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Author Topic: Chopin Etudes  (Read 7519 times)
chopinlover23
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« on: April 11, 2011, 10:32:46 AM »

hey guys! I just wanted to ask if anyone could tell me which etudes (Chopin) from op. 10 and 25 are the easy and ones that are hard.
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pianisten1989
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 11:02:56 AM »

There are at least 2 billion threads like this. Use the search..!
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quantum
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 10:39:25 PM »

Short answer: it depends on your technical/musical abilities.  
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nanabush
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 12:52:47 AM »

Try the first 4 bars of each one (except Op 25 #11) and you will get a really good idea if you are worthy of playing any of them  Wink

You'll probably see there are some you won't get past the first bar any time soon, but some others might come easier... go with those ones first!  Don't play something just because it's 'hard'
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mnmleung
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 03:52:52 AM »

if you can get a copy of the Cortot study edition of the Etudes from a library, you may want to try the first 4 bars method and also have a crack at some of the preparatory exercises.  Good luck !
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Chopin etude op 10 no 6
Chopin mazurka op 24 no 4
Szymanowski prelude op 1 no 1
nataliethepianist
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2011, 05:18:59 AM »

There are so many of these on this very site, but I will give my opinion.

Op. 25 - Easiest: No. 1 in my opinion is just muscle memory (Then again, they all are), Not nearly as difficult as others. No. 7 is slower, as well.
Harder: No. 11 is considered harder by many. Definitely No. 6 is hard, hard to keep a control. I also find No. 12 to be difficult, but some people don't think this as being to high up on the difficulty scale.

Op. 10 - Easiest: No.3 is said to be easy by a lot of people (I almost want to agree), but some say it it just because it is slower. No.6 I have listened to and find it to be one of the easiest etudes, although some have this underlying difficulty to them that I don't catch!
Harder: No. 1 and No.2, although need muscle memory, are difficult. No. 4 also sound insanely difficult.
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carlnmtka
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2011, 10:43:18 PM »

... which etudes (Chopin) from op. 10 and 25 are the easy... ?

While none are easy, I believe the least difficult is Op. 25, No. 7, as it doesn't require pyrotechnics, and can be played effectively quite slowly (Lortie plays it in about seven-plus minutes, Cortot less than five). What it does require is a very good left hand, and then the trick is to control the phrasing, so the harmonies don't clash.
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flyinfingers
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 03:10:24 AM »

There are at least 2 billion threads like this. Use the search..!

Is that curt language really useful?
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danhuyle
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2011, 05:21:10 AM »

Depends on your technical and musical abilities. Some might find one etude easier than the other.
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pianoplayjl
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2011, 08:03:25 AM »

Depends on your technical and musical abilities. Some might find one etude easier than the other.

I think this can be applied to the whole piano repertoire.

Least difficult: op25 no 9

Most difficult: op10 no2

JL
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williampiano
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2011, 03:53:20 AM »

Last summer, at a music camp I asked one of my teachers there if I could learn one of the chopin etudes. They said the chopin etudes would most likely be too difficult but suggested that I could possibly play op. 10 no. 8 and op. 25 no. 2, so I imagine those are bound to be the easiest. Although some may disagree, I also believe the Revolutionary etude is one of the easier ones (although still incredibly difficult).
The hardest ones are certainly op. 10 no. 1, op. 25 no. 11 and op. 10 no. 2.
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autodidact
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2011, 04:19:08 AM »

Every one of them has its own difficulties, of course, and everyone has their own "most difficult" etude depending on what they are and aren't good at. I haven't played many of them, but from what I have done, I can say that Op. 10 No. 9 and Op. 25 No. 1 weren't that difficult. Neither was Op. 10 No. 12, really. Apparently Op. 10 No. 6 and Op. 25 No. 7 are supposed to be easy compared to the rest, but I haven't looked at either. I will not speak regarding the difficulty level of Op. 10 No. 3.

