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#979454 - 06/01/07 09:47 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
 Quote:
Originally posted by La Sylphide:

To all Chopin fans: today is Mme.Sand's 203 birthday...I was thinking of something special ....Just kiddin' \:\) [/b]
Actually her birthday is 1st July, not June. When that day comes perhaps we can plant this on her grave, as a gift from Those Totally Devoted to Chopin \:D

_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#979455 - 06/01/07 09:55 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
La Sylphide Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/12/07
Posts: 51
Loc: Egypt
Oooops! sorry..I have a REALLY bad memory \:\(
_________________________
Sarah

"Time is still the best critic,and patience,the best teacher." Chopin

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#979456 - 06/01/07 10:29 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Ya'll have poison ivy in England?
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#979457 - 06/01/07 11:43 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mary-Rose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
 Quote:
Originally posted by La Sylphide:
Oooops! sorry..I have a REALLY bad memory \:\( [/b]
Sylphide - don't apologise. I had to look it up.

Frycek - I don't think we do have poison ivy. You'll have to take some to France from America.
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#979458 - 06/01/07 11:59 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
WOW, Mary Rose, I love you!! :3hearts: :3hearts: Where did you find these precious gems??

As probably everyone knows, Rubinstein is it, for me...when I was a kid, now and forever. I know he wasn't perfect in his playing and was noted for dropping a lot of notes. But the notes he played were from the soul of a true poet and one who had such a respect and love (and understanding) of Chopin's music that no one, in my opinion, has yet to even come close.

I am in the middle of a garage sale (can't believe I'm doing it again...one last chance at clearing out all the junk in the basement before I die, if this doesn't kill me)...so I won't be able to watch them as I would like (over and over) until tonight. But I wanted to thank you...so THANK YOU!! \:\)

So funny about Sand and some poison ivy. That's a good idea totally, also do you think we have time to find one of those "man-eating" plants?? I've seen them, if you get too close, one of the petals (or something) opens like a mouth, and grabs at you. I believe it even has teeth!

BTW, not that I am in the least bit interested, but just in case I do find one of those plants, where is she buried? I'm a little concerned because Hershey said someone moved into her old apartment in Paris. Just want to be sure she is, indeed, in the ground!! \:D

MaryRose...so grateful to you,

Later all,
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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#979459 - 06/01/07 12:30 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
Thanks to all for your kind thoughts as I still try to shake the remains of last week's virus.

YD, the "Revolutionary" is a piece I haven't taken up since I was a teenager. (It's one of those that I wouldn't have even attempted back then were it not for the encouragement I found in the pithy writing of Alfred Mirovitch, whose Chopin edition I've gushed about recently here .)

If there's sufficient interest in a study group, I'd like to revisit this piece. I've almost considered doing some Hanon regularly solely for the purpose of left-hand dexterity, and I'd much rather work on something musical instead. Each hand gets something different from this étude, of course, but I remember it being enormously beneficial to me.

To anyone else considering studying it: If you think it might be doable for you, then it probably is—assuming your self-assessment is accurate, and your expectations are reasonable.

Most of us aren't planning to become performing professionals, after all, so perfection at full speed doesn't need to be the goal. Let your reach exceed your grasp!

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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#979460 - 06/01/07 12:58 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
YD Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 590
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
 Quote:
Originally posted by Sotto Voce:
Thanks to all for your kind thoughts as I still try to shake the remains of last week's virus.
[/b]
Hope you feel better soon!
 Quote:

If there's sufficient interest in a study group, I'd like to revisit this piece. I've almost considered doing some Hanon regularly solely for the purpose of left-hand dexterity, and I'd much rather work on something musical instead. Each hand gets something different from this étude, of course, but I remember it being enormously beneficial to me.
[/b]
Well, I am not sure how big the interest is there; so far 3 people are interested. Still, there may be others joining in later. If you are up for the task, I'll start the group (I already committed to studying 10/12 anyway).
 Quote:

To anyone else considering studying it: If you think it might be doable for you, then it probably is—assuming your self-assessment is accurate, and your expectations are reasonable.

