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#981284 - 07/07/08 09:06 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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This is quite sweet:

Chopin\'s birthplace

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#981285 - 07/08/08 08:21 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Thank you, MaryRose: It was quite lovely. His birthplace looks as if it has been lovingly taken care of. Not always the case with so many other historical sites, I know it is a tourist place and probably brings in a lot of money, but still it is great to see it has been honored in such a way.

Now please refresh my memory (as it is becoming non-existent), did he move from there when he was still an infant (4 months seems to stick in my mind)? Also is the apartment in Warsaw kept up and also open to the public?

Of course, from your posted video, I played several others from that page. The Girl's (or Maiden's Wish) was charming, and I have the music for it.

And the good news (for me, at least) is that my frustration at not being able to play the C# m nocturne has prompted me to go back to regular lessons. I've come to realize (after all these years) that it is not enough to be able to play the notes correctly with some dynamics. There is a technique that is essential to bring out the full passion of his music. So, off I go to lessons (once again). I am so grateful that my teacher is so kind and understanding.

Thanks again, MaryRose, and I hope all is well with you.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#981286 - 07/08/08 07:56 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Good Grief:

How time does fly.

Our wonderful Herhsey will be 40 tomorrow! Just last year he was relieved that he made it through Gershwin but was going to be entering into Chopin's last year. Well, he made it.

As a birthday treat to any of you who would like to see what Hershey looks like in "person," here is a site where a rabbi is interviewing Hershey about his role as Gershwin. There are a few brief clips of other things before you get to the main part. But if you can, hold on...you should hear him play "Embracable You."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKMpMYvCRVE wow

And there are some live scenes of the play also.

Have a very happy and well-deserved birthday, Hershey. Keep well.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#981287 - 07/08/08 09:14 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Incredible how Gershwin like, and un Chopin like, Hershey looks in this! Thanks Kathleen.

Happy Birthday Hershey, and may you have many happy returns of the day. xx

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#981288 - 07/09/08 08:12 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I'm so happy that you took the time to look at the clip, MaryRose. Yes, he does look like Gershwin.

I know that I do go on about him perhaps too often, but this man made possible an experience that could never be dreamed of let alone realized. His fans number in the thousands, I am sure...and justly so. Yet he has that charming quality that makes you feel you are very important to him. Although I know this can't possibly be true, it just makes him more dear to me. Sorry, everyone...I know you are all probably yawn ing.

Well enough.

On another note, I read in another post (in the final quotes so many people have) the following: "I am a revolutionary; money means nothing to me." This was attributed to Chopin. Now I have read his book of letters and several other biographies but have never come across this. I'm not saying it isn't true, but we all know that money was important to Chopin not to amass but simply to live. And I believe I read that he had no real sympathy for the Revolution taking place in France. He did have somewhat of an elitist attitude toward the whole thing and did believe in the ruling class, BUT he also believed that people should be treated fairly and with compassion.

Well, now I hope to hear from you "eggheads," (and I use this term with heart ) on the subject. I have often stated I am far from an expert on the subject of Chopin, and, of course, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So I await your replies.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#981289 - 07/09/08 08:40 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Re "Revolutionary" --I've never come across that statement either, Kathleen, and I've often wondered the same thing.


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#981290 - 07/09/08 10:33 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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The origin of that "revolutionary" quotation is apparently Arthur Hedley's biography:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Frederic_Chopin

I don't have a copy of the book, so I can't check if Hedley mentions his source.

I wonder what the context of the statement was, as it seems, on its face, to be so out of character for Chopin—both in describing himself as a revolutionary and having a cavalier attitude toward money.

Chopin did have a sense of humor, though, and I have a feeling that it must have been said with complete irony. If that were the case, it's awfully misleading to lift it out of its humorous context!

Hehe, just this egghead's two cents! wink

Steven

#981291 - 07/09/08 10:40 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I don't know the context either but I can't help but wonder if he meant that he was a musical revolutionary (which is surely true) and that he was less concerned with whether his compositions sold a lot of copies than if it expressed his revolutionary ideas about music. This is just a conjecture on my part-- no proof but it might make sense. It is clear, though, that he was very concerned about maintaining a certain lifestyle and keeping up appearances, and needed money to do that..

Steven, I also like your idea of it being said ironically! that would fit too!

Sophia

#981292 - 07/09/08 10:58 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I know Chopin gave a lot of free private performances at the Hotel Lambert (the site of the Polish Revolutionary Government in exile in Paris) that theoretically benefited the Polish cause, aided refugees and the like. Possibly the "Revolutionary" business may have been a spoken remark made in reference to that. It's definitely not from his letters.


