Piano Forum

New Feature: Live Streamed Piano Recitals
With music venues on lock down across the world and many of us spending a lot more time at home, we can now enjoy the growing supply of concerts via live stream to watch from home on our TV, computer or smartphone. Piano Street has launced a new feature to help you keep track of upcoming livestreamed piano events. Watch the new ticker on our homepage! Read more >>

Topic: Pedaling in Chopin Waltzes  (Read 1235 times)

Offline billybraga

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 16
Pedaling in Chopin Waltzes
on: March 31, 2021, 01:34:12 AM
Hi, im currently learning Chopin's Grande Valse Brillante, and im kinda confused on how can i handle the pedal on it.  Actually, whats the right way to put the pedal in general Chopins waltzes? (in a way that the interpretation dont get too embarrassed or too dry)  :-\

Offline ranjit

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1317
Re: Pedaling in Chopin Waltzes
Reply #1 on: March 31, 2021, 02:12:32 AM
I'm curious about the answer to this too. Every time I sit down with a Chopin waltz, I feel like a different kind of pedaling works! ;D

Online j_tour

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3344
Re: Pedaling in Chopin Waltzes
Reply #2 on: March 31, 2021, 05:32:02 AM
I don't know, but I finally bought the hardcopy of Cortot's student edition of the Préludes and the Waltzes.

It's not an authoritative edition like the Ekier, I guess, but it seems pretty straightforward to me. 

At a glance, I think you could just hit the pedal once per bar on the Op. 18.  It is marked "vivo," and there's not, again, at a glance, a good deal of chromatic tones. 

I'd just do that.  And probably will before too long.
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline dw4rn

  • PS Gold Member
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 154
Re: Pedaling in Chopin Waltzes
Reply #3 on: March 31, 2021, 09:25:42 AM
I suspect billybraga (and ranjit, and a lot of other people including myself..) is after a slightly more detailed answer. However, I doubt that anyone will be able to be able to give us a "right way" so we all then go and pedal perfectly ever after.
Yes, I am sure hit the pedal once per bar will work fine, but exactly when do you hit and release it? I think this is an excellent occasion to study several great recordings of the waltzes and really try to figure out what they are doing. Can I just rephrase the original question a little and ask if anyone would like to point out a pianist who has really virtuoso pedal treatment in the Chopin Waltzes, and why do you think so?

Offline apmapmapm

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 56
Re: Pedaling in Chopin Waltzes
Reply #4 on: April 14, 2021, 08:07:15 AM
I will attempt a proper reply at this since I've played several of these for many years.
The first issue we come across is EDITION. Whether it's Paderewski or Cortot, or urtext editions, the pedaling seems to be fairly similar across all editions.
The second issue is articulations. This would have to be compared from one to the other. Articulations are often critical pointers as to when it would be appropriate to get one's foot off the pedal.
Generally speaking, if the down beat has a staccato note, as in the op. 18 waltz, then surely the pedal should be off when striking that note/chord, or* at the very least some 1/2 pedaling could be employed.
In many spots a single 3/4 bar in LH has just one chord, with the usual down beat note/chord followed by two chords higher up. This pattern in Chopin's waltzes is a good indicator of what pedaling should be like (one harmony per bar many times). Again, I do believe that articulations should at least be a factor in determining this.
As a last point - one's instrument can be far too resonant with pedal on, and that means that one should be really trying to employ 1/2 pedaling much more. I've played on a few Yamahas where even in a single 3/4 bar with no chord change in LH the sound becomes muddy immediately; this even worse if RH is in the middle treble range where sustaining them just adds to the mess.

For now, I would suggest Cortot's edition, or even Paderewski's (good for the Nocturnes and Polonaises). Henle editions and Ekier ones are quite good in my opinion also.
I would stay away for now from Schirmer or Ricordi editions which many times introduce errors or corrections without much explanation; and pedaling marks are often found to be editorial. Other editions by students of Chopin like Mikuli or Klindworth (Liszt student) are of interest many times because of textual differences, but not necessarily pedaling.
I am open to any more questions and I'm more than glad to check my library for any of you.

Logo light pianostreet.com - the website for classical pianists, piano teachers, students and piano music enthusiasts.

Subscribe for unlimited access

Sign up

Follow us

Piano Street Digicert