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#1275472 - 09/26/09 09:28 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Mary-Rose]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
I second MaryRose's sentiments, Terrytunes. It was very kind of you to think of us and to take the time to post Mr. Finley's performance. The concerto didn't sound too good; I think the acoustics of the church might have had something to do with it.

But I loved the mazurka. So much so, that it will be my next project. Oh...the same lament, so much music so little time!! smile

Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#1275480 - 09/26/09 09:48 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Terrytunes]
Mati Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 1276
Loc: Lodz, Poland
Originally Posted By: Terrytunes

When Robert mentioned the competition in Warsaw, I suddenly thought of LisztAddict and recalled him mentioning here that he was planning to attend a competition in Warsaw. Then with all the info provided I came across both Robert and LA's name on the competitions webpage and a few pictures!


Yeah, Robert was there. I must say I didn't like his performance much - it was technically very well executed, but somehow boring. He was a very open and nice person though! I really enjoyed meeting him there. Thanks for sharing these performances, and the story behind them!

Mateusz
_________________________
Mateusz Papiernik
My youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Maticomp
"One man can make a difference" - Wilton Knight
Kawai CN21 (digital), Henryk Yamayuri Kawai NX-40 (grand)

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#1275969 - 09/27/09 03:55 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Mati]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1402
Loc: near keyboard, mouth open
I want to add a big thank you to Terrytunes as well for the videos. I thought the mazurka video was excellent-- Mr. Finley does seem to have a good feel for mazurkas. And though the concerto movement had some weaknesses, it was interesting to hear it as a solo. Chopin used to often play it as a solo himself, but I’ve never heard it that way before.

The 1840 Erard didn’t sound as plinky as I expected, based on previous experience. I wish I could teleport over to the Frederick Collection right away!

I wasn’t able to listen to the quartet version of the concerti, unfortunately; it was already gone from the website by the time I looked. I’ve never heard the concerti that way, either, and would like to, as they were performed with quartets or very small ensembles in Chopin’s time. I think maybe Janina Fialkowska has a recording like that, too, but I’m too wiped to go look right now.

Meanwhile, a patient lent me some Olga Kern CDs, one of which has the E minor concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic. It’s a big, hefty performance, and sounds very different from other renditions I’ve heard (especially since I’ve most often listened to Emanuel Ax playing an 1851 Erard with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment). I always wonder which version of the orchestration is being used on a given recording, since the orchestration has been rewritten by people wanting to “improve” it (I am not giving an opinion about whether that should be done) at various times. The liner notes never say. Anybody have insight? Jeff? Steven?

A couple of years ago I bought John Rink’s book on the concerti, hoping to clarify this matter, but it didn’t really answer my question. However, Rink did make it clear that these concerti were intended to be flexible in their instrumentation, so that they could be used in different situations with different forces being available. This means that writing a rather thin orchestration, one that wasn’t absolutely necessary, was practical under the circumstances. At least that’s my understanding.

Kathleen, I don’t know whether Maurice had rheumatism. If we take that as meaning arthritis, it would be unusual in a teenager. If he had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, we probably would have heard more about his being disabled throughout his life. But we do know that his mother wrote about his having rheumatism, meaning that a) he had chronic joint pain, which could have been caused by anything from psychological issues to an infection to an injury, b) he needed an acceptable excuse to get attention, or c) his mom needed an acceptable excuse to get out of the country with her new lover. Or all of the above.

(Jeff, not only is writing first in your word processing program, then copying into the forum, the way to get diacritical marks, it’s a good idea overall. Sometimes when you try to post something, Piano World suddenly stops working, and your message gets lost, so it’s better to have it saved in another document.)

