\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music (Read 4317 times)

Offline spencervirt

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 87
Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
« on: May 21, 2011, 04:55:18 AM »
Hello!

This is my first time posting here. My name is Spencer, i'm a Junior in high school. Pleased to meet you all!

This summer I plan to begin work on Chopin's Fourth Ballade in F minor for use in college admissions (it is also my all time favorite piece of music).

Due to financial problems, I can't afford to buy myself many piano lessons this summer. I can probably manage two a month but that is still really hard on me.

I'm looking for a good single edition of the ballade that has good fingering. I'm reluctant to purchase what I normally do, the Henle Urtext, because i'm going to need a more complete fingering, especially for the coda. It wouldn't be a problem if I could ask my teacher on a regular basis, but I cant. Any suggestions?

It's kind of an odd proposition, but I would be willing to pay someone to finger it for me. Do you think I could find someone local who would do that? I'm not sure if my teacher would have the patience.

Thanks very much!




piano sheet music of Ballade 4


Offline thalbergmad

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16592
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #1 on: May 21, 2011, 11:24:59 AM »

It's kind of an odd proposition, but I would be willing to pay someone to finger it for me.

It is an odd proposition, but I have seen many posts like this on this forum and my answer is always the same.

My hand is not the same as your hand so YOU MUST WORK IT OUT YOURSELF. The only way anyone could do this for you, is if they they were sitting next to you at the piano.

I seem to spend a lot of time crossing out fingerings on scores and entering my own.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline perfect_pitch

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 6020
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #2 on: May 21, 2011, 01:09:25 PM »
I gotta agree with the Thal man. Considering that you're willing to pay for someone to work out the fingering, but aren't willing to pay for the music...

Get the Henle - see if it works for you - their fingering is pretty intelligently worked out - but again, it depends on the players hand size. If you think a few things need different fingering - then cross them out and do it your way. Just make sure that the fingering goes against the articulation, or cancels out the ability to voice properly, or doesn't cut short the notes duration.

The best thing a pianist needs to learn for himself is to work out proper fingering and this is something you should think about right now.

Offline scottmcc

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 544
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #3 on: May 21, 2011, 03:24:39 PM »
agreed to a certain extent...if someone is truly at the level to be taking on the 4th ballade (seriously, not just dabbling with it like I do from time to time to convince myself that it's still way to hard for me), then they should be able to work out fingerings on their own.

however, I like to see other people's suggestions on fingerings because they make it much faster for me to learn a piece, and I also get interesting insights into how they solved a particular puzzle.  but I often disagree with what is written, either based on my hand or just my particular style.  some people like to redistribute things between the hands differently, some people don't, that kind of thing.

anyway, good luck with the ballade.  it's fantastic music--one of the best pieces in the whole repertoire in my opinion.

Offline thalbergmad

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16592
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #4 on: May 21, 2011, 03:34:49 PM »
agreed to a certain extent...if someone is truly at the level to be taking on the 4th ballade (seriously, not just dabbling with it like I do from time to time to convince myself that it's still way to hard for me), then they should be able to work out fingerings on their own.

I think I should have added something similar to my post as this is important.

If you are good enough to attempt it, you should be good enough to finger it.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline lelle

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 389
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #5 on: May 21, 2011, 04:48:59 PM »
Quote
I'm looking for a good single edition of the ballade that has good fingering. I'm reluctant to purchase what I normally do, the Henle Urtext, because i'm going to need a more complete fingering, especially for the coda.

I think the fingering for the coda is pretty intuitive in a way, there aren't many different ways you could finger it and still play it in tempo. My edition (Wiener Urtext) supplies enough fingering to help you play all the worst passages, i e the horrible thirds all have fingering, and the easier bits have the same fingering that you easily could figure out by yourself.

Offline richard black

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2104
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #6 on: May 21, 2011, 06:17:33 PM »
Not to disagree at all with the above posts, you'll usually find quite comprehensive fingerings in the Paderewski edition put out by PWM.
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.

Offline thalbergmad

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16592
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #7 on: May 21, 2011, 06:25:16 PM »
Indeed you would old chap, but with all of those Editions it is wise to purchase 6 reels of sticky tape as well, so the cost can be rather high.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline spencervirt

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 87
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #8 on: May 21, 2011, 09:21:17 PM »
Thanks for the responses everybody.

I suppose I will buy the Henle and work out the fingerings on my own.
It is an odd proposition, but I have seen many posts like this on this forum and my answer is always the same.

My hand is not the same as your hand so YOU MUST WORK IT OUT YOURSELF. The only way anyone could do this for you, is if they they were sitting next to you at the piano.

I seem to spend a lot of time crossing out fingerings on scores and entering my own.