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#981293 - 07/09/08 11:09 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Thank you, dear eggheads (I must find a different word) smile

Even if the quote was in Hedley's book, it doesn't necessarily mean it's accurate. I use "Chopin Letters" and the book "Chopin: Piano and Teacher" as my bibles, so to speak. I believe in primary sources. After reading so many conflicting "facts" about Chopin from so many authors, I tend not to put much credence into any of them.

Steven: You do have a point in that it might have been an ironic statement, knowing a bit about Chopin's sense of humor.

Sophial: I never got the impression that Chopin set out to be a revolutionary composer. By that I mean I don't think he sat down one day and said to himself: "Now I am going to create something that is truly different and before its time." I believe he just composed what was in his head and heart.

Where did Hedley get this quotation is what I'd like to know.

But I love this quotation from Oscar Wilde:

After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own."
Oscar Wilde, 1891

Thanks all,
Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#981294 - 07/09/08 03:59 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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It's difficult to imagine Chopin saying that "revolutionary" line, but I suppose stranger things have happened.

Even if he had not had a socially conservative bent, Chopin would still have needed wealthy customers for sheer survival.

One useful thing about this Wiki article is that if you click on the photo of him to enlarge it, you get a much clearer view than is usual in most reproductions. And the suffering is palpable.

By the way, I think of myself not as an egghead, but as a nerd.

Elene
(Music Nerd and Elitist Intellectual)

#981295 - 07/09/08 04:24 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Quote
Originally posted by Elene:
By the way, I think of myself not as an egghead, but as a nerd.

Elene
(Music Nerd and Elitist Intellectual)
And I'm just an obsessive/compulsive with the bit between my teeth. wink


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#981296 - 07/09/08 04:56 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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It was suggested recently in another thread that the terms nerd and geek aren't au courant, but I think they're timeless—and either one works for me!

What about "poindexter"? That's not something you hear every day! laugh

Steven

#981297 - 07/09/08 05:31 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Elene: You are so right about the photo really showing the extent of Chopin's illness. His lips, especially, show that he had a breathing problem. I know Frycek can point out additional details.

Steven: Maybe the reason why those terms (nerd and geek) aren't in use so much nowadays is because we have so few of them. laugh Boy, I thought Poindexter was a real name! confused

Frycek: That obsessive/compulsiveness almost disappears by the age of 65 or so. It just gets up and goes because the energy to maintain it is sorely lacking. And that bit has become very rusty as a result. wink

We've all heard of brainiacs....what about Chopiniacs? :p Pronounced: Sho PAN ee acks!

I think I like it.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#981298 - 07/09/08 07:46 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Does anyone know if Chopin ever visited Versailles? Again, I don't recall reading about the possibility.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#981299 - 07/10/08 03:58 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I've never heard a specific reference to Chopin visiting Versailles, but it seems likely that he would have done so at some point.

I think of nerds as more socially competent than geeks, but I have no idea whether that is an official distinction or not. That is, you'd be more likely to want to date a nerd than a geek. But both are intellectuals who are full of specialized knowlege.

Could Chopin have been considered a nerd? Too stylish and popular, perhaps.

I had never thought of Wilde as playing the piano, but there's no reason he wouldn't have, I guess.

Elene

#981300 - 07/10/08 08:15 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Elene:

Considering that Oscar Wilde came from such an affluent family, it seems reasonable that he may have taken piano lessons at some time or another.

When I was in high school (an eon ago), I would have been happy to date either a nerd or a geek because I was afraid of the "hoods" (ala "Grease"), and the "big men on campus" were dating the cheerleaders or the prom queens, and the regular guys wouldn't have given me a second look, make that a first look.

Chopin had so many friends and good acquaintances that I believe he would fit into that "big men on campus" category. He was quite selective in his choices and most, even all, were people who were either artists like himself or his fellow countrymen. Throw in a few very rich people also.

I decided upon another piece to learn. I got 1/3 of the way through the E minor nocturne, Op. 72, #1 and decided that that LH with the broken chords was going to be my downfall, at least for a while.

So I went looking for another grade 7 piece and came across the soulful (aren't they all?) nocturne in G minor, Op. 37, #1. It doesn't have any broken chords in the LH (hurray) and is quite lovely. But when I read Bailie's decription of it, and I quote: "This is one of the easier (should be easiest, tsk, tsk) Nocturnes.... Unforunately, it is also one of the least lovable. Chopin seems merely to be 'going through the motions here...'" it lead me to believe that this woman has a tin ear.

