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Topic: Rep./Exercises which necessary before leaning Chopinís and Rachmaninovís Etudes?  (Read 2142 times)

Offline pierusskiy

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Greetings!

My teacher told me that learning Etudes or Studies doesn't require me to learn any other repertoire before.

As long as I have a technique for playing for each etude then I can start learning it.

E.G. Chopinís Etude Op. 10 No. 1
I had to learn the basics of arpeggio and play it well before I started learning it.
Do you think this is enough to get started?

I found Rachmaninovís Etudes-Tableaux Op.33 and Op.39 are more advance than Chopinís (or not? Maybe Iím wrong) I have no idea about it.

I practice classical piano seriously for 6-7 months, so I didnít learn a lot of repertoire before. In the past, I only practiced JS Bach for my repertoire.

How about your opinions? Thanks in advance.

Offline ranjit

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As long as I have a technique for playing for each etude then I can start learning it.
The problem is that you don't acquire the technique for playing each etude so easily. Basically if you've mastered arpeggio movement, hand positioning and shifting the arm, playing with a loose wrist and steady fingers etc, then you can play op 10 no 1. But all of that will take several years and a lot of exercises/repertoire pieces to learn.

Offline lelle

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Greetings!

My teacher told me that learning Etudes or Studies doesn't require me to learn any other repertoire before.

As long as I have a technique for playing for each etude then I can start learning it.

E.G. Chopinís Etude Op. 10 No. 1
I had to learn the basics of apegio and play it well before I started learning it.
Do you think this is enough to get started?

I found Rachmaninovís Etudes-Tableaux Op.33 and Op.39 are more advance than Chopinís (or not? Maybe Iím wrong) I have no idea about it.

I practice classical piano seriously for 6-7 months, so I didnít learn a lot of repertoire before. In the past, I only practiced JS Bach for my repertoire.

How about your opinions? Thanks in advance.

I think it would be better to play some repertoire before attempting Op 10 no 1. You could learn the basics of arpeggio through a combination of exercises supervised by your teacher and repertoire. But I'd expect to wait a couple of years before playing Op 10 no 1, if you have played for 6-7 months. It's a very advanced piece.

Offline visitor

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Offline nightwindsonata

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Greetings!

My teacher told me that learning Etudes or Studies doesn't require me to learn any other repertoire before.

As long as I have a technique for playing for each etude then I can start learning it.

E.G. Chopinís Etude Op. 10 No. 1
I had to learn the basics of arpeggio and play it well before I started learning it.
Do you think this is enough to get started?

I found Rachmaninovís Etudes-Tableaux Op.33 and Op.39 are more advance than Chopinís (or not? Maybe Iím wrong) I have no idea about it.

I practice classical piano seriously for 6-7 months, so I didnít learn a lot of repertoire before. In the past, I only practiced JS Bach for my repertoire.

How about your opinions? Thanks in advance.

What is your end goal for the Etudes? If you are playing them for study and technique, as I did, then any of them are approachable with enough slow practice (except maybe Op. 25 No. 11), and they will do wonders for your technique, especially if you have a teacher to guide you. If your goal is to perform them, then first off I recommend you *don't*, because the Chopin Etudes are pretty horrifyingly difficult to pull off in concert (I only know of one student at my school--a doctoral student who has since graduated--who played any Chopin Etudes in concert, and even then it was only one). The Rachmaninoff Etudes are much better concert pieces in that regard, but they don't benefit your technique as much. If you have your heart set on playing one specific etude in concert, then I would recommend you start with one of the easier ones (Op. 10 No. 9, for instance) and work on it slowly, from the ground up. For context, I have played five of them, and the only ones I ever performed in my studio class were the Op. 10 No. 9 and No. 12; I have never had the chutzpah to get Op. 10 No. 1, No. 4, or Op. 25 No. 6 up to concert level.
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Offline arda152

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It makes me happy that you practiced lots of Bach until now. I once heard the myth that Chopin himself was actually working on Bach before playing recitals with his own pieces...

Take a look at Alfred Cortot's "Editions de Travail" He discusses the technical aspects of all Etudes and gives specific exercises to all of them. This is probably what you are looking for, since you don't want to practice technique in a vacuum (good mentality) and looking for ways to improve your repertoire with challenging pieces (even better mentality)

I played etudes both from Rachmaninov and Chopin, and I don't think one can talk about a very specific order of difficulty at this high level. (Except for obvious ones like Chopin Op. 10 No. 3, but come on, that's also a lot of work before you achieve a musical expression) The most difficult etude will be the one you hate the most. So ask the question like: Which virtuoso etude do I love the most at the moment?