Most of us aren't planning to become performing professionals, after all, so perfection at full speed doesn't need to be the goal. Let your reach exceed your grasp!
[/b]
It really is true. A few comments: 1) the etude sounds just fine starting at the tempo of about 120, which is manageable by about anyone. 2) it actually sounds nice at 120. There are plenty of amatures on youtube playing it, it is kind of easy to fine a slower one. Here is an example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0YYAVtTb74
(of course, the proper speed is much faster, see here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hOKcdZJJFU&mode=related&search=
)
_________________________
Yuri
FWIW; YMMV

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#979461 - 06/01/07 03:13 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Forgive me for jumping over to the Pianist Corner for the following. I thought it would make for interesting reading here.

Would You Fall in Love with Chopin?

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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#979462 - 06/01/07 03:45 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
That composition, the 10/12, was the very first Chopin I ever heard. I think I was about 10. Then my uncle told me it was written by a Pole, only 19 or so, as a way of expressing his anger and rage of what was happening in his homeland and to his friends and family after being invaded by the Russians.

I could not believe that such music could come from such a young person and even more importantly, how he could express his emotions so powerfully yet so poignantly. I was dumbfounded, and I admit, hearing it brought tears to my eyes.

This was during the time when dumb Polish jokes were all the rage. Most of you are far too young to remember, but (just like all ethnic groups have sufferred) the Poles were choice pickins' for those of small minds and even smaller hearts. The intitals DP were once meant to mean Displaced Person. But somehow, they became "Dumb Polacks." I won't go into the obvious on how such ridicule and ignorance affected me, but suffice to say my pride in being Polish hungered for something, someone who could prove everyone wrong. Of course, I knew of Marie Curie and Copernicus and Paderewski, but for some reason, they seemed too distant and rather dry for the hero I sought.

But then, there he was, in full glory...and with music that not only lifted my spirits and elevated my pride but spoke to me in a language I had never heard before.

So that particular composition has so much meaning to me that I doubt (even if I had the skills, which I don't) I could ever play it. I just wouldn't be able to get through it.

Sorry, I know that I, along with a few others, do seem to get emotionally caught up. But that's what this particular thread was created for. At least, I had hoped that people could use it as a way of expressing what and how they felt about Chopin...not just his music, but also for him, as a man. And...anything else they wanted to write.

So...the above is what I felt like writing right now. \:\)

Regards,
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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#979463 - 06/01/07 03:51 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
Etude 10/12 fans: I have several recordings of this and to me the outstanding one is by Angela Lear. Let's face it, this is a bit of a hackneyed piece, an old warhorse. Magnificent as it is we do hear it far too often. But when I first heard A.L.'s interpretation a couple of years ago it was as though I were hearing it for the first time again. It has the passion and drama we have grown to expect, but she also brings out nuances that I hadn't noticed before that I can best describe as a yearning quality. This piece was written by a very young man newly exiled from the home he loved, and that is what she makes it sound like. Her performance is a real ear-opener.
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#979464 - 06/01/07 04:18 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
MaryRose: I've heard of gender changes, but never complete species changes. You've gone from a sweet, tiny kitten to an almost, but not quite, ferocious, large dog. Goodness!!

Care to tell us what brought this on?

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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#979465 - 06/01/07 05:11 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by maryrose:
He really understood Chopin, I feel, as no other pianist did. He also had a great sense of humour - did you notice he said something like "you must never thump with Chopin - " - looking impishly over his shoulder with his blind old eyes - "not like Liszt!" [/b]
Yes he certainly did understand Chopin!

I've devoted... gee, guess it's been a few years now, trying to figure out the Rubinstein "sound" on some of his easier pieces. Trois Mouvements Perpétuels (Poulenc), esp. the first and third movements, is one of my repertoire works - inspired by AR, as are most of the works I pick up. (I dare not deign to attempt this with his Chopin, as I struggle just to play the notes let alone capture the nuances of one of the greatest pianists who ever lived).

With Mouvements, which is a relatively easy work, what is it that provides the unique Rubinstein sound? Was it the Steinway he always used? I don't think so, since having acquired a real grand I can get closer. I think it's a combination of dynamics, pedaling, and phrasing - and the whole is greater than its component parts. In one measure in the third movement (Alerte), he playes a different LH chord progression than in every score I've seen (three scores total). I had to listen to this over, and over, and over until I figured out that chord progression he used, and that is how I now play it even though my score shows something different.

