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Topic Options
#1249905 - 08/15/09 05:32 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: -Frycek]
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
Quote:
We already have a Chopin Chardonnay -she posts here regularly.

Haha- well who can resist that? laugh
Actually I am hoping that my husband and I can make our own Chopin Chardonnay- we have most everything we need except the time!
Might be a good project for 2010.
Now, what would be the characteristics of a true "Chopin" Chardonnay?

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#1249933 - 08/15/09 06:14 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Chardonnay]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1425
Loc: Land of Enchantment
I was hoping "our" Chardonnay would show up!

Hmm, I don't know the vocabulary that's usually used when discussing oenology... a Chopin wine might be delicate but profound, subtle, possibly slightly fruity, deep purple in hue, thoroughly amusing, exceptionally complex....

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#1249956 - 08/15/09 06:47 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Well He liked Tokay (or Tokaji) as it is here. We might start there. It's the only specific wine I remember him mentioning in his letters. Apparently he was trying to buy a stock of it and the merchant in question would only ship him about twice as much as he wanted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokaji
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1249982 - 08/15/09 07:38 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: -Frycek]
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
So there he was, living in France- what must have been (?) at least one of the wine-making capitals of the world- and his favorite was a Hungarian, sweet wine? I guess it's not too surprising, given his sweet tooth.
I wonder if he would have liked our sweet Muscadine (scuppernong) wines?

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#1250161 - 08/16/09 04:50 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Chardonnay]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
Well, tokay was apparently popular in Poland so he may have encountered it early on as a child. It also comes in sweet and dry. He wrote back home from his travels that he and Tytus had had a good dinner at an inn and finished two bottles of rhenish. Most rhine wines I know of are sweet so - - -
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1250320 - 08/16/09 02:11 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: -Frycek]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1425
Loc: Land of Enchantment
His liver must have been working relatively well at that time....
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#1250370 - 08/16/09 04:12 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
I assume big macho Tytus drank the lion's share of it.
_________________________
Slow down and do it right.

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#1250484 - 08/16/09 09:50 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: -Frycek]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Have websites "devoted" to Chopin been discussed or reviewed here? There's one that, in my opinion, is notably flawed called Chopin Music. I've been aware of it for a while—it was mentioned in a thread in the Pianist Corner in connection with its overall credibility (specifically the outlandish claim that the Etude 25/12 contains "a full four-voice contrapuntal line that is both harmony and melody")—but I didn't realize until now how specious the content is generally.

I can't say that this site is completely worthless, but errors, misinformation and opinions presented as fact can be found in abundance throughout. This excerpt from the page called Chopin's Works is very representative of the poor writing, intellectual sloppiness and lack of critical thinking that are so pervasive:

Quote:
Chopin composed music from a variety of types. Some of his works are love songs (ballades), while others are night songs (nocturnes). Others are Polish dances (polonaises and mazurkas), while others follow more traditional structures (sonatas, scherzi and concerti) with a romantic touch.

If this were the innocuous and inconspicuous fansite of an ardent but misguided enthusiast, it could easily be disregarded. Unfortunately, even Wikipedia in its article on Chopin offers a link to the site, and the author/webmaster apparently has delusions of grandeur and pretensions of importance. From the Links page:

Quote:
Although it may seem unlikely, Chopin Music is not the sole authority on Chopin. In fact, several online resources exist.

Chopin Music isn't an authority on Chopin at all; it's an embarrassment! If Chopin were an obscure composer who merited greater recognition in whatever form, maybe we might be grateful even for such an extravagantly flaky website. But Chopin's fame is massive, and in traditional published media we have the impeccable scholarship of musicologists like Eigeldinger, Kallberg, Rink, Samson and Walker. What a shame that one of the most prominent Internet destinations for information about Chopin and his music should be so frankly dismal.

