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a question for Chopin buffs
#1892187 05/06/12 10:32 AM
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Did Chopin ever have middle-eastern influence? I listen to the middle section of the nocturne op15 no2 and the two hand melodic section of the finale of the 1st concerto and I can't help but hear middle eastern/indian influence. Can anyone confirm this?

Re: a question for Chopin buffs
nocturne152 #1892195 05/06/12 10:45 AM
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Remember that Chopin was Polish. There is so much information on the internet and in libraries about the music of different countries and nationalities. I think you might find it interesting and exciting to explore Polish music. You could then confirm what influences you hear for yourself.


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Re: a question for Chopin buffs
nocturne152 #1892266 05/06/12 12:48 PM
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....and what about the last theme of the mazurka in Bb major, Op. 7 #1?

(At 1:30 on here:)



That has always struck me as "middle eastern." If there was any such effect, though, I think it was very indirect.

Re: a question for Chopin buffs
nocturne152 #1892446 05/06/12 05:31 PM
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I don't know about "middle-eastern," but I can see your point. A lot of eastern european music uses a similar harmonic language as some middle eastern (and turkish) music.

I've always thought the grace note section right in the middle of his Fourth Ballade (right after he restates the intro) is absolutely stunning and "middle-eastern" sounding, or at least has a Spanish tinge:

Fourth Ballade part

Re: a question for Chopin buffs
didyougethathing #1892478 05/06/12 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by didyougethathing
....I've always thought the grace note section right in the middle of his Fourth Ballade (right after he restates the intro) is absolutely stunning and "middle-eastern" sounding, or at least has a Spanish tinge:

Fourth Ballade part

I agree that this part sure sounds exotic in some way or other.

And the part that follows seems (as I hinted before on another thread, but nobody got it) smile "Oriental."

Re: a question for Chopin buffs
Mark_C #1892494 05/06/12 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
....and what about the last theme of the mazurka in Bb major, Op. 7 #1?

(At 1:30 on here:)



That has always struck me as "middle eastern." If there was any such effect, though, I think it was very indirect.


My teacher (a Pole himself) described that bit as to be played like an amateur gypsy folk band, and that the melody is very much of gypsy or Polish descent. I remember something about it being like a very amateur double bass in the left hand, who can only do one note on the beat, and the violin who is actually quite skilled with the melody, improvises over the top.

I think it makes sense to be from gypsy roots more than middle eastern, as there are lots of similar-ish melodies in the Liszt rhapsodies.


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Re: a question for Chopin buffs
nocturne152 #1892498 05/06/12 06:53 PM
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I remember reading somewhere that Chopin really was the first great Slavic composer.


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Re: a question for Chopin buffs
Mark_C #1892616 05/06/12 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by didyougethathing
....I've always thought the grace note section right in the middle of his Fourth Ballade (right after he restates the intro) is absolutely stunning and "middle-eastern" sounding, or at least has a Spanish tinge:

Fourth Ballade part

I agree that this part sure sounds exotic in some way or other.

And the part that follows seems (as I hinted before on another thread, but nobody got it) smile "Oriental."


Yes, that is a very "Spanish" part to me because of his initial use of the A Phrygian mode with the raised third, a very common mode in flamenco (and other ethnic musics).

Re: a question for Chopin buffs
nocturne152 #1892686 05/07/12 02:57 AM
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Wow. We've got "middle-eastern", "spanish", and (the best for last) "oriental". Must remember this as it will make for good lunch laughter.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

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Re: a question for Chopin buffs
stores #1892688 05/07/12 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by stores
Wow. We've got "middle-eastern", "spanish", and (the best for last) "oriental". Must remember this as it will make for good lunch laughter.

Another extremely insightful and informative post by our esteemed member. ha

Stores: If you have a meaningful comment about those thoughts, give it. As it is, it looks like you just don't have anything to say. Mockery is a wonderful cover up. Except that it isn't. smile

Re: a question for Chopin buffs
Mark_C #1892691 05/07/12 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by stores
Wow. We've got "middle-eastern", "spanish", and (the best for last) "oriental". Must remember this as it will make for good lunch laughter.

Another extremely insightful and informative post by our esteemed member. ha

Stores: If you have a meaningful comment about those thoughts, give it. As it is, it looks like you just don't have anything to say. Mockery is a wonderful cover up. Except that it isn't. smile


I'm not mocking anyone. Just saying that some friends and I who will be gathering for lunch will have a good laugh about Chopin's middle-eastern/spanish/oriental period. Simmer down.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

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Re: a question for Chopin buffs
stores #1892693 05/07/12 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by stores
I'm not mocking anyone.

You did. You mocked 3 of us.
You outdid your usual self. ha

With that second post that says nothing, I guess you don't realize it but you are indeed making it seem like you're just not able to contribute any meaningful thought to the interesting ideas that have been offered. The mockery is a front, a cover-up, a way to make it seem as though you know better and you're above us. But what you're showing makes it seem almost like the opposite.

