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Chopin Prelude in E Minor (Read 13085 times)

Offline andrewedwardly

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Chopin Prelude in E Minor
« on: September 23, 2010, 09:38:53 AM »
I have been practicing Chopin's Prelude in E Minor for some time now. I can play it without any mistakes but I feel that I am not playing it correctly. Can anyone tell me how to play this prelude correctly?

piano sheet music of Prelude


Offline gyzzzmo

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #1 on: September 23, 2010, 10:25:03 AM »
Your questioni is slightly on the vague side, maybe you could record it and post it on the audition forum?
If you cannot record, you could compare your playing with a professional performance from youtube and state the problem here more precisely.

Gyzzzmo
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Offline andrewedwardly

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #2 on: September 23, 2010, 11:10:39 AM »
Yes, I will, thank you for telling. I am wondering if there is any important parts which have to be played specifically that way or whatsoever.

Offline keyboardclass

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #3 on: September 23, 2010, 06:08:33 PM »
Did you see mine in another thread?  This is done especially slowly to illustrate how to drop your weight into the keys and then instantly flop   This is a good piece for practicing that.  Gyzzmo doesn't think much of it though he doesn't seem to have any reasons - often ya hear what ya want to hear.

Offline allthumbspiano

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #4 on: September 23, 2010, 06:46:44 PM »
Hey keyboard, I am wondering if you are supposed to "drop" your wrist that much or if that is just an exaggeration for the purpose of teaching.  I'm working on using my arm weight for that piece, thanks.

Offline keyboardclass

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #5 on: September 23, 2010, 06:59:07 PM »
Yeh, it's a bit of an exaggeration but the slower you play the more wrist movement you can have and vice-versa.

Offline allthumbspiano

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #6 on: September 23, 2010, 07:13:07 PM »
Ok I see what you are saying. 

Offline gyzzzmo

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #7 on: September 23, 2010, 09:17:19 PM »
Did you see mine in another thread?  This is done especially slowly to illustrate how to drop your weight into the keys and then instantly flop   This is a good piece for practicing that.  Gyzzmo doesn't think much of it though he doesn't seem to have any reasons - often ya hear what ya want to hear.


I suppose you really want comment on this from me, so here you get the reasoning:

First your 'wrist motion'. You press the note first, and THEN you make a wrist-drop. It is supposed to happen together. And it shouldnt be wrist only, you should use your whole arm.
You sit wrongly behind that keyboard, and how are you supposed to display a proper 'wrist-drop' if you are sitting too low and too close?
Also it (frankly) sounds like crap. Maybe it is because you want to show that (flawed) technique of yours of wrist-dropping, but it is much better to play it at a decent speed so andrewedwardly gets a better idea of how it should be done in this piece.

BUT.
The main problem students usually have in this piece is indeed to get an even steady sound in the left hand wich does need a good wrist/arm technique. Also the jumping from chord-to-chord requires a precise timing in pedal and chord-release (and fingering ofcourse). And the threadstarter should try to state the problem more precise (measures?) if he has another issue.

Gyzzz
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Offline allthumbspiano

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #8 on: September 24, 2010, 01:06:43 AM »
Considering the countless things that could be played wrong with this piece I have to agree that it is impossible to know what is being done wrong without hearing him play or at least narrowing it down a bit to a specific problem/problems.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #9 on: September 24, 2010, 01:24:39 AM »
For a Chopin prelude that is probably one of his easiest keyboardclass sure does go through a lot of unnecessary trouble. There are facial gestures, extremely over exaggerated LH action, tempo is at a sight reading speed and most importantly there is no understanding in how the LH works with the RH, the tempo control and holding off the pulses of the LH tastefully is non-existent (even steady LH, which will make this piece sound ridiculous) or totally obscured because of your slow tempo. The LH sounds like a metronome even, quite terrible for this prelude. There is also importantly no climax achieved in this piece, not a big one at least :)  I think this is an example of trying to use technique as the main basis to express beauty, it just does not work. I can play this prelude like a stone statue and make it sound 50 times better.
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Offline keyboardclass

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #10 on: September 24, 2010, 05:38:13 AM »
Now I get it.  I thought, lost and gyzz, I'd made it perfectly clear this is done at the slowest speed to illustrate the technique? - it's not a performance.  Secondly, you don't understand the technique.  To learn it you do a calculated drop of weight/force, then flop (relax).  Later it becomes second nature and one, rather than two motions (those learning use of arm weight note the most common mistake is to relax (flop) too soon - it's about precise application of force).  You only use the whole arm for big loud chords.  There must be a hundred vids at a 'decent' speed, presumably Andrew can watch those as well.  As for how close to sit - I can't say the vid is about that so pretty non-sequitur there.

