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#979484 - 06/03/07 09:00 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Compare Argerich's performance of the Bb minor Prelude with Kissin. (You'll find them on YouTube.) They both take it at about the same speed, but where Kissin is all a mad rush of disconnected notes, Argerich forms them into a cogent whole, beautifully illuminating the prelude's structure. Very interesting comparison.


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#979485 - 06/03/07 01:06 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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The conversation about Arthur Rubinstein—whom I adore!—made me recollect that I had a VHS tape stuffed away with a Rubinstein program on it.

It's "Great Performances: Arthur Rubinstein at 90," and I had taped it from a PBS broadcast in Los Angeles shortly after his death. Robert MacNeil interviews him in his home in Paris, and the Grieg and Saint-Saëns #2 are performed in toto with André Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra.

Wow. I hadn't seen this in years, and had forgotten the substance of it. Rubinstein discusses his failed suicide attempt in Berlin at age 20 and his subsequent reawakening; he mentions the Czech singer Emmy Destinn at least twice, crediting her voice as inspiration for the tone of his piano playing.

He was congenial, charming, eloquent and, though English was just one of many foreign languages he spoke, so articulate in a way that would be a credit to a person of any age. His intelligence, and his quiet passion and elegant reserve in the performances of the concertos, showed me anew just what I found so captivating about this man as a teenager.

Wow! Thanks, you guys, for jogging my memory!

3hearts

Steven

#979486 - 06/03/07 01:56 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Quote
Originally posted by argerichfan:
Compare Argerich's performance of the Bb minor Prelude with Kissin. (You'll find them on YouTube.) They both take it at about the same speed, but where Kissin is all a mad rush of disconnected notes, Argerich forms them into a cogent whole, beautifully illuminating the prelude's structure. Very interesting comparison.
So I headed to youtube to see what you are talking about and even before the video is loaded I can read below the flame wars comparing both LOL

and with all the swearing, slang and s*** .. LOL laugh

.. youtube commenters .. the dumbest ever laugh

#979487 - 06/03/07 01:58 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Radio recommendation:
Clara Haskil
plays Chopin Concerto No.2
Conductor: Igor Markevich

They don't play this way anymore.

Highly recommended .. now to go searching for that rec.

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#979488 - 06/04/07 04:53 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Compare Argerich's performance of the Bb minor Prelude with Kissin
So I have, and of course they play very differently - she plays it like a very organic coherent structure its amazing to see how her hands move together like one, he emphasizes the LH and regardless the speed you hear every single note he plays clearly.

Both leaves my breathless - I would not know which to choose, but I think I would have to land on....Chopin wink

Sotto Voce, I think the interview with Rubinstein is the same that I've got on the dvd with the Grieg concert. It really opened my eyes.

Ragnhild


Trying to play the piano:
http://www.box.net/public/dbr23ll03e
#979489 - 06/04/07 06:26 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Hi Ragnhild:

I went searching on You-tube for the performances of the Bb minor by Kissin and Argerich and couldn't find them. confused Could you perhaps give me some directions on where to look?

I am especially interested in comparing the two since Hershey once stated he believes that Kissin has the best technique and would love to see it for myself. Thanks.

Ah...ever the diplomat, when having to make a choice, you choose Chopin. Love it! smile

Regards,
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
#979490 - 06/04/07 06:32 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Steven:

Don't know if you are up to the task, but (as I might have mentioned), I read through Rubinstein's autobiography, in two volumes...about 1,000 pages, several months ago.

It's like reading a history book. He said he never kept a diary. How in the world did he remember all that he did? I can't even remember what I did two days ago!

Anyhow, for a Rubinstein lover, it's a must, if not to own, at least to read. But better make sure your library will give you extra extentions on the date due back. Also...great, so many photos. I think I'll try e-bay to see if I can find the two volumes for cheap!

Happy but very lllllooooooonnnnnnnggggg reading.

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
#979491 - 06/04/07 06:49 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Kathleen, it's the prelude nr 16 wink

Ragnhild


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#979492 - 06/04/07 08:02 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Thanks, Ragnhild. I found and listened to them both, several times. Wow, of course.

But Kissin gets my vote here. Every single note in the RH stood out, loud, bright and clear, yet delicately played. Argerich's rendition was mushy. I don't know if it was the recording or the piano or what. And I loved Kissin's left hand - so powerful, just where it was suppose to be. With Argerich, both hands seemed to have the same importance, and for some reason, I just don't get the impression that she cares too much. It seems all so "ho-hum."

Yikes, now I know I'll get all kinds of flack from this statement. But it's just my opinion and certainly doesn't matter much in the big scheme of things.

