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Chopin also included more dynamic indications in this etude than most others, though this can be attributed to its relative brevity; at only four pages, the etude lasts about a minute and a half played at proper tempo. The greatest technical difficulty of this etude is getting the right hand to flow.


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Without a firm yet fluid hand motion, the right hand will either be missing some of the intended legato feeling or some of the intended vivace feeling. The tempo indication is written Vivace. Due to the very fast right hand being played entirely on black keys, it is quite easy to get notes wrong. Even though the piece is intended to be played legato , there is a certain crispness to it that foils attempts at oversimplifying the pedaling. Too much pedal makes the right hand sound very messy, while too little makes the left unnecessarily choppy.

There is actually one white key in the right hand. About three-quarters of the way through, the piece temporarily slows down and the right hand plays the chord D-flat, F, and B-flat! Like the Etude Op. It proceeds at a rather slow pace — the tempo indication is Andante. The melody is very plaintive and mournful and is completely in the right hand.

Chopin: Étude in C Minor, Op. 10, No. 12 | Kanopy

The left hand, however, has some practice in playing two different voices. The first voice consists of one or two bass notes or chords per measure. This is not very difficult. The second voice, however, consists of a thoughtful sixteenth-note progression that continues throughout the entire piece. Rather than being an accompaniment, it is almost like a second melody. The progression is only slightly technically challenging to play; the only major technical difficulties are the unusual positions that the left hand must occasionally assume.

The numerous accidentals make this portion of the piece extremely difficult and time-consuming to learn, however! For this etude to sound musically pleasing, one must also clearly express the beautiful flowing main melody of the right hand. It is doing this above the sixteenth-note progression that is the challenge. This rather eccentric-sounding etude has some interesting right-hand difficulties; the left hand is rather simple, playing single eighth notes throughout.

However, the right hand is in perpetual motion, characterized by rapidly changing intervals ranging from a minor third to an augmented sixth.


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No two intervals of comparable size are ever next to each other, which make execution at proper tempo a special challenge; a third is almost always followed by a fifth or a sixth. This is made difficult by the fact that the large interval is not on the same melodic line as the smaller one. The two notes of the smaller interval are often completely below the two notes of the larger one. Another difficulty lies in the treatment of the repeated notes in the intervals; occasionally, the top note of the third is the bottom note of the larger interval immediately proceeding or preceding it.

Interpretation is made particularly tricky by the technical difficulty, and the programmatic title comes from the rapid progression of intervals that can cause the piece to sound rather like a very detached toccata if not played with legato. Due to the somewhat odd melody and the difficulty of getting a clean sound, it is unfortunately not one of the most popular etudes.

The Etude Op. The obvious technical difficulty here is in the right hand, as the rapid sixteenth notes present quite a challenge. Even though the melody is in the left hand, the right hand is designed to complement the melody in some parts, so careful dynamic control is necessary for the piece to sound good. There is also the ever-present difficulty of playing rapid sixteenths evenly, occasionally softly, and, of course, with legato.

It should be noted, however, that the endurance required to play this is nowhere near the endurance required to play the Etude Op. As with some of the other etudes in the Op. The bright, uplifting melody makes this etude much more accessible than some of the others; one might picture a singing bird, gliding freely in the open air, swooping gracefully a few times before gently landing on a tree. The piece is not difficult to interpret, but the pianist will almost certainly run into trouble getting the piano — especially the right hand — to sound the way he or she wants it to.

About 'Revolutionary Etude op.10 no.12'

The right hand plays the melody in single notes and small chords, and then in much stronger octaves, neither of which are tremendously difficult technically. Passage work for the left hand is more difficult. It is similar to the left hand found in the Nocturne Op. The rapid arpeggiated stretches often reach a tenth or more.

As the piece progresses, there are numerous jumps, though these are not very difficult in comparison to those of some of the other etudes! The difficulty is that the left hand must be handled extremely delicately and precisely in order to give the piece its haunting undertones. The last few measures of the piece also require special attention, as they are very gentle and delicate in both hands, and it is tricky to obtain the exact effect one wants.

This difficulty is prominent in this one. From the very beginning, a very dark melody rings out. The melody is more reminiscent of silent despair and struggle than of any open conflict.

Étude Opus 10 No. 12 in C Minor

Our hero does not burden others with his fight; he chooses to weep to himself silently. As the piece progresses to the climax, his struggle grows harsher and more violent. It threatens to consume him entirely. Eventually, the piece fades away to nothing, and our hero ultimately falls. This piece is built on a very interesting structure.

The left hand is not too difficult, playing eighth notes with two longer, held notes every measure. This is all there is to the left hand. Its structure is nearly unvarying; a single eighth note followed by an interval that is almost always above this note. The structure is built on arpeggios, which make the right hand somewhat simpler — it is relatively easy for the fingers to find their place.

Despite this simple structure, Chopin has managed to weave in two not inconsiderable difficulties. Firstly, accents. Although the structure of the piece is very similar throughout, the rhythm and phrasing vary greatly.

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The piece can be divided into three sections based on this: even though each section has the same structure note-wise, they are phrased very differently; a different part of the rhythm is accented in each section. The second difficulty is the wide range of tones that Chopin intended the pianist to use. Notwithstanding that the right hand is structurally similar throughout, there is a wide variety of sounds and tones that Chopin intended for it to express. The pianist must use the same structure to create an extremely wide range of tones and sounds.

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Therefore, despite its seemingly simple construction, the piece is very musically difficult. However, this difficulty is more than compensated for by the lively, charming melody that results from a good performance! The first thing one notices about this etude is that nearly every note is in a rolled chord!

The main focus, then, is immediately apparent. In both the right and left hands, rolled chords of three or four notes abound. As often as not, these rolled chords are enormous, up to a twelfth in both hands! Since these sometimes huge chords are in extremely rapid progression, the etude develops wrist control and finger dexterity. It is literally impossible to roll such large chords with such speed without proper wrist technique. Another difficulty is that even though the melody is usually the top note of each chord, it is sometimes in the middle.

Chopin-Etude Op.10 no.12-[Seong-Jin Cho](Revolutionary)