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Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle (Read 9564 times)

Offline general disarray

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Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
« on: February 14, 2009, 05:43:40 PM »
In bar 23.  Those #@$%# double trills.  (They reoccur, of course, but this one bar is illustrative of the problem.)  Editorial suggestion (maybe Chopin's, for all I know) is 5/1 alternating with 4/2.  Next #$@# trill chain is 5/1 alternating with 3/2.

I have technical issues with this. Does anyone have any other suggestions that work for them?  I don't care how weird, or even if they border on a fake, let me know.  I do NOT want to go to my grave being just another pianist who had to abandon the Barcarolle because of these trills.  I love this piece too much.

Help.

" . . . cross the ocean in a silver plane . . . see the jungle when it's wet with rain . . . "

piano sheet music of Barcarolle


Offline go12_3

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #1 on: February 14, 2009, 06:06:38 PM »
Relax as you do the double 3rds.  Now, take a deep breath.  That's good.  Now
proceed to get your fingers ready to strike the keys.  Relax your arms and hands.  Keep fingers curved, but not real curved.  Then in using the relaxed position, press the keys down firmly and do the double 3rds trill slowly.  Just work on them slowly for a while.  Until your fingers can increase the speed.  Do this a few times a day.  But do the double thirds slowly.  It's a challenge, but you can do it.  Mentally control your fingers.  Good luck!   ;)
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Offline general disarray

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #2 on: February 14, 2009, 06:13:50 PM »
Well, I've been doing that for a while, but I'll keep on trying.  Thanks for your encouragement, go123.  (I bet you're an inspiring teacher.)
" . . . cross the ocean in a silver plane . . . see the jungle when it's wet with rain . . . "

Offline thierry13

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 06:27:56 PM »
There is no other alternative. Those trills are done this way, and it will be good if you can do them well this way.

Offline tds

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 06:28:19 PM »
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dignity, love and joy.

Offline general disarray

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 06:38:33 PM »
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Whoa, thanks for this, tds.  Zimerman is one of my all-time favorites and if my eyes don't deceive me, he's using 1/3 and 2/4 on those trills.  Yes?  That's been my alternative option and it's been going better than the 5/1 contortionist thing.

" . . . cross the ocean in a silver plane . . . see the jungle when it's wet with rain . . . "

Offline go12_3

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #6 on: February 14, 2009, 07:00:57 PM »
Well, I've been doing that for a while, but I'll keep on trying.  Thanks for your encouragement, go123.  (I bet you're an inspiring teacher.)
  Thanks general disarray!    :)
Yesterday was the day that passed,
Today is the day I live and love,Tomorrow is day of hope and promises...

Offline tds

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #7 on: February 14, 2009, 07:39:00 PM »
Whoa, thanks for this, tds.  Zimerman is one of my all-time favorites and if my eyes don't deceive me, he's using 1/3 and 2/4 on those trills.  Yes?  That's been my alternative option and it's been going better than the 5/1 contortionist thing.



i cant see clearly myself, gen. but i doubt he was using 1/3 and 2/4 otherwise he would have dragged his wrist to the left which would have caused a rather crooked hand position ( whereas his hand alignment was fine ). but i might be wrong, i wear glasses u see :) 1/4 and 2/3 is a possibility. *wonders if zimerman uses this fingering*

but i find better balance in the hand using the suggested fingering, i.e 1/5 and 2/4. i try to stay free with my wrist, thumb, and shoulder and incorporate a cyclic up/down and in/out motion.

good luck, gen. you can do it! tis a beautiful piece, aint it. i love the way zimerman plays it also :)
dignity, love and joy.

Offline pianowolfi

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #8 on: February 14, 2009, 07:45:15 PM »
To me it's only contortionist if I use 5/1 for a#and c double #. I think that the edition suggests implicitely that you start the trill from the upper note. Which Zimerman does not do, as far as I can see.

Offline general disarray

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #9 on: February 14, 2009, 10:30:58 PM »
To me it's only contortionist if I use 5/1 for a#and c double #. I think that the edition suggests implicitely that you start the trill from the upper note. Which Zimerman does not do, as far as I can see.

Duh!  Hello!!  Wolfi, you're a genius!  Thanks.  That's the key.  The #@*&$! double trill starts from the UPPER NOTE.

Eureka!!

(As Bugs Bunny would say, "I'm such a maroon.")

Now I can die in peace.  Phew.
" . . . cross the ocean in a silver plane . . . see the jungle when it's wet with rain . . . "

Offline go12_3

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #10 on: February 14, 2009, 10:44:19 PM »
So glad you got it!    general disarray,  good for you!  now you can practice while you die in peace   ;)
Yesterday was the day that passed,
Today is the day I live and love,Tomorrow is day of hope and promises...

