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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: jwinter on August 02, 2012, 11:07:21 AM

Title: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: jwinter on August 02, 2012, 11:07:21 AM
So, what are your favorite recordings of Chopin's mazurkas?  Either the whole shebang or selections.
 
Rubinstein's last set has always been my favorite.  On the shelf I have Rubinstein x 3, Ashkenazy, Francois, Harasiewicz, and Ohlsson for complete sets, plus healthy selections from Richter, Perlemuter, and a few others (working from memory here).  What favorite recordings of yours am I missing?
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Sammy on August 02, 2012, 11:20:44 AM
One of my favorites that you're missing comes from Jean-Marc Luisada.  Originally on DG, his set is now available on Newton Classics.  The man's playing is quite unique, concentrating more on detail than flow.


Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: North Star on August 02, 2012, 11:26:03 AM
One of my favorites that you're missing comes from Jean-Marc Luisada.  Originally on DG, his set is now available on Newton Classics.  The man's playing is quite unique, concentrating more on detail than flow.



His newer recording is nice, too. Details are very much the concern there, too.

Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Todd on August 02, 2012, 11:34:50 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51gBxFQGigL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://www.propiano.com/photos/224507.jpg)


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41%2BtEssJFqL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41E20PKKNVL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: The Raven on August 02, 2012, 11:43:35 AM
I think that rubinstein's 1965-66 recordings(volume 50 of the set) are not only the best mazurkas they're one of the greatest piano recordings of all time. rubinstein, ohlsson and harasiewicz sets should do for everyone but there are many beautiful selections such as argerich, horowitz, bunin and michelangeli. if you listen to mono recordings the best should be the poles friedman and rosenthal.

do you have a favorite op 22? I'm probing Op 22s recently.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on August 02, 2012, 11:57:04 AM
So, what are your favorite recordings of Chopin's mazurkas?  Either the whole shebang or selections.
 
Rubinstein's last set has always been my favorite.  On the shelf I have Rubinstein x 3, Ashkenazy, Francois, Harasiewicz, and Ohlsson for complete sets, plus healthy selections from Richter, Perlemuter, and a few others (working from memory here).  What favorite recordings of yours am I missing?

Gerard Hoffnung comes to mind straight away

http://www.youtube.com/v/Ip7sd4yYYCA


Why do you like the last Rubinstein set the most? Do you enjoy old recordings? The answers to these questions will help me give you a better answer tomorrow.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Ataraxia on August 02, 2012, 02:59:53 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41wAGetUYqL.jpg)

In fact, I am now enjoying Rubinstein's first complete set of Mazurkas, recorded in 1938-39. Transfers by Ward Marston.

It's on Spotify too. Thanks, George.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: jwinter on August 02, 2012, 03:09:33 PM
I have all 3 sets of Rubinstein's Mazurkas, indeed it's great stuff (that's one reason I passed on the big Rubinstein box -- I've already got all of his Chopin).

Which Luisada would you recommend - the older one or the new one?
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: jwinter on August 02, 2012, 03:26:15 PM
Quote from: Mandryka on Today at 04:57:04 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=20796.msg649167#msg649167)
Why do you like the last Rubinstein set the most? Do you enjoy old recordings? The answers to these questions will help me give you a better answer tomorrow.

Old recordings are fine -- I love the Cortot Chopin that I've heard, and greatly enjoy Rubinstein's 1930's mazurkas & nocturnes.

It's hard to describe why I like Rubinstein's mazurkas so much.  I like them for their lyrical quality, for how they project a deep sense of Romanticism without becoming mushy or sentimental.  I love the way he makes the melodies flow so naturally, nothing sounds contrived or forced, like the notes are just falling off his fingers.  His tone is beautiful, soft or vigorous as necessary but never harsh, and it's beautifully recorded.  And this is largely in my own head, I know, but I can't help but hear a certain nostalgic, autumnal quality in the 1960s recording, as if these are works he's thought about for a very long time, and he knows that this may be his last chance to capture his reading for posterity, so he wants to do it just right, nothing eccentric, just Chopin as he feels it should be played.

Does that make sense?  But I'm not looking for something just like Rubinstein, as I know I won't find it.  Rather, something contrasting, interesting, unusual -- I'm really pretty open...   
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: North Star on August 02, 2012, 04:38:07 PM
I don't know Luisada's DG recording too well, but after sampling it from Spotify, I'd recommend the RCA recording. First of all, the sound quality is awesome, no hardness whatsoever, and the reverberation isn't too strong, either. "[T]he most realistic recording of a piano I've heard" writes a reviewer at Amazon (R. Steiger, his whole review is quite insightful).
Second, well, it's just a great recording, treating each opus as a unity. Dance-like, but not necessarily danceable, and certainly very free playing.

From the later recording's liner notes (of course it wouldn't be expected that he would only sing the DG recording's praises, but I don't think he'd record the mazurkas again if he didn't think he'd have some valuable things to say in them.)
Quote
"At the time when DG asked me to record all the mazurkas I hadn't actually played more than a few of them. And the recording had to be done in only a few months. So I learned them very quickly, and while there was certainly something spontaneous about the playing, for me something was definitely missing. Since then, though, the mazurkas, as I say, have been a part of my life. I've played them many times, often as a complete cycle, in a single two-and-a-half hour concert."
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on August 02, 2012, 10:09:15 PM
Quote from: Mandryka on Today at 04:57:04 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=20796.msg649167#msg649167)
Why do you like the last Rubinstein set the most? Do you enjoy old recordings? The answers to these questions will help me give you a better answer tomorrow.

Old recordings are fine -- I love the Cortot Chopin that I've heard, and greatly enjoy Rubinstein's 1930's mazurkas & nocturnes.

It's hard to describe why I like Rubinstein's mazurkas so much.  I like them for their lyrical quality, for how they project a deep sense of Romanticism without becoming mushy or sentimental.  I love the way he makes the melodies flow so naturally, nothing sounds contrived or forced, like the notes are just falling off his fingers.  His tone is beautiful, soft or vigorous as necessary but never harsh, and it's beautifully recorded.  And this is largely in my own head, I know, but I can't help but hear a certain nostalgic, autumnal quality in the 1960s recording, as if these are works he's thought about for a very long time, and he knows that this may be his last chance to capture his reading for posterity, so he wants to do it just right, nothing eccentric, just Chopin as he feels it should be played.

Does that make sense?  But I'm not looking for something just like Rubinstein, as I know I won't find it.  Rather, something contrasting, interesting, unusual -- I'm really pretty open...

You may find Luisada on DG a bit more self conscious. I would recommend Jacob Flier's if you want all of them by one artist

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41C2GE7EoFL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

But why do that? The best performances are scattered around and played by people who just selected a few mazurkas. First  and foremost I would listen to all the mazurka recordings  made by Sofronitsky . See what you think.

And Michelangeli and Malcuzynski. They'r not all equally good, but it would take me some time to pick out the ones which I thought were outstanding.   

Also Pogorelich and Argerich and Virssaladze and Ciani and Kapell and Sirota and Cherkassky and Richter and some of the records Moravec did too.  And if you don't mind bad sound and you're interested in the history, why not try some Jonas or Friedman?

I think that's a more interesting thing to do than buy a single complete survey of them.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on August 02, 2012, 10:50:37 PM
Here's Pollini in OP 33/3

http://www.youtube.com/v/yweyB8lI7kY

And here's Michelangeli in the same mazurka

http://www.youtube.com/v/bmDJ857s4Xs

And here's Rubinstein

http://www.youtube.com/v/V9xVR5k6r_w

Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: jwinter on August 03, 2012, 03:26:49 AM
Thanks, Mandryka!  Much obliged!

I agree that individual mazurkas may well be the way to go at this point, rather than complete sets of them.  The sets that I have are pretty much all parts of large Chopin box sets -- and while I have lots of pianist's takes on the preludes or nocturnes or etudes, I've never really done much exploring though the mazurkas since I've always found Rubinstein so satisfying.  It was a matter of love at first spin, so to speak; I guess I'm just feeling the 7-year-itch...  ;D
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: jwinter on August 03, 2012, 03:32:27 AM
 Quote from: North Star on August 02, 2012, 09:38:07 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=20796.msg649225#msg649225)
I don't know Luisada's DG recording too well, but after sampling it from Spotify, I'd recommend the RCA recording...
 
Hmmm, thanks for this.  I was leaning towards the DG since it's cheaper, but now I'll have to ponder.  Life is never simple... ;D
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: jwinter on August 03, 2012, 03:35:17 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51gBxFQGigL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://www.propiano.com/photos/224507.jpg)


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41%2BtEssJFqL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41E20PKKNVL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


I actually have the Moravec disc with the Debussy, I'll have to give that a spin this evening!  Come to think of it, I may have more mazurkas on my shelves than I think I do, scattered about -- I'll have to rummage around this weekend.

I've never heard of Michel Block, thanks for the tip. 
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on August 03, 2012, 05:45:14 AM
Unfortunately that Morvec CD with the Debussy doesn't have the best of his mazurkas, I would say. For that you need to go to the CD with the Chopin Scherzos, and the live CD from Brussels, released a couple of years ago.

Do try that collection of mazurkas from Pollini that I found on youtube, from London in 2008. i've been enjoying it all day.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: jwinter on August 03, 2012, 05:49:29 AM
Unfortunately that Morvec CD with the Debussy doesn't have the best of his mazurkas, I would say. For that you need to go to the CD with the Chopin Scherzos, and the live CD from Brussels, released a couple of years ago.

Do try that collection of mazurkas from Pollini that I found on youtube, from London in 2008. i've been enjoying it all day.

I will definitely try it this evening -- can't youtube at work, alas...
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: jwinter on August 03, 2012, 06:33:38 AM
I'm temping -- you get what you pay for  ;D
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Bogey on August 03, 2012, 07:19:08 AM
Just for fun, what are your thoughts on the three Mazurkas on this disc:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51MxHJNTY1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Bogey on August 03, 2012, 07:46:21 AM
Thanks to JW's thread here and a rec from Miloš, I just submitted my request to Amazon for this, which gives me about a fifth:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AMwJ3ksFL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

This is the second cd from my request of folks from their top two, stone-cold-lead-pipe-lock-pay $50 for it, if you have to---must have on your shelf and if you do not, you cannot call yourself a fan of Chopin cds. 

If you have not added to this list of Chopin cds I need to purchase, please do so with a IM to me.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: jwinter on August 03, 2012, 08:08:44 AM
 Quote from: Bogey on Today at 12:46:21 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=20796.msg649376#msg649376)
Thanks to JW's thread here and a rec from Miloš, I just submitted my request to Amazon for this, which gives me about a fifth:

>(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AMwJ3ksFL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

This is the second cd from my request of folks from their top two, stone-cold-lead-pipe-lock-pay $50 for it, if you have to---must have on your shelf and if you do not, you cannot call yourself a fan of Chopin cds. 

If you have not added to this list of Chopin cds I need to purchase, please do so with a IM to me.
   
Hey, waitaminnit!   $:)
 
I've actually got this one!   :D   I got it several years ago as part of this set:
 


 
Yippee!
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Drasko on August 03, 2012, 09:56:00 AM
Rubinstein II is my go-to set for Mazurkas. Other than that Friedman, Sofronitsky, Jonas, Michelangeli, and Wasowski in very small doses. I'm not huge fan of Luisada (DG/Newton).

http://www.amazon.com/Ignaz-Friedman-Complete-Recordings-Vol/dp/B00007FKPZ
http://www.amazon.com/Vladimir-Sofronitsky-plays-Chopin-CD/dp/B0058TK02G
http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Masters-Maryla-Frederic-Chopin/dp/B00004RDZF
http://www.amazon.com/Chopin-51-Mazurkas-Andrzej-Wasowski/dp/B0000006TD
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Herman on August 03, 2012, 10:21:36 AM
Quote from: Mandryka on Today at 04:57:04 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=20796.msg649167#msg649167)
Why do you like the last Rubinstein set the most? Do you enjoy old recordings? The answers to these questions will help me give you a better answer tomorrow.

It's hard to describe why I like Rubinstein's mazurkas so much.  I like them for their lyrical quality, for how they project a deep sense of Romanticism without becoming mushy or sentimental.  I love the way he makes the melodies flow so naturally, nothing sounds contrived or forced, like the notes are just falling off his fingers.  His tone is beautiful, soft or vigorous as necessary but never harsh, and it's beautifully recorded.  And this is largely in my own head, I know, but I can't help but hear a certain nostalgic, autumnal quality in the 1960s recording, as if these are works he's thought about for a very long time, and he knows that this may be his last chance to capture his reading for posterity, so he wants to do it just right, nothing eccentric, just Chopin as he feels it should be played.

