Now, this Nocturne in Eb is the very first Chopin piece I ever learned. I have gotten to rhythmic precision with this, even in the sections with polyrhythms just by playing it frequently. Piano Concerto no. 21 by Mozart prepared me for pieces such as this by getting myself familiar with triplets. To this day, I think of the 12/8 in this nocturne as really being a 4/4 with triplets because, let's be honest, it is compound quadruple meter.
I recorded myself playing this nocturne and uploaded it to youtube. There are a few mistakes and hesitations in there but nothing majorly wrong. Then I got a few suggestions. First one was to increase the tempo so that I'm at full tempo. Now this, I haven't done for 1 major reason. That one being that I simply find it to be more expressive when I go slow and you want to be expressive when playing a Chopin piece.
The other thing that was suggested to me was to make the left hand as legato as possible. My reaction to that was like:
But how can I get the left hand to sound all smooth and legato when I am leaping all over the place with a lot of leaps going an octave or more? Those 2 things seem impossible to have happen at the same time.
So here is my recording of the Nocturne:
Past 10:55, it is simply commentary about how I didn't have enough room to record anything longer than this on my phone. You don't need to listen to that part of it.
You can clearly see that my left hand is leaping wide intervals. A lot of those are by an octave or more. You can also hear that the whole piece is pedaled. This, I thought would be enough to get a smooth legato sound out of wide leaps. Evidently not in the case of this nocturne.
So if pedaling isn't enough, how am I supposed to get the leaps in the left hand to be as legato as possible?