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#2079820 - 05/09/13 12:21 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Frycek, I could hardly have said all this better. And I appreciate your analysis of Mme Sand all the more since I know she is far from your favorite human being.

WesCraven, reading through our thread here will honestly give you quite a good education about Chopin's life. I remember that we had a lengthy debate about his relationship with Mme Sand; based on when I joined, it must have been during the early part of 2008. Check it out. It will save you time looking up other sources.

And please, I beg you-- don't write a story about Chopin's life till you really feel you understand something about him. So much crap has been written about him already, and he doesn't deserve that.

Elene
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Semi-Pro Musica

Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
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#2079879 - 05/09/13 02:59 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
I'm qualified to hold forth about his music, but not his life. I'm not much of a historian. ha
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Polyphonist

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#2081609 - 05/12/13 10:14 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: -Frycek]
WesCraven Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/30/13
Posts: 5
Thank you so much Frycek!If I'm not mistaken I heard that you were quite the expert on Chopin (I had read some of the earlier posts on this thread). And I was also wondering if Frederic ever expressed his feelings about children and if he wanted any. He tutored and I assume at some point in time he worked with teens or younger children.

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#2081698 - 05/13/13 03:41 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: WesCraven]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: WesCraven
Thank you so much Frycek!If I'm not mistaken I heard that you were quite the expert on Chopin (I had read some of the earlier posts on this thread). And I was also wondering if Frederic ever expressed his feelings about children and if he wanted any. He tutored and I assume at some point in time he worked with teens or younger children.


He never really expressed an overt desire for children and he specifically didn't teach them. He only took someone as young as Carl Filtsch (who was I think 13 at the time) because he was very exceptional - the young man was called "the next Liszt" by Lizst himself who also taught him- but he tragically died at the age of 15 of a ruptured appendix and peritonitis.)
Chopin had made quite a pet of him, he and George had him to supper, Chopin played chess with him, etc. Chopin also tutored him in composition - the only time he is ever known to have done that with anyone.
Re children though, Chopin seems to take more of an interest in them than one might expect of most childless bachelors. He wrote a charming description of a friend's rosy warm toddler son romping around in front of the fireplace in nothing more than a diaper while Chopin himself sat freezing "wrapped up like a mummy." Another time he took a friend's child chocolate and told the kid it was from George (who knew nothing about it). "Now he thinks you're
the chocolate lady and your dark hair is chocolate." As a teen he was known to have babysat (usually entertaining the kids with telling stories and piano playing)and took quite an interest in a young German boy who was at a spa where he went for his health at 15, trying to pass the time by teaching him Polish. At the end of his life, he once expressed his boredom by complaining "there's not a dog I can whistle at, not a child I can talk to." So yes, I'd say he liked kids, other peoples' at least. (He'd have probably made a most excellent uncle.) (And he did take a certain amount of long distance interest in his sister Ludwika's three.)

(And I'm by no means an expert in any degree. I'm a one trick pony. I just read a lot and have a funny memory for this sort of thing.)
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#2081708 - 05/13/13 04:24 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: -Frycek]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Frycek, you just showed your expertise right there, by mentioning a number of factoids I'd never seen before (like any reference to Chopin playing chess) or had forgotten, and you know how few things there are about him that I haven't seen (though there are many I've forgotten, sad to say).

Fryderyk of course was an uncle-- too bad he didn't get to be one more actively.

I love the image of him writing the Berceuse in response to spending time taking care of Pauline Viardot's little girl.

Didn't know Filtsch died of peritonitis-- I seem to remember reading that it was tuberculosis. It was tragic either way. But at least Liszt didn't have to "shut up shop" as he half-joked he'd have to when the boy began his career. I wonder what might have happened if he'd lived; perhaps in some universe, he did.

Elene
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#2081742 - 05/13/13 07:37 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
Frycek, you just showed your expertise right there, by mentioning a number of factoids I'd never seen before (like any reference to Chopin playing chess) or had forgotten, and you know how few things there are about him that I haven't seen (though there are many I've forgotten, sad to say).

Fryderyk of course was an uncle-- too bad he didn't get to be one more actively.

I love the image of him writing the Berceuse in response to spending time taking care of Pauline Viardot's little girl.

Didn't know Filtsch died of peritonitis-- I seem to remember reading that it was tuberculosis. It was tragic either way. But at least Liszt didn't have to "shut up shop" as he half-joked he'd have to when the boy began his career. I wonder what might have happened if he'd lived; perhaps in some universe, he did.

Elene


And you just reminded me that I'd left out the best factoid of all, that Chopin also got down on his hands and knees to give Pauline Viardot's little girl horsey rides.

