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Chopin’s 200th Anniversary

Celebrate one of the greatest piano composers in history, Frédéric Chopin, by listening to the Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman’s performance of Ballade no 2 in F-major while following along in Chopin’s autograph manuscript. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Chopin - Ballade No. 1 in g minor, Op 23 (Work in progress)  (Read 5432 times)
perfect_pitch
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« on: May 13, 2011, 05:19:23 AM »

Here is a recording of Chopins 1st ballade in g minor. I know it get's a little dodgy in a couple of little areas, but my main goal in the near future is to get this up to a proper professional level of playing.

ANY advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated. If you hear a couple of notes, that don't sound wrong, but sound a bit odd - one of my g strings is still a little dodgy since I got it replaced. I was told it can still be another couple of months before it retains its tension again and holds its pitch.

* Chopin - Ballade No. 1 in g minor, Op 23.mp3 (18104.13 KB - downloaded 1022 times.)
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piano sheet music of Ballade 1
perfect_pitch
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 10:42:20 AM »

Well... I take it from the absence of replies that either...

It's absolutely perfect and that it cannot be bettered in any way (which would be great, but unlikely)...

or it's gotten quite in the forums recently.

Is there anyone who can give me a little advice on this piece?
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emill
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 11:31:04 AM »

or is it that nobody feels competent enough to comment on your playing
which frankly to someone like me who has heard this ballade maybe hundreds
of times since I was a kid .... is very well played. Except for certain moments
of "hesitation" which I feel is common in works of progress, your rendition is just
so full of romance and music!!  and the quality of the recording is just excellent.

or the ones who could really comment will not for the simple reason that they know
you are more than capable of correcting yourself once you have listened to your own
recording.

or some are just bitter and jealous that you play this well even as a work of progress
and will not contribute further to your progress for fear of exacerbating further their jealousy.

or for those who posted performances for audition .... that their posts will be moved down
further or worse into the 2nd page and remain unnoticed forever if they commented on someone else's performance.

heheee ...did I miss anything...Huh   Grin  THANKS for posting....       

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member on behalf of my son, Lorenzo
pianisten1989
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 11:39:05 AM »

Okay, I'm back. I was really pissed of at some ppl here, and I will no longer take any discussion with them, what so ever. But I still think it's fun to help people, and I learn a lot from it. So go a head and laugh if you like, I don't care.

Hello Perfect!
It's a big work, and there are a billion ways to play it, but here are a few ideas:

Bar 1-3: Don't release the pedal that soon in the introduction, and don't play softer that soon either. It says f and pesante. You play the first 2 or 3 notes f, then you go to piano. The piano comes after 3 bars.
Bar 3-4: You make tiny accents on the f-sharps. Don't do that. Rather do it on the g. The f# comes 3 times, and aren't that interesting.

The moderato: Don't do the same weird thing that everyone else is doing. You phrase after the bar-line, and it doesn't make any sense at all, if you don't have the score in front of you, and even then it's weird. I would aim for the top note, as if you were singing it. Then you would need an inch more on the top notes. Actually, think as if you would sing it. Sometimes you need to go forward cause you run out of air, and sometimes you have plenty of air left...
And don't do the note at the end of the slur louder than the one before. Kind of the same thing until bar 36.
And oh, the chords after the melody, play the first one louder than the second. You do it sometimes, and then it's very beautiful.
Bar 36: You need to play it faster. Its probably because it's a new piece, but aim for a slightly higher speed.
Take your time from bar 60, there are some cool things happening in the left hand that doesn't come across if you don't do the calando and smorz.
Meno Mosso: Here, you do a slight accent on the e-flat in bar 69. Everybody does that, and it doesn't make sense. Here is why: 1. It's the end of a slur, 2. It's D to T (Bb to Eb) and if you play those chords, you would most of the time not do an accent on the E-flat.
Then there is an accent in bar 72 that you don't do. Do the accents he did write, and don't the one he didn't Wink
Then it's the same.... Think that whole main theme as a dance.
From Bar 105: Same here, don't do accents if he didn't write them. Especially if they are D-T and in the end of a slur. The "First" beat isn't as important as some teacher claims. He was fully capable to write accents if wanted to.

The last Meno mosso is also Sotto voce and pp sempre. So there is no cantabile. It's like someone trying to sing, but isn't able to.

I liked that you didn't play the coda insanely fast, as some ppl do. But a bit faster.

Bar 252. Why so short notes? That doesn't make any sense at all. Those last scales and chords are the "main persons" last heart beats in before she falls. If you agree with me on that, you could make a small accent on the 8th note. No actual accent, but slightly heavier than the first and third. The last G needs more time, before you hit it. She falls dead to the floor, almost in slow-mo, take your time.
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pianisten1989
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2011, 09:54:16 AM »

Oh, thank you very much Pianisten. I will look into it!
Well, YOU'RE WELCOME! ;P
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 11:26:09 AM »

Hey... I've had bugger all time to actually try and reply to all the threads...

I haven't been able to practice the Chopin since then - so I haven't actually had time to go through the music, read your comments and write the notes on my music.

Tomorrows the first day off I have...



Geez... A bit edgy are we? You know I always appreciate your comments.
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pianisten1989
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 11:50:02 AM »

haha, i know! I was just bored... Sry 'bout that Tongue
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2011, 06:30:51 AM »

Damn... now that was some good f***ing advice... Thanks insanely for that.

I have a masterclass with an american pianist in the next month - so I'm doing what I can to bone up on this piece... quickly.

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pianisten1989
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2011, 07:22:44 AM »

Glad I could help! Cheesy
Who's the pianist btw?
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2011, 10:05:50 AM »

He's an american by the name of Dr. Kevin Richmond. He's a lecturer/pianist at the University of Memphis, Tennessee.

Hope he's good. It's kind of exciting to get to this sort of level where you're having Masterclasses with Doctors from other countries.
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klik11
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2011, 12:50:15 PM »

I'm not a professional in any way but I had to say it was beautiful!!
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2011, 12:50:53 PM »

I'm not a professional in any way but I had to say it was beautiful!!

Thank you... but it still needs a hell of a lot of work!
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pada
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2011, 10:51:01 PM »

Overall you could lighten everything that´s not the melody. And at the beginning, make sure those accompanying chords are even, now you play them a bit like a gallop between your hands.
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2011, 12:42:32 AM »

Thanks pada... Which part in particular... the Moderato section at about bar 6 or 7, or the later faster section in g minor?
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pada
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2011, 06:03:19 AM »

I don´t have the score but yes after the neapolitan chord intro where it starts in g minor. Try to keep the chords (I - I6 - II7 or something etc.) even and in totally different layer than the singing melody. It´s an important part since it gives you the structure to build the later parts of the piece on.
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pianisten1989
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2011, 06:28:02 AM »

But why? What's the point of playing them completely evenly?
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2011, 01:41:41 PM »

I think he just meant make the chords a little more fluent as I use the rubato - that's what I thought he meant.
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pianisten1989
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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2011, 02:30:59 PM »

Oh well...
How is the ballade going anyway?
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perfect_pitch
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2011, 02:51:50 PM »

Been a bit slow - been spending my time going car-shopping and dealing with insurance companies since someone decided to pull out in front of me as I was driving straight along a road.

Have the masterclass in just over two weeks, so I better get my bollocks ready and practice like a mad man.

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pada
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2011, 07:14:41 PM »

You totally missed what I tried to say, I just don´t know how to say it more clear than that. Oh well, just my ignorant suggestion, forget it.
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