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Hello all! Sorry I seemed to have run away. If I could be honest, I get a little nervous when I post stuff on the internet, it's kind of my first time doing this kind of thing. II'm a little shy so you don't know how many times I've gone over my post to make sure their perfect...me and my paranoid self...
Elene: "And please, I beg you-- don't write a story about Chopin's life till you really feel you understand something about him. So much crap has been written about him already, and he doesn't deserve that."
I agree, I hope if I ever did I'd want do him justice. But I'm still in very young and I have a lot to learn about writing in general. And in regard to the researching (the most important aspect of writing) I'd say I have barely scratched the surface. The story I did for senior project didn't turn out so well. I'm notorious for not finishing stories, my biggest enemy. It was a real struggle to finish. I can't say I'm glad at the finished product, I had to cut it short for time, there was so many things I wanted to add to it, but it probably would have been unnecessary, too complicated. For the time being I plan to keep it in a cabinet somewhere and pull it out later when I'm a more experienced writer and have more research under my belt. Well...there I go rambling again.*rolls eyes*
I've been skimming this thread and came across some discussion of Sand but have not yet found yours I'll go back and find it. I can't wait until the index is up and running, though I done with the story, its just fun reading about this interesting person whose music I've grown to love.
Thank you for taking the time to respond, like I've said before I'm a little nervous posting things on the internet, which I guess is the major reason why I seemed to run off. I remember reading somewhere that Chopin didn't teach beginners, I can only imagine why, being a beginner myself... The reason why I asked about his love of children though is I've dreamed up his personified works running around his house doing God knows what, I'm such a terrible person for putting him through all that chaos!
I was surfing the net the other day and came across and instance where Chopin was being a little funny! I can't find the article in a series of Chopin episodes I've read through (http://www.radiochopin.org/welcome), but the story goes that he fished a wedding ring out of powder as a game, anyone else heard this strange tale before
Chopin stated that he didn't teach children or beginners (I don't remember where, would have to find that)-- but he did teach Solange Sand when she was young. He mainly taught quite advanced students. Some were teens, but not really children. The fact that he advocated starting on a scale with black keys in the middle, as I think he wrote about in his sketch for a method book, does not mean that he was working students who had no playing experience whatsoever. Often one has to do quite a lot of rehabilitation with advanced students. Many of us here have probably been through that either as students or as teachers, or perhaps both.
I've heard the ring story. It's hard to imagine someone managing it, even with a nose like Chopin's! Chopin was known as a wit, though, and for him to be funny was not at all unusual. WesCraven, you may know about his Victor Borge-like comedy act at the piano.
It's worth it to keep trying to write even if one is not necessarily satisfied with the finished product. After all, many if not most artists are dissatisfied with their work on a regular basis. Certainly Chopin often had trouble feeling positive about his works– which he did occasionally speak of as his children. One has to keep at it anyway in order to have any hope of improvement.
I play a half-dozen of Chopin's simpler pieces/etudes/preludes...
He's a sadist.
Every piece looks so simple on the eyes. I look at his simple and intermediate stuff with delight. I hear it and it is incredibly expressive and beautiful. Then I put my hands down and play them.
Usually the first so-many bars lure you in with seductive simplicity. Then he throws in a few zingers--bars which are beasts to play--and you wonder what that cock was doing that for! Next, I realize that no matter how many times I play, those difficult bars aren't going much easier. After playing the pieces a few hundred times, I've tackled the difficult bars... only to find that I can't get my mind around memorizing his stuff!
He created piano to torture others. I've never seen another composer like him in that regard.
Currently working on/memorizing... "It's You" from Robotech "He's A Pirate" "Crazy Bone Rag" "What The World Needs Now"
I often say to myself while practicing, only half joking, "Chopin is a cruel man." I've learned that if a piece seems easy at first, I am missing something!
But the "torture" is well worth finding one's way through.
I'm terrible at memorizing music anyway, but my teacher says that it's typical to have trouble memorizing Chopin. It's because he keeps changing things all the time, altering a passage just a bit each time it repeats, so that you have trouble remembering which was which. It's part of his charm, though.
The day before yesterday I saw a dance performance choreographed by UNM students. Some wonderful works. The last piece, "Ash," used 48/1 for its second half (with something by Arvo Part for the first). The piece was a tale of war, death, destruction, and despair. I didn't think 48/1 worked at all well in this context. Although it is deeply brooding, it seems to me that triumph and enlightenment shine through it as well. The choreographer didn't use it that way. A worthwhile effort, though– and another example of Chopin showing up everywhere.
The mazurka looks very artistic! Not one dish I could eat there I'm afraid, being almost vegan and having wheat, diary, egg and sugar intolerances. It's all German rye bread, spelt bread, salads, honey, fruit, oat crumbles and flapjacks, vegetables, pulses and some vegeterian feta cheese for me! The borsht without any cream and meat would be tempting tho- I love beetroot.
I haven't been here in quite a while, and I'm very excited to hear that the mazurka recital is available now! I hope I can find it. If not, I'll ask for a link.
For Polyphonist's question from November: No, I didn't know that Chopin stole anything for the B minor sonata. What was it stolen from?
For EdwardianPiano and anyone else who likes beets: I used to make barszcz regularly with potatoes and cabbage as well as beets, but now that my mother is on Coumadin, she can't have that. I tried making a very simple barszcz czerwony by putting 2 cans of plain and 1 can of pickled beets in the blender with a little onion, garlic, marjoram, and pepper. It comes out surprisingly delicious. If you like it more sour, as my mother does, use 1 to 1 plain and pickled beets.
This seems sort of like cheating, but then, it leaves more time for practicing!
Going to make some Slovak-style kolachi today, can't remember what they call it in Poland but I think they have similar stuff. I guess I can listen to the mazurka recital while working on that.
To introduce a new topic, has anyone ever noticed how many instances there are of marked similarities between the music of Chopin and that of Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart? The theme of Chopin's Opus 28/24 and Beethoven's Opus 57, to name just one.
Beethoven's Funeral March Sonata Op.26 A-flat major 3rd movement and Chopin's Op.10 No.12.
I saw an upload. It was a Chopin piece. Rather bluesy. Bear in mind. I don't have to have the blues style to have the blues. I think the play: Les Miserables is full of blues songs. It's something that comes from the heart. Not necessarily a style. I have been unable to find it again. No big deal. Can you all point me toward other Chopin pieces that I would consider Bluesy? The commenter said there are many Chopin pieces like this. I could get into Chopin if so.
Ron Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon