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#981614 - 09/29/08 02:39 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
That's fantastic, Mati - thanks! Even though I studied basic Polish I didn't know about the shape of the mouth not changing for vowel sounds.

Polish sounds a lot better than it looks \:D
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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Petrof Pianos

#981615 - 09/29/08 03:37 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mati Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 1276
Loc: Lodz, Poland
It's crucial not to make all sounds "perfectly round" as they are in English \:\)

You say it looks that bad? Maybe you're right, I wonder \:D \:D \:D

I'm happy I could help \:\)

My best,
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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#981616 - 09/29/08 10:21 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
Looks on the page, I hasten to add... not coming out of the mouth! \:D
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#981617 - 09/30/08 11:19 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
Mati: thanks so much for your informative and entertaining podcasts and the video! Polish appears to be a difficult language to learn and to speak properly (from my perspective anyway), but it's fun to listen to your lessons. Ever consider making a Polish language tutorial DVD?

Steven: Your "rough drafts" of the etudes are amazing and inspiring to me as well- I'm very impressed, not only because you are doing such a great job on each but because you are taking on THREE at one time!
That seems almost a super-human task
You may have mentioned this in the "etudes" thread, but- have you noticed a distinct improvement in your technique, or at least in your level of dexterity, as a result of taking these on?

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#981618 - 09/30/08 04:14 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1412
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Back to 19th century medicine for just a moment, before I bother you with more language-nerd business.

I was particularly struck by the “Strengthening Medicine” in the page on Victorian medicine that Frycek directed us to. I don’t see it as a tonic, actually, but it is a useful digestive formula, and I guess if your digestion is working better you are going to be stronger.

Chamomile is relaxing in general and quiets an upset stomach. Bitter orange peel regulates peristalsis. Ginger is a powerful herb that, among other things, fights nausea and aids digestion. Rhubarb root is usually taken as a laxative, for which it is quite effective, although if it is cooked longer that function is reduced and it is used for other things.

I was heartened to see that they were using some real medicine!

A fairly similar formula is conveniently available today as Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea. It’s one of the best antispasmodic formulas I know of for intestinal pain, whether from irritable bowel syndrome or infection. Doesn’t work for everyone, but can be absolutely magical. It has very simple ingredients: chamomile, orange peel, and fennel. I wish medicine could always be so easy and so non-toxic.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981619 - 09/30/08 05:43 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Elene:
I was particularly struck by the “Strengthening Medicine” in the page on Victorian medicine that Frycek directed us to....[/b]
Hehe, sorry for the off-topic intrusion, but this reminded me of something hilarious (to my broken brain, anyway).

Remember how on The Beverly Hillbillies, Granny was an M.D. (Mountain Doctor) who obeyed the Hypocrite's Oath (and the Code of the Hills) and dosed herself frequently with "Roomatiz Medicine" (i.e., corn squeezins)?

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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#981620 - 09/30/08 06:59 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
And remember Granny had studied with old John Hopkins?
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#981621 - 09/30/08 11:15 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1412
Loc: under monsoon clouds
I think I know some doctors who follow the Hypocrite's Oath. Even some in my own profession!

(When Mme Sand practiced medicine, perhaps she did too....)

I didn't remember that about Granny. Maybe I am just a little big younger than y'all.... or maybe just old enough to have a bad memory.

I kind of remember the Beverly Hillbillies theme song, though.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981622 - 10/01/08 10:05 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Good grief! I could not stand that program or Gillian's Island. SSSSooooo corny!! My favorites were The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. Spooky stuff.

As always, I am so impressed with all of your knowledge and your quest for seeking out the truth. I sometimes (most times) feel that I am but a poor cousin on this thread. But that's O.K. because I have learned so much from all of you.

On another subject and this one was posted on The Pianist Corner. But I could not believe how many of the posters veered off the topic and some got downright nasty.

My husband recorded part of the Jay Leno show for me two nights ago (I am sound asleep by that time and I don't watch TV at all, except for Law and Order). Lang Lang play ed Chopin's Heroic Polonaise, and I had to grit my teeth throughout his whole performance.

First of all, Leno introduced him saying that he was going to play the Chopin concerto. Wow, I thought. This should be good. Imagine my disappointment when it turned out that that was not the case.