I started to try to list the most difficult, and then realized I was listing more than a quarter of the etudes. I wouldn't know how to narrow it down, because of how close to zero experience I have with the more difficult etudes.
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chopinmozartbach
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2012, 09:09:05 PM »

The Op.10 Etudes (from most difficult to least difficult)
1. Op.10 No.2(I rate this one as number one because in certain areas the scales can become very painful and difficult to reach)

2. Op.10 No.1 (becomes easier after you get the hang of the arpeggios; most difficult at measures 29-46 then calms down)

3. Op.10 No.4 (smashes everything in the first three of the set into one etude. Most difficult at measures 35-47; many of the leaps and sizes of the chords are pretty difficult and dramatic)

4. Op.10 No.7(throughout is by far the most awkward of the etudes to play, I would suggest practicing up on Op.25 No.9 then attempt this one, the forearm attack is similar along with rapid chords, but in a much simpler manner)

5. Op.10 No.10( this etude focuses on being able to express in different qualities of touch. My biggest problem with this etude was being able to play the right hand accurately while still maintaining the large reaches in the left hand at such a rapid tempo.)

6. Op.10 No.8(I would compare this etude to Op.10 No.4 and No.1. Its not incredibly difficult, but the hard part about it is being able to play the arpeggios in the right hand with the awkward left hand voicing. Very nice when you get it up to tempo.)

7. Op.10 No.11(It'us a beautiful etude but the stretches and frequently changing chords just make you want to throw it out the window!!! For the most part the left hand stays the same throughout each measure with a few tweaks. Have good ear training, wrist flexibility and PATIENCE!!!)

8. Op.10 No.12(the right hand chords are difficult for someone like myself with smaller hands. Very repetitive. After you take the time to look at only the left hand on the first page and a half you've pretty much got the whole thing. Luckily the right and left hand play the same thing when they play rapidly with each other like at measure 5 in the piece.)

9. Op.10 No. 6 (I apologize, but this etude is boring to play and very irritating. The etude requires good ear training and again..patience. My biggest issue with this etude was being able to melodically make sense of what I was playing. Its not too often that the left hand takes the role of the right and is so unwilling to be played. Its very slow tempo is a blessing though.)

10. Op.10 No.5(Very energetic! The chords in the left hand are difficult  for small hands. The right hand takes a few practice sessions to get up to tempo and to musically make sense of the etude. Being entirely on the black keys makes the right hand passage simple, hence the name black key etude. )

11. Op.10 No.9(Right hand part...very easy and repetitive. The difficulty within this etude are the very risky left hand reaches.)

12. Op.10 No.3(WARNING: It's not as easy as everyone makes it sound. The only reason this etude is so far down on the list is because of the tempo, which was originally vivace, and its popular melody, making it easier to hear musically. Fractions,fractions,fractions!!! The counting in this etude should be one of the top priorities along with being able to voice it CORRECTLY almost fugue like. The "section 2" of the piece is of course the most daunting section! With a lot of practice this section will put itself together. And your reward is a nice big and slow repeat! Grin)

The Op.25 Etudes (from most difficult to least difficult)

1. Op. 25 No.6(the thirds are unbelievably difficult to even start to play, let alone make runs out of them. The left hand accompaniment is simplistic though until you get to the section where the right and left hands play thirds together! This etude is by far the most difficult. Play Op.10 No.2 before starting this one)

2. Op.25 No.11(I also recommend playing Op.10 No.2 before this one as well as Op.25 No.8. You have to have much strength and perseverance to play though this one. I struggle with many of the chords in the left hand as well as the leaps. I believe this etude requires patience but when the muscle memory kicks in, the difficulty seems to go down a couple of notches.)

3. Op.25 No.3 (This etude is so joyful to the ears but a treacherous storm to perform. The reaches ,or more than less, leaps are ridiculous. Being able to bring both hands together to such a rapid tempo will feel almost impossible, but this etude is also a factor of muscle memory and playing it in the joking manner that it was meant to be played while keeping in the mind the technical aspect of it.)

4. Op.25 No.8(requires much wrist flexibility and ear training. The left hand accompaniment is in my perspective the most difficult part. The right hand of course is not easy, but being the main    melody, its easy to learn once you understand it melodically and have heard it many times. Being accurate with the sixths at a fast tempo makes it most difficult. I recommend Op.10 No.2 first. The technical benefits of this etude are very rewarding though.)

