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#981524 - 09/13/08 10:30 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
Well, maybe Chopignon would be okay then. And the unexpected juxtaposition of mushrooms and chocolate is making me think of truffles!

In my callow youth, I imagined truffles to be chocolate covered mushrooms. I reacted to that idea in the same way as when Wilma Flintstone was pregnant with Pebbles (though I think it was still in the dark ages when that word was inadmissible on American television), and Fred offered her a chocolate covered hard-boiled egg.



Steven

p.s. to Chopinet:
_________________________

"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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Petrof Pianos

#981525 - 09/13/08 10:41 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Chopinet Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 13
Loc: Torino - Italy
 Quote:
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Chopinet: I also just finished working on the C#m nocturne, posth and then started on the 37.1. How did you manage that huge run near the end? I agree with Chardonnay that your English is wonderful. I KNOW I could not learn Italian. Besides, words, in any language, do tend to fail, when speaking about Chopin and his music. I tried getting on your URL site via your profile, but all I got was the stuff I had posted on youtube.
Kathleen [/b]
Well try this link:

http://de.youtube.com/user/Leporello68

About the scales at the end of the nocturnes I simply fasten a bit the digital output of my piano \:D
But it was almost 9 months ago, now I can do them without that trick, not always of course and unfortunately not that delicato and pianissimo as I'd like. For that I easily switch to Barenboim's version

Nocturne 37/1 is far more difficult in my opinion, not the notes and the rythm itself, but to render decently the choral middle part.
One needs a nice finger independancy to let the "canto" part of the chords to emerge.
I cannot still make those chords legato as I'd wish, but honestly I cannot pretend too much after 2 years I've started again playing piano.

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#981526 - 09/14/08 09:41 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
 Quote:
At least it wasn't Chopignon. A champignon is a mushroom!

Dang ... Chardonnay, I hope that wasn't one of the other nicknames.
SV: No, some of the other nicknames I've seen in biographies are, "Fric-Fric" and "Chip-Chip", sometimes with "little" before them! I agree with Kathleen- kind of nauseating!
I don't know if she called him these names directly to his face, or just used them in letters to refer to him.

Kathleen- thanks for the link to the article! It will be my rainy-Sunday reading.

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#981527 - 09/14/08 09:52 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
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chardonnay:
I agree with Kathleen- kind of nauseating![/b]
Yep, and I'm still dyspeptic from the chocolate covered mushrooms and chocolate covered hard-boiled eggs!

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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#981528 - 09/14/08 10:24 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#981529 - 09/14/08 11:46 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Chopinet: I just listened to your C# m nocturne. It was absolutely beautiful.

Good grief...chocolate-covered mushrooms! I draw the line there. :rolleyes:

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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#981530 - 09/15/08 12:31 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1420
Loc: under monsoon clouds
I'm not clear why anyone is bothered by the chorale section in the midst of 37/1, which I've played a great deal. The whole thing seems to me to fit together quite beautifully, and it's so much fun to boom out the bass in the appropriate spots (not overbearingly, of course, just richly and profoundly!).

Chopinet: Since you mentioned trouble making those chords legato, I wonder if your teacher may be doing the same as one of mine did some years ago, making you do crazy fingerings to achieve legato without pedaling. It's really quite simple to play those chords legato by pedalling on each chord change. (I don't mean this to sound insulting or belittling-- I just think we are often made to work much harder than necessary for no good reason.)

Just recently I've started a few lessons with a teacher who uses the Taubman Approach, which gives permission to play in an easy, natural way that allows your musical ideas to flow more beautifully and prevents you from hurting yourself. One of the Taubman concepts is to allow yourself to get legato with the pedal and not contort your hands unnecessarily. Some people are horrified by this-- one of the premier teachers here in Albuquerque used to say, "It should look legato, not just sound legato!"

I was having considerable pain with some of the stretches in 10/6, even though I was already used to thinking in terms of reducing strain in every possible way. My new teacher helped me to stop working so hard, and now the piece is painless. I think this approach is very much in tune with the way Chopin would teach.

