Piano World Home Page

Just for those totally devoted to Chopin

Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/09/06 11:54 PM

WELCOME!

[Linked Image]
This is a thread for people who have a strong affection for Chopin or who just might be curious about him.

The Index below will take you to some of the topics we've covered. When you click on the topic, it will either link you to a page on which many responses are written, so in this case, you would have to scroll down the page to see them all. OR if it is a specific topic/subect, the link provided will take you directly to that page. PLEASE feel free to respond to any of the topics discussed or add a comment of your own.

PLEASE NOTE: The following index is not up to date. frown It just got away from me, and I couldn't keep up. However, I hope what is here will get you interested, and you will check out those pages that are not included below. smile

An Overview of Chopin\'s Life
Introduction and Comments by Chopin Lovers
A Visit to Poland
The Chopin Companion by Walker
Chopin\'s Sexual Preference
Five Easy Chopin Pieces Site
The Enchanting (and easy) A minor Waltz
More on Chopin\'s Sexual Preference
A Recording of the Nocturne in C minor
Death of His Youngest Sister
Chopin\'s Favorite Sister
Madame Sand
What Chopin\'s Handwriting Reveals About Him
Is Chopin\'s Music Spiritual?
Download Free Chopin Music from U of C
Chopin\'s Dual Personality? Hutchings
Pedron Tell Us of M. Chopin
One of many portraits of Chopin
An Outrageous Article by D. Wright
In Defense of our Hero
The Chopin Momument in Warsaw
A Chopin Story as Told by His Piano
The Jenny Lind Story
When Feeling Sad...by MaryRose
Kathleen Receives the M. Chopin CD
Hershey Felder is One of Us!!
Herhsey as George Gershwin Also
Hershey Felder (M. Chopin) Drops In!!
Herhsey...with some great information
Was Chopin Bipolar?
A Dag of Chopin
The Actual Last Photo of Chopin
Hershey answers some questions...The Chopin Roll?
Tourist Photos of Valldemossa
Hershey with Advice on playing Grande Polonaise Brilliante, 48.1 and 55.1
More Advice on Playing from Hershey...Scroll down the Page
The "Names" of Chopin Preludes...by von Bulow
Chopin in Love...when young
Chopin in Love with Tytus
A Review of Stanislaw Drzewiecki recital by MaryRose
Even Hershey had a anxiety attack.
George Sand...gosh, not much to look at
MaryRose Tells Us Another Side of Sand
Some Great Photos courtesy of Hershey
A MUST Book for All Chopinophiles
SUPER RESOUCE SITES ON CHOPIN
Silly photos of Chopin
Solange\'s Feelings About Chopin.. courtesy of MaryRose

A Trip to Poland in 2010


What Attracts Us to Chopin


We\'re Down on Sand


Chopin\'s Cause of Death..Scroll Down


A Physical Description of Chopin.Scroll Down


Movie and Books about Chopin


Chopin\'s Fingering Method


Could Chopin Have Composed Anywhere? Scroll Down


A Chopin Concert From Lizst Addict


MaryRose\'s Love Interest at 14


A Letter of Liszt\'s purchased by Hershey


Advice from Hersh on Attempting Difficult Pieces


Chopin\'s Variations on a Theme by Rossini


A Portrait Gallery of Chopin\'s Family


Some Rubinstein Recordings of Chopin\'s Works



Trouble playing Chopin\'s 17th prel...ecital?
Some Chopin Concerts to Download

Eleanor Bailie\'s Book - A graded guide
Tips for Playing Nocturne 55.1
Some wonderful Chopin music by Gerg
Serious discussion regarding the recital
Graded difficulty of Chopin Preludes
Question/Answer: How to Play Chopin\'s 4th prelude
Initial Thoughts on "Guidelines" for the Concert
Continued discussion regarding concert
Still more discussion and firming up of plans about the concert
Chopin\'s Actual Piano! Wow!!
John Bell\'s On You-Tube...Chopin\'s 4th Prelude
Another Chopin Piano
Discussion about Duplicate Performances of the Preludes
The First Prelude Assignment List
The order of difficulty of the preludes
The Date of the Concert
MaryRose\' review of concert by Bobby Chen
Agreed: No Duplications
Still more discussion on who\'s playing what??
Real or fake Chopin flute composition
Wow...Hershey Felder playing in our Concert!!
Names given to the preludes (NOT by Chopin)...Van Bulow, I think
Some other possible preludes??
The "Frozen" Final (ahem) List of who is playing what!
Kathleen\'s opinon of Agerich playing of Chopin
Rubinstein\'s opinion of Horowitz
Possibility of Comparing the 24 preludes to the etudes??
Some suggestions for possible Chopin music for a wedding MaryRose\'s Review of a Lecture...Chopin, Delacroix and Sand
Chopin\'s Method of Composing
Some comments about Sand..not too kind, but...if the shoe fits
More about Chopin and Sand
A super performance of three preludes on You-tube by a non-professional
Should We Know about Composer\'s Lives?
Still more interesting information about Sand, Chopin and Liszt
A Video Game about Chopin -
Chopin\'s Technique
Detailed Information about the Chopin Video Game
A Documentary Film about Chopin --Chopin\'s Afterlife
More on Chopin\'s Technique and Style
Perhaps a Chance for Us to View Documentary

Discussion For a Chopin Forum Expert Advice from Hersh Felder regarding No-Chopin Piano Teacher Sotto Voce Recommendation for All O...teresting Discussion Questions by Bassio Responses to Bassio\'s Questions
St...oncern about Finding Info on the Thread

Chopin\'s Songs Peyton Performance of Chopin\'s "Spring Song"
Glenn Gould & Bach A Celebration of the Piano
Sotto Voce to Play in our Chopin Concert, No. 26
Chopin or Bust!
More Gould and Comparing 3 Different Pianist on Prelude #17
MaryRose - An Article on Chopin\'s Orchestration
Photos of Hersh in Paris
A Chopin Robot??
Mary Rose - The 4th Prelude and an article on understanding musical structure
A Chopin Montage
An Old Radio Program - "The Lost Chopin Piece"
The Devil\'s Trill - The Lost Chopin Piece???
Bassio provides us with wonderful images of famous musicians\' hands---scroll down
Belechacz - Plays the Barcarolle..Winner of 2005 Chopin Competition
Posted By: AnotherSchmoe

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 12:06 AM

Chopin is great! I listen to his music more than any other composer, that's not to say that I don't enjoy Beethoven etc. as much as the next person, but I always find myself more wrapped up in Chopin's music, it has a certain allure to it.

I especially like the Nocturnes and Waltzes. But I haven't heard most of his material still, hopefully someday soon I'll get around to listening to all of it, I haven't really heard any of the Preludes / Polonaises / Mazurkas etc. yet. I'm sure they are all beautiful and powerful pieces, I've just been too wrapped up in the nocturnes I guess. The first Chopin piece I ever heard was the Nocturne No. 20 in C# Minor and I've been hooked on those ever since. I haven't heard nearly all of them, just a handful that I've found recordings of online. But I listen to them a lot. :p

I can't really think of much else to say right now as I'm still relatively new to the wonderful world of classical piano and don't know a great deal.

Anyways, get well soon Kathleen! thumb
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 12:14 AM

Kathleen, you know how I feel. I think it's a really fine idea. I hope it flies and that there'll be a lot of cross over from the Pianist Corner as well.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 12:21 AM

Thanks for responding so quickly, AS. (Sorry, I just can't bring myself to call you a schmoe. Anyone who loves Chopin does not fit into that category). laugh

I envy you in that you have an unlimited number of hours (and, indeed, a lifetime) of joy ahead of you when you have the time you discover the rest of Chopin's music.

That you were hooked on his Nocture in C# just shows that you are, indeed, a member of the "club." smile

Please, please ...drop in as often as you can. We'd like to make this site a big-time winner, as it should be.

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 12:29 AM

Frycek:

O.K. I have started the ball rolling...now I'm going to count on you to help it continue to do so. smile

Any and all infor and insights about him is what this site is all about.

And, I happen to know you are an authority even though you will deny it. :rolleyes:

Starting tomorrow (boy, I'm beat tonight), I am going to put in a little tidbit about him or his music or his style or his life... then, we'll just let it go from there.

I am especially looking forward to blasting out of the water some of those strange and perfectly ridiculous notions people have about him.

O.K. Fact #1, Although as an adult he reached the height of 5'7, he never weighed more than 100 pounds in his whole life.

How in the world could a man of such a small stature create music of such dynamic range, power and strength?

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 12:44 AM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
[O.K. Fact #1, Although as an adult he reached the height of 5'7, he never weighed more than 100 pounds in his whole life.

How in the world could a man of such a small stature create music of such dymanic power and strength?

Kathleen [/QB]
According to That Woman (George Sand) if you can belive the description she gave of a character allegedly patterned after Chopin, unclothed his physique was actually quite attractive, resembling a young teenaged boy who had yet to "fill out." In spite of his chronic poor health almost all descriptions of Chopin mention that he looked younger that he actually was, perhaps because of his very boyish build. Even at his last public performance, a London benefit concert for Polish refugees, when he was 37 and severely ill, someone described him as a delicate looking young man of thirty wearing a pale grey suit and carrying a tiny watch he consulted often. The concert started late, a thing which exacerbated his already frayed nerves. He hated performing in public. The tiny watch was a present he'd received as a boy of ten and carried the rest of his life. After Chopin's death his sister literally "stole" it from his safe, along with his personal letters, probably on Chopin's instructions, so it would remain in the family and not become part of his "estate" which was sold at auction.
Posted By: karaeloko

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 12:53 AM

Chopin, the poet of the piano. I can't find myself enjoying any other music from another composer as I enjoy Chopin's.

I refuse to learn to play anything else other than Chopin's pieces. To me his piano sings, his music flows like no one else's. It is romantic and full of feelings.
Posted By: jollyroger

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 12:54 AM

No arm twisting required here. I'm working on the Nocturne in D Flat - my favorite of all the Nocturnes. While I listen to Rubinstein's and Lang Lang's version occasionally, my favorite rendition is Robin Alciatore's (www.artofpiano.com) on her Moonlight CD. Next, I'll be learning the Etude in E Major. After that, I'll be taking a crack at the Fantasie Impromptu. My teacher wants me to learn pieces from other composers, which I'm doing. I recently finished learning Schubert's Serenade (Standchen). But for me, there's nothing that comes close to Chopin's masterpieces. Everytime I listen to his music, it's like having a warm blanket wrapped around my soul.

Chopin loved singers. I believe that's why his melodies are so characteristically lyrical. They absolutely fascinate me.

Regards,
Roger
Posted By: Fat Old Ugly Frank

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 05:37 AM

dig dat

heh

I always find myself drawn to playing Chopin. Even to the point where I conciously attempt to play other music, but am simply drawn to his works.

I know it's trite to say but I think more than anyone else I would love to have heard him play.

Frank
Posted By: Haizel

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 05:51 AM

I was reading this book from out local libary called Frederic Chopin An illustrated Biography By Victor Seroff. I would like to share this with Chopin's lovers.
"Frederic also revealed to Delphine Potocka that while he was composing his Etudes, he had at the same time been seriously contemplating some studies -he called them exercises- less difficult for less advanced student of piano.

In writing my Etudes I tried to put to use not only science but also art. Since a Virtuoso must practice for a long time, he should be given exercises in which he will find proper food for his ears and his soul, lest he be bored to death. I am disturbed because there are no beautiful exercise for beginners.
A virtuosos has everything open to him; when he is bored with exercises , he can reach out for the most beautiful music. But a poor fellow who can not play anything needs beautiful exercises that will save him from becoming discussted with music. I have tried to write something of this kind but I haven't been successful, because for the beginners everything is difficult. Perhaps I'll postpone this work until later."
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 10:20 AM

I know my love for Chopin is nothing compared to yours, Kathleen. For me I think he is - together with Mozart - the one I like most after Johan Sebastian smile
But i spent one evening this week listening to Chopins three sonatas played by a 21 year old. The sonatas are amazing and a little scary and i can't imagine how someone could possibly play them not to speek about writing them.

And my idea of a perfect evening is to hear my favourite pianist play the second (or the first)of Chopin''s pianoconcerts live - with me sitting close enough to admire his hands all the way. heart

Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 11:11 AM

Ragnhilde, Chopin worshiped Johan Sebastian as well so he'd probably have found you good company. I'm a devotee myself.
Posted By: Euan Morrison

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 11:28 AM

Hi,

What a nice idea for a thread! I'm a 'partial' devotee - I have quite a few Chopin CD's, in particular the Ballades and Etudes. My favourite piece by Chopin is the Grande Polonaise Brilliante.