Some of these stereo mazurkas are extraordinary, but in general I prefer Rubinstein's middle (mono LP) recording. Of course there's nostalgia in the music, but I don't think we should overdose on the autumnal aspect.

There's an amazing Sofronitsky recital with a string of mazurkas and waltzes that is just indispensible.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: jwinter on August 03, 2012, 10:33:59 AM
Yep, I seem to be in the minority, preferring the Rubinstein stereo to the 1950's mono set.  It may just be a matter of greater familiarity -- I will definitely give the mono set a serious re-listen soon.

Agree that the autumnal thing can be overdone -- you hear it all the time, for instance about Bruno Walter's Columbia Symphony recordings.  But it's a useful verbal crutch for me when trying to describe how I hear these:  there's a certain aristocratic quality about them, a slight reticence and holding back in the dancing melody that enhances rather than diminishes the experience; as I said, it's a purely gut-level reaction, so it's hard to describe...
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Herman on August 03, 2012, 10:39:18 AM
Yep, I seem to be in the minority, preferring the Rubinstein stereo to the 1950's mono set.  It may just be a matter of greater familiarity -- I will definitely give the mono set a serious re-listen soon.


well, I really prefer both. There are a bunch of pieces on the stereo set that are just stunningly beautiful. The great thing about having these three different sets (and the same goes for all of his Chopin) it prevents you from always listening to the same stuff.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on August 03, 2012, 12:18:32 PM
I think the best of Michelangeli's Mazurkas are on Aura rather than on DG, this CD for example:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31L12TMcFvL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I have it as CD 8 of the big cheap brown  box.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Sammy on August 03, 2012, 12:23:29 PM
I'm not huge fan of Luisada (DG/Newton).

Neither am I, being of medium-build. ;D
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Lisztianwagner on August 03, 2012, 12:26:35 PM
I think my favourite recording of the mazurkas is the Ashkenazy: extremely passionate, intense and elegant. Anyway, I have to admit that it's a hard contest between this and Rubinstein's interpretation....

Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Bogey on August 03, 2012, 02:28:14 PM
I just ran through Artie's '65 Mazurkas today....some twice.  He is just one of those cats that I dig no matter the recording.  The set for $24 is still one of the best bargains....ever! 



Even if he is not in your top few, it is nuts to pass on the box.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: kishnevi on August 03, 2012, 04:22:51 PM
I just ran through Artie's '65 Mazurkas today....some twice.  He is just one of those cats that I dig no matter the recording.  The set for $24 is still one of the best bargains....ever! 



Even if he is not in your top few, it is nuts to pass on the box.

It isn't nuts if, like me, you already have most of what's in that box.  I think I only lack the sonatas and the mazurkas from what is in there. 

I did notice that the stereo recording of the Nocturnes--my favorite Chopin recording, period-- is on its own ridiculously cheap--under $16--if you don't want the full box.

Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: jwinter on August 03, 2012, 05:31:45 PM
I actually just ran across another bunch of Mazurkas I didn't realize I had -- Janusz Olejniczak, which came bundled with the Sokolov Preludes I ordered a while back.  More fun to explore.

Speaking of exploring, my sincere thanks to the kind member who gave me a chance to preview the first Luisada.  :D   I shall give them a listen as well over the weekend and report back...
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Todd on August 03, 2012, 05:41:51 PM
I've never heard of Michel Block, thanks for the tip.



If ever you go for Block, go for the ProPiano recording first.  (The Guild recording is very slow.)  Do remember that Rubinstein himself created the Rubinstein prize on the spot for Michel Block in 1960 when he did not win the Chopin compeition.  (Pollini won.)

Ever heard that Michelangeli sought a sound of organ and violin?  Block largely achieves it.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on August 03, 2012, 09:18:58 PM
A couple of other excellent Michelangeli mazurka recordings which I'd forgotten about yesterday:

(http://ts4.mm.bing.net/images/thumbnail.aspx?q=4847433883583859&id=0447e4537dc8a82070191fd4eb206ae2) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41RGD1WCEZL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Bogey on August 04, 2012, 04:20:10 AM
It isn't nuts if, like me, you already have most of what's in that box.  I think I only lack the sonatas and the mazurkas from what is in there. 

I did notice that the stereo recording of the Nocturnes--my favorite Chopin recording, period-- is on its own ridiculously cheap--under $16--if you don't want the full box.



Get the box....pass on the others to friends! :D  In fact, I did just that with the nocturnes that you posted above.  I hear you though when it comes to deciding on box sets that you have the majority of.
Title: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: pbarach on August 05, 2012, 05:47:36 PM
I have Wasowski's set (as well as his Nocturnes). But they seem erratic and wayward to no positive end. I would choose Friedman and Jonas as well as Rubinstein 1965.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Bogey on August 05, 2012, 05:50:48 PM
This is obviously turning into "you better have a few sets on the shelf to even comment", so I will take myself out of the "what to buy" discussion and just start buying more....and then comment after listening.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Bogey on August 06, 2012, 03:18:45 PM
Listened to the three Mazurkas offered by Argerich....thanks to George. 8)  I enjoyed her playing more than the Rubinstein.  Unfortunately it seems that these are the only ones that she recorded....is this correct?  She brings an elegance, if not nobility to them that I just latched on to.  (Let alone the Preludes).  It was truly a pleasure.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on August 06, 2012, 11:09:58 PM
What did you listen to , the three Op59s? 

A couple of years ago DG released her playing a whole bunch more here:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41kczZhIA1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

By the way, if you have been listening to her play op 59, the logical thing to do now is to seek out Pogorelich's record of them -- Argerich was herself very impressed by the way he plays them.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Bogey on August 07, 2012, 05:59:39 AM
What did you listen to , the three Op59s? 

A couple of years ago DG released her playing a whole bunch more here:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41kczZhIA1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

By the way, if you have been listening to her play op 59, the logical thing to do now is to seek out Pogorelich's record of them -- Argerich was herself very impressed by the way he plays them.

Yes, the Op. 59 run.  Thanks for the lead on the cd and the Pogorelich.  Any recording you suggest?  It also looks as if the Op. 59 I have from this cd:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Y4GEXMQ5L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

is a different recording than the one on the cd you posted.  Is that correct?
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: The Raven on August 07, 2012, 06:14:30 AM
George, my wife makes me ask if that's you and if yes, are they real? :-[
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on August 07, 2012, 06:39:04 AM
The Argerich op 59s I like the most are live (I think) in 1965, this one:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hF8Jvz3dL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I don't know if it's the same. I don't think so. I'll check when I'm at home.

The Pogorelich is IMO superior to the Argerich, but many wouldn't agree. It's here, but this may be very hard to find. If people want it I can upload it easily enough

(http://pixhost.me/avaxhome/ee/8d/000e8dee_medium.jpeg)

Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: The Raven on August 07, 2012, 08:27:14 AM


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Y4GEXMQ5L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

is a different recording than the one on the cd you posted.  Is that correct?

Those were recorded in 1967 at Akademie der Wissenschaft in Munich



(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hF8Jvz3dL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


and those in 1965 at EMI Abbey Road Studios in London.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41kczZhIA1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)


Finally, those are previously unreleased german radio recordings in 1967 at WDR in Cologne.

The dates are only for Op. 59/1-3
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Bogey on August 07, 2012, 09:52:21 AM
Very helpful.  Thanks for the footwork, gents.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on September 03, 2012, 12:33:20 AM
There's a very good transfer of Jonas's Mazurkas here -- much better than the transfer on Pearl.

http://randomclassics.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=maryla

Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Brian on September 03, 2012, 07:02:46 AM
New this month on Avie Records:

(http://i.prs.to/t_200/avieav2262.jpg)

A new recording of Russell Sherman playing the mazurkas!
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Todd on September 03, 2012, 07:18:09 AM
New this month on Avie Records:

(http://i.prs.to/t_200/avieav2262.jpg)

A new recording of Russell Sherman playing the mazurkas!


Hot damn!  Added to my cart.  How will his octogenarian fingers fare?
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on September 03, 2012, 10:42:07 AM
Actually, I like the Pearl more. More noise, but more high frequency info. The download to me sounds muffled.

Are they the same performances?
Title: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: pbarach on September 03, 2012, 05:32:58 PM
I had the Jonas mazurkas on 78s. The Pearl transfers have rumble and hiss, and they sound like the 78s.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on September 10, 2012, 10:25:28 PM
I listened to some of the OP 68/2s I've managed to accumulate.

I could see a sort of family resemblance, or maybe just points of influence,  between what  Sherman makes of it  and Wasowski's record. And maybe Ignaz  Friedmnan too.

The most moving examples I could find were from the usual suspects -- Sofronitsky in 1946 on Denon, Rubinstein's mono, Michelangeli on Brown Aura and Sokolov. The Michelangeli was particularly attractive I thought -- a good combination of foot and head, peasant dance and spiritual elevation.

(http://c3.cduniverse.ws/resized/250x500/music/544/1258544.jpg)
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on September 11, 2012, 05:17:21 AM
It's in the Brown Aura box -- it's just too much of a fag to find the CD for the dates. It's all ripped and the box itself is in the attic, somewhere . . .
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on November 25, 2014, 02:09:34 AM
Some recent mazurka discoveries, responses collected here really so I don't lose them.

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/Sept10/perlemuter_chopin%20mazurkas_5393.jpg)

Perlemuter, more than anyone else I've heard, including Rosen, makes the music sound contrapuntally and harmonically adventurous and experimental. The disonance he produces, in the central sections, presumably by staggering the voices slighly and using the pedal, is totally unexpected.

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/189/MI0003189260.jpg)

Block makes the music sound ambiguous. On the one hand it's political, music which is teaming with patriotic anthems and calls to the fight. On the other it if full of all sorts of ineffable, autumnal feelings, wistfulness. 

Block is from the beautiful tone school of piano playing - burnished, legato, impeccable execution, flowing, rounded, colourful. Despite this, the ambiguity makes these great poetry, as William Empson would have said, and I think this is a magnificent recording.

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0001/176/MI0001176794.jpg)

Frenczy's touch and timbre is like nothing I can remember hearing, the style is dainty almost, delicate certainly. But I don't think it's trivialising - just listen to what he does with op 17/4! He has all the rhythmic allure of Landowska and Gould. The performances are quite positive emotionally - for Ferenczy these mazurkas are about life. And there's a subtle eneffable emotional undertone - rather introspective, I can't find the words to say more about it.

(http://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/76/76/3610155277676_600.jpg)

Another special recording is by Paul von Schilhawsky. Dramatic, colourful, lots of kick, these are some of the least salon style, most dancing, mazurkas I've heard. But it's much more than dancing, Schilhawsky has a distinctive introspective side to his music making - they always seem to touch strange emotions.

I think. I may not feel the same about these ones tomorrow.

Another thing I feel, I don't know if others will agree, is that these recordings benefit from being substantial selections rather than integrals. Part of the art of making a good mazurka performance is to make a selection which fits your style. I get much much more stimulation from these CDs than I do from the compete sets that I've heard.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Herman on November 26, 2014, 01:06:40 AM
Sofronitsky's A minor mazurka (68 / 2) is great, in that he doesn't turn it into this washed out perpetuum mobile some performers make it. Just because it has this late opus number doesn't mean Chopin wrote it with death on his mind.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: North Star on November 26, 2014, 01:32:02 AM
Sofronitsky's A minor mazurka (68 / 2) is great, in that he doesn't turn it into this washed out perpetuum mobile some performers make it. Just because it has this late opus number doesn't mean Chopin wrote it with death on his mind.
I haven't heard anyone do that to it, thank goodness.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Pat B on November 26, 2014, 09:08:48 AM
Sofronitsky's A minor mazurka (68 / 2) is great, in that he doesn't turn it into this washed out perpetuum mobile some performers make it. Just because it has this late opus number doesn't mean Chopin wrote it with death on his mind.