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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#1250817 - 08/17/09 01:57 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
I've been to that site on occasion, but not very much- initially, I was interested in reading the "study guides" to the etudes, which seemed like they could possibly be helpful to a newcomer; they certainly are detailed in some cases. As I've only seriously delved into 10/3 and TNE 1 so far, I had not formed an opinion on the remainder of the etude technical descriptions.

In contrast to the etudes, the "study guides" to the other categories of his works consist of merely a few sentences of description of the main features of each piece, the author's impressions, and some commentary. I bristled at this sentence in the description of the 27/2 nocturne:
Quote:
It is indeed supreme in its class of Parisian salon pieces, if not more.

IF not more??

And don't even think about doing the Trivia Quiz! sick sick

On the whole- it seems mainly useful as a very superficial overview of Chopin and his works, not to be taken as the only- or even the main- source of information. A total newcomer to Chopin may find it to be a useful starting point, although I agree that much of it should be taken with the proverbial grain (cupful?) of salt.

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#1250827 - 08/17/09 02:14 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Chardonnay]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1425
Loc: Land of Enchantment
Yes, all that-- but excuse me, do we really mean to apply the term "impeccable scholarship" to Kallberg? Maybe we do, but I have a little bit of bad feeling about that guy.

The "Chopin Music" site is disturbing in a number of ways, but it's clear from a glance at their forum that there are even MORE of us out there.

The instigator of the site doesn't write quite like a native English speaker. He identifies himself as Acadian-- I guess that means he's a type of Canadian francophone (as opposed to an American Cajun)? I don't know.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#1250832 - 08/17/09 02:21 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
steveMac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/09
Posts: 154
Loc: El Paso, TX
I have a question regarding Chopin's Prelude No 7. There are a few places in the piece where the thumbs crossover going by the sheet music. Now obviously the notes are adjacent so playing crossover isn't necessary but do pianists actually do it anyway?

It seems like a ridiculous question and my apologies in advance if it is.
_________________________

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#1250843 - 08/17/09 02:44 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: steveMac]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Elene
Yes, all that-- but excuse me, do we really mean to apply the term "impeccable scholarship" to Kallberg? Maybe we do, but I have a little bit of bad feeling about that guy.

Elene, it's a valid question. I included Kallberg because of his prominence as a Chopin scholar rather than any deep acquaintance with his writing (which I admit I find so turgid at times as to be nearly incomprehensible). I haven't even read Chopin at the Boundaries (though the full title is certainly intriguing), and associate him mainly with bringing the so-called Devil's Trill Prelude to light.

Originally Posted By: steveMac
I have a question regarding Chopin's Prelude No 7. There are a few places in the piece where the thumbs crossover going by the sheet music. Now obviously the notes are adjacent so playing crossover isn't necessary but do pianists actually do it anyway?

It seems like a ridiculous question and my apologies in advance if it is.

It's absolutely not a ridiculous question! It arises in connection with other composers' works as well, notably the famous Prelude in C-sharp Minor by Rachmaninoff in which the thumbs also overlap on occasion.

The short answer is that pianists do routinely play such passages as written. A fuller explanation would include details about the voicing of chords through distribution of notes among the hands and how the composer might choose to reflect his intention through notation. Even though it was a deliberate decision to write it that way, no one will prosecute you for deciding to play it differently. smile

Steven
_________________________

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

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

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#1250883 - 08/17/09 04:30 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
steveMac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/09
Posts: 154
Loc: El Paso, TX
Thanks for your insightful answer, that clears things up for me.
_________________________

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#1251249 - 08/18/09 09:59 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: steveMac]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
mad
Hi All: And welcome to you, Stevemac. The 7th prelude is one of Chopin's most beautiful compositions. While it is short, it is beguilingy sweet.

I haven't witten much lately at all. The thread is going along so nicely (and I should add - just the way I had evisioned from the start) that I haven't had anything to add. But this article got my Polish blood boiling over - BIG TME! While I do concede that a few things might be true, the author has obviously not done his homework - at all.

Chopin: Genius or [b] monster?

