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Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece (Read 780 times)

Offline fredviner

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Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
« on: June 09, 2021, 04:03:08 PM »
Ah, Chopin - the great melodist! He's always good for a bel canto tune or polish dance rhythm, isn't he...? Join me as I investigate what is arguably Chopin's most dissonant piece: the Finale of Sonata No. 2, Op. 35.


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Chopin: Sonata 2, opus 35
piano sheet music of Sonata 2


Offline lelle

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #1 on: June 09, 2021, 04:38:41 PM »
I would argue Scherzo no 1 fits the bill quite well. It gets pretty crunchy in places and is overall pretty morbid.

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #2 on: June 09, 2021, 05:19:24 PM »
Chopin's prelude #2 - which I quite like.  Here he is pushing pretty strongly - imo - and expanding the harmonic conventions of the time period. To me - it is a glimpse into modernism - which would start to come in some half-century later.
A wonderful and difficult film by Bergman called "Autumn Sonata" uses this piece (a perfect choice) - which characterizes much about the emotional difficulty (explored so deeply - gut wrenching) in this film.
4'33"

Offline fredviner

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #3 on: June 10, 2021, 02:23:46 PM »
I would argue Scherzo no 1 fits the bill quite well. It gets pretty crunchy in places and is overall pretty morbid.
Absolutely. All that crunchiness makes the Polish Christmas Song in the middle all the more poignant...

Offline fredviner

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #4 on: June 10, 2021, 02:24:31 PM »
Chopin's prelude #2 - which I quite like.  Here he is pushing pretty strongly - imo - and expanding the harmonic conventions of the time period. To me - it is a glimpse into modernism - which would start to come in some half-century later.
A wonderful and difficult film by Bergman called "Autumn Sonata" uses this piece (a perfect choice) - which characterizes much about the emotional difficulty (explored so deeply - gut wrenching) in this film.

I'll have to check out that film!

Offline brogers70

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #5 on: June 10, 2021, 04:59:31 PM »
I love that movement. There's a bit in the crucifixion scene from Jesus Christ Superstar that has always sounded to me as though it were a quotation from, or at least an allusion to, that movement.

Offline mjames

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #6 on: June 10, 2021, 05:05:36 PM »
The ending to Chopin's 4th ballade has some pretty heavy chromaticism.

Offline lelle

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #7 on: June 10, 2021, 05:28:28 PM »
Not sure I agree chromatiscism equals dissonance, though. Chromatic is chromatic, dissonant is dissonant. Chromatic music can sometimes be dissonant, but also completely consonant.

Offline quantum

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #8 on: June 10, 2021, 11:12:50 PM »
I love that movement. There's a bit in the crucifixion scene from Jesus Christ Superstar that has always sounded to me as though it were a quotation from, or at least an allusion to, that movement.

Would you mind expanding on this?  I'd like to know more.
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 brogers70

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #9 on: June 11, 2021, 11:13:57 AM »
Would you mind expanding on this?  I'd like to know more.

Listen to the piano part in this excerpt. I actually had not listened to either the Chopin Sonata or Jesus Christ Superstar for many decades, but I remember hearing them both a few months apart back in the 70's and thinking they were similar. On listening again, I think it's not a quotation, but maybe a bit of an allusion - Jesus' death and a movement from the "Funeral March" sonata. Maybe it's all in my head, but it struck me back then.


Offline quantum

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #10 on: June 11, 2021, 10:05:43 PM »
Listen to the piano part in this excerpt. I actually had not listened to either the Chopin Sonata or Jesus Christ Superstar for many decades, but I remember hearing them both a few months apart back in the 70's and thinking they were similar. On listening again, I think it's not a quotation, but maybe a bit of an allusion - Jesus' death and a movement from the "Funeral March" sonata. Maybe it's all in my head, but it struck me back then.

Thanks.  I hear now what you are talking about.  Haven't made that connection before though.

Actually, I played JCS as a pianist many years ago.  When it came to rehearsing Crucifixion, many of the musicians were like ? ? ? ? ?  The score gives mostly outlines and cues, with a few chords at certain points.  There is a lot that is left up to the individual musicians.  I believe one is supposed to reference the recording to get into the right "sound" of 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 anacrusis

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #11 on: June 12, 2021, 09:47:31 PM »
Thanks.  I hear now what you are talking about.  Haven't made that connection before though.

Actually, I played JCS as a pianist many years ago.  When it came to rehearsing Crucifixion, many of the musicians were like ? ? ? ? ?  The score gives mostly outlines and cues, with a few chords at certain points.  There is a lot that is left up to the individual musicians.  I believe one is supposed to reference the recording to get into the right "sound" of the piece.

Sounds like that would be a challenge to many of us classical musicians who are used to being bound to a score!

Offline calculaepp

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #12 on: June 24, 2021, 04:33:59 AM »
Not sure I agree chromatiscism equals dissonance, though. Chromatic is chromatic, dissonant is dissonant. Chromatic music can sometimes be dissonant, but also completely consonant.

Like Etude Op. 10 no. 2? ;)

Offline lelle

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Re: Chopin's Most Dissonant Piece
«Reply #13 on: June 24, 2021, 11:52:01 PM »
Like Etude Op. 10 no. 2? ;)

Yeah! I guess there is some mild dissonance here and there in that one, but it certainly does not leave that impression on the ear. Was that what you had in mind? :)