Author Topic: Chopin  (Read 35585 times)

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Offline Holden

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2008, 12:19:41 AM »
Well, since no replies are forthcoming from the legion of Polish GMG members, a couple of thoughts from me re the folklore subject:

Is the influence of folklore visible in Chopin's mazurkas? Yes. And very clearly.

Does Chopin ever quote original folk melodies? As far as I'm aware, there isn't a single instance of that.




The Mazurkas are one of the best instances of Chopin quoting original folk melodies.
Cheers

Holden

lukeottevanger

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2008, 03:01:35 AM »
Really? I don't doubt you, but as far as I can recall I've never seen a specific instance of this, and searching around just now tended to confirm this. E.g. this, from Prof. Jan Gorbaty, on a page entitled Polish Folk Music and Chopin's Mazurkas which I would assume would mention such quotation if it existed but which doesn't:

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Sometimes it is virtually impossible to identify a mazurka, or even its section, as a mazur, kujawiak, or oberek. Even a minute analysis of original folk mazurkas does not provide parallels of rhythmic substructure to Chopin's mazurkas or their parts. According to Paul Hamburger, most of Chopin's dances cannot be traced to a single, definite folk model. Rather, they arise from a composite recollection of certain types of melody and rhythm, which is then given an artistically valid expression in the composition. In this respect, Chopin's "Polishness: is rather like Dvorak's "Czechness" and Bloch's "Jewishness". All three composers distilled their national flavors from a raw material that is not strictly folkloric, as opposed to those who start off with genuine, unadulterated folklore-e.g. Bartok, Vaughan Williams, or composers of the Spanish national school.

But I'd honestly be delighted if you could show me instances of such quotations - it all adds to the pot, doesn't it!?  :)

Whilst searching, btw, I saw that BBC R3 is planning a Chopin weekend on the lines of their previous Bach, Mozart and Beethoven weeks - all the composer's works, played non-stop. 17th-18th May

Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #42 on: May 04, 2008, 06:46:45 AM »
If you are trying to understand the mazurkas, you will have to discard the myth that this was a folk dance. Both the polonaise and the mazurka were invented for the use of the Polish court. Obviously they had their folk roots and employ folk melodic idiom but they had been the property of the ruling classes for several centuries before Chopin took them up. This does have an important impact on the way in which the slower mazurkas should be played, with feelings of sweetness and tenderness, if not a little haughtiness
A day may be a destiny; for life
Lives in but little—but that little teems
With some one chance, the balance of all time:
A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.

Monsieur Croche

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #43 on: May 04, 2008, 07:20:16 AM »
If you are trying to understand the mazurkas, you will have to discard the myth that this was a folk dance. Both the polonaise and the mazurka were invented for the use of the Polish court. Obviously they had their folk roots and employ folk melodic idiom but they had been the property of the ruling classes for several centuries before Chopin took them up. This does have an important impact on the way in which the slower mazurkas should be played, with feelings of sweetness and tenderness, if not a little haughtiness

I believe Chopin wrote once in one of his letters that his mazurkas are "not for dancing". I can't remember where I read it, but I will look it up.

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #44 on: May 04, 2008, 08:35:58 AM »
If you guys want to try an interesting and "radical" take on the Mazurkas, you should seek out the recording by Andrezej Wasowski. It's unlike anything i ever heard before, and apparently it's supposed to be closer to the "feeling" of the original dance, though i can't vouch on that since i know next to nothing about polish dances.

ezodisy

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #45 on: May 04, 2008, 11:17:55 AM »
I have them and could upload some (maybe all). Also have his (just as unique) nocturnes which Orbital recommends :) He really is quite unique, though you'll probably either love it or hate it.

George

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #46 on: May 04, 2008, 12:46:06 PM »
If you guys want to try an interesting and "radical" take on the Mazurkas, you should seek out the recording by Andrezej Wasowski. It's unlike anything i ever heard before, and apparently it's supposed to be closer to the "feeling" of the original dance, though i can't vouch on that since i know next to nothing about polish dances.

I enjoy these, but I like Luisada on DG even more.