Also, in another Poulenc piece performed by AR, in a passage consisting of steadily descending RH sixths, he plays them all as eight notes. The score has the first two as a dotted eight, then a sixteenth. I will play it AR's way regardless of what the score says - he knew Poulenc personally as they were contemporaries.

Sorry for all this about Poulenc on a Chopin thread. The point is, AR was magical, and easily worthy of imitation (to the extent our pitiful skills by comparison permit).
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#979466 - 06/01/07 05:20 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
Gerg, on the Rubinstein video we watched I thought it was incredible how just a very slight difference in emphasis within that repeated fragment of melody in the Ballade completely changed its mood - his version immediately sounded "right". I agree with you that Rubinstein's sound is irreplaceable, worthy of emulation yet impossible to recreate.
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#979467 - 06/01/07 05:32 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
Exactly. It completely changed the mood. What a musical brain it took to detect and apply that level of nuance.

A more obvious example of that is in Etude 10/3 - right at the opening of the second theme, measure 22b, repeated but slightly softer. In that case, Chopin explicitly marked it in the score, so it's not difficult to play it that way.

What set Rubinstein apart was his ability to add yet even finer nuance not present in the score yet not contrary thereto. He certainly had the technique for the bravado and brought it out well - but every contemporary pianist seems to have and focus on this. Martha Agrerich is a perfect example, as are many of the young virtuosos coming from the Far East. Louder. Faster. Often, as AR alluded, "thumping away".

Rubinstein's fine control and sensitivity to every nuance I don't believe will ever be duplicated. He seemed to channel the composer's exact intentions which transcendently "click" within the minds of his listeners: they sound so right, yet it is so hard to articulate exactly why.
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Wikicital: A collaborative effort to build a knowledgebase of classical music history combined with examples. Your chance to both perform and write...

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#979468 - 06/01/07 05:57 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 know that we all have very different backgrounds and levels of experience. I'm curious about something that concerns us all, and I wonder to what extent it's already been discussed here and elsewhere: technique, and technique-building.

One often hears someone say that they don't have the requisite skills to attempt a certain piece. Should one have those skills first, or should one look to acquire those skills through the study of the piece in question?

I guess there's no hard-and-fast answer, but the question must be a fundamental one to piano pedagogy—something I know nothing about! My experience with lessons was quite limited as a child (and very brief as a teen), so I don't even know much about being on the receiving end of formal piano instruction.

In my own admittedly anomalous experience, my technique made a quantum leap as a teenager when I pushed myself beyond what had been my limits. Alfred Mirovitch made me feel as though Chopin études should be no more intimidating than Czerny's, and I went along with my instinct that I could "do it."

(Background: As a child, I had been home-schooled in piano before I ever had lessons. Then, I had teachers who skipped all the typical building blocks of technique. My only Mozart was the "easy" sonata in C, my only Beethoven Fuer Elise and the rondo of the sonata pathétique. No Scarlatti, no Clementi, no Haydn. No Schumann, no Brahms, no Liszt. No Bartok or Kabalevsky. After lots of Burgmueller, I was given Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee as a showpiece, and learned salon composer Auguste Durand's two-piano Chaconne as a recital piece. My Chopin was on the level of the easier waltzes, easier preludes and nocturnes.)

During the three periods I've returned to piano as an adult, I proceeded with the same confidence I had found as a teen. I've always been drawn to the "advanced" Chopin pieces that I imagined might be within my powers, and I've never had to give up on one because I found it beyond me. Over the years, I've learned the bolero, the tarantella, the polonaise Op. 53, and études 10/1, 10/2, 10/3, 10/4, 10/7, 10/8, 10/12, 25/1, 25/6, and trois nouvelles #1.

When I returned to piano most recently, on the occasion of my 50th birthday in August 2006, I decided that the fantaisie in f minor would push my "technique" (such as it is!) perhaps a step beyond. (At the very least, it's probably the longest piece I've ever studied.) It's coming along fine, and it would be a huge thrill to feel this coming from my own fingers even if it were one of Chopin's hackneyed war-horses!

