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Topic: Chopin Ballade No 3 Difficulties  (Read 4494 times)

Offline bwl_13

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Chopin Ballade No 3 Difficulties
on: January 18, 2022, 06:39:08 AM
I really want to study a "big" Chopin work. I feel pretty prepared to take on this Ballade, but I'm also not certain. I'm curious how difficult this work is in terms of some other famous works (how much more difficult is it than Beethoven 31/2?). What are some Chopin etudes that might help prepare me? I haven't actually studied a Chopin Etude to performance level, so that's probably something I should do.

I can't gauge the difficulty of repertoire for the life of me so excuse that. Maybe a scherzo would be better suited for me, though only the fourth compares in quality to any ballades imo.
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5
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Offline anacrusis

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 3 Difficulties
Reply #1 on: January 20, 2022, 06:26:35 PM
This is the least challenging of the ballades, technically. It's mostly mid tempo chords and polyphonic textures, with some running passagework and a fairly difficult middle section thrown in. If you got your scales and arpeggios in a good spot and got supple wrists when playing chords it should not be that big of a leap. I'd say most of the Chopin Etudes are more difficult than the Ballade, so any of them could help you prepare.

Offline nightwindsonata

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 3 Difficulties
Reply #2 on: January 23, 2022, 11:40:12 PM
Technically I don't think the Third Ballade is too far beyond the stuff you've already been playing; the trickiest part honestly is playing the syncopated rhythms convincingly and ensuring that some spots are completely legato, without help from the pedal. If you want a good etude to study, I would recommend Op. 10 No. 10 or Op. 25 No. 5; both deal with the same types of intervals you'll find in the Ballade; but those are both much more difficult than the Ballade, so perhaps it would actually be productive to study the Ballade first, then take them on afterwards to prepare something of truly large scale like a concerto, sonata, or the 4th Ballade or F-sharp minor Polonaise.
1st-year Master's Program:
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Offline bwl_13

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 3 Difficulties
Reply #3 on: January 24, 2022, 06:07:58 AM
Technically I don't think the Third Ballade is too far beyond the stuff you've already been playing; the trickiest part honestly is playing the syncopated rhythms convincingly and ensuring that some spots are completely legato, without help from the pedal. If you want a good etude to study, I would recommend Op. 10 No. 10 or Op. 25 No. 5; both deal with the same types of intervals you'll find in the Ballade; but those are both much more difficult than the Ballade, so perhaps it would actually be productive to study the Ballade first, then take them on afterwards to prepare something of truly large scale like a concerto, sonata, or the 4th Ballade or F-sharp minor Polonaise.
Nice! That sounds good. I love the third ballade and have been waking up hearing it playing in my head lol. I have started studying perhaps the easiest Chopin Etude (Op. 25 No. 2) and that's been a lot of fun. I think I'll be starting on the third ballade pretty soon since so far this forum hasn't steered me to anything too technically challenging for me. I really love Chopin so I'm very excited to get started on some of his more virtuosic pieces.
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5

Offline lelle

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 3 Difficulties
Reply #4 on: January 24, 2022, 09:16:52 PM
Nice! That sounds good. I love the third ballade and have been waking up hearing it playing in my head lol. I have started studying perhaps the easiest Chopin Etude (Op. 25 No. 2) and that's been a lot of fun. I think I'll be starting on the third ballade pretty soon since so far this forum hasn't steered me to anything too technically challenging for me. I really love Chopin so I'm very excited to get started on some of his more virtuosic pieces.

Check out Cortot's edition of the Ballade if you haven't already. It's available in an English translation. He offers many nifty exercises for the technical problems in the ballade, and I found some of them highly useful when I learned it as a student many years ago. :)

Offline bwl_13

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 3 Difficulties
Reply #5 on: January 24, 2022, 10:24:43 PM
Check out Cortot's edition of the Ballade if you haven't already. It's available in an English translation. He offers many nifty exercises for the technical problems in the ballade, and I found some of them highly useful when I learned it as a student many years ago. :)
Oh yes, I came across his edition when I was looking for versions on imslp but I couldn't find an English translation. If the translation is not public domain I may need to invest in a copy
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5

Offline jeffkonkol

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 3 Difficulties
Reply #6 on: March 30, 2022, 08:49:26 PM
There are certainly challenges in this Ballade. There is quite a jump in difficulty once you hit the legato moving left hand line, (middle of page 7 in one of the versions downloaded from here) and the difficulty largely continues to climb from there until you reach the end.

That being said, this Ballade is approachable, and rather fun to practice.

Take your time with it, be mindful of the rhythms, and don't rely too heavily on your pedal.

Offline bwl_13

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 3 Difficulties
Reply #7 on: March 31, 2022, 02:24:20 AM
Yes that's fair. I didn't end up playing the ballade yet and I'm playing the second scherzo instead. I figured it seems a little easier than the climax of the ballade. It's been very manageable and I'll definitely be looking at into the ballade at some point though.

I know exactly what part you're talking about with the left hand line. I've heard some people call that line the hardest part of the piece, since I'm guessing it's quite challenging to keep even and quiet.
Second Year Undergrad:
Bach BWV 914
Beethoven Op. 58
Reger Op. 24 No. 5
Rachmaninoff Op. 39 No. 3 & No. 5

Offline lelle

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 3 Difficulties
Reply #8 on: April 06, 2022, 09:44:47 PM
Yes that's fair. I didn't end up playing the ballade yet and I'm playing the second scherzo instead. I figured it seems a little easier than the climax of the ballade. It's been very manageable and I'll definitely be looking at into the ballade at some point though.

I know exactly what part you're talking about with the left hand line. I've heard some people call that line the hardest part of the piece, since I'm guessing it's quite challenging to keep even and quiet.

Sounds like a good call! I think the ballade overall is much trickier/fiddly than the scherzo.

Offline julien44piano

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 3 Difficulties
Reply #9 on: July 10, 2022, 12:36:31 AM
I played both the scherzo 2 and the 3rd ballade.
Third ballade is very difficult to get it right from climax. The notes are easier to learn than the other ballades but it is usually the ballade that finally have the difficulty to play it very good including professionals

Offline symphonicdance

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Re: Chopin Ballade No 3 Difficulties
Reply #10 on: July 15, 2022, 01:49:03 AM
For me, this is the least difficult one amongst Chopin's Ballades and Scherzi.
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