As Radio 3 prepares to broadcast the composer's complete works, Michael Church says that he's been woefully misunderstood

Wednesday, 30 April 2008


Frederick Chopin: Genius or monster?


Everyone knows Chopin, yet of all the great composers he's the least well-known. This is thanks partly to the myths that have accrued about him, and partly to the paradoxes in his music and character. The stock images are of the staunch Polish patriot, and of the hypersensitive aesthete coughing his heart out as he pens his romantic melodies. Yet in truth Chopin was a political arch-conservative, an artistic and social snob, and a dandy who hated contact with the rest of the human race.


Moreover, though his music may have been revolutionary, he was a stern Classicist, despising the Romanticism of his friends Liszt, Schumann and Mendelssohn. Meanwhile, his phenomenal reputation as a virtuoso rested on a mere 30 concerts. None of this fits the stereotype.

Chopin's character still troubles even his most ardent champions. "A very strange person, very hard to like," is the verdict of Andras Schiff, who plays his music with rare insight and sensitivity. Anti-Semitism was only one of Schiff's charges: after researching him in depth for a biographical film, he found he didn't like the man at all.

This feeling would have been echoed by the 19th-century Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz, for whom Chopin was a "moral vampire". Mickiewicz was one of two Polish exiles who called on Chopin at the height of his fame, and he didn't even answer the door to them. Chopin's heart had bled for his native Poland in 1831 as the Russians advanced on Warsaw, but all thoughts of revolution, indeed of any kind of political instability, horrified him. As an exile, he desperately needed the reassurance of a fixed social order.

Chopin's Polish childhood had been very happy: he was feted as a prodigy, and loved by his family and friends. But ever since his talented elder sister Emily died when he was 14, tuberculosis had burdened him with the guilt of the survivor. His addiction to solitude went hand-in-hand with a fanatical dandyism, but his need for exquisitely tailored waistcoats, gloves, and boots was probably dictated by something deeper and darker than mere vanity. In her brilliant book Chopin's Funeral, Benita Eisler argues that this dandyism was a flight from rage and melancholy. For Schiff, the freshly laundered white gloves that Chopin put on each day signalled his horror of human contact.

And Chopin's treatment of Schumann, who eulogised him, was sadistic: when Schumann sent him one of his own works, Chopin contemptuously dismissed it as "no music at all". Liszt had been Chopin's flatmate but Chopin's envy of Liszt's success, and his open contempt for the "vulgar" cadenzas Liszt inserted into Chopin's concerti, put an end to their relationship.


Listen to a clip of Radio Three Award-winning performance of Piano Sonata No 3 In B Minor Op 58 Allegro Maestoso by Ingrid Fliter, courtesy of EMI Classics.[\b]




Though Chopin had droves of fainting female fans, little is known about his sex life before his fateful relationship with the writer George Sand. So it's no surprise that attempts should have been made to embellish the myth, most notably by the "discovery" in 1945 of some scatological letters allegedly sent by Chopin to the Polish singer Delphina Potocka. Though these are now generally regarded as fake, a number of biographers have been taken in by them.

Sand seems to have given Chopin the stability and maternal love he needed: their ill-starred sojourn on Majorca resulted in a rich crop of compositions. Sand may have been heroically supportive in the early years of their relationship, but her eventual dismissal of him, after robbing him of his dignity, was breathtakingly callous. And his end had terrible pathos: dying destitute at the smartest address in town, publicly shunned by a lover to whom his devotion had never wavered.

Since much of Chopin's oeuvre is largely unknown today, Radio 3's Chopin Experience is going to be at least as interesting as the BBC's wall-to-wall efforts with Beethoven, Bach, and Tchaikovsky. Chopin's commodification by advertisers will here get a comprehensive riposte.

