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which of the four ballades are hardest for you? (Read 2679 times)

Offline communist

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which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
« on: November 18, 2008, 11:02:25 PM »
.................
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Sheet music to download and print: Ballades by Chopin



Offline Petter

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #1 on: November 19, 2008, 01:12:08 AM »
The fourth because itīs so good.  :D
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Offline thierry13

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #2 on: November 19, 2008, 04:13:44 AM »
The fourth is obviously the hardest for many objectives reasons, tough some exceptions might find some other one harder for various reasons.

Offline mike_lang

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #3 on: November 19, 2008, 05:09:55 AM »
The fourth is obviously the hardest for many objectives reasons, tough some exceptions might find some other one harder for various reasons.

I don't disagree, but if you wish to contribute to this thread, it might behoove you to elaborate a bit - what, in fact, are some of these objective reasons that are indeed so apparent that they escape this thread which (at very least, by implication) calls for their enumeration?


Offline mingkei

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #4 on: November 19, 2008, 07:45:35 AM »
I don't disagree, but if you wish to contribute to this thread, it might behoove you to elaborate a bit - what, in fact, are some of these objective reasons...


In ballade no. 4, some of "the objective reasons" why this piece is so difficult are (1) the challenge in creating singing tones throughout the piece, especially the opening and all the sections that seem to go very slowly; (2) while producing a singing tone, there needs to be a good balance of rubato and rhymthic stability. There are lots of technical challenges here and there throughout the music. But because we don't have the score in front of us, I cannot point them out measure by measure. Just off my head, (3) it is difficult to play many double notes in the section after the second theme; (4) to match the left/right hand smoothly in the section when the first theme returns in a faster tempo; (5) in the section before the coda it is difficult to balance left/right hand so to create a satisfactory effect; (6) also in that same section, the arpeggios (about 10 or so measures before the three big chords that precede the silence) are very difficult to play; (7) the coda itself is not  difficult to play only at a technical level (as many people say) it is also very difficult because you're supposed to play out the melody, rather than a big blur, in this seemingly big and dramatic coda--being able to do all that is very challenging.

  That's all I can say here, but as I said, because we're not looking at the score here, I cannot point out other little challenges measure by measure.

Offline gyzzzmo

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #5 on: November 19, 2008, 10:02:24 AM »
easiest -> hardest: 3-2-1-4
This is to my opinion easiest to hardest in technical difficulty. Making such a list for 'musical difficulty' doesnt make much sense, since musicality itself is something you have or not, and cant really be trained.
1+1=11

Offline general disarray

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #6 on: November 19, 2008, 03:35:04 PM »
F Major.  It's the weakest of the four musically, I think, and requires sophisiticated interpretative skills to bring it off.
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Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #7 on: November 19, 2008, 05:44:38 PM »
F Major.  It's the weakest of the four musically, I think, and requires sophisiticated interpretative skills to bring it off.

Why would Nr 2 be the weakest musically? It seems like a prejudice to me. You will often hear, Nr. 4 the "sublime", number 1 the "great", number 3, the "graceful", number 2 "the weak". Personally, I find 2 one of the most amazing pieces chopin ever wrote, an incredible drama of highest intensity, a gem perhaps only surpassed by number 4. In addtion, it is so well-written that it is probably the easiest to get across persuasively. 
"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould

Offline Kassaa

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #8 on: November 19, 2008, 08:22:31 PM »
Why would Nr 2 be the weakest musically? It seems like a prejudice to me. You will often hear, Nr. 4 the "sublime", number 1 the "great", number 3, the "graceful", number 2 "the weak". Personally, I find 2 one of the most amazing pieces chopin ever wrote, an incredible drama of highest intensity, a gem perhaps only surpassed by number 4. In addtion, it is so well-written that it is probably the easiest to get across persuasively. 
The beginning will be boring in many hands because it's basically 1.5 page the same thing, it requires some insane musical skills to pull that off convincingly.
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Offline franzliszt2

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #9 on: November 19, 2008, 09:02:34 PM »
I think it depends n what level you are at when you learn them. I mean, I think you would only get a fair assessment of the difficulty from a purely technical point of view if you learn them all at a time when you are capable of playing them all.