According to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazurkas_(Chopin)) (risky, I know...) that one was written in 1827, making it one of his earliest. It was published posthumously.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on November 26, 2014, 10:25:47 AM
There are at least two op 68/2s by Sofronitsky -- a studio from 1947 and a live which I tagged as being from a 1949 concert, sounds like it was an encore. They're not the same in terms of conception.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on November 26, 2014, 01:19:11 PM
(http://www.hbdirect.com/coverm/90/680590.jpg)

This recording contains, amongst other things, 13 mazurkas recorded, I believe, in 1990. The one cited by me above contains 39 mazurkas, recorded I think in 1996. There is some overlap. The performamces are quite different. The earlier is more playful, it suffers from a more agresive piano, and so far it's not excited my imagination as much as the later one.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Herman on November 27, 2014, 12:12:36 AM
According to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazurkas_(Chopin)) (risky, I know...) that one was written in 1827, making it one of his earliest. It was published posthumously.

I know. A lot of these very late opus nrs (such as the E minor nocturne) are really very early works.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on November 27, 2014, 09:32:30 AM
Yes, three of them actually.  The earliest one is an August 27, 1947 studio recording (on Arlecchino ARL 95, Denon COCO-80815 = COCQ-83672, and Russian Compact Disc RCD 16288).  There are two live recordings of 68/2:  October 20, 1949 and November 21, 1949.  October is on Denon COCO-80149/50 = COCQ-83968/9 and on Vista Vera VVCD-00118-2.  November is on these Denon and Vista Vera CD's, and also on Arkadia 78571, Brilliant Classics BRIL 8975 (CD No.4), Originals SH 858, Palladio PD 4131, and The Piano Library PL 282.  Timings:  2'42 (1947), 2'07 (October 1949), 2'26 (November 1949), but it depends on the editor's handling of the applause.

Was the period between 1947 and 1949 one where he was generally acively revising his interpreations, or is it just something that happens for this one mazurka, or is it explicable by the difference between studio and live (that would be very interesting) or is it that he was always pretty capricious or what?
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on November 27, 2014, 10:41:29 AM
OK, how about a game of Mystery Pianist? This is the mazurka op 59/1. Comments about the performance appreciated too.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_X2GimjrvdPZ3hBNnhOTk81b1k/view?usp=sharing
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: kishnevi on November 27, 2014, 12:04:00 PM
Have no idea of the pianist.  The overall feeling interests me....more like a nocturne, nothing danceable except perhaps in a daydream.  The autumnal wistful feel you mentioned relative to Block is definitely present...so definite that if it is him, there is none of that ambiguity, the extrovert feeling, you also mentioned in connection with him.  This is a very introverted version.

Hmmm, you mentioned Schilhawsky as being introspective.  Is it him?
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on November 27, 2014, 09:36:01 PM
No, it's not by any of those pianists. But more importantly thanks for noting your impressions. I'm really interested in whether people think it's a great interpretation, or just a bit of hack work.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on November 27, 2014, 10:16:48 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41FoTXNBRBL.jpg)

Piotr Andersewsky plays just half a dozen mazurkas - op 59 and op 63. The performances of the op 59s  made me prick up my ears because of the way he contrasts, within each dance, gentle and lyrical passages and more dramatic and explosive passages. That unexpected mood swing is a sort of basic Chopin semantic unit - and Andsersewky is outstanding at managing it.

His Op 63s are particularly personal, I'm not sure I like them.

He also plays op 68/4 very dreamily.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on November 29, 2014, 10:40:39 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/426/MI0003426625.jpg)

Tamas Vasary plays 5 mazurkas folk dance style - fun, light entertainment, performances to cheer you up.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51w1BM%2By-UL._SY300_.jpg)

Youra Guller plays some mazurkas. Imaginative and very natural, unforced sounding performances which somehow never seem to quite take off or say anything special to me, I'm afraid.

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_250/MI0001/034/MI0001034767.jpg)

Alexis Weisenberg plays three mazurkas. These performances certainly do take off. The high level of commitment and focus is, to me, very clearly communicated. He proposes an aggressive, edgy, tough and explosive vision of the music. Not conventionally beautiful, not lyrical. Is that a problem? I don't think so. I like what he does because I can hear his commitment and intensity and sincerity.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51mzeYdS17L._SY300_.jpg)

A larger selection of mazurkas this time from William Kapell. Impeccable. Extremely natural rubato, tempo, rhythm. Everything just right, and yet, somehow, it's not faceless playing. He was sometimes criticised for being a perfectionist and hence a bit too cautious sounding, but not here - nothing cautious here.

What it lacks is bittersweet melancholy, wistfulness, yearning, zal. For me that's a deal breaker.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on December 02, 2014, 01:30:27 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Uc3wHcqfL.jpg)

Bruno Rigutto plays a selection of mazurkas.

Free association concepts - testosterone. cocktail bar. free weights in at the gym, macho stallion.

Brash romantic gestures, burnished beautiful sounds, huge dynamic contrasts, extrovert, no real sense of meloncholy, strong dance rhythms. Yuch.

But . . . this guy Rigutto means it. The sense of inspired total concentration and sheer fire is irresistable.

So bad it's good.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51LmQYyZJtL._SY300_.jpg)

Evgeny Kissin plays a selection of mazurkas in the studio. Immaculate and tasteful dance based performances, not very emotionally interesting, and not very peasant, but still, quite sublime for what they are.

Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on December 04, 2014, 09:21:40 AM
(http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTM3OVgxNDE5/z/NScAAOxydlFS9pTh/$_35.JPG)

Gabor Csalog plays all the Mazurkas. Very authoritative and imaginative performances, which somehow combines a stong mazurka kick, a good feel for how to make the rubato organic, an approach which isn't overly perfumed or overly heavy,  and a real sensitivity to the bittersweet elelent, the zal. I don't know what piano he uses - could well be a an old Erard or Pleyel. I like this - it may deserve a place in the top drawer of complete mazurka recordings - along with Indjic and Flier.

Csalog is a mover and shaker in the world of Chopin studies, he has published an urtext of the mazurkas. The informed approach pays off - as so often the case.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on June 23, 2015, 08:34:15 AM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0001/002/MI0001002151.jpg)

Andrzej Wasowski plays all Chopin's Mazurkas. He makes them in recitatives, dramatic recitatives. He's very aware of the melancholy in the music, and that means that the drama appears psychological.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 23, 2015, 08:46:06 AM
Period instrument Chopin Mazurkas



There are some noteworthy and lovely things about this recording. First, there is the mellow tone of the restored 1830s Collard & Collard square piano, the kind of instrument on which Chopin’s mazurkas would have been played in drawing rooms all over Europe. Second, there is a seductive intimacy to Asheim’s playing that resonates with the domestic nature of these miniature gems. Third, it is fascinating to hear how the tone quality and short decay of the instrument influence the performance of the music. Asheim uses asynchronised hands and introduces arpeggiated chords at will – much like Chopin is said to have done in his free treatment of his own work (Berlioz, Lenz, Hallé and many others attest to this). (Gramophone, 2014)

Most interesting, thanks.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: North Star on June 23, 2015, 08:52:06 AM
Most interesting, thanks.
+1
Audio samples here (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00HD0HZQ2/).
A pity it's not a complete set.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on June 23, 2015, 09:04:43 AM
A great set! His Nocturnes are lovely as well!

Do you have his preludes? (They're on youtube but I want good sound)
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: North Star on June 23, 2015, 09:08:12 AM
Do you have his preludes? (They're on youtube but I want good sound)
And I would like to have all of his Chopin in good sound. :)
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on June 23, 2015, 09:13:46 AM
And I would like to have all of his Chopin in good sound. :)

I can put the other stuff on symphonyshare.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: North Star on June 23, 2015, 09:25:25 AM
I can put the other stuff on symphonyshare.
Thanks. There's no rush as I won't be able to enjoy them before August in any case.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Brian on June 23, 2015, 09:34:52 AM
Period instrument Chopin Mazurkas



There are some noteworthy and lovely things about this recording. First, there is the mellow tone of the restored 1830s Collard & Collard square piano, the kind of instrument on which Chopin’s mazurkas would have been played in drawing rooms all over Europe. Second, there is a seductive intimacy to Asheim’s playing that resonates with the domestic nature of these miniature gems. Third, it is fascinating to hear how the tone quality and short decay of the instrument influence the performance of the music. Asheim uses asynchronised hands and introduces arpeggiated chords at will – much like Chopin is said to have done in his free treatment of his own work (Berlioz, Lenz, Hallé and many others attest to this). (Gramophone, 2014)

I got to review this for MusicWeb. It really is good, and enjoyable; sometimes Asheim plays far faster than I'd like, but you could argue about that being period practice. Another potentially "authentic" quality is the (very rare, not intrusive) wrong notes.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on June 23, 2015, 08:11:09 PM
(http://sounds.bl.uk/related-content/IMAGES/026I-1LP0162489XX-AAZZA0.jpg)

Maryla Jonas plays some mazurkas. The style reminds me of Gustav Leonhardt in his Froberger for Teldec, and in his Frescobaldi for Philips. That's to say it's both expressive and controled, accurate. The result is abstract and humane - humane because it's expressive, and abstract because the control means that there's never any impression that the pianist is just vaunting her own states of mind. I appreciate this universalised apollonian style a lot, and I'd like to hear the same approach in other romantic music.

The recording on Pearl, which contains some of the mazurkas on this LP, is so marred by poor sound it's hard to appreciate her art in any detail.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on June 25, 2015, 03:40:15 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/712KRRXCwiL._SX355_.jpg)

Janina Fialkowska plays Chopin's mazurkas. This is some of the the most emotionally subtle, nuanced and varied, the most beautiful, the most focused, mazurka playing I have heard.  It is also the least stormy, the least passionate, the most "tasteful", the most genteel.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: North Star on June 25, 2015, 04:27:22 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/712KRRXCwiL._SX355_.jpg)

Janina Fialkowska plays Chopin's mazurkas. This is some of the the most emotionally subtle, nuanced and varied, the most beautiful, the most focused, mazurka playing I have heard.  It is also the least stormy, the least passionate, the most "tasteful", the most genteel.
Tempting...
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 25, 2015, 04:35:50 AM
Indeed.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on June 25, 2015, 06:07:51 AM
One of the most remarkable things about Fialkowska is the way she takes each reptition in the music and gives it an individual emotional nuance. That, combined with her sense of refinement, nobility. She may be Rubinstein's pupil but she's not distant and aloof from the music like Rubinstein came to be after the war, nor does she have Rubinstein's outgoing showmanship. People who like, e.g., Kulenkampff and Schneiderhan in Beethoven, will find a lot to appreciate in her Chopin. In terms of basic things like tone, she's like a good claret. Her Chopin sonatas are well worth catching, and the Liszt sonata too.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on May 12, 2018, 01:18:41 AM
(http://www.classicalsource.com/images/upload/14208_1.jpg)

These Dresden China mazurkas from Pavel Kolesnikov are like a breath of fresh air. He completely dispenses with the idea that Chopin was wise, profound and surprising. In Kolesnikov's hands the mazurkas are hardly a sustained engagement with the human condition.  There's very little if any dream like meditation, there's very little if any tension between irregular rhythms and fluid song, There ain't much emotional ambiguity, any interesting counterpoint in the music is hardly brought into prominence.

What Kolesnikov gives us is something which sings and dances along without much of a care in the world. In these mazurkas God's in his heaven and all's right with the world - at least the world that's visible from the bourgeois salon.

Kolesnikov makes a sound which suits the superficiality of the interpretation - light and silvery and rather lovely.

These are mazurkas for the background, not to be taken too seriously.

Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on May 12, 2018, 01:35:46 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71Q7p5wjzkL._SL1500_.jpg)

Dang Thai Son knows how to drive a piano and he knows how to play Chopin. The tone he makes emerge is . . . hammerless and richly colourful; the interpretations are nuanced and sophisticated. The playing is full of a totally natural and rather original rubato. The irony in the music, the ambiguous emotional life of the mazurkas, is well realised. There's not the slightest suggestion of either the bourgeois salon or peasant dance hall. These mazurkas are, in Dang's hands, soul music, not just foot music or voice  music.

This is one of the best mazurka sets on modern piano. What a shame he didn't use a real Chopin piano though!
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on May 12, 2018, 09:58:46 PM
(https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcSC1Re0gnMeLiAwd76yQgBv7C2hn2NYuK3mURp8uqqMJJQmdNGA)

I want to get something out of the way before singing the praises of Idil Biret's mazurkas. She does not have a subtle, colourful, nuanced touch; she does not have a sensitive and imaginative way of expressing herself.