George

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #47 on: May 05, 2008, 09:29:40 AM »
I ran an Amazon search, and was told that my query did not match any products. Can anyone kindly provide a link?

That one won't be easy to find I am afraid. It's a rareity. Also, the spelling of the name might be off. I can check much later if you like.

Offline Brian

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2008, 10:30:24 AM »
I ran an Amazon search, and was told that my query did not match any products. Can anyone kindly provide a link?
This should work

George

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2008, 11:34:40 AM »

lukeottevanger

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #50 on: May 05, 2008, 11:57:30 AM »

Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #51 on: May 05, 2008, 12:03:14 PM »
I believe Chopin wrote once in one of his letters that his mazurkas are "not for dancing". I can't remember where I read it, but I will look it up.
This is certainly the case but then neither are the valses and the polonaises. Chopin's intentions are not transparent because he does not always indicate offbeat accents. Generally in the mazurka the accent is always on the second or third beat. In the dance the first beat is a balancing step unlike the waltz where one steps forwards. This accentuation seems to be more evident in the mazurkas of Scriabin and Szymanowski.
A day may be a destiny; for life
Lives in but little—but that little teems
With some one chance, the balance of all time:
A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.

Offline Brian

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #52 on: May 05, 2008, 12:04:42 PM »
...and they're even more expensive in the UK...
Wow  :o

My interest is high, but not that high ... can't somebody buy the rights? They probably cost as much as the CDs do  ::)

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #53 on: May 05, 2008, 12:40:26 PM »
Maybe we can all pool our resources and buy a mazurka or two apiece. I'll take the late C minor and C# minor, from opp. 50 and 56 if memory serves.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Drasko

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #54 on: May 07, 2008, 06:58:43 AM »
Wasowski's mazurkas are very interesting. He plays with highly pronounced rhythmic rubato which is really fascinating. Anyone interested in mazurkas or Chopin should definitely try to hear them, pity about the availability.
But also have to say that, for me at least, he is hardly be all end all for mazurkas. As mesmerizing as his playing is rhythmically his tonal palette isn't very broad and his dynamic range not very wide and with tendency to play constantly on the slow side in longer spans it can get quite monotonous with certain sameness in approach.
Here are few samples, one that I like very much

Wasowski - Mazurka in C major op.24/2

and one I like much less, excruciating 8 minute trawl through op.56/3

Wasowski - Mazurka in C minor op.56/3

and for comparison, Maryla Jonas playing the same mazurka with similar rhythmic freedom but far more up-tempo with nice dynamic shadings (40s recording with fake reverb)

Jonas - Mazurka in C minor op.56/3
« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 07:03:33 AM by Drasko »

ezodisy

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #55 on: May 07, 2008, 11:19:05 AM »
But also have to say that, for me at least, he is hardly be all end all for mazurkas. As mesmerizing as his playing is rhythmically his tonal palette isn't very broad and his dynamic range not very wide and with tendency to play constantly on the slow side in longer spans it can get quite monotonous with certain sameness in approach.

my opinion precisely. here is the first disc, from op. 6 up to op. 41 nr 2

http://www.mediafire.com/?noxd9xbmkt7

Quote
and for comparison, Maryla Jonas playing the same mazurka with similar rhythmic freedom but far more up-tempo with nice dynamic shadings (40s recording with fake reverb)
Jonas - Mazurka in C minor op.56/3

She is really special and her op. 68/4 is far and away the most graceful, brilliant and fleet-footed performance ever (with the most breathtaking dynamic shading)

ezodisy

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #56 on: May 07, 2008, 12:30:19 PM »
disc 2 of the Wasowski mazurkas

http://www.mediafire.com/?hbm3xmpsddl

lukeottevanger

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #57 on: May 07, 2008, 12:40:07 PM »
That's fantastic - very kind of you! Downloading now...  :) :) :) :)

MN Dave

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #58 on: May 08, 2008, 10:06:05 AM »

Drasko

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Re: Chopin
« Reply #59 on: May 17, 2008, 06:45:20 AM »
Lots of Chopin today and tomorrow on BBC Radio 3

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/thechopinexperience

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