.....Mine is the Chopin Barcarolle. Every time I play it, it stirs me a little more. I remember sneaking into the living room at night to listen to Rubinstein's recording on headphones. I won the high school talent show playing it. I spent many evenings with my mother listening raptly as I recited it, and I performed the piece in public about a dozen times. But above all, it has a combination of generosity and tenderness that really speaks to me. It's a piece that lasts a lifetime.
Beautiful, and beautifully said. And this piece would be my #1 too. And my close-2nd would be another piece of yours, the F# minor Polonaise. It's a little funny (don't you think?)
that our musical loves coincide so exactly, because our ideas about how to actually play pieces don't seem to coincide that much. Just goes to show something or other.
I actually had sort of the same thing with my long-time teacher, Seymour Bernstein. We loved all the same music, but often had very different ideas about what to do with pieces. Yet, the pianist who had been "closest to my heart," Alexander Brailowsky, and whose approaches I identified with very strongly, had been his teacher!! I didn't find this out till after I began studying with him, and it seemed like the most ironic thing imaginable, especially since I had consoled myself with the idea that Seymour just doesn't appreciate the approach of someone like Brailowsky -- and it turned out that he had studied with him; in fact he had been Brailowsky's only
student. But the really funny thing is, the whole thing turned out not to be that ironic after all, because although they worked together, indeed they were very much yin-and-yang on their approaches. So my first thought was sort of right.
Sorry for the digression.
And maybe because I love the Barcarolle so much, I apparently play it lousy, maybe because it makes me not open enough to input. I'm planning on playing it in the 1st round of the amateur Chopin competition. My wife is begging me not to.