If his music has an exhilarating freshness and irresistible charm, that's just his genius: phobic in front of crowds, he was happiest performing for intimate gatherings of friends, and this crucially shaped his art. His style of playing was by all accounts infinitely subtle, masking huge technical difficulties with a beguilingly velvet touch. The sound-world he created in his nocturnes paralleled the visual world of Whistler and the poetic miasmas of Baudelaire; the heroism he evoked in his polonaises, the epigrammatic poetry of his preludes, the operatic eloquence of his concertos – all this was completely new, and still startles today.

The Chopin Experience is on Radio 3 on 17 and 18 May. To purchase the performance from which the clip in this article was taken, click here [/b]



Edited by loveschopintoomuch (08/18/09 10:06 AM)
_________________________
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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#1251269 - 08/18/09 10:31 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Boy, do I have a hard time posting anything with this new format.

I just want to add that I realize I am strongly biased when it comes to Chopin (ha, as if this is news to anyone). I am well aware of his "faults" as some might call them. But to refer to him as a possible "monster!" Oh, please, come on!

Yes, Chopin was quite fastidious about this appearance. He believed that an artist had the obligation to be so. I never, ever read that he wore white gloves because he didn't want to touch the "common" folk. I have often read that Chopin was a dandy. But I have never read that Beethoven was a "slob." It has been mentioned, of course. But not in a way that defined his character.

And as far as his not appearing more in public, we all know the reason for this. Why didn't the author do some research to discover why?

Yes, he didn't like much of the music composed by his contempories This was not jealousy as the author implies. He truly believed that much of this music was too simplistic or too sentinmental. Why can't he be entitled to his opinions without being called sadistic?

I could go on but typing here is pure "hell."

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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#1251330 - 08/18/09 12:31 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I know less about Chopin the Man than many others, but it's evident that this article is replete with sloppiness and disregard for facts and details.

"Everyone knows Chopin, yet of all the great composers he's the least well-known" caused a spike in my B.S. meter right at the get-go because it seemed unverifiable and ambiguous. How large is the pool of "great composers"? How can he not be well-known if everyone knows him? Oh, I get it—we're not referring to fame, but rather the salacious details of his personal life.

It gets worse from there:
  1. The writer asserts that Mendelssohn was a Romantic, but he was arguably just as much of a "stern Classicist" as Chopin—not that there's anything wrong with that. smile
  2. Andras Schiff's comment is disingenuous because, from what I've heard about his behavior and temperament in masterclasses, he too could be described as "very hard to like";
  3. Can anyone else comment on the veracity of the alleged incident with Mickiewicz? And who's the other Polish exile rebuffed by Chopin that the author doesn't name?
  4. I've never heard Benita Eisler's book described as "brilliant"; of course, he's entitled to his opinion, but I'm just sayin'.
  5. Did Liszt actually insert cadenzas (vulgar or otherwise) into Chopin's concerti, or is that something pulled out of thin air? It comes as news to me, as does the idea that this was responsible for putting "an end to their relationship."
  6. Is "scatological" even the proper word to describe the content in the forged letters to Delphina Potocka? I've forgotten the details concerning them, but I don't ever recall any suggestion of anything remotely scatological. If it's meant as hyperbole for something else, it's a ridiculous word to choose.
  7. It's manifestly false that "much of Chopin's oeuvre is largely unknown today"; in fact, a compelling case could be made for the opposite argument: most of Chopin's oeuvre is very well-known in the world of classical piano music, and much of his music is well-known to people with less specialized interests.
What rubbish.

A number of us followed BBC Radio 3's all-Chopin weekend in May 2008 and commented on it here. I wonder why we didn't notice this noxious bilge at that time. I don't think anyone would suggest that a fawning tribute was called for, but this piece of writing is lacking in intelligence and critical thinking.

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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#1251353 - 08/18/09 01:13 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1425
Loc: Land of Enchantment
Whoa, after reading Michael Church's article, Jeffrey Kallberg DOES seem like a superb scholar by comparison. At any rate, Steven, it would definitely be worth your while to read Chopin at the Boundaries. There is so much material about how Chopin's music and that of others was viewed in their own time and in later decades that I, at least, would never have thought of or known to look up if I hadn't read that book. Also quite a bit of rather offbeat material about people's attitudes and beliefs during the Romantic period.