Offline andrewedwardly

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #11 on: September 24, 2010, 08:03:16 AM »
Thank you everyone for commenting! Stop arguing with each other :) ! I will try out all the things that you guys have noted down!

Offline stevebob

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #12 on: September 24, 2010, 08:16:39 AM »
Thank you everyone for commenting! Stop arguing with each other :) ! I will try out all the things that you guys have noted down!

I don't think that "arguing with each other" is a fair description of what happened here.  Someone who went out of his way to help you was attacked, and he defended himself.
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #13 on: September 24, 2010, 10:13:28 AM »
Now I get it.  I thought, lost and gyzz, I'd made it perfectly clear this is done at the slowest speed to illustrate the technique?
Ok so you slowed down but the movements you are making would not fit if you where playing faster, they are suited for this slow motion playing you are doing. You are also missing the point of tempo control with the LH pulses which is keystone in playing this prelude correctly. You might be trying to demonstrate technique but it is coupled with bad musical quality despite the speed. This does not encourage people to use the technique when the sound is missing the point.

Secondly, you don't understand the technique.  To learn it you do a calculated drop of weight/force, then flop (relax).
This is amongst the most trivial techniques in piano. The way you do it however will not fit when you increase the tempo, you will be moving about too much. If you say your movements are exaggerated then still this does not really teach us anything because we cannot use those movements in practice.

I don't think that "arguing with each other" is a fair description of what happened here.  Someone who went out of his way to help you was attacked, and he defended himself.
Attacked is not the word. If I where attacking people I probably would have be banned many years ago. I merely offer my opinion on the topic, if you like it or not, it is left to your own discretion to respond or not.
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Offline stevebob

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #14 on: September 24, 2010, 10:31:27 AM »
Attacked is not the word.

It's the word I would choose to describe both your motive for posting and its effect (i.e., its form and function).

I merely offer my opinion on the topic, if you like it or not, it is left to your own discretion to respond or not.

And I obviously did respond in my discretion with my opinion.

I'm curious about a couple of things.

When you "play this prelude like a stone statue and make it sound 50 times better," how are you certain it's 50 times better and not 49 ... or 51?  How exactly do you quantify that?

Does playing "like a stone statue" incorporate the "feminine soft touch" integral to Chopin interpretation that you mentioned in another thread?
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #15 on: September 24, 2010, 10:43:58 AM »
It's the word I would choose to describe both your motive for posting and its effect (i.e., its form and function).
Not that all others care about how you describe how interactions are taking place and you may notice how describing the interaction might tangent threads easily as people get bogged down in trying to work out what they think of the other person and what others think of them. I think it is too complicated, I rather just talk about the issues not the person, the person I am not interested in and I don't think any of us really know one another well enough to make inferences on their personal motives or personality.

When you "play this prelude like a stone statue and make it sound 50 times better," how are you certain it's 50 times better and not 49 ... or 51?  How exactly do you quantify that?

Does playing "like a stone statue" incorporate the "feminine soft touch" integral to Chopin interpretation that you mentioned in another thread?
Stone statue highlights that I could play this piece without any fluid movements and still produce the masterful sound. Because there is no technique that demands your hand to have fluidity, such as fast arpeggios or scales. Any extravagant movements for simple pieces is for me just visual aethstetics and has little to do with the need to use it for sound mastery like you get in more technical acrobatics.

I like to be colourful when highlighting my point. When one is comparing near zero to the number 1, we could say millions of times better also. The exact number is negligible the fact that I can do it many times better highlights the opinion that the recording was missing the  point of playing with mastery.

I should add keyboardclass's use of the RH is much more appropriate than the LH.

