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Barenboim on Chopin’s Ballade no. 1

Chopin inspires musicians to greater artistry and, as Barenboim says in this video, makes them want to sound as if the music is simply emanating from them as light from a candle. In this ballade, Chopin also takes us on a leisurely stroll through his own private musical world. Read more >>

Poll
Question: which group of pieces did you personally find harder?
chopin's ballades - 3 (50%)
beethoven's biggest 2nd period sonatas(op 57, 51, 81a) - 2 (33.3%)
the harder of the mozart sonatas(k.457, 310, 576, 284) - 1 (16.7%)
Total Voters: 6

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Author Topic: i'm sorry for making yet another one of these. but...  (Read 572 times)
sumpianodude
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« on: January 09, 2017, 02:39:47 AM »

just wanted to know.

please don't kill me!  Lips Sealed
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georgey
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 03:05:41 AM »

I don't play piano but my thoughts are:
Typo: Op. 53 for Beethoven, not op. 51
I would say that any at least 2 of the Ballades (Ballade #4 and #1) are harder than any single movement of the Beethoven , but I think it would be about as hard or harder to learn all 3 of the Sonatas as all 4 of the Ballades.  There is almost twice as much music in the Beethoven.  The Mozart would be easiest by far even though there are 4 sonatas.  See what piano players say.

I voted Chopin because of the difficulties of #4 and #1.  I was going to change this to Beethoven but I can't so I'll stick with Chopin.
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stevensk
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2017, 12:21:37 PM »


"i'm sorry for making yet another one of these. but..."

-Dont do it again! Never!  Wink
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preludetr
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2017, 12:54:45 PM »

I don't play piano but my thoughts are:
Typo: Op. 53 for Beethoven, not op. 51
I would say that any at least 2 of the Ballades (Ballade #4 and #1) are harder than any single movement of the Beethoven , but I think it would be about as hard or harder to learn all 3 of the Sonatas as all 4 of the Ballades.  There is almost twice as much music in the Beethoven.  The Mozart would be easiest by far even though there are 4 sonatas.  See what piano players say.

I voted Chopin because of the difficulties of #4 and #1.  I was going to change this to Beethoven but I can't so I'll stick with Chopin.



I find the Waldstein 3rd movement technically harder than the first Ballade.
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sumpianodude
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2017, 01:10:32 AM »



I find the Waldstein 3rd movement technically harder than the first Ballade.
won't argue with you there. i personally think however that the 4th ballade look like the single hardest "movement" of any of the listed peices. even though beethoven is much longer, i feel like getting just a few of those runs would take a lot longer than many beethoven/mozart excerpts.
i'm currently working on op81a beethoven and the 3rd mvt does have a few parts that are very difficult technically, and even harder to balance.
i get that technical and musical challenged differ, what are your takes on each?

 
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georgey
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2017, 01:30:39 AM »



I find the Waldstein 3rd movement technically harder than the first Ballade.

I guess I was assuming the usual simplification to avoid the glissando of octaves. 
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georgey
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2017, 03:08:58 AM »

I spent the last 30 minutes coming up with a mathematical formula to answer this question.  Wink  This formula only works for composers born from 1750 to 1833.  This is just a general formula and does not work in all cases.  For example Beethoven Hammerklavier sonata is much more difficult than this formula implies.

The total difficulty score of the composer’s work(s) in question is 1000 times the product of A, B, C, and D defined as follows:

A = 1 – (1850 – composer year of birth)/130  (example for Beethoven 1 – (1850-1770)/130 = . 0.384615385

B = How difficult is the composers music in general to play relative to his contemporaries.  1.0 means he is the most difficult composer relative to his contemporaries.

C = How difficult is the composition(s) in question relative to the composer’s most difficult work.  1.0 means the composition in question is the most difficult work of the composer.

D = How long does it take to play the composition(s) (time in hours).

Note, for values B and C, I assign the values of .95 and .9 respectively for each of the 3 composers (this is just my wild guess).

