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Topic: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?  (Read 818 times)

Offline busondelssohn

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Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
on: October 20, 2023, 05:53:25 AM
Hello,
I have been playing piano for about eight years. I went through a few bad teachers, but know I have a really good one who knows her stuff. I just finished alegro barbaro by Bartůk, and the first Brahms intermezzo for a competition. I also played Beethoven first piano sonata, first mvmt and Bach prelude and fugue in b flat major book II for the competition. Going off my repertoire, which I'll post below, I was wondering if it gives me a good enough foundation to play the g minor Ballade by Chopin? Would love to hear what y'alls think!
Beethoven Sonata No.  1 in F minor, first movement

 Beethoven Sonata No.  8 in C minor, second movement

 Beethoven Sonata no. 14 in C sharp minor

 First and second mvmt's

 Beethoven for Elise


 Mozart Sonata V, K 283 in G major

 First and second movements

 Mozart Sonata VIII in B flat major, K 333(?)

 Mozart Sonata in A, K 331, Turkish March


 Gustav Lange: Flower Song (beautiful piece, not difficult at all)


 Mendelssohn: Songs without words - hunter's song


 Brahms: Hungarian Dances for four hands - 1,2,3,4,5,6


 Bach Preludium and Fugue in B major Volume II


 Rachmaninoff op.3 no 2

Chopin etude op 25/2
All these pieces, except for Hungarian dances 2-4, I have practiced and refined to concert standard.


Offline bryfarr

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #1 on: October 20, 2023, 07:07:54 PM
Yes, sure why not.  Sounds like you're game.

If anything, you might do the Beethoven 1st mvmt Pathetique and 3rd mvmt Moonlight, first, to get some experience in handling passionate currents.  Or maybe more Chopin - like the "grande valse brilliante".

Would like to hear some of your pieces, like the Bartok.  You can post recordings in the Auditions section...

Online transitional

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #2 on: October 20, 2023, 09:59:50 PM
Honestly I'd say go for it. At this stage you could learn it well enough to satisfy you. I mean, "progressing slowly" isn't very exciting, is it? Even though you might not be able to play it "well," it's a doable transition. (I went from the Moonlight to Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 [with no previous liszt besides an HR2 and liebestraum adaptation] and while I can't play the HR2 amazingly I can still really enjoy it. not everything has to be for a concert.)

That being said, you don't seem to have much previous Chopin experience. It may be a good idea to get some nocturnes, mazurkas, and a couple etudes under your hand before this piece.
I'd love to learn all the Schubert sonatas someday

very beginning composer
warning: trash scores:
https://musescore.com/user/69589474

Offline busondelssohn

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #3 on: October 22, 2023, 07:13:15 PM
I don't seem to be able to post videos, maybe someone had tips? My MP4 files don't seem to be supported.

I wasn't challenged very much by the Bach prelude and fugue, but the Mendelssohn and Bartok pieces that I played challenged me quite a lot. I still am doing the finishing touches on Bartok even six months after picking it up. The chopin nocturne in c Sharp minor that everyone knows I had tons of fun with, as did I with all the Beethoven I played. Maybe that'll help with perspective feedback

Offline bryfarr

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #4 on: October 22, 2023, 08:41:49 PM
I don't seem to be able to post videos, maybe someone had tips? My MP4 files don't seem to be supported.

Not sure, but I see this information in the instructions:   
"To upload mp3 files:
Click "Additional options..." and locate the file on your computer.
When clicking the "Post" button the upload starts. Please be patient since it usually takes several minutes to upload a file."

Offline lelle

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #5 on: October 22, 2023, 09:46:53 PM
I don't seem to be able to post videos, maybe someone had tips? My MP4 files don't seem to be supported.

I wasn't challenged very much by the Bach prelude and fugue, but the Mendelssohn and Bartok pieces that I played challenged me quite a lot. I still am doing the finishing touches on Bartok even six months after picking it up. The chopin nocturne in c Sharp minor that everyone knows I had tons of fun with, as did I with all the Beethoven I played. Maybe that'll help with perspective feedback

Easiest is to upload to youtube and then link the video here. You can make the video unlisted if you don't want people on youtube to be able tos earch for it.

