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Thread: Easiest Chopin Etude?

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    Senior Member Rachovsky's Avatar
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    Question Easiest Chopin Etude?

    First of all, let me introduce myself. This is not the proper board of course, but this is as good as the other. I like all types of music, but recently I've gotten into orchestral classical music a LOT more. I've played the piano since I was around 11, but my teacher was an amateur herself, with no proper training. I left her and began seeing the musical director at my local college, but I have no time anymore to take lessons once a week.
    Sadly, I'm trying to learn piano pieces on my own now, and I learned the nice little ragtime piece by Scott Joplin called the "Maple Leaf Rag." Which I'm sure most of you have heard of. I used to think it was just the snazziest tune in the world, but now Its the utmost annoying piece I've ever heard... I'm actually not finished with it yet. I'm on the last few lines of Part 3 and I haven't taken the time to learn it.
    Let me get to the question that I came here to ask then. For my next piece, I would like to play an etude by Chopin. I bought his full set of both Op. 10 and Op. 25 on iTunes, played by Maurizio Pollini (Whom I have came to like as a pianist very much, might I add), and all of the etudes are appealing to me. The "Winter Wind," "Revolutionary," "Black Keys," and so many more that are just so quick and enjoyable. Now to the actual question... Which of these etudes, out of both Op. 10 and Op. 25, do you all recommend as being the easiest to play? Let me go ahead and say that I don't really want to learn Op. 10 No. 3 "Tristeese." I know the melody is incredible and all, but the piece is long and slow is not my forte (and I don't mean forte in terms of dynamics, .)

    Anyways, any recommendations on this would be great,
    Thanks for taking the time to read if ya did.
    Rachovsky (such a snazzy username, eh?)

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    Senior Member BuddhaBandit's Avatar
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    Welcome! First off, all of the Copin études are quite difficult and take ages to learn. That being said, the Étude in A Minor (I think it's #2 in op. 10) is probably the easiest due to the simple left-hand part. The main dificulty lies in playing those darn chromatic scales with the 3rd/4th fingers- but other than that it's not all that terrible.

    Good luck! and yea, doesn't the Maple Leaf Rag get on yer nerves after a while?
    Take a look at the Bandit's blog, Americana Avenue.

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    Junior Member artisan's Avatar
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    LOL! My dad listens to the Maple Leaf Rag until it drives me crazy!
    I had a stroke of good luck recently, someone at our church walked up to me a couple sundays ago and handed me a book. They said they found it cheap at a thrift store or something, and thought it looked like something I would like. I was a book full of chopin Etudes! Yay!
    Perhaps when I am done banging fists on piano keys trying to learn one, I will let you know which one is easiest...ok ok, I don't have that bad of a temper!
    Johanna
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    personally, i think that there is masses of difference in difficulty between 'maple leaf rag' and even the simplest of Chopin Etudes. However, i don't know you so if you think you can learn the etude then go for it! I would agree with BuddhaBandit, the etude in a minor is probably the simplist

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    So you want to play a Chopin Etude... right after learning Maple Leaf Rag... having learned most of what you know from "an amateur teacher".

    Let's ask Hans von Bülow:

    YsayeOp.27#6
    : - Maestro Hans, would you say it's of any convenience to set an order when playing etudes for technique?

    HvB: - Indeed. Here's my suggestion, which you can also find in the preface I wrote for my edition of the Etudes of J. B. Cramer:

    First grade: Schmitt's Op. 26, Heller's Op. 43
    Second grade: Cramer, Heller's Opp. 46 and 47, Czerny's Daily Etudes and Etudes for legato and stacatto
    Third grade: Clementi's Gradus ad Parnassum, Moschele's Op. 70
    Fourth Grade: Haberbier's Poetic Etudes, Henselt's Etudes Opp. 2 and 5, Moscheles's Op. 75
    Fifth grade: Chopin's Opp. 10 and 25, Preludes Op. 28
    Sixth grade: Liszt's Paganini Etudes, Concert Etudes and 12 Trascendental Etudes
    Seventh grade: Rubinstein's Etudes and Preludes, Alkan's 12 Grand Etudes.
    YsayeOp.27#6: - Thank you very much, maestro.

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    Senior Member Rachovsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artisan View Post
    LOL! My dad listens to the Maple Leaf Rag until it drives me crazy!
    I had a stroke of good luck recently, someone at our church walked up to me a couple sundays ago and handed me a book. They said they found it cheap at a thrift store or something, and thought it looked like something I would like. I was a book full of chopin Etudes! Yay!
    Perhaps when I am done banging fists on piano keys trying to learn one, I will let you know which one is easiest...ok ok, I don't have that bad of a temper!
    Ugh, I wish people at my church were kind enough to go out and buy me sheet music... The poor people can hardly say Chopin, much less know his music or who he was. To the rest, thanks for the advice. I believe its nicknamed the "Chromatique" Etude, and its quite a short piece, so i'll give it a try if I ever get the sheet music.
    Also, I know the Maple Leaf Rag is completely different in difficulty and classical genre compared to Chopin's Etudes. It's very repetitive and quite simple if your hands can easily hit octaves. I assume it just takes a large amount of practice and time, which is unfortunately something I don't have these days.

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    Senior Member Rachovsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YsayeOp.27#6 View Post
    So you want to play a Chopin Etude... right after learning Maple Leaf Rag... having learned most of what you know from "an amateur teacher".