I have a question and a small piece of information.

Question: What do the 'hardcore' Chopin followers think about the Godowsky Etudes? I understand there is quite a bit of controversy with regards to them.

Info: The US group Pink Martini use Chopin's Andante Spinato for their track 'Le Soledad'. If you ever wanted to hear Chopin played over a Latin rhythm, then now is your chance!
You can hear the whole track here:

http://www.pinkmartini.com/cd/pm_sympatique.html

"Somewhere between a 1930s Cuban dance orchestra, a classical chamber music ensemble, a Brasilian marching street band and Japanese film noir is the 12-piece Pink Martini.

Part language lesson, part Hollywood musical, the Portland, Oregon-based ‘little orchestra’ was created in 1994 in Portland, Oregon by Harvard graduate and classically trained pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale"
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 01:09 PM

smile smile smile

I am totally overwhelmed by all your responses. Thank you all.

Just from these alone, we have much to discuss and debate and share.

Right now, I'm waiting for the Geek Squad (computer nerds from Best Buy) to come and make my computer wireless. OH, HAPPY DAY!

This will allow me to carry it around all over the house instead of having to sit here at my desk, hunched over and causing my back to protest very loudly.


I would like to respond to some of your threads. Not that I am an expert (only an expert in my love for his music). But I've read many books about him (but Frycek is the master!) And I must bow to her knowledge. I swear I don't know where she gets it all. But we'll manage, over the next few weeks/months, to pick her brain. laugh

And, as a few of you have stated, although I do love other composers' music, only Chopin finds that spot somewhere deep within and manages to speak with music the words I wish I could say.


Jolly Roger: I love your analogy of the warm blanket. thumb

The doorbell just rang.


Til later,
Kathleen
Posted By: wisdom26

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 06:06 PM

Thankyou for starting this thread.

I do like all kinds of music and enjoy many composers. However I must say that I have fallen head over heels in love with Chopin's music. The more I hear of it, the more I want to improve my piano skills to learn that wonderful music and to play it as well as possible to give it justice. I dream of the day I can sit down at a piano and perform some of those difficult pieces to entertain others and bring a little bit of Chopin to their lives too.
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 07:50 PM

It was while chatting today to Frycek about the
Revolutionary Etude 10.12 that I allowed my mind
to imagine the catalyst which sparked Chopin's dramatic burst of national fervour.

One of the stories goes that he had to be persuaded by a close friend not to allow his boyish resentment at the Russian capture of Warsaw ... to result in him becoming cannon-fodder by taking up a gun in defence of his beloved homeland ... it doesn't seem to be clearly documented exactly when he wrote the Etude ... but the popular image seems to be kept alive of a slim youthful patriot hurling his most potent weapon ... a raging Etude of patriotic defiance at the the big bully from the east...
Posted By: jollyroger

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/10/06 11:10 PM

Actually, Chopin was Polish. He was born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin in the village of Żelazowa Wola, Poland, to a Polish mother and French expatriate father. Hailed as a child prodigy in his homeland, Chopin left for Paris at the age of 20. In Paris, he made a career as a performer and teacher as well as a composer, and adopted the French variant of his name, "Frédéric-François". (Wikipedia.)

No doubt though, he was clearly inspired by his newfound country.

Regards,
Roger
Posted By: Reaper978

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 12:43 AM

I think the Ballade no. 1 is one of the finest pieces of music ever composed. The more I listen to this incredible composer, the more I hear his genius. Absolutely brilliant music.
Posted By: sotto voce

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 01:29 AM

Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 01:33 AM

They say there's not been a day since 1849, not even during the two world wars, when Chopin's grave has been without flowers.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 10:35 AM

Sotto voce wrote :
Quote
When I take my first trip to Paris, I will immediately make a ritual pilgrimage to Père Lachaise -- as I'm sure so many have done before me.
I have been to Père Lachaise to see Chopin's grave , just to say "thank you", that was a very special experience for me.
I also spent the summer in Warsaw when I was 22, I wanted to see Fryderyk Chopin and Marie Curie's homeland. - But I do have a little shorter way travelling there than you.
Now I dream about going to US once in my life, I would like to see NY.

Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 11:34 AM

Ragnhild, please share your experience in Poland with us.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 01:59 PM

I just lost three messages (one took me an hour to write). mad

Will write later after I recovered from this frustration!!

Kathleen
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 04:30 PM

I love so many composers but for me there is none that so completely fills my love of piano music. One can't help but wonder what he would have created had he lived to say the age Liszt lived to (his 70's)? But then again, I wonder how much of the emotion we feel in Chopin's work had to do with the fact that he was so ill and must have known he would not live long?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 04:33 PM

Hi Again:

I’ve finally gotten smart and am now composing everything in Word first, then doing a cut and paste.

karaeloko:

You sound just like me by refusing to learn any music other than Chopin. My teacher is having a fit. I told her I would do Bach only because Chopin thought he was the ultimate, and what was good enough for Chopin is good enough for me. But truthfully, I have a hard time getting his music. I can’t, in all good faith, tell you that you should try other composers. Because I feel that one has to learn something they love. Especially in my case, when it takes so long to complete a piece. If I didn’t love it, I’d hate it by the time I was finished (as in Fur Elise).

Jolly Roger: Rubinstein is my favorite also. I actually had sat on the same stage with him many years ago. I went to his All-Chopin concert (it doesn’t get any better than that), and since the hall was packed, they had to put some fold-up chairs on the stage. That’s where I sat, about 10 feet away from him while he played. Quite truthfully, I can’t remember much because I was in the state of shock. Good luck with your new pieces.


Frank: Why did you pick a name like that? You’re probably young, thin and extremely attractive…like me! :p

You said something that has always been in back of my head. What it would have been like to have heard Chopin play. It isn’t trite at all. To hear him play his own music, what I wouldn’t give for that. He was considered the tops in his day, even over Liszt, if you can imagine. The only thing people would complain about was his soft touch. They were used to the bang and boom (ala Liszt). That’s one of the reasons Chopin didn’t like to play in front of huge crowds. He preferred the intimacy of the salon.

Haizel: Thank you so much for that great quote. I’ve read it a few times and thought what compassion he showed for those of us (not virtuosos, just ordinary struggling amateurs) trying our best to do justice to his music. It’s too bad he didn’t get a chance to finish his book on technique. He was starting from the beginning…explaining the staves and name of notes, etc. Then he went on a bit about technique, but he didn’t get very far. Still we can glean from what he wrote some great concepts. Fingering, pedal use, etc.

That’s a great book, by the way. Thanks again.

Ragnhild: I think your love for Chopin matches mine. The slow movement of the F minor (in my opinion) is the most beautiful music ever written. It breaks your heart and I don’t mind confessing has brought me to tears many times. He wrote it during his passion for Costantia Gladkowska, whom he thought to be “the idea.” He loved her from afar.

It is often said that Chopin was “in love with the idea of love.”

The chronology of the concertos has given rise to controversy. The F minor, op 21, although composed before the E minor. The former was published in April, 1836, the latter in 1833.

Euan: I just read about the Godowsky Etudes last night. I had never heard of them, so I am hardly an expert. From: The Chopin Companion by Alan Walker (which is considered by many an excellent book) He says: Mention must be made of a curious collection of pieces called Studien uber die Etuden von Chopin, by Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938). There were 53 of them….including a C sharp minor version of the Revolutionary Study. …All the pieces show a phenomenal ingenuity in exploiting to the outside limit the technical possibilities of the piano and the human hand. But there is something monstrous and slightly repellent in this total obsession with technique, something from which Chopin himself was quite free. Godowsky’s pieces were not really acceptable in the concert hall although he himself thought they were. He was a slightly inhibited player, though all those who heard him in private were deeply impressed.

I think I’ll take a pass on Chopin with a Latin beat.

Wisdom26: I share your dream. To be able to play his music and do it some justice. Just a suggestion, try smaller pieces. I currently learning Mazurka Op 67. 3 and 4 and a beauty of a nocturne in C minor, posth. All just two pages long.


Btb: Yes, it is believed that the 10.12 was born in Stuttgart in 1831. This was the time Chopin heard of the defeat of the Polish uprising by the Russians. In his journal at this time , he described in detail his anguish and horror at the thought that his sisters and mother were being raped, his father killed, and even the grave of his dead sister trampled. Huneker says of this etude: "The composer has flung with overwhelming fury , the darkest, the most demoniac expressions of his nature. Here is no veiled surmise, no smothered rage, but all sweeps along in tornadic passion. ….Great in outline, pride, force and velocity, it never relaxes its grim grip from the first shrill dissonance to the overwhelming chordal close."

(I told you Huneker was quite flowery). However, I love this description of this piece.

Jolly Roger: Actually Chopin has half and half. His father, French, left his homeland at the age of 19 (I think) and settled in Poland, where he felt welcomed. He ever returned to France or saw any of his relatives. Frederick’s mother was all Polish and from distant aristocracy. She was a simple, but loving and sensitive woman. And it is believed that Chopin inherited these qualities from her. From his father, the need for perfection and being “proper.”

Reaper978: (It’s coming, I promise). I love that Ballade also. Can’t help but be swept away by its power. Ah yes, we all agree. Brilliant music, indeed.

SottoVoce: So glad to welcome you. When I first noticed your avatar and user name, I knew you were “one of us.” If I were as talented as you with words, I could have written your message. Lucky you, going to Paris. Is it soon? Let us know how it went.

Ragnhild; How’s the nocturne coming?

I was moved by your words…”to say thank you.” For that’s what I say to myself every time I listen to any of his music or try to play one of his compositions. The worse thing is reading his biography. His story is crushing and so utterly depressing. Yes, please tell us about your trip to Poland. Do you know that at the home of his birth, on every Sunday, they have a little concert in the garden? Some local pianist plays all Chopin to entertain those who have gathered there. It’s been going on for a long time.

I’m talked out. Aren’t you all glad.

Thanks again for joining our group. It’s just a way (to use Ragnhild’s words) to say “Thank you.”

Kathleen

P.S. Please excuse any typos. I’m trying to hurry because I still don’t trust computers and I’m afraid all of this will end up where all the missing socks from the dryer are. smile
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 04:38 PM

Hi Peyton:

Interesting point. I, too, have often wondered if knowing that his days were numbered might have, in some way, contributed to his ability to write such heart-felt music, both the lovely nocturnes and mazurkas but also the powerful, dark and foreboding scherzos, ballades and polanaises. He could be full of rage in one and full of tenderness in another.

What a guy!!

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 05:26 PM

I think you will be very disappointed in me now, Frycek when i tell you that I did not se Chopin's home in Zelazowa Wola. shocked
When I came to Warsaw for a summer job in 1987 (yes I am that old) it was quite overwhelming, and the most important I got from it was a history lesson

You might know that Norway is a small, rich social-democracy with lots of nature and little culture, and I was probably a bit spoiled.
Poland in 1987 was still a communist-country with shortage of everything and people who lived in Warsaw had a hard time with tiny salaries and queueing up for everything from toilet paper to bus tickets.

I was lucky to have time off to look around but the language was a problem. I saw the old mediaeval castles of Wawel and Marlbork, the beautiful old town of Krakow and the totally rebuilt old town of Warsaw (the second world war left nothing of the original). I walked through the Kazimierz area that was the location of "Schindler's list" and Praga that they used as the Ghetto in "The pianist". (but I did not know they were going to make these films .)I also saw the concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau which is made a museum.

I was very surprised to find the beautiful catholic churches open all night, you could just go inside, light a candel and pray. I guess I learned a little about what it means to really have faith in Poland.
I was also in Gdansk when the Solidarity movement had one of its demonstrations.

Of course I also heard Chopin played, in Wilanov castle and in Lazienki park, but I don't think the performers were the best, in fact the best concert experience I had in Warsaw-87 was not a Polish performer.

I think I should go back some day, Warsaw is totally different now and I should make a pilgrimage to Zelazowa Wola, I think my priorities have changed a little because now most of all I would like to see Chopin's handwriting smile

Today, 5 years after another tragic lesson of history, I think maybe when we learn more of the cruelty of the world, we need the beauty of music like Chopin's even more.

Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 06:25 PM

Ragnhilde, what a very sensitive post. Thank you for sharing with us. Even at the darkest times some softening hope sometimes shines out. The church where Chopin's heart is enshrined was destroyed during the bombing of Warsaw. It was a German officer who found the intact urn containing Chopin's heart in the rubble. The Nazi's hated Chopin as an icon of Polish patriotism and had blown up his statue. The urn containing his heart would have been quite a prize for the Reich, but the officer was a music lover and quietly, secretly found a Polish priest and gave him the urn for safekeeping.
Posted By: Patty39

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 06:50 PM

Yikes, just came back from a busy day, want to let you know that I am in. Wonderful idea. Tomorrow more.