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#1275979 - 09/27/09 05:14 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: Elene
Kathleen, I don’t know whether Maurice had rheumatism. If we take that as meaning arthritis, it would be unusual in a teenager. If he had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, we probably would have heard more about his being disabled throughout his life. But we do know that his mother wrote about his having rheumatism, meaning that a) he had chronic joint pain, which could have been caused by anything from psychological issues to an infection to an injury, b) he needed an acceptable excuse to get attention, or c) his mom needed an acceptable excuse to get out of the country with her new lover. Or all of the above.
Elene


Or Maurice might have had rheumatic fever following a strep infection (strep throat, scarlet fever). I imagine that was quite common before antibiotics. Anyone know if Maurice had any heart problems later on?
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1276017 - 09/27/09 08:49 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Elene
Meanwhile, a patient lent me some Olga Kern CDs, one of which has the E minor concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic. It’s a big, hefty performance, and sounds very different from other renditions I’ve heard (especially since I’ve most often listened to Emanuel Ax playing an 1851 Erard with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment). I always wonder which version of the orchestration is being used on a given recording, since the orchestration has been rewritten by people wanting to “improve” it (I am not giving an opinion about whether that should be done) at various times. The liner notes never say. Anybody have insight? Jeff? Steven?

Though the details of orchestration (and symphonic music in general) are terra incognita to me, it never occurred to me that the Chopin's concerti were any less standardized in this regard than those of other composers. I've heard lots of recordings over the years, and I just don't recall any differences that might account for what you describe in the Olga Kern CD; a "beefing up" of that magnitude would seem to warrant some citation on the liner notes.

In the late 1980s, Dover published a title called "The Piano Concertos in Full Score" that has been out of print for a few years now. It turns out that it's about to be re-released on October 15! Unless the specifics have changed (as Dover did when they surreptitiously swapped the Paderewski editions with Mikuli's), it's the original Breitkopf & Härtel edition.

It occurs to me that any discussion of alterations and "improvements" could also be an apples-and-oranges matter. Some inspired souls might have wished to redistribute passages among various instruments, while others—the vain vandalism of Op. 11 by Carl Tausig comes to mind—would only be satisfied to reconceive, rearrange and restructure the music itself.

And there's another possibility, too: truncation. My first recording ever of Op. 11 was Gary Graffman's; he really did play splendidly before his hand injury! Unfortunately, the long introductory tutti (reminiscent of the openings of Hummel's magnificent Op. 85 and Op. 89 that were so clearly Chopin's models) was drastically cut. I think the recording was from the Sixties; the notes mentioned that the excision was in accord with contemporary practice because the material was, in so many words, found unnecessary and tedious. (Of course, before the more recent reconsideration and rehabilitation of Hummel's reputation, associations with his music weren't complimentary.)

As offensive as that is, it's less ridiculous than James Huneker's fawning over Tausig's rearrangement in his preface to the Schirmer editions of Joseffy and Mikuli. He clearly preferred it to the original, and, as I recall, made some disparaging remarks about "Hummel-like" deceptive cadences (as though "Hummel-like" were itself a slur); it makes for some very queasy reading. As the score of Tausig's version is available at IMSLP, I won't go into detail about his breaches of good taste or specific areas of divergence and disrespect.

Steven

p.s. to Terry: I add my thanks to you for posting those videos. smile
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1276026 - 09/27/09 09:19 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
Mati Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 1276
Loc: Lodz, Poland
I'm no expert in orchestration and music history either, even less than you, Steven - your knowledge is vast. However, Chopin concerti were re-released with National Edition scores and there are some noticable differences between every other recordings I have heard. National Edition sheet music books are complemented by recordings made using these scores - I was surprised when I first heard the concerti.

I have no knowledge about what Olga Kern was playing though.


M.
_________________________
Mateusz Papiernik
My youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Maticomp
"One man can make a difference" - Wilton Knight
Kawai CN21 (digital), Henryk Yamayuri Kawai NX-40 (grand)

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#1276061 - 09/27/09 10:57 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
Jeff Kallberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/09
Posts: 208
Originally Posted By: Elene
I always wonder which version of the orchestration is being used on a given recording, since the orchestration has been rewritten by people wanting to “improve” it (I am not giving an opinion about whether that should be done) at various times. The liner notes never say. Anybody have insight? Jeff? Steven?
[. . .]
(Jeff, not only is writing first in your word processing program, then copying into the forum, the way to get diacritical marks, it’s a good idea overall. Sometimes when you try to post something, Piano World suddenly stops working, and your message gets lost, so it’s better to have it saved in another document.)