Offline tds

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #11 on: February 15, 2009, 10:33:57 AM »
Duh!  Hello!!  Wolfi, you're a genius!  Thanks.  That's the key.  The #@*&$! double trill starts from the UPPER NOTE.

Eureka!!

(As Bugs Bunny would say, "I'm such a maroon.")

Now I can die in peace.  Phew.

lol ;D ;D
dignity, love and joy.

Offline pianowolfi

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #12 on: February 15, 2009, 12:08:19 PM »
Duh!  Hello!!  Wolfi, you're a genius!  Thanks.  That's the key.  The #@*&$! double trill starts from the UPPER NOTE.

Eureka!!

(As Bugs Bunny would say, "I'm such a maroon.")

Now I can die in peace.  Phew.

Glad it helped. Lol ;D

Offline jinfiesto

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #13 on: February 17, 2009, 02:36:15 AM »
That's actually a good fingering. If you're going to use it though, You have to find the center of gravity in your hand, and sort of pivot around it. Jon Nakamatsu explained it to me that way, and it really helped.

Offline sashaco

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #14 on: September 27, 2009, 10:55:31 AM »
I have been practicing using a technique very close to what jinfiesto describes.  I have been practicing at  a slow tempo playing trills as 32nds.  Will this work when  (if) I bring it up to tempo?
I'm not experienced enough to know.  I'm thinking it may sound a bit clunky, but I have difficulty playing faster unmeasured trills at slow tempi.  It seems to me that even if I can never play the piece to a performable standard, that the process of working on it is increasing my understanding of it anyway, and I would think this would be true for others.  Where I live I have access to no teachers and no recordings except painfully slow downloads, so I'm hoping to get help here if people are willing. Thanks

Offline communist

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #15 on: September 27, 2009, 07:02:56 PM »
The fingering depends on how large your hands are and what is comfortable for you. When I played it I used 1-4 and 2-5 .
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Offline ramseytheii

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #16 on: September 27, 2009, 10:50:33 PM »
In bar 23.  Those #@$%# double trills.  (They reoccur, of course, but this one bar is illustrative of the problem.)  Editorial suggestion (maybe Chopin's, for all I know) is 5/1 alternating with 4/2.  Next #$@# trill chain is 5/1 alternating with 3/2.


Trills must just be one of those things that you either have or you don't.  Honestly, and not to blow off your problem, I have never found these passages to be difficult at all.  But there must be a physical solution, that some will have to discover in order to implement.

I think it has to do with the upper arm.  When playing these trills, you should be experiencing a light "pulling" feeling in the upper arm, pulling towards you.  Working in conjunction with the fingers, which should be stroking the keys - not playing straight down into them (you will get stuck or get ugly, uneven tone playing this way).  Elbow must be light and stay out of the way, otherwise it hinders the coordination of the upper arm and stroking fingers.

Although I am not sure this would be helpful, I find myself playing these trills with a higher wrist than usual.  It might facilitate the stroking touch.  Don't quote me on that, but I suspect as much.

Mentally, you need to remember that there is a fulcrum point in the middle of the hand that balances the very heavy and cumbersome thumb, with the light and finnicky pinkie.  If your hand is unbalanced, you will likely feel tension in your upper arm, or forearm.  You may want to shape your hand as if holding a tennis ball, before putting it on the keyboard to practice these trills.

Another idea for practicing: and this goes for all double note passages: criss-cross the individual notes.  So for instance, you have a trill 5-1 to 4-2, I don't have the score but aren't the notes E/C# - D#/B ?  I would practice this trill first by making a trill between E and B, using the fingers you will ultimately use for performance, then make a trill between C# and D#.  Criss-crossing the notes in this way is helpful for double note passages because it encourages a balanced and relaxed hand.

Just some thoughts.

Walter Ramsey



Offline sashaco

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Re: Chopin's #$@! Barcarolle
«Reply #17 on: October 06, 2009, 08:05:05 AM »
Hi, I have found the various bits of advice on the double trills quite useful, but I have a more mundane question I'm hopng someone's willing to discuss.  (I clearly need a teacher, but I live in Zomba, Malawi, and the nearest possibility would be a tough hour and a half drive, although I'm looking into it.)  11 bars from the end of the Barcarolle there is a rising series of trills (F#,G#,A,A#.)  In the downloaded version of the piece I am using (doesn't say what edition)  these are linked by grace notes written as sixteenths.  Elsewhere I have been using sixteenths where they seem suitable, but sometimes, particularly at the end of trills, treating these as 32nds, since, for now, as I play slowly through passages, I am treating the trills as 32nds. In this bar I am uncertain how to proceed.  Should the Fx G# lead to the trill on G# be placed over the fourth eighth, for example?  Perhaps this would be a more appropriate question for the student room, but the posts here seem to be answered, very generously, by very experienced folk.  Many thanks.

Sasha Cooke