Saturday, October 8, 2016

This Robbery Lends To Beautiful Music

I'd like to go over again the technique of rubato, which was developed in the Romantic era of music.  Rubato means to "rob time".  I remember my daughter's classical music piano teacher when teaching the technique of rubato, saying, "remember, when you rob, you must give back."

The technique of rubato occurs when the soloist or the orchestra delays the timed playing of a note as written on the score.  It can be very subtle [with a very short delay], or very pronounced.  Either subtly or defined, this technique of delaying the playing of the note adds so much to the feeling and beauty of the music.  When the note is delayed it adds to the listeners anticipation; and when it is finally played it emphasizes that note in a beautiful way. An untrained person in music may not even recognize that the note is delayed from the written score, but will certainly be able to hear that the piece is played with such great feeling by the artist [helped by the effect from the technique of rubato].

Rubato is not noted by the composer.  It is up to the soloist or the conductor of the entire symphony to determine when it is used, and for how long the delay of the note will be.  Many times rubato will be played at the end of a phrase.  Sometimes you will hear a certain phrase that is played as written, and then when that same phrase in the piece is repeated, rubato will be used the time it is repeated.  Then the listener, remembering how the phrase was played at first, will hear a distinct delay when rubato is used for that same phrase...and it will add to the beauty of the hearing.

When you hear rubato in a piece, you know you are hearing a piece from the Romantic era of music.  No composer's music lends itself to the technique of rubato as much as the quintessential  Romantic composer, Frederic Chopin.

Frederic Chopin [1810 - 1849]
Lets see if you can determine when rubato is used in these beautiful piano pieces by Chopin. Some of the rubato is very subtle, so don't worry if you don't pick it all up. 

Please turn up the volume and enjoy some beautiful romantic music from the great Frederic Chopin.

Chopin: Nocturne in B Flat minor, Opus 9 No. 1:



Chopin: Nocturne in E Flat Major, Opus 9 No. 2:




Chopin: Nocturne in B Major, Op 9 No. 3:




Chopin: Piano Concerto #1 in E minor, Mov. 2, Romance:



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