Patty
Posted By: kathyk

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 07:08 PM

I'm in too. I'm not as much a devotee as some of you, but man, in my 40+ years of playing piano, I just keeping coming back to him. I had a long hiatus of a couple decades during which I was immersed in Brahms. Then my son came up the ranks and started learning Chopin with a Chopin expert - an elderly Russian woman who studied at the Paris Conservatory with Cortot (who was taught by one of Chopin's students). He became another victim of Chopin-lust. Not only did he start playing Chopin incessantly (and beautifully, I might add), but he started needling me about why I didn't play Chopin.

It's funny. It's almost as if Chopin fell out of vogue. The music lost its luster for me for a period. But, my son drew me back in and in I have been now for the past three or four years now.

I too am listening to various Chopin recordings almost incessantly these days. Yes, indeed - Chopin is THE pianists' composer.
Posted By: Shey

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 09:10 PM

This is to LovesChopinTooMuch,
I am a complete beginner to piano and classical music. I am becoming obsessed with Chopin. I found a CD first in my local charity shop and have listened and loved it. I Don't know anything about him, but would love to play something. Is there anything a beginner could have a go at, beginner as at 13 weeks learning!!!! Shey
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 09:29 PM

Hi Shey:

Gosh, 13 weeks.

Do you have a teacher? This might help somewhat. But it also might hinder since most would probably say you were not ready for anything by Chopin. :rolleyes:

Here's my take on this. If you love a piece of music (even though it might be a little ...or even a lot out of your league,) with lots of practice and loads of love, you can almost accomplish the impossible. The trick is to be determined.

HOWEVER, you could be setting yourself up for a lot of frustration (which kept me away from the piano for 15 years). We certainly don't want that to happen to you. Especially now, that you are just beginning. frown

I think the easiest piece (at least the first one I learned ..on my own) was his Prelude, Op. 28, No. 7. It's only about 15 measures in length. But, be careful...as in lots of Chopin's music, looks can be deceiving.

It has a lot of chords, mostly octave (two C's or two A', etc.). And there is an impossible reach in 5th meaure from the end. But the good news is...a lot of repeats.

It isn't a big sounding piece, but one that everyone has heard and loves because it's quite charming and elegant and short (a big plus). smile

Shey: I know how badly you would love to play Chopin. I wish you well. Give the prelude a try. It might take a while. But in the end, you'll be able to say: "I can play Chopin."

Doesn't get any better than that.

Good luck and check in with us. Also if anyone else has any other suggestions for Shey, please jump in. If you think I am giving her some bad advice, please let me (and the rest of us) know.

And buy more of Chopin's recordings. You have a whole new world out there to discover, lucky you!

Kathleen
Posted By: sarabande

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 09:43 PM

I always loved hearing Chopin's music but haven't learned much of it frown . I asked a teacher once if I could learn some Chopin and he never replied one way or another - just kind of ignored the comment.

I since (some time ago) bought a book of the complete Preludes and Etudes. But I took one look at the music, closed the book never to return to Chopin again.

It still is in the back of my mind that I'd like to play some of his music.

Can anyone recommend some of the simplest Chopin pieces? I'd kind of like to play some simpler one's just for fun. What are some of his simplest works to play?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/11/06 10:10 PM

Thank you, Ragnhild, so much for sharing your experiences in Poland. You described everything so beautifully. You have the soul of a poet.

Regarding Chopin's heart. He had a real fear of being buried alive, as did his father. So he asked his sister to have his heart removed right after his death and requested it be buried in Poland. One can look at this in two ways. That his heart belonged to his motherland. Or he just wanted to make certain he was truly dead when buried. I prefer to think it was the former.

My grandfather (born in Poland and was once a guard at the Russian front) used to tell us kids horror stories of people, who were thought to be dead, laid out in the living room of people's homes. The bereaved saying prayers around the coffin. All of a sudden, the would-be corpse got up, looked around and had a strange look on her/his face. "Who invited all these people?"

Frycek: That's pretty amazing about that Nazi officer. (I have my fingers crossed).


Welcome Patty and Saraband. A special welcome BACK to Chopin for Katy. I envy you your son's love for music and his special adoration for Chopin. Also, wow...what a teacher you had.

Saraband: Too bad about your teacher.

I would love to recommend some compositions to you. What level do you think you are? Beginner or Intermediate and, if you could, indicate what level in those...such as middle beginner or advanced intermediate, etc.

A lot of Chopin's music can be played by middle-intermediate students. Lots of really beautiful pieces. Mazurkas, a few noctures and many preludes and much more. Please let me know.

Kahleen
Posted By: sarabande

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/12/06 02:21 AM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
A lot of Chopin's music can be played by middle-intermediate students. Lots of really beautiful pieces. Mazurkas, a few noctures and many preludes and much more. Please let me know.

Kahleen
I do like to play mostly middle intermediate level pieces for my own personal enjoyment. It's because I find myself gravitating toward simplicity in music. It is the Mazurkas and Nocturnes and such that I would be interested in. What would you recommend?
Posted By: sotto voce

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/12/06 03:37 AM

I have a number of comments on some things in the preceding messages.

The Chopin Companion by Alan Walker really is excellent. It's in the vein of Jim Samson's books, but I think it's a little less "dry" in its musical analyses and therefore more readable. (I think it's still out of print, but a couple of used copies are currently available on amazon.com.)

Also, Chopin's Letters, published by Dover (and therefore quite inexpensive!), is a very interesting look into the personality and psyche of our hero; one appreciates his sheer humanity, and that he had quirks and foibles like all of us.

I had not pondered the extent to which Chopin's inspiration and drive to write his most mature and masterful compositions in his "late" period was related to a sense of his days being numbered. I need to re-read Chopin's Letters myself to get a better sense of his own awareness of how rapidly he was approaching the end of his life.

I do know, though, that the masterworks in question were not produced in the actual final few years. The Cello Sonata, his last large-scale work and the last opus published in his lifetime, was completed by 1846. I think that by the last 3 years of his life, Chopin was so ill physically that his creativity was impacted. The concert tour of England and Scotland in 1848 must have been almost unbearably difficult for him.

On the other hand, I seem to recall reading that Schubert -- who died even more prematurely than our beloved Chopin -- had an amazingly intense burst of creative energy just a short time before his death, and that some of his masterworks (like the Sonata in B flat?) were conceived and penned practically overnight. Can anyone corroborate?

And I had no knowledge of Chopin's heart being rescued by a Nazi soldier. Now, that's proof that the power of beautiful music is transcendent.

Okay, I don't mean to stir up controversy with the subject I'm about to broach, but I have to comment on Chopin's lovers (as opposed to Chopin lovers!). laugh I'm just trying to keep it real!
Quote
Originally posted by CHAS on March 22, 2006:
The biography of Chopin that I read made me wonder what would his music would have been like in the absence of homophobia.
The biographer made allusions to Chopin's homosexuality, the resulting repression must have had an effect. He did have "friends" that visited when he lived with George Sand, but in that time people did not "come out".
I wonder which biography that was, because Chopin scholars have typically refused even to "go there" -- except to defensively dismiss any possibility that same-sex attraction could possibly be imputed to Chopin. This urge to deny the significance of evidence to the contrary reeks of "doth protest too much." Like CHAS, I've wondered how the creativity of artists of the past might have been impacted in the absence of cultural and societal homophobia. And what especially interests me is how much more we might know if it weren't for the homophobic bias of historians and biographers!

I believe it's obvious from the written record that Chopin's relationship with Titus Wojciechowski (the dedicatee of the Opus 2 Variations) was the defining one of his life. The implications of their early correspondence has generally been suppressed, distorted or justified by commentary to the effect that the norms governing expressions of affection between men were completely different then -- i.e., that the explicitly lustful yearnings expressed were emphatically not romantic or, heaven forbid, sexual in nature.

Anyone who reads Chopin's Letters will see that Chopin's devotion to Titus Wojciechowski was lifelong. The month before his passing, Chopin wrote to him on the topic of arranging for Titus to visit Chopin in Paris. How much should we "read between the lines"? Indeed, we can only guess.

Wikipedia's entry for Chopin makes no mention whatsoever of Titus Wojciechowski. Does anyone else think that should be addressed and corrected?

Just a few of other things. I mentioned this in another thread, but everyone here should be interested to know that there is an orchestrated version of the Allegro de Concert on Vox Box "The Romantic Piano Concerto" Volume 1 (which also has the wonderful Henselt concerto). So, in a sense, we do have a very good -- albeit speculative -- example of what the first movement of the proposed third concerto would sound like! It's completely faithful to Chopin's score. The alternations of solo and tutti are the ones that are palpable in the piano solo score; even the instrumentation seems spot on, if much more elaborate than what Chopin would probably have devised.

Also, I recently acquired a used-but-like-new "The Complete Rubinstein" -- the enormous suitcase-sized box set of nearly 100 CDs -- from amazon.com. Perhaps I'll post my impressions occasionally as I work my way through it.

Finally, regarding my comment about Paris and Père Lachaise: I have no plans to go to Paris imminently. Unfortunately, I was just mentioning what will be first on my list of things to do when I finally do go there!
Posted By: Patty39

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/12/06 09:44 AM

SHEY, Jesus, 13 weeks! Anyway, please go directly for Prelude No 4 Opus 28 in e minor. I discovered this Prelude after round about 1/2 a year learning (maybe a bit earlier) and hesitated first, BUT you will 100% for sure be able to grasp the beauty of this composition. Don't worry about the stretto part, you won't be able to play it (I am just recently able to survive it). AND you can play it real, real slow and soft (just don't drown the right hand notes with you left). Imagine, I have been enjoying this masterly little piece for more 1 1/2 years now!

When I started to discover it, it gave me thrills all over! I'll never forget this experience - back then I had no idea what kind of sound the score in front of my face would produce, and I was in awe with every new chord I played. I have tears in my eyes remembering...

I am off playing...

Patty
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/12/06 01:34 PM

Sotto Voce: Excellent subject, and one I would love to comment upon later (after I practice.)

I know Frycek (our resident expert on Chopin...she knows just about everything) will also comment.

Patty39: I do agree with you that Prelude Op 28, e minor is "relatively" easy to play...but not that easy to play well. The constant chords in the LH can drown out the delicate one note melody line in the RH. But it is CERTAINLY worth the effort to give it a try.

Because my piano is so old and has a broken something, I find I have to use both the right and left pedals to keep those chords at bay. Also, it's difficult to keep them from sounding so "pounding." But it can be done, with practice. Good suggestion.

It does break your heart with its pathos. I can empathize with your tears. Every time I play it, I have to sit still on the bench for a few minutes to "recover."

I am constantly amazed how he (with just one note) can create such utter despair.

Chopin requested it be played at his funeral along with #6.

Go for it, Shey! You won't be sorry.

And you'll most definitely be "hooked."

Kathleen
Posted By: Patty39

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 06:32 AM

I'd like to add a little story that involves our famous Waltz in A minor op. posth.: I remember that I had the score for a while, but I had never heard the waltz before. Somewhere around January I decided to try out the right hand to see how it sounded, it did not convince me. Then one day in February I just sat down and told myself what the heck, try both hands together and hack through it. The effect threw me off balance because the beauty of the piece unravelled instantly. Just a few days later I went to a concert with Gregory Sokolow, and guess what, his encore was this waltz, I couldn't believe my ears! And just back on Sunday my sister-in-law played it again as an encore at her concert for me - beautiful to hear it played by professional pianists! Sigh, I love this piece...

Patty
Posted By: Fat Old Ugly Frank

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 12:52 PM

There's a book I have, "Essential Keyboard Repertoire 85 Early/Late Intermediate Selections In Their Original Form Baroque to Modern" Selected and Edited by Maurice Hinson. It contains 5 very playable Chopin pieces, including the posthumous A minor Waltz. It also contains a bunch of other nice stuff too.

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/29/172.html has a link to a recording I made of one of those pieces.
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 01:41 PM

Patty,

Are you talking about the waltz 34/2 in A min? You say posth and I didn't think that one was?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 03:04 PM

Is this the waltz (numbered 17) you mean?


waltz in a minor 17 post


It's absolutely delightful.

Kahleen
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 04:20 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Is this the waltz (numbered 17) you mean?


waltz in a minor 17 post


It's absolutely delightful.

