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#981554 - 09/24/08 04:58 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Now, there is a "Chopin is bipolar" thread over there! Good grief. eek

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#981555 - 09/24/08 05:15 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Quote
Originally posted by Chardonnay:
Now, there is a "Chopin is bipolar" thread over there! Good grief. eek
Dang. And the Sand thread is nearly 100 posts long despite the wisdom, maturity and insight needed to parse human relationships. shocked

But there are no qualifications at all for armchair psychology! Even though OP in the bipolar thread asks his question of those who've read more Chopin biographies than he, it's a little scary to contemplate how it's going to develop.

Steven

#981556 - 09/25/08 04:35 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Im a bit of a Chopin newbie (listener) . i do have some cds that i like but for some reason i dont listen that much to Chopin. i have the etudes and preludes by Cortot. But i was wondering which versions to chose, everytime i look at the Chopin cd offers there are so much different performers that i get lost. What should i be getting? I dont mind old recoprdings at all by the way ...

#981557 - 09/25/08 05:47 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Let me suggest my favourite CD's:

Ballade/Barcarolle --> Zimermann
Nocturnes --> Barenboim
Preludes/Etudes --> Pollini
Sonates/Piano concertos --> Zimermann
Scherzo/Impromptus --> Perrahia

These are obviosuly my likings not at all a tentative to set a fixed scale fo Chopin's best interpretations.

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#981558 - 09/25/08 06:23 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Waltzes - Dinu Lipatti
Also check out Angela Lear's Original Chopin recordings


Slow down and do it right.
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#981559 - 09/25/08 06:25 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Thanks very much Chopinet, that s very useful. I ll definitely check those out.

#981560 - 09/25/08 06:27 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Frycek, that s a coincidence, i just got Lipatti s Waltzes yeterday, and im loving it. Definitely one of my favourite pianists. Thank you.

#981561 - 09/25/08 07:49 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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izaldu,

Many if not most Chopin lovers would agree that you cannot go wrong with Arthur Rubinstein's recordings. The only frustration is that he didn't quite record Chopin's entire output.

Also, FWIW, I offer the above advice enthusiastically and without hesitation as regards Chopin's solo music. I love Rubinstein! But for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, I don't find his performances with an orchestra to be quite as compelling (and he didn't record Chopin's chamber music at all).

Fortunately, there are lots of recordings of the concertos to choose from. The one I listen to most is Abbey Simon; they are bundled with Chopin's other four pieces for piano and orchestra (of which there are not many recordings to choose from) in a convenient 2-CD set budged-priced "Vox Box."

Steven

#981562 - 09/25/08 08:32 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Thanks Steven, i have seen the 11 cd box of Rubinstein on the net
http://www.amazon.de/Chopin-Collect...mp;s=music&qid=1222344738&sr=8-1

That looks like a deal. I must say i ve never listened to any Chopin orchestral music ...! Thanks, i d never even heard of Abbey Simon or Angela Lear so will look into that too. But with the 11cd set i think i have more than enough for now. Hopefully i ll become addicted soon.

#981563 - 09/25/08 08:44 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Welcome izaldu: I agree that Rubinstein is arguably the best interpreter of much of Chopin's works. There is a site on youtube where Rubinstein plays one of Chopin's concerti, and he is a joy to watch. So austere and sublime.

However, I also recommend Vladimir Ashkenazy. I purchased a box set of his (13 CD's in all) for a very reasonable price from e-bay. I think I paid $35.00 for it. He's super, and the collection contains all the piano works of Chopin, with the exception of the concerti and chamber music.

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
#981564 - 09/25/08 08:58 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I'm not going to bother posting this on the
Was Chopin Bipolar? thread
because it would be a waste of time.

But I became incensed when the OP stated that the author, Tad Szulc, wrote that Chopin was almost definitely positively schizophrenic. mad

The definition of schizophrenia is as follows:

a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought (as delusions), perception (as hallucinations), and behavior —

Yes, I know there is a reference to Chopin having hallucinations, but I believe they were dreams. There is a big difference between having delusions when awake as opposed to when asleep.

How in the world could this author possibly think that Chopin had this mental disease? After creating more that 300 works that are considered some of the greatest music of all time? :t:

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
#981565 - 09/25/08 09:17 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I agree that it's an outlandish and outrageous assertion. Even the suggestion of bipolar disease surprises me given the lifelong evenness in the quality of Chopin's compositions. It may have affected the quantity and the regularity of his composing, but it's nowhere apparent in the product.