The most severe challenge I put myself to was probably not the fantaisie, though, but rather the "thirds" étude. I first heard it when I was about five years old on a 78-rpm disc from a thrift shop, got ahold of the score, and pronounced it impossible. When I was 44, I took another look and asked myself how it could be impossible. Why should that be? Lo and behold, the biggest problem was sightreading something so "impossibly" chromatic! Once I had the notes under my fingers at very slow speed, I could play it—never reaching full speed, of course, but who cares?

I guess my point is that you can't know what you can, and cannot, accomplish unless you push yourself. I'd never want to encourage anyone to do anything potentially harmful, or not to follow the advice of a teacher, but I think that sometimes our very reverence for certain composers and certain pieces—which, of course, they deserve!—can make us feel like we're not worthy even to attempt them ourselves.

In the late 1980s, I had an experience with Charles Cooke's Playing the Piano for Pleasure that mirrored my previous one with Mirovitch. Cooke is an amateur (in the truest, most literal sense), and his words speak to all of us here with their common-sense encouragement and wisdom. But Cooke is quick, too, to acknowledge—emphasize, even—that even he considers certain pieces to be out of his reach.

I forget which pieces Cooke described as his personal massive oak trees—unyielding to even the most determined persistence, given what he considered his own limitations. But Chopin's b minor scherzo, Op. 20, was not among them! He tackled it, and learned it to his satisfaction—on his own. My oldest friend learned the barcarolle with the same determined perseverance.

There will be unbending oak trees for all of us, but I believe we gain the technique required for the more modest "trees" by attempting to learn them. And if we can't, then we put that piece down, either for now or forever. Trying to learn a really hard piece is sort of a self-filtering process: If it's truly beyond you, you'll soon know it. If not, you will thereby gain the skills needed to play it.

By the way, these are among the "oak trees" in Chopin that I still wouldn't dare approach: the sonatas (and I love all four of them), the fourth ballade, the allegro de concert, the second piano concerto. And there's plenty of stuff in the standard literature that I wouldn't attempt, either: much Liszt, much Scriabin, most Prokofiev, certainly anything by Ligeti or Sorabji. But never say never!

That's just my two cents' worth. I'd love for others to share their feelings about our own limitations (and how we might impose them upon ourselves), and the whole nature/nurture thing (i.e., innate talents vs. learned abilities).

Thanks for reading!

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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#979469 - 06/01/07 07:42 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
 Quote:
Originally posted by Sotto Voce:

One often hears someone say that they don't have the requisite skills to attempt a certain piece. Should one have those skills first, or should one look to acquire those skills through the study of the piece in question?[/b]
This dovetails very nicely with the AR discussion above.

The second - with a caveat: A young child or teenager (usually male) studying a (difficult) piece so he can play it just to show off will likely lead to bad technique and bad habits. The piece played by this performer will too often end up butchered, even assuming the correct notes are played. The artistry of the piece - even an etude - will also in all likelihood get lost. Been there, done that.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sotto Voce:
In my own admittedly anomalous experience, my technique made a quantum leap as a teenager when I pushed myself beyond what had been my limits. Alfred Mirovitch made me feel as though Chopin études should be no more intimidating than Czerny's, and I went along with my instinct that I could "do it."[/b]
There ya go \:\) Attitude meets reality, patiently but relentlessly pushing the latter ever toward that final goal.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sotto Voce:
I guess my point is that you can't know what you can, and cannot, accomplish unless you push yourself. I'd never want to encourage anyone to do anything potentially harmful, or not to follow the advice of a teacher, but I think that sometimes our very reverence for certain composers and certain pieces—which, of course, they deserve!—can make us feel like we're not worthy even to attempt them ourselves.[/b]
Bingo! In my experience most of the obstacles are mental.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Sotto Voce:
There will be unbending oak trees for all of us, but I believe we gain the technique required for the more modest "trees" by attempting to learn them. And if we can't, then we put that piece down, either for now or forever. Trying to learn a really hard piece is sort of a self-filtering process: If it's truly beyond you, you'll soon know it. If not, you will thereby gain the skills needed to play it.[/b]
If these arboreal giants are not counted among the works that speak so sweetly and earnestly to our hearts... then who cares? I believe this gets back to motivation - are we playing to showcase skills, perhaps to compensate for personal insecurities... or are we playing from the heart, as a gift of love to our listeners, a glimpse into our innermost being?
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#979470 - 06/01/07 07:52 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
To follow up on that (and to bring this back to Chopin) - Op. 20 (B-minor Scherzo) is sadly not one of those pieces that speaks to me. The Op. 31 Scherzo, by contrast, may be slightly easier but is a piece I absolutely love and, having listened to it since a young boy, has become a part of my very personality. It is a piece I will devote years to, when ready. I learned the first three or four pages in youth, but have never really given it the full attention it deserves.

