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Difficulty Ratings

Discussion of stress, skills and technique associated with the performance of this instrument.
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Postby citrine_peridot on Sat Oct 01, 2005 5:17 pm

trouillards wrote:I'm going to try 25/9, and if i give up, 10/6. If that fails as well, i'm putting the études back on the shelf. Any tips for 25/9? and what is the objective of it?


the book I have says that 25n9 is the most technically pointless one of them all.. well, Schirmer...

but I read it somewhere else that its difficulties mainly lie on bring out the lightness...

I don't have any tips except "make sure you get all the notes before starting to speed it up" yeah, I know it's lame...

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Postby PianistSk8er on Sat Oct 01, 2005 6:10 pm

trouillards wrote:I'm going to try 25/9, and if i give up, 10/6. If that fails as well, i'm putting the études back on the shelf. Any tips for 25/9? and what is the objective of it?


Good luck with it!

Malcolm's Study Guide wrote:The basic motif for this work is sculpted out of the primary elements found in Op.10 No.5 and Op.25 No.4 – a profusion of black notes with leaping staccato in the left hand, a very subtle blend of staccato and legato playing in the right-hand figuration along with a complex web of delicate motif reversals in both hands – combined to produce yet another work of exceptional clarity, cogency and brevity – a mere 57 seconds when played at the correct tempo of q=112. Like No.8, this work also requires very accurate and articulate pedalling, which is not at all easy given the almost unbroken staccato left-hand figuration; the pedal must only be used where marked. Also like No.8, the divisions between sections are by no means clearly defined – this is another work that is best described as a moto perpetuo – and requires a very high level of concentration in execution.

The precise divisions between sections are as follows: an 8 bar opening section (1-8 ), followed by an 8-bar response and transition (9-16), leading to an 8-bar central section (17-24), followed by an 8 bar recapitulation (25-32) and 4 bar resolution and transition (33-36) into the coda (37-51). As far as learning this work is concerned, I would counsel you to master the opening section first, for this is where the real test of this work lies; you must perfect right-hand figuration with its two distinct melodic lines, along with the motif reversal in bars 5-7. Notice the slurred notes in the soprano and alto voices – these must be accurate and well defined; note also how these slurs change with the motif reversal. Also note that no pedal must be used in this opening section until bar 8. The next two sections refine and perfect the basic skills as set out in the opening section, but this time with the added complications of the sustaining pedal and a complex chromatic progression that lead to the recapitulation of the opening theme at bar 25. Note also in these sections that the stress marks (>) in the left-hand figuration of the first section are also absent; you will require a firm yet light touch in the left hand throughout this section. The recapitulation and transition into the coda contain nothing new in terms of the figuration, but notice how in the coda (bar 37 onwards) how Chopin reverses the left-hand motif (the reversal takes place in bar 37 itself) and in so doing, changes the pedal point to a dominant one in preparation for the close of the work and, once again, introduces an arithmetic anomaly in terms of phrase length; left- and right-hand phrases are at first out of synchronisation at the beginning of the coda, only to be re-synchronised at the very end with the change in pedal point in bar 45. Once again, it is this sort of detail within Chopin’s music that set his works apart from those of his contemporaries; it’s not just the fact that he did something much better than Liszt or Schumann ever did – it’s the clear consummate ease, skill and finesse with which Chopin did it that sets his music apart from all others.


PS
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Postby Max on Sun Oct 02, 2005 12:03 pm

PianistSk8er wrote:
trouillards wrote:Which Chopin etude is the easiest?


The "easiest", I'd say, is either Op. 25 No 1 or 2.

PS


Totally agree. They're the only 2 etudes that are straightforward to play (even 10/6 is somewhat difficult to play with the awkward left hand)
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Postby trouillards on Sun Oct 02, 2005 3:57 pm

Thanks for the tips, all of you!

I'm learning four bars a day, nice and relaxed, and i've played it through a couple of times... 112 seems like an impossible tempo right now, so my goal is to be able to play it through "well" at 80 BPM.

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Postby lol_nl on Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:10 pm

Isn't there some guide wihch includes almost all difficulty ratings? Give marks from 1 to 10 or something for the difficulty. There must be such a thing somewhere.

But if no1 can find it, I would like to hear the difficulty of these pieces:

-Czerny: Schule der Gelaufigkeit op. 299
-Bach 2-part Inventions
-Scarlatti Sonatas
-Chopin Walzes and Nocturnes
-Debussy Arabesque no. 1
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Postby PJF on Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:38 pm

lol_nl wrote:Isn't there some guide wihch includes almost all difficulty ratings? Give marks from 1 to 10 or something for the difficulty. There must be such a thing somewhere.

But if no1 can find it, I would like to hear the difficulty of these pieces:

-Czerny: Schule der Gelaufigkeit op. 299
-Bach 2-part Inventions
-Scarlatti Sonatas
-Chopin Walzes and Nocturnes
-Debussy Arabesque no. 1


From easiest to hardest:

-Bach 2-part Inventions: These are all pretty easy.

-Debussy Arabesque no. 1: This one has some advanced artistic concepts but is technically on the easy side.

-Scarlatti Sonatas: These run the gamut of difficulty level.

-Chopin Walzes and Nocturnes: These also range from very easy to very hard, both artistically and technically speaking.

(-Czerny: Schule der Gelaufigkeit op. 299 is in a class by itself, it's not really music in the sense of performing it as such; technically it ranges from intermediate to advanced. (I prefer Hanon for pure exercise.))
Per Sapientiam Felicitas!