You would expect someone with the scholarly credentials to write book and have it published would have a precise understanding of mental problems if he's going to address them. But then the Mark Twain quote in my sig line is apposite here, too, and I'm reminded of people who confuse clinical depression with being sad that bad weather is keeping them from going to the beach.

Can you imagine someone with not just schizophrenia but untreated schizophrenia accomplishing what Chopin did? What materials or evidence are cited by Szulc as a basis for his speculation?

Dang, what next? A "Was Chopin schizophrenic?" thread? After all (as I said in the bipolar discussion), uninformed opinions don't deter anyone from practicing armchair psychology. eek

Steven

p.s. I loved Frycek's "Sulky Szulc"!

#981566 - 09/25/08 09:47 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Chopin's hallucinations were hallucinations and he never thought they were anything else. They were most probably the result to the increasingly heavy doses of laudanum, tincture of opium, that he was obliged to take as his heath deteriorated. One of his later students described how he took sips from a glass of sugar water mixed with laudanum while he taught.


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#981567 - 09/25/08 10:25 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I did not realize that Chopin was taking this drug, Frycek. It could certainly explain any hallucinations he had. Just how many years did he take it? And do you know any of the side effects?

I wonder now how (or if) it had any effect on his ability to compose music. Could it have contributed to his indecisiveness and irritability?

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
#981568 - 09/25/08 11:52 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Indecisiveness? Irritability?

I'll have none of it! He was perfect! PERFECT, I tell you!

Did you forget the mantra, Sister Kathleen?

Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ...

cool

Blind Steven (who could never have posted this in that other thread!)

#981569 - 09/25/08 11:56 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Not only was Chopin taking opium, he probably had high fevers at times, since he was prone to severe respiratory infections,and that could have triggered hallucinations.

Sand mentioned his having strange visions in Histoire de ma vie, but I don't put much stock in her description. She chalks the hallucinating up to his being Polish and therefore exotic and bizarre...or colorful at least....

I don't remember specific references to his having hallucinations so I can't say anymore. However, it does seem that Chopin was pretty psychically sensitive along with his other sensitivities, and he may even have had visions of things that were "really" there, or had some validity, at times.


Schizophrenic-- good grief-- he was one of the saner people in his circle, I would say. (Not wanting to sound like a lovesick groupie, of course.)

Elene

#981570 - 09/25/08 12:03 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Quote
Indecisiveness? Irritability?

I'll have none of it! He was perfect! PERFECT, I tell you!

Did you forget the mantra, Sister Kathleen?

Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ... Chopin all-good, Sand all-bad ...
laugh laugh laugh laugh

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to prepare some Koolaid....

#981571 - 09/25/08 12:14 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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A bit of contemporary lore about laudanum.
http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~treevecwll/vicmed.htm

As for his hallucinations - in one of his letters to Solange from England he describes seeing the "same apparitions rising out of the piano that I saw in Majorca." This was during a performance and he stoped briefly to compose himself, then carried on as if nothing had happened.


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#981572 - 09/25/08 12:27 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Elene: Thank you for that information. I've certainly learned more and more about our hero over the past few days.

Frycek: Where do you find these things? I love the phrase "minimum fatal dose." For some reason it struck me as funny as if one is trying to poison someone and that person should be concerned about giving too much.

Anyhow, wow, if Chopin were taking anything like what was described, it would explain away practically every strange behavior or thoughts he might have had. I, personally, am glad that he found some relief from his pain and couldn't care less if some might consider him an addict and/or showing a weakness in character.

I have always believed that one has to walk in another's shoes before making any judgement calls.

AND.....


What would I do without you all! [Linked Image]


I just love the mantra [Linked Image]

I will recite it religiously as I walk the treadmill and while my body is being stretched on the rack. eek

How could I have forgotten it... confused I'll just have to chalk it up to my blind groupieness! :rolleyes:

Thank you so much for making my day, my week (well, to be really honest) my life! Every single one of you is so special to me. 3hearts

Chardonnay: What flavor Koolaid?

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
#981573 - 09/25/08 01:11 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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More about Chopin's hallucinations - from the letter to Solange: Sept. 9, 1848

‘When I was playing my Sonata in B flat minor amidst a circle of English friends, an unusual experience befell me. I executed the allegro and scherzo more or les correctly and was just about to start the march when suddenly I saw emerging from the half-opened case of the piano the cursed apparitions that had appeared to me one evening in the Chartreuse. I had to go out for a moment in order to remember myself, after which, without a word, I began to play on’.


