Playing through Chopin’s B minor Waltz with its sighing motif (Video commentary)

Last night I sat myself down at my imperfectly regulated Steinway M grand and managed to sigh several times through torrents of phrases crafted by design and inspiration to tug at the heartstrings.

And in the video below, I journeyed in baby steps through this intensely emotional landscape pinpointing how I could flesh out the SIGHs that spill from recurrent tied notes in Chopin’s somber Waltz in B Minor, Op. 69, No.2. (The singing tone–molto cantabile-is intrinsic to this music)

It seemed natural to draw a comparison to the violin in the execution of such repetitive figures. If I had a bow in my hand I would delay entry into the string and follow through with a deliberate broadening of the tone. (I spent six years of my life studying violin noting its carryover to the keyboard)

No doubt it’s easier to draw a slow bow than to translate this effect to the piano, but a pianist can accomplish the same by entering a note from below using a dipping wrist.

The permeating tied notes that seek relief in a curve down, dissipating motion flow into a contrasting middle section in D Major, marked con anime, with animation. Here the notes are lifted and configured in groups of three leading to a longer note.

To realize the vibrancy and unique character of the dotted-quarters springing from the shorter eighths, still another delayed entry into these longer ones is suggested. But just as conspicuous is the circular motion of the phrases that move the composition along. To best flesh out these shapes, I enlist the right elbow to swing in and out in counter-clockwise movement.

In measures where there is a sudden note-wise build-up in passion and intensity (forte outpourings, along with a staccato, or PORTATO) I find that broadening these streams of notes thwarts a tendency to crowd them. And allied to this more relaxed, freedom of expression is a tasteful application of rubato.

A second interlude in the B minor Nocturne utilizes the Parallel B Major key, giving the composition a lift. But no sooner than our emotions are plied, we are pulled back to the somber opening theme with its elaboration that closes the composition in sighing despair.

I consider this Waltz a favorite of mine and dote upon Artur Rubenstein’s reading on You Tube. His performance has a disarming simplicity, framed in a relaxed tempo. In all, the master takes about 4 minutes to weave his poetry with the grace and beauty he’s known for.

LINK:

What Pianists can Learn from String Players

http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/what-pianists-can-learn-from-string-players/

About Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
This entry was posted in classissima, classissima.com, Journal of a Piano Teacher from New York to California, legato playing at the piano, phrasing at the piano, pianist, pianists, piano, piano blog, piano blogging, piano instructor, piano lesson, piano lessson, piano pedagogy, piano playing and breathing, piano playing and phrasing, piano playing and relaxation, piano practicing, piano society, Piano Street, piano student, piano studio, piano teacher, piano teachers, piano teaching, piano teaching repertoire, piano technique, piano technique and the singing tone, Piano World, piano world-wide, pianoaddict.com, playing the piano with a singing tone, Shirley Kirsten, Shirley Kirsten blog, shirley s kirsten, Shirley Smith Kirsten, shirley smith kirsten blog, singing tone legato, slow mindful practicing, slow piano practicing, Steinway M, Steinway M grand piano, Steinway piano, string player, studying piano, swinging arms in playing piano, Teach Street, teaching piano, technique, tempo rubato, The art of phrasing at the piano, the art of piano pedaling, the art of piano playing, video performances, video uploading, videotaping a piano performance and self analysis, violin, virtual piano lessons, virtual piano teaching, What pianists can learn from string players, whole body listening, whole body music listening, word press, wordpress.com, you tube, you tube video and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Playing through Chopin’s B minor Waltz with its sighing motif (Video commentary)

  1. Terri O.A. says:

    Your students are fortunate to have you!

    Like

  2. Thanks, Terri. Your comment made my day.

    Like

  3. D. Stubbs says:

    When I grow up, I want to be like you: :)
    “Adult Beginner”

    Like

  4. Well, your comment made my day..Thanks a bunch, and Enjoy your practicing..
    SK

    Like

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