Nevertheless, I love this, because it's so intense. It's totally magnetic, hypnotic. I feel I can sense her sincerity completely. I can't stop listening once I start - and I'm certainly ready to tolerate her limitations.

(There's something about these performances which made me think of The Salomon Quartet.)

The recording quality is listenable.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on October 08, 2018, 09:53:46 AM
Maria Grinberg plays some mazurkas

https://www.youtube.com/v/j7ccSU4urns
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on March 24, 2019, 04:42:38 AM
Pletnev plays 30 minutes of mazurkas, I don't know what to make of it really, it's refined and poetic and reticent.

https://www.youtube.com/v/ruVA4kKpaAc&t=121s
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Peregrine on March 25, 2019, 11:43:44 AM
I think they’re wonderful. Thanks for posting.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on April 11, 2019, 09:22:23 PM
(https://direct.rhapsody.com/imageserver/images/Alb.356072566/500x500.jpg)

I think this is worth hearing, his way of articulating the music gives each piece large, bold, noble gestures. I like the weightiness and seriousness of his approach very much, extrovert without being unreflective; personal and expressive without being self indulgent. Nice enough modern piano rather well recorded.

His notes on each mazurka may or may not have some insights. You'll see he waxes particularly lyrical about op 50/3 and he delivers a particularly magnificent performance of this mazurka to boot.

Quote from: Radoslav Kvapil /translation: Jill Nizard: Prague, September 2018
Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op.6, No.2. Composed in Vienna in 1830. This Mazurka is written in ABA form. Section B expresses the greatest simplicity, similar to the simplicity to be found in the Polish national folk songs.

Mazurka in E major, Op.6, No.3. (Vienna 1830) At times, this Mazurka is written similarly to dance music, without the possibility of dancing to it. It is full of exuberance and a continually joyful mood, full of irregular accents. This is something typical of Polish folk dance music. Bars 41 to 48 provide proof that this music is not written to be danced!

 Mazurka in B flat major, Op.7, No.1. (Vienna 1830-31) Very simple music, maestoso until bars 45 to 53 where it then becomes slightly mysterious.

 Mazurka in A minor, Op.7, No.2. (Vienna 1830-31) This Mazurka is very lyrical at the beginning and then becomes dramatic. In bars 42-46, it is more maestoso, before becoming lyrical once again.

Mazurka in F minor, Op.7, No.3. (Vienna 1830-31) This starts with an introduction expressing a mysterious atmosphere during the first eight bars. Then, between bars 41-54, a new mood takes place, which is a very typical dance mood.

Mazurka in C major, Op.7, No.5. (Vienna 1830-31) This is more of a sketch than an actual mazurka, because it has no ending and the music is marked senza fine in the score. This is the reason I joined this Op.7 No.5 to the C major Mazurka, Op.56 No. 2:

Mazurka in C major, Opus 56, No.2. (Paris 1843) This is a very energetic folk dance, but in bars 37-50, it becomes lyrical and poetical, totally unlike the idea of a dance, and continues so between bars 53-78. (Dvorak also composed a Mazurka in C major, Op.56, No.2, which has similar character to Chopin's Mazurka Op.56/2).

 Mazurka in A minor, Op. 17, No.4. (Paris 1832-3) This one is very slow and it uses notes formed by irregular groups of ornamentation, following a similar method using ornaments to be found in many of his works, notably in his Piano Concerto No.2 in the second movement.


Mazurka in C major, Op.24, No.2. (Paris 1834-35) This starts as an improvisation, which announces a very dazzling melody. Bars 21 and 30, demonstrate the way Chopin improvises. Here, he repeats the same melody four times with ingenious small changes. At the end of the Mazurka, he returns to the opening improvisation.

Mazurka in D flat major, Op.30, No.3. (Paris 1836-37) This could be music pathetique like Beethoven's or Liszt's music, but Chopin, with his use of brutal dynamic changes, where he jumps regularly from fortissimo to pianissimo, creates a totally different character.

Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op.30, No.4. (Paris 1836-37) I consider this to be one of Chopin's finest Mazurkas. After four bars of introduction, which correspond to a slightly mysterious opening, the Mazurka continues as an energetic dance. Chopin then destroys the regular form ABA, because in bars 65-96, he suddenly adds a new idea, in which he expresses his great love of the Polish Nation. We then later find the same idea of the love of one's Nation, in the middle section of the Polka in F major in Smetana's Czech Dances. After bar 133, comes quite an extraordinary ending, in which the three bars 137-140 resemble Schumann's Vogel als Prophet (Bird as a Prophet) from his Waldescenen, Op.82.

Mazurka in G sharp minor, Op.33, No.1. (Paris 1837-38) This is one of Chopin's saddest works. In bars 16 to 36, he is trying to escape from his feeling of despair, but this is in vain, and his hopelessness returns.

Mazurka in B minor, Op.33, No.4. (Paris 1837-38) With its 224 bars, this is perhaps Chopin's longest Mazurka. All the main ideas in bars 1-24, 49-64 and 129-175 are brilliant and highly inspired; however, in my opinion, permanent repetition of these ideas destroys the appropriate balance of the work. It would therefore appear that bars 176-192 should have been edited out of a final revision. Chopin would have needed to come back to the main theme in bar 193. But we can rarely find in any of his other works such examples of an inelegant solution as here, with so many bars of music without inspiration.

Mazurka in B major, Op.41, No.3. (Paris 1839) This Mazurka has not the special character of a mazurka. In the first four bars, it starts as a dance, but the whole work expresses brilliant music, more greatly resembling that of a prelude.

Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op.50, No.3. Composed in Paris in 1841-2. This Mazurka is the finest and also the most magnificent. Beginning in polyphonic form, it is similar to a principle to be found in a canon, and it does not resemble a dance. The rhythm of the  Mazurka comes about in bar 17, but not for a long time. Between bars 25 and 32, a dialogue takes place between two independent voices, until bar 33. Then from bars 33-40, there is a reminder of the beginning of the Mazurka. Section B, between bars 41 and 93, leads to a very simple mazurka. Section A returns in bars 94 to133. Then Section C commences, which corresponds to a large coda. Between bars 145 and 172, Chopin proceeds with a considerable amount of work as a composer, in which he goes to great depth by using chromaticisms, which increase the expression very considerably . Everything is aiming to reach the summit of the work in bars 173-179, which he then attains. In making comparisons to this Mazurka, it is interesting to see how Bedrich Smetana, in his work Poetic Polkas Op.8 No.2, adopts the main ideas of this Mazurka, even if his music is totally different. His poetic beginning is not like a dance. Then an energetic dance, in this case, a polka, takes place from bar 10, but not for long, and a dialogue then happens between two independent voices. Then there is a reminder of the first nine bars of the beginning. Such a similarity between these two works leads one to ask oneself if Smetana already knew Chopin's Mazurka Op.50 No.3 when he composed his work Poetic Polkas Op.8 No.2, or whether he composed it in such a way unconsciously.

Mazurka in A flat major, Op.59, No.2. Composed in 1845 in Paris. Beginning in piano dolce, it is presented in forte grandioso in bars 23 to 43. Section B (bars 45 to 68) is not dance-like. The mood increases in expression, aiming to return to the main theme from bar 69. Between bars 82-88, Chopin resorts to improvisation, in which the fingers glide along the keyboard in that usual manner. The real coda starts in bar 89. Then, between bars 108 and 109, a new, fairly rapid improvisation takes place once again.

Mazurka in F minor, Op.63, No.2. Composed in 1846 in Paris. This was one of Chopin's last Mazurkas, which he both composed and published himself. It evokes great simplicity and yet also a deep feeling of sadness.

Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op.63, No.3. Composed in Paris in Autumn 1846. This is one of the last Mazurkas Chopin to be composed and also published. It presents an indecisive atmosphere, in which Chopin is searching for a solution, which he continues to search in a repeat, and which, he is, once again, unable to find, once again ending indecisively. After bar 33 and until bar 46, he is permanently changing the mood, searching for new solutions, which he appears to have then found. However, immediately afterwards, he returns once again to Section A, looking for yet another solution, which he appears to have found in bar 64, where he then leaves
4
this indecisive mood by resorting to somewhat complicated polyphony, enabling hin to find a final solution in bars 77 and 78.

Mazurka in G minor, Op.67, No.2. Chopin composed this work in 1849, in Paris.

Mazurka in A minor, Op.67, No.4. Chopin composed this Mazurka in 1846, in Paris.

Mazurka in C major, Op.68, No.1. Chopin composed this Mazurka in 1829, in Warsaw. These three above were all published posthumously by Julius Fontana in Paris, in 1855.

Mazurka in A minor, Op.68, No.2. Chopin composed this Mazurka in 1827 in Warsaw. It was later also published as a posthumous work by Julius Fontana in Paris, in 1855. This well-known Mazurka is what is commonly known as the Rossignol. The wide popularity of this work is derived from the great poetry it expresses.

Mazurka in F major, Op.68, No.3. Chopin composed this Mazurka in 1829 in Warsaw. It was published as a posthumous work by Julius Fontana in Paris in 1855. This Mazurka however belongs to Chopin's early works. Here the Mazurka has a slightly festive character and it has a possible characteristic which can typically be found in a Polonaise. Its middle section is poco piu vivo, and bars 33-44 provide a very different mood from the one in the other parts. The same sparkling character also appears both in Op.7 No.1 and in Op.6 No.2, enabling Chopin to create both a new dimension and a new mood.

Mazurka in F minor, Op.68, No.4. Chopin composed this Mazurka in Paris in 1849. It was later also published posthumously by Julius Fontana in Paris, in 1855. This is the final Mazurka Chopin composed before his death in October 1849. This one is deeply poetical. By adding the words ad infinitum to the end of this composition, Chopin expresses his farewell to life. Only some of Schubert's final Lieder are able similarly to describe the precise moment at which human life is about to end. Mazurka in B flat major, which Chopin composed in Warsaw in 1825, might have been his first ever mazurka. It was published in Warsaw in 1826.



Back to this. Certainly a special recording and my comment 2.5 years ago about seriousness and lightness seems pretty perceptive, though I say so myself. Sounds good too.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Verena on April 12, 2019, 12:50:47 AM
(https://direct.rhapsody.com/imageserver/images/Alb.356072566/500x500.jpg)

I think this is worth hearing, his way of articulating the music gives each piece large, bold, noble gestures. I like the weightiness and seriousness of his approach very much, extrovert without being unreflective; personal and expressive without being self indulgent. Nice enough modern piano rather well recorded.

His notes on each mazurka may or may not have some insights. You'll see he waxes particularly lyrical about op 50/3 and he delivers a particularly magnificent performance of this mazurka to boot.

Thanks for pointing this out. I really like the performance. I guess I will have to try his Chopin Ballades, too.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on April 13, 2019, 11:03:32 PM
This is the latest thinking on order of composition (souce: Joanna Macgregor)
Quote

The Earliest Mazurkas (1820-1829)

KK IVa No.7 in D major ‘Mazurek’

KK IIa No.2 in G major ‘Prague’

KK IIa No.3 in B flat major

Op. 68 No.2 in A minor: Lento

Op. 68 No.1 in C major: Vivace

Op. 68 No.3 in F major: Allegro ma non troppo

Four Mazurkas Op. 6 (1830)

No.1 in F sharp minor

No.2 in C sharp minor

No.3 in E major: Vivace

No.4 in E flat minor: Presto ma non troppo

Five Mazurkas Op 7 (1830-31)

No.1 in B flat major: Vivace

No.2 in A minor: Vivo ma non troppo

No.3 in F minor

No.4 in A flat major: Presto ma non troppo

No.5 in C major: Vivo


KKIV No.1 in B flat major (1832)


Four Mazurkas Op 17 (1832-33)

No.1 in B flat major: Vivo e risoluto

No.2 in E minor: Lento ma non troppo

No.3 in A flat major: Legato assai

No.4 in A minor: Lento ma non troppo


KKIVb No.3 in C major (1833)

KKIVb No.4 in A flat major ‘Szymanowska’ (1834)


Four Mazurkas Op. 24 (1834-35)

No.1 in G minor: Lento

No.2 in C major: Allegro non troppo

No.3 in A flat major: Moderato

No.4 in B flat minor: Moderato


Op.67 No.1 in G major: Vivace (1835)

Op.67 No.3 in C major: Allegretto  (1835)


Four Mazurkas, Op 30 (1836-37)

No.1 in C minor: Allegretto non tanto

No.2 in B minor: Vivace

No.3 in D flat major: Allegro non troppo

No.4 in C sharp minor: Allegretto

Four Mazurkas Op.33 (1837-8)

No.1 in G sharp minor: Mesto

No.2 in D major: Vivace

No.3 in C major: Semplice

No.4 in B minor

Four Mazurkas Op.41 (1838-9)

No.1 in E minor: Andantino

No.2 in B major: Animato

No.3 in A flat major: Allegretto

No.4 in C sharp minor: Maestoso


KK IIb No.4 in A minor: Allegretto ‘Notre Temps’ (1839)

KK IIb No.5 in A minor ‘À son ami Emile Galliard’ (1841)


Three Mazurkas Op.50 (1841-42)

No.1 in G major: Vivace

No.2 in A flat major: Allegretto

No.3 in C sharp minor: Moderato

Three Mazurkas Op.56 (1843)

No.1 in B major: Allegro non tanto

No.2 in C major: Vivace

No.3 in C minor: Moderato

Three Mazurkas Op.59 (1845)

No.1 in A minor: Moderato

No.2 in A flat major: Allegretto

No.3 in F sharp minor: Vivace

Three Mazurkas Op.63 (1846)

No.1 in B major: Vivace

No.2 in F minor: Lento

No.3 in C sharp minor: Allegretto

The Final Mazurkas

Op.67 No.4 in A minor: Allegretto (1846)

Op.67 No.2 in G minor: Cantabile (1846)

Op.68 No.4 in F minor: Andantino (1849)

Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on April 13, 2019, 11:09:26 PM
Thanks for pointing this out. I really like the performance. I guess I will have to try his Chopin Ballades, too.