Here is a a young man playing it quite well, I think.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=EUexH3aijy4


Which raises another point to ponder. I know not all Chopin's works are masterpieces, but I can't think of him as ever going through the motions. Even when he was quite ill or in a hurry to compose something for his publishers, I do believe he took as much care as was humanly possible with everything he wrote (considering the cirumstances at the time).

What do you think?

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#981301 - 07/11/08 11:17 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
I know not all Chopin's works are masterpieces, but I can't think of him as ever going through the motions. Even when he was quite ill or in a hurry to compose something for his publishers, I do believe he took as much care as was humanly possible with everything he wrote (considering the cirumstances at the time).

What do you think?
When I first read this, nothing at all came to mind. (After all, I love even the Sonata Op. 4!)

I was startled when, in a thread called Gem piano pieces , the OP mentioned the Rondo Op. 16. I didn't know anyone thought of it that way; I realized that (for me, anyway) this piece probably comes closest to "going through the motions"—though maybe I just missing something there. (I do like the Rondos Op. 1 and Op. 5, after all.)

Of everything published in Chopin's lifetime (it doesn't seem fair to include posthumous pieces in this discussion), I think the Variations Op. 12 are pretty insubstantial, too.

Still, I do believe Chopin "took as much care as was humanly possible with everything he wrote"—even the pieces that seem to have less to say musically—so maybe even those cannot qualify as merely going through the motions according to this definition.

BTW, Kathleen: I'm sorry that you've set aside the Op. 72 Nocturne, but I feared it might happen when I read your "left foot" post in the Teachers' Forum. As you've described regulation issues with your piano, I wonder how much that's a factor in limiting your dynamic control. (It might not be technique-related at all, so don't be too hard on yourself!)

Steven

#981302 - 07/11/08 11:43 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Hi Steven:

Thanks for your kind words about my technique. I do have to admit that my piano (the grand) does mess me up (for what of a better phrase) many times. It seems the spaces between the keys are getting wider (is that possible?), and I often get the tips of my fingernails (and they are not long) caught, which certainly doesn't help while trying to perform a 35 note run.

Whereas on my digital, I am able to perform wonderful trills and the runs come much easier.

I did not want to give up on the Op. 72 nocturne (I hate giving up on anything...stubborn, I guess). I plan on returning to it in a month or so.

Also, I am ashamed to admit that I've never listened to Chopin's rondos or variations. I will put them on my iPod today.

Would you believe (horrors!) that I am just polishing a New Age piece that was originally played by Monica a few recitals ago? It's called "Overcome" by David Nevue. It is ALL broken chords in both hands, over and over and over again. I thought it quite lovely when I first heard it, and I still like it. But compared to ANY Chopin piece, it's fluff. Funny, but everytime I practice it, my husband finds some excuse to interupt me (he never does otherwise). But it's good practice for legato.

I heard another New Age piece called "Lilium." I think it's from a series of video games. I'd like to get the music for that one. It is quite haunting.

My best to you, Steven. I hope all is going well.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#981303 - 07/12/08 12:08 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Kathleen wrote:
Sophial: I never got the impression that Chopin set out to be a revolutionary composer. By that I mean I don't think he sat down one day and said to himself: "Now I am going to create something that is truly different and before its time." I believe he just composed what was in his head and heart.


While that may be quite true, I do think he recognized that what he was composing from his head and heart was a departure in many ways from the past, although it of course was informed by those composers he deeply loved and admired such as Bach and Mozart.

On the other hand, it would be wonderful if he meant it as a joke too-- a bit of irony at his own expense, tossed off lightly, perhaps.

On a totally different note, have any of you read "Genius of the Piano" by Alan Kogosowski? if so what do you think of it?

Sophia

#981304 - 07/13/08 08:39 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Hi Sophial:

You may be quite correct in assuming that Chopin knew his music was different from the rest. Perhaps it was because he was so different from the rest. Who knows?

And yes, that statement could have very well been a sarcastic one.

I haven't read the book by Kogosowski. I doubt if our library has it, but I'll try to find it on Amazon.

Thanks,
Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#981305 - 07/13/08 02:35 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I searched Amazon using both the title and the author's name, but couldn't find that specific book. Is it about Chopin?

#981306 - 07/13/08 02:44 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Yes, it's about Chopin and in particular the Etudes. I came across it online but can't seem to find the link now.. I'll keep trying.


Sophia

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#981308 - 07/13/08 04:09 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Thanks, Sophia: The clips were very entertaining, and it appears that I dowloaded an exerpt of 132 pages!