I hope this helps :)

Offline pierusskiy

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What is your end goal for the Etudes? If you are playing them for study and technique, as I did, then any of them are approachable with enough slow practice (except maybe Op. 25 No. 11), and they will do wonders for your technique, especially if you have a teacher to guide you. If your goal is to perform them, then first off I recommend you *don't*, because the Chopin Etudes are pretty horrifyingly difficult to pull off in concert (I only know of one student at my school--a doctoral student who has since graduated--who played any Chopin Etudes in concert, and even then it was only one). The Rachmaninoff Etudes are much better concert pieces in that regard, but they don't benefit your technique as much. If you have your heart set on playing one specific etude in concert, then I would recommend you start with one of the easier ones (Op. 10 No. 9, for instance) and work on it slowly, from the ground up. For context, I have played five of them, and the only ones I ever performed in my studio class were the Op. 10 No. 9 and No. 12; I have never had the chutzpah to get Op. 10 No. 1, No. 4, or Op. 25 No. 6 up to concert level.

Thank you for the advice.

I would like to practice Chopinís Etudes because I like and I think it's one of the most important piano works.

I also want to take the audition exam to the music conservatory in the next 2-4 years.
Now I think I shouldn't be in a rush to learn these works. I'm afraid I might be injured because I haven't been able to meet a teacher who can help me about this.

I said I want to enter to a music conservatory. I'm 18 and I'm in my bachelor's degree (Iím not majoring in Arts or Music) I feel that I have too limited time to learn other repertoire enough to be able to start learning Chopinís Etudes. So I would like to know the advice of other pianists about it.

My thoughts may seem strange or out of the priority:(

Offline pierusskiy

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It makes me happy that you practiced lots of Bach until now. I once heard the myth that Chopin himself was actually working on Bach before playing recitals with his own pieces...

Take a look at Alfred Cortot's "Editions de Travail" He discusses the technical aspects of all Etudes and gives specific exercises to all of them. This is probably what you are looking for, since you don't want to practice technique in a vacuum (good mentality) and looking for ways to improve your repertoire with challenging pieces (even better mentality)

I played etudes both from Rachmaninov and Chopin, and I don't think one can talk about a very specific order of difficulty at this high level. (Except for obvious ones like Chopin Op. 10 No. 3, but come on, that's also a lot of work before you achieve a musical expression) The most difficult etude will be the one you hate the most. So ask the question like: Which virtuoso etude do I love the most at the moment?

I hope this helps :)

Thank you so much!

Offline fftransform

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Nobody really addressed this part: Your idea that the Rach etudes are harder than the Chopin ones is definitely wrong, especially with regards to Op. 33.  For the most part they're much easier.  Actually, they're even some of his more careful writing in terms of hand size, since he kinda had technique on the mind.

For the Op. 33, I would only expect to have a lot of problems in #5, and if you have smaller hands to have problems with the RH octave chord tremolo in #8 (the LH figures look scary, but I think you'll find them not nearly as bad as they look), maybe the mid-point climax in #8 as well there is a very fast LH passage but it's only a couple measures.  Apart from that you'll only encounter a few 'transcendentally difficult' measures here or there, they're quite reasonable compared to the Chopin.

Op. 39 is another story, it's a huge leap up in scale and technique.  #3 is comparable to Chopin's double notes etudes in the opening/ending sections, it asks for more speed compared to them though the double-notes come in smaller bursts.  #6 is comparable in difficulty to the very hardest Chopin etudes - I think most people will say it's harder than any single Chopin etude, even 25/6 or 10/2 - and getting on toward Feux Follets in difficulty.  #5/7/9 have a lot of leaping around into large chords, and #8 is another unfriendly double-notes etude.  They're mostly harder because they're just so . . . big.  These are mammoth pieces compared to the Chopin Etudes, so (with #3/6/8 aside) even if they're not as consistently 'technical' as the Chopin Etudes their scope will make them nearly as tough.

Anyway, I wouldn't approach Op. 39 as a full set unless you do have bigger hands (i.e. your 10ths are over the keys), he was much less caring about that in his second set.  But Op. 33 as a set is definitely considerably easier to bite off than either of the Chopin books.  Even I can play 33-8 if that's the one that scares you, and I have skinny bird-wrists and no tenth =P  It's really not a big deal.  If you go for Op. 33 then expect #5 to be as hard as 'all the other ones put together,' I really think that's an honest assessment, focus on #5 relentlessly.