And a challenging Waldstein, which I'm trying to follow now.


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81AugVvLgHL._SY355_.jpg)

I've heard he's exceptional in Smetana and Dvorak, I haven't heard that but I intend to try his Janacek sometime. so far I've only heard the Overgrown Path 2 on Panton, it's good.  I see he has some Janacek as part of a huge collection called "Anthology of Czech Piano Music" and from what I can see they're different performances, I guess the Panton are earlier since Panton was an LP label.  Lots to explore.

(https://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0001/014/MI0001014201.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)    (https://img.discogs.com/q-HyfSERKTHFRJGsYuC2l5QcqDU=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-8305152-1459010264-9397.jpeg.jpg)
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: aukhawk on April 14, 2019, 12:49:07 AM
I guess the Panton are earlier since Panton was an LP label. 

So was Unicorn

(https://thumbs.worthpoint.com/zoom/images1/1/0509/20/horenstein-panufnik-heroic-overture_1_9072aad0417266cfc2f6e9f21a99ae48.jpg)
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on April 14, 2019, 03:14:08 AM
So was Unicorn

(https://thumbs.worthpoint.com/zoom/images1/1/0509/20/horenstein-panufnik-heroic-overture_1_9072aad0417266cfc2f6e9f21a99ae48.jpg)

Ah.

The Waldstein is really Arrauvian. I know that for some people this is condemning it, but not for me! In fact maybe it’s more successful than most of Arrau’s attempts.  He out-arraus Arrau.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on April 14, 2019, 07:36:45 PM
Thanks for pointing this out. I really like the performance. I guess I will have to try his Chopin Ballades, too.

Études also.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: ChopinBroccoli on July 16, 2019, 02:05:11 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/712KRRXCwiL._SX355_.jpg)

Janina Fialkowska plays Chopin's mazurkas. This is some of the the most emotionally subtle, nuanced and varied, the most beautiful, the most focused, mazurka playing I have heard.  It is also the least stormy, the least passionate, the most "tasteful", the most genteel.

I'm new here and I'm seconding this post... this album is quite good... I generally prefer Rubinstein's 60s takes but when I want a different feel on these pieces, this is the one ...
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on August 18, 2019, 02:30:33 AM
(https://direct.rhapsody.com/imageserver/images/Alb.220558700/500x500.jpg)

What’s distinctive about this one from Sergei Dorensky is that he has a symphonic style - lots of different timbres and big gestures - which he uses fairly liberally here to transform each mazurka into a something which sounds more like a Rachmaninov tableau than you might have been expecting.

Good enough sound, modern piano with a good steely timbre, I wonder if it was a soviet instrument.

Dorensky was, I believe, a well regarded teacher in the USSR. Does anyone know anything about him, his ideas and his pupils?
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Brian on September 21, 2019, 09:46:03 AM
In the past I've listened to samples of Pavel Kolesnikov's Hyperion mazurkas and found them too fussy and self-centered. But this morning I tried again and really liked the 60-clips I heard. Does anyone here have experience with Kolesnikov?

He has a new Chopin album next month also...
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Florestan on September 21, 2019, 10:02:04 AM
In the past I've listened to samples of Pavel Kolesnikov's Hyperion mazurkas and found them too fussy and self-centered. But this morning I tried again and really liked the 60-clips I heard. Does anyone here have experience with Kolesnikov?

https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21492.msg1228345.html#msg1228345 (https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21492.msg1228345.html#msg1228345)

Quote
He has a new Chopin album next month also...

Which one?
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Brian on September 21, 2019, 10:09:04 AM

Which one?
The new one has impromptus and waltzes. I'm on my phone so I can't look up the artwork as easily.

Thanks for your comments!
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Florestan on September 21, 2019, 10:16:48 AM
The new one has impromptus and waltzes. I'm on my phone so I can't look up the artwork as easily.

Thanks, on my wishlist it goes.

Quote
Thanks for your comments!

You're welcome. You might also find interesting the ensuing exchange between me and Mandryka. See from here:

https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21492.msg1228349.html#msg1228349 (https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21492.msg1228349.html#msg1228349)

down the page
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on September 21, 2019, 10:34:50 AM
Here's what I thought when I last listened

(http://www.classicalsource.com/images/upload/14208_1.jpg)

These Dresden China mazurkas from Pavel Kolesnikov are like a breath of fresh air. He completely dispenses with the idea that Chopin was wise, profound and surprising. In Kolesnikov's hands the mazurkas are hardly a sustained engagement with the human condition.  There's very little if any dream like meditation, there's very little if any tension between irregular rhythms and fluid song, There ain't much emotional ambiguity, any interesting counterpoint in the music is hardly brought into prominence.

What Kolesnikov gives us is something which sings and dances along without much of a care in the world. In these mazurkas God's in his heaven and all's right with the world - at least the world that's visible from the bourgeois salon.

Kolesnikov makes a sound which suits the superficiality of the interpretation - light and silvery and rather lovely.

These are mazurkas for the background, not to be taken too seriously.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 21, 2019, 11:24:42 AM
Here's what I thought when I last listened


Very interesting, thanks.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on September 21, 2019, 12:45:45 PM
Very interesting, thanks.

You're welcome.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on September 21, 2019, 12:54:36 PM
My fav Mazurkas. The subtle performance offers ennui and darkness.


https://www.amazon.com/Chopin-Mazurkas-Other-Piano-Works/dp/B003QLY5JC/ref=tmm_acd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Brian on September 21, 2019, 04:47:08 PM
Hmmmm... This is the first time I've heard anyone refer to ennui as a desirable thing.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on September 21, 2019, 08:31:03 PM
My fav Mazurkas. The subtle performance offers ennui and darkness.


https://www.amazon.com/Chopin-Mazurkas-Other-Piano-Works/dp/B003QLY5JC/ref=tmm_acd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Thanks for mentioning this, I’ve started to explore it. Two things strike me straight way. The first is the sweetness of the sound he makes, and the second is the naturalness of the rubato.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on September 21, 2019, 08:44:03 PM
Hmmmm... This is the first time I've heard anyone refer to ennui as a desirable thing.

But Baudelaire makes it sound delightful

Quote
C'est l'Ennui! L'oeil chargé d'un pleur involontaire,
II rêve d'échafauds en fumant son houka.
Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat,
— Hypocrite lecteur, — mon semblable, — mon frère!
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Florestan on September 21, 2019, 10:41:13 PM
Here's what I thought when I last listened

Kind of agrees with my ow assessment.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Florestan on September 21, 2019, 10:44:05 PM
But Baudelaire makes it sound delightful

Taken out of context, maybe. The full poem, though, makes it sound frightful.

La sottise, l'erreur, le péché, la lésine,
Occupent nos esprits et travaillent nos corps,
Et nous alimentons nos aimables remords,
Comme les mendiants nourrissent leur vermine.

Nos péchés sont têtus, nos repentirs sont lâches;
Nous nous faisons payer grassement nos aveux,
Et nous rentrons gaiement dans le chemin bourbeux,
Croyant par de vils pleurs laver toutes nos taches.

Sur l'oreiller du mal c'est Satan Trismégiste
Qui berce longuement notre esprit enchanté,
Et le riche métal de notre volonté
Est tout vaporisé par ce savant chimiste.

C'est le Diable qui tient les fils qui nous remuent!
Aux objets répugnants nous trouvons des appas;
Chaque jour vers l'Enfer nous descendons d'un pas,
Sans horreur, à travers des ténèbres qui puent.

Ainsi qu'un débauché pauvre qui baise et mange
Le sein martyrisé d'une antique catin,
Nous volons au passage un plaisir clandestin
Que nous pressons bien fort comme une vieille orange.

Serré, fourmillant, comme un million d'helminthes,
Dans nos cerveaux ribote un peuple de Démons,
Et, quand nous respirons, la Mort dans nos poumons
Descend, fleuve invisible, avec de sourdes plaintes.

Si le viol, le poison, le poignard, l'incendie,
N'ont pas encor brodé de leurs plaisants dessins
Le canevas banal de nos piteux destins,
C'est que notre âme, hélas! n'est pas assez hardie.

Mais parmi les chacals, les panthères, les lices,
Les singes, les scorpions, les vautours, les serpents,
Les monstres glapissants, hurlants, grognants, rampants,
Dans la ménagerie infâme de nos vices,

II en est un plus laid, plus méchant, plus immonde!
Quoiqu'il ne pousse ni grands gestes ni grands cris,
Il ferait volontiers de la terre un débris
Et dans un bâillement avalerait le monde;

C'est l'Ennui! L'oeil chargé d'un pleur involontaire,
II rêve d'échafauds en fumant son houka.
Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat,
— Hypocrite lecteur, — mon semblable, — mon frère!
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: JBS on September 22, 2019, 04:06:30 AM
Am I the only one here to have heard Vladimir Feltsman's new recording.

On one listen, I found it superficial.  On another listen, I thought it was full of emotional heft.  Obviously my mood for the day must have been the deciding factor.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on September 22, 2019, 04:48:34 AM
Thanks for mentioning this, I’ve started to explore it. Two things strike me straight way. The first is the sweetness of the sound he makes, and the second is the naturalness of the rubato.

Yes silky, sensual sound with delicate touch. Liberal, if not excessive, use of rubato. I hope you like the recording.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on September 22, 2019, 04:54:47 AM
Talking about Ennui, Ott’s Waltzes (not Mazurkas) present somehow oblique aestheticism with sensitivity and melancholy.

Chopin: Complete Waltzes https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002WHTGC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_wX3HDbD5A3GHC
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Que on September 22, 2019, 05:27:03 AM
Sofar, two pianists have impressed me the most: Arthur Rubinstein and...


Q
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on September 22, 2019, 10:32:51 AM
Another one I care.

Chopin Assorted Mazurkas. (Iddo Bar-Shai Piano. Total Time: 78') https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001HBW31U/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_tW8HDbNBTV32K
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on September 22, 2019, 11:56:01 AM
Another one I care.

Chopin Assorted Mazurkas. (Iddo Bar-Shai Piano. Total Time: 78') https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001HBW31U/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_tW8HDbNBTV32K

I think that’s a bit too self conscious for me.


Talking about Ennui, Ott’s Waltzes (not Mazurkas) present somehow oblique aestheticism with sensitivity and melancholy.

Chopin: Complete Waltzes https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002WHTGC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_wX3HDbD5A3GHC

Yes, rather nice especially in the middle sections. Are you Ok with the recording? It sounds very close, maybe it’s just the equipment Im using.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on September 23, 2019, 08:40:30 AM
Yes I like the B minor waltz. The left microphone is very close to the piano.