Liszt and Chopin were never flatmates, unless I have missed something very, very large.

And I suppose the time and care I put into my clothing and jewelry this morning was a symptom of "rage and melancholy" on my part. (Which Church certainly did incite in me.)

And we all keep writing and thinking about Chopin because he's so incredibly unlikeable. Just torturing ourselves, I guess.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#1251392 - 08/18/09 02:25 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
Chardonnay Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 505
Loc: Boston, MA.
This contradiction got my notice:
Quote:
Yet in truth Chopin was a political arch-conservative, an artistic and social snob, and a dandy who hated contact with the rest of the human race.

Quote:
Chopin's character still troubles even his most ardent champions. "A very strange person, very hard to like," is the verdict of Andras Schiff,

Quote:
For Schiff, the freshly laundered white gloves that Chopin put on each day signalled his horror of human contact.

Quote:
And Chopin's treatment of Schumann, who eulogised him, was sadistic:


OK, so this paints a picture of a pretty loathsome fellow, right? But yet:
Quote:
If his music has an exhilarating freshness and irresistible charm...

and
Quote:
he was happiest performing for intimate gatherings of friends

So- how could this horrible person have written music with "exhilarating freshness and irresistible charm"-??- and how is it that he had any friends whatsoever, intimate or otherwise?
And would such a thoroughly rotten person have had a "devotion to his lover that had never wavered"?

And how about this example of accurate research:
Quote:
But ever since his talented elder sister Emily died when he was 14,

Wasn't Emily 14 and Chopin about 17 when she died?

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#1251724 - 08/18/09 11:59 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Chardonnay]
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1425
Loc: Land of Enchantment
Yes, Chardonnay, Emilia was Fryderyk's younger sister, and those were their relative ages when she died, that is, she and not he was 14.

Getting such simple details wrong shows that a writer hasn't bothered to really look into the subject before shooting off his keyboard.

(I read today that a foe of health insurance reform wrote that Stephen Hawking, who recently received an award from President Obama, would be left to die under a British-type system-- wouldn't get care at all. Of course Hawking IS British, and lives in England with its "horrible" universal coverage that we're told doesn't take care of people like him at all. Author's current credibility=less than zero.)

Kathleen, what's causing the trouble with posting here these days? Can you still copy and paste into the forum? I wonder if anything can be done? I'm not having any major trouble myself, except that I wish we weren't so limited in being able to edit.

Elene
_________________________
Semi-Pro Musica

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






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#1252219 - 08/19/09 09:39 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Elene]
heidiv Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 580
Loc: piano bench, usually
I think this thread is a better source of info on Chopin. I personally have learned so much from all of you (and I've only read through page 64 laugh ). I am just learning my first "big" Chopin work, the Barcarolle, and I am increasingly overwhelmed by the beauty and the skillful construction of the music. Surely angels must have controlled his pen at times, for I can think of no other explanation for the ethereal quality of his works. Playing Chopin is something that makes me happy to be alive. How fortunate we are to be among those who can experience this gift.

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#1252358 - 08/20/09 03:47 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: heidiv]
Chopin4life Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 194
Loc: UK
Hi there heidiv!

I too marvel at the collective knoweledge of people on this thread. The vast number of contributions here provide one of the most complete sources of information on Chopin on the web and have helped me on countless occasions (although I haven't read through as much as you).

The Barcarolle is an amazingly beautiful work and I'm sure you'll do wonders with it.

"Surely angels must have controlled his pen at times, for I can think of no other explanation for the ethereal quality of his works" - that is a wonderful way of describing it.

Yes, we are all very fortunate, however, anyone and everyone has the opportunity to experience Chopin, but many people choose not to embrace this gift, which is very saddening. I recently introduced a friend to Chopin and he loved it, and took up the piano because of it. It was quite a transformation from rock to classical.

