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#398818 - 05/03/07 09:04 PM Your thoughts needed (Chopin/Rubinstein/Cortot)
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
The other thread "Ever wanted to change" inspired me to open this new thread.

Wanting to put this on a practical basis .. I need your opinion on this live example:
Chopin Piano Concerto No.2, Coda of the first movement[/b]

We have 2 famous respected artists who altered the text here:
1) Rubinstein
Rubinstein imposed his cut on the conductors he worked with, cutting the whole orchestral ending leaving only the last two 'bang' motifs.

Listen here: http://www.box.net/shared/q1zh8jeqr7

2) Cortot
Cortot, unlike Rubinstein, did not make any cuts but he turned a whole phrase from the orchestra playing it on the piano

Listen here: http://www.box.net/shared/3pt3axpx9o

Now here is where your opinions are wanted:
1) Do you agree with one/two of the previous performers? Why/why not?

2) If you have a preference for one of the 3 versions (Chopin/Rubinstein/Cortot), please tell us which one you prefer. Why?

Any musical opinions are welcomed.

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#398819 - 05/03/07 10:43 PM Re: Your thoughts needed (Chopin/Rubinstein/Cortot)
Monsieur_Pichon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/06
Posts: 306
Loc: Buenos Aires, Argentina
1) I Think is an intersting way to interpretate this concerto (a great concerto)....I agree more with Cortot way...

2)I think this give a really HUGE caracter to the work....is a concerto for piano and orchestra....and united, one can heard an Excellent link, a fusion of this HUGE instrument (the piano) and these celestial union (an orchestra)....I think Cortot make from these EXCELLENT concerto, a new profound concerto full of beatifull harmonys....


PD:Really sorry for my english ^^

PD2: Whats your opinion Bassio?

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#398820 - 05/04/07 09:42 PM Re: Your thoughts needed (Chopin/Rubinstein/Cortot)
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
Come on guys. Don't you know the piece? Any comment?

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#398821 - 05/05/07 03:09 AM Re: Your thoughts needed (Chopin/Rubinstein/Cortot)
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8936
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bassio:
Come on guys. Don't you know the piece?
Well, yes I do. I played second piano for a friend of mine who performed it (fairly well) at uni.

Very interesting mp3s. Rubinstein's orchestra makes the same cut I did, but I would not be inclined to sanction it outside of a two piano performance. A nice example of second guessing Chopin, but failing to improve on the original. It all seemed more of a vanity moment for Rubinstein, if indeed the cut was his idea.

And yet... Cortot second guessed and I think it works beautifully! How brilliant. Who would have thought of it!

We all know that Chopin was very much a youngster when he wrote his concertos, and they do tend to be very conservative in format, his magnificent -and forward looking- piano writing notwithstanding. Had Chopin written these concertos later in life, undoubtedly those rather boringly conceived solo orchestral moments would have been considerably modified.

But that's just conjecture. The concertos stand as they are. I can accept Cortot's recording, though Tausig's wholesale, vulgar rewrite (of the E minor) is fortunately confined to the dustbins of bloody awful fashion.
_________________________
Jason

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#398822 - 05/05/07 12:31 PM Re: Your thoughts needed (Chopin/Rubinstein/Cortot)
Hank Drake Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1664
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Actually, the cut in Rubinstein's performance was rather standard in his time. Still, the work is better complete. Rubinstein also tampered with the orchestration in the third movement Second Concerto, so that the strings played one section with the bows in the normal position, instead of sui ponticello.
_________________________
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

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#398823 - 05/05/07 12:37 PM Re: Your thoughts needed (Chopin/Rubinstein/Cortot)
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21926
Loc: Oakland
Such alterations are usually up to the conductor or the concertmaster, not the pianist.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#398824 - 05/05/07 03:12 PM Re: Your thoughts needed (Chopin/Rubinstein/Cortot)
Hank Drake Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1664
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
Such alterations are usually up to the conductor or the concertmaster, not the pianist. [/b]
True, but Rubinstein had such clout (particularly in Chopin) that he usually got his way. As much as I love Rubinstein's Chopin, I've never been able to completely warm to his performances of the Concertos. I much prefer Zimermann.
_________________________
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

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#398825 - 05/05/07 08:58 PM Re: Your thoughts needed (Chopin/Rubinstein/Cortot)
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
Never heard Taussig's arrangement Jason.

Now Hank says that the cut in Rubinstein's performance was rather standard in his time .. so I guess it was not his idea in the first place, but he only continued sanctioning it all his life.

So I went to hear Hofmann's .. and to my surprise the same cut is sanctioned.

Now thinking about it .. Rubinstein (who was no slouch) + the fact that the cut was authorized in its day + Hofmann agreed (who was lesser of a slouch) .. we really have to think why they made this particular cut.

IMHO the cut succeeds in carrying the tension heightened and heightened in the previous section without releasing it .. thus giving the piece a more 'heroic' ending rather than leaving all the tension to be released before that 'bang bang' climax ending. And in some way it succeeds in doing that. That is why I don't 'hate' it.

This is of course before I heard Cortot. (To my surprise) I found that he also tampered with the ending in his own way. (And remember Cortot is no slouch ;\)

So I will have to say that there is actually a boring orchestral moment (the one exactly Cortot transformed to the piano). Add this to the fact that adding a piano part to mingle with the orchestral part at the end is a great idea.

And I don't blame chopin .. I blame the conductors

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#398826 - 05/05/07 09:02 PM Re: Your thoughts needed (Chopin/Rubinstein/Cortot)
Bassio Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 2480
Loc: Alexandria, Egypt
And to respond to the "Ever wanted to change" thread I will say that if I was to play this concerto .. I would have done Cortot's version (and to a lesser extent Rubinstein)

But I guess no one nowadays can sanction these changes on his recording for fear of backlash from the critics.
You know the textual sincerity. :rolleyes:


PS. Hank, which Zimmerman recording?

The last one where he inflates the orchestral parts I hate this recording.
The earlier one is great, a favorite and highly recommended

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