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
#979493 - 06/04/07 08:13 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Jeeze! I HAVE to get that index in order. I could not find the final "frozen" performance list of preludes. Plus I have a couple of changes. So here it is, once more!!

1 - Piano Again
2 - Frycek
3 - Peyton (Kawaigirl as backup)
4 - Euan Morrison
5 - Op30no3
6 - Ragnhild
7 - Bassio
8 - Gerg
9 - Stephenc
10 - Op30no3
11 - Op30no3
12 - playadom
13 - MaryRose
14 - Op30no3
15 - NancyM333
16 - Jazzyprof
17 - loveschopintoomuch
18 - Gerg
19 - Op30no3
20 - Mike White (Thalmus)
21 - Pianoagain
22 - Frycek
23 - Gerg
24 - LisztAddict
26 - Sotto Voce
Op 45 - Hershey

Now please let me know if this is right.

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
#979494 - 06/04/07 12:44 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I've decided to let jazzyprof do 28/16. I have a crappy upright that hasn't been tuned in several years combined with a laptop mic. I'm going to save the audience the pain of listening to two horrible recordings.


Practice makes permanent - Perfect practice makes perfect.
#979495 - 06/04/07 02:50 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Thanks, playadom...I'll make the change. I'm almost in the same boat. I do have a laptop mic which is pretty crappy, but my piano is a grand, but with a cracked sound board, and you can hear the vibrating when I try to record. So I have to resort to my Clavinova with a line-in setup. It gives a much better quality, but it doesn't compare with the touch of my grand.

Oh well... Believe me, most of us would not notice any pain since many of us have been experiencing a lot of it lately while learning our preludes (I should just speak for myself).

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
#979496 - 06/05/07 11:33 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I thought I'd tell you all about the lovely time I had on Sunday afternoon. I found myself sitting on the terrace of a beautiful 200-year-old mansion, iced wine on the table, lush lawns stretching out behind, perfume of roses, an elderly dog pottering about nearby. Through the open doors came the sounds of Chopin played on a beautiful old grand piano. It could almost have been at Nohant…… but in fact it was a hunting lodge in Richmond, near the banks of the Thames in west London. The London Chopin Society was holding its annual Members’ Matinee. Several members of this Society belong to the aristocracy, which is why we were invited this year to the home of a Prince and Princess, who laid on generous hospitality whilst those who wished took part in a recital – mostly Chopin’s music but also some Tchiakowsky, Liszt, Debussy and even someone’s own compositions (which were surprisingly good). No, I didn’t have courage to play myself, but I found my fellow members’ performances very lovely (on the whole, with a couple of exceptions!)

The outstanding performance for me was by a young man named on the programme as Paul Ulman. I assumed he was English from his name, and he chose to play the set of five Mazurkas opus 6. What an adorable, quirky little group that is! The way he played them was quite outstanding. So when Paul and his mother were strolling near us on the lawns afterwards, I stopped him to say “I have rarely heard Mazurkas played so well by someone who wasn’t a Pole.” He smiled and said, in a strongly accented voice, “But I am a Pole.”

It was such a privilege to be part of that magical summer afternoon, piano music duelling with birdsong. Maybe one day I might even pluck up courage sit down at the piano. In the meanwhile, I will remember it for the rest of my life. To me, it was the glimpse of another way of life, but I suppose it was the modern-day equivalent of the ambience that Chopin took for granted every day of his life.

#979497 - 06/05/07 11:59 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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maryrose, that sounds wonderful.

I just got caught up reading the last few pages of this thread -- it's been a while; I've been really busy.

Sotto voce: RE your question about how we feel about attempting the difficult works (I think that's an executive summary of it), I feel that if I had unlimited time for this, I could do a lot more, but I have to find a balance between challenging myself and choosing things to work on that I can have some hope of performing (at least for myself) in a reasonable amount of time. "Performing" for me means memorizing and being able to play through the piece musically and with some satisfaction.

The Mozart sonata I've been working on for over a year (!) is pushing it, but I have enjoyed the getting it to the point where I can play through all three movements and can hear it's getting easier and more expressive.

What I want to avoid is spending too much of my precious spare time practicing something that's so difficult that it's going to be a years-long project just to be able to play through it.

My first piano teacher gave me these huge pieces to play when I wasn't at all ready for them -- like the B flat scherzo! I spent literally years on that, and it just wasn't anything I even understood or appreciated at that time (as a young teenager). And I never want to try to play it again, either.

I'm still working on the two preludes. I may try to record them soon. When should we post?

Kathleen, #17 is one of the more difficult ones, I think. It's extremely complex harmonically. I took a class once on Chopin's harmony, and I have all these notations in my copy of the harmonic analysis. (This teacher's theory was that Chopin's harmony could all be analyzed with the traditional tools of Bach et al. I don't know if he ever wrote the book he was planning; it would have been interesting.)


