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#366914 - 06/06/01 08:50 PM Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
Joined: May 2001
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Brendan Offline
Brendan  Offline


Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,729
McAllen, TX
I just listened to her chamber recital and her semifinal round solo. The chamber music was some of the most exquisite that I've heard at this competition - she really is an excellent ensemble player and shapes everything quite well.

As for her Chopin, I have to admit that I really, really like it. To me, her use of rubato is very well done, her tone is nice and expressive, and she sings everything so well. I really don't understand why she didn't make it to the finals. I guess that this time around there is a predilection for bangy Russian-school playing, which she is obviously far removed from.

Basically, after listening, I wanted to go and learn the set.

The unfortunate tragedy of competitions is that too frequently they pick a middle-of-the-road player and ignore an artist like her. Just my .02

Brendan

[ June 06, 2001: Message edited by: Brendan ]

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#366915 - 06/06/01 09:46 PM Re: Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
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Dan Offline
Dan  Offline


Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,031
Colorado
Hmmm, so maybe I need to queue up her recital again and take a 2nd listen. This time I'll listen to the entire solo work, instead of just hunting down the Chopin. Of her Chopin, it was #4 that most disappointed me. That is the one I'm most familiar with, and I simply didn't care for her expression, and I felt she played it much too fast. But, who knows, maybe I simply had excess wax in my ears or something, so I'll try again. Or, MAYBE (here's a revelation), I should try to imitate her Chopin style! Got to give that thought time to gestate for sure...

You'll also like her preliminary performance when you get around to listening to it.

I finished listening to Ioudenitch's Preliminary and recital today. He plays very well BUT, none of what he played really turned my crank. It was enjoyable and excellent, but it didn't speak to me. I know Ryan's really high on him, so I queued him up for this afternoon.

I wonder how long the archive performances will be available for listening? I've already tried to record them onto my PC, but couldn't get it done.

Thanks again for sharing your opinion on Alessandra's playing.

Regards,
Dan

#366916 - 06/06/01 10:38 PM Re: Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
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Brendan Offline
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Allegedly, they will be archived until the next VC, so there's no rush if this is the case.

Yeah, I agree with you about #4...it did seem a little rushed, bu some of the other ones were really quite well rendered.

#366917 - 06/07/01 04:26 PM Re: Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
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ryan Offline
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ryan  Offline
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I have to agree with Brendan's comments about Alessandra's Chopin. Her preludes have substance, and sound more "masculine" (if that makes sense) to me than some, which I really like. I thought the performance was thoroughly enjoyable. I also liked the tempo of #4 - I thought it fit well in the context of the entire set. Often a performer will play a piece differently by itself than they would when playing it as part of a larger set. In this instance, the performer may have felt that playing #4 too slowly would give it too much emphasis and cause the work to drag, losing it's character of quickly shifting moods. Just a theory smile

[ June 07, 2001: Message edited by: ryan ]

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#366918 - 06/07/01 04:51 PM Re: Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
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Alex Offline
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Alex  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 116
Plano, tx
Ryan,

I think you're right about changing the tempo when you perform them as a group. However, I really wonder if Chopin envisioned them played as a group. Same for the etudes. It's too much for me.

#366919 - 06/07/01 05:27 PM Re: Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
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ryan Offline
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ryan  Offline
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Colorado
Alex,

I like the preludes and etudes as a set, but I don't think there is any requirement to play them as a set or to play the entire set. Actually, of the three, the preludes are my favorite to listen to as a complete set. I imagine that Chopin expected the performer to pick and choose, which doesn't preclude picking and choosing the entire set wink

After listening to Alessandra's first round performance now, I'm with Brendan - I wonder why she missed the finals. Her Gaspard is among the best I've heard, especially Scarbo, which set my teeth on edge...

Ryan

#366920 - 06/07/01 05:28 PM Re: Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
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ryan Offline
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ryan  Offline
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Colorado
Darn, I'm still only a "Junior" member. Looks like you are one post from becoming a "member" member, Alex...

