Author Topic: Chopin  (Read 41508 times)

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Offline Peregrine

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Chopin
« on: November 25, 2007, 06:58:44 AM »
Couldn't see a thread for the great man!

So here it is....

Favourite works/pianists etc.

How long will it take until Sidoze contributes...?

But more importantly, can we take him on and challenge his rather forthright views, can we fight over Chopin? The decision, is yours....
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Offline Peregrine

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2007, 07:24:13 AM »
I've been collecting Chopin discs for a good few years now and find that perhaps more than any other, it pays to have an eclectic, cherry-picked collection.

Some of my favourite discs and performances would be:

Zhukov's live Piano sonata no.3 (1998), as well as his live preludes

Richter's scherzi on Regis/Olympia and the Ballades form the Praga set. Various etudes all over the place, but quite a few on the BBC Legends label.

Michelangeli:


The Tipo nocturnes - unashamedly romantic

Sokolov's Op.25

Gavrilov's Op.10/5, normally makes me giggle when I hear it, it just sounds astonishing hearing a human play like this...

The Rosenthal 2CD set on APR for the nocturnes and mazurkas - an exquisite, velvet tone, simply beautiful playing!

Pletnev:
Op.48/1 is stunning on here. How about the virtuosity in the Scherzo's from the Carnegie recital disc?

Sofronitsky for his mazurkas (partic.), but most of his Chopin is top notch..

Pollini for neutrality:


I like this disc:


Rubinstein, so much recorded! Where to begin...

« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 02:00:59 PM by Peregrine »
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George

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2007, 09:18:08 AM »

Thanks for the eclectic list!

For me:

Any Chopin by Moravec.  8)


Offline Peregrine

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2007, 09:23:35 AM »
Thanks for the eclectic list!

For me:

Any Chopin by Moravec.  8)



I've not warmed to Moravec in Chopin as much (yet) as I feel I should have. I own the Nocturnes set, and whilst he is an undeniably sensitive, poetic interpreter, I find his style almost one-dimensional in that respect.

I might give the set another spin later, haven't listened to it for a long time. What other Chopin has he done? There's a disc with the ballades, if I'm not mistaken...?
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George

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2007, 09:39:30 AM »
I've not warmed to Moravec in Chopin as much (yet) as I feel I should have. I own the Nocturnes set, and whilst he is an undeniably sensitive, poetic interpreter, I find his style almost one-dimensional in that respect.

I might give the set another spin later, haven't listened to it for a long time. What other Chopin has he done? There's a disc with the ballades, if I'm not mistaken...?

There is. He's also done the Preludes and some various stuff on a Vox 2CD set that contains some incredible Debussy.

sidoze

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2007, 09:49:54 AM »
the old GMG had a wonderful Chopin thread in which we used to discuss performances. At one point Luke wrote an insightful analysis of some Chopin pieces (mazurkas I think) and Herman regularly brought new recordings to the fore. Our Chopin contingent has narrowed somewhat since then.

Quote
Pollini for neutrality:

let's not make a virtue out of neutrality, okay?  ;D

Having said that, his live PC 2 is one of my favourite performances. Nothing really neutral about it though.

Quote
I find his style almost one-dimensional in that respect.

I feel the same, mostly. 2 CD Vox set which George mentioned is my favourite one -- the Debussy is incredible and there are some excellent waltzes/mazurkas and a gorgeous Polonaise-Fantaisie.

I'm not fond of his Ballades, particuarlly not his overly-worked-out, overly-mature reading of number 1. However that disc has some beautiful mazurkas. The Preludes are on the soft side too. I've always wanted to hear his first recording of the Preludes but the disc is hard to come by usually. Apparently it's the better recording. I'm not particularly taken by his Nocturnes either -- undeniably poetic as they are.

It's rather a shame that Moravec plays Chopin so softly like this. If you hear his Prokofiev PC 1 you know exactly what he was capable of. Why he didn't apply that to Chopin, well, sometimes it's a pity.

Offline Que

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2007, 10:07:43 AM »
It's rather a shame that Moravec plays Chopin so softly like this. If you hear his Prokofiev PC 1 you know exactly what he was capable of. Why he didn't apply that to Chopin, well, sometimes it's a pity.