Elene


Thanks Elene. So here are the properly "diacriticized" authors' names for Chopin's Poland: Marita Albán Juárez and Ewa Sławińska-Dahlig.

As to the versions of the orchestra used: I wish I had some accurate insight to offer. But as Elene rightly notes, recordings seldom (if ever) reveal their sources. Even the new original-instrument recordings of the concerti sponsored by the Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina, with Thai Son Dang and the Orchestra of the Enlightment don't say whether they used the NIFC-sponsored National Edition in the recordings. Presumably one could figure this out by listening carefully with a score in hand, but I haven't managed to find the time to do that.

The National Edition offers a particularly rich (or particularly bewildering) array of versions of the concertos: a "historical" score, a "concert version" (that presumably addresses idiosyncrasies of the "historical" score), a one-piano version, a two-piano version, and separate parts in which one can retrieve the quartet version.

There are also newly-edited versions of the Breitkopf full scores by Michael Stegemann (op 11) and Jürgen Neubacher (op. 21) - the preface of the latter containing a nice discussion of the complexities of the source problems (as well as a few corrections of youthful stupidities penned by yours truly). The Dover reprint offers up the 19th-c version of the score, so use with caution.

Though not relevant to questions of orchestration, I should mention that the ongoing new London Peters edition has an excellent version of op. 11 in a 2-piano version, superbly edited by John Rink.

So lots of choices here - it would be nice if recording companies let us know what their performers are using.

Jeff

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#1276064 - 09/27/09 10:59 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Jeff Kallberg]
Jeff Kallberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/09
Posts: 208
And a more mature stupidity to add to the mix: the new editions by Stegemann and Neubacher appear with Eulenburg, not Breitkopf!

Sorry for the error,

Jeff

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#1276112 - 09/27/09 01:01 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Jeff Kallberg]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Jeff, our upcoming nocturne e-cital commemorating Chopin's death reminds me of something on which you might possibly shed some light.

Have you heard of a "Nocturne Oubliée" in c-sharp minor? It came to my attention a year ago when I was browsing at the Henselt Library; here's a discussion thread about it from that time with a link to the score:

Chopin "Nocturne Oubliée"

It turns out no one signed up for it for the October event, but I'm still curious about its provenance and whether there are opinions about its authenticity in the academic community (and why it seems to have been published in Russia but nowhere else).
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1276311 - 09/27/09 09:15 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
Jeff Kallberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/09
Posts: 208
The "Nocturne oublié" is generally thought to be a falsification. There is a manuscript of it in the Chopin Museum in Warsaw; I looked at it while doing my dissertation research long ago. The style did not seem to be terribly Chopin-esque, and I recall supposing then that it was something someone in the later 19th century tried to pass off as being by Chopin.

Jeff

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#1276332 - 09/27/09 10:21 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Jeff Kallberg]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Thanks for the information about it, Jeff. It certainly seems as likely to be an imitation of Chopin as anything else, and yet I actually think its musical value superior to that other "nocturne" in c-sharp minor, the Lento con gran espressione that's had a resurgence in popularity since being featured in The Pianist.

That piece has many fans, perhaps owing to the fact that it's among the pieces accessible at an intermediate level. I remember reading Friskin and Freundlich's description of it years ago—"poverty-stricken" and "does [Chopin's] reputation no service"—and have always shared their opinion.

I wonder who penned the "Nocturne Oubliée," and when.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1276421 - 09/28/09 02:51 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Jeff Kallberg]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1402
Loc: near keyboard, mouth open
Frycek, I don't think we were being told that Maurice had rheumatic fever. It was apparently some pain condition that was better with warmer, dryer weather.