Thal

I do agree with that completely- I have very large hands and find myself changing fingerings all the time. I just like a place to start in most instances.
I think the fingering for the coda is pretty intuitive in a way, there aren't many different ways you could finger it and still play it in tempo. My edition (Wiener Urtext) supplies enough fingering to help you play all the worst passages, i e the horrible thirds all have fingering, and the easier bits have the same fingering that you easily could figure out by yourself.


I understand what you mean by "intuitive." I'm generally good at working out fingerings unless it is an extremely confusing passage, but if the coda isn't as confusing as it looks I should be fine.

I should be better at fingerings, as you all said, if I am attempting to play this. I've skipped a lot in learning piano. I've played little before Beethoven. Although, I have a good understanding of Chopin and my skill set matches the challenges of the Ballade. My teacher was reluctant to have me play it but said that he thought I could pull it off.

I'm willing to spend 5 hours a day or more learning  this piece. When it is your favorite piece of all time and it is your dream to play it, the technical challenges fade away quickly. I'm sure you all understand.

I don't own a grand piano but there is a very nice conservatory grand at my school that I can use for as long as I want. I will need practice on a grand for a piece like this.



Offline ahinton

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12042
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #9 on: May 21, 2011, 09:33:39 PM »
Good sense here from our Thal!

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline scott13

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 170
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #10 on: May 26, 2011, 04:52:32 AM »
Why do you want to use the 4th Ballade for auditions? This piece requires a certain maturity to perform with depth and feeling, and no offense at 18 -20 (age for college i'm guessing) you WILL lack the maturity to perform this work. If you are set on a Ballade, so be it, but pick one of the other 3.

Offline quantum

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5525
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 05:09:12 PM »
I've seen the Paderewski go for around $12-20 new here in Canada.  That's a pretty good deal IMO.  You could also just become a Gold Pianostreet member and download off this site. 

Must agree with Thal's wisdom here.  Your chosen fingering must feel correct to you, even if it diverts from what many printed edition stipulate.
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline gerryjay

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 829
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #12 on: May 26, 2011, 06:43:55 PM »
If you are good enough to attempt it, you should be good enough to finger it.
100% agreed.

fingering is an essential part of interpretation. using someone's else fingering is just as boring as strictly following tempi, accents, and the like. if you want to play like a famous pianist, save money and time and buy a DVD.

on the other hand, STUDYING fingerings is a must important practice. chopin have many editions, and some have fingerings. the process of figuring out why that particular sequence of fingers is there, and what it makes to the music, and how complex it is to you to master it, teaches you a lot.

best!

Offline thalbergmad

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16592
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #13 on: May 26, 2011, 07:01:45 PM »
I find so many people agreeing with me in one thread slightly worrying.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline tb230

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #14 on: May 26, 2011, 08:11:42 PM »
I find so many people agreeing with me in one thread slightly worrying.

Thal
I agree!  :P

Offline thalbergmad

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16592
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #15 on: May 26, 2011, 08:20:37 PM »
I was clearing out the pile of old junk behind my piano the other day and came across my old book of Chopin Nocturnes, in which I had carefully fingered the Op.9 No.1 nocturne that I last played about 8 years ago.

Strangely, I could not play with my own fingering and had to make several adjustments before it worked out as I wanted.

Not only can I not cope with other people's ideas of fingering, it now appears that I cannot cope with my own either, given a sufficient time lapse between attempts.

What hard work this piano playing lark is.

Thal :-\
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline omar_roy

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 298
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #16 on: May 26, 2011, 09:09:42 PM »
I was clearing out the pile of old junk behind my piano the other day and came across my old book of Chopin Nocturnes, in which I had carefully fingered the Op.9 No.1 nocturne that I last played about 8 years ago.

Strangely, I could not play with my own fingering and had to make several adjustments before it worked out as I wanted.

Not only can I not cope with other people's ideas of fingering, it now appears that I cannot cope with my own either, given a sufficient time lapse between attempts.

What hard work this piano playing lark is.

Thal :-\

This happens to me as well.  Fingerings that I found adequate before are no longer ideal for my interpretations or the current state of my technique.  If we're always maintaining and improving our pianism and musicianship, then our technique evolves as a result of that.  Consequently, what worked out well before might not be the right method when you come back to it years later.

Offline thalbergmad

  • PS Gold Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16592
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #17 on: May 26, 2011, 09:26:24 PM »
I am relieved it is not just me.

I am less careful with fingerings than I used to be, as I now have the awful habit of tinkering with hundreds of pieces and mastering none.

The state of my pencil markings on my nocturne score would indicate that I had changed my mind on several occasions in the past and I now find myself doing the same again. Perhaps my fingering would still be suitable if my interpretation was the same, but I guess that the way I want it to sound now is rather different than the way i wanted it to sound 8 years ago.