Offline busondelssohn

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #6 on: October 23, 2023, 07:02:18 AM
I wasn't challenged very much by the Bach prelude and fugue, but the Mendelssohn and Bartok pieces that I played challenged me quite a lot. I still am doing the finishing touches on Bartok even six months after picking it up. The chopin nocturne in c Sharp minor that everyone knows I had tons of fun with, as did I with all the Beethoven I played. Maybe that'll help with perspective feedback
Based on this, would Scherzo no 2 in b flat minor be easier? Or even Ballade number three? I will try to upload videos, but it isn't working for now

Offline lelle

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #7 on: October 23, 2023, 08:29:34 AM
Based on this, would Scherzo no 2 in b flat minor be easier? Or even Ballade number three? I will try to upload videos, but it isn't working for now

Difficult to say. Ballade 3 is overall easier than 1 IMO. But it's got a few tricky spots. If you've played
Chopin etude op 25/2 to concert standard it might be a stretch but doable. Same with Scherzo no 2. It's not too bad but you need to be able to play extended arpeggios comfortably.

Offline bryfarr

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #8 on: October 23, 2023, 11:50:38 AM
Based on this, would Scherzo no 2 in b flat minor be easier? Or even Ballade number three? I will try to upload videos, but it isn't working for now
I've played all three pieces.  Yes, scherzo no 2 is easier musically and technically.  I think ballade 1 is more straight-forward musically than 3, I think it's easier to bring to a performance level, if you can master the technical challenges.  Ballade 3 has a musical challenge in tone control & nuance applied to chords.  TBH, there's not a huge difference between these, choose the one that you're the most interested in.  There's also ballade 2.

Offline busondelssohn

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #9 on: October 23, 2023, 01:52:45 PM
Thanks! Will confer with my teacher

Offline busondelssohn

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #10 on: October 25, 2023, 06:55:19 AM
So I decided with my teacher that I'm gonna do a waltz and a nocturne or two along with she's thinking about a Beethoven sonata to do that will work up to the Scherzo number 2, which i think all in all as actually a smart idea, cause there would be some pretty big holes in my rep otherwise. She told me to choose a nocturne or a waltz so suggestions are welcome. She said she'd choose a Beethoven sonata (single mvmt) but suggestions along this line are welcome as well.

Offline bryfarr

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #11 on: October 25, 2023, 10:56:00 AM
Ah, sounds like your teacher's advice aligned with my first post - more Beethoven and Chopin.

I didn't play Czerny until I was at university and yet I played Scherzo 2 and Ballade 1 before that, in high school.  In hindsight, I wish my pre-college piano teacher had me practicing Czerny.  The School of Velocity Op 299 is a good opus for moving from intermediate to advanced.  This is what I recommend the most for developing the technique you'll need.  If you're teacher is not experienced in teaching Czerny then I would get an additional teacher, perhaps online.

You might want to consider the Chopin Preludes as well, they have specific technical focuses, they're almost etudes.

Offline busondelssohn

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #12 on: October 25, 2023, 11:30:45 AM
Suggestions are welcome. I know which ones I like, my I enjoy other people's opinions

Online transitional

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #13 on: October 25, 2023, 01:11:08 PM
I would also suggest the Op. 27 No. 2 with a similar character. It's in D-flat major, the relative major that is used frequently throughout the more expressive sections of the piece. The Op. 42 waltz in A-flat is tricky but good for fast passagework.
I'd love to learn all the Schubert sonatas someday

very beginning composer
warning: trash scores:
https://musescore.com/user/69589474

Offline the_franzliszt

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #14 on: October 26, 2023, 03:25:46 PM
I would recommend to first learn some other higher level Chopin works, or even some Liszt etudes. So experiment with what Chopin Etudes you like, or maybe even a Chopin Scherzo (his 1st and 2nd are the best ones), or maybe even try out his Polonaise in F# minor. Chopin's first Ballade isn't too difficult. It's mostly the Coda which strikes a bit of fear into the pianist. It's easier to memorize than the other Ballades(in my opinion), and sounds the best(also in my opinion lol).

Hope this helps, in best regards

Noah Sutton

Offline busondelssohn

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #15 on: October 27, 2023, 02:05:04 PM
Thanks for all the replies!

Offline galltywenallt

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #16 on: October 29, 2023, 09:42:46 AM
Read Alan Rusbridger's book "Play it Again". Subtitled "An amateur against the impossible". It describes a newspaper editor's attempt to learn Chopin's first Ballade in the space of 12 months. The appendix is full of tips on particular passages from famous pianists - Hough, Perahia, Ax etc.. A brilliant book.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jan/20/alan-rusbridger-play-again-review

Offline busondelssohn

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #17 on: October 29, 2023, 04:21:08 PM
Thanks

Offline piabanoch

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Re: Should I play the Chopin 1st Ballade?
Reply #18 on: November 08, 2023, 02:55:07 PM
i think you are not ready because ballade n 1 is much, much more difficult than any piece you mentioned. i would try first the 3th ballade one and then move maybe on the 1st but be aware of that
I can't control Music, but Music controls me
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