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#979498 - 06/05/07 01:18 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Wow...MaryRose: Nohant for sure. You painted such a beauitful picture with your words, I could smell the roses and hear the music coming from inside the mansion. Wish I could have tasted the iced-wine.

How interesting about that gentleman playing the mazurkas. I had to laugh really because it sort of gave me a little bit of an excuse for not being able to get them just right...I'm only 1/2 Polish! I believe (not really sure) that Rubinstein said you had to be Polish to play them correctly. Maybe he was right.

With every one of your wonderful descriptions of all the opportunties to hear Chopin music in London, I seem to think I am that much more deprived of such culture. Could you venture a guess at why there is a Chopin's society in London? I'm not being facetious, really. I know London, of course, is a great center of the arts, in general. But is there, in your opinion, a special affinity for Chopin there, and why? Thanks for sharing...

Now you tell me, PianoAgain, about the 17th being one of the most difficult. And here I'm thinking I'm a dunderhead for making such sluggish progress on it. I could tell you myself (with absolutely no knowledge of the theory of harmony) that this prelude is loaded with such subtle nuances of it and also a lot of not so subtle instances. I still love it though and have gained even more appreciation for the genius of Chopin with learning this piece.

Gosh...about recording and posting. I think anyone who feels she/he is ready to record, should just go ahead and do it. And GOOD FOR YOU! As far as posting it, I think I would wait a bit. I still have to figure out how we are going to go about it. I will have to write Bob Muir (he's the one who does all the recitals and I think we would like it set up pretty much the same) and get some input from him on how we can arrange all of them in order (I would imagine that's what we want to do, right?) and then indicate the performers' names (if they want this) and some bit of information, nothing too long.

So, if it's OK with you...go ahead and record, but save it somewhere safe.

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
#979499 - 06/05/07 01:19 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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maryrose,
what a delightful sounding exoerience! thanks for sharing it with us.

Sophia

#979500 - 06/05/07 03:10 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Wow, Mary Rose, thank you for the vivid account of this event. I wouldn't even know how to dress for such an occasion, never mind behave.

sophial, thanks for the perspective there. The most important thing of all is that we enjoy what we're playing.

I recently made my first complete recording with my Zoom H4. I didn't really prepare myself, or even the device—I just forced myself to do it. The result is flawed, but I'm pleased with it nonetheless as a fair indication of my playing. I began to wonder if all my writing about piano might just be so much endless palaver if no one knew that I can actually play, too. wink

In particular, the hesitation before the climactic impetuoso was intentional—but not for interpretive reasons! I was about to crash and burn, literally. The sensation came back to me from childhood recitals in which the end is within sight, you haven't yet made any significant errors, and the pressure is enormous to get through the remainder in the same fashion. I literally had to pause momentarily or I would have made a major blunder.

Anyway, it's under Member Recordings, or you can click on this link to go directly to Box Net. Comments are welcome and appreciated.

Steven

#979501 - 06/05/07 09:39 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Most excellent, Sotto Voce. I've listened to it five times thusfar! Each time I was too lost in the performance itself to give notice to the recording quality.


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#979502 - 06/06/07 03:22 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Maryrose, what a wonderful experience, I wish I lived in London.( but of course, I would not know what to wear for an occasion like that wink ).
This Paul Ulman, was he professional pianist ?

Thank you Sotto Voce for sharing your beautiful interpretation of the Etude.
(with typical Norwegian understatement, I would say you might have practiced...)

Ragnhild


Trying to play the piano:
http://www.box.net/public/dbr23ll03e
#979503 - 06/06/07 06:14 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Ragnhild - Paul Ulman was some sort of music student. He told me he was making an especial study of the Mazurkas for a thesis. None of the people playing on Sunday was a true professional (although one or two probably would have been had they not been titled and therefore unable to partake in such a career).

Sotto Voce - your playing is so very musical. This is one of the most enjoyable amateur performances I have ever heard, but that doesn't surprise me after the glimpses of your personality and love for Chopin that I have gleaned from the forum. Thank you for sharing it with us.

#979504 - 06/06/07 07:19 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Wow maryrose .. nothing better than a recital full of Chopin smile

#979505 - 06/06/07 08:27 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I'm so happy that some of you have taken the trip over to listen to Sotto Voce's performance. smile As I mentioned to him, I believe posting our recordings here is part of what this particular thread is all about. I believe that when we've put hours and hours of practice into learning a composition, and then have the courage (and confidence, of course) to record and post it...well, that deserves all the recognition and support we can give it. thumb

And...not to forget. As masterfully as some of us can play, this should not keep those who don't feel quite as "masterful" from sharing.