Ditto for the #3 Ballade, Op. 47, followed closely by the #2, Op. 38. #1 I also love but since it is so widely played (granted #3 is as well) I would rather play #2 because it deserves more exposure.
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#979471 - 06/01/07 09:18 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
I don't know where to begin, but since when has that ever stopped me?? \:D

I viewed not only Rubinstein's master class video but also watched/listened to the 2nd concerto.

I agree with MaryRose that the sight of that "angel"...his hair, almost a halo was a bit emotional. The reason, of course, is seeing this absolute genius having to fumble to find his way on the piano. But, then, I think of the 8+ decades, that he soared like the giant that he was, and the heart is somewhat lighten. Yes, his humor was still here (perhaps that's what helped him live as long as he did, for he loved his wine, women and cigars!).

I loved the way he used his arms to sweep out the melody for the young pianist. It is, after all, Chopin...and Chopin was all about the melody. I doubt if there are more than a handful of his compositions that I can't hum or la la all the way through. They're singable!! How he loved the human voice and wanted to reproduce it as much as possible in his music. It was the song, pure and relatively simple.

How AR tried to explain that a certain section was the melody, not an embellishment and how delicate the nuance is between the two in one particular case. And to play noble means to play with dignity, which he did his whole life. He has proven that he was NOT the sentimentalist or rubato king that many claim him to be. He was an absolute purist, I believe, in his approach to how he played Chopin's music. Just like Chopin, himself...always in good taste, never anything overly done or ostentatious. I hope to watch it many times, for I missed a lot of what he said, my hearing and my lousy laptop speaker are to blame.

Then, along with Andre Previn (whom I think is great) he played my favorite concerto. What a difference in, if nothing else, how he sits at the piano and the expression on his face. No wild body language with flinging the arms up in the air and the body swaying, head rolling, eyes open then closed then clinched. Perfect dignity again. Just goes to show that all that silly stuff does not add one single thing to the quality of the performance. All it does is make the performer look ridiculous. Oh, I think I did see him raise his eyebrow, ever so slightly, in the second movement. Otherwise, absolute deadpan of a face, eyes down, except when looking at the conductor.

I didn't move for the whole concerto. It was magic. I opened a new topic, entitled...And you wonder why we love Chopin...and then included a link to the second movement. Maybe a few will find the beauty so obvious here and will hop aboard our "wagon."

Now Sotto Voce: This is about the 4th time you have posted something that was right on the tip of my fingers. We are definitely on some kind of weird wave length. What's your sign?? ;\) Just kidding.

Hey, I'm even an inspiration to myself, when I come to think of it.

Good night all,
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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#979472 - 06/02/07 05:33 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
gerg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
That's the spirit, Kathleen!!!

Clicking around in YouTube found a VERY SOUND interpretation of Op 38 by Zimmerman:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=MsoUIBcl7iw
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#979473 - 06/02/07 10:19 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
DeepElem Offline
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Registered: 04/27/06
Posts: 366
Loc: USA
I know I've seen some comments along the lines of "Martha Argerich butchers Chopin", but I watched the videos of Martha Argerich plays the Chopin Preludes (there are 4 parts) and I don't get the reason to dislike her interpretations. Note there is a really annoying buzz in the audio. I watched it all the way through despite the buzz, but I can understand if you can't get through even 30 seconds, that buzz is really annoying.