Instead, he played the Heroic Polonaise and in about 3 minutes. Ashkenazy and Rubinstein play it in 6+ minutes. I can only surmise that he was given a certain time restriction, so why didn't he play something else? It sounded absolutely terrible!! And as far as his famous weird body movements and eye rolling, he had no time to interject those at all because he whipped through that composition as if he were late for dinner.

Naturally, the audience applauded loudly, for it certainly was a remarkable feat to get through that piece in such record time. But I could only think of the injustice he did to Chopin by playing it in such a manner.

I think he might have been trying to impress everyone with his remarkable talent and technique, but I wish he would have chosen some other music to do so. Chopin certainly deserved better.

I just finished reading his autobiography: A Journey of One Thousand Miles. And I do have to admit that I gained new respect for him because he led such a horrible childhood, and he worked so hard to get where he is.

And I do think he is a wonderful pianist. But I have to keep my eyes closed when I get on youtube to hear him play. :rolleyes:

I think I mentioned before that he has to be grateful to Chopin for it was his playing of Chopin's concerto in F that won him his first major competition in Japan at the age of 12 or 13. After that, things started going very well for him, and soon he was gived a full scholarship to study in the U.S.

Whatever you might think of him or his playing, I do believe he is to be admired for he faced many hardships (including an unbelievably overbearing father) to get where he is. He has a strong and healthy ego, which he developed in spite of almost constant negativity from everyone, including his teachers and fellow students. I say: Good For Him!

Well, off my soapbox. The taping of the show was not a total loss as Russell Crowe was on (be still my foolish heart! :3hearts: )

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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#981623 - 10/01/08 10:45 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
The speed of Lang's Polonaise performance made me wonder if he might to try to play the "Minute" Waltz in 60 seconds or less—not because of his own misunderstanding, but maybe attempting to meet the baseless expectation of a less-than-sophisticated audience?

Kathleen, do you remember the Outer Limits episode called "The Sixth Finger," starring David McCallum as a man who is hyperevolved through a scientific experiment? IIRC, he employs his extra digits to play a prelude from the Well-Tempered Clavier.

Gilligan's Island ... another show whose theme song (like "The Ballad of Jed Clampett") everybody of a certain age knows. How about The Patty Duke Show? ("But they're cousins ....")

I love anything Law and Order, but the original show just isn't the same without Jerry Orbach. Special Victims Unit is good, and Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni are a pleasure to watch, but the stories can be so disturbing!

My hands-down favorite is Criminal Intent. Vincent D'Onofrio was so handsome in the early seasons, and even now with all the extra weight ... yipes, be still my own heart!



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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#981624 - 10/01/08 01:40 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Lang Lang play ed Chopin's Heroic Polonaise....... he played the Heroic Polonaise and in about 3 minutes. [/b]
Are you sure he played the whole piece? This piece takes around 7 minutes by the standard. Not even Argerich can play this whole polonaise in 3 minutes if she tries.

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#981625 - 10/01/08 02:21 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Maybe he dropped a lot of notes. ;\)
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#981626 - 10/01/08 05:33 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1412
Loc: under monsoon clouds
I'd like to see Yundi Li get more attention than Lang Lang, but I guess it ain't gonna happen. Lang Lang is a great Beethoven player, but for Chopin, not so much.

You know, one time Jay Leno did his "Jaywalking" segment and asked people on the street how long it takes for the earth to go around the sun. Nobody knew. Then he asked how long the boat tour was supposd to be on Gilligan's Island, and everyone immediately replied, "Three hours," without having to think of it.

I wouldn't mind having that 6th finger, but I would settle for just a couple more millimeters of length on the ones I have.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981627 - 10/01/08 05:35 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1412
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Language Nerd Corner:

I want to be a linguist in my next life. In this life, I used to teach voice, so I’ve been accustomed to listening to tiny nuances of vocal sounds. I was grateful to see Mati’s video, since although I know the rules of pronunciation, I don’t hear spoken Polish very often. (I do hear my Polish friend speaking English. Mati’s accent is much better than hers.)

The Polish pronunciation of Chopin as I have usually heard it doesn’t sound like “pen” in the second syllable—not a definite short E sound, instead a very indeterminate schwa sound. I suppose different people speak differently. I’m sure Mati has heard it many, many more times than I have.