You mean you would like him to play Chopin like a Russian pianist?  :o  ;)
Personally, I'm very glad he doesn't.  8)

Q
À chacun son goût.

sidoze

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2007, 10:12:45 AM »
You mean you would like him to play Chopin like a Russian pianist?  :o  ;)

i realise this is facetious but I don't see the connection. Moravec is both more volatile and more aggressive than nearly any Russian pianist in that PC. Gavrilov is faster, maybe, and Richter is wonderful over all, but the Moravec is unique and my personal favourite. He puts most Russian pianists to shame in it, no doubt about it.

Anyway, my point is that if his Chopin had more spontaneity/volatility and more power/backbone like his Prokofiev PC 1, then in some cases it would be more to my taste. There's no denying the magical sonorities, colours and grace of his Chopin, but there's also more to Chopin than just that, of course.

Offline rubio

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2007, 10:58:23 AM »
Gavrilov's Op.10/5, normally makes me giggle when I hear it, it just sounds astonishing hearing a human play like this...

So this set is recommendable?

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Offline orbital

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2007, 11:03:44 AM »
So this set is recommendable?


I'd say yes. This is one of the better overall etudes sets I've heard.

Offline Peregrine

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2007, 11:22:57 AM »
So this set is recommendable?



Only if you want to hear a machine cruising through Chopin, devoid of any musicality...

Bit harsh? Possibly...but, Orbital is right, definitely one of the better sets. I'll put up a couple of the etudes on Mediafire for you Rubio, including the 10/5 I mentioned. I'm just uploading something else at the moment...

You can normally find that set very cheap, so surely worth the outlay  ;)
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Offline Peregrine

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2007, 12:04:02 PM »
Yes, we have no bananas

Offline Holden

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2007, 12:18:24 PM »
Only if you want to hear a machine cruising through Chopin, devoid of any musicality...

Bit harsh? Possibly...but, Orbital is right, definitely one of the better sets. I'll put up a couple of the etudes on Mediafire for you Rubio, including the 10/5 I mentioned. I'm just uploading something else at the moment...

You can normally find that set very cheap, so surely worth the outlay  ;)

This is recommendable for Op 10 which is played with astonishing technique and there is musicality there. Op 25 is another matter and I prefer Ginzburg from 1948 for this with Cziffra as second choice alongside Cortot.

Other stereo recs are:
Waltzes - Ashkenazy or Anievas
Preludes - Bolet live or Argerich for a more fiery version alongside Arrau live in Prague from 1960
Polonaises - Ashkenazy
Nocturnes - Rubinstein or Moravec
Ballades - Rubinstein or Richter (Michelangeli for #1)
Scherzi - Rubinstein, Richter
Cheers

Holden

Offline Peregrine

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2007, 12:23:44 PM »
This is recommendable for Op 10 which is played with astonishing technique and there is musicality there

Agree strongly with the former, it's the latter I have problems with, but maybe I'm being harsh on Andrei...

Sokolov's Op.25 is self-recommending IMO, very strong set.
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Offline orbital

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2007, 03:04:52 PM »
Only if you want to hear a machine cruising through Chopin, devoid of any musicality...

It is hard for me to think of Gavrilov as unmusical  :-\ If anything he is a bit too musical at times (like those live nocturnes he played).
Anyway here is a close up of his 10/4 (at 2:10)  Watch how he moves his feet away from the pedal, possibly to avoid temptation  >:D
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/pztWI_8t53k" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/pztWI_8t53k</a>

sidoze

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2007, 04:24:57 PM »
It is hard for me to think of Gavrilov as unmusical  :-\ If anything he is a bit too musical at times (like those live nocturnes he played).
Anyway here is a close up of his 10/4 (at 2:10)  Watch how he moves his feet away from the pedal, possibly to avoid temptation  >:D


thanks for that. Those are new videos to Youtube. Any idea when they were recorded? Can't stand the theatrical mannerisms though. Reminds me of Stanislav Bunin. Do these guys think they're rockers?  ::)
« Last Edit: November 25, 2007, 04:28:19 PM by sidoze »

Offline orbital

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2007, 08:28:23 AM »
Here are links to two dubious Chopin compositions. A waltz in f-sharp minor (No:20) and (a supposedly) 17th prelude in eflat minor.

Waltz:
http://nt1k23.com/musicalsec/walFm.mp3
I could not make up my mind as to whether it is genuine or not. The main theme is certainly Chopin-esque with the melancholic mood, but he mid section is either underworked or a student effort.

Prelude:
http://nt1k23.com/musicalsec/preE.mp3
This one can only be a sketch at best  >:D

Offline Maciek

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2008, 01:55:44 PM »
Probably destined to fail but here's yet another attempt to revive the thread.