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Postby Chocturne on Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:42 pm

I would like these two nocturnes to be rated......
Nocturne Op. 9: no 3 in B major

and

Nocturne Op. 27: no 1 in C sharp minor

Which one is more :shock:difficult .....I thought it might be
Op. 27: no 1 in C sharp minor. Also is no.1 op.9 B Flat minor considered to be an "easier" piece to play like the rating out of ten wouldn't be.....HAAAARD :twisted:??
So close and yet so far.........
Nocturnes rule ALL!
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Postby PJF on Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:39 am

Chocturne wrote:I would like these two nocturnes to be rated......
Nocturne Op. 9: no 3 in B major

and

Nocturne Op. 27: no 1 in C sharp minor

Which one is more :shock:difficult .....I thought it might be
Op. 27: no 1 in C sharp minor. Also is no.1 op.9 B Flat minor considered to be an "easier" piece to play like the rating out of ten wouldn't be.....HAAAARD :twisted:??


It's interesting you mention these particular nocturnes. I learned them at the same time, about four years ago. There's a fair bit of logic in learning them together, IMO; they each pose similar technical problems in the left hand: wide, fast, quickly modulating and/or convoluted arpeggios; in this regard, I would rate them as nearly equal (similar in difficulty to Chopin's etudes 10/9 and 10/10). In the right hand, the B major nocturne is more complicated due to all those rapid, convuluted, legato runs and occasional leaps upward, not unlike Chopin's etude 25/2.

As a whole, I found the 9/3 significantly more challenging than the 27/1. I recommend learning the three nocturnes of opus 9 chronologically. Lots of the difficulties encountered in opus 9, no. 3 are addressed in an easier form in nos. 1 and 2.
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Postby MI_5 on Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:59 am

Just wanna know how difficult is Clair de Lune compared to Fur Elise. I stopped playing piano for almost 10 years and I plan to start again.

Also I am curious of the difficult ratings of these:

Rachmaninoff - Prelude op. 23/5
Schubert - Impromptu op. 90/4
Bach-Busoni - Chaconne in D Minor, BWV 1004
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Postby johnmar78 on Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:01 am

MI_5 wrote:Just wanna know how difficult is Clair de Lune compared to Fur Elise. I stopped playing piano for almost 10 years and I plan to start again.

Also I am curious of the difficult ratings of these:

Rachmaninoff - Prelude op. 23/5----about grade 8
Schubert - Impromptu op. 90/4 about grade 7
Bach-Busoni - Chaconne in D Minor, BWV 1004
about grade 7

I mean grade 7 in piano not school. We rate grade 1-8 then diploma/fellowship /degree/master/phd
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Postby elvenpianist on Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:58 pm

*The* Chaconne?

That thing is brutally hard, I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot poll.

Your best bet is to just try playing through some of the pieces you want to learn and see if you can do them- it's really the best way, to explore the repertoire at the piano yourself. "Grades" are subjective, and depending on your strengths can be very misleading (I can play a "difficult" piece full of fingerwork with enough ease, but give me an "intermediate" piece with huge chords and I start sweating in terror).

Here's some free (legal) sheetmusic sites that you can probably find all of the pieces you're wanting to try at:

http://sheetmusicarchive.net
http://sheetmusicfox.com

Glad you're coming back to piano, hope you enjoy it! :)

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Postby juufa72 on Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:45 pm

Max wrote:
PianistSk8er wrote:
trouillards wrote:Which Chopin etude is the easiest?


The "easiest", I'd say, is either Op. 25 No 1 or 2.

PS


Totally agree. They're the only 2 etudes that are straightforward to play (even 10/6 is somewhat difficult to play with the awkward left hand)


What about 25/7 ???
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Postby johnmar78 on Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:43 pm

[ . "Grades" are subjective, and depending on your strengths can be very misleading (I can play a "difficult" piece full of fingerwork with enough ease, but give me an "intermediate" piece with huge chords and I start sweating in terror).


YEs, Elf I agree with you to a point. In UK and australia we have the system that music are targeted to "average" hand span and sizes. We have lists for "small hands" too. By all means, there are hardly anything more than an octave at grade 4 level. But at the same time, at G8, there are music that both requires 8th or 7ths...they all differnt. I am sure there are more music to choose from than just a "chords" music. Personally I liked the combination of chords and finger work, because..too many ff chords can waste too much energy so as tear and wear on piano :lol:

I have noticed, the scraibin etude are not all listed in our exam system. Only 2 of his work. Rests are not playable....requires 12th, 11 ths....not for an average hand......what you think?
]
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Re: Difficulty Ratings

Postby zeniyama on Wed May 30, 2007 2:25 am

How hard, on a scale of, say, 1-10, would you say these pieces are?

Drei Klavierstucke no. 1 by Franz Peter Schubert (one of the hardest songs I've finished so far)
1st Promenade from Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky
Baba-Yaga's Hut from Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky
Petite ouverture à danser by Erik Satie
Les Barricades Misterieuses by François Couperin
"Rage Over a Lost Penny" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Album Leaf in Waltz Form by Franz Liszt
Scriabin's op. 9 Prelude and Nocturne for the left hand. I don't plan to actually play them with my left hand alone, I just want to learn them because they sound really cool.

If you're unfamiliar with any of these and don't know what ratings to give them, look on either:

http://icking-music-archive.org/
or
http://www.imslp.org/
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Re: Difficulty Ratings

Postby Drummer06 on Sun Aug 05, 2007 7:57 pm

What would Chopin's Prelude No.12 Op.28 Be Rated?
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