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Need help with Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu (Read 1646 times)

Offline pristinepiano

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Need help with Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu
« on: April 13, 2015, 03:08:03 AM »
Okay, I might have bit off a bit more than I can chew with this piece, but I'm famous for that...its what keeps me challenged and interested in new pieces.  I am having dificulty keeping the right hand playing evenly with the left (8 notes along side of 6).  Things do even out at the end of bars but it sounds choppy/uneven at times how the notes from the two hands relate to each other.  Obviously, the beauty in this piece is that undulating flow created from this pairing of the hands, and I'm not properly getting it.

Are their any things that would help to get this more smooth.  Maybe practicing extremely slowely and then speeding up?  The music I have very nicely has the notes lined up spatially with each other...would the playing of this piece relate to that exactly or is there some cheating going on as to one hand or the other not exactly keeping even, to make it easier? 

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Offline j_menz

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Re: Need help with Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 03:28:52 AM »
If you haven't done polyrhythms before, step back and learn one that uses a simpler 2v3 such as Debussy's First Arabesque.

If you've done that, this is a 4v3 version, with the added complication of an initial rest. One way to practice is to actually play a note for that rest to start with (use the note immediately after the rest and play it twice). Once you've got the feel of it and it's going nicely, just drop that first note.

It's Chopin, so there's room for rubato, but don't try and do anything in that regard until you've got the strict time going properly.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline pristinepiano

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Re: Need help with Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 04:44:52 AM »
Thanks for the advice.  will give that a try.  I used to play this piece quite well about 20 years ago.  Been away from the piano playing for quite a while and its one of the ones I forgot.  Now it seems like I got some kind of rythmic mental block holding me back.  I will likely stumble into it with practice, its just that the piece is always played so fast on recordings, its hard to pick up on it by ear.

I just noticed that there is a students forum here where this question would probably have better fit.  Sorry about that.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Need help with Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #3 on: April 13, 2015, 06:14:56 PM »


if you played this correctly 20 years ago then it's just a matter of time until your fingers remember.  The problem is that usually the adult returning student only thinks they played it well 20 years ago--they will insist that they way they played it then was correct and the way they play it now is not...when actually they are playing it exactly as they did before..   They only difference is now they can hear how bad it sounds.

now some students never reach that level of being able to hear their own mistakes... they continue on thinking they sound just great...  and believing everyone else is just jealous...or not sophisticated enough to enjoy their unique sound.

So you are way ahead of the game already.


Offline pristinepiano

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Re: Need help with Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #4 on: April 15, 2015, 05:19:01 AM »
dcs...you may sort of, possibly be right.  Somewhat humbling for me in some respects, but I see your point.  I think I may have had it somewhat wrong originally, but as a minimum, it was at least consistant.  That may qualify it as "different", but still musically acceptable to myself.   Now its choppy, drifting in and out of sync with each other in a rather haphazard, unpleasant/unmusical way.  Will work on it some more.  Thanks for that insight though, it sheds a different light on the problem.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Need help with Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu
«Reply #5 on: April 15, 2015, 01:08:29 PM »
I have seen a lot of adults return over the years.   Most believe they will never be able to play as well as they did before--and that's so wrong.   

Some have even brought me video recordings of their younger selves--that's how I noticed this.  It's the strangest thing---the recording will contain all the same mistakes in all the same places---and in most cases the adult is usually playing it better now--but they insist that they were so good then...blah blah blah  if they hadn't left....what would've happened....blah blah blah

lol... I left music for while so I do understand that frustration.

the good news is--many of them progressed very quickly after they got over the initial lumpy hands stage.  those who stayed with it, that is.

Some even play in recitals with the kids--I had one lady get up from the piano and cry tears of joy after she nailed the Beethoven piece that she had tried so hard to play as a teen.

...that was a cool recital. ;)