Let's see if you can come up with something -- something of insight or depth, something that requires any creative thinking? Try your best, you can do it.
(Maybe.) smile

Re: a question for Chopin buffs
nocturne152 #1892702 05/07/12 03:46 AM
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I've occasionally heard bits in Chopin that sounded Spanish to me (which doesn't necessarily mean Chopin had Spanish influences). Some of the ornamented passages in op.27/2 have a bit of a Flamenco rhythm to my ears; there's something slightly Spanish in the rolled E major chords in the middle of the op.53 Polonaise, especially if you imagine them strummed on a guitar; and I've always heard, in my mind's ear, all of op.10/9 on a Spanish guitar.

I'm sure I had a more musically fulfilling time discussing these vague similarities with friends than others would have laughing at us over lunch.

-J

Re: a question for Chopin buffs
beet31425 #1892721 05/07/12 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
I've occasionally heard bits in Chopin that sounded Spanish to me (which doesn't necessarily mean Chopin had Spanish influences). Some of the ornamented passages in op.27/2 have a bit of a Flamenco rhythm to my ears; there's something slightly Spanish in the rolled E major chords in the middle of the op.53 Polonaise, especially if you imagine them strummed on a guitar; and I've always heard, in my mind's ear, all of op.10/9 on a Spanish guitar.

I'm sure I had a more musically fulfilling time discussing these vague similarities with friends than others would have laughing at us over lunch.



Well, he wrote a Bolero, which is definitely supposed to be Spanish-like, although how well it succeeds is debatable. And your thought about the guitar is good, I think - he himself said that he imagined some of his chords as being strummed on a guitar (which has helped me in interpretation more than once).



Re: a question for Chopin buffs
nocturne152 #1892897 05/07/12 11:28 AM
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I don't know of any direct influence. Chopin never traveled to the "Middle-East" nor wrote about it in his personal letters. However, if you research the heritage of Polish-folk music, you may encounter some influences from Middle Eastern cultures.


"Play Bach constantly. That will be your best means of progress." -F.Chopin
Re: a question for Chopin buffs
kdr152004 #1892902 05/07/12 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by kdr152004
I don't know of any direct influence. Chopin never traveled to the "Middle-East" nor wrote about it in his personal letters. However, if you research the heritage of Polish-folk music, you may encounter some influences from Middle Eastern cultures.

That's certainly what I'd think too, at the most; it's also possible that there wasn't even any indirect influence and it's just an interesting but meaningless semi-resemblance -- I mean meaningless in terms of any nationality, but then maybe even more impressive about the range of Chopin's creativity. And sometimes the resemblance is just in one person's mind -- after all, nobody else thought the part in Chopin's 4th Ballade sounds Chinese. ha

But in any event it does seem like most of us (we who ventured onto this thread) do feel there are 'exotic-like' aspects in Chopin. I don't find them to anywhere near such an extent in other composers of that time or earlier. In Beethoven, for example, the closest thing to exotic that I sense is just "folkish" stuff. Although of course in the later works he seemed to get things from other planets and galaxies, and I suppose we could consider that exotic. grin

P.S. Mozart "Rondo a la Turca"? "Turkish" violin concerto?? Sort of, especially the violin concerto.

(At 4:10, and maybe especially 4:38:)


Re: a question for Chopin buffs
nocturne152 #1892909 05/07/12 11:57 AM
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Were not gypsies of Indian origin? I believe I read that somewhere and don't forget that Europe had the Turks and Beethoven did the Turkish March so perhaps there were indirect associations with some more eastern influences than might be suspected.


Re: a question for Chopin buffs
beet31425 #1892914 05/07/12 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by beet31425
I've occasionally heard bits in Chopin that sounded Spanish to me (which doesn't necessarily mean Chopin had Spanish influences). Some of the ornamented passages in op.27/2 have a bit of a Flamenco rhythm to my ears; there's something slightly Spanish in the rolled E major chords in the middle of the op.53 Polonaise, especially if you imagine them strummed on a guitar; and I've always heard, in my mind's ear, all of op.10/9 on a Spanish guitar.

I'm sure I had a more musically fulfilling time discussing these vague similarities with friends than others would have laughing at us over lunch.

-J


Would you mind posting the measure or linking us to a video with the time (for the polonaise)

Re: a question for Chopin buffs
Varcon #1892916 05/07/12 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Varcon
Were not gypsies of Indian origin? I believe I read that somewhere and don't forget that Europe had the Turks and Beethoven did the Turkish March so perhaps there were indirect associations with some more eastern influences than might be suspected.

Yes -- I recently learned that, from a pre-concert talk.
And since the gypsies had been all over, it would seem to be very possible that they are exactly the 'link' for much or most of the kinds of things we're talking about.

Re: a question for Chopin buffs
Mark_C #1892931 05/07/12 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Varcon
Were not gypsies of Indian origin? I believe I read that somewhere and don't forget that Europe had the Turks and Beethoven did the Turkish March so perhaps there were indirect associations with some more eastern influences than might be suspected.

Yes -- I recently learned that, from a pre-concert talk.
And since the gypsies had been all over, it would seem to be very possible that they are exactly the 'link' for much or most of the kinds of things we're talking about.


Yes, I (sort of) mentioned the influence and similarity in my first post. Same goes for the Hungarian Dances, even though they were a sort of pop music of the day, they still utilize the harmonic minor scales in a very folk music-y way.

As for that other dude, he acts the big shot on a piano forum, what does that say?

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