There was a very interesting exchange about Chopin down at the Modern composers thread. It was about "Chopin's modernity". I'm copying it beneath (it feels a little silly to be quoting my own posts so extensively but I'm doing it for the sake of this thread! ;D):

Witold Lutoslawski (in Lutoslawski on Music, Zbigniew Skowron, ed), says the precursor was Chopin, Chopin's last Mazurka in F minor op. 68 but nobody knows it because the innovative part of Chopin's piece is hard to decipher and therefore was never printed.

BTW, naming Chopin as the precursor of musical modernity is a commonplace in Polish musicology. Tadeusz Zieliński's textbook on 20th century music idioms has a large quotation form the E Minor Prelude in the opening chapter. (I also seem to remember a quotation from Schumann's Waldszenen there, but can't find it. However, this is not the copy I originally read, and I just noticed all page numbers are missing from the index - so perhaps it is somehow faulty. ??? I distinctly remember that Schumann from my teacher's copy - in fact, it was one of the reasons why I became interested in that piece. Ah, whatever. Need to get back to work now.)

The E minor prelude - perhaps. But there are some Mazurkas which are much more extreme. And that sketch of an E flat minor prelude (I think that's they key - I have the music at home) which is really ultra-modern.  :o :o Or would have been, at any rate (if he'd had the guts to go through with it  >:D >:D >:D ) (only joking)

I guess he (Zielinski) chose the E minor prelude because the extreme chromatics (both extremely simple, and extremely not-really-tonal at the same time) somehow connect it to Wagner. Obviously, we both favour the Mazurkas as the best thing Chopin gave to the world, nothing to discuss there 8) (and many of them are more modal than tonal, I think - because of the use of folk scales? but then my knowledge of harmony is really rather sketchy...) But I guess there are some other "tonally-transgressive" pieces of his as well: like the slow movement of the B minor sonata where the functionality seems to be almost entirely subordinated to colour. Which is the case in many Chopin pieces, and which of course is still a far cry from atonal writing. ;D

(BTW, I have no idea what prelude you're talking about - nor which mazurka was it that Lutosławski mentioned.)

Hey, could it be I can actually tell you something about Polish music you were unaware of!!

Check this out - with downloadable mp3. Edit - darn it - that mp3 link is not working any more, and though I used to have it saved on my PC, I can't find it now....

Anyway, the attachments give you all the detail, plus various reconstructions. It's an astonishing sounding piece, you'll have to trust me!

(Luke attatched pdfs of said prelude to the above post and the two that followed. If you want them, this is a link to the first one.)

Would this be the same thing?

http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~kallberg/ChopinEbminorPrelude.mp3

(I found the link on the guy's site. He actually wrote a book entitled Chopin at the Boundaries: Sex History, and Musical Genre LOL)

(OK, sorry for straying off topic. 0:))

Well, that's what it says on the guy's own site! 0:) The Harvard UP site has a simpler title, with a comma between "sex" and "history". Not that it makes it any less funny. :P ;D ;D ;D ;D

You are a wonderful human being  ;D  :-*

Odd piece, isn't it?

My searching didn't hit the bullseye as yours did, but I did find this:

http://www.nifc.pl/=files/doc/269/kallberg_2006_en.pdf

which is another little essay by Kallberg which gives us (among other things) Chopin's alternative ending to the op 9/2 Nocturne.  8)

Odd piece, isn't it?

To the point of absurdity - yes. And I absolutely love it! :D :D :D :D :D :D

(I notice the first article give examples from the Eb min Etude and Prelude which are also my favorites in the "odd - in a great way - pieces by Chopin" genre.)

BTW, I think the title of Kallberg's book would benefit if the author decided to remove the word "history" in later editions...

Oh, I really need to go now - I'll read both articles later in the week.

See you around - it's always a pleasure!
Maciek

(BTW, I have no idea what prelude you're talking about - nor which mazurka was it that Lutosławski mentioned.)
Mazurka in F minor, op. 68.  There is nothing commonplace about Lutoslawski.  The bars he believes anticipate Tristan were not published.

Interestingly enough, that very F minor Mazurka (the composer's last piece) is another Chopin work - the only one, in fact - that exists only in sketch form, like the E flat minor prelude. You can read Kallberg's interesting discussion of what the implications are for the 'canonical status' of both works in part 3 of the PDF I posted on the previous page.


