Author Topic: Chopin Nocturnes  (Read 29460 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #100 on: July 29, 2022, 08:52:56 AM »
would like to hear Hough, unfortunately not available (a Hyperion thing w/ Spotify, I believe) - Dave :)

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Offline hvbias

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #101 on: July 29, 2022, 09:02:18 AM »
Last year in one of the threads, I was considering a purchase of the Alain Planès recording on a Pleyel 1836 piano - re-listened on Spotify this morning and enjoyed - the piano sound is excellent, however, the reviews were mixed w/ several British mags giving only 3*/5* ratings (attached for those interested) - now the Stephen Hough recording piques my interest, of course on modern piano - the reviews (also included) have been uniformly excellent; already own a couple of MI versions (including Moravec, a fav for decades) but would like to hear Hough, unfortunately not available (a Hyperion thing w/ Spotify, I believe) - Dave :)

I might not have been in the mood to hear the Nocturnes, so a big YMMV with what I'm writing, I was not really all that taken with Planès, and the sound of his Pleyel sounds pretty bland compared to the color of Erards I've heard on record.
"I feel very strongly about Chopin — I just love him" - Fou Ts'ong

Offline Brian

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #102 on: July 29, 2022, 10:11:06 AM »
Hough is a very big contrast with Moravec - in fact much more the tempos you would expect from a HIP performance, but with as much poetry and lyrical sensitivity as any modern performer. What you get from his perspective is that if the nocturnes are played quickly, but still sensitively, the melodies are aria-like, singable, and "lyrical" in the literal sense of song lyrics. He definitely joins Moravec as co-favorite in my house. And his late Brahms CD shares all the same virtues.

Offline JBS

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #103 on: July 29, 2022, 10:18:09 AM »
I have the Planes. Maybe I'm too used to modern pianos in Chopin, but I found both the playing and the piano to be very meh.

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #104 on: July 29, 2022, 10:32:46 AM »
Hough... the melodies are aria-like, singable, and "lyrical" in the literal sense of song lyrics.

Yes. That's precisely why I like it.
"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #105 on: July 29, 2022, 11:15:30 AM »
I might not have been in the mood to hear the Nocturnes, so a big YMMV with what I'm writing, I was not really all that taken with Planès, and the sound of his Pleyel sounds pretty bland compared to the color of Erards I've heard on record.
Hough is a very big contrast with Moravec - in fact much more the tempos you would expect from a HIP performance, but with as much poetry and lyrical sensitivity as any modern performer. What you get from his perspective is that if the nocturnes are played quickly, but still sensitively, the melodies are aria-like, singable, and "lyrical" in the literal sense of song lyrics. He definitely joins Moravec as co-favorite in my house. And his late Brahms CD shares all the same virtues.
I have the Planes. Maybe I'm too used to modern pianos in Chopin, but I found both the playing and the piano to be very meh.

Well, I've been culling Chopin Nocturnes for decades; currently own the three sets below w/ Oort on a PI - never did buy the Planes probably for some of the reasons given above, comments in the reviews, and satisfaction w/ Bart's playing the 1837 Erard - this morning I ordered the Hough Chopin from BRO for $18 USD - enjoyed reading Brian's comments, so expect to like.  Dave :)

   

Offline George

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #106 on: July 29, 2022, 11:44:51 AM »
The Nocturnes have always been my favorite piano works. I have collected sets of them for as long as I can remember. I am not a fan of period pianos and therefore only seek out recordings with modern pianos. I have been able to sample most of the sets released since Freire's for Decca in 2010, but didn't like any of them enough to consider buying.   

My favorites, in order:

Arrau
Wasowski
Ciccolini
Moravec
Weissenberg
Freire
Pires
Rubinstein 1930s
Smeterlin
Francois
Tipo
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #107 on: July 29, 2022, 01:17:39 PM »
I am just the opposite and really have enjoyed the "Real Chopin" series played on period pianos.  This one of the nocturnes (Nokturny) is a favorite.



There is a dreamy, fragile, quality to these Erard pianos from the 1840s that I think perfectly suits the mood of the music.  But of course Chopin sounds great no matter the piano.  Purely a personal preference on my part.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #108 on: July 29, 2022, 01:23:46 PM »
The Nocturnes have always been my favorite piano works. I have collected sets of them for as long as I can remember. I am not a fan of period pianos and therefore only seek out recordings with modern pianos. I have been able to sample most of the sets released since Freire's for Decca in 2010, but didn't like any of them enough to consider buying.   

