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Topic: Seeking Chopin Recommendations  (Read 2172 times)

Offline severius

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Seeking Chopin Recommendations
on: October 21, 2016, 05:11:09 AM
Hello.

I don't play piano - nor anything. Just up-front info.

After all of this time, somehow Chopin's piano music's escaped my attention [I otherwise know a lot of the repertoire from Haydn to Harrison (Lou)].

Of course, as with most folks, I know the op. 53 Polonaise, as well as the piano concerti. But, I've been smitten with solo piano music these last few weeks and a irresistable desire for Chopin piano music. It's dominating my life.

My question is, what's considered the basic masterpieces that I should be diving into? And, what's considered secondary or mainly of interest to specialists? Are the etudes, for example, mainly of interest to piano players and Chopin specialists? Are the preludes the must-know masterpieces?

Seeking your guidance.
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Offline adodd81802

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Re: Seeking Chopin Recommendations
Reply #1 on: October 21, 2016, 08:08:11 AM
Wait, let me better understand your question - Are you looking to learn the piano?

If so, and you have no experience, then apart from maybe 3-4 pieces, you're probably about 6-7 years from Chopin (based on a number of factors that could be a little shorter, but unlikely if you want to do Chopin justice)

There's maybe 2 preludes and a cantabile that I can think of and MAYBE a waltz.

There's an album called "Chopin - an Introduction to his piano works" which I think lists these pieces and a couple others.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline mjames

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Re: Seeking Chopin Recommendations
Reply #2 on: October 21, 2016, 03:41:45 PM
Yeah no, bs. You don't need 6-7 years of experience to start playing Chopin. If you practice consistently a huge chunk of his music will become accessible to you (nocturnes, waltzes, and mazurkas) in under 5 years. However the other larger scale and more bravado stuff (scherzi, ballades, polonaises) will take a lot longer for you to get there. This all depends on your potential/talent, resources (teachers/guidance/feedback), and work ethic.

The only thing I agree with it is that it's far too soon for you to start thinking about Chopin. Consult your teacher about this, as she/he are the ones who are able to to gauge your abilities effectively.

Offline mjames

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Re: Seeking Chopin Recommendations
Reply #3 on: October 21, 2016, 05:40:20 PM
I hate telling people what they can or can't do. Part of learning is trial and error, so you might as well get a good dose of it.





I think these are pretty easy. There's also the a major prelude. My rule of thumb is: "if you don't see any progress (playing a section of the music at LEAST half the indicated tempo) then it's probably too hard for you." Check out the various easy mazurkas, valse, and so on and see what you can tackle. Work on your piece of choice for at most 2 weeks, evaluate yourself, and if you "fail" perhaps put it away and work on something easier.

Offline severius

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Re: Seeking Chopin Recommendations
Reply #4 on: October 22, 2016, 02:18:08 AM
Thanks, guys. I knew this was the right place to get informative and helpful advice.

Offline debussychopin

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Re: Seeking Chopin Recommendations
Reply #5 on: October 22, 2016, 08:08:43 AM
Consult your physician before starting any Chopin program.
L'Isle Joyeuse

Offline jeffok

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Re: Seeking Chopin Recommendations
Reply #6 on: October 22, 2016, 05:41:34 PM
If you want to hear Chopin at his best, I'd recommend trying the Barcarolle (loads of good recordings available on YouTube). I'm not saying it's the best piece he wrote, but it's certainly among the best.

To answer a couple of your other questions:

The Etudes aren't just for pianists. Part of what made them almost revolutionary (no pun intended) at the time they were published was the fact that they weren't mindless, harmonically predictable, formulaic studies. They were poetry in the form of studies. Listening to either opus 10 or 25 in one go is an exhilarating experience.

The Preludes - taken all together - are definitely considered to be one of his masterpieces but so are many other of his "sets" - especially the Ballades, Scherzos and Nocturnes. Personally I'd make a strong case for the Mazurkas which are very personal utterances - almost a musical diary for Chopin. He wrote them fairly frequently from his late teens (maybe earlier) until his final year so they provide a great overview of his development over the years - particularly in harmonic matters.

Although there are certainly some people who simply don't like his music, the vast majority of his music is of very high quality and is some of the most important music to come out of the 19th century even if there are no symphonies, operas or string quartets by Chopin.

Happy listening.

jeff ok

Offline severius

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Re: Seeking Chopin Recommendations
Reply #7 on: October 27, 2016, 03:04:34 AM
DebussyChopin - hilarious

JeffOK - Gracias for the excellent info.

Offline loribmedia

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Re: Seeking Chopin Recommendations
Reply #8 on: October 27, 2016, 06:20:12 AM
I'm obsessed with the Nocturnes. My favorite recording of them is by Maria Joao Pires.
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