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Author Topic: Chopin- tempo marks  (Read 14471 times)
pauholio
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« on: October 28, 2004, 02:32:17 AM »

Hey all,

I believe that the tempo marks in chopins pieces should always be observed not just that but when he doen't mark them you don't change tempo. If chopin had wanted a change in tempo such as in Waltze in G minor where there are 6 tempo changes if he wants a change he would have marked it.
This came to me recently because i head the english pianist Fladamere whatever play Waltz in E Minor at an insane speed for part of it then slow down at the parts where it can be played that fast. He did a large part of the piece at some insane speed, just to show off then when it came to the sweet part he slowed which is not what chopin would have wanted.

Do other people play with their own tempo changes cause i believe thats not what chopin was trying to do?
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jlh
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2004, 05:20:55 AM »

So you knew Chopin personally and that's why you're so sure about his intentions? 

I don't think one should focus too much on the tempo markings, remember that his music is supposed to sound beautiful, if it sounds beautiful at 130 or 50 then either way is fine. Chopin himself loved to hear unique interpretations of his pieces, one should however not use rubato too much, and therein lies the issue.  I didn't hear the performance you're talking about, so I can't judge his interpretation; however,  I personally don't like waltzes to dramatically and arbitrarily change tempo midway too often.  Smiley

Bear in mind that the tempo markings we see in Chopin's music weren't necessarily put there by Chopin, either, and I've seen a few examples of conflicting MM markings over the years.  If Chopin DID put a MM marking somewhere, I'm more inclined to believe it was a suggestion rather than iron-clad requirement.

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phaidon
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 10:22:35 PM »

Maybe, Chopin was serious about his tempi. What I never understood, is the tempo of op 10, no3, which in some editions should be 100 whle most give 60, and most pianists appear to play it between 59 and 65. As an amateur, without a teacher, I am trying to find my way through it. Maybe, soneone feels inclined to give me a hint.

* op10_3_100419.mp3 (7803.31 KB - downloaded 69 times.)
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pianisten1989
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2010, 05:47:21 AM »

What I've read, Chopin never played a piece the same way twice. And changing tempo here and there isn't that big of a deal, imo. Though, One should do it with taste, cause it can be very unmusical to change it too much.
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ponken
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2010, 05:37:46 AM »

I try not to change the tempo unless it is marked in the score. This just because I am an amateur and I don't want to change the tempo unless I know for sure it is a good thing.
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solstyce
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2010, 11:52:19 PM »

Im not the only one that noticed! I was interested in learning one of his songs, so I went and listenened to the recording, and it got to a more complicated part and the speed almost doubled, and there was not change in tempo written on the page.
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b0mbtrack
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2010, 12:09:53 AM »

uh-oh, the s word.
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drjj53
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2010, 12:54:35 AM »

 Smiley Ha!
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richard black
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2010, 02:44:17 PM »

Quote
I went and listenened to the recording

Oh, 'the' recording - cos obviously there's only the one of anything by Chopin....
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viking
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2010, 06:46:51 PM »

It's not whether or not to take time in Chopin (or any other composers according to musical style) it's HOW you take the time as naturally, organically, and convincingly as possible that matters most.  Too many people screw around with music, justifying any interpretation because most composers were fond of unique renditions of their pieces.  However, they were most likely uniquely good, uniquely logical, uniquely organic, rather than uniquely the opposite.
In terms of metronome markings, I'm from the opinion that realizes that composers have a tendency to compose their music, then place metronome markings that in more cases than not, are too fast.  This seems to be because many composers haven't placed enough emphasis on the space that their notes require to sound.  Read through a few chopin mazurkas (Op.17 No.4 comes to mind) to discover that some are just unnaturally fast.  This also seems to be a prevailing trend in much french impressionistic music.

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ramseytheii
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2010, 01:12:44 AM »

What edition are you using?  Is there any evidence that Chopin supplied the metronome marks?

Walter Ramsey


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viking
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2010, 12:55:02 AM »

The marking is by Chopin.
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stevebob
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2010, 02:34:33 AM »

What marking?
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birba
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2010, 01:20:32 PM »

Maybe, Chopin was serious about his tempi. What I never understood, is the tempo of op 10, no3, which in some editions should be 100 whle most give 60, and most pianists appear to play it between 59 and 65. As an amateur, without a teacher, I am trying to find my way through it. Maybe, soneone feels inclined to give me a hint.
Are you sure it doesn't say eighth note= 100?  That's what one edition says.  which would be almost 60 to the quarter note.
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stevebob
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2010, 01:53:24 PM »

This thread is perplexing.  The original post is from 2004, refers to a waltz in g minor (there's no such thing) and "he english pianist Fladamere whatever"; was it even a serious inquiry six years ago?
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viking
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2010, 06:22:26 PM »

What marking?

The marking of 152 to the quarter for Mazurka op.17 no.4.  It has been argued (without much merit in my opinion) that this is what Chopin intended. 
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ponken
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2010, 10:12:00 AM »

No one nowadays knows Chopin personally and no one can say what he really wanted his music to sound like. I can only think for myself, if I had composed a piece I would not mind hearing different interpretations of it. The tempo marks are probably not marked out by Chopin himself. I have seen different editions of pieces with different tempo marks. In my opinion there's nothing wrong with changing the tempo a little at times if you feel like it. There's nothing with making a piece your own as long as you do it with some taste, like Pianisten mentioned. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what "tasteful" is, but when I learn a Chopin piece or any other piece for that matter I use to listen to different performances of it and I will get my own idea of it.
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