For the 4 Mozart sonatas in question (1.2 hours of music):
A = 0.276923077, B =.95, C = 0.90, D = 1.2
Total difficulty score equals 1000xAxBxCxD = 284

For the 3 Beethoven sonatas in question (1.1 hours of music):
A=0.384615385, B = 0.95, C = 0.90, D = 1.1
Total difficulty score equals 1000xAxBxCxD = 362

For the 4 Chopin Ballades in question (0.53 hours of music):
A = 0.692307692, B = 0.95, C=0.90, D=0.53
Total difficulty score equals 1000xAxBxCxD = 314

So Beethoven wins with 362 difficulty points, Chopin is second with 314 difficulty point and Mozart is easiest with 284 difficulty points.  Wink


EDIT:  This formula is intended to be silly and I was hoping this was obvious.  For example, if formula is used, note that parameter C of the pieces being compared need to be all fairly close to each (within .5 of each other).  Otherwise you end up with extremely silly results such as playing 10 minutes of very easy Beethoven is as hard as playing 1 minute of very hard Beethoven.
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sumpianodude
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 03:17:16 AM »

I spent the last 30 minutes coming up with a mathematical formula to answer this question.  Wink  This formula only works for composers born from 1750 to 1850.  This is just a general formula and does not work in all cases.  For example Beethoven Hammerklavier sonata is much more difficult than this formula implies.

The total difficulty score of the composer’s work(s) in question is 1000 times the product of A, B, C, and D defined as follows:

A = 1 – (1850 – composer year of birth)/130  (example for Beethoven 1 – (1850-1770)/130 = . 0.384615385
B = How difficult is the composers music in general to play relative to his contemporaries.  1.0 means he is the most difficult composer relative to his contemporaries.
C = How difficult is the composition(s) in question relative to the composer’s most difficult work.  1.0 means the composition in question is the most difficult work of the composer.
D = How long does it take to play the composition(s) (time in hours).

Note, for values B and C, I assign the values of .95 for each of the 3 composers (this is just my wild guess).

For the 4 Mozart sonatas in question (1.2 hours of music):
A = 0.276923077, B =.95, C = 0.95, D = 1.2
Total difficulty score equals 1000xAxBxCxD = 300

For the 3 Beethoven sonatas in question (1.1 hours of music):
A=0.384615385 B = 0.95 C = 0.95 D = 1.1
Total difficulty score equals 1000xAxBxCxD = 382

For the 4 Chopin Ballades in question (0.53 hours of music):
A = 0.692307692, B = 0.95, C=0.95, D=0.53
Total difficulty score equals 1000xAxBxCxD = 331

So Beethoven wins with 382 difficulty points, Chopin is second with 331 difficulty point and Mozart is easiest with 300 difficulty points.  Wink



i am impressed that you were able to come up with such an interesting formula for this. it's a shame that only a few souls in the world will the this mathematical and musical masterpiece!...  Tongue
i think you also have to make the pieces seperate on the formulas or something???...
only problem i have if the fact that we can't make a scale for B and C lol
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georgey
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2017, 03:38:20 AM »

i am impressed that you were able to come up with such an interesting formula for this. it's a shame that only a few souls in the world will the this mathematical and musical masterpiece!...  Tongue
i think you also have to make the pieces seperate on the formulas or something???...
only problem i have if the fact that we can't make a scale for B and C lol


Thanks.  I was just being silly actually.  But you are correct.  To do this better I should look at each piece (each movement) individually and come up with a score for that movement and then sum up all the scores for the composer.  I made a last second adjustment and adjusted parameter C from .95 to .90 for each of the 3 composers so the scores changed a little.  Beethoven still wins with Chopin at #2.

EDIT:  The method above assumes all the pieces in question AVERAGE to .90 for parameter C.  If I looked at each movement individually, parameter C would need to be adjusted for each of the movements.  Note that parameter D is time so the score for the movement will reflect a change in parameter D also.
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preludetr
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2017, 05:27:51 AM »

I guess I was assuming the usual simplification to avoid the glissando of octaves. 

I play the glissando on some pianos without any real difficulty. There are several other spots in that movement that give me a lot of trouble.
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georgey
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2017, 05:50:50 AM »

I play the glissando on some pianos without any real difficulty. There are several other spots in that movement that give me a lot of trouble.

That’s impressive.  To play it reliably with good, even pianissimo sound and no injury seems extremely difficult to me.  I always admire the Ashkenazy recording playing the glissando.
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ronde_des_sylphes
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2017, 10:47:59 AM »

It's been a long time since I worked seriously on any of these, but: in truth I don't find the first or third ballades difficult. I remember finding some issues with the rh double notes in 2 but would have to go back and re-examine it to see if I still do. 4 I found irritatingly intricate in places and I've always had respect for it, at least as much for its musical merit as anything else. The Waldstein I played at 16 and the gliss octaves were by far the biggest problem - funnily I think op.2 no.3 is harder. A bit of stamina called for in the Waldstein, but nowhere near the difficulty of some Liszt, for example. The Appassionata I really like but other than some points in the last movement, again not hugely difficult. The last movement of op.81 has a propensity to go wrong. I'd put it approximately equal as most difficult with the fourth ballade but for different reasons.
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