And if he did have such a thing, that winter in Majorca must have added to his misery.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#1276436 - 09/28/09 03:46 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1402
Loc: near keyboard, mouth open
The matter of the orchestration of Chopin’s concerti seems only to get more complicated. Thanks for all the information. I’m glad to hear that there have been attempts at sorting out the various versions in new editions.

I am picturing Chopin’s own performances of the E minor concerto (which he apparently performed relatively often) as perhaps being a sort of catch-as-catch-can affair, trying to get together whatever musicians were available to fill out the ensemble.

I’m not necessarily saying that the Olga Kern recording had different orchestration; it was probably only a difference in the conductor’s concept compared to what I’d heard at other times, played more heavily, perhaps by a larger number of players. I really don’t know. I only know that in some recordings the orchestration sounds better to me than in others.

I went back to look at what Forumites had written last year about that “nocturne oublié,” and was a little surprised to see that there were a fair number of people who accepted it as authentic Chopin. It seemed to me that not only was it disjointed and poorly constructed, it had to have been written well after Chopin’s time. I have no idea what makes me say so, but I’d place it somewhere around 1880.

Steven, we do seem to have clashes of taste at times… I dearly love that Lento con gran espressione/nocturne,* and the “nocturne oublié” that you say is superior completely failed to catch my interest. Perhaps I didn’t spend enough time reading through it-- it didn’t make me want to spend much time with it-- or perhaps this reflects my lack of skill as a player.

While looking at the recent videos posted here, I ran into a recording, at YouTube, of the “Valse Mélancolique.” It was listed as recently discovered, which is not true (or depends on one’s definition of “recent,” I suppose), and people were discussing whether it had actually been written by Chopin. There was a statement that it might have been written by one of his students. Now I’m wondering. I have it in one of those Alfred collections, edited by Maurice Hinson if I remember correctly, and he didn’t say anything about a question of authenticity. It seems like it is authentic, but still, one might feel it is a bit different from the bulk of Our Friend’s work.

Of course, the same could be said of some of his definitely-known work. I was playing with the original version of the 7/2 mazurka yesterday, found in Alfred’s “Chopin: Piano Music Inspired by Women in His Life,” another Hinson creation (don’t let the title put you off; it’s worthwhile, though the introduction has awful inaccuracies). It’s almost shockingly different from the familiar version, rather odd in fact, maybe not so hot, certainly surprising. Perhapys it’s closer to its folk roots. I’m glad he wrote the later version.

*which I remember Mati playing beautifully on his video

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#1276524 - 09/28/09 10:21 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I still think it would be most helpful in any discussion of differences among versions to distinguish between the ones (where notes, measures or passages are added, altered or removed) and others in which the music is essentially the same. Maybe I'm not describing that distinction well; as obvious as its existence and importance seem to me, I don't even know the correct terminology to express it.

BTW, Mati, thank you very much for the compliment, but I don't think my knowledge is vast. I have broad general knowledge in many areas (including much useless trivia) but deep familiarity with relatively little. I would never make the mistake of overstating what I know (or want anyone else to have such a mistaken impression). smile

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1277217 - 09/29/09 10:53 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Dear Steven:

I’m afraid I have to disagree with you about the Nocturne No. 20 in C# minor. I happen to love this piece. It could have something to do with my ability to play it fairly well. The runs still give me a bit of trouble, for it’s often a “hit or miss” situation. But I am improving with those every day. And you are probably correct in the assumption that it appeals to many intermediate players, like me. And what’s wrong with that?

It seems that I am not alone in my adoration of this piece. Eleanor Bailie says that it is an interesting piece with a complicated history. It was sent by Chopin to his sister from Vienna in 1830 for her to play before she practiced the second concerto. And it was not entitled a nocturne by Chopin. The detailed commentary in the Paderewski states that bars 19-20 and 23-24 as the opening theme from the last movement of the Concerto in F minor, and also bars 28-30 as a sizable fragment from his song Zyczenie (Maiden’s Wish). The melody is one of the most truly vocal that Chopin ever wrote (states Bailie). It cries out for a Callas or a Sutherland.