"o" is always "o" like in "don't" or "on"[/b] The Os in those two English words are quite different from each other.
It seems to me that O in Polish is different from O in English too.

Some centuries ago, during the Great Vowel Shift (it’s really called that!), the pronunciations of vowels in English diverged from the other European languages. I have never understood why that took place. But yes, vowels in English tend to actually sound like two vowels stuck together. That’s why Chopin was making fun of the English ladies for saying something like “j’aiiieee aiiméeee.”

With Franz Liszt we say "list", with "i" as in "squeeze".[/b]
According to my source on Hungarian pronunciation, it should be like “list” in English, and would need an acute accent on the I in order to make it “leest.” But I’m not sure if that is necessarily true.
My mother, influenced by knowing Slovak as a child, used to say his name as “leest.” Otherwise, it is always said as “list” in the US.

Any Hungarian speakers lurking?

While trying to answer for myself the question of how to say “Liszt” properly, I came across this site: http://www.d-vista.com/OTHER/franzliszt.html
Among many other things it has a cute but slightly creepy animation of pictures of the man, and an ode that you may have seen before, which includes the line, “More profound than the Pole….”

Uh, yeah. Well, you know how those deranged lovesick groupies can be.

Yes, the sound quality on the Leslie Flint recordings is pretty poor. They started in the early 1950s, with unsophisticated equipment, in somebody’s living room, which was far from soundproof. I have a copy of one that isn’t available on the Flint website, which contains some very worthwhile material (no matter who the voice is) but is even worse; the voices sound high and squeaky, like the Chipmunks. (I was trying to imagine how I might explain to Chopin what I meant by sounding like the Chipmunks—the concept of playing a recording at a higher speed, the concept of cartoons, etc. Then it hit me that chipmunks are native to North America and he would never have seen one anyway.)

I suppose he may have thought that English speakers would understand “Frédéric” better than “Fryderyk.”

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981628 - 10/01/08 07:12 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mati Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 1276
Loc: Lodz, Poland
 Quote:
Originally posted by Elene:
Language Nerd Corner:
I want to be a linguist in my next life. In this life, I used to teach voice, so I’ve been accustomed to listening to tiny nuances of vocal sounds. I was grateful to see Mati’s video, since although I know the rules of pronunciation, I don’t hear spoken Polish very often. (I do hear my Polish friend speaking English. Mati’s accent is much better than hers.) [/b]
Thanks \:\) It has been much better some time ago when I used to speak intensively almost everyday. I don't have many opportunites lately which I am not happy about, as my spoken English is somehow deteriorating. Maybe rusting would be a better word? I am sure I could get back to my top after speaking for few days just like I did around my Cambridge exams.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Elene:

The Polish pronunciation of Chopin as I have usually heard it doesn’t sound like “pen” in the second syllable—not a definite short E sound, instead a very indeterminate schwa sound. I suppose different people speak differently. I’m sure Mati has heard it many, many more times than I have.
[/b]
English has many accent variations all over the world and Polish is no different. There would be as many pronunciations as many people you listened to \:\) If I studied polish philology and especially phonetics I would be of much more use \:\) I'm a mere native speaker though, so please take me with a grain of salt from time to time.

It's the same with English - people who really studied the language extensively throughout their lives speak differently than those who are "just" natives.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Elene:

"o" is always "o" like in "don't" or "on"[/b] The Os in those two English words are quite different from each other.
It seems to me that O in Polish is different from O in English too.

Some centuries ago, during the Great Vowel Shift (it’s really called that!), the pronunciations of vowels in English diverged from the other European languages. I have never understood why that took place. But yes, vowels in English tend to actually sound like two vowels stuck together. That’s why Chopin was making fun of the English ladies for saying something like “j’aiiieee aiiméeee.”
[/b]
Oh, yes. You're right. I made those two English "o"'s sound very similar, even though I know they differ. It's just I was looking for something of best resemblance to our "O" which indeed is a bit different from anything I know from English vocabulary.

From my experience in English vowels often tend to sound like "something in between" two of them, apart from times when it sounds like two vowels stuck together. The degree of "something in between" is extremely fluid and depends on many factors, that's how I see it. I may be wrong though \:\)

 Quote:
Originally posted by Elene:

With Franz Liszt we say "list", with "i" as in "squeeze".[/b]
According to my source on Hungarian pronunciation, it should be like “list” in English, and would need an acute accent on the I in order to make it “leest.” But I’m not sure if that is necessarily true.
My mother, influenced by knowing Slovak as a child, used to say his name as “leest.” Otherwise, it is always said as “list” in the US.