Kathleen: My part-Polish husband detests mushrooms, which is a problem since I am quite fond of them. He really hated the mushroom/sauerkraut soup his mother used to make at Christmas. I wonder what Chopin thought of that.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981531 - 09/16/08 09:55 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Hi Elene:

I've never heard of the Taubman method, but he certainly is a man after my own heart. I hardly ever play the dynamics as written on the score; I just feel the music and play it the way I THINK it should sound. Now this is not to say I am not playing it the "right" way because everything I have learned is music that I know. So it's no big deal. But sometimes I experiment and play the "p" sections "f" and vice versa. However, I almost always go back to the original. \:\)

I will have to go back to the nocturne and look at those chords again. Before I tackle them, I want to get the first section down as perfectly as I can.

I'm sorry to learn of your pain. However, it's wonderful that you found a teacher who could help you with a technique that allows to play without pain-free.

Attempting any of Chopin' etudes seems almost impossible (at least for me). I really have no desire to learn them. Maybe it's because I KNOW I could never do so. My skills are and will never be of the level that it would require to undertake such a challenge. So, I am content to learn and play the levels 6/7 and once in a while attempt an 8 but not too often. I have become pretty lazy in my dottage, and I don't want to take on anything that will require hard work.

Mushrooms can be an acquired taste. I have never read anything about Chopin liking the dish you mentioned. I do know that he had a rather delicate appetite, and that might have been too heavy for him. But, if his dear mother made it, being the good son that he was, he may have eaten it just to make her happy. :rolleyes:

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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#981532 - 09/16/08 02:45 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
Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique ... and (specifically for piano) the Taubman Method, the Lister-Sink Method ... it's hard not to be curious about these, but they remain only names to me. I hope that it's okay to feel like "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and consider them on a "need to know" basis!

Kathleen, you could certainly give the Trois Nouvelles Etude in A-flat a try and expect to do very well with it. (But I think you know that already. \:\) )

I love sauerkraut!

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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#981533 - 09/16/08 04:56 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1420
Loc: under monsoon clouds
It's Dorothy Taubman, so not a MAN after anyone's heart! Worth Googling.

The Taubman Approach does NOT mean "play it any way you feel like it"!!! It means to play with natural, flowing movements that work with your body instead of against it, in a state of dynamic ease. Which I think was also the "Chopin Approach."

I was broke, and definitely needed fixing. Back in 1997-98 I had such severe tendonitis in my extensors in my forearms that I could not play octaves or full chords for the better part of a year. (I played a lot of harpsichord stuff that year.) What I was doing to hurt myself was so subtle that neither my teacher nor I could see it, but once I finally discovered what it was, the recovery was quick. Some of us seem to get hurt more easily than others-- I have trouble with unstable joints-- and need to be absolutely pristine about technique. I was already used to thinking in terms of playing in the most natural and physiological way, and helping my students to solve minor disabilities with their instruments.

So I was surprised that I managed to hurt myself so thoroughly again, but I guess when one is trying to play Chopin etudes without practicing enough otherwise and keeping the mechanism in adequate shape, these things can happen.

Kathleen, I totally agree with Steven that you could learn the TNE in A flat. For me it has visual-processing problems because of the wide jumps in the LH, but it's really not a particularly tough piece, and it's musically worthwhile (of course).

The "Cello" etude, 25/7, might also be within range, though it is more challenging. It has some fast runs, but you've already dealt with that issue in the C# minor nocturne.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981534 - 09/17/08 11:45 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Steven: I listened again to the Trois Nouvelles Etude in A-flat. Are you kidding me?? Only in my dreams. BTW, they are all amazingly beautiful. I have to start taking my iPod with me everywhere because I spend so much time waiting in line, waiting in the doctor's office, on the rack, getting a massage, etc. I could be listening to Chopin all this time. But thank you for your (sweetly misplaced) confidence in my ability.

That you love sauerkraut has to mean you have a bit of German in you somewhere. I make it (when I make it) rather on the sweet-sour side, with bacon, apple, butter, and lots of brown sugar.