I agree with her 100%. I play it every day and never tire of it, for I discover something “new” each time I play it.

And, good grief, I also happen to like Nocturne 21 in C minor. Bailie calls it a sadly flaccid affair, with the monotony of the LH. Supposedly it was written in 1847, when Chopin was so weak. However, whenever I play it, I hear those folk songs (Polish, Jewish and Russian) that so impressed Chopin when he visited the countryside when he was a boy. If one listens carefully, one can hear the sorrow (in that monotonous LH) but the right hand, with its soulful melody, speaks of hope that all would one day be as it once was. I believe that Chopin was expressing his homesickness and despair in the knowledge that he would never return to his homeland.

I am well aware that many musicologists point out the many weaknesses in Chopin’s music and take great joy in doing so. That is their privilege, of course. But the average person, like me, couldn’t care less about those weak points. We only know what we like, and instead of following scores, we follow what our ears and hearts tell us. And I believe that we hear more of what Chopin was in his gentle, soulful pieces than in those huge masterpieces for which he is so well-known.

Respectfully,
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#1277244 - 09/29/09 11:42 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
The Lento con gran espressione was never intended to be more than a sketch, supposedly to introduce Ludwika to some snippets of the second concerto. I've always found that enigmatic; it certainly wouldn't have helped her with the concerto's technical challenges, and the interpolation of the three motifs from Op. 21 seems arbitrary and awkward.

I think that overall it's an odd pastiche of empty gestures cobbled together with a paucity of melody, development and charm except in such a superficial manner that it seems more an imitation of Chopin's style (the harmonies, the grandiose fioriture) than the real article.

We should always remember Chopin's high standards for his published works—and the explicit instructions he gave to Fontana regarding the rest. Fontana's choices were the cream of a dubious crop, and nearly everything to surface afterward has been, in my opinion, even less worthy.

I do think that the Lento con gran espressione might be found more impressive to the degree one is unacquainted with Chopin's music. Kathleen, you've mentioned that you're unfamiliar with all but a handful of the nocturnes, so perhaps you'll find this one lacking when you have sufficient basis for making comparison with real masterpieces of the genre.

In any case, there's no accounting for taste; we like what we like. My estimation of this sketch is unshakable, but I'll respectfully refrain from using adjectives that would more depict my thoughts more vividly. smile

FWIW, I'm not aware that "many musicologists point out the many weaknesses in Chopin’s music and take great joy in doing so." In the music Chopin chose to publish during his lifetime, the "weaknesses" are few and far between indeed; as to the posthumous oeuvre, the weaknesses can be taken for granted. A critical appraisal of those deficiencies on anyone's part shouldn't be mistaken for joy; those who delight in following scores have ears and hearts that are just as functional as anybody else's.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1277267 - 09/29/09 12:23 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1402
Loc: near keyboard, mouth open
I must again jump to the defense of the Lento con gran espressione. Steven, I guess this puts us “even,” since I’m not crazy about the Allegro de concert.

I think I do have a little bit of street cred around here and am entitled to having an educated opinion about the nocturnes. I certainly “have sufficient basis for making comparison with real masterpieces of the genre.”

This piece comes early in the development of the nocturnes, and does seem to have some experimental aspects. Have you ever tried playing the section that quotes the third movement (mazurka) of the concerto and “Życenie”* in its original form, with each hand having its own time signature? Not easy, and an interesting effect, which preserves the original triple meter of the melodies being quoted. I only know of one recording done with that version, one by Jean-Yves Thibaudet, though there must be more someplace. I’m too chicken to play it that way myself. I suppose I should make myself have a try at it.

I don’t think the lovely melody of the A section requires any justification. No accounting for taste, etc. The fioriture don’t strike me as “grandiose,” but as simply typically Chopinesque.