    Let's ask Hans von Bülow:

    YsayeOp.27#6
    : - Maestro Hans, would you say it's of any convenience to set an order when playing etudes for technique?

    HvB: - Indeed. Here's my suggestion, which you can also find in the preface I wrote for my edition of the Etudes of J. B. Cramer:

    First grade: Schmitt's Op. 26, Heller's Op. 43
    Second grade: Cramer, Heller's Opp. 46 and 47, Czerny's Daily Etudes and Etudes for legato and stacatto
    Third grade: Clementi's Gradus ad Parnassum, Moschele's Op. 70
    Fourth Grade: Haberbier's Poetic Etudes, Henselt's Etudes Opp. 2 and 5, Moscheles's Op. 75
    Fifth grade: Chopin's Opp. 10 and 25, Preludes Op. 28
    Sixth grade: Liszt's Paganini Etudes, Concert Etudes and 12 Trascendental Etudes
    Seventh grade: Rubinstein's Etudes and Preludes, Alkan's 12 Grand Etudes.
    YsayeOp.27#6: - Thank you very much, maestro.
    First of all, thanks for making me sound like a complete idiot in your first sentence, lol.
    Sadly Hans von Bülow died over a hundred years ago, but seriously, where did you get this information? In First Grade, are you talking about Florent Schmitt? I googled the "Etudes of J. B. Cramer" and the only site I can find to order this is in French. Care to give me a website? Thanks.

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    First of all, thanks for making me sound like a complete idiot in your first sentence, lol.
    You are welcome.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rachovsky View Post
    where did you get this information?
    HvB: - Indeed. Here's my suggestion, which you can also find in the preface I wrote for my edition of the Etudes of J. B. Cramer:


    I googled the "Etudes of J. B. Cramer" and the only site I can find to order this is in French. Care to give me a website? Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Johann Baptist Cramer (February 24, 1771, Mannheim - April 16, 1858, London), was an English musician of German origin. He was the son of Wilhelm Cramer (1743-1799), a famous London violinist and musical conductor, one of a numerous family who were identified with the progress of music during the 18th and 19th centuries. Johann Baptist was brought to London as a child, and it was in London that the greater part of his musical efforts was exercised.

    From 1782 to 1784 he studied the piano under Muzio Clementi, and soon became known as a professional pianist both in London and on the continent; he enjoyed a world-wide reputation, and was particularly appreciated by Beethoven.

    Apart from his pianoforte-playing, Cramer is important as a composer. He established a musical instrument manufacturing and music-publishing outlet Cramer & Co. at 201, Regent Street (which was on the corner of Conduit Street and Regent Street[1]) in partnership with Thomas Frederick Beale and Robert Addison. Cramer ceased involvement with the business at the end of 1833 [2]. He wrote a number of sonatas, etc., for pianoforte, and other compositions; but his Etudes are the works by which he lives as a composer. These studies have appeared in numerous editions, and became the staple pieces in the training of pianists.
    Order here an edition by Taglapietra.

    And here is the Bülow edition, you can read the preface by yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddhaBandit View Post
    Welcome! First off, all of the Copin études are quite difficult and take ages to learn. That being said, the Étude in A Minor (I think it's #2 in op. 10) is probably the easiest due to the simple left-hand part. The main dificulty lies in playing those darn chromatic scales with the 3rd/4th fingers- but other than that it's not all that terrible.
    Hi all... I believe 10/2 is one of the 5 most difficult Chopin Etudes actually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoorlando View Post
    Hi all... I believe 10/2 is one of the 5 most difficult Chopin Etudes actually.
    Oh come on, how could it be? If the left hand appears to be so easy...

    is probably the easiest due to the simple left-hand part. The main dificulty lies in playing those darn chromatic scales with the 3rd/4th fingers- but other than that it's not all that terrible.
    With that in mind Liszt's Grand Galop Chromatique must be an easy piece to tackle.

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    Junior Member artisan's Avatar
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    It has been really interesting to see the diversity of opinions. It's funny how what some of us think is easy, others find hard and visa versa. I have listened to something and thought it would be hard, but had no trouble playing it, and then something I thought would be easy was hard.
    Johanna
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    Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. Ecc.9:10

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    Quote Originally Posted by artisan View Post
    It's funny how what some of us think is easy
    Whenever someone mentions an easy piece here the underlying idea should be... sarcasm.

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    Just btw... these 1st,2nd... grades of piano playing.. are these something like grades in art school or can somebody explain to me what is meant by these grades. What does it mean.

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    I dream of being skilled enough to play Chopin. I watch concert pianists in particular Yundi Li play his concertos in jaw dropping awe. As already mentioned the Funeral March seems to be the easiest etude with a simple left hand part. I've not got to the end bit yet which is the most taxing but still seems easy enough to grasp. I've read with fascination Chopin's Wikipedia entry. The only known photo of him is intriguing. He looks a lot like Sir David Frost I want that as a poster for inspiration. He didn't suffer fools gladly and could be quite obstinate at times and I think it shows but I can also see a gentle side to him.

    The Funeral March was played at his funeral along with some other of his compositions. Does anyone know if the selection was his wishes or his families?

    Tristesse and Harp Study are among the pieces I would love to learn one day if I get to that standard. Its like the Piano was made for his music its that beautiful and pottering around the house at the weekend with his CD's on is what gets me through the working week

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    I have just read one book.. Chopins biography and it says there that Chopin wanted Mozart to be played on his funeral.

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