Yes, rather nice especially in the middle sections. Are you Ok with the recording? It sounds very close, maybe it’s just the equipment Im using.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Marc on September 23, 2019, 09:12:43 AM
Thanks for sharing this, Q. Interesting the recording dates listed on the back, as some Googling shows that he died in 1977, yet the recordings on 70% of CD 01 are listed as being from 1977 and the rest are listed as being from 1978! Must be a typo?

If the twofer of Dante is the same recording, then the recording date must be 1958.
Could that be possible? An early stereo recording?

https://www.melomania.com/en/51-mazurkas-49842/s

Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on September 23, 2019, 09:28:02 AM
If the twofer of Dante is the same recording, then the recording date must be 1958.
Could that be possible? An early stereo recording?

https://www.melomania.com/en/51-mazurkas-49842/s

Listen first before you buy here to see if it's your sort of thing

https://www.youtube.com/v/lLi2uwGOYBg
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Marc on September 23, 2019, 09:45:49 AM
Listen first before you buy here to see if it's your sort of thing

https://www.youtube.com/v/lLi2uwGOYBg

No, the sound and performance are just fine, I know that.

But I was wondering about the recording date. Since Flier died in 1977, the recording date (1978) of a large part of Que's Amazon-link 2-cd must be wrong.
The Dante twofer on Melomania speaks of 1958 as recording year, and I'm not sure whether Russia already delivered stereo recordings before the 1960s.
Also, the Amazon link is an issue of Melodiya. Did Melodiya already exist in 1958?

So: are the Dante and Melodiya 2 different recordings (maybe mono and stereo)?
If so, then the recording dates of the Melodiya issue are incorrect.

If they are the same recordings though, then the Dante recording date might be incorrect, unless they were already recording in very good stereo quality in the USSR, Anno Domini 1958.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on September 23, 2019, 10:50:02 AM
No, the sound and performance are just fine, I know that.

But I was wondering about the recording date. Since Flier died in 1977, the recording date (1978) of a large part of Que's Amazon-link 2-cd must be wrong.
The Dante twofer on Melomania speaks of 1958 as recording year, and I'm not sure whether Russia already delivered stereo recordings before the 1960s.
Also, the Amazon link is an issue of Melodiya. Did Melodiya already exist in 1958?

So: are the Dante and Melodiya 2 different recordings (maybe mono and stereo)?
If so, then the recording dates of the Melodiya issue are incorrect.

If they are the same recordings though, then the Dante recording date might be incorrect, unless they were already recording in very good stereo quality in the USSR, Anno Domini 1958.

If Flier's mazurkas were recorded in 1958 and not 1977, I'm a Dutchman.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: JBS on September 23, 2019, 11:25:04 AM
Melodiya was officially formed in 1964, but as the state run monopoly it seems it had access to all archived recordings made before then. So it could have issued 1958 recordings. And the state of stereo technology was advanced enough in the late 1950s to make it plausible that Soviet recording engineers were experimenting with it by then.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Brian on September 23, 2019, 03:12:40 PM
Can you (and everyone else who listed Rubinstein as a favorite) please indicate which of his three sets is your favorite?

Thanks!
Well, jwinter said the last one...
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Daverz on September 23, 2019, 05:10:37 PM
I'm not much of a Chopin guy, so this is the only cycle I have on CD:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51nkMKW355L.jpg)

I liked also Barbosa's Chopin Waltzes on a Connoisseur LP.  Oh, and he did some great stuff with Wanda Wilkomirska:

https://www.discogs.com/artist/1220349-Antonio-Barbosa

(Like everything else, you can find them on youtube.)
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Que on September 23, 2019, 09:10:37 PM
Can everyone who listed Rubinstein as a favorite please indicate which of his three sets is your favorite?

Thanks!

I like "early"* Rubinstein best, his last recording the least.
But his approach over time was pretty consistent in the Mazurkas IMO.

*he was already in his forties, I believe

Q
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: j winter on September 24, 2019, 05:41:20 AM
Well, jwinter said the last one...

Correct :) 

Though I may not have given the others enough of a listen to make a fair comparison.... I've loved the stereo set for years...
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on September 24, 2019, 06:04:28 AM
Another strange experience with my “new” amp, a Radford STA 25. I bought this recording when it came out nearly 10 years ago, I’ve never enjoyed it, but now, with the new amp, it sounds like poetical music.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51h%2B2y5NK1L._SX355_.jpg)

More corroboration that the playback equipment matters as much to appraisal of the performance as the instrument matters to the performance itself.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on March 20, 2020, 10:35:41 AM
(https://reviews.azureedge.net/gramophone/media-thumbnails/chopin_57_mazurkas.jpg)

Listening to op 30 here, what's most striking is the strong kick to the rhythm. Presumably Janusz Olejniczak knows what these things would sound like as dances and has tried to integrate that into the performance. But they were never dances, he knows that, and indeed were widely criticised when they appeared for deviating from the dance models.

What the kick does is make the music sound exotic. Poland is a bit exotic I suppose, neither European nor Slav, or may both European and Slav.

But the best thing is Olejniczak's piano, and it's hard for me to go back to a bland modern instrument after this. I keep thinking of David Tudor's comment that all a modern piano has is twelve notes and they're all boring. How much more rich in overtones Olejniczak's piano is.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: hvbias on March 20, 2020, 01:11:46 PM

More corroboration that the playback equipment matters as much to appraisal of the performance as the instrument matters to the performance itself.

I'm having a blast going through old piano and chamber music recordings with the ESL57s. Never discount what a good bit of hifi can do for performance enjoyment!
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on March 21, 2020, 06:10:20 AM
I'm having a blast going through old piano and chamber music recordings with the ESL57s. Never discount what a good bit of hifi can do for performance enjoyment!

What amp?
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Florestan on March 21, 2020, 06:39:17 AM
Ashkenazy's take on them is really something else. Different than any other I've heard. Outstanding. Imo, the best complete set ever recorded.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: hvbias on March 21, 2020, 06:59:05 AM
What amp?

Atma-Sphere M60
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: vers la flamme on March 21, 2020, 07:02:02 AM
Ashkenazy's take on them is really something else. Different than any other I've heard. Outstanding. Imo, the best complete set ever recorded.

Noted, I shall try and get my hands on it then. I was going to get the complete set of all Chopin's piano music by Ashkenazy, but have decided against it.

I like Idil Biret, and Artur Rubinstein. Haven't heard a whole lot of recordings of the Mazurkas outside of pianists who record 2 or 3 of them to round out their Chopin recital discs.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Florestan on March 21, 2020, 07:47:51 AM
I was going to get the complete set of all Chopin's piano music by Ashkenazy, but have decided against it.

Why? By general consensus it's one of, if not THE, most consistently good complete sets.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Brian on March 21, 2020, 08:07:21 AM
Why? By general consensus it's one of, if not THE, most consistently good complete sets.
I think a person who has the complete Rubinstein is set, there, as Rubinstein has a very similar or even greater reputation (and is my favorite in many works, though not all).
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on March 21, 2020, 08:57:52 AM
Atma-Sphere M60

Respect.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Brian on March 21, 2020, 09:30:09 AM
Hey Brian,

To me, there are too many flaws in the Rubinstein set. First features his stereo recordings, which I don't like nearly as much as his monos. Also, his set is far from complete, while Ashkenazy's comes close. Ashkenazy also has him beat for sound.   
Ah, I have the Rubinstein 140 CD Big Box which includes both almost-complete cycles and third, earlier recordings of a lot of things, too. So I didn't realize there was a specific smaller set y'all were discussing.

For completism I've got the Garrick Ohlsson set on Hyperion, which is really good for filling in gaps (great cycle of the songs, for instance).
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: vers la flamme on March 21, 2020, 11:21:51 AM
Why? By general consensus it's one of, if not THE, most consistently good complete sets.

It's a little out of my budget for now, especially as my income just might be at risk of grinding to a halt sometime soon. Plus, I think I'd rather get the Rubinstein Chopin Collection, at least for the time being.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: JBS on March 21, 2020, 11:29:22 AM
It's a little out of my budget for now, especially as my income just might be at risk of grinding to a halt sometime soon. Plus, I think I'd rather get the Rubinstein Chopin Collection, at least for the time being.

I agree with George, that Rubinstein's mono mazurkas are better.

As far as complete sets, are you aware of this



Although as far as actually buying anything, I am in the same boat.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: vers la flamme on March 21, 2020, 11:34:35 AM
I agree with George, that Rubinstein's mono mazurkas are better.

As far as complete sets, are you aware of this



Although as far as actually buying anything, I am in the same boat.

No, never heard of the pianist. Italian, I take it, younger-ish...? How would you describe his playing?
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: JBS on March 21, 2020, 11:36:44 AM
No, never heard of the pianist. Italian, I take it, younger-ish...? How would you describe his playing?

Middle aged now, I believe...
Playing is consistently good.  I found him through Todd.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: vers la flamme on March 21, 2020, 11:44:43 AM
Middle aged now, I believe...
Playing is consistently good.  I found him through Todd.

Younger than Ashkenazy or Rubinstein, that is  :D

Cool, I will have to sample some of his playing.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Brian on March 21, 2020, 01:11:57 PM
De Maria favors beauty of sound - he's a romantic. I found him through Todd too and particularly like this pianist's incredible recital of three sonatas by Muzio Clementi, which he plays with such style and grace that you momentarily think Clementi must surely be as good as Mozart or Haydn. Alas...not so.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: hvbias on March 21, 2020, 07:49:27 PM
(https://reviews.azureedge.net/gramophone/media-thumbnails/chopin_57_mazurkas.jpg)

Listening to op 30 here, what's most striking is the strong kick to the rhythm. Presumably Janusz Olejniczak knows what these things would sound like as dances and has tried to integrate that into the performance. But they were never dances, he knows that, and indeed were widely criticised when they appeared for deviating from the dance models.

What the kick does is make the music sound exotic. Poland is a bit exotic I suppose, neither European nor Slav, or may both European and Slav.

But the best thing is Olejniczak's piano, and it's hard for me to go back to a bland modern instrument after this. I keep thinking of David Tudor's comment that all a modern piano has is twelve notes and they're all boring. How much more rich in overtones Olejniczak's piano is.

That is an incredible sounding instrument, vibrant ringing tone, you can even hear some brief mechanical noises from it too which adds to the charm. It's an 1849 Erard, this might be it below.

His interpretations on Op. 30 are very fine as well, I'm in agreement with what you wrote. BTW the least dance like performances I've ever heard in the Mazurkas were by Andrzej Wasowski, I love those interpretations.

Really looking forward to hearing the rest, pretty sure I'll be ordering it.

I next went to Nelson Goerner from that period instrument series and straight into Ballade 2 the Pleyel doesn't sound as interesting as the Erard. Worse there is some hideous doppler type of effect (like Universal watermark, but higher in level) in the recording that makes it hard to gauge his interpretation.

Also listened to a few Preludes from Pietro de Maria, I too heard about him from Todd (Italian Invasion thread?), will write some more later.

(https://i.imgur.com/33ndweR.jpg)
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: aukhawk on March 22, 2020, 09:31:04 AM
Quote
But the best thing is Olejniczak's piano, and it's hard for me to go back to a bland modern instrument after this. I keep thinking of David Tudor's comment that all a modern piano has is twelve notes and they're all boring. How much more rich in overtones Olejniczak's piano is.

That is an incredible sounding instrument, vibrant ringing tone, you can even hear some brief mechanical noises from it too which adds to the charm. It's an 1849 Erard, this might be it below.

I agree too - wonderful complexity of sound on this recording.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on March 22, 2020, 11:16:24 AM
On Spotify it comes across as being overly reverberant.
Not in my opinion, that's what pianos sound like. Putting the sound of the piano aside, what do people think of the interpretation? Too much kick? The pulse overdone by sforzandi and rhythmic rubato?
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on March 22, 2020, 11:22:08 AM
That is an incredible sounding instrument, vibrant ringing tone, you can even hear some brief mechanical noises from it too which adds to the charm. It's an 1849 Erard, this might be it below.

His interpretations on Op. 30 are very fine as well, I'm in agreement with what you wrote. BTW the least dance like performances I've ever heard in the Mazurkas were by Andrzej Wasowski, I love those interpretations.


Well I listened to some of the Wasowski and it is a different beast from Olejniczak. I don't know if it would be possible to play like Wasowski on Olejniczak's piano and vice verse, that's to say, the interpretations are to some extent a product of the instrument. If Olejniczak played a parody of Wasowski  on the lovely old piano it would growl at him and say "NO WAY!"
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: hvbias on March 22, 2020, 01:22:21 PM
Not in my opinion, that's what pianos sound like. Putting the sound of the piano aside, what do people think of the interpretation? Too much kick? The pulse overdone by sforzandi and rhythmic rubato?

