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Preparing for Chopin's 1st Ballade, op. 23 (Read 682 times)

Offline elena00

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Preparing for Chopin's 1st Ballade, op. 23
« on: October 26, 2020, 09:33:48 PM »
Hello everyone!
My name is Elena and I've been playing the piano for quite a while now - it's been 8 years since i started, but I've never taken it too seriously. When I heard Chopin's Ballade for the first time, I played it again and again, it really touched me, that's why I set myself a goal - to learn to play it in 2 years. I am willing to practise as much as possible and I think it would be a little easier to learn considering how much I love the piece, however I realise it is insanely difficult in terms of required technique, stamina and musicality, which I don't think I have. I wondered if you could recommend me pieces to play to prepare for the ballade, for example etudes, sonatas, something that is going to really increase my abilities. I do take lessons with a teacher. I have played a couple of Chopin's pieces - some waltzes, nocturnes, the Holy Fantaisie-Impromptu and the "Torrent" etude (op. 10 no. 4). I also do technical exersices. For me, it's best to continue learning the etudes, but also some longer pieces, because I don't have much experience with them. Do you have any suggestions? I'd love to hear them!

Offline mjames

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Re: Preparing for Chopin's 1st Ballade, op. 23
«Reply #1 on: October 26, 2020, 11:48:33 PM »
What a waste of time. Just learn the piece and use what's in it to learn it. Really the only section that requires "stamina/endurance" is the coda, everything else is pretty standard for someone who's been playing for 8 years. You don't need multiple pieces for it, just get into it right away.

If you want to learn his etudes, do it, but don't do it to "prepare" for other works because Chopin's etudes can be pretty tedious during the learning process and they're concert pieces in their own right.

Offline quantum

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Re: Preparing for Chopin's 1st Ballade, op. 23
«Reply #2 on: October 27, 2020, 03:57:47 AM »
What mjames said.

You prepare to learn these larger works by actually learning the work itself.  Don't give yourself two years, what happens when those two years are over, do you stop learning?  Set the goal of simply learning the piece. You might get it to an acceptable standard to where you would perform it for others within two years, but you certainly don't stop learning the piece - it grows with you over an entire lifetime of playing music. 

There is a lot of material in this piece to really dig into.  After the technical challenges have been taken care of, then comes the musical challenges.  Thinking about what you actually want to say about the piece. 

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline elena00

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Re: Preparing for Chopin's 1st Ballade, op. 23
«Reply #3 on: October 27, 2020, 05:33:09 AM »
What mjames said.

You prepare to learn these larger works by actually learning the work itself.  Don't give yourself two years, what happens when those two years are over, do you stop learning?  Set the goal of simply learning the piece. You might get it to an acceptable standard to where you would perform it for others within two years, but you certainly don't stop learning the piece - it grows with you over an entire lifetime of playing music. 

There is a lot of material in this piece to really dig into.  After the technical challenges have been taken care of, then comes the musical challenges.  Thinking about what you actually want to say about the piece.

Thank you a lot!

Offline elena00

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Re: Preparing for Chopin's 1st Ballade, op. 23
«Reply #4 on: October 27, 2020, 05:35:16 AM »
What a waste of time. Just learn the piece and use what's in it to learn it. Really the only section that requires "stamina/endurance" is the coda, everything else is pretty standard for someone who's been playing for 8 years. You don't need multiple pieces for it, just get into it right away.

If you want to learn his etudes, do it, but don't do it to "prepare" for other works because Chopin's etudes can be pretty tedious during the learning process and they're concert pieces in their own right.

This actually boosted my confidence 😎 Thank you for the advice!

Offline siiben

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Re: Preparing for Chopin's 1st Ballade, op. 23
«Reply #5 on: November 30, 2020, 12:30:23 PM »
What a waste of time. Just learn the piece and use what's in it to learn it. Really the only section that requires "stamina/endurance" is the coda, everything else is pretty standard for someone who's been playing for 8 years. You don't need multiple pieces for it, just get into it right away.

Agree with everything apart from the "pretty standard" bit. Those quick octave chords are a nightmare to get up to tempo. Or maybe I was just born slow.