Kahleen
Ohhh, that one. That is pretty. I was looking through my Shirmer Chopin waltzes and couldn't find it. Still can't for that matter. Guess it's not there.
Posted By: Patty39

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 05:28 PM

Yes, Kathleen, this is the waltz, now Peyton has to listen if it is 34/2...

Beautiful.

Patty
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 06:28 PM

That Waltz in A minor is No 19 or Brown Index 150. I must say I like Mike White (Yamaha G-3 & P-80) playing of this Waltz much better than Valery Lloyd-Watts'. It's a Waltz and Mike played it like a Waltz, and Valery played it like a Nocturne or something like that.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 06:34 PM

Quote
Originally posted by LisztAddict:
That Waltz in A minor is No 19 or Brown Index 150. I must say I like Mike White (Yamaha G-3 & P-80) playing of this Waltz much better than Valery Lloyd-Watts'. It's a Waltz and Mike played it like a Waltz, and Valery played it like a Nocturne or something like that.
Does anyone need the music for it? I've got a copy and it's gotten hard to find now. I could scan it.
Posted By: karaeloko

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 09:22 PM

I have a thing for haunting pieces. Music I like tend to be romantic, sad and haunting. Most of Chopin music falls into this category.

Just listen to Chopin Nocturnes to have an idea of what I mean. Listen to Chopin Nocturne Op.48 No.1, Nocturne Op.27 No.2, Chopin Nocturne in C# minor. Prelude No.4 is such a simple piece of music but it's got such a powerfull feeling.

And no, I am not forgetting any other pieces, I just think it'd be better to keep this post short.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 09:39 PM

No it's not Op. 34/2; it doesn't have an opus mumber. Just called Waltz in A minor, #17.

The 34/2 is a completely different waltz.

Sotto Voce:
I think the jury is deadlocked on the subject of Chopin's possible homosexuality.

What a paradox this man was. To this day, I don't think anyone has come close to understanding what went on inside his head or within his heart.

What he couldn't put in words, he put into his music. And from the range of emotions in his works, he went from one extreme to the other. Almost (and some have suggested this) like a manic-depressive.

When writing to his childhood friends, Chopin often employed phrases as: My soul, My dear, My life, "I kiss you cordially on the mouth with your permission, Love me sweetheart, I love only you, Give me your mouth. None of Chopin's friends were homsexual.

We can understand why some biographers have winced at such excesses of language and why one came up with a theory about Chopin's conscious or latent homosexuality.

(It also might be worth mentioning that Chopin was raised by women, his mother and sisters...and he was the only boy in the family. He could have very well acquired a certain trace of femininity from being around them.)


Chopin had an extreme reserve with regard to women. According to George Sand (with whom he lived for nine years), "He scorns the realities of the flesh. He says that certain acts could spoil one's memories."

Some authors think that his imagination predominated over his sense of reality, the idea of love seemed more exciting than love itself, in its physical form.

I personally can accept this statement because of the music he wrote. So much of it is filled with such a sense of strong yearning, unrequited love type of sadness, and soulful loneliness. Almost like a schoolgirl/boy fantasizes about a "dream lover." Especially the slow movement of his concerto in E. It was written to express his feelings about a young girl with whom he went to school, Konstancja Gladkowska. How he did worshipped her (from afar, naturally). He did speak with her but only about mundane matters. Never did he express his feelings about her. He wrote to his friend Titus...that she was his ideal. That movement in the concerto always brings tears to my eyes because of its heartbreaking loveliness and quiet passion.

What is so sad...several years after his death when through his letters it was discovered how he felt about her, she was totally suprised and said that she thought he was quite strange and much too shy. Then she went on her merry way without another thought about the whole thing.

Yes, Titus Wojciechowski was a lifelong friend. Extremely handsome, he was a robust gentleman farmer and was married to Countess Poleytillo. He was frequently appalled by the effusiveness of his friend whose genius he admired, but he did not hesitate to put him in his place: "I don't liked to be kissed!" (Men kissing men on the mouth was quite common place in Russia and could have very well been accepted as custom in Poland also.) Hey, the French kiss men to this day, first on one check and then the other.

I remember growing up (my mother's side was Polish) and my granfather used to kiss his grown sons and grandchildren on the mouth. We never thought anything of it.

Well, I guess one could write a book on this subjct alone (perhaps it has been done).

He was a tortured soul most of his life. The brief periods of true happiness were mostly from his childhood. Then, here and there....and once in a while.

I'm currently reading the book: Chopin by Bernard Gavoty. He makes it quite clear tht he believes Chopin was the best thing to happen to music. He often refers to him as "our hero." Our hero did this...or Our hero did that, or Our poor hero... Quite charming, I think and exceptionally sensitive.

Kathleen
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 10:35 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Frycek:
Quote
Originally posted by LisztAddict:
[b] That Waltz in A minor is No 19 or Brown Index 150. I must say I like Mike White (Yamaha G-3 & P-80) playing of this Waltz much better than Valery Lloyd-Watts'. It's a Waltz and Mike played it like a Waltz, and Valery played it like a Nocturne or something like that.
Does anyone need the music for it? I've got a copy and it's gotten hard to find now. I could scan it. [/b]
I'd love a copy. It's such a nice waltz I'm surprised it's not in the usual Chopin collection book?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 10:35 PM

Sorry for the long post (above).

I, also, think that Mike White played the waltz exceptionally well. He is my hero (speaking of heroes).

But I do like Valarie's rendition. I think by playing it slowly, the charm of the piece comes shining through.

I play it slowly also. For two reasons: I like it that way, and 2) I don't do "fast" very well. Whenever I try to speed it up a tad, I fumble all over the place. Even though (as a whole) it is not a difficult piece, it does have some tricky spots. And they trip me up more often than not.

Peyton: Don't you think that the nocture we're learning sounds like a polonaise? It has such a slow, heavy and stately beginning and a lot of angst all over. Certainly not typical of some of his other nocturnes.

I tried recording the following enchanting nocturne via audacity...not the best quality. But for those looking for something relatively easy and wonderful to play, consider this.


Nocture in C minor

Kathleen
Posted By: sotto voce

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 10:37 PM

Kathleen, I appreciate your thoughts on the subject and the sensitivity with which you express them.
Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
None of Chopin's friends were homsexual.
That's true insofar as we are aware, but something we can never know because, as CHAS said in his earlier post in another thread, people just didn't "come out" in those days.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/13/06 10:43 PM

How true.

Considering what Tschaikovsy (sp?) went through, it's no wonder.

How so tragic about him. What a waste.

Kathleen
Posted By: karaeloko

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 02:23 AM

Just a quick note. Kathleen, the Nocturne you posted is the posthumous c minor. It's just that there are two Nocturnes in c minor OP.48 No.1 and the one you posted. I just wanted to make the distinction.

Nice recording by the way.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 03:19 AM

Actually one of Chopin's friends was a homosexual and a notorious one at that. He was the Marquis de Custine, minor poet and major travel writer who wrote a definite portrait of Russia. De Custine had been married young to a young lady of his mother's chosing. He apparently loved her deeply in spite of his sexual orientation. After she and their baby died in childbirth he began to seek the company of other men. He made overtures to the wrong man and ended up beaten and bloody on a road outside of Paris. After that he came out. His own level of society shunned him so he found his friends among the more tolerant artistic circles frequented Chopin and Delacroix. By the time Chopin met him, De Custine was established with his life partner, an Englishman named Edward. Chopin in the company of other men, like Delacroix occasionally spent a weekend at De Custine's estate. Chopin rode donkey's by day and entertained the company at the piano in the evenings. Chopin kept a very kind letter De Cusine wrote to him. De Custine wrote it at about the time Chopin's engagement broke off. Chopin must've been obviously ill and depressed. De Custine wrote to him that though he sensed Chopin's troubles were not just physical, regardles of how troubled he was, that he must take care of himself. De Custine offered him a loan if it were necessary for Chopin to take a cure at a spa or to simply give off teaching to rest, or the use of his estate to recuperate. Chopin didn't take him up on it but thought enough of the kindness of the gesture to keep the letter.
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 09:42 AM

"A horse, a horse ... my kingdom for" ... a jolly old copy of the Chopin C minor (1837) Nocturne post. How tantalising to hear Ashkenazy doing his CD thing ... nice job Kathleen and thanks for the lead ... and finding that my ABRSM edition fades at 19 Nocturnes and doesn't include the extra two nocturnes ... the post. C sharp and the C minor (1837).

Even the Sheet Music Archives ( where I seem to download a daily 2 gems) haven't added the C minor (1837) Nocturne to their marvellous list. Can't wait to get to the keyboard with this early work.

Can anybody help me with an instant copy? ... scrub round the horseless wild kingdom offer ... perhaps I can ask Tom Pearce to lend me his grey mare.

The date of the C minor Nocturne (1837) would indicate that Chopin was still studying his craft under Elsner. Could the "post." be as a result of Chopin regarding the Nocturne as something beneath him ... we know that on his deathbed in 1849:

"He orders all his unpublished and uncompleted works to be thrown on the fire. He said to Wojciech Grzymala (some name!!):
"You will find many works, more or less worth of me; in the name of the affection which you hold for me, please burn them all apart from the beginning of my method for piano. The rest, without any exception, must be consumed by fire, for I have too much respect for my public and I do not want all the pieces unworthy of my public to be distributed on my responsibility under my name." In his last hours, as Pauline Viardot recounts, he still found the strength to say a warm word to everyone.
Posted By: Numerian

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 11:43 AM

I'm not a 100% Chopin player; I go through periods where Bach or Liszt or others become my focus. But I gravitate back to Chopin more than to any other composer, and it's safe to say he is the pole star for most amateurs and certainly for audiences at piano recitals. Why is that?

I can think of at least two qualities to his music that account for this: accessibility and - I'll make this word up - "transportability". His music is immediately accessible on an emotional level, and defines Romanticism for many people. He also has the ability to transport you to another world, especially when listening to a fine artist playing Chopin. You are suddenly out of the real world and cocooned in another place altogether, a place of your own imagination that you can construct any way you want out of the emotions the music evokes. His Nocturnes in particular have this quality, and I've been in recitals where the audience is so enwrapped in the experience they forget to applaud at the end (I'm thinking especially of Artur Rubinstein's performance of the Nocturnes).
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 12:25 PM

Actually the 1837 date is probably wrong for the C Minor Posthumous Noctune. If the write up in the Paderewski edition Minor Works is correct the date 1837 (the rational for which is never given and is not printed in the Paderweski) the date should've been around 1827 when Chopin was 17 and studying composition under Professor Elsner. I actually think it was a piece he left in Poland and forgot about. How it survived until 1937 when it was first published and reached the Paris Conservatory Library which provided the manuscript, is anybody's guess. It may have been a piece he'd left in the album of one of his teenaged friends that made it's way to library through a bequest or an auction. Most of the papers Chopin left with his family including the manuscripts for half a dozen waltzes were destroyed in 1866 when the Russians trashed and burned the belongings of the tenants of the building in which Chopin's mother and surviving sister were still living as a reprisal for an attempted assasinatiion of the Russian governor by one of the tenants. Of course the nocturne may've been one of the papers sister Isabella did manage to save.

I have a copy that may be scanned if it can wait till I get off work this evening.
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 12:48 PM

Thanks Frycek ... your kind offer is awaited with baited breathe.

You are a real Sherlock Holmes when it comes to the history of Chopin ... it is quite by chance that you support my presumption that the Nocturne was written during the Elsner period (however, I must come clean in having got my sums wrong and missed out a decade ... being totally distracted and trying to rationalize the unworthy "post."

Perhaps we'll never know when the Nocturne was written ... but who's complaining when there's prospect of delighting in an untried Chopin work.
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 12:49 PM

double post ... sorry chaps
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 01:08 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:


Peyton: Don't you think that the nocture we're learning sounds like a polonaise? It has such a slow, heavy and stately beginning and a lot of angst all over. Certainly not typical of some of his other nocturnes.

I tried recording the following enchanting nocturne via audacity...not the best quality. But for those looking for something relatively easy and wonderful to play, consider this.


Nocture in C minor

Kathleen
Yea, I can hear a bit of a polonais in there. Hey, are you playing the Nocturne here? My computer won't play it (unrecognized format) but I'm curious.
Posted By: karaeloko

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 02:49 PM

btb:

I have a pdf copy of the sheet music of the nocturne in c minor. I don't know the policy regarding the posting of sheet music. so, if you want me to send it to you, send me your email by pm or however you wish.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 02:59 PM

Peyton:

I'll try putting in on boxnet although I did have a problem doing that also.

