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Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4? (Read 800 times)

Offline caevon

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Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
« on: April 10, 2021, 03:51:18 AM »
Hi Pianostreet! New to the forum here.

For my new romantic period piece I wanted a slightly longer/larger-scale piece so I was thinking of learning Chopin's Ballade No. 4. My teacher suggested Schumann's g minor sonata for me since she thought I would like it and honestly now I can't choose lol. Both are great pieces and I love them. To me Schumann looks more difficult musically but I haven't played either so I don't know.

To those of you who know both pieces well which one would you suggest to learn first? I'm not sure if experience/repertoire played before might affect your judgement but if it is I will add it.

Piano Street's Digital Sheet Music Library

Schumann: Sonata 2, opus 22
piano sheet music of Sonata 2


Piano Street's Digital Sheet Music Library

Chopin: Ballade 4, opus 52
piano sheet music of Ballade 4


Online lelle

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Re: Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
«Reply #1 on: April 10, 2021, 09:40:21 PM »
Hi and welcome! I have played the 4th ballade and know the Schumann sonata. I would say the ballade is more difficult musically than the Schumann sonata. It's a much more mature piece with a lot of emotional depth to it, and I think it is difficult to make a really convincing and engaging rendition of it. The Schumann sonata has technical difficulties but they are quite different from the challenges of the Ballade.

Both are definitely worth learning! Maybe start out with the Schumann and then tackle the ballade? :)

Offline kc_gracie

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Re: Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
«Reply #2 on: April 21, 2021, 02:31:44 PM »
Hello. Both great pieces! I have only played the Ballade and the first movement of the Sonata. I would believe that the Ballade in F minor would be more difficult in comparison and is pretty notorious in terms of difficulty, particularly the coda. However, I'm sure some people may see it the other way around (potentially), but most people will likely say the Ballade in F minor is harder (I think). Another thing to keep in mind is that the Sonata is longer if you want to learn all of the movements (if that matters to you) and perhaps requires more stamina.

Regardless, I think if you are at the level and feel comfortable tackling either one, I would just say choose the one you enjoy most. This can either be the one you like to listen to the most or perhaps you can work on both briefly to get an idea if they will be pieces you would truly like to learn. I feel that being motivated towards learning a piece can help push you to learn it.

If they are too difficult, but you REALLY want to learn them, make them long term pieces to work on as you also pursue other works.

Personally, my vote goes for the Ballade. It has been one of the most rewarding pieces to learn, and I play it often still. The last few pages, starting with the return to the choral theme, bring me a sense of euphoria and there is nothing else like it (for me).

I hope this helps. Either way, both great works.

-KC

Online lelle

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Re: Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
«Reply #3 on: April 21, 2021, 10:47:38 PM »
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Sonata is longer if you want to learn all of the movements (if that matters to you) and perhaps requires more stamina.

What do you mean with stamina in this context?

Offline visitor

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Re: Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
«Reply #4 on: April 23, 2021, 01:19:12 PM »
Anything you choose would be orders of magnitude better than Bob Schumann

Offline kc_gracie

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Re: Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
«Reply #5 on: April 23, 2021, 07:13:34 PM »
To clarify, I simply just meant that the piece as a whole is significantly longer and perhaps will require more mental concentration for a longer period of time. Not a big factor one way or the other. Just depends on whether the length of the piece is important to you or not.

To be clear, the thing I think is most important, if you are capable of learning either, is just to work on the one that brings you the most joy.

Can't go wrong either way.

-KC

Offline achoo42

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Re: Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
«Reply #6 on: April 26, 2021, 05:13:50 AM »
The Schumann haters on this forum are really something else.

Anyways, play the piece you enjoy more if you can play both. I do suspect that the Schumann G Minor is a bit of a fresher workóChopin 4, while an incredible workóis overplayed in competition. But since you didn't indicate that you plan on competing, I'll leave it up to decide.

About musical difficulty, Schumann's 2nd Sonata is actually probably one of his most straightforward works to grasp and this is a rare instance where the Chopin work actually beats out Schumann in terms of requiring maturity in interpretation. The Schumann will give you more of a general workout, because a lot of it is a frenzy and it's also longer. But the more advanced techniques appear towards the end of the Chopin, while you won't see much in the G Minor that doesn't appear in an advanced Beethoven sonata (which is not true for most of Schumann's large works).

I recommend that you read through both if you haven't already. If you are a big fan of intimate moments, the Schumann will have more, although it clearly contains a lot of virtuosity and "wow" moments. If you are a big fan of sweeping gestures and gorgeous climaxes, the Chopin will have more, although it does have its fair share of intimacy as well.

The 2nd movement of the Schumann is maybe one of the most perfect and touching pieces ever written. I know I would choose the Schumann just based on that 2nd movement alone.

My two cents.

Online lelle

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Re: Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
«Reply #7 on: May 01, 2021, 10:50:18 PM »
Where have you seen any SChumann haters here?  :o

this is a rare instance where the Chopin work actually beats out Schumann in terms of requiring maturity in interpretation.

This is a weird take. Chopin in general tends to be very difficult to play really well as you need access to so much, psychologically, to fully capture the emotional content of his music.

Offline achoo42

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Re: Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
«Reply #8 on: May 19, 2021, 02:51:23 PM »
Quote
Where have you seen any SChumann haters here?  :o

Visitor's post: "Anything you choose would be orders of magnitude better than Bob Schumann"

Quote
This is a weird take. Chopin in general tends to be very difficult to play really well as you need access to so much, psychologically, to fully capture the emotional content of his music.

It's not a weird take. It's commonly accepted that Schumann is possibly the most difficult mainstream composer to interpret and communicate to the audience. This is due to his weird structure, lack of ear-catching melodies, and lack of virtuosity.

That is not to say that Chopin doesn't usually require maturity to play well, but his music has enough nice melodies and virtuoso parts that even a classically-ignorant audience can appreciate. This is not at all true for Schumann.


Offline mjames

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Re: Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
«Reply #9 on: May 19, 2021, 03:35:49 PM »
Anything you choose would be orders of magnitude better than Bob Schumann

The only Schumann anyone should be playing is Clara Schumann, and that is still cutting it too close considering what she and her hubby did to ruin our poor boy Brahms.

Offline visitor

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Re: Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
«Reply #10 on: May 20, 2021, 02:01:29 PM »
The only Schumann anyone should be playing is Clara Schumann, and that is still cutting it too close considering what she and her hubby did to ruin our poor boy Brahms.

Winner winner chicken dinner reponse!

Online lelle

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Re: Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
«Reply #11 on: May 20, 2021, 10:11:25 PM »
The only Schumann anyone should be playing is Clara Schumann, and that is still cutting it too close considering what she and her hubby did to ruin our poor boy Brahms.

What did they do to ruin our poor boy Brahms?

Offline pcaraganis

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Re: Schumann g minor sonata vs Chopin Ballade #4?
«Reply #12 on: June 15, 2021, 03:08:45 AM »
Anything you choose would be orders of magnitude better than Bob Schumann

definitely going to start calling him Bob Schumann now