#366921 - 06/07/01 06:03 PM Re: Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
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Alex Offline
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Alex  Offline
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Plano, tx
Ryan,

Well, since I'm only one post away I might as well just bite the bullet and go ahead. Besides, I will be willing to bet that you beat me to senior member.

I understand what you're saying in that if you pick and choose, you can pick and choose all. I just wonder if Chopin planned them that way -- if he took into account how they would flow as a set.

#366922 - 06/08/01 12:43 AM Re: Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
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Brendan Offline
Brendan  Offline


Joined: May 2001
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McAllen, TX
It's an interesting idea, either way. Some of them work well as individual pieces, but to get a view of the extremely varied writing, moods, and characters that Chopin accomplishes in the preludes (which is really amazing) is really one that can only be heard in a complete performance.

The etudes, I feel are a little bit less successful from this perspective. I do remember reading, though, that in op. 10 there are five or so etudes where the last note of the previous is the starting note of the next (I think it was 5-6-7-8-9 that were linked in this manner...). Maybe it's because we're all used to hearing them as individual or coupled concert pieces, and not as a group, but I honestly don't think that I could sit through an entire performance of op. 10.

There's also that thing about etudes being etudes. We all like to say that Chopin etudes are more than etudes, but really...be honest, it's pretty blatant. The preludes, I feel, are much more genuine in their expression and don't put the cart before the horse in terms of technique.

On related note, it's interesting to observe that Chopin didn't write etudes in all keys, but the keys that he missed in op. 10 and op. 25, he kind of filled in with some of the preludes:

G major - l.h running notes
F# minor - cross rhythms, billions of notes
G minor - l.h octaves
B-flat minor - running notes
D minor - l.h. arpeggiation, scales, and thirds
D major - hands together passage work

Does anyone think that this was a conscious choice Chopin made, or could it just be coincidence?

Brendan

#366923 - 06/08/01 10:33 AM Re: Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
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ryan Offline
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ryan  Offline
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Alex, you raised an interesting question. I tend to agree with Brendan that the Preludes work better than either set of Etudes. I personally like Op. 10 better than Op. 25. I do think that Chopin made a conscious choice about what to include in each set and the order of each piece within the set, but I think you can make the best case for the Preludes.

There is evidence that Chopin pushed off a number of etudes that he wrote at the same time as the Op. 10 Etudes which he later included in Op. 25. Likewise there were apparently a number of etudes that he did not publish with Op. 25, but included in Op. 28 along with other fragments. There is evidence to show that he spent some time and effort constructing this set, working out the order and writing in-between preludes where necessary.

I am not sure that I am effectively saying what I want here - maybe I should have had this cup of coffee first! smile I do believe that Chopin consciously chose the ordering of the Etudes and Preludes so that they flowed as a set. Whether or not he succeeded is another question that is up to the listener to answer. Personally, I enjoy listening to these sets played straight through, and would love to hear them performed in concert some day. smile

Ryan

#366924 - 06/08/01 02:14 PM Re: Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
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Alex Offline
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Alex  Offline
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Plano, tx
In many ways, we are saying the same thing. I do like Brendan's analysis of the Preludes filling in the Etudes. Certainly, the op. 25 etudes on the whole sound a great deal more "etudier" than the op. 10 set. I guess if I had to hear a set in a row, believe it or not, I would pick op. 10. This may be blasphemy but I don't care for a whole bunch of the Preludes. That's probably why I can't envision having to listen to them as a set. And no way would I ever attempt to learn them all. Just one humble man's opinion.

#366925 - 06/08/01 03:29 PM Re: Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
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ryan Offline
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ryan  Offline
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I think you are correct, we are pretty much saying the same things. I also liked Brendan's point about the "missing" etudes showing up in the preludes.

For me it's pretty much a tie between Op. 10 and Op. 28, with Op. 28 getting a slight nod. You put it well, though, Op. 25 does sound "etudier".

#366926 - 06/08/01 04:09 PM Re: Dan - Allesandra's Chopin  
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ryan Offline
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Hey, I'm now a Member member!


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