Please give it another chance. I promise you it will be worth the effort to hear this enchanting piece. And knowing you...you'll have it learned in two days!!

OK...it's working on boxnet. You don't have to download it, just listen. And I only recorded about half, since the last half was basically repeated. Again, the quality is bad, too tinny, but I think you'll hear its beauty anyway.

Nocturne in C minor posth

No, I'm not playing it, it's Valerie again.

But I am learning it and loving it. Definitely Slavic in its melody.

karaeloko: I don't think you have to worry about it. The copyright on it has long ago expired.

Kathleen
Posted By: karaeloko

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 03:22 PM

Yeah, I figured that one out. It's just that there is always the righteous poster that has to say something about copyright infringement everytime.

My webpage is acting up so I uploaded it to savefile.com

Nocturne in c minor post.

http://www.savefile.com/files/70134
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 09:00 PM

Not to worry. smile

If the forum police come to arrest you, we will all visit you in jail and bring a file inside a chocolate cake. laugh

Kathleen
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 09:06 PM

Quote
Originally posted by karaeloko:
Yeah, I figured that one out. It's just that there is always the righteous poster that has to say something about copyright infringement everytime.

My webpage is acting up so I uploaded it to savefile.com

Nocturne in c minor post.

http://www.savefile.com/files/70134
I tried but I couldn't find a download button... confused
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 09:09 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Pe

Please give it another chance. I promise you it will be worth the effort to hear this enchanting piece. And knowing you...you'll have it learned in two days!!
I got it to play. Very pretty.
Posted By: karaeloko

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/14/06 09:14 PM

Peyton,

The download button is on the lower right corner. Should be orange.
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/15/06 10:52 AM

A huge thank you to Karaeloko for the copy of the Chopin Nocturne in C minor (1837). No sooner printed than the Nocturne is under the fingers ...

While I'm writing this blurb, I'm listening to Kathleen doing a mighty fine job of playing the first 24 measures of the Nocturne ... take a bow madame!! ...

This Nocturne is clearly not written by the mature Chopin of 1837 ... and has all the indications of a fresh hand in the the art of musical composition ... Frycek could be on the money in suggesting the earlier date of 1827 ... when Chopin was a 17 year old student under Elsner.

The Nocturne would fall under Chopin's extremely high standards of "not being worthy" ... here we see a budding genius using his first LH rhythmic outline to underpin his calling card largess of lacy RH extravagances ... but these are early days ... the format of eighth-note measures with experimental small chords on the 3rd and 7th beats will be discarded by the poet in later Nocturnes ... already in the opening opus 9 series we see a sparkling LH rhythmic pulse and the emergence of the characteristic Chopin inner double chords.

Chopin was yet to formulate his extraordinary aesthetic musical balance in this early study ... the work is top-heavy with lacy RH embellishments ... his noble poetic instincts drove him to a Spartan simplicity of design in his later works ... with brooding long-held notes and chordal passages crying out for the injection of those masterly nimble-fingered extravagances ... sheer genius.

Thank you again everybody ... I'm in a 7th heaven working up this early gem.
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/15/06 11:03 AM

Quote
Originally posted by karaeloko:
Peyton,

The download button is on the lower right corner. Should be orange.
Funny, one moment it's not there, then it is. Got it! Thanks.
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/15/06 12:39 PM

Numerian has given us his thoughts on that special Chopin something which has us coming back for more.

I'm sure lots of people ... especially the ladies can track down a wagonload of emotions in the
music of the Chopin... their sense of intuition is legendary.

But just to throw a slightly different slant on why we all like Chopin ... my take is purely a reaction to aesthetics... in this case sound aesthetics ... a reaction to an art form in sound.

Something dreamed up by man ... which acts as a
beacon of man's highest achievement to date.

In this same category, I would place a favourable reaction to seeing for the first time the Athenian Parthenon at sunrise, Rembrandt's "The Night Watch", Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel , Hoagy Carmichael singing "Stardust" at the Paladium, a summer evening viewing of " A Midsummer Night's Dream" on Regents Park,
van Gogh's Arles paintings ... but there is no nostalic emotion involved ... just a humbling sense of awe at being lucky enough to have the insight to appreciate an aesthetic masterpiece.

Just so with a Chopin Nocturne ... a supreme aesthetic sound pattern.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/15/06 12:43 PM

btb I'm glad Karaeloko came through with a copy of the Nocture. Peyton please PM me your email address so I can send you the no 19 Waltz.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/15/06 12:48 PM

Quote
Originally posted by btb:

This Nocturne is clearly not written by the mature Chopin of 1837 ... and has all the indications of a fresh hand in the the art of musical composition ... Frycek could be on the money in suggesting the earlier date of 1827 ... when Chopin was a 17 year old student under Elsner.

There's a wisp of a legend that Chopin wrote a nocturne while he was mourning for his favorite sister who died at the age of 15 in 1827. This would be a good candiate for that work.
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/15/06 01:21 PM

Admire your line of thought Frycek ... is there any way of linking the date of the Nocturne in C minor to the tragic death of Chopin's favourite sister?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/15/06 06:42 PM

Frycek:

I thought Chopin's favorite sister was Ludwika. At least that's what I've read. She and Frederick, being the two oldest, seemed to have a closer relationshop.

I'm quoting from Chopin: by Bernard Gavoty

"...the four Chopin children soon divided themselves into two cliques.. There was the "big kids" club, made up of Ludwika and Frycek; then there was the little kids' corner, where Isabella and Emilia played.

And it was Ludwika whom he called to Paris to get him through those last difficult weeks. She was at his side when he died.

She was also his tutor and taught him to play the piano although he soon surpassed both her and Chopin's mother. She was a very good musician herself, never tiring of playing four-handed with Frycek. She was and would remain the confidant of her brother. She also resembled him a great deal. "

The Chopins buried the youngest sister Emilia on on April 10, 1827.

It is very possible that Chopin composed this lovely nocturne for his youngest sister, who was a born poet.

Just a thought...no proof

btb: I am overwhelmed that you think I have so much talent. I'm sorry to deflate your impression of me, but that is not I playing the F minor nocture. How I wish it were so. It's Vladimir Ashkenazy. Who, in my opinion, plays so many of Chopin's compositions much too quickly, often ruining the melody line.

Again, just my opinion.

Ugh! I had a lesson yesterday and have swallowed my pride and stubbornness and am now practicing Hanon. After I heard Mel play the Heroic Polonaise (he said he played Hanon everyday)...just the first page or so and only after 7 days, I couldn't hold out any longer. Not only Hanon but Bach AND I put a new battery in my metronome (sp?).

Although I have the hardest time figuring out how I'm supposed to use it. The truth is I have a lousy sense of timing and can't even tell if I am keeping up with its beat.

You've all heard that expression: "...marches to the beat of a different drummer." Well, that's me.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/15/06 07:26 PM

He loved Ludwicka like another mother as big sisters so often are loved. She was also the most musical of his siblings so they had that in common. He actually played with Emilie, wrote and acted in plays with her, wrote a newspaper with her. He was three years younger than Ludwicka, two years older that Emilie. Who know which was the favorite? I doubt if even he did. He adored them both, in different ways. The odd sister out seems to be Isabella to whom he was closest in age. I picture her as a quiet bookworm. In one letter Chopin encloses a leaf from a famous battlefield "for Isabella," so I gather she was into history. She married her father's assistant teacher.

Re metronome. First just wind it. Set it to more or less the appropriate speed and let it tick in the background. Don't try to play to it at first, just let it be there. After a few days of this you'll get over you intimidation and find yourself unconsicously forming your rhythm to it. At least that's how it works for me.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/15/06 07:33 PM

Quote
Originally posted by btb:
Admire your line of thought Frycek ... is there any way of linking the date of the Nocturne in C minor to the tragic death of Chopin's favourite sister?
Since no really knows the actual date of the nocturne I doubt that could ever be proven. Some scholars put it into the right time period and I'm inclined to agree with them.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/15/06 10:20 PM

Thanks for the tip on the metronome. Will give it two weeeks. If I'm not completely "looney-tunes" by then, I give it a permanent home on my piano (somewhere near the far end, however).

Kathleen
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/16/06 10:59 AM

After looking up the Frederick Chopin Society in Warsaw ... under Google Chopin ... and dotting down the progressive dates for the various Nocturnes

opus 72, no. 1 (in E minor) ... 1827
C# minor (post.) ... 1830
C minor (post.) ... 1847 ... which is very confusing in the light of the group's date of 1837 ... and begs the question as to the authority for this date.

Frycek wants to stick with the date 1837 ... while my persuasion is that the C minor (post.) Nocturne is the work of a fledgling genius ... the date 1827 fits the bill.

My argument is based on the maturing evolution of a genius. In advancing to a higher plane Chopin's voracious search for exciting geometric note structures (his Etudes bear testimony) will have involved a constant search for unexplored new geometric note patterns with which to populate his compositions.

Ever upward ... Chopin will have steadily dumped those note pattern combinations which didn't sparkle ... to eventually achieve his sublime Nocturne format ... where each and every delicate note forming the overall structure is sheer poetic magic.

The two posthumous Nocturnes show tell-tale signs of a novice ... the unrelieved sameness of the 8-note LH note patterns (not again used) would later be "hotted up" by Chopin into ever-varied rhythmic injections as first evidenced in the LH role for the opus 9 Nocturnes.

It's a mystery how scholars have managed to tie the opus 72.1 Nocturne dated 1827 to the 17 year old Chopin ... this brooding masterpiece is far too polished and mature to be the workings of a schoolboy ... even if he was destined for genius.

Nobody is likely to buy my argument ... with that dratted Ashkenazy fella casting his CD spell ... and making every single Nocturne sound like a foretaste of heaven ... well I tried!!
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/17/06 05:38 AM

My apologies for having gone "heavy" on the much-valued company ... when you're drunk with the overwhelming impact of suddenly gaining access to the last of the Chopin Nocturnes (20 and 21) ... you find yourself needing a stiff talking to ... to "get real" ... not to mention a stiff black coffee to regain composure.

But on a gentler note ... having joined the queue to stomp Georges Sand for leaving Chopin "in the lurch" ... I thought it only fair to hear what she had to say about the genius:

"Gentle, sensitive, and very lovely, he united the charm of adolescence with the suavity of a more mature age; through the want of muscular development he retained a peculiar beauty, and exceptional physiognomy, which, if we may venture so to speak, belonged to neigher age nor sex. It was like the ideal creations with which the poetry of the Middle Ages adorned the Christian temples. The delicacy of his constitution rendered him interesting in the eyes of women. The full yet grateful cultivation of his mind, the sweet and captivating originality of his conversation, gained for him the attention of the most enlightened men, whilst those less highly cultivated like him for the exquisite courtesy of his manners."
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/17/06 12:57 PM

btb:
I know it is impossible to judge people's motives in real life, and even more impossible with historical persons. But I can't help thinking if Aurore really loved Chopin she deserves a little compassion. Loving a pianist is not the most favourable of destinys one could have, the total time he pays attention to you can probably better be measured in seconds than in minutes wink

(It might still be worth it, I think, just now listenining to Lipatti playing Chopin waltzes heart )

Ragnhild
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/17/06 03:37 PM

Share your view Ragnhild.

A belated congratualtions on the 55.1 Nocturne ...
your flow was exemplary and your handling of the
"lacy extravagances" quite delightful ... for a moment I thought I was misjudging the author of the recording as happened in commenting favourably on Kathleen's playing when it was really Askenazy ...
it was only at the end of your recording where you
came slightly unstuck on the 2nd mountain (near the end) and then raced the the final climb with the repeated top Fs that I realized that it was really you ... and that you were fallable after all ... not that I'm being critical in the slightest ... on the contrary ... I'm totally blown away by the remarkable continuity and general mastery of fingering which you exhibited.

You're an example to us all ... we salute you.
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/17/06 03:59 PM

try again
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/17/06 04:04 PM

In my book "The Master Musicians" by Cuthbert Hadden published was back in 1909 I discovered this picture of Chopin ... from the Hanfstaengl Collection.
[img] www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/Chopin7.jpg [/img]
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/17/06 04:19 PM

Not pressing the right buttons!!
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/19/06 12:25 AM

Hi All:

I've been busy cleaning my house since I have neglected it somewhat over the past few weeks. When I can write my name on the dust on my piano, I know it's time for the mop and bucket brigade.

As much as I would like to dislike George Sand, she did take very good care of our dear soul for many, many years. He was very happy with her and her children (much of the time) for quite a while. She saw to his every need. In fact, she spoiled him. And he loved her for it.