Another interesting page on the E flat minor piece

And another



There is nothing commonplace about Lutoslawski.
I never said that. Why would I say something like that about a favorite composer? (Of course, the fact that someone is a great artist doesn't automatically make that someone into a great thinker - but it doesn't preclude it either, and Lutosławski seems to have been a very intelligent person). But what Lutosławski says about Chopins in general or this specific Mazurka - I should have checked this yesterday but somehow missed the fact that you gave both key and opus number, sorry - is anything but new, at least in Polish musicology. In Poland, Chopin was considered a "modern" composer as far back as the early 20th century (e.g. by Szymanowski), and possibly even earlier.

Re the specific piece: It is pretty well known by virtue of it probably being Chopin's last completed (?) piece. The Mazurka is opused which means it was published (back in 1855 by Chopin's friend Julian Fontana) - the publication was prepared by Franchomme who tried to decipher the illegible manuscript (I haven't seen it but they say it's impossible to decipher it definitely). Another reconstruction, by Jan Ekier, was published in 1965 - it contains the middle, F Major section that Franchomme omitted (though Zieliński says the section is "not very interesting"). But this really doesn't make that much of a difference - Franchomme's version (the only one I know ::)) is extremely chromatic (parts of the melody are essentially based on the chromatic scale) and contains the Tristan chord. (BTW, the series of chords in this Mazurka is constructed along very similar lines to the E Minor prelude! >:D) I'm not sure what more there could be in the "unpublished bars" - the sources I have at hand claim that Franchomme's edition is a pretty good approximation of Chopin's manuscript, even if some of the details may differ (again, the text is difficult to decipher).

But anyway, my point is this: you really don't have to be Lutosławski in order to notice a Tristan chord or a very chromatic melody. And saying that musical modernity started in this or that specific piece will always remain a moot point, I think. Why not say it started in Beethoven's late quartets? >:D

Incidentally, one of the "modal" mazurkas I had in mind was another from op. 68: no. 3 in F Major - a very early Chopin mazurka and not really a masterpiece but that middle sections is mind-boggling (at least to me 0:)).

BTW, naming Chopin as the precursor of musical modernity is a commonplace in Polish musicology. Tadeusz Zieliński's textbook on 20th century music idioms has a large quotation form the E Minor Prelude in the opening chapter...
Aside from any nationalistic pride, those Polish scholars have a point.  The E minor Prelude (I assume from the Opus 28 set of 24, modeled after The Well-tempered Clavier) indeed anticipates, not atonality necessarily, but certainly indeterminate tonality of the Liszt-Wagner type.  Even more extraordinary is the A minor Prelude from the same set, where not until the very last chord does the A minor tonality become clear.

But, in several senses, tonality began to break down almost as soon as it was fully established.  Just look at the extreme dissonances in Bach's famous D minor Toccata! ;D

...not atonality necessarily, but certainly indeterminate tonality of the Liszt-Wagner type...
Having said that, I guess I should clarify the difference. :-[ The Étude sans tonalité, the Tristan prelude and the rest suggest tonalities that shift constantly and have no center; thus "indeterminate."  What Schoenberg, Berg and Webern practiced was music in which there are no tonal implications at all.

It would not seem inappropriate to discuss definitions of modernity in any thread devoted to the modern.
A pretty widespread opinion out there is that the breakdown of tonality begins with the opening bars of Tristan.  And if that opinion is sound then musical modernity derives from Wagner.
See my previous reply #79 (on page 4, as the thread comes up for me) for an alternate viewpoint. 8)
[That's jochanaan's first post above - Maciek]

(I know that Harvard University Press post of mine was lame but had to copy it for the link it contained... ::))
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 09:23:19 AM by Maciek »

Offline B_cereus

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2008, 12:50:44 PM »
The Chopin F minor fantasy is a fave of mine.

I like the story-telling from Liszt via De Pachmann that is associated with it.

Offline marvinbrown

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2008, 05:28:26 AM »
  What I love most about Chopin is the melancholia in practically all his piano compositions. It's that  wonderful  "bordering on depression" mood coupled with some of the most beautiful melodies I have ever heard that gives Chopin his unique style.  I only hope all of you understand what I am trying to say or express here?? His nocturnes are indispensable (ie essential for every collection!!) as are his preludes. I especially love Claudio Arrau's recording of the Nocturnes.  I sampled them at HMV once and after hearing Nocturne No.1 I just had to buy the whole set!!  Couldn't part without having it in my collection.

   
  marvin   
« Last Edit: April 30, 2008, 05:43:34 AM by marvinbrown »

 

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