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Topic: Help on Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie  (Read 5193 times)

Offline chopinguy

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Help on Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie
on: January 07, 2005, 04:23:49 PM
At the moment I'm trying to learn the Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie in A flat major.  On the last part, starting measures 242, how do people nail those chords cleanly and voice the top effectively?

Offline ahmedito

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Re: Help on Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie
Reply #1 on: January 07, 2005, 05:16:14 PM
With a LOT of practice. I still have nightmares about that part.   ;D


Definately be careful not to press down on the chords and to let your hand bounce naturally. Also use your arm to voice the upper part and dont be afraid to use the pedal and let go of the keys whenever needed.
For a good laugh, check out my posts in the audition room, and tell me exactly how terrible they are :)

Offline chopinguy

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Re: Help on Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie
Reply #2 on: January 08, 2005, 03:21:37 AM
Hey thanks...  On the last two pages (Henle edition), the last similar part with the top line mi, mi fa fa mi, and the left hand has octaves in a long-short fashion: The left hand is bouncing, and the arm is voicing, so I guess maybe I should just try to apply what I have there to the part I'm having trouble with.

Oh, I'm just also curious: On a scale of 1 to 10 in difficulty, 10 being most difficult, what would you give the Polonaise-Fantasie?

Offline ahmedito

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Re: Help on Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie
Reply #3 on: January 09, 2005, 08:55:42 PM
In my opinion it is Chopin's most difficult work.
For a good laugh, check out my posts in the audition room, and tell me exactly how terrible they are :)

Offline richard w

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Re: Help on Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie
Reply #4 on: January 10, 2005, 12:38:32 AM
Quote
Oh, I'm just also curious: On a scale of 1 to 10 in difficulty, 10 being most difficult, what would you give the Polonaise-Fantasie?


Well, I guess either 1 or 10, depending on whether you can play it or not. The logic here being if you can play it, it is easy, and if you can't then it is impossible. (This I think I got from a Bernhard post from the archives, and it is completely logical). Given that I learnt this piece just recently and I can't (yet) learn some of the Studies I wouldn't say Op.61 was Chopin's hardest piece. Overall, there are pieces I would find much harder, but this is an impressive work when played well, and a very beautiful one too.

Quote
At the moment I'm trying to learn the Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie in A flat major.  On the last part, starting measures 242, how do people nail those chords cleanly and voice the top effectively?

From bar 242 Chopin seems to get louder and louder, so although it says 'forte assai' leave something in reserve. Practise at pianissimo, bringing out the melody at mezzo piano - this will save your fingers! Bar 244 is probably the hardest, and then bar 248, so work tirelessly on the right hand in these bars. Get the conjunctions between the chords as slick as you possibly can, first in small groups (just two chords?), and then in slightly larger ones, etc. Do that anywhere where you have difficulty, but start with those bars. Simply put, it is just a case of getting the movements of your hand working properly - it is perfectly possible.

Actually, from my point of view, at least, I just lied. I found bars 250-51 the hardest - I've still not nailed these too well. I'll be using the procedure mentioned above. I don't think it is possible to play these bars at full tempo - not for a mortal at any rate.

Good luck.



Richard.

Offline chopinguy

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Re: Help on Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie
Reply #5 on: January 11, 2005, 03:19:36 AM
Thanks for all your help!

I'd also have to say that measures 244 and 248 are the hardest, simply because the third beats have three chords in a row.  This part is definitely getting better, and the left hand is slightly easier now that I'm starting to use 1-4 on the black key octaves and 1-5 on the white keys.

What's the hardest piece that exists out there?

Offline johnnypiano

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Re: Help on Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie
Reply #6 on: January 22, 2005, 10:45:25 PM
 
To Chopinguy   

I think you have got yourself some good advice here and I will add no more, except to point out that, in this coda, Chopin combines and varies both hands from the middle section in masterly fashion. 

By the way, I have only just discovered an interesting fact: that the amazingly original trill passage - double, triple and quadruple - is anticipated in the 'Allegro de Concert' of a few years earlier.

It is very difficult to grade a piece from 1 to 10.  Is the Polonaise-Fantasie harder than the F minor Ballade?  I don't think so, but it is hard to put together without it sprawling.  Another magnificent work with a 'high grade' is the Barcarolle.  There is hardly a note out of place and it really is worth learning. 

Richard W states that a piece can appear to be (intolerably) hard until one can play it.  Technically it then becomes automatic and, therefore, easy.

Good luck with a very beautiful and varied work.  John.

 :) :) :) :)
 

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