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Offline stevebob

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #16 on: September 24, 2010, 12:57:43 PM »
Not that all others care about how you describe how interactions are taking place and you may notice how describing the interaction might tangent threads easily as people get bogged down in trying to work out what they think of the other person and what others think of them. I think it is too complicated, I rather just talk about the issues not the person, the person I am not interested in and I don't think any of us really know one another well enough to make inferences on their personal motives or personality.

It's said that actions speak louder than words.  That would make a nice New Year's resolution!
What passes you ain't for you.

Offline keyboardclass

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #17 on: September 24, 2010, 04:51:14 PM »
This is amongst the most trivial techniques in piano.
There ya go again, your ignorance is showing.  For many this technique is the difference between damaged and healthy playing apparatus.  It's also the difference between art and mere plonking.  allthumbspiano gets it, why can't you?

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #18 on: September 25, 2010, 02:38:09 AM »
I know pretty much all the technique that there is to know when it comes to piano and I have explored it in thousands of pieces throughout my lifetime which I know is a great deal more than what most people do piano-wize throughout their whole life let alone before they turn 30. So I am afraid it is your ignorance since the "many" you relate to highlights those that are still beginners/intermediate at the piano. If you want to put this technique on a pedestal and call it a difficult technique to achieve that requires a lot of consideration then be my guest! I really wonder what you think about the much more advanced techniques out there then, they must be only for the elite then huh! Chord cluster, omg run for the hills you must be a demi god to try that, don't try arpeggios in Liszt you will be struck by lightning you are not holy enough. ^____^

Why don't you consider what I critiqued about your LH which is totally inappropriate (and indeed plonking) for this Prelude, I wonder why you are trying to present wrong information to someone who wants to learn this piece? I have taught this same piece to probably around 20 odd students (of the hundreds and hundreds I have taught) over 15 years so I know how this piece works for 20 or so different minds, you might have only considered it for yourself thus you get this unorthodoxed approach.
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Offline keyboardclass

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #19 on: September 25, 2010, 04:12:27 AM »
So I am afraid it is your ignorance since the "many" you relate to highlights those that are still beginners/intermediate at the piano. If you want to put this technique on a pedestal and call it a difficult technique to achieve that requires a lot of consideration then be my guest! I really wonder what you think about the much more advanced techniques out there then, they must be only for the elite then huh!
If you were fortunate as a child to have a teacher who understood how to teach relaxation then you were lucky, they're quite rare.  The ability to effortlessly go from the required force (of whatever magnitude) to absolute rest can take years to acquire otherwise.  It is the fundamental technique.

Offline ed garrett

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #20 on: September 30, 2010, 05:06:20 PM »
Hi everyone!:

Talking about this Chopin's prelude, I'm looking for Liszt's organ transcriptions of this and nr. 9 prelude as well. Can anyone help me?

Offline lalag

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #21 on: September 30, 2010, 08:21:34 PM »
I'm learning this piece right now too, and my piano teacher helped me when she noticed my left hand was playing stiffly.  My second finger was sticking out stiff when playing chords.  So she told me to relax a bit.  That totally changed the tone of the left hand chords.  Also, she described that since the melody line in the right hand has so few notes compared with the left hand's chords, and naturally the right hand note fades away soon after it is played, that the left hand chords also need to fade away along with the right hand.  That way the left hand doesn't overshadow the right hand. 

That was an eye opener to me.  Now, I am enjoying learning this piece, I feel much more relaxed, and it sounds like music to me. 

Offline shaulhadar

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #22 on: October 22, 2010, 05:53:53 AM »
That prelude is one of Chopin's gems.  I think, the greatest difficulty in this piece is actually the touch aspect. (i admit that technical difficulties in the piano are not an issue for me, but true interpretation is, and i assume that most accomplished pianists will know what I'm talking about) You need to play the left hand's chords, in the same power most of the time, and less hard, while giving the right hand more power, but in a contained way, some sort of melancholic bel-canto, when the right hand sings and the left one hold the scene. :) i wish you good playing and good day.
I have an enormous craving for Chopin's music, which is unusual for most normal and not normal people out there.

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Offline keyboardclass

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Re: Chopin Prelude in E Minor
«Reply #23 on: October 22, 2010, 07:47:28 AM »
I think it may have been inspired by Marcello's Oboe Concerto, something Chopin would have known from Bach's keyboard transcription.