I don’t understand the direction to Ludwika to play it “before the concerto” either, but that does not affect my enjoyment of the piece.

To me, this piece sounds not like a pastiche but a kind of operatic overture in miniature, with little tastes of what is to come, especially because the introduction strikes me as rather theatrical.

*The title of this song translates as simply “Wish,” not “Maiden’s Wish.” Because the past-tense verbs are feminine, we know the speaker in the poem is female, but she could as easily be a grandmother as a maiden.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#1277298 - 09/29/09 01:01 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I don't think that a posthumous scrap like the Lento bears any comparison with anything Chopin wrote up though Op. 65, and certainly not the Allegro de Concert. While Chopin thought so highly of the Allegro that he planned to play it in concert if he ever returned to Warsaw, I imagine he would be thoroughly appalled to know that the Lento even saw the light of day.

I'm not sure why being Totally Devoted to Chopin should mean—as it seems to—that a valid critique on artistic merits be taken as a personal affront. It's obvious to me that the Lento is a weak sketch, if not in an absolute sense then unquestionably relative to compositions on which he labored meticulously for publication. Personally, I think it's an insult to compare it to anything in a brilliant corpus of published work that embodies inspiration and craftsmanship of the highest order. It's a bit maddening that a negligible piece be acclaimed as though by necessity; that mindset is what makes outsiders suspect that Chopin's "love-sick groupies" really believe that he could do no wrong and that any criticism, however well-founded, is heresy.

I don't understand why people who like something of questionable merit would need to inflate its merits as though to justify their appreciation. It isn't as if Chopin is to blame because the Lento is weak; if it were meant to be anything more than a trifle, he would have published it.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1277370 - 09/29/09 02:28 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Terrytunes]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4974
Loc: boston north
[quote=Terrytunes]
Being in attendance at last Sunday's Frederick Historical Concert, all of the devoted members of Chopin were very much in my thoughts as I prepared to listen to a program of Chopin works played by Robert Finley. He had selected the 1840 Erard for his performance.

http://frederickcollection.org/2009Sep20.html

Thank you for sharing the videos from Fredericks. WOW! an Erard 1840!

One day, I hope to make it to Fredericks. Only 2 hours away from me but that means 4 hours of traveling which is not much fun by oneself. But surely worth it once one is there, without a doubt!

I like to view the youtubes over at YT where I can do High Definition. Any of you try that?

This all reminds me that I must get back to Chopin.

I have been concentrating on Schumann, Rach, and now Scriabin and Scarlatti of late.

Looking forward to our CAPE COD excursion, TT!
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1277373 - 09/29/09 02:32 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Dear Steven:

After I read your post, I thought I could react in one of two ways: with anger or with humor. I decided upon the latter because life is too short to get upset over such silliness.

As always, with respect,
Kathleen
_________________________
After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891

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#1277392 - 09/29/09 02:57 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1074
Loc: California
Weren't many of Chopin's pieces published posthumously?

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#1277484 - 09/29/09 05:41 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Nikalette]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1402
Loc: near keyboard, mouth open
Steven, I'm not inflating the merits of anything. I enjoy that piece. I like it. It feels good to me to play it. There are a number of Chopin's works that I don't particularly like, and I've never said that I like everything of his, not by any means, nor do I feel obliged to do so. This is not worth fighting over. I was not taking anything as a "personal affront," and I don't see any reason for you to do so, either.

Of course the Lento and the Allegro de Concert are in different worlds in terms of their complexity, difficulty and sophistication. I was merely saying that I like the one piece and you like the other. The end.

The E minor nocturne, 72/1, written in Chopin's late teens, was published posthumously. I don't know what circumstances led to its not being published during the composer's lifetime, but I think (I think) that most of us would agree that it is very fine indeed.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#1277557 - 09/29/09 07:59 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Nikalette]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Nikalette
Weren't many of Chopin's pieces published posthumously?

