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Author Topic: Ballad#1 or Scherzo#2  (Read 7331 times)
pianodude
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« on: March 16, 2005, 08:34:44 PM »

My teacher told me to play Ballad#1, because, according to her it is easier than Scherzo#2. Is this true?

My teacher likes to teach only pieces that she had played. Otherwise, she is very hesitant.

To me Ballad#1 seems harder to read and demands many more techniques. In addition, I love the sound of Scherzo#2.

Could any of you who had played or tried these two pieces give comment on the level of difficulty of these two pieces.

Thanks in advance. Kiss
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piano sheet music of Ballade 1

piano sheet music of Scherzo 2
nomis
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2005, 08:59:58 PM »

Scherzo No.2 is definitely easier, but I would go with Ballade No.1 simply because I like it more. If you're going to choose an overplayed piece, it's wise to choose the better one. Smiley
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allchopin
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2005, 09:37:56 PM »

What is her criteria for saying that the ballade is easier?  Because I would have to disagree with her.  I started with the scherzo and didn't find it too difficult overall due to repeats and most of the notes falling well under the hand.  As for which is more hackneyed, I would say that the Ballade far exceeds the Scherzo.
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IanT
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2005, 09:56:35 PM »

I'd say that the Ballade is the easier piece.  The Scherzo looks easier than it actually is.

Of, course they are both way over-played, but if that is all your teacher can offer then I guess you've got no other choice - well... except for a new teacher perhaps?

Ian
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frederic
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2005, 08:19:37 AM »

ive never learnt the ballade but i am learnt the scherzo. I'd thought that the ballade is hard to learn the notes first but it's easier it play after that. It certainly looks like hell on the score. I found it much easier to learn the Scherzo because of the repetition but it is so much harder to pull off. In other words it's much more brilliant and virtuosic than the ballade. make any sense?
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Sketchee
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2005, 11:18:53 PM »

I've been playing working on the Scherzo.  It's fairly repetitive and can get boring.  I've heard it played at some extreme tempos which would be difficult.  I like the first Ballad better.  Which is easier really depends on you and which techniques you have at your disposal.  It's probably that one could learn either first without too much trouble.  I'm not sure which is harder, but the amount of repeats of the scherzo have fatigued me from it...  Grin
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Sketchee
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zalmanesd
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2005, 02:44:40 AM »

For me the Scherzo seems harder.
I could sightread the Ballade with dynamics and etc. the first time.
I couldn't say the same for Scherzo.
However, we must take into account that Scherzo was attempted 5 years before the Ballade (for me).
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iumonito
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2005, 02:56:15 AM »

You should think of playing them both, and the other six ballades and scherzi.  It will take some time, but knowing more of these pieces will hep your performance of each of them.

I disagree that they are overplayed.  These are masterpieces everyone should play.

More to your question, technically there is nothing in the scherzo even half as difficult as the ballade's coda.  Musically teh ballade is much richer and complex, and thus arguably more demanding.

Play them both though.  Of the eight Ballades and scherzi, I would say the second ballade is the best entry point, though, if this is open to discussion.
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IanT
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2005, 01:38:02 PM »

iumonito,

You say that the second ballade is the best entry point - you've got to be kidding!  The coda of that thing is one of the hardest passages in all of Chopin

Ian
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iumonito
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2005, 03:59:51 AM »

You think so?  Why?  It is just repeated notes and stride left hand, as I recall.  I haven't played it in a while but I very much don't think it is even close to being the hardest Chopin I know (quick examples: the codas of both the first and fourth ballades and the entire A section of the first scherzo, prelude 16, even Op. 10 # 7, which has  a similar principle involved...)
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thierry13
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2005, 04:37:39 AM »

Definitly 2nd ballade's coda is a monster. I would say it's at the same level of difficulty as his third etude. Depending on your technique, and same can be more demanding.
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zalmanesd
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2005, 05:18:34 AM »

Definitly 2nd ballade's coda is a monster. I would say it's at the same level of difficulty as his third etude. Depending on your technique, and same can be more demanding.

third etude?
isn't that the one on musicality?
I don't think its one of his harder ones.
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larse
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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2005, 08:57:45 PM »

whoa..I can see there's a lot of opinions on this...

I personally prefer the scherzi because they are more fun... But the ballads are, overall more demanding. That is because they are so to say 'perfect' high-romatic piano literature.. All four of them contain so incredible many aspects of the romantic era (within music of course). That's very demanding from a performers viewpoint, because it's more reflecting and serious (Scherzo = Game: It's very varied, but not as deep and involving as the ballads in general)

I've studied both the 1st ballad and the 2nd scherzo, and both technically and musically I'd say the ballad is the more demanding of the two. The techinque part goes for itself...it's the middle and the last cadenza(if you can call it that, though..) in the ballad. The scherzo contains no real cadenzas like that, you have alot more time to relax.

You should really play both...pick one now and play the other in a year or so...they cannot really be compared because they're very different kinds of music. I learnt alot from both of them.

But if you pick the scherzo, don't worry if you miss the last chord...many, many has done it before... Grin
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nanabush
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2005, 07:34:34 PM »

I've asked this probly a million times on other threads, but never get answered, how hard is the Scherzo (second one) compared to lets say Revo. Etude, Ocean Etude and Winterwind?
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Selim
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2005, 07:47:56 PM »

Consider that the scherzo need a lot of stamina so the winterwind does...more than 15pages of course it repeats a lot(concerning the Scherzo)

IT is harder than the Revo because it needs diffrents techniques.

If I had to choose between Ballad1 and scherzo2 I would probably go with the Scherzo, it has more themes and it is funnier IMO
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jhon
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« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2005, 09:36:02 PM »

The Ballade is harder simply because it has more multifacted different themes and shifting moods and such adds up to "interpretative" (not just technical) difficulty.  The Ballade may have several slow (and easy) sections but actually, even the animato (middle) and Presto con fuoco (finale) alone can "compensate" the whole scherzo, which is simply a bunch of repeats as other Scherzos.  Ballade is indeed more troublesome.

In dealing with Chopin's major difficult pieces, my teacher taught me first Scherzo (#2), then Polonaise ("Heroic") and then Ballade #1.  See, the transition is GRADUAL from easy to hard, not abrupt.  Now, I'm working with the Fantasy (Op.49) which is a more large-scale piece than the rest. 
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Sergey R
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« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2005, 03:03:34 PM »

I'd recommend the Scherzo. I think it's easier and it's a great piece to listen to, I like it better than the first ballade.
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Bouter Boogie
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« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2005, 04:37:25 PM »

Scherzo nr. 2  Smiley If you like Scherzo nr. 2 more than Ballad nr. 1, you should definitely follow your heart  Cheesy
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