5. Op.25 No.10(THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE ETUDE TO PLAY!! The rapid fire octaves are so fun and haunting to play! This Etude is very difficult musically though. Especially at measures 23-28 and in the lento section. The octaves also can cause pain to the wrists and make them burn, so relax when you play this but keep it loud when it needs to be. At measures 55-58 I found it easier to copy the page and cut up the measures, tape it them to a piece of cardboard to isolate each measure, learning each voice separately then putting them together as I learned them. If played accurately its a great audience astounder!!!

6. Op.25 No.12( Recommend Op.10 No.1 and Op.10 No.8 first. This etude is gorgeous and not terribly difficult. All I really can say is that the right and left hands can become a blur when played to tempo, so make sure you are confident about the piece before you perform it.)

7. Op.25 No.4(Recommend Op.25 No.9 first for its left hand leaps. The right hand chords can get difficult for small hands and the ties in the right hand can seem hard at times. Keeping time with a metronome for this etude is crucial.

8. Op.25 No.5(Musically this etude is not easy but is very entertaining. I almost would recommend Op.10 No.11 as a prerequisite. The Piu lento section requires more attentive and very slowwwww practicing to bring up to tempo.

9. Op.25 No.7(As with all of the other slow etudes, this one requires good ear training and counting skills to their perfection. At times this etude will get aggravating and you must have a strong and confident left hand. There is a lot of intertwining melodies between the hands, so watch out. I do not like this etude because the melody freaks me out. At this point in his life I believe Chopin must have been extremely depressed.)

10. Op.25 No.2(metronome is crucial. I find this etudes difficulty to be, first mastering the right hands melody then being able to match it up with the left hand. Pay close attention to the fingering and I find that if the metronome isn't helpful tap your foot to match your own tempo.)

11. Op.25 No.1(Use the first note of each arpeggio as your anchor. Listen to a recording and read the score at the same time and watch how those notes play a key role in understanding the piece's 2nd or "hidden" melody so common in Chopin's compositions. The reaches are really the most difficult part of the whole thing and do not use too much pedal!)

12. Op.25 No.9(Requires a lot of staccato and fluid movements. Hard to put those two together huh??  Wink I recommend listening to Valentina Lisitsa's recording to get the right idea on the piece.  Remember this etude is two legato two staccato in the right hand not three legato one staccato, which is much easier to do. This piece is easier because the right hand is not as daunting as the score makes it look. Your hand practically falls into place. Just watch those left hand leaps!)

In conclusion the Chopin etudes are (I believe) his greatest works that revolutionized modern piano literature. I hope you find them to be as rewarding as I have!

BTW this took two hours to type up so I hope it's helpful!!!

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ajspiano
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2012, 01:17:44 AM »

The Op.10 Etudes (from most difficult to least difficult)
1. Op.10 No.2(I rate this one as number one because in certain areas the scales can become very painful and difficult to reach)

Then you are playing it with a flawed technique. - not saying its easy, its very difficult (i certainly have not mastered it) - it is however most definately not painful...  this was chopins genius in the etudes..  he made them impossible to play comfortably unless you move correctly.
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kalirren
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2012, 10:34:18 PM »

Not to resurrect a dead thread, but...

chopinmozartbach, you mention in several of your notes to the Op. 25 etudes (6, 11, and Cool that you would recommend Op. 10 #2 before tackling them.  What's special about 10 #2 that makes it such a gateway?  I'm considering tackling it based upon your recommendation and want to know what I'm practicing for.

As someone with hands that easily span about a minor tenth, and push for the major tenth, I have to say that with larger hands, some of the etudes that CMB listed as hard drop down the list significantly.  Of the opus 10s, Op. 10 #1 is actually one of the first I learned, after Op. 10 #9.  Beyond a certain hand size, it definitely becomes easier than Op. 10 #8.  Ditto for Op. 25 #5 and its Piu lento section, which also just sort of falls into place.
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chopinmozartbach
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2012, 03:28:35 AM »

I recommend Etude Op.10 No.2 because of the strength required of the 3rd-5th fingers of Etudes such as Op.25 No.11 especially.  If you look you may also notice I highly reccomend Etude Op.25 No.9 frequently because of it holds so much more than what can be seen with the eye. The benefits from this piece surpass many because it displays one skill that is crucial for any pianist to have, confidence. Confidence in large leaps and jumps as well as trust in playing at a rapid tempo and "larger" chords.
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