The number is significant though relatively modest. If one counts everything from Opp. 66 through 74 (the numbers assigned in the decade after his death) and everything that surfaced since then, and treating all sets as individual pieces (the 17 songs of Op. 74, for example), I would hazard a guess that the percentage of posthumous pieces is perhaps 20-25% of the total.

In categories such as concertos, concert pieces, ballades, chamber music, etudes and scherzos, there are no posthumous works; the only genre in which they predominate is the waltzes (11 posthumous out of 19 total).

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1277577 - 09/29/09 08:47 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
Mati Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 1276
Loc: Lodz, Poland
And what about Polonaises, Steven? If I see right, there are 7 published during his life and 9 posthumous ones (catalogued as WN 1 through 35 using new National Edition numbering system*, formely three of Op. 71 and the rest without opus numbers).

* National Edition of Chopin Works is assigning WN numbers to all posthumous works.


Edited by Mati (09/29/09 08:47 PM)
_________________________
Mateusz Papiernik
My youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Maticomp
"One man can make a difference" - Wilton Knight
Kawai CN21 (digital), Henryk Yamayuri Kawai NX-40 (grand)

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#1277617 - 09/29/09 10:06 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Mati]
menancy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 51
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
If anybody is interested in a Tribute to Chopin based on his Prelude in E minor by Stephen Heller op. 71 Elegie et Marche Funebre. Written after Chopin's death. Heller & Chopin were friends.
Heller's op. 71 -Tribute to Chopin

I think it is outstanding and holds up well to the original theme & introduces some very original beautiful material.

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#1277622 - 09/29/09 10:12 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Mati]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Mati
And what about Polonaises, Steven? If I see right, there are 7 published during his life and 9 posthumous ones (catalogued as WN 1 through 35 using new National Edition numbering system*, formely three of Op. 71 and the rest without opus numbers).

* National Edition of Chopin Works is assigning WN numbers to all posthumous works.

Of course you're right, Mati, and I thank you for the correction. Dang, how did I overlook that? frown

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#1277798 - 09/30/09 08:19 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Also the manuscripts of a least six more unpublished waltzes were destroyed when the Russians trashed Chopin's mother's apartment in 1863. We know about the six waltzes from a little "catalogue" Ludwika kept. She'd copied out the first lines of each one in it.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1277979 - 09/30/09 01:33 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: -Frycek]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1402
Loc: near keyboard, mouth open
I wonder if the depredations of war, fire, etc. explain why we don't have any of Ludwika's own compositions? (Or do we?) We've heard she wrote some excellent mazurkas, but we never get to see or hear them. I wonder what else she may have written?

My patient who lent me the Olga Kern concerto CD also supplied me with CD's of lieder by Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann. I just finished listening to Fanny's collection. Quite a respectable group of songs, a number of them with poetry by Goethe. I haven't heard Clara's yet, but I did recently hear an album of her piano works, including a really lovely trio that has, to my ear, a Russian flavor.

I never understood why, when Fanny Mendelssohn practically begged to meet Chopin, he kept putting her off.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#1278585 - 10/01/09 11:10 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1402
Loc: near keyboard, mouth open
Menancy, thank you for posting the Heller piece, which I'm sure I'd never have encountered if you hadn't brought it to our attention.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone look as uncomfortable at the piano as Mr. Kunazawa. I got to wondering if his right shoulder had been injured.

Apparently the PTNA (Piano Teachers National Association of Japan) is cataloguing lots of piano works on video? Their website in English didn't explain anything about that. Looks like a worthwhile group.

http://www.piano.or.jp/english/about/

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
Website: http://elenelistens.com






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#1278921 - 10/01/09 08:50 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
menancy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 51
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Your welcome Elene,

I was wondering what you or anyone else thought of the Heller piece. Chopin's E minor Prelude is so well known & loved by so many that when I first learned that it was expanded upon I thought... Why? But I really liked Heller's development(variation)of the theme.

Just curious what the Chopin Experts thought.

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