Any Hungarian speakers lurking?
[/b]
I would love to hear a true Hungarian version too! We speak "list" just like we would do if it was a polish word, but it's really not.


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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#981629 - 10/01/08 07:15 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mati Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 1276
Loc: Lodz, Poland
 Quote:
Originally posted by Elene:
I'd like to see Yundi Li get more attention than Lang Lang, but I guess it ain't gonna happen. Lang Lang is a great Beethoven player, but for Chopin, not so much.[/b]
I couldn't agree more. As much as I adore Lang Lang for many of his performances and incredible technical ability, i feel Yundi Li is extremely underestimated. He is a magnificent pianist who would greatly benefit from more exposure.

Few months ago a Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from London was giving a performance in my home city. Yundi Li was meant as a soloist but he couldn't come. I was very disappointed back then.

Sorry for doing multi-postings, it's easier that way than stacking together all the quotes in one entry! \:\)

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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#981630 - 10/01/08 07:18 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mati Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 1276
Loc: Lodz, Poland
 Quote:
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:

Instead, he played the Heroic Polonaise and in about 3 minutes. Ashkenazy and Rubinstein play it in 6+ minutes. I can only surmise that he was given a certain time restriction, so why didn't he play something else? It sounded absolutely terrible!! And as far as his famous weird body movements and eye rolling, he had no time to interject those at all because he whipped through that composition as if he were late for dinner.
[/b]
FULL? Oh my! I wish I could hear that! It seems almost technically impossible! Argerich was lightning fast with this piece, but not as much.

I am a bit surprised though, as I've seen a masterclass with Lang Lang on exactly the same piece! He played it at quite standard tempo then, and demonstrated nuances not possible and not noticeable when played faster.


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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#981631 - 10/02/08 10:24 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
I promise to post a response to everyone above, but first I have to share this poem with you. I am exceedingly fond of poetry but was never a big fan of ee cummimngs, until I came across this:

i carry your heart with me


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) [/b]

There are so many parts of it that I (and I think a few of you) could so easily apply to our affection for Chopin. Although I do admit it is a very "romantic" poem and one of deep and undying devotion, still ......

Katheen
_________________________
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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#981632 - 10/03/08 07:02 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
New recording up on youtube. Eric Himy on the Steingraeber piano. I heard a couple of little baubles but his interpretration is so beautiful that I wanted to share it with you devoted Chopin lovers! This is from a recent performance outside of DC and 2 days after the passing of his father. It was an encore after a Debussy and Liszt concert. (I have played this Steingraeber and it is my dream piano!)

Eric Himy performs Chopin Nocturne Opus 27 no. 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0BS7U3qkXM

http://www.erichimy.com/
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#981633 - 10/03/08 09:26 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Thank you so much, lilylady, for the posting. It immediately brought tears to my eyes (it seems most of Chopin's music has the ability to do this). Mr. Himy's performance was sublime, and that nocturne is nothing less than heart-wrenching. It goes so well with the poem I posted above.

I thought the piano was just a bit sharp (for wont of a better word). Some pianos do have that quality, so my opinion isn't worth much. My old grand is so muted that my husband can't even hear it from the other room. Nevertheless, a remarkable and touching intepretation.

Now I'll have to go and look up the grade level of that piece, for how I would love to learn it.

Again, thank you,
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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#981634 - 10/03/08 12:32 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1412
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Kathleen, I was stunned by the poem, and I’m not even into cummings, though I do often write in all lower case. Thank you for posting it, from me and the other deranged lovesick groupies.

Mati, I hope I didn’t sound like I was being critical about the language matters. I was just having fun with one of my favorite subjects.

On the radio yesterday I heard an analysis of Sarah Palin’s and Joe Biden’s accents by a linguist from the U of Pennsylvania. There is no doubt that their vowel sounds are diametrically opposite, and indeed, they are from opposite ends of a large continent. Apparently Biden’s dark, low vowels mark him as a denizen of the “Northeastern Conurbation”—didn’t know we had one of those on the planet….