Slow down and do it right.
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#981574 - 09/25/08 06:08 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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" I executed the allegro and scherzo more or less correctly..."

I found this statement fascinating because it's the same way I describe my playing...more or less correctly (though, in truth, it is usually *less*).

Thank you, Frycek, for the description in Chopin's own words of the hallucinations he suffered. This should go far to dispel those who think that he was a "schzoid." Now we know they were caused by the drug he was taking. I wonder, however, if he realized that this was a side effect of the drug or if thought he was losing his mind.

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
#981575 - 09/26/08 06:43 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Quote
Chardonnay: What flavor Koolaid?
Grape, of course- purple was Chopin's favorite color, wasn't it? So it must be in the shade of purple! smile

#981576 - 09/26/08 08:18 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Ah, grape...my favorite. I remember making this delightful mixture for my daughter eons ago. She's now 38. But gosh, all that sugar. I find that if I eat a bowl of Frosted Flakes, ten minutes later, I have to take a nap. That sugar drains all the precious little energy I have.

Purple is my favorite color too...long before I knew it was also Chopin's. Strange. confused I also think my handwriting resembles his (really). wink Now if only I could play as he did, more or less. laugh

Oh...I am seriously thinking of making a sweatshirt with a slight modification of our mantra.

On the front, that studly image of Chopin, underneath:

Frederick Chopin
AH!!

On the back: I think I can find a less than wonderful image of Sand

George Sand
BAH!

Am I carrying this too far?? :p

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
#981577 - 09/26/08 08:48 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Kathleen, I love it.

Did you see this latest tosh in the Sand thread?
Quote
Originally posted by wr:
I don't think that you, or most of the other Chopin fans, are really all that deranged. It's just part of the nature of being a fan or serious enthusiast of any sort that perspective gets a little too caught up in the subject matter at times.
The italics are mine ... but ain't that grand of him? It's so charitable to say we're not "all that" deranged. What a relief! (And didn't I say before that everybody's an armchair psychologist?)

You know, it's a damned-if-you-do damned-if-you-don't situation. Bias toward Chopin equals deranged (but not terribly deranged, phew!) groupie, and positive or even neutral remarks concerning Sand are insincere lip service.

Dang, we might as well have expressed ourselves with unbridled, impassioned, vigorous denunciations of Sand, as that's what we've all been accused of anyway by those who simply must maintain that we all feel that way.

We could get a group discount on those shirts, you know. But first, we have to settle on the spelling of his first name!

Steven

#981578 - 09/26/08 10:23 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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With Y's of course. It's more exotic.


Slow down and do it right.
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#981579 - 09/26/08 10:44 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
I wonder, however, if he realized that this was a side effect of the drug or if thought he was losing his mind.

Kathleen
That's an interesting thought, Kathleen. In that year of despair - 1848 - he might well have had a momentary thought that he was going mad on top of everything else. But his letters of the time show his mind to have been as incisive as ever. He seemed to take his occasional hallucinations with great coolness and reason. In spite of his frail exterior he really was a very strong person, I feel.

#981580 - 09/26/08 11:56 AM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Quote
Originally posted by -Frycek:
With Y's of course. It's more exotic.
Agreed, though I just learned (courtesy of our Elene) that the "y" is to be avoided in Wojciechowski!

I had no idea, and was almost as mortified to have overlooked that detail as when I found out (also very recently) that my French pronunciation of "Sand" had been incorrect for decades.

Steven

#981581 - 09/26/08 12:27 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I lived in a language hall in college and some French exchange students nicknamed me George Sand (because I was a brunette who wore a man's army jacket and scribbled a lot-nothing to do with Chopin) - they pronounced Sand like the stuff you find at the beach.


Slow down and do it right.
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#981582 - 09/26/08 12:34 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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I was feeling terribly stupid about not knowing to put the D on the end of Sand, too. Especially since Kathleen has made it clear that I am not "extremely knowledgeable" about our subject. My geek status is in question at the moment-- and it means so much to me!

But if Steven can be confused about such a thing, I don't feel so bad, because I'm in good company.

Just to clarify: The Ys in "Fryderyk" sound like short Is in English. The accent is on the second syllable.

Elene

#981583 - 09/26/08 12:44 PM Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin  
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Quote
Originally posted by Elene:
Just to clarify: The Ys in "Fryderyk" sound like short Is in English. The accent is on the second syllable.

Elene
But ... are there two syllables total, or three?

Steven

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