For me the recording is a bit on the reverberant side as well, but this seems to be a common thing with this label's recordings, like they're more midhall presentation instead of more closely mic'd. I'm not sure if that's digital reverb or not, I have a hard time hearing the size of the venue which I associate with natural reverb. Still able to appreciate the wonder of that instrument.

As for the pulse and rubato I have only listened to Op. 30, it's just on the cusp of what I'd find too much. Maybe No. 4 is pushing it too much. A general comment, not specifically on Op. 30, Russell Sherman's recordings would be one where I thought many were pushed too far to the point of sounding broken down and pulled apart, a set I have little desire to revisit.

Well I listened to some of the Wasowski and it is a different beast from Olejniczak. I don't know if it would be possible to play like Wasowski on Olejniczak's piano and vice verse, that's to say, the interpretations are to some extent a product of the instrument. If Olejniczak played a parody of Wasowski  on the lovely old piano it would growl at him and say "NO WAY!"

I don't think you'd be able to play it like Wasowski on the Erard. His tricks seem to slower tempi, more use of damper and sustain, just hanging on notes at the right moment. Main difference is you'd not be able to get his darker tones, heavier bass and dynamic range on the Erard. There are some Debussy recordings of pianists playing Pleyels and it sounds not attractive when they are hammering on the thing trying to get more from it. I think Olejniczak could have got similar interpretive results on a modern piano, just not the same tone.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: hvbias on March 23, 2020, 12:03:50 PM
Pietro de Maria- I skipped around a bunch of Op. 28 Preludes, my general impression is he is very subtle. He never really digs himself into the music, it's beautiful and restrained. Like in the Raindrop he just plays it on the lighter side (probably one of the lightest I've heard), quite the polar opposite of someone like Sokolov. No. 14 doesn't really have the tension I'd associate with the piece. He throws a good amount of heft in No. 24's rolling bass chords, but still a bit lacking in that something extra that makes some recordings really special

I've had the Lucchesini EMI CD in my very heavy rotation these last few months so maybe I have them too much on my mind even I am trying to give de Maria a fair chance. Lucchesini really throws himself into them.

I am very curious about how Volodos would record Op. 28.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on March 23, 2020, 01:36:13 PM
he just plays it on the lighter side (probably one of the lightest I've heard),

Yes that’s right for his preludes and his mazurkas I think, light, he’s a  lightweight, I haven’t explored further than that, or if I have I can’t remember. Well recorded though, and really sweet and undemanding to hear, I like it very much. No doubt he has an impeccable technique.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: hvbias on March 24, 2020, 03:37:27 PM
Another strange experience with my “new” amp, a Radford STA 25. I bought this recording when it came out nearly 10 years ago, I’ve never enjoyed it, but now, with the new amp, it sounds like poetical music.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51h%2B2y5NK1L._SX355_.jpg)

More corroboration that the playback equipment matters as much to appraisal of the performance as the instrument matters to the performance itself.

Do the liner notes say if they used tube equipment in recording? Koroliov is such a perfect fit for Tacet with his beautiful clean tone and Tacet's impeccable recording standards. I was playing them at a healthy volume on the ESL57s, what I really enjoyed was the finite microgradiations of tonal color he brought to the pieces, was that similar with you after getting the Radford? This is one of the real strong points of these speakers and I'm usually left with my jaw open.

I passed them over on first listen as well, but then something was telling me he sort of reminds me of Michelangeli. I don't have all my Michelangeli CDs in hand so I was only able to compare them to the one DG CD that has some Mazurkas, 1st Ballade and the 2nd Scherzo (Op. 30/2, 56/2, 68/2). Their interpretations are very similar, both laid bare without any pyrotechnics, over the top agogics or rubato that really stands out. And both with incredible tonal color; Michelangeli's just a hair more bell like in 56/2.

Also been revisiting various CDs of the Waltzes, maybe a thread is in order for that, I couldn't find one on search.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on March 24, 2020, 09:51:04 PM
I didn't keep the booklet -- which I regret now because I remember he wrote an essay for it, where he talked about the order of the recital, that was important for his conception.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on March 31, 2020, 12:29:12 AM
For me the recording is a bit on the reverberant side as well, but this seems to be a common thing with this label's recordings, like they're more midhall presentation instead of more closely mic'd. I'm not sure if that's digital reverb or not, I have a hard time hearing the size of the venue which I associate with natural reverb. Still able to appreciate the wonder of that instrument.

As for the pulse and rubato I have only listened to Op. 30, it's just on the cusp of what I'd find too much. Maybe No. 4 is pushing it too much. A general comment, not specifically on Op. 30, Russell Sherman's recordings would be one where I thought many were pushed too far to the point of sounding broken down and pulled apart, a set I have little desire to revisit.

I don't think you'd be able to play it like Wasowski on the Erard. His tricks seem to slower tempi, more use of damper and sustain, just hanging on notes at the right moment. Main difference is you'd not be able to get his darker tones, heavier bass and dynamic range on the Erard. There are some Debussy recordings of pianists playing Pleyels and it sounds not attractive when they are hammering on the thing trying to get more from it. I think Olejniczak could have got similar interpretive results on a modern piano, just not the same tone.

Well I went back to Olejniczak, the second CD, and any reservations I had about the rubato and the strength of the accents have vanished. This time listening on a different system (JR149/Radford, before was ESL/Krell) and a different room, and the sun is shining, I suspect that makes a difference, as does my mood. And I just don’t hear any problem with reverberation at all, I don’t know what you and George are talking about there.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: hvbias on April 06, 2020, 12:16:26 PM
Well I went back to Olejniczak, the second CD, and any reservations I had about the rubato and the strength of the accents have vanished. This time listening on a different system (JR149/Radford, before was ESL/Krell) and a different room, and the sun is shining, I suspect that makes a difference, as does my mood. And I just don’t hear any problem with reverberation at all, I don’t know what you and George are talking about there.

I've listened to more of the set, I don't find the reverb all that egregious, I still think the recording allows us to hear just how stunning that Erard sounds. It's far more obvious on many Harmonia Mundi and Hyperion releases. Like Paul Lewis playing D850 I was listening to earlier, far more reverb on that recording that really stands out.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: hvbias on June 12, 2020, 11:03:49 AM
I didn't keep the booklet -- which I regret now because I remember he wrote an essay for it, where he talked about the order of the recital, that was important for his conception.

A new Koroliov disc of Chopin:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71XbqTtj3RL._SL1450_.jpg)

I've only listened to the Mazurkas from it, once again making me think it's the ghost of Michelangeli :o I was on the fence about it since there are several pieces I don't like that much but decided to order it.

I also picked up the Brahms Intermezzi set as well, I really liked that one.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on July 10, 2020, 03:45:08 AM
A new Koroliov disc of Chopin:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71XbqTtj3RL._SL1450_.jpg)

I've only listened to the Mazurkas from it, once again making me think it's the ghost of Michelangeli :o I was on the fence about it since there are several pieces I don't like that much but decided to order it.

I also picked up the Brahms Intermezzi set as well, I really liked that one.

It’s very good, thanks for making me aware of it. Has anyone heard the one with the impromptus?
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on May 22, 2021, 07:29:19 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61dOVFCJ31L._SY445_SX342_QL70_ML2_.jpg)

The piano, which is well recorded, somehow gives each mazurka a distinctive bump, presumably because it’s slightly more percussive in the lower notes than a modern piano. Worth hearing for that, and the performances are fun, the recording rather good.

Yves Henry appears to be a serious pianist, but one who doesn’t record much and doesn’t concertise much. He teaches, he judges.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Que on May 22, 2021, 09:54:22 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61dOVFCJ31L._SY445_SX342_QL70_ML2_.jpg)

The piano, which is well recorded, somehow gives each mazurka a distinctive bump, presumably because it’s slightly more percussive in the lower notes than a modern piano. Worth hearing for that, and the performances are fun, the recording rather good.

Yves Henry appears to be a serious pianist, but one who doesn’t record much and doesn’t concertise much. He teaches, he judges.

My own comments, in response to Florestan asking what was "wrong" with it:

Wrong is a big word.

My golden standard in the Mazurkas is Rubinstein (preferably his 1st recording - fresh and brimming with energy) and Yakov Flier (Melodiya). I have 2 recordings on a Pleyel as well: Cor de Groot (pretty good, but rather old fashioned) and Fou Ts'ong (incomplete on one disc a part of "The Real Chopin" edition, also quite good but missing the magic touch).

The Mazurkas should be indeed performed dance-like, with appropriate tempi, rhythm and energy.
This is quirky and quite deconstructed in approach in places, with unnatural changes (lapses) in tempi and rhythm.
The Mazurkas should IMO be played straight with charm, going all philosophical about them is killing their character.

But I'm sure many would disagree!  :)

Q
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: amw on May 22, 2021, 11:13:59 PM
Based on those comments, and since I like Janusz Olejniczak, Patrick Cohen and Mirian Conti (and my gold standard is Witold Małcużynski), I assume I'll probably like Henry as well.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: MusicTurner on May 22, 2021, 11:44:56 PM
Yes, I just listened to the old 1938 Rubinstein a couple of days ago again - lovely.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on May 22, 2021, 11:52:22 PM
I’m listening to it (it =Henry) now on a better system. The piano is just lovely, really colourful, distinct timbres in each register, not smoothed out by over restoration, more partials than you can shake a stick at. The performances are characterful - he’s got ideas, I think ideas which come off pretty well. The recordings are live and they were given in a small room, called the Salon Romantique de Croissy. To judge by the sound on the recording (now that I can hear it better) this room has wonderful acoustics.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Que on May 23, 2021, 12:29:53 PM
I’m listening to it (it =Henry) now on a better system. The piano is just lovely, really colourful, distinct timbres in each register, not smoothed out by over restoration, more partials than you can shake a stick at. The performances are characterful - he’s got ideas, I think ideas which come off pretty well. The recordings are live and they were given in a small room, called the Salon Romantique de Croissy. To judge by the sound on the recording (now that I can hear it better) this room has wonderful acoustics.

Playing Chopin on a Pleyel is definitely a good idea!
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on May 23, 2021, 06:43:04 PM
Playing Chopin on a Pleyel is definitely a good idea!

The thing is that the Croissy Playel is special, whether it’s the instrument or the quality of the restoration I can’t say. It is, IMO, much better than the Playel for The Real Chopin, for example - as we once discussed here I think, I suspect that’s because the pianos for The Real Chopin are over restored - they’re made to sound more homogeneous and their tone is purer. Anyway I think Yves Henry has made an outstanding CD.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: mabuse on May 24, 2021, 09:20:31 AM
Unfortunately, listening every mazurka one after the other bores me a lot I must admit ...
I much prefer when the program is varied like on this album :
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41AIpp4lYWL.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/715zNU8YQJL._SL500_.jpg)
Chopin
Edna Stern, "Grand piano by Ignace Pleyel & Cie, 1842; serial n°9250"
Naïve / Cité de la musique (2010)

"The 1842 grand piano has come down to us in its original condition and still possesses its harmonic strings and its hammers covered with chamois leather."

But even without having delved into the question of the instrument making, I really appreciate what I hear  :)
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on May 24, 2021, 12:16:25 PM
Unfortunately, listening every mazurka one after the other bores me a lot I must admit ...


In fact I can listen to a lot of mazurkas, I can’t explain why, and I remember how surprised I was that they engaged me so much when it happened for the first time (in my car, listening to the first Rubinstein recording!)

 I can’t listen to much more than one nocturne at a time though.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Florestan on May 25, 2021, 05:31:10 AM
I can listen to nothing but Chopin all day long...  :D
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: mabuse on May 25, 2021, 10:19:16 AM
I can listen to nothing but Chopin all day long...  :D

But how many mazurkas or nocturnes in a row, Florestan?

I love Chopin but, personally, after 10 minutes listening to the mazurkas I start to lose patience ... I find it more pleasant to alternate with other pieces.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Florestan on May 25, 2021, 10:29:40 AM
But how many mazurkas or nocturnes in a row, Florestan?