Totally different subject: Does anyone know anything concrete about how pedaling was done in the 1830s-40s? Years ago I read in a book by Joseph Banowetz that they hadn’t come up with syncopated pedaling yet, that it didn’t exist until much later, I think the 1860s. He wrote that Liszt hailed it as a wonderful innovation, implying that Liszt hadn’t thought of it and hadn’t used it during his concert career. Yet, Banowetz also wrote that he thought Beethoven must have been doing it at times, based on evidence in the scores.

It always seemed to me that if a person spent more than 5 minutes thinking about the damper pedal, he or she would come up with syncopated pedaling. I’ve never been sure what to make of Banowetz’s information, though it must be based on something concrete. This subject has come up for me again in the past week, and I wonder if anyone has any comment.

Elene
(eLEEN, sounds like "Helene" without the H)
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981635 - 10/03/08 05:29 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mati Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 1276
Loc: Lodz, Poland
 Quote:
Originally posted by Elene:

Mati, I hope I didn’t sound like I was being critical about the language matters. I was just having fun with one of my favorite subjects.
[/b]
No, of course not \:\)

 Quote:
Originally posted by Elene:

It always seemed to me that if a person spent more than 5 minutes thinking about the damper pedal, he or she would come up with syncopated pedaling. I’ve never been sure what to make of Banowetz’s information, though it must be based on something concrete. This subject has come up for me again in the past week, and I wonder if anyone has any comment.
[/b]
That makes me extremely curious too. I didn't know the pedalling I use almost everywhere is called syncopated - I just do it, it came naturally after few minutes of using the pedal.

After reading about it here I tried to do the normal pedalling, I mean - hitting the pedal at the same time as the keys, and I have trouble with THAT one! It feels so unintuitive for me somehow. I really don't know how to avoid cuts and achieve clear chord changes that way.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Elene:

Elene
(eLEEN, sounds like "Helene" without the H) [/b]
Thanks! It's great to know! I really wondered if it should be eLEN or eLEEN \:\)


My best,
Mateusz (will say it one day, as I have no idea how to write the pronunciation here \:D )
_________________________
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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#981636 - 10/03/08 05:49 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
DDS24P&FOP87 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/07
Posts: 374
Although Vladimir Sofronitsky was most renowned for his Scriabin, his Chopin interpretations aren't exactly chopped liver. Below are just some audio-only Chopin performances of his I found on YouTube:

Waltz in A-flat, Op. 69, No. 1
I love this interpretation for its natural flow, its "inevitability of rightness." Two more waltzes, including Waltz in f minor, Op. 70, No. 2, follow right after it.

Barcarolle, Op.60
I never liked this piece until I heard this interpretation!
_________________________
She was with me even in my grave
When the last of my friends turned away,
And she sang like the first storm heaven gave.
Or as if flowers were having their say.

- Anna Akhmatova, "Music"(Dedicated to Dmitri Shostakovich)

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#981637 - 10/03/08 11:28 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1412
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Mati,

Possibly maTAYoosh, sort of?

What you were calling "normal" pedalling is, I believe, referred to as simultaneous pedalling. It has its uses but not for smooth chord changes, as you said. I can't imagine that this is how everyone pedalled in the early 19th century. Some pieces, like Prelude #20, would be impossible that way.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981638 - 10/04/08 03:32 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mati Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/05
Posts: 1276
Loc: Lodz, Poland
Elene, maTAYoosh sounds quite good to me!

I tried using simultaneous pedalling yesterday, and the only place where I think it works is fast passages, where the notes are short enough not to make any difference between simultaneous or syncopated pedalling. I must get some book on pedalling only to clarify those issues.

DDS24P&FOP87: I adore Sofronitsky completely - it's sad there are so few recording of him playing. Thanks for posting those beautiful performances!


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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#981639 - 10/04/08 01:25 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1412
Loc: under monsoon clouds
While under the circumstances I hate to say that I understand ANYTHING about pedalling, I know that one use of simultaneous pedalling is to thicken up the sound on notes or chords that do not need or want to be connected. Pretty much the conclusion you came to.

I have a lot of trouble hearing the difference between half-pedalling and quarter-pedalling, etc. I understand the concept (I guess) but just don't seem to be able to hear it much in practice, at least not on my piano. I think I'll ask my new teacher for a whole lesson on that, since he's extremely subtle.