One thing I have to question. He said that that pounding octave section of the Heroic Polonaise was supposed to represent the Polish cavalry coming from a distance with a trumpet (or horn) heard above it all. Mr, Kogosowski said that Chopin actually composed this music to represent this.

Now, I am not saying he is wrong, but I've never read anything to support this. Although I must admit one could certainly hear that image.

Any comments?

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#981309 - 07/13/08 04:21 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Elene:

I decided upon another piece to learn. I got 1/3 of the way through the E minor nocturne, Op. 72, #1 and decided that that LH with the broken chords was going to be my downfall, at least for a while.


Here is a a young man playing it quite well, I think.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=EUexH3aijy4
When you learn it, try improvising a melody over the chords in the middle section, it's a lot of fun haha.

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Elene:
Which raises another point to ponder. I know not all Chopin's works are masterpieces, but I can't think of him as ever going through the motions. Even when he was quite ill or in a hurry to compose something for his publishers, I do believe he took as much care as was humanly possible with everything he wrote (considering the cirumstances at the time).

What do you think?

Kathleen
"He would lock himself up in his room for whole days, weeping, pacing back and forth, breaking his pens, repeating or changing one bar a hundred times, writing and erasing as many times, and beginning again the next day with an infinite and desperate perseverance. He sometimes spent six weeks on one page, only in the end to write it exactly as he had sketched at the first draft."

-George Sand

It might be this only applies to his larger ballades, scherzos, or concertos, but I have a feeling it doesn't. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.


"I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well."

J.S. Bach
#981310 - 07/13/08 10:41 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Quote
Originally posted by Cheeto717:
When you learn it, try improvising a melody over the chords in the middle section, it's a lot of fun haha.
Cheeto717,

I'm intrigued by this comment. When you refer to the middle section, where specifically do you mean? (A number of Chopin's Nocturnes have an ABA structure, but the Op. 72 doesn't—so I'm confused.)

Steven

Edit: Oops, never mind! I just played the YouTube video in the link and realized you were referring to 37/1.

#981311 - 07/14/08 03:30 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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The Sand quote about Chopin spending six weeks on one page, etc., is from her "Histoire de ma vie," and like the rest of that work, may or may not reflect reality. I expect there was some truth to it, maybe a lot of truth, but there's likely to be exaggeration. Just take it with a spoonful of salt, anyway.

Elene

#981312 - 07/14/08 08:29 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,696
loveschopintoomuch Offline
4000 Post Club Member
loveschopintoomuch  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,696
Illinois
Hi Cheeto:

And welcome...you are new to this thread...yes? no? confused

Anyhow, thank you so much for posting that nocturne. It has convinced me that this is the one I should learn next. I loved the tempo the young man used; it's exactly the speed that I would employ. I do slow really well. laugh Some might say it is a bit languid, but I believe it brings out the beauty and haunting (I MUST find another word) quality of the piece. That middle section is quite different. It reminds me of either a very slow mazurka or a very short polonaise. At any rate, I adore it.

There is no doubt that Chopin was a perfectionist, and I can very well imagine his locking himself up in his room for days trying to capture just the perfect note or measure. It doesn't necessarily mean he did this for just the big pieces, for so many of his small ones are quite intricate in nature. I think I mentioned this before, but his genius didn't always come easily; a fact that is endearing to many of us.

I wonder if Mozart, for whom it is said could see a whole symphony in his head, went through such angst. We've all seen Amadeus, and it would appear that he didn't. Beethoven, yes...perhaps. I don't have a clue about Bach though.

Elene: You are so right about Sand. But her quote posted here, is quite believable.

A glorious day for us here in the Midwest, so I guess I had better go out and weed! Ugh!

Pleae post more, Cheeto.

Kathleen


After playing Chopin, I feel as if I had been weeping over sins that I had never committed, and mourning over tragedies that were not my own." Oscar Wilde, 1891
#981313 - 07/14/08 10:39 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,546
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member
sophial  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,546
US
Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Thanks, Sophia: The clips were very entertaining, and it appears that I dowloaded an exerpt of 132 pages!

One thing I have to question. He said that that pounding octave section of the Heroic Polonaise was supposed to represent the Polish cavalry coming from a distance with a trumpet (or horn) heard above it all. Mr, Kogosowski said that Chopin actually composed this music to represent this.

Now, I am not saying he is wrong, but I've never read anything to support this. Although I must admit one could certainly hear that image.

Any comments?

Kathleen
Hi Kathleen,

I'm not sure either. Is there anything in his letters to support it?

Sophia

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