\"\"
Piano Forum logo

chopin etude op 10 1 (Read 480 times)

Offline strau1

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 5
chopin etude op 10 1
« on: February 16, 2021, 09:54:40 PM »
Hello everyone,

I recently decided to return to practicing the daunting Chopin etude op 10 no 1. For reference I'm playing on a Petrof upright with an unforgivingly heavy action. I am just wondering what in the world I can do to make the right hand sound more smooth and effortless. Is this piece simply beyond my technical and emotional capacities? Can it get to a respectable performance level?

Best,
S

Offline sdphins

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 23
Re: chopin etude op 10 1
«Reply #1 on: February 17, 2021, 06:00:32 AM »
[Chopin] bade me practice it in the mornings very slowly. 'Cette étude vous fera du bien'(This etude will do you good), he said. 'If you study it as I intended it, it widens the hand and enables you to play runs of wide broken chords, like bow strokes. But often, unfortunately, instead of making people learn all that, it makes people unlearn it.' I am quite aware that it is a generally prevalent error, even in our day, that one can only play this study well when one possesses a very large hand. But this is not the case, only a supple hand is required.
-Quote is from a pupil of Chopin.

I find tons of slow practice helpful as well as using the 2nd finger as a pivot for the hand rather than the middle.

I don't know how much of a help this was though. :-\

Offline dw4rn

  • PS Gold Member
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 109
Re: chopin etude op 10 1
«Reply #2 on: February 17, 2021, 07:27:31 AM »
hello and welcome!

I find your effort promising, so yes I think you will be able to play it respectably well.

I find tons of slow practice helpful as well as using the 2nd finger as a pivot for the hand rather than the middle.

I agree, and would like to add that I think it's useful to practice this quite softly with a very light touch. But the most valuable advice is the one from Chopin about a supple hand, moving freely at the wrist.

Offline strau1

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 5
Re: chopin etude op 10 1
«Reply #3 on: February 17, 2021, 07:35:06 AM »
I am sincerely grateful for both of your very helpful feedback(s). I took up a couple of Chopin etudes in college, learning them myself by virtue of my passion for the music. I've been fumbling with the technique as a result of my failure to practice diligently as a child. I think the advice of practicing slowly, intently, with an eye towards legato and softness, is something I will profit from.

Right now I am working on (slowly) the first movement to Rachmaninoff's beautiful first sonata, and I think that working through old etudes of mine will be at once hygienic and worthwhile. Best wishes to all.

Offline anacrusis

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 361
Re: chopin etude op 10 1
«Reply #4 on: February 17, 2021, 03:18:38 PM »
This is one of those Etudes that is just extremely unforgiving. It is possible to play it without effort even on heavy grands but it is very difficult if there are any tensions or inefficiently coordinated movements in your technique. If your thumb is a bit tense when the other fingers play, you are dead. If your 2nd finger is a bit tense when the other fingers play, you are dead. If your 3rd finger is a bit tense when the other fingers play, you are dead. If there are tensions hindering any of your fingers from moving efficiently, you are dead. You get my drift. You need to have a very supple hand and arm at all times, and that means having relaxed shoulders, upper body, neck and even legs too.

Offline strau1

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 5
Re: chopin etude op 10 1
«Reply #5 on: February 17, 2021, 08:56:17 PM »
This is one of those Etudes that is just extremely unforgiving. It is possible to play it without effort even on heavy grands but it is very difficult if there are any tensions or inefficiently coordinated movements in your technique. If your thumb is a bit tense when the other fingers play, you are dead. If your 2nd finger is a bit tense when the other fingers play, you are dead. If your 3rd finger is a bit tense when the other fingers play, you are dead. If there are tensions hindering any of your fingers from moving efficiently, you are dead. You get my drift. You need to have a very supple hand and arm at all times, and that means having relaxed shoulders, upper body, neck and even legs too.

Is this hitting the mark more? This is today. I flubbed the end because I forgot how it went memorized.

Offline anacrusis

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 361
Re: chopin etude op 10 1
«Reply #6 on: February 17, 2021, 09:14:02 PM »
It seems cleaner! Keep in mind that you may have to be very patient with this Etude, and come back to it many times. It took me six years from when I started working on it to develop my technique so I could play it in tempo without fatigue.

Offline strau1

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 5
Re: chopin etude op 10 1
«Reply #7 on: February 17, 2021, 09:25:16 PM »
Yeah my hands certainly feel a bit lighter. Chopin etudes are a blessing: they are at once masterful educations on proper playing with feeling and technique, and they are also masterpieces that are valuable in and of themselves (and not just the technical skills they confer on their students). It is a bit of an uphill battle for me , though,  because essentially each new piece I approach I have to basically learn the technique necessary for unlocking the piece's beauty from scratch, since I don't have a proper technical education. There are obvious benefits to this highly piece-specific technique -- but there are also obvious drawbacks and its very easy for me to get discouraged and give it up. Currently learning rach sonata 1, so we'll see where that goes (every time I listen to rach 3 mvt 3 played by horowitz, where his fingers essentially majestically flap on the keys and produce exceptional beauty, I think, what's the point in even trying...)