I'm sorry I misunderstood you, Elene, about the Taubman Approach. I think I read about it on another thread and I guess I didn't read it as well as I should have. Maybe I'm looking for an expert who shares my ideas about playing. But it doesn't matter in the long run. As long as I enjoy what I am playing; that's all that really counts.

Remember that DVD I sent to Matt in July? I got it back yesterday, unopened. Someone wrote something in Polish on it that I think means return to sender. I wonder why? Well, Matt, I tried.

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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#981535 - 09/17/08 01:28 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
We've been discussing etudes, but I think it's been a while since the e-cital (scheduled for the October 17 anniversary of Chopin's death) has been mentioned.

This is my "before" recording of 10/4 with a month left to improve it (hopefully). I'm not yet applying pedal, and I want to work on more dynamic contrast, too (as well as iron out a few shaky spots).

http://www.box.net/shared/fp4numgogv

I'm fairly pleased with this—and was also pleased to find that I still remembered how to turn on my Zoom H4 after not looking at it since the Preludes e-cital nearly a year ago!

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

Top
#981536 - 09/17/08 02:05 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

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

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

Top
#981537 - 09/19/08 02:19 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1420
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Kathleen,
No, really, the A flat TNE etude is not hard, as long as you can handle 3 against 2. If you can do that nocturne, you could do this too.

And hey, my mother's favorite food in the world is sauerkraut, and she is 100% Slovak and NO German!!

I told my husband the other day that I was thinking of being a poll worker for the November election.

He thought for a moment, then replied, "But you would actually be a Slovak worker."

This is what I have to live with.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981538 - 09/19/08 09:15 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Elane, I love your husband's sense of humor. My husand's style goes something like this:

(Me) "What does your new prescription cost?"
(Him) "$120.00."
(Me) "What!!?"
(Him" "Just kidding. Only $10.00."

Or:

"Gas is up to $6.20 at Mobil."
(When it only went up to $4.20 from $3.98).

I think the man is trying to give me a heart attack. Luckily, I have a strong heart (much like my head), AND I am getting to the point where I don't believe anything he says. (Cry Wolf) :rolleyes:

On another (Chopin) note:
I was walking the treadmill (ugh) at my last therapy session, listening to a Chopin sonata on my iPod. One of the therapists passed by and asked what I was listening to. I replied, Chopin.

Boy, that would put you to sleep.
Hardly, have a listen.
(I put the headphones on his ears and his eyes grew twice their size.)
Wow, that's beautiful. Are you sure that's Chopin?

So many people have the misconception that Chopin only wrote that dreamy stuff. How I would love to educate a few of them to his "other" side.

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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#981539 - 09/19/08 11:18 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
 Quote:
So many people have the misconception that Chopin only wrote that dreamy stuff. How I would love to educate a few of them to his "other" side
Have them listen to Prelude #24

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#981540 - 09/19/08 12:10 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1420
Loc: under monsoon clouds
And then they could try 48/1. Or how about the last movement of the third sonata. Etc.

Too bad $120.00 prescriptions really do exist and are not just a joke!


Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981541 - 09/19/08 12:14 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
Even $1200.00 prescriptions aren't uncommon.

It's no joke, but you gotta laugh or else you cry.

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

Top
#981542 - 09/19/08 12:47 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
My ex -pulmonologist wanted to put me on some high tech miracle that had a copay of $600 a month for asthma.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#981543 - 09/20/08 10:30 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, Frycek!! I see that you put an "ex" in front of that pulmonologist. I hope this means you found another who is more knowledgeable about the many drugs out there that are not going to send you to the poor house.

My husband is alive (and relatively well, considering everything) today, thanks to the drugs prescribed for him. Between us both, the costs of medication are within our ever-eroding budget. And, of course, we are grateful that we live in a country where medical help is very good.

Elene: I actually tried that chord section of the 37/1 nocturne once again, and, much to my surprise, found it rather lovely (and easy). Thanks for encouraging me to get it another "go."

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

Top
#981544 - 09/20/08 08:00 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1420
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Frycek,

Just hoping that you are breathing relatively easily.