Now, I know very little about classical music, and certainly do not have much experience listening to different performers interpret the Chopin Preludes, so I ask as a matter of educating myself a bit - What is wrong with the way Martha Argerich performed the Preludes ?
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#979474 - 06/02/07 10:26 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
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Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Now that we've watch Rubinstein and his utter lack of emoting while playing, I find (although perhaps unfairly so) myself judging other pianists, like the obviously very talented Zimmerman, to Rubinstein's approach. Again, I know this is purely a personal opinion and certainly highly biased in nature. But what's with all the drama here? It's bad enough that his good looks make watching him distracting, but add the body language and such...gee. It's difficult to concentrate on his performance.

But I did manage to get ahold of myself and listen. He's wonderful!!

Kathleen
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#979475 - 06/02/07 10:55 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mary-Rose Offline
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Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
I find the same, Kathleen - Zimerman is better listened to with the eyes closed \:\)

DeepElem - my personal view of Argerich's playing of the 24 Preludes is that she performs the rapid, dramatic, fiery ones beautifully (I love her version of number 12, for instance). But if you would only listen to them being played by Rubinstein you will hear the difference in a way that is clearer than words could describe.
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#979476 - 06/02/07 11:36 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
DeepElem Offline
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Registered: 04/27/06
Posts: 366
Loc: USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by maryrose:
if you would only listen to them being played by Rubinstein you will hear the difference in a way that is clearer than words could describe[/b]
Any particular prelude where you think the difference is the most dramatic ?
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#979477 - 06/02/07 11:43 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
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Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Hi Buck: I'll just drop in my 2 cents here. Since I am just trying to polish the 17th, I've listened to five different performers..Rubinstein, Askenazy (sp), Brailowsky, Ohllson (sp?) and Argerich. Without a doubt, she plays this beautiful piece like she's late for dinner. No comparison to the other performers. So sorry about spelling. I'm out in the garage tending to my garage sale, so I can't leave to look up the correct spelling.

Anyhow...

Kathleen
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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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#979478 - 06/02/07 02:49 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Mary-Rose Offline
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Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 1428
Loc: Essex, England
Yes Kathleen, I agree that the performance of number 17 is a case in point. It has a lushness that needs to be lingered over, not stampeded. Although Cortot somehow managed the same time as Argerich (two and a half minutes as opposed to three and a third minutes by Rubinstein) whilst still attaining a satisfying tenderness. Oh, it's so difficult to put these things into words!
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#979479 - 06/02/07 04:09 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Ragnhild Offline
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Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 1117
Loc: Norway
I think the way Argerich plays the prelude no 6 is very beautiful, and who says there are only one "right" interpretation of a piece ? ?

Ragnhild
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#979480 - 06/02/07 04:53 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
No one says there is only one correct way. \:\)

And who ever believes this is foolish. It's all a matter of preference. Of what the music is saying to us personally, how we feel it should be said, and how we are moved by a certain interpretation, and not by another...even if it is the same piece.

So, it's just opinion, that all. There's an old song...one line in the lyrics goes...

You say to ma toes.
And I say to may toes.


Kathleen
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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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#979481 - 06/02/07 04:58 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
playadom Offline
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Registered: 10/21/06
Posts: 1366
Loc: New Jersey
 Quote:
Originally posted by gerg: A young child or teenager (usually male) studying a (difficult) piece so he can play it just to show off will likely lead to bad technique and bad habits. The piece played by this performer will too often end up butchered, even assuming the correct notes are played. The artistry of the piece - even an etude - will also in all likelihood get lost. Been there, done that.
[/QB]
Hmm... That sounds just like me and my Hungarian Rhapsody 2.
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#979482 - 06/02/07 04:59 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
gerg Offline
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Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 1651
Loc: Houston, TX
Don't worry, it was me too when I was your age. Nothing to be ashamed of. Fact is, you will probably achieve musical maturity sooner and not waste as many years.
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#979483 - 06/02/07 05:29 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
 Quote:
Originally posted by Ragnhild:
I think the way Argerich plays the prelude no 6 is very beautiful, and who says there are only one "right" interpretation of a piece ? ?

Ragnhild [/b]
Hei, Ragnhild! I just had a listen to Argerich's interpretation of the 6th Prelude and it is indeed lovely.
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http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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