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Topic: Chopin nocturne in b-flat minor  (Read 1911 times)

Offline georgesand96

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Chopin nocturne in b-flat minor
on: June 18, 2015, 09:00:55 PM
Hello fellow pianists!

I have been learning Chopin's nocturne in b-flat minor (Op.9 No.1) and I have a question about the middle section. Unfortunately I do not have an urtext edition, and the pedaling seems a bit weird, and I am not sure how often Chopin meant it to be used :/ Besides that, I need advice on playing the octaves as legato, well it got better since I started using fingers 3, and 4 along with 5. But still any tips would be appreciated  ::) ;D Thank you!

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Chopin nocturne in b-flat minor
Reply #1 on: June 18, 2015, 11:35:47 PM
One of the most beautiful Nocturnes -- and has been a staple of mine for a number of years.  But -- my playing is best described as idiosyncratic, so take what I say and do with it as you like!

First off, I take the middle section faster than the A sections.  In fact, almost (but not quite!) half again as fast.  I like it that way.  As to pedaling, that -- for me -- depends somewhat on the piano.  For a good piano, though, I follow the old Joseffy version (pedal throughout, with a release on the first and 4th beats) pretty closely -- except !!! that I usually use a half release at the beginning of the 2nd beat in the measures with eighth notes, to avoid smearing (my piano is a Steinway A, which sings forever if you keep the pedal on -- many pianos don't need that partial release).  It's as much a matter of what sounds good and keeps the clarity and singing melodic line as anything else.

As to fingering... well, I used to use 3, 4, and 5 as was convenient.  Unfortunately, I had a little accident and that type of octave fingering is no longer practical for me.  As a result, (gasp) I've found that using mostly 5 only, making no effort at a full finger legato, with some 4 as needed, works just fine.  That makes greater demands on very exact pedaling, so that one gets the necessary legato and yet avoids smearing.  It can be done.

The audiences don't seem to mind!

Enjoy it!
Ian

Offline kevonthegreatpianist

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Re: Chopin nocturne in b-flat minor
Reply #2 on: June 19, 2015, 04:22:29 AM
I play the Nocturne faster than the default tempo, the 116 BPM. I play at the 144 BPM and once went all the way to a 176. It's one of my fav early nocturnes (Op.15 No.1 and Op.9 No.3 are others.) I'm one of those people who don't follow the default pedaling. I remember I used pedaling for one of Bach's fugues. I use 4s and 5s, since I find 3s uncomfortable. I sometimes use all 5s, but that'll be very hard and probably impossible to have a good legato in the right hand.  

I made an account and hadn't used it in a year. Welcome back, kevon.

Offline georgesand96

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Re: Chopin nocturne in b-flat minor
Reply #3 on: June 19, 2015, 09:31:51 AM
Thank you, guys!

I just checked the Joseffy edition and it seemed to help a lot, especially with pedaling. As for the pace, I think for now I play it as 106 bpm, which is still slightly slower than the actual tempo. I will try and change the tempo in the middle section, though! And yes it is one of my favorite nocturnes too! (I also love the Op.55 No.1 and two of the Op.27 ones) Thank you both!  ;D

Offline kevonthegreatpianist

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Re: Chopin nocturne in b-flat minor
Reply #4 on: June 20, 2015, 02:41:26 AM
read 69 times tho lol
I made an account and hadn't used it in a year. Welcome back, kevon.
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