Whether she loved him, is a different story. I've read some interesting theories on how the roles were reversed in their case. She was the more masculine. She set out to catch him (as most males would court the woman they loved), and he let himself be caught. He was the more feminine. He loved to be cared for and looked after...as a lot of women do.

She considered herself a "mother-earth" type of person, and she wasn't above writing about herself as kind, caring and good-hearted, always putting other people's needs above her own.
She could find justification in everything she did, even when it was evident that she was the one at fault. She wasn't an angel, but she wasn't the devil either.

I am grateful to her for taking such good care of Chopin all those years, but I can't quite forgive her for breaking his heart. It seemed that after they parted, his health deterioriated very quickly. I think he just gave up. He just didn't seem to care about much after that.

They were both quite unusual people, to say the least.

btb: I do so enjoy your analyses of Chopin' works. Just today, my friend said to me that most of the compositions Chopin wrote were very sad. And I had to answer her that it was all in the way you listen to his music.

Although most would say it is highly emotional. I don't listen with my emotions, I listen with my ears. I can't quite analyze his music, but I hear the intricate workings of his genius in the harmonies, chord progressions, single note voicing, etc. After listening, I will admit that that's when it hits me. And, that's when I am moved by it all.

I don't believe that most of Chopin music is sad. Much of it is. Much of it is filled with anger, despair and rage. But there is so much that is pleasant, charming, hopeful and happy.

Do you agree?

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/19/06 12:28 AM

Actually Frycek doesn't want to stick to the date 1837 - I want to stick to the date 1827 when Chopin was 17. See how easy it is to confuse things? The fact that it was published in 1937 confuses things even further. (All those 7's)
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/19/06 12:44 AM

Well, I, for one, think because of its haunting simplicity is one of the best nocturnes he wrote. laugh

At least, I can play it after only two weeks practice. smile

Can't say the same for the 55.1. But I love it anyhow although it has given me about 20 more gray hairs over the past weeks.

Kathleen
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/19/06 01:14 PM

Kathleen,
Sadness and happiness are on the same roller-coaster track ... merely at opposite polar ends.

Anyone who "so knowingly" presumes to write off Chopin's music as just so much highfaluting gloom and doom, and therefore lacking in joie de vivre, will be discovered to be young and fashionably immature.

Chopin commands the sharp poetic economy of the Classical Greek dramatists.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/19/06 01:45 PM

Sorry, can't get this to work either. btb, PM me this image and I'll try to get it up.

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/Chopin7.jpg
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/19/06 03:04 PM

Hi Frycek,
Thank you for interest in trying raise the Chopin picture.

I thought I was home and dry having received the
following e-mail from webmaster@pianoworld.com

The file Chopin7.JPG has been uploaded, it is 11.6 Kb in size.

The location of the file is
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/Chopin7.JPG

Upon reflection, it might well be that I wrote up the JPG in lower case lettering ... would this
change have incapacitated the process?

By the way ... what does PM mean? My guess is post me ... to your e-mail address via the webmaster?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/19/06 03:22 PM

Hi btb:

Wow...I love that likeness of Chopin. It seems quite accurate according to all descriptions. Thanks for posting it.

PM means "private message" or as you put it, post me at my e-mail address.

Yes, I do agree that those who think Chopin's music is wimpy and weepy certainly don't have the musical maturity it takes to recognize his genius. And yes, he was a poet of the highest order because music is the hightest form of art.

Kathleen
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/19/06 03:53 PM

Seem to have got the JPG right because the Chopin picture emerges. Hurray ... thanks Frycek.

Kathleen might just get a bit of opposition to her parting words "music is the highest form of art" ... what about architecture, literature, poetry, fine art, sculpture ... with names like Michaelangelo, Shakespeare, John Keats, Rembrandt and Donatello to mention a few? Chopin might battle to win the day against the likes of such mighty warriors. I prefer to compare apples ...
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/19/06 05:09 PM

btb:

Knowing you are a retired architect, I know I am asking for "trouble" with my statement; eek however, I will stand by my opinion and give reasons why...right after I practice. wink

smile
Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/19/06 05:31 PM

Quote
Originally posted by btb:

Upon reflection, it might well be that I wrote up the JPG in lower case lettering ... would this
change have incapacitated the process?

Yes, html directions are case sensitive
Posted By: btb

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/19/06 05:40 PM

Thanks for the clarification... and there was I thinking that CAPITAL letters were "LOUD".
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/21/06 02:19 PM

I have to bump us up to the first page again.

No way am I going to let Chopin lovers have to hunt for him.

After practicing, I'm going to write something about what an "expert" said about Chopin's handwriting...quite interesting and spooky.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/21/06 03:59 PM

Now I really am looking forward to that. I've had a few thoughts myself.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/22/06 10:33 PM

I promise first thing tomorrow. :rolleyes:

I am going to scan (I hope) the page from the book. Too tired today, fooling around with all this stuff. frown

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/23/06 04:30 PM

Here is the statement about Chopin's handwriting. I tried to scan from the book, but I have lost my patience with these new all-in-ones.

_____________
Chopin had his first portrait done about the the first etudes were written. The artist Miroszewski painted portraits of the five members of the Chopin family.

On the basis of this painting and several graphological documents, psychologist Andre Rabs drew the "silhouette of Chopin's character.

"Deductive rather than intuitive despite appearances. Very strong connection with the past. Elective sociability. Very strong will, to the point of depotism. Highly developed instincitve plane, but only going as far as the affective plane. Spirituality appeared only at the end of his life. Imagination precise and concise. Paradoxically, the artistic sense did not appear at all in the penmanship. In Chopin there is an overloading of this sense, like a splitting of his personality. This handwriting is astonishingly similar to Pascal's. Like his, the handwriting denotes--particularly, by the letter "f", which is no more than a bar---a kind of sterility, the interior burn that marks the neuropath. Toward to end of his life, a need for frankness, exteriorization is revealed; whereas, in the first part, there is reserve, excessive restraint.

If he had not died so early, the writer would have achieved something very strange in metaphysical terms. He tried to catch hold of it, but was unable to do so. Toward his death, terrible aggressiveness manifests itself, and becomes extremely hard. The graphology also implies that he must have had an eye disorder and that he was like a ball of fire, transfiguring the interior, but devestating everything it its way."

This is not by opinion.

To be honest, I had to look up a few word to be certain I understood the analyses.

deductive..to infer from a general principle
intutive...to know or sense by insight

instinctive...behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level

metaphysical...of or relating to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses...supernatural

Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623 – August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote powerfully in defense of the scientific method.

He was a mathematician of the first order. Pascal helped create two major new areas of research. He wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen and corresponded with Pierre de Fermat from 1654 on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science.

Following a mystical experience in late 1654, he abandoned his scientific work and devoted himself to philosophy and theology. His two most famous works date from this period: the Lettres provinciales and the Pensées. However, he had suffered from ill-health throughout his life and his new interests were ended by his early death two months after his 39th birthday.


Well...all I can say is Wow and confused

Thought it was interesting though.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/23/06 05:54 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:

_____________
Chopin had his first portrait done about the the first etudes were written. The artist Miroszewski painted portraits of the five members of the Chopin family.
This is the portrait in question. Chopin thought it a good likeness. He was nineteen. [Linked Image]


Quote
"Deductive rather than intuitive despite appearances.
The two are not mutually exclusive. Chopin was also highly intuitive based on anecdotal evidence. Today he'd be one of those people who usually knows who's on the phone before he picks up the receiver.
Quote
Very strong connection with the past Elective sociability..
Both very true
Quote
Very strong will, to the point of depotism.
Very stong will yes, the "despotism," probably too strong a word, was subconscious, manifested in charm. As a child, particularly, he probably could've "gotten away with murder." People wanted to do things for him.
Quote
Highly developed instincitve plane, but only going as far as the affective plane.
I have no idea what he means by this.
Quote
Spirituality appeared only at the end of his life.
Chopin's spiritual beliefs were the most private beliefs of a most private man.
Quote
Imagination precise and concise.
Also very stong and probably graphic
Quote
Paradoxically, the artistic sense did not appear at all in the penmanship.
I doubt that.
Quote
In Chopin there is an overloading of this sense, like a splitting of his personality. This handwriting is astonishingly similar to Pascal's. Like his, the handwriting denotes--particularly, by the letter "f", which is no more than a bar---a kind of sterility, the interior burn that marks the neuropath.
Whatever - -
Quote
Toward to end of his life, a need for frankness, exteriorization is revealed; whereas, in the first part, there is reserve, excessive restraint.
With maturity, he did seem to loosen up just a bit. That often happens as shy people gain a bit of confidence. Reserve also tends to suffer when one is in extremis.

Quote
If he had not died so early, the writer would have achieved something very strange in metaphysical terms. He tried to catch hold of it, but was unable to do so.
Chopin was a rock hard realist. He hadn't the patience, time or intellecutal self indulgence for metaphysics.
Quote

Toward his death, terrible aggressiveness manifests itself, and becomes extremely hard.
Say what?? If anything Chopin seemed resigned to his death. He lost the will to fight when he lost George Sand.
Quote
The graphology also implies that he must have had an eye disorder
Possibly he had transient vision problems. He suffered from migraines and complained of facial neuralgia from time to time both of which can affect the vision.
Quote
and that he was like a ball of fire, transfiguring the interior, but devestating everything it its way."
The makers of Chopin, Desire for Love certainly wished to imply that.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/23/06 06:31 PM

I think these two sentences are meant to be read together :

Quote
Highly developed instincitve plane, but only going as far as the affective plane. Spirituality appeared only at the end of his life.
I believe Chopin's music is emotional rather than religious.
About Chopin's beliefs I know nothing.

Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/23/06 07:47 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Ragnhild:
I think these two sentences are meant to be read together :

Quote
Highly developed instincitve plane, but only going as far as the affective plane. Spirituality appeared only at the end of his life.
I believe Chopin's music is emotional rather than religious.
About Chopin's beliefs I know nothing.

Ragnhild
About the two sentences- you're probably right. And I doubt there is any conscious religious expression in Chopin's compositions. I believe the inclusion of the "Jesus Lullaby" in the first schrezo (an island of calm in a very skittish composition) is intended as a symbol of childhood security and nostalgia rather than a manifestation of religious feeling. According to George Sand, Chopin was a believing, very orthodox but publicly non practicing Catholic. He made a deathbed confession and received the last rites but most of the religious utterances credited to him at the time were most probably after the fact wishful thinking by his confessor a Polish priest who had been a childhood friend. What Chopin did in private was another matter. When Chopin was unwell his servant, Jan, was in the habit keeping a covert eye on him, concerned that he might faint and injure himself. According to Jan, Chopin secretly knealt beside his bed like a child and prayed. Liszt, who probably knew Chopin better than Chopin would've liked or credited, referred to him "as a man of prayer." One thing Liszt did to alienate Chopin was try to talk about spiritual matters with him, something Liszt did easily, and Chopin could not do at all.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/23/06 08:32 PM

This is to lovechopintoomuch:

After seeing the picture of the young Chopin and reading this :
Quote
Liszt, who probably knew Chopin better than Chopin would've liked or credited, referred to him "as a man of prayer."
I think I am falling in love too 3hearts

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/23/06 10:10 PM

This is really going to sound off the wall, but I could never explain why I love Chopin's music so and how it affects me. There is just something about it that defies description (at least with words I can bring to mind).

When I read that sentence about the metaphysical, (and I had to look up the word), I found just what I was looking for.

His music is supernatural. It does seem of this world.

To quote Jane Stirling "He wasn't like the others."

Thanks, Frycek, for your input on that article. I believe Chopin was, like his music, undefinable.

And I just knew you were going to post that picture. smile

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/24/06 04:06 AM

Wonderful quote by Liszt. I think we can all guess to whom he is referring. He never forgave George Sand for Chopin.

Quote
"Madame Sand would catch a butterfly, cage it, and feed it with herbs and flowers. That was the period of love. Then she put a pin through it and it struggled, for it was always she who broke off first. Afterwards she vivisected it and prepared it for her collection of heroes for her novels. It was trading in souls who had given themselves to her that finally made me sicken of her friendship." Again, "She has warmth solely in the works of her imagination, and an utterly cold heart."
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/24/06 08:49 PM

Wow! That's pretty rought stuff. But from what I've read of her, she was completely capable of being as evil as they come.

What I can't understand is how Chopin could have been attracted to her. I know it had to do with her being the care-giver, and he not having to worry about the mundane things in life, like buying food and paying rent.

But even after the break-up, he was still broken-hearted. Why? When she was such a liar and so vindictive? What was it about Chopin that he could go on loving a woman like that? Was it pure gratitude, or did he miss her as one would miss a sister (or mother?). Did he feel abandoned?