I wouldn't say that learning one set is gonna help you a whole lot with learning another one, though.  Also, don't forget that Rach's Op. 23 and Op. 32 are also equally wonderful choices, maybe even better.  They are often comparable to the Op. 33 in difficulty, just a bit less . . . chunky.  Selecting 6 or 8 of your favorite preludes would probably be more of a 'warming into' the Chopin than his etudes tbh, they're actually closer in character usually.

Here's a really good perf with 'full Rach sound' from some smaller hands btw, just to prove my point.  Look at his octaves, defo small for a male concert pianist, but you will have no problem finishing this one to performance standard.  The sound comes naturally from the writing, thankfully:

Offline thirtytwo2020

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I would like to practice Chopinís Etudes because I like and I think it's one of the most important piano works.

I also want to take the audition exam to the music conservatory in the next 2-4 years.
Now I think I shouldn't be in a rush to learn these works. I'm afraid I might be injured because I haven't been able to meet a teacher who can help me about this.

Do you know what repertoire will be required for the audition to music conservatory? I would think Chopin or Rachmaninov etudes are rarely mandatory at that stage.

You write that you haven't been able to meet a teacher who can help you, yet you mention a teacher in the original post. Do you find that your current teacher is not capable enough?

Of course you can do some work on these etudes and get quite a lot out of it, if you are careful and don't aim to perform them in the near future. For example, just regularly practicing the first C major arpeggio in op 10 no 1 slowly and with a relaxed hand - and an open mind - can teach you a lot about technique.

Offline pierusskiy

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Do you know what repertoire will be required for the audition to music conservatory? I would think Chopin or Rachmaninov etudes are rarely mandatory at that stage.

You write that you haven't been able to meet a teacher who can help you, yet you mention a teacher in the original post. Do you find that your current teacher is not capable enough?

Of course you can do some work on these etudes and get quite a lot out of it, if you are careful and don't aim to perform them in the near future. For example, just regularly practicing the first C major arpeggio in op 10 no 1 slowly and with a relaxed hand - and an open mind - can teach you a lot about technique.

Hello!

I know the conservatory's requirements.
There consist of :
- one piece of JS Bach WTC Book 1 or 2
- a complete sonata by Mozart or Beethoven or Haydn or Schubert
- two virtuoso pieces (the one could be an Etude)


My current teacher told me by himself that If I want to learn the repertoire at that level, I have to change teacher who could teaches me. Actaully, I've already contacted that teacher I would to take a lessons with. But I still haven't had a chance to meet him due many problems. I'm also have online lessons with my current teacher.
Online lessons are very limited! The teacher was unable to correct my posture. And since I started learning piano, I rarely to learn face to face with my teacher. So, I think I wouldn't approach any repertoire other than JS Bach WTC or some easy Mozart sonatas.

Offline visitor

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Offline julytwenty

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Some of the Chopin's Etudes will not take too long to master and also provide good training

Op. 25 no. 1 or no. 2 are good introductory if you have basic concepts

Take a look at this book: [Chopin: Pianist and Teacher: As Seen by his Pupils] there are some inputs from Chopin (recorded by his students) on his compositions and purpose.

Offline anacrusis

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Some of the Chopin's Etudes will not take too long to master and also provide good training

Others can take years though ;)

Offline mjames

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If you're a beginner then no, you shouldn't be anywhere near the Chopin etudes. If your teacher suggested it then I'm assuming you're not a beginner and you have years of experience behind you, then all the "basic things" the etudes tackles are already burned and programmed in your muscle memory. The Chopin etudes are meant to take you to the next 3 levels, and in that regard, your teacher is right, you don't need any "practice pieces/exercises" to attack the etudes - just head straight into playing them.

For example I've never played Chopin's op. 25 no. 12 or any piece similar to it, nor do I drill double arpeggios every day. I have however, encountered multiple pieces with fast double arpeggios and I have learned to play them at the required tempi with ease. I've sightread through op. 25 no. 12 and I went through pretty much half of it with ease, I think if I dedicated a month or two to it I'd have it in my hands with little struggle whatsoever. My "prerequisites" are already there, and this is without all the nonsense warm up pieces people tell you to play before you should learn it.

The best way to learn a piece is to just learn it.
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