All of them and then some. No kidding.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Brian on May 25, 2021, 10:37:33 AM
I can do 20 minutes or so of nocturnes in a stretch, only 1-2 polonaises or waltzes at a time, the full cycle of preludes easily, but I can absolutely listen to 15-20 mazurkas in a row. A full single CD of them is no problem for me. I think the mazurkas are his best, most interesting, and most varied genre, in general, and they offer the performer the most liberty (although some performers of course use this liberty to go far astray).
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on June 16, 2021, 11:43:04 PM
(https://shop.new-art.nl/assets/image.php?width=290&image=/content/img/new_products/1383326032.jpg)

It’s been around for more than six years but I’ve only just found it. Well recorded. Nils Henrik Asheim uses a square  piano from the 1830s by Collard & Collard, it sounds nice. He makes dances for the soul, not for the feet. I found it cloyed after 10 minutes and I took refuge in Olejniczak, but that’s not just a reflection of the performances.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on October 24, 2021, 09:31:15 AM

(https://direct.rhapsody.com/imageserver/images/Alb.356072566/500x500.jpg)

I think this is worth hearing, his way of articulating the music gives each piece large, bold, noble gestures. I like the weightiness and seriousness of his approach very much, extrovert without being unreflective; personal and expressive without being self indulgent. Nice enough modern piano rather well recorded.

His notes on each mazurka may or may not have some insights. You'll see he waxes particularly lyrical about op 50/3 and he delivers a particularly magnificent performance of this mazurka to boot.

Quote from: Radoslav Kvapil /translation: Jill Nizard: Prague, September 2018
Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op.6, No.2. Composed in Vienna in 1830. This Mazurka is written in ABA form. Section B expresses the greatest simplicity, similar to the simplicity to be found in the Polish national folk songs.

Mazurka in E major, Op.6, No.3. (Vienna 1830) At times, this Mazurka is written similarly to dance music, without the possibility of dancing to it. It is full of exuberance and a continually joyful mood, full of irregular accents. This is something typical of Polish folk dance music. Bars 41 to 48 provide proof that this music is not written to be danced!

 Mazurka in B flat major, Op.7, No.1. (Vienna 1830-31) Very simple music, maestoso until bars 45 to 53 where it then becomes slightly mysterious.

 Mazurka in A minor, Op.7, No.2. (Vienna 1830-31) This Mazurka is very lyrical at the beginning and then becomes dramatic. In bars 42-46, it is more maestoso, before becoming lyrical once again.

Mazurka in F minor, Op.7, No.3. (Vienna 1830-31) This starts with an introduction expressing a mysterious atmosphere during the first eight bars. Then, between bars 41-54, a new mood takes place, which is a very typical dance mood.

Mazurka in C major, Op.7, No.5. (Vienna 1830-31) This is more of a sketch than an actual mazurka, because it has no ending and the music is marked senza fine in the score. This is the reason I joined this Op.7 No.5 to the C major Mazurka, Op.56 No. 2:

Mazurka in C major, Opus 56, No.2. (Paris 1843) This is a very energetic folk dance, but in bars 37-50, it becomes lyrical and poetical, totally unlike the idea of a dance, and continues so between bars 53-78. (Dvorak also composed a Mazurka in C major, Op.56, No.2, which has similar character to Chopin's Mazurka Op.56/2).

 Mazurka in A minor, Op. 17, No.4. (Paris 1832-3) This one is very slow and it uses notes formed by irregular groups of ornamentation, following a similar method using ornaments to be found in many of his works, notably in his Piano Concerto No.2 in the second movement.


Mazurka in C major, Op.24, No.2. (Paris 1834-35) This starts as an improvisation, which announces a very dazzling melody. Bars 21 and 30, demonstrate the way Chopin improvises. Here, he repeats the same melody four times with ingenious small changes. At the end of the Mazurka, he returns to the opening improvisation.

Mazurka in D flat major, Op.30, No.3. (Paris 1836-37) This could be music pathetique like Beethoven's or Liszt's music, but Chopin, with his use of brutal dynamic changes, where he jumps regularly from fortissimo to pianissimo, creates a totally different character.

Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op.30, No.4. (Paris 1836-37) I consider this to be one of Chopin's finest Mazurkas. After four bars of introduction, which correspond to a slightly mysterious opening, the Mazurka continues as an energetic dance. Chopin then destroys the regular form ABA, because in bars 65-96, he suddenly adds a new idea, in which he expresses his great love of the Polish Nation. We then later find the same idea of the love of one's Nation, in the middle section of the Polka in F major in Smetana's Czech Dances. After bar 133, comes quite an extraordinary ending, in which the three bars 137-140 resemble Schumann's Vogel als Prophet (Bird as a Prophet) from his Waldescenen, Op.82.

Mazurka in G sharp minor, Op.33, No.1. (Paris 1837-38) This is one of Chopin's saddest works. In bars 16 to 36, he is trying to escape from his feeling of despair, but this is in vain, and his hopelessness returns.

Mazurka in B minor, Op.33, No.4. (Paris 1837-38) With its 224 bars, this is perhaps Chopin's longest Mazurka. All the main ideas in bars 1-24, 49-64 and 129-175 are brilliant and highly inspired; however, in my opinion, permanent repetition of these ideas destroys the appropriate balance of the work. It would therefore appear that bars 176-192 should have been edited out of a final revision. Chopin would have needed to come back to the main theme in bar 193. But we can rarely find in any of his other works such examples of an inelegant solution as here, with so many bars of music without inspiration.

Mazurka in B major, Op.41, No.3. (Paris 1839) This Mazurka has not the special character of a mazurka. In the first four bars, it starts as a dance, but the whole work expresses brilliant music, more greatly resembling that of a prelude.

Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op.50, No.3. Composed in Paris in 1841-2. This Mazurka is the finest and also the most magnificent. Beginning in polyphonic form, it is similar to a principle to be found in a canon, and it does not resemble a dance. The rhythm of the  Mazurka comes about in bar 17, but not for a long time. Between bars 25 and 32, a dialogue takes place between two independent voices, until bar 33. Then from bars 33-40, there is a reminder of the beginning of the Mazurka. Section B, between bars 41 and 93, leads to a very simple mazurka. Section A returns in bars 94 to133. Then Section C commences, which corresponds to a large coda. Between bars 145 and 172, Chopin proceeds with a considerable amount of work as a composer, in which he goes to great depth by using chromaticisms, which increase the expression very considerably . Everything is aiming to reach the summit of the work in bars 173-179, which he then attains. In making comparisons to this Mazurka, it is interesting to see how Bedrich Smetana, in his work Poetic Polkas Op.8 No.2, adopts the main ideas of this Mazurka, even if his music is totally different. His poetic beginning is not like a dance. Then an energetic dance, in this case, a polka, takes place from bar 10, but not for long, and a dialogue then happens between two independent voices. Then there is a reminder of the first nine bars of the beginning. Such a similarity between these two works leads one to ask oneself if Smetana already knew Chopin's Mazurka Op.50 No.3 when he composed his work Poetic Polkas Op.8 No.2, or whether he composed it in such a way unconsciously.

Mazurka in A flat major, Op.59, No.2. Composed in 1845 in Paris. Beginning in piano dolce, it is presented in forte grandioso in bars 23 to 43. Section B (bars 45 to 68) is not dance-like. The mood increases in expression, aiming to return to the main theme from bar 69. Between bars 82-88, Chopin resorts to improvisation, in which the fingers glide along the keyboard in that usual manner. The real coda starts in bar 89. Then, between bars 108 and 109, a new, fairly rapid improvisation takes place once again.

Mazurka in F minor, Op.63, No.2. Composed in 1846 in Paris. This was one of Chopin's last Mazurkas, which he both composed and published himself. It evokes great simplicity and yet also a deep feeling of sadness.

Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op.63, No.3. Composed in Paris in Autumn 1846. This is one of the last Mazurkas Chopin to be composed and also published. It presents an indecisive atmosphere, in which Chopin is searching for a solution, which he continues to search in a repeat, and which, he is, once again, unable to find, once again ending indecisively. After bar 33 and until bar 46, he is permanently changing the mood, searching for new solutions, which he appears to have then found. However, immediately afterwards, he returns once again to Section A, looking for yet another solution, which he appears to have found in bar 64, where he then leaves
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this indecisive mood by resorting to somewhat complicated polyphony, enabling hin to find a final solution in bars 77 and 78.

Mazurka in G minor, Op.67, No.2. Chopin composed this work in 1849, in Paris.

Mazurka in A minor, Op.67, No.4. Chopin composed this Mazurka in 1846, in Paris.

Mazurka in C major, Op.68, No.1. Chopin composed this Mazurka in 1829, in Warsaw. These three above were all published posthumously by Julius Fontana in Paris, in 1855.

Mazurka in A minor, Op.68, No.2. Chopin composed this Mazurka in 1827 in Warsaw. It was later also published as a posthumous work by Julius Fontana in Paris, in 1855. This well-known Mazurka is what is commonly known as the Rossignol. The wide popularity of this work is derived from the great poetry it expresses.

Mazurka in F major, Op.68, No.3. Chopin composed this Mazurka in 1829 in Warsaw. It was published as a posthumous work by Julius Fontana in Paris in 1855. This Mazurka however belongs to Chopin's early works. Here the Mazurka has a slightly festive character and it has a possible characteristic which can typically be found in a Polonaise. Its middle section is poco piu vivo, and bars 33-44 provide a very different mood from the one in the other parts. The same sparkling character also appears both in Op.7 No.1 and in Op.6 No.2, enabling Chopin to create both a new dimension and a new mood.

Mazurka in F minor, Op.68, No.4. Chopin composed this Mazurka in Paris in 1849. It was later also published posthumously by Julius Fontana in Paris, in 1855. This is the final Mazurka Chopin composed before his death in October 1849. This one is deeply poetical. By adding the words ad infinitum to the end of this composition, Chopin expresses his farewell to life. Only some of Schubert's final Lieder are able similarly to describe the precise moment at which human life is about to end. Mazurka in B flat major, which Chopin composed in Warsaw in 1825, might have been his first ever mazurka. It was published in Warsaw in 1826.




Back to this. Why not? Certainly a special recording and my comment 2.5 years ago about seriousness and lightness seems pretty perceptive, though I say so myself. Sounds good too.

However - there’s a health warning. There is absolutely no sense of the dance, despite the pic on the cover. That being said, here comes another health warning - I have no idea what a mazurka dance looks and feels like!
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Todd on October 24, 2021, 11:32:30 AM
...although some performers of course use this liberty to go far astray


And bless those who do.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: George on October 27, 2021, 04:57:37 PM

And bless those who do.

Indeed.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on November 01, 2021, 10:38:25 PM
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/A1eVUjxDoQL._SL1500_.jpg)

Worth hearing, this one, I think, for the piano of course, an 1853 Pleyel very nicely restored, but also for the rhythms - which in Tatiana Larionova’s hands seem complicated and natural at the same time. I like it, I hope she does a release with the rest.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: hvbias on November 14, 2021, 11:47:42 AM
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/A1eVUjxDoQL._SL1500_.jpg)

Worth hearing, this one, I think, for the piano of course, an 1853 Pleyel very nicely restored, but also for the rhythms - which in Tatiana Larionova’s hands seem complicated and natural at the same time. I like it, I hope she does a release with the rest.

Have you ever heard Russell Sherman play the Mazurkas? I think you would find it very unique. Listened to half of disc 1 (Op. 30, 33, 41) in with some of Feldman's first SQ and it was  a nice accidental pairing. Sherman plays the Mazurkas like Nocturnes, he downplays dynamic markings. Of course many other more madening things about them, but I can say I won't mind them in small doses.
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: Mandryka on November 14, 2021, 09:08:46 PM
Have you ever heard Russell Sherman play the Mazurkas? I think you would find it very unique. Listened to half of disc 1 (Op. 30, 33, 41) in with some of Feldman's first SQ and it was  a nice accidental pairing. Sherman plays the Mazurkas like Nocturnes, he downplays dynamic markings. Of course many other more madening things about them, but I can say I won't mind them in small doses.

Yes when it first came out and I took against it, maybe unfairly. I’ll try again
Title: Re: Chopin's mazurkas
Post by: hvbias on November 15, 2021, 03:43:18 PM
Yes when it first came out and I took against it, maybe unfairly. I’ll try again

He has really good liner notes as well; shockingly lucid for Sherman ;D I'll write out some of these later in the week, some of his insights are spot on. As usual he seems to consider the music quite deeply even if what ends up on disc offends people.