of you, were scholastic knowledge. Try to tear away, to extract the feelings from your inner. Remeber of pain!. When you menage to do so ( and you will) , your perfomance will be 100% perfect!
Congratulations!