Re Filtsch. It was peritoniasis according to that book Carl's posthumous niece wrote, About One Whom Chopin Loved. Her father Joseph was one of Carl's much older brothers, the one who functioned as his guardian and travelling companion. She not only had access to her father's recollections but all of his and Carl's letters and even some of Carl's compositions with Chopin's annotations on them. It's about all the really accurate information we have on Carl. At some point the business about the TB got out there on the net (probably as a confusion with Chopin) and the same misinformation is repeated multiple places but it's not accurate.

Someday, I'm going to transcribe that little book and put it out on the net for free. It was published about 1920 so it's still a few years before it's totally in the public domain worldwide.
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#2083044 - 05/15/13 11:09 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
I thought this was eye-opening. I'd played the 63/2 mazurka in the past, but looking through it in the National Edition, I found this:



Note the succession of 3s in the RH, mm 7-8. This is the composer's fingering. Not that it's so unusual for Chopin, but it sure didn't show up in the older editions, and it does change the sound.

Elene
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#2083070 - 05/15/13 12:15 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
chopin_r_us Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 959
Loc: UK
That's fascinating. I just had a go - being it's Lento, it's very effective.

All along though it was underneath our noses - from a first edition:



Edited by chopin_r_us (05/15/13 12:25 PM)

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#2083162 - 05/15/13 03:17 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
TwoSnowflakes Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1310
Hee great thread. I am just getting back into playing and am starting with some Chopin, so I've got Chopin on the brain.

Maybe I'll do this Mazurka next. We use it often in ballet class, so it'd be nice to learn. We also use the 30/2. Both recordings are of my piano teacher, so I'm already pretty intimately familiar with how she interprets it, haha!

Chopin makes me happy!
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2083551 - 05/16/13 07:55 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: chopin_r_us]
Jeff Kallberg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/09
Posts: 211
Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
That's fascinating. I just had a go - being it's Lento, it's very effective.

All along though it was underneath our noses - from a first edition:



Elene and chopin_r_us: A favorite fingering of Chopin's. I seem to recall that Eigeldinger has a discussion of his use of successive "3"s in Chopin: Pianist and Teacher.

Jeff Kallberg

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#2084510 - 05/18/13 01:10 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Jeff, I can think of other similar examples, too (but didn't remember this being discussed by Eigeldinger, will have to look it up).

What yanks my chain is the fact that sometimes-- not as often as we'd like-- we have Chopin's genuine fingerings available, indicating a specific sound that he was looking for, and an editor ignores them and takes it upon himself to do something else entirely. When I see a volume marked "revised and edited by" so-and-so, I always wonder, where does the editor get off revising? Give us the original information as much as possible and then let us make our own decisions about what to do with it.

Elene
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Blog: http://elenedom.wordpress.com
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#2084557 - 05/18/13 04:26 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
When I see a volume marked "revised and edited by" so-and-so, I always wonder, where does the editor get off revising? Give us the original information as much as possible and then let us make our own decisions about what to do with it.

Elene


I think it's a matter of if you change it a bit, add a new intro or whatever you can keep the copyright.
_________________________
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#2084771 - 05/18/13 01:41 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Oh, you're right, Frycek. I was too dumb to think of that, even though it's something I knew about. However, there would be no problem at all with adding some notes to say what the composer's fingerings or other indications were. You just couldn't exactly copy somebody else's edition.

Chopin's fingerings probably still freak a lot of people out. In their time, they must have seemed bizarre and incomprehensible to many if not most pianists. Editors may have felt that they were saving us from all that crazy stuff.

Elene

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#2086330 - 05/21/13 03:33 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: IreneAdler]
johnnysd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 26
Loc: San Diego CA
Originally Posted By: IreneAdler
I have a been working on Chopin's Waltz in A minor post. for two weeks now and needless to say I adore it like all his compositions. My problem is with how to use the sustain pedal in this piece. I started out using in the standard places right after the 1 beat to sustain the lilt of the piece and then changing after the 3 beat in preparation for the next measure. This produced an okay sound not quite what I desired, as it sometimes got muddled if I didn't change the pedal correctly.

Now after my 2nd lesson, on this piece, my teacher suggested putting the sustain pedal down on 1 and then letting it off at 2 and not putting it down again till the next measure. It went okay in the lesson, but now on my own its going terrible, the waltz has no sway at all and it sounds the worst it ever has. If anyone has suggestions on how they use the pedal they would be greatly appreciated as I am lost on how to make this pedaling work.


I just had my first lesson, and since I am all for Chopin, I brought this piece as a long term goal, but my teacher thinks I am good enough to start right away learning hands separate and then together,once I build some more base technique, in about a month. Pretty excited.

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#2086514 - 05/21/13 11:27 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
So have you played before on your own, johnnysd? You must have, as this is far from a beginning piece. Hope you enjoy your lessons!