All we can do is keep trying.
_________________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." - Frédéric Chopin

"Hats off gentlemen, a genius!" - Schumann on Chopin

"Chopin is the greatest of them all, for through the piano alone he discovered everything" - Debussy on Chopin


Venables & Son 152

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#1252457 - 08/20/09 09:38 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Chopin4life]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
3hearts
Dear heidiv and Chopin4life: I can't begin to tell you how inspiring and grateful we are to receive posts as yours.

heidiv: Wow, that angels were guiding his hand as he wrote some of his music. I got a huge lump in my throat when I read this. Of all the ways we have tried to explain the exquisite beauty of Chopin's music, I think your description just sums it up perfectly. Thank you for reading all those pages!! Another Wow! And our heartfelt appreciation for all your kinds words about this thread. We are pretty proud of it, but when someone writes and tells us how special it is...well, we just burst with pride and humility. Please write again and tell us our the Barcarolle is going.
_________________________
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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#1252472 - 08/20/09 09:54 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: loveschopintoomuch]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Hi Chopin4life:

Your enthusiasm and joy when you write of your love for Chopin are overwhelming. In many ways I envy you because there is so much more of his music to discover. Almost lifke countless oysters containing precious pearls.

Thank you so much for introducing your friend to Chopin. This is really the goal of this thread. And you have helped us attain that for which we strive. (Forgive the formal language, I used to be grammar teacher and still have trouble ending sentences with prepositions.)

I am so glad that you write so often; please continue to do so.

Affectionally,
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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#1252862 - 08/20/09 06:22 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Chopin4life]
heidiv Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 580
Loc: piano bench, usually
Originally Posted By: Chopin4life
I recently introduced a friend to Chopin and he loved it, and took up the piano because of it. It was quite a transformation from rock to classical.


Would you think less of me if I told you I still enjoy classic rock as well? I hope the two aren't mutually exclusive!

The Barcarolle is the most challenging piece I have ever attempted. I'm well on my way. Some days it sounds so beautiful that I can't believe I'm the one who is actually producing the sound. Other days, I am happy to just hit the right notes! Very humbling. If any of my fellow Chopinphiles here have played this piece before, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss it.

This thread has inspired me. I'll admit I knew little of Chopin's life before finding this thread. Regarding compositions, I am familiar with the mazurkas, preludes, waltzes, nocturnes, but I have learned about new pieces here, which I quickly listen to on youtube. So thank you for introducing me to some other works. I am also considering doing an all Chopin program next March in honor of the 200th birthday. A great opportunity to introduce others to his works. Without this thread I don't think I would have even realized the landmark birthday.

A quick question: Of the great volume of literature Chopin produced, I've never seen any works for four hands. Did he write anything for four hands, or has anyone seen an arrangement? Oh Kathleen, please don't correct my grammar...

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#1252938 - 08/20/09 08:28 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: heidiv]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: heidiv
A quick question: Of the great volume of literature Chopin produced, I've never seen any works for four hands. Did he write anything for four hands, or has anyone seen an arrangement?

Hey Heidi!

Only one piece intended for four hands survived, and even so it was fragmentary. It was reconstructed by Polish musicologist Jan Ekier (a well-known and well-regarded editor of Chopin's music for the publisher PWM (Polish National Edition)):

Variations on an Irish song by Moore

It's virtually unknown, and there are few recordings available.

There's more to choose from for two-hands arrangements by others. I just searched Pianophilia's Opus Transcribisticum database and found scores of them (no pun intended!), though I have no idea how many are still in print.

As a footnote to the topic, a Rondo for two pianos was published posthumously as Op. 73. It's pretty obscure, too, and an alternate version of it for piano solo is even more so.

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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#1253000 - 08/20/09 10:01 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
heidiv Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 580
Loc: piano bench, usually
Thank you, Steven.