Most advanced students do a ballade at some point in their youth, and they usually do 1 or 3. I am sure, that at that time, that ballade is really hard, and pushes them to explore things that they have not explored. Then they will do another ballade, and probably find it hard, and then they will probably do the 4th at some point, and that will be really hard for them. So they can't really judge the difficulty, because they will all have been difficult. And by the time they play all 4, they will have been playing most of them for years. I don't know any pianist who just learnt all 4 straight away....but I think if there is a pianist here who did learn all 4 in one period, then he/she will be the best judge.

I did the 1st ballade first. At the time it pushed me in many ways, technically and musically. My teacher probably thought (and I also think) that it is the easiest to grasp musically. I then did the 3rd, but found that incredibly hard to play. To create the sounds and the elegance is very difficult, and it is a lot harder than the 1st in that respect...I would say that it requires a much more refined technique to play this. You need a very fine legato touch, and a huge range of colour. Then I did the 4th, because I was desperate to do it, and my teacher thought it would be wise to let me learn it when I was young. This was impossible for me. I did not have anywhere near the amount of control over sound that is required for this piece. I could hit all the notes, but it was really immature, and the last thing this piece needs is that! It is certainly the hardest technically I think, and this is easily discovered by reading through the score. I did the 2nd ballade last, and didn't find it too troublesome....the Coda is nasty, and that is all. Playing the slow sections is the hardest part, becasue they can become boring very easily.

From personal experience, I can only say that 4 is the hardest, and that I can't judge the other 3, becasue I have played then for a long time, and have no technical issues with them anoymore. They all have there problem passages, 1st-Coda, and some other awkward moments 2nd-coda- 3rd- Csharp minor section, and the 2nd last page.

Offline communist

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #10 on: November 19, 2008, 10:06:00 PM »
just in case you do not know i was talking about the Brahms four ballades op.10

genius's i like how you automatically assume that i am talking about the Chopin ballades
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Offline aewanko

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #11 on: November 20, 2008, 01:18:38 AM »
just in case you do not know i was talking about the Brahms four ballades op.10

genius's i like how you automatically assume that i am talking about the Chopin ballades

Yep.
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Offline cloches_de_geneve

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #12 on: November 20, 2008, 10:09:55 AM »
The beginning will be boring in many hands because it's basically 1.5 page the same thing, it requires some insane musical skills to pull that off convincingly.

In principle: If the performer finds the beginning boring hinself/herself, the audience will find it boring too. If the pianist is fond of the beginning, the audience will also like it.
"It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it." -- Glenn Gould

Offline cmg

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #13 on: November 20, 2008, 03:39:18 PM »
just in case you do not know i was talking about the Brahms four ballades op.10

genius's i like how you automatically assume that i am talking about the Chopin ballades

Really?  That's odd.  On my computer screen the word "(Chopin)" appears in your subject line.

Are you enjoying belittling others, or is this just an honest error on your part?
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Offline richard black

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Re: (Chopin) which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #14 on: November 20, 2008, 07:42:11 PM »
Maybe we're sufficiently close to geniuses to know that there is no apostrophe in a normal English plural, and also that capital letters and punctuation marks come in handy the odd time.
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Offline rob47

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Re: (Chopin) which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #15 on: November 20, 2008, 08:09:24 PM »
i like Down by the Riverside the best, but I'd imagine Winnsboro cotton mill blues and Which side are you on? would be slightly more difficult, with Dreadful Memories being the easiest of the 4

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Offline communist

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Re: (Chopin) which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #16 on: November 20, 2008, 09:05:30 PM »
ya that was on mine to but i did not put that. w
"The stock markets go up and down, Bach only goes up"

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Offline pianowolfi

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Re: which of the four ballades are hardest for you?
«Reply #17 on: November 20, 2008, 09:42:55 PM »
As for the Chopin Ballades, they are all a lifetime's work anyway, I don't see any particular difference concerning "difficulty" in the long run. Same for the etudes (Chopin or Ligeti ;)  ) and for the Beethoven Sonatas. And many more masterworks.