Elene

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#2086552 - 05/22/13 02:11 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
johnnysd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/13
Posts: 26
Loc: San Diego CA
Originally Posted By: Elene
So have you played before on your own, johnnysd? You must have, as this is far from a beginning piece. Hope you enjoy your lessons!

Elene


A little yes, a couple months of teaching myself 6 or 7 years ago before I had to sell my piano. Long time classical guitarist though. Just got a piano back in the last couple weeks and having a great time learning to play. I like my teacher a lot she is giving me the structure and strictness I want, and I will be pursuing ABSRM testing as well. She actually gave me a "bridge" Chopin piece to work on until we start the prelude, the Cantabile in B flat. It is pretty, I am working on the first line this week. Seems pretty hard for my level but I think I can get it going super slow.

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#2087089 - 05/22/13 11:54 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Frycek sent me this:

Chopin speaks on film

As Jack Gibbons commented, it's mind-boggling how they managed to have that technology back then! (Though it's 1849, Jack, not 1847.)

Elene

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#2087491 - 05/23/13 03:10 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Are we sure it's not fake? wink
_________________________
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Polyphonist

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#2087513 - 05/23/13 04:02 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
chopin_r_us Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 959
Loc: UK
Wow, I love it!

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#2087562 - 05/23/13 05:35 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Polyphonist]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Are we sure it's not fake? wink


Of course, it's not fake. It's vouched for by Rosemary Brown herself. wink
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Slow down and do it right.

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#2087570 - 05/23/13 05:44 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
EdwardianPiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/29/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Liverpool, England
Very eerie and well done. Seen other vids like this where they take photos of portraits of c.19th people and make them talk- but this looks so real!
I wonder what Chopin's real voice sounded like.
_________________________
"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."

"He who divines the secret of my music is delivered from the misery that haunts the world."


Ludwig Van Beethoven

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#2087585 - 05/23/13 06:19 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: EdwardianPiano]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Originally Posted By: EdwardianPiano
Very eerie and well done. Seen other vids like this where they take photos of portraits of c.19th people and make them talk- but this looks so real!
I wonder what Chopin's real voice sounded like.


The one fleeting description I've heard of his voice was that it was low and husky, so they may have gotten it right.
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Slow down and do it right.

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#2087715 - 05/24/13 12:47 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Edwardian, do you happen to remember which 19th-c. personages appeared in other animations like this? I'd love to check them out. This one was scarily well done, even though one has to make a little extra leap to imagine Chopin speaking fluent Italian (not an extreme leap, since he did study that language in his youth and spend some time in Italy later). Although the voice is quite deep it didn't seem implausible to me.

It did seem odd that they had him say he didn't travel much. Far less than Liszt, certainly, but far more than most people of his time.

Elene

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#2088227 - 05/24/13 06:27 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6112
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
George Sand also has something to say: shocked eek

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Music is my best friend.


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#2088358 - 05/24/13 11:18 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
The Chopin is by far the more skillfully done. Perhaps because they had a better pose to work with.
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#2088751 - 05/25/13 06:38 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: -Frycek]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6112
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Yes, the original photo is important.

This is the one they used for George Sand (although the background is different):



The photo looks less natural than Chopin's too.
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#2089015 - 05/26/13 04:53 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
George just isn't in an very conversational pose, she's in more of an "I'm having my picture taken pose."
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Slow down and do it right.

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#2089334 - 05/26/13 05:23 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Heavens to Betsy. No, the Sand didn't come out as convincingly. But at least she was in fact able to speak Italian well.

How could they say that Chopin was prejudiced against women who were involved with literature? All his sisters wrote, and Emilia was said to have been brilliant at it, even at her tender age. That wasn't what put him off about Mme Sand at first, I'm sure. It's a little confusing, though, because he did say something disparaging about her being a bluestocking-- strange for someone who showed a decided preference for the company of very intelligent females.

Elene
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#2089364 - 05/26/13 05:57 PM 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
It's a little confusing, though, because he did say something disparaging about her being a bluestocking-- strange for someone who showed a decided preference for the company of very intelligent females.

Elene

Of course at this late date we have not idea how seriously or not he made that remark. Marie d'Agoult was a novelist as well and as you said he (and Liszt too for that matter) did have a decided preference for brainy women. I think he was a bit put off by the idea of George as all the more outre facts of her public persona had undoubtedly preceded her. She probably sounded like Tugboat Annie to him.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#2089424 - 05/26/13 07:16 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1417
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Yes. My thought is that he disliked excess, flamboyance, and notoriety for its own sake, not to mention preferring at least the appearance of social acceptability. Once he got to know Mme Sand, of course he revised his opinion of her.

(I don't know who Tugboat Annie was!)

Elene

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