You are a treasure trove of information. If I am ever a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, may I use you as my phone a friend? grin

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#1253140 - 08/21/09 04:53 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: heidiv]
Chopin4life Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 194
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: heidiv


Would you think less of me if I told you I still enjoy classic rock as well? I hope the two aren't mutually exclusive!


Of course not! I listen to many genres of music as well. I was merely quoting what my friend said smile

Originally Posted By: heidiv

I am also considering doing an all Chopin program next March in honor of the 200th birthday. A great opportunity to introduce others to his works. Without this thread I don't think I would have even realized the landmark birthday.



There is a topic on the adult beginners forum for a recital of Chopin for his 200th birthday. I dont have the link, but put your name down fast because there aren't many places left! Or you could just do your own like you said.
_________________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." - Frédéric Chopin

"Hats off gentlemen, a genius!" - Schumann on Chopin

"Chopin is the greatest of them all, for through the piano alone he discovered everything" - Debussy on Chopin


Venables & Son 152

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#1253141 - 08/21/09 04:54 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: heidiv]
Chopin4life Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/27/09
Posts: 194
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: heidiv

If I am ever a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, may I use you as my phone a friend? grin


I second that smile
_________________________
"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." - Frédéric Chopin

"Hats off gentlemen, a genius!" - Schumann on Chopin

"Chopin is the greatest of them all, for through the piano alone he discovered everything" - Debussy on Chopin


Venables & Son 152

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#1253196 - 08/21/09 08:05 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: Chopin4life]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
Originally Posted By: Chopin4life
Originally Posted By: heidiv

If I am ever a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, may I use you as my phone a friend? grin


I second that smile

Aww shucks, thank you for the votes of confidence. But you gotta to be careful what you wish for: I have superficial knowledge of many subjects, but that breadth is matched by depth in just a select few areas.

I admit I'm a trivia hound, but to win on Jeopardy! in real life the categories would need to be Chopin, Movie Palace Architecture, Disco, World Geography and Linguistics. That's not likely ever to happen. smile

Steven
_________________________

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

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

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#1253287 - 08/21/09 10:45 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin [Re: sotto voce]
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 4690
Loc: Illinois
Heidiv: Never worry about my correcting your grammar. You write extremely well. As I grow older (wow, the days fly by as one does so), I have discovered that my knowledge of the subject is practically disappearing. I can't tell you the number of times I have reread a post I have written and found mistakes that were just plain stupid. Of course, to save face, I blame it on my sticky and/or uncooperative keyboard. thumb

Speaking of "Do You Want to be a Millionaire?," have I ever mentioned that my nephew appeared on that show about a year ago? He has always been a "brain," and he received his Ph.d when he was just 23 years old. But a nicer and kinder person one could never meet. I knew he would do well if they kept the questions on a more academic level. But sure enough, they threw one in about a popular hip/hop group, and he didn't have a clue. He did win $15,000.00 though, and he was grateful for that considering he has 3 girls under the age of 6.

I certainly wouldn't think less of anyone who likes Rock. There are some very talented people out there. I have always been a lyrics freak. That's probably why I was a huge fan of Frank Sinatra when I was a teen. He sang all the old standards. The words to almost all of these tunes were practically pure poetry. And not a "kill the pigs" to be found. Maybe I should add that I have another nephew who played the keyboard for the "Nine Inch Nails" for five years. But that's another story. wink

Soon after my nephew appeared on the "Millionaire" program, I had a dream that I was a contestant and got all the way up to the top level. And yes, the question was about Chopin. I believe it had to do with what "key" Chopin seemed to favor. As soon as they asked the question and before they gave the possible answers, I could feel my heart pounding like a hammer in my chest, for I knew I knew the answer. Sure enough, I won. However, the experts for the show found out I was a Chopinophile, and because I didn't indicate this on my intake interview, I was disqualifed. I didn't win a cent. Seemed pretty unfair to me. cry

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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