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Topic: Chopin: Impromptu in Gb Major Op. 51 Tempo analysis  (Read 633 times)

Offline archit.anand19

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Hello lovely people of this group! I have heard a lot of renditions of Impromptu III in Gb Major, Op 51 and while the marking suggests Allegro Vivace, there are a lot of concert pianists who have added a somewhat enchanting experience with a more "passive/laidback" feel. I want to try playing this piece, but am a little confused about a couple of things. Would be grateful if anyone could guide me with their insights:
Is there a "hard and fast" or "ideal" approach for tempo/feel when one attempts Chopin's (or anyone's) Impromptu's or is it a blur area, considering the "on-the-spot" essence should be highlighted in a performance? Like, performance practices?
Are there any textbooks/blogs that can share detailed insights on how to approach such works?
Looking forward to some great learnings here. Thanks in advance! I apologise if the above questions sound ridiculous.

Online lelle

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Re: Chopin: Impromptu in Gb Major Op. 51 Tempo analysis
Reply #1 on: May 14, 2021, 09:58:30 PM
I don't think these things have so much to do with playing an impromptu as they have to do with the ranges of bpm that the tempo marks generally cover. This is not a hard rule, but more like a rule of thumb, and you can see some generalized bpm ranges for different tempo markings here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempo#Basic_tempo_markings

Unfortunately modern concert pianists sometimes play things on the slow side, that were often played faster in the past. Here's a pianist who was a student of a student of Chopin if you are curious about a tempo choice from that era:

Offline dw4rn

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Re: Chopin: Impromptu in Gb Major Op. 51 Tempo analysis
Reply #2 on: May 31, 2021, 02:30:32 PM
Another approach would be to look at a number of pieces by Chopin with the marking Allegro or Allegro vivace, to get a feel for what he personally meant by that tempo. If you have a hard time deciding what tempo suits this particular Impromptu, in some of the other pieces it might be more evident, which could provide you with some clues. Always good with some repertoire knowledge. You'll find a number of Etudes are marked Allegro for instance.

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