After reading Charles Cooke's book on the Pleasure of Playing the Piano, I found and started to relearn Chopin lovely A Major prelude. I remember learning it as a kid, and while it was "nice," and got everyone's immediate attention, I thought it so simplistic and rather dull. Hey, what did I know...I was a kid. frown But now, how lovely it is in that simplicity and elegance. Bassio...you are practicing, right?? wink

Gee, we haven't heard from Hershey in a while. confused His last note was about learning the Appassionata. Oh boy, we might not hear from him for some time. eek

Yikes, I had a brainstorm (watch out!). If our prelude concert goes well (and, of course, it absolutely will blow the socks off of everyone wow ), I thought...what if for our next concert, we could play one of Chopin's waltzes. But (and here's the surprise) what if we would divide each one between two people? Most are on the longer side. So what if one person would play (and record) the first "half," and then his/her "partner" would do the same with the second part. Now you have to admit this would be quite interesting. No?? Yes??

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
#979506 - 06/06/07 09:28 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Kathleen, the waltzes aren't usually written in two distinct halves though, are they? I think that sounds as though they would be disjointed. But if we agree to have a concert every so often (once a year? or on his birthday too?) and plenty of notice then surely we'd be able to come up with enough players of all the waltzes. Now when we get down to the sonatas, that might cause a bit of trouble... eek

#979507 - 06/06/07 09:45 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Sonatas...did I hear someone mention sonatas??? frown help

I think I might be on that "around-the-world" cruise I've been dreaming of. laugh

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
#979508 - 06/06/07 02:56 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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The annual Van Cliburn Competition was held recently. There is an amateur classification and 2 doctors were among the top three winners. A real cute one won 1st prize. smile What I'd like to know is where they found the time to practice? Did they take time from their practice to practice? How practical of them. However I doubt if it would be a practice I would practice if I needed to practice. laugh

Anyhow, this gentleman took part although I don't know if he ranked high. But he played a lovely Chopin waltz. What do you think of his interpretation? Just curious? I happen to love this waltz and was hoping to learn it next after I tame my prelude. thumb

Op. 31. No 2 - Waltz by Chopin

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
#979509 - 06/06/07 03:09 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:

Anyhow, this gentleman took part although I don't know if he ranked high. But he played a lovely Chopin waltz. What do you think of his interpretation? Just curious? I happen to love this waltz and was hoping to learn it next after I tame my prelude. thumb

Op. 31. No 2 - Waltz by Chopin

Kathleen
Kathleen :

I find it a shade too fast for my taste, and for the Lento marking. I find, also, that it gets a little too intense in spots. I also think he overdoes the "gimmick" of playing the LH first beat bass note a little before the RH first beat melody note. It's an old-fashioned gesture that can be effective if used sparingly, but I find he overdoes it.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
#979510 - 06/06/07 03:30 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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loveschopintoomuch Offline
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loveschopintoomuch  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
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Illinois
Aha...Bruce! My thinking EXACTLY. thumb

But you worded so much better than I could. Waayyy too fast and too dramatic. And yes, I agree about the LH bass notes. At times, I lost "sight" of what I was listening to, and that isn't good. eek

Thank you for you expert opinion (naturally, it's expert since it agrees with mine. laugh )

Regards back to 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
#979511 - 06/06/07 06:07 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Mary-Rose Offline
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Mary-Rose  Offline
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I do love that waltz - especially the languid coda. I didn't particularly like that chap's manner of playing though.

#979512 - 06/06/07 11:50 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline

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Victoria, BC
Quote
Originally posted by BruceD:
Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
[b]
Anyhow, this gentleman took part although I don't know if he ranked high. But he played a lovely Chopin waltz. What do you think of his interpretation? Just curious? I happen to love this waltz and was hoping to learn it next after I tame my prelude. thumb

Op. 31. No 2 - Waltz by Chopin

Kathleen
Kathleen :

I find it a shade too fast for my taste, and for the Lento marking. I find, also, that it gets a little too intense in spots. I also think he overdoes the "gimmick" of playing the LH first beat bass note a little before the RH first beat melody note. It's an old-fashioned gesture that can be effective if used sparingly, but I find he overdoes it.

Regards, [/b]
Edit : One thing I did like in certain sections was his sensitive phrasing of the bass line as it rises on the first beat of each measure. This was nicely delineated.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
#979513 - 06/07/07 02:38 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Ragnhild Offline
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Ragnhild  Offline
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Norway
The A minor waltz op 31 is my favourite waltz.
This gentleman has very good technique, I admire his left hand, he brings out the melody in both hands very beautifully, especially in the last part.
Even if I wish I could play like that, I think he plays with a little too much rubato and manner to my taste.

Thanks for posting it , Kathleen !

Ragnhild


Trying to play the piano:
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