My favorites, in order:

Arrau
Wasowski
Ciccolini
Moravec
Weissenberg
Freire
Pires
Rubinstein 1930s
Smeterlin
Francois
Tipo

The Nocturnes are my favorite Chopin works.
Arrau is hard to beat as to authoritative and contemplative musicianship.
A kind friend gave me Tipo's recordings.They have some of the "dreamy" quality I appreciate.
Other than these I own Smeterlin but find him a bit earthbound compared to the other two despite brilliant playing.
Van Oort is maybe not perfect but remains my all round first choice. I love the sound of his period piano and the caressing way he treats it.
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Offline George

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #109 on: July 29, 2022, 01:47:32 PM »
The Nocturnes are my favorite Chopin works.
Arrau is hard to beat as to authoritative and contemplative musicianship.
A kind friend gave me Tipo's recordings.They have some of the "dreamy" quality I appreciate.
Other than these I own Smeterlin but find him a bit earthbound compared to the other two despite brilliant playing.
Van Oort is maybe not perfect but remains my all round first choice. I love the sound of his period piano and the caressing way he treats it.

Took awhile for the Smeterlin to click, I owned it for years and listened to it for probably a half dozen times before it clicked. Still, 8 more than him and see his as an alternate take.
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline Holden

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #110 on: July 29, 2022, 04:21:54 PM »
Can't find the Hough anywhere on line (that's Hyperion for you I suppose). Would love to have a listen though so hopefully someone will post them.

For me both Moravec and Rubinstein reign supreme for beautifully phrased and unfussy recordings. While I've heard some other good sets, none of them come close to these two. Everyone seems to say Arrau is up there but I'm afraid he just doesn't do it for me.
Cheers

Holden

Offline JBS

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #111 on: July 29, 2022, 04:54:41 PM »
Search for "Hough Chopin Nocturnes" on Youtube, and you'll get some promo videos for the CD and, more importantly, some videos of Hough playing some Nocturnes in concert.

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #112 on: July 29, 2022, 06:50:40 PM »
My attention was recently caught by the central section in this op 15/2


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux9hQ6nhPU8
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Offline George

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #113 on: July 29, 2022, 06:56:55 PM »
My attention was recently caught by the central section in this op 15/2


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux9hQ6nhPU8

It'd be fun to compile a set using unique versions by 21 different pianists, ideally ones who did not do a full set.
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Offline Holden

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #114 on: August 01, 2022, 12:15:16 AM »
Through a bit of good fortune I've now got to listen to the Hough Nocturnes. They are simply exceptional. While I struggled initially to adapt to the tempo of Op 9/1 this laid the foundation for listening to the rest of them. Hough was locked down for a long while because of Covid and with not being tied down to meeting concert obligations used the time to explore music at his leisure. This is a bonus for us!
Cheers

Holden

Offline hvbias

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Re: Chopin Nocturnes
« Reply #115 on: August 01, 2022, 08:09:16 AM »
Hough is a very big contrast with Moravec - in fact much more the tempos you would expect from a HIP performance, but with as much poetry and lyrical sensitivity as any modern performer. What you get from his perspective is that if the nocturnes are played quickly, but still sensitively, the melodies are aria-like, singable, and "lyrical" in the literal sense of song lyrics. He definitely joins Moravec as co-favorite in my house. And his late Brahms CD shares all the same virtues.

Yes. That's precisely why I like it.

This is exactly how I would describe Hough, there is a bel canto like quality to his interpretations, an almost singing line. His legato is also quite beautiful.

I do not hear them as sunny or happy, Hough more or less gets the darkness and light that is present in both the minor and major key pieces like most pianists. I think his playing is subtle, I can certainly appreciate his outstanding pianism, like in op 48/1 he downplays the left hand until the first climax which makes it stand out more.

For now this won’t crack my favorites nor is it a set that like my favorites I can listen to discs all the way through but I am open to changing my mind about it. It's not uncommon for me to greatly enjoy works that I once didn't, though this is less common with performances. There is a lot with Hough to take in that warrants careful listening.

My general taste is for tempos more towards Arrau, Wasowski, and Amoyel (Paik is too extreme for me).

Can't find the Hough anywhere on line (that's Hyperion for you I suppose). Would love to have a listen though so hopefully someone will post them.

For me both Moravec and Rubinstein reign supreme for beautifully phrased and unfussy recordings. While I've heard some other good sets, none of them come close to these two. Everyone seems to say Arrau is up there but I'm afraid he just doesn't do it for me.

I hear many pianists as either being inspired or copying Arrau so in retrospect it can come off as a bit “generic.” Like the late Beethoven sonatas, Liszt’s Benediction (to this day among 10-20 I’ve heard only Arrau and Michel Block stand alone. Maybe FFG approaches them) or other works of similar quality I hear Arrau as something beyond.

I don't think I can find many generalities on Moravec either, other than as is the case with Moravec he plays with powerful rolling dynamics. And there are some of my favorite Nocturnes I have issue with, like in op. 37/1 Moravec breezes through the beautiful middle section; contrast this to Amoyel who has my favorite performance of it:

Moravec: https://youtu.be/HBjH6Ec6T_s
Amoyel: https://youtu.be/guEek1p11d4
« Last Edit: August 01, 2022, 08:12:22 AM by hvbias »
"I feel very strongly about Chopin — I just love him" - Fou Ts'ong