He "saw through" everyone else, but not her. Why?

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/24/06 10:08 PM

I think he did see through many layers of her. I think he understood her better than Liszt and better than she did herself. I think he easily could have reconciled with her in healthier circumstances, but his dignity would not permit that he present himself as an emotional beggar crawling home only to die. I believe he found the generosity of spirit to spare her that decision, knowing that loyalty to her self image would oblige her to take him back as a "patient" if not as a man. Even dying he would not be had back on sufferance.
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/25/06 01:08 PM

The University of Chicago has over 400 first and early editions of Chopin's music to download for free here:


http://chopin.lib.uchicago.edu/home.html


Mel
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/26/06 01:15 AM

Thanks, Mel. Great site.

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/26/06 01:17 AM

Oh, just wanted to tell you about a lovely and so simple and short composition by Chopin called Largo in EfMajor. It's wonderful!! It's played by Valerie Lloyd Watts.

I think, as simple as it sounds, it speaks volumes about the genius of this man.

Largo in EbMajor

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/26/06 07:17 AM

Nice link, Mel, the quality of the pictures is amazing !

The Largo is just so sad (It is morning and working hours and I should not be crying...)

Another sad thing:
Yesteday I went to the biggest record store in the district hoping they could help me to order a recording of the Chopin Nocturnes
(I am just not so good at this buying on the internet)
They have a small classical shelf, there were labels for Beethoven and Mozart and even Faure, but not Chopin and no cd's with any of his music.
So I had to ask, and the youth behind the desk asked me how to spell Chopin, checked his pc and said sorry, I can not help you.

OK, I know you can get anything on the web, but then you have to know what to ask for, I am afraid we have a generation that has hardly. heard of Chopin frown

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/26/06 07:03 PM

That is REALLY SAD! But not surprising.

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/29/06 12:34 PM

Just me again, bumping old Fred up to the first page.

Yesterday, as I was trying to figure out my new scanner (still haven't got it down right yet cursing ), but I was listening to his preludes. Once again I was swept away with the beauty of his 25/1. I remember hearing it (perhaps the first time) while watching the Winter Olympics many years ago, the figure skating competition. Seeing the young woman on skates gliding to that lovely, breath-taking melody, was something I'll never forget. smile smile

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/29/06 12:53 PM

Just me again, bumping old Fred up to the first page.

Yesterday, as I was trying to figure out my new scanner (still haven't got it down right yet cursing ), but I was listening to his preludes. Once again I was swept away with the beauty of his 25/1. I remember hearing it (perhaps the first time) while watching the Winter Olympics many years ago, the figure skating competition. Seeing the young woman on skates gliding to that lovely, breath-taking melody, was something I'll never forget. smile smile

Kathleen
Posted By: sotto voce

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 09/29/06 01:30 PM

Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/02/06 04:16 PM

I think this site is going to get a lot more action. We've been doing a lot of posting about Chopin, in general, on the Nocturne site.

However, because it is a study group and should be mostly devoted to questions, concerns suggestions, etc. about the 55.1, it would probably be more suitable for us to use this thread for anything relating to Chopin, the man, his life, or his music.

It could be a question (we do have a resident expert on campus) or observations or remarks, pictures (Frycek never seems to run out of these. What does she get them? )whatever. Things we've read or concerts we've attended...

We have 5 pages of thread already. This is very encouraging.

I know I'm a nut for Chopin, but I make no apologies for it. As one gets older, one realizes that there are very few things in life that can provide real and lasting pleasure. All that material stuff that we thought we had to have...the big house, the best car, designer clothes, etc., they all mean nothing in the end. They're just "stuff." George Carlin (I know he can be X-rated, but he is funny) has a routine he does on "stuff." It's hilarious.

And I do know there are many, many other great composers out there. Many of them are my favorites. I do encourage anyone who has a passion for one of them, to start a thread like this one. It can be very interesting.

Well, that's it.

Regards to all,
Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/04/06 08:16 PM

When I thought that this site was going to get more action, I didn't think that I was the one to be doing it. smile

I don't mind one bit. I could talk and write about Chopin all day if someone didn't shut me up.

I don't know if you think this is interesting, but I was rather intrigued by this essay by Authur Hutchings about Chopin and the meaning and the power of his music.

****************
For Chopin's beneficiaries his music is certainly like a second diary more interesting that the one he kept in his pocket or drawer, and it may prove to be his real diary and to be unintenionally deceptive. Being the diary of his unconscious, his music may show the hidden and less-harnessed part of his personality reacting against the declared aspirations of his time and place, and contradicting sentiments known to have come from his lips and to have been implicit in his public behavior.

Musical expression reveals the unconscious to an extent neither possible nor permissible in verbal expression, and therefore music should not be judged according to it susceptibiility to verbal description.

Plato was the first to describe a human's dual character, consicious and unconscious, which he likened to the harnessing together of two horses, one docile and one wild.

During movements called "romantic", artists tend to reveal the "wild horse" to the delight of the young, the adventurous and the less tame spirits of society. Someone defined one element of romantic as the power to transport us mentally in time or space. Mild or passionate, these yearnings betoken discontent with present circumstances that is quickly relegated to the unconscious so that daily duty may be performed in disciplined if sometimes insincere contentment. Whatever the pull between the conscious and the unconscious, the daily control does not necessarily hide the romantic rebellion.

What is hidden in us may prove as dark and primitive when it is evoked by the gentle melancholy of Chopin (although Chopin is not by any means an entirely gentle artist).

**************

The above is indeed put in very stilted language, but I think the message comes across.

Chopin hid his true feelings (that other part of his "dual character") from society, friends, etc. He "played the part" expected of him. Pretty much what we all have to do. He did this in order to survive, pretty much what we all do.

But that other part of him was in deep conflict with the demands of this outter world. And, because he could not or would not express his discontent with words, he did so with his music.

And, his music reveals his true self, his complete self. He could and was often happy and gay and much of his music shows this. But there was a very deep resentment, anger and rage that also boiled within. And a lot of his music shows this also.

O.K. So why are some of us passionate about Chopin and others can take him or leave him. And still others can't stand him.

I think it's the power of his music to touch what we have hidden and to allow us to bring it out in the open, if only for a few hours, here and there, once in while. I think it "grants us permission" to express (without words) what we truly think and feel. His music says what we wish we could say, if we knew how and if we weren't afraid to say it. His music is our voice.

There was a song popular quite a few years ago called: His Is the Only Music that Makes Me Dance."

That sort of sums it up, for me.

Now...is there anyone out there?? Any comments would be appreciated and valued.


Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/04/06 10:36 PM

The plumpest looking I've seen Chopin, a portrait that apparently dates from the short time early on when he wore sidewhiskers. I think it's probably just a very bad portrait. His hair is way too dark, his features seem too small, hie forehead too high, and his cheeks too full. (I think the painter had trouble with his shadows. It looks the same problem a photographer has when the light is to bright full on and the facial bone structure loses its definition from lack of shadow.) And what's with that odd garment with the fur collar?
[Linked Image]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/06/06 12:19 AM

There is no way that this picture is a portrait of Chopin.

It doesn't even come close to resembling him. I think every time someone find a dusty picture in their attic, they think it's him. Much like the rumor that he died in just about every princess's arms.

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/17/06 08:14 AM

Even if I am not the most devoted at the forum, just to tell that Fryderyk is not forgotten:

I did not have any Chopin recordings other than his sonatas, but yesterday this one arrived :

[Linked Image]

The first introduction I had to Chopins music as a child was an LP with Askenase playing Mazurkas, Nocturnes, Waltzes....
Still I find his playing a very "natural" Chopin without "too much" of anything.
I also like that Askenase learned piano playing from his mother who's teacher had been one of Chopins students.

I was surprised that the Etudes were not in this collection. Maybe Askenase did not play them ? Who has recorded the Etudes ?

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mountain Ash

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/17/06 11:34 AM

I've only recently started listening to classical piano music but I found an old tape of Chopin Waltzes Op. 18, 34, 42, 64, 69, 70 nos. 1-19 played by Abbey Simon and I AM BLOWN AWAY!!! eek

I especially love the waltz in C sharp minor (Op.64 No.2) wich is just so soulful.

As an aside I find it interesting that the recent CD of "100 best piano classics" contains 19 pieces by Chopin, the next highest being 7 by Beethoven, Lizt and Debussy. smile
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/17/06 01:43 PM

WELCOME to you both... Ragnhild and Mountain Ash!! It is always so wonderful to learn that this site has found a couple more "fans." And, as I have often stated, I envy the joy of discovery that you have in store.

Ragnhild: Ashkenazy (sp?), has recorded ALL of Chopin's works, including, of course, the etudes. I purchased the complete set (you can find it on E-bay or Amazon). 13 CD's of about 30 hours of magnificent music. I think you can buy it for about $35, a bargain in the truest sense of the word. Although he often plays too fast in many instances, he is still a great interpreter of Chopin's music. However, IMHO, Ruybinstein is the master in this area.

Mountain Ash: Thank you for your "aside" about the 100 best piano classics. It comes as no surprise to me (I read this somewhere) that Chopin's music is immediately recognized world-wide. Even those who know nothing of classical music will "smile and nod their heads" when first hearing the opening bars of one of Chopin's masterpieces. No other composers' music can make this claim. Even my husband, whose idea of a classic is "Crazy" by Patsy Cline, just recently called out, while we were watching TV,: "Isn't that music by the guy you love?"

The waltz you mentioned it just one of many is hundreds of soulful pieces. I hope you will find the time and money to investigate more of his music. Your local library should have many CD's available. I have been listening to his music for years and years and never cease to not only be BLOWN AWAY, but also brought to tears.

Many people think of him, personally, as a fragile and effeminate composer whose music only appeals to those who are overly sensitive (women, perhaps). However, anyone who has read his biography and listened to ALL of his music will realize these statements are purely "bunk." He had the unique ability to put into his music what he couldn't or wouldn't express in words. And he did so...masterfully. His music (and technique) was way "ahead of his time."

Yes, he did write a lot of "dreamy" music, but no other composer has written more powerful and even angry music... his ballades, scherzos, and polonaises and etudes, etc. are clearly not the music of a wimpy composer. And, so important, his music has continued to remain loved and appreciated for tens of decades. Not only by the us "ordinary" people but also by many classic concert pianists and well-respected musicologists (whatever that is).

Ooopppss, there I go again. Get me on the subject of Chopin, and I do get carried away.

Again, I'm so thrilled for you both.

Happy listening,
Kathleen
Posted By: pedron

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/17/06 06:42 PM

I got into Chopin recently when a friend of mine got me tickets to "Monsieur Chopin" by Hershey Felder in Cambridge Massachusetts. The performance was just incredible. I didn't know much about Chopin before that and now i am a big Chopin fan. My first attempt at Chopin's music is La grande valse brillante op. 18. I am more than half way through and am thoroughly enjoying the experience. The reason why i picked that particular one to start with is because i like the melody and also because i thought this walze was composed (according to Monsieur Chopin) at a time in Chopin's life when he was happy with himself and it shows in the emotions that come accross in that song. In the play Hershey Felder plays this waltze in sections making comments as he goes along: he talks about being in a soiree and how men would agglomerate and talk about serious topics of the day - at this point he would play part of op. 18 that would reflect the intent of seriousness. Then he would stop and talk about women gossiping in another room - at this point he would play another part of op. 18 that really actually resembles "gossiping" (if you're familiar with op. 18 you could probably easily guess which part of the song would "gossiping". It was quite funny actually.

Another part of the play talks about the death of Chopin's sister when he was still very young. At that point he plays Klaviersonate No. 2 op. 35 which was very touching. The whole play is about the performer completely entering Chopin's skin with the intention of giving the audience a piano lesson but then he reminisces about his whole life for about 2 hours...

Extremely well put together. I recommend anybody who likes Chopin to try and catch Monsieur Chopin if it's playing near you.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/17/06 07:13 PM

I have never heard of the play, but if it ever comes anywhere near me (200 miles or so), I will definitely attend.

Thank you for your description. It sounds like a wonderful experience for Chopin fans, or even would-be fans.

And it is so true. Chopin could gossip with "the best of them." laugh

Regards,
Kathleen
Posted By: pedron

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/17/06 08:58 PM

Here's a site that'll give you some more info about this play: http://www.amrep.org/chopin/

Try the slide show to get a feel of what it's like on stage.
Posted By: pedron

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/17/06 09:13 PM

Looks like it's going to be in San Diego, CA at the end of this month: http://www.oldglobe.org/productions/MonsieurChopin446.html

Hope that's within 200 miles of you Kathleen smile

Enjoy!
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/17/06 10:14 PM

I'd heard of it. My only hope is Atlanta.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/19/06 03:24 PM

cursing cursing mad

i found out (via the internet) that this play was in chicago, just about 90 miles from where i live.