That $600 a month copay could cause a stroke as well as an asthma attack. Not to mention dying of exhaustion from working extra hours to pay for it.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981545 - 09/20/08 08:42 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
 Quote:
Originally posted by Elene:
Frycek,

Just hoping that you are breathing relatively easily.

That $600 a month copay could cause a stroke as well as an asthma attack. Not to mention dying of exhaustion from working extra hours to pay for it.

Elene [/b]
Going with that treatment was never an option. It would have exhausted the lifetime benefits of my insurance in a couple of years. I can't understand his even suggesting such a thing. Perhaps he didn't realize. I had to do some digging on the net before I found out the awful truth. The tip off was that he had to have special permission from my insurance company to perscribe it. This is one reason he's my EX pulmonologist - the main reason is that for the last three visits I was seen by an assistant of some kind - the last time the assistant in question didn't even know what I was there for and hadn't bothered to look at my chart. My "general practitioner" who is an exceptionally astute and caring nurse practitioner now looks after me.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#981546 - 09/23/08 07:46 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
Talking of cures and attempts to find cures, Chopin seems to have been quite keen on homeopathy, and stayed with a homeopathic doctor while he was in Scotland. He was also given opium, which of course was legal at the time and whose side-effects were less known than they are today. I should think he must have been somewhat addicted to laudanum by the end, and it can't have helped his frame of mind or other symptoms.

I do wonder how healthy he would be if he lived in the Europe of today? Maybe different treatments and diet in childhood would have made him quite strapping, and very different from the frail but elegant figure we know him to have been.
_________________________
Best wishes from MR
http://www.extraloudpurrs.blogspot.com

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#981547 - 09/23/08 11:35 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1420
Loc: under monsoon clouds
Opium would have been one of the most powerful and useful medicinal substances available at the time. We are still quite dependent on the medical use of opiates today.

Two modern treatments that would have definitely transformed Chopin's health, had they been available: antibiotics if he had TB, and a replacement of the missing enzyme if he had alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

I kind of doubt he would have ended up "strapping," but who knows!

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#981548 - 09/24/08 07:12 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
If Chopin had been physically bigger and possessed more "Lisztian" strength at the piano, I wonder if it would have changed or influenced the type of music he wrote? I'd like to think it wouldn't have, as I wouldn't change anything about his music, but I do wonder if he would have written to that kind of strength on occasion.
He seemed to both disdain and admire Liszt's piano technique. Would he have displayed it at times, if he could have?

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#981549 - 09/24/08 08:15 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
 Quote:
Originally posted by Chardonnay:
If Chopin had been physically bigger and possessed more "Lisztian" strength at the piano, I wonder if it would have changed or influenced the type of music he wrote? I'd like to think it wouldn't have, as I wouldn't change anything about his music, but I do wonder if he would have written to that kind of strength on occasion.
He seemed to both disdain and admire Liszt's piano technique. Would he have displayed it at times, if he could have? [/b]
I don't think it would have made a difference, but I see enormous vigor in Chopin's music already that belies his physical frailty.

People with chronic and progressive health problems tend to have been healthier in their youth than later in life, and Chopin's most technically difficult music (in the sense of what might be called sheer virtuosic display) reveals that. I'm thinking of the concertos, the Op. 2 variations, the Polish Fantasy and the Krakowiak in particular—though they're equally indicative of his need for showpieces with that sort of flash at that stage of his career.

The most virtuosic piece of this sort from Chopin's later period is the Allegro de Concert, and it has its roots in that earlier time of his life. The other biggest, most challenging works of his later period combine musical maturity with technical difficulties of a different order: both strength and stamina are required for the sonatas overall, for the octaves of Op. 53, and for the dense repeated climactic chords of the codas of the Ballade Op. 47, the Polonaise-Fantaisie and the Allegro de Concert.

I believe the Allegro—combining as it does Chopin's youthful brilliance with maturity of form and thematic development—is as difficult as anything he wrote. It spans two periods of his life, distilling the most formidable technical challenges from each.

I realize I haven't really offered evidence to support my original thesis, but I strongly believe that the sort of music composers write has everything to do with artistic vision and taste and little to do with their physical health or vitality.