One of his own teachers, who was a really big deal in our area, a great player, was known to say things in lessons like "No! I said one-EIGHTH pedal, not one-QUARTER pedal!"

All I can say for myself is that I can teach basic pedalling very efficiently to beginners, not like my own first teacher, who left me pretty much to figure it out on my own (and I wasn't at all successful).

We do know that Chopin had a reputation for extremely subtle and skillful pedalling. I've tried some of the una corda pedal tricks that I've read about him using, but it seems like the mechanism of my piano doesn't work fast enough to really make those effects happen. And I don't think anything is particularly wrong with my piano-- it is probably average in this respect. So I wonder how he was doing it. I guess that's probably THE question about him in general-- how in the world did he do it?

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981640 - 10/04/08 03:14 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Good grief! I am a complete idiot when it comes to the hows and whens and wheres on pedalling. I just do it by the "seat of my pants," (sorry to use just a silly expression). :rolleyes:

I guess I mean that I just do it without any conscious thought. I know enough (un or sub - consciously) to pedal at chord changes and such. I often use both the soft and loud pedal together, as in the introduction to the C#m nocturne that practically drove me crazy, learning. I believe I also half-pedal though don't hold me on that.

So, I am so in the dark about this subject. Even if I learn something that I should know, I won't be able to change what I am doing because I have been doing it for too many years.

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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#981641 - 10/05/08 08:39 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I have adored Oscar Levant ever since I knew who he was. Though he's as much known for being an actor and an acerbic eccentric as a pianist, and as the latter we associate him with Gershwin in the same way Gould is associated with Bach, here's a welcome surprise:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2N1iPkzCug

Something else I found recently—five back-to-back historic performances of 10/7:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hgekl8x7C4

Which do you prefer?

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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#981642 - 10/06/08 09:00 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Thank you, Steven. I also loved Oscar Levant. His caustic and wry sense of humor and witticisms were definitely cerebral in nature and almost always self-deprecating. He was just plain funny! I knew he was considered a great concert pianist, but I believe his emotional problems kept him from making the concert stage a career. It's too bad because he certainly had the talent.

I'm afraid I couldn't choose which I like better. Anyone who can play a Chopin etude at tempo with no noticeable mistakes, is a superman, in my book.

Paderewski, I've read, was more revered in his role as a statesman (he was Prime Minister of Poland for a few years). According to what I read, he often made many mistakes while playing. But heck, who cares! I often equate him to Liszt (maybe part of it is the hair and dashing good looks), but he had great charisma and was extremely well-liked as a person.

I'm sure we have addressed this issue before, but it seems so many great pianists have had emotional or mental problems. Not all, of course. But enough to make one wonder if it's the unbelievable pressure they must endure to be successful. Those millions of hours spent alone at the piano for years and years has to have some effect on their stability. Imagine having to commit to memory those tens of thousands of notes.

I can not even envision why anyone would want such a career. It's such a lonely one, not to mention the unbearable stress to stay on top (or at least, even) with the competition. There's always someone waiting the wings to take your place.

I could give a list of those famous pianists who have either suffered anxiety and/or depression or turned to alcohol (or drugs) right in the middle of their career or near the end. And I have always wondered if "the life" were to blame or if "the life" attracted a certain kind of individual who might be unstable to begin with.

This is NOT a criticism at all. Even we, who are not on the stage (well, maybe LisztAddict is the exception) go through periods of such deep frustration and self-doubt that it takes its toll on us emotionally. I certainly AM speaking of myself here, but I would venture to assume I am not alone.

I guess my question (finally) is, in your opinion, what kind of person wants a career on the concert stage? Other than talent, of course, what drives them? Is it pure ego? Is it the fame and/or money? Is it the realization of a life-long dream? Do they know what they are getting themselves into?

I can only shake my head and wonder because, while I do enjoy playing (most times), even if I had the exceptional talent it would take, I could NOT tolerate such a life. I think I have a healthy ego and (usually) am almost sane, but there isn't enough money that would entice me.

What say you all?
_________________________
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

Top
#981643 - 10/07/08 01:48 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I don't know if I've ever linked to something in the Member Recordings area before, but I just listened to a recording of Op. 44 that's worthy of mentioning:

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/29/523.html

This polonaise was once my favorite, and this dang good performance of it made me remember why. Enjoy!

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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