Anyway, in typical fashion I have moved onto something else in the last 5 minutes.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline cablepiano

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 2
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #18 on: May 27, 2011, 12:26:14 AM »
Why did my post get deleted?

Offline spencervirt

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 87
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #19 on: June 01, 2011, 12:29:15 AM »
Why do you want to use the 4th Ballade for auditions? This piece requires a certain maturity to perform with depth and feeling, and no offense at 18 -20 (age for college i'm guessing) you WILL lack the maturity to perform this work. If you are set on a Ballade, so be it, but pick one of the other 3.

Chopin is my composer. I have no lack of maturity, at least in Chopin. I think I understand him really well. Just don't ask me to play Bach!

Offline scott13

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 170
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #20 on: June 01, 2011, 02:35:17 PM »
Chopin is my composer. I have no lack of maturity, at least in Chopin. I think I understand him really well. Just don't ask me to play Bach!

So you have sufficient emotional heartaches from your life that you can tap into while performing the 4th Ballade? Do you know the history of the piece? Why Chopin wrote it the way he did? What was happening in his life during the time the 4th Ballade was composed? The social context of the Ballade in the 1800's? Etc etc

Also for the record, by maturity i mean maturity in years. The 4th Ballade has a deeper more meaningful place in Chopin's writing style and was an insight into his later years. It does not contain the youthful and passionate side we see in the Piano Concertos, yet it possess a certain maturity itself and it one of the greatest works of Chopin during his later years as his outlook and perception of life changed. In order to perform this work well, you need to have experienced this same perceptive change that occurs as you grow older. At 20 (my current age) i know i could not do this work justice as i still possess a youthful and optimistic outlook on life, not the mature reflective view of an aging man dying of TB. That is something you cannot relate to yet, hence my advice not to perform this work.

Music performance, especially at University is about making an emotional connection to your audience, making them feel particular emotions that you purposely convey through the music. If you don't have an intimate understanding of the music you perform, you cannot take the audience on an emotional journey and as a result your performance will be of a lesser quality because of this. In my experience, (current piano major at University) they are far more focused on musicality and how you personally interpret and deliver a piece, than the technical facility you possess, as technique can be taught, the true natural ability to communicate emotion through music can only be taught to a certain extent. 

Also the fact you say "Don't ask me to play Bach" is an immature comment in itself. Bach is probably the single most influential and ingenious composer to have ever lived, and you have just dismissed him. Sorry but that is a lack of maturity. Secondly you clearly don't understand music history if you so readily dismiss Bach. Chopin himself idolized Bach more than any other composer and you need only look at Op 10#1 to see this. If Chopin was truly your composer, you would know that ,any ideas he took directly from Bach, and therefore you would play alot of Bach to gain a deeper appreciation for how Chopin took these traits and developed them to new creative peaks. The 24 Preludes is a prime example, as Bach's WTC was the first volume work to have pieces in all 24 keys and Chopin directly uses this invention (no pun intended) of Bach's and adds an emotional depth to it.

Don't take this post as an insult of any kind as that is not it's intention. I'm simply advising you and attempting to explain, why you should carefully select a work you can in some way relate too.

Offline spencervirt

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 87
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #21 on: June 01, 2011, 03:39:50 PM »
Scott, I really appreciate you reply. Thank you very much.

I have read a biography on Chopin and understand his life struggle very well, but I now understand what you mean by maturity.

I suppose you would be right- I don't think I could completely understand what was going through Chopin's brain when he wrote it.

I appreciate Bach. I think he is a genius and I also know of Chopin's great respect for him. Although, I can't stand playing a song without.... emotion. It is all too structured for me, as was the style at the time. I have no lack of respect for Bach, I'm just not geared to that style of playing. I still listen to him though!

You've definitely made me think about my choice here. Thanks

Offline lelle

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 389
Re: Chopin's Fourth Ballade Sheet Music
«Reply #22 on: June 01, 2011, 05:32:58 PM »
Scott, I really appreciate you reply. Thank you very much.

I have read a biography on Chopin and understand his life struggle very well, but I now understand what you mean by maturity.

I suppose you would be right- I don't think I could completely understand what was going through Chopin's brain when he wrote it.

I appreciate Bach. I think he is a genius and I also know of Chopin's great respect for him. Although, I can't stand playing a song without.... emotion. It is all too structured for me, as was the style at the time. I have no lack of respect for Bach, I'm just not geared to that style of playing. I still listen to him though!

You've definitely made me think about my choice here. Thanks

Bach has a great amount of emotion though, when I play some of his heavier works I pour just as much emotion into it as I would playing Chopin. You just have to let it click and then you will love Bach with a passion :)