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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#981550 - 09/24/08 08:39 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
I'm with you, Chardonnay. We definitely know that Chopin disdained playing in large venues because he knew his light touch at the keyboard made it impossible for many to hear him. Of course, he also hated the feeling of all those strangers staring at him; therefore, he did feel more comfortable playing in private homes and salons where he was among friends.

I don't think being physically stronger would have changed the type of music he wrote nor would it have changed his technique very much. We all know that he disliked the showy performances that Liszt gave although he did admire his ability to play with force and strength when it was called for.

I borrowed the book A Journey of One Thousand Miles by Lang Lang from the library yesterday. It basically is an autobiography from his very early years to present. As I glanced at the index, I saw a whole chapter called "Chopin." Of course, I read that immediately even though it was about 2/3's into his story.

In this chapter, he is about 12 or 13 and is telling about his recent triumphs in a competition in Germany where he won 1st place. His father is constantly at his side (and I mean that both literally and figuratively). There is an extremely important competition coming up in Japan that he wants to enter, and he wants to play Chopin's second piano concerto. Everyone tells him he does not have the emotional maturity to play this piece with any depth of feeling (after all, he's only a young kid). They are referring, naturally, to the second movement. However, he father believes he can do it and also one of his most respected teachers from his hometown in China. It would be the first time that he would play with an orchestra also. After all the negativity he gets from those at the conservatory, he begins to have his doubts. But his father tells him that the second movement is Chopin telling of lost love and longing, and if Lang Lang woul d think of his mother while playing it, he would find the emotion that is needed. Lang Lang's mother is alive, but she has always stayed behind in their home city, working. It is her salary that the two have to depend for traveling and lessons. He obviously loves his mother very much for her sacrifices and for her undying confidence in him.

So, he goes to Japan to compete with the best of the best young people, and he plays the Chopin concerto, thinking of his mother all time.

He wins! From that point on, he becomes the "super-star" of China, for up until this time (even though he won several competitions elsewhere) he was basically ignored.

So Chopin holds a special place in his heart and undoubtedly helped launched his career, for afterwards, he received numerous invitations to perform and was even invited to audition in America, where he hoped he would get several offers of scholarships there.

Oh, he also mentions that his two heroes are Rubinstein and Horowitz. So this kid is O.K. in my book even though I find it a bit unpleasant watching his performances on youtube.

As I mentioned, I've only read that one chapter so far. But today I will finish the rest of the book, for it isn't very long. Being as young as he was when he wrote it, that would make perfect sense.

One thing does stand out, however, even from the few pages that I have finished. He did have a very healthy ego even at that young age and a confidence in himself that would be difficult to deny. His father had a lot to do with both.

I'll give you the rest of his story later, but I thought you would all find his relationship with Chopin's music an interesting one.

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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#981551 - 09/24/08 08:39 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Even in his youth though playing took a lot out of him. When he was courting Maria he actually asked one of her sisters to head off the guests at the soiree at which he was going to play because he just couldn't cope immediately after he'd finished. There were times he had to be helped from the piano after a performance and times he left under his own steam and fainted in the green room immediately afterwards.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#981552 - 09/24/08 09:32 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Frycek: You bring up a very sad and heart-breakng time in Chopin's life. Some of us believe that the break from Sand was Chopin's final downward spiral. But I now wonder if his break from Maria might not have weaken his spirit in such a way as to be considered the very beginning of this spiral.

Oh, in case there is someone here who hasn't noticed it, there is a very heated debate going on in The Pianist Corner about Chopin and Sand. Great fun!

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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#981553 - 09/24/08 01:39 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1420
Loc: under monsoon clouds
I think that Chopin's physical delicacy, while it may not have determined what he actually wrote, had a tremendous influence on the development of his technique, specifically causing him to become superbly efficient and to play with the ease and fluidity that was so much a central characteristic of his relationship with the piano.

(God, that was a long sentence, wasn't it?)

I have gotten very stuck while trying to write about this; I cannot seem to describe it adequately. But I can say that, because he had no strength to spare, he learned to make every photon of his energy went straight into the keys with absolute focus.

I have been finding the Chopin/Sand thread intensely painful.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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