HURRAY! it was supposed to close in august but because of a sell-out performance each night, they extended it through october.

lucky me. or so i thought.

i called the box office only to discovered the play had closed just this last january. what i failed to notice, while reading the internet, was the year. they were writing about 2005! it was a huge success and went through january of this year, 2006.

need i say how disappointed i was?

the actor is "doing" beethoven next and it will appear at this theatre next feb. I might go see it because beethoven is my next favorite composer. but, boy, how i wish i could have seen monseiur chopin. frown frown

kathleen
Posted By: Van

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/20/06 07:57 AM

check out this 10 year old:

http://rickjonespianos.com/grandgalimages/JordanAdams.age.10.WMV
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/20/06 08:25 AM

Another item in the "I shudder to think" category. Jacket lp of the waltzes from Venezuela.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/20/06 01:31 PM

i am, once again, speechless...to both of the above entries. eek

kathleen
Posted By: Piano Again

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/20/06 10:42 PM

Quote
Originally posted by pedron:
Looks like it's going to be in San Diego, CA at the end of this month: http://www.oldglobe.org/productions/MonsieurChopin446.html

Hope that's within 200 miles of you Kathleen smile

Enjoy!
Thanks for posting that. I just bought tickets for Thursday night (standing room only, though). We just happen to be going to San Diego next week.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/21/06 12:10 AM

you are so lucky!! thumb

please let us know how you enjoyed the play, even though you have to stand.

if i could, i would...stand on my head to see this production. it has been given rave reviews.

picture me...green with envy.

[Linked Image]

hope you have great time.

kathleen
Posted By: sotto voce

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/21/06 12:33 AM

Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/21/06 02:25 PM

yes it does. i noticed that also.

mad there should be a law somewhere....

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/21/06 02:26 PM

yes it does. i noticed that also.

mad there should be a law somewhere....

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/28/06 02:18 PM

Can't let us slip to the second page.

So here's a picture of the chubbiest Chopin yet. He even has the start of a double chin and sideburns much like Elvis. laugh

[Linked Image]

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/28/06 02:49 PM

I've noticed the barest suggestion of a "double chin" on many of his portraits. I think the glands under his jar were perpetually swollen. (Mine are.) He was thin enought for this to be visibly perceptible. At least that one got his eye color right. Or at least as I imagine it to be right, a dark enough grey blue to be mistaken for brown at a casual glance.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/28/06 04:11 PM

Frycek: You have a point.

Also noticed the nose...beak-like and crooked. Also his ears...a little large. Looks like he has a widow's peak hairline, but color of his hair is too dark.

Oh well, I still think that Henry Felder is probably the closest we are going to see. Of course, other than the real photograph.

Sorry to learn that your jaws are swollen. Hope it isn't too painful.

Regards,
Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/28/06 06:44 PM

I don't think the sidewhiskers suited him at all. This must've been circa 1832, "I have only one sidewhisker, the other simply won't grow," adding that that was ok since the audience only saw one side of him anyway. This is also about the same period in which his friend Jan, newly arrived in Paris, wrote back to Poland that Chopin had managed to put on some weight and looked so good Jan almost hadn't recognized him. He had a couple of relatively good years heath wise around that time.

(Re the glands, people with chronic respiratory problems often have chronically swollen glands in the throat/jaw area. Normally mine are only the slightest bit tender when touched. If I have an acute infection going they get sore.)
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/29/06 03:38 PM

Here's a new version of our hero. I'm ordering this one. [Linked Image]

I'm going broke. This has to be it.

Kathleen
Posted By: Piano Again

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/29/06 05:46 PM

I just wanted to report that the show, "Monsieur Chopin," written and performed by Hershey Felder, is well worth seeing and hearing. We enjoyed it very much, even though we had to stand the entire time, and it was over two hours without intermission! There is a CD available, BTW.

It looks like you might be able to order it here:

http://www.monsieurchopin.com/

I'm now curious about his Gershwin show. He's also working on another one about Beethoven.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/29/06 08:18 PM

Thank you so much, Pianoagain, for giving us a critique of M. Chopin. Over 2 hours...that must have been hard on your feet, but heaven for your ears.

Frycek and I researched and found out about the CD. We both ordered it.

Also you can order the CD of Gershwin by going to the site you gave and clicking on the order form in the upper-right hand corner. This will bring up sheet where you can specify what CD's you want. The M. Chopin was only $30, which I consider quite bargain.

I wrote to ask them if there were plans on making a DVD, but they said it was too costly and that they would need $$$ from some backers.

Kathleen
Posted By: Euan Morrison

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/29/06 08:23 PM

To the Chopinphiles:

(Forgive me if this has been asked before)

Which selection / style of Chopin pieces do you listen to the most? (i.e. Ballades, Valses, Polonaises etc). Or do you mix them up?

- I listen to the Ballades the most, followed by some of the Etudes.
- Have just started to listen to the Nocturnes.
- Haven't really listened to the Polonaises yet (exceptions being the Grande and the Heroic)
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/29/06 09:05 PM

I think I've listened to the etudes most of all followed by the nocturnes and the scherzi. (Probably because I happen to be working on an etude 10/12 forever and a scherzo, started this summer, and have worked on a few noctures including the present one.
Posted By: Euan Morrison

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/29/06 09:17 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Frycek:
(Probably because I happen to be working on an etude 10/12 forever
Just as an aside, how are you getting on with the Revolutionary?
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/29/06 11:09 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Euan Morrison:
Quote
Originally posted by Frycek:
[b] (Probably because I happen to be working on an etude 10/12 forever
Just as an aside, how are you getting on with the Revolutionary? [/b]
OK. The first of the five pages sounds pretty much the way it should. The next two are getting there. I've yet to begin the last two. A lot is repeated in those last two pages so they should go pretty fast. Right now I'm consolidating what I've got.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/30/06 11:02 PM

I listen to the Mazurkas most.

Can anyone tell me how to send a picture to this forum? When I pressed the picture button on the reply form, it asked for a url, but the pic's on my computer not on the web.

Untechnical of Milton Keynes.
Posted By: Euan Morrison

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/30/06 11:15 PM

maryrose,

I use a site called http://imageshack.us/ - you upload the photo to there from your computer, and get given a url for it.

Copy/paste the 'direct link', and the picture appears here.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/31/06 01:14 AM

Euan - thank you so much for your help.

Chopin fans - here's another one with sideburns (or should that be sideburn) but was there every any sitter whose portraits varied so extremely much?

http://img83.imageshack.us/img83/1290/chopinrohrbachix0.jpg


Love to all.. Mary-Rose
Posted By: Euan Morrison

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/31/06 07:50 AM

mayrose,

if you want the picture to appear rather than the link, you can use the 'image' button on the 'full-reply form'.

If you paste the link there, the picture appears on the page smile
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/31/06 12:26 PM

So it does! Thanks ever so, Euan.

Folks, here is Chopin with sideburns again. I have to say I prefer it to the "chubby" portrait.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/31/06 01:21 PM

Another "plump" and very bad portrait with sideburns. Kathleen hates this one.
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/31/06 02:34 PM

"Kathleen hates this one"

So do I! Let's face it, it's not really our Chopin, is it!

May I say at this point a big thank you to Kathleen for starting this super thread. I spent nearly an hour reading it all the way through this morning and wished I had been on the forum weeks ago!
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/31/06 02:41 PM

Dear Mary Rose:

Thank you for giving me credit for starting this thread, but it would have died very early if it weren't for all of you who are determined to keep it going. And I am grateful to all of you.


Welcome to the Chopin Fan Club...our numbers are legion, but it's so good to find a person who is not ashamed to admit it.

Quote
It's just that, after a lifetime of not knowing ANYONE who appreciates Chopin properly, I'm still in "apologetic trying not to be a bore" mode. It's a novelty to me to actually be able to express my adoration of him amongst like-minded people, without being teased or moaned at:-)
I used your quote from the other thread because it was so appropriate here. You are not the only one has received the "moans" and the deep sighs of "here she goes again" from others when we get on the subject of Chopin. I've given up trying to get others to realize the unique genius of Chopin and his music. When I play a certain recording of a nocturne or etude and tell them to really listen to the counterpoint, harmony and soaring majesty of sound, they stare at me as if I came from another planet. They just don't hear it.

Because his music has been played so often (and always the same three or four compositions) in the background of so many B-movies that are sapping with sentamentality, and so many of his easiest preludes are the recital pieces of young children, most people don't have a clue or even a care to to listen to any to any of his other magnificient pieces.

Afterall, how great can he be if an 8 year-old can play his music?? Funny they don't say this about Beethoven...Fur Elise, as an example.

And because he wrote almost exclusively for the piano, his genius is considered second-rate. His two wonderful piano concertos are rarely heard in the concert halls, and although the orchestration might be considered weak (by some), the piano portion is perhaps the most beautiful music ever written. The second movement of his Concerto in F sends shivers up my spine every time I listen to it. That I happen to know when and why for whom he wrote it, makes it even more powerful and poignant. He made the piano KING and brought out the poetry that this instrument is capable of producing.

Chopin knew his strength and he made the piano sing as no other composer has been able to do. This is not just my opinion but held by thousands of "experts."

Luckily, I don't have any classical music lovers as friends (just one who loves the opera). Just a few days ago he said he hated (really, hated!!) music that didn't have any words. When I said that while songs with words are wonderful (hey, I'm a big Frank Sinatra fan), music without words can evoke more emotions and touch your inner-being more deeply. He didn't agree...so discussion over.

Again, welcome. Please write on this thread as often as you can.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/31/06 03:12 PM

"...although the orchestration might be considered weak (by some)" wrote Kathleen.

Actually I heard his 1st (really 2nd) piano concerto performed in London this summer (soloist was Lang Lang, whom I went expecting to dislike but got converted! - orchestra was Pittsburgh Symphony). It was the first time I had seen rather than just heard it and "live" I could appreciate better that the orchestration serves in the same way that a handsome frame serves a masterpiece in oils; secondary but essential. Although the orchestra wasn't a "full partner" it was always beautiful and sometimes rather original; especially when you consider he was little more than a teenager when he wrote it. He could have learned to orchestrate and impress people - he had time on his side at that point - but luckily for us pianists and would-be pianists he followed the voice of his genius.

And anyway, who needs an orchestra when you can make the piano sound as Chopin does?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/31/06 03:13 PM

I love this picture because (from what I've read) it really captures the richness of the salons where Chopin was asked to play. In this case, it was the salon of Prince Radziwell (remember Jackie Kennedy's sister? She was married to a Radziwell...a Polish count). [Linked Image]

It may be a little overdone but lovely just the same.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/31/06 03:19 PM

If you want to laugh at absurdities, and can control yourself from going to strangle the author (about whom I can tell you more if you want) - have you seen this "essay"?

http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2002/Dec02/Chopin_Wright.htm
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/31/06 03:24 PM

Mary Rose:

You are a heart

I couldn't agree with you more about the orchestra in Chopin's concertos. I love your similie around it being a frame.

And, yes, considering that Chopin was so young when he wrote it, it does "blow one's mind" to think he had such depth of passion, and even more importantly, that he was able to express it so eloquently.

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 10/31/06 04:04 PM

Well, I'm speechless (or wordless).

Who is this man?

Yes, I would like to know about him simply because I can't believe that anyone would give credence to his opinions and to actually print them.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 01:24 AM

Here's a link to more about The Strange Case of Delphina Potocka and Fred the Welshman.

http://www.jessicaduchen.co.uk/pdfs/guardian-pdfs/1999/10-9-99-sexand_chopin.pdf.
Posted By: sotto voce

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 08:10 AM

Quote
Originally posted by maryrose:
If you want to laugh at absurdities, and can control yourself from going to strangle the author (about whom I can tell you more if you want) - have you seen this "essay"?
http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2002/Dec02/Chopin_Wright.htm
I guess we're expected to overlook the fact that the author doesn't even attempt to prove or justify his thesis statement, namely that "Chopin is not a great composer." Instead, virtually this entire piece is a mean-spirited attack on Chopin's character and personality -- right up to the conclusion, where the author reasserts that "Chopin was not a great composer by any means." Where are Chopin's merits as a composer connected to his alleged traits and flaws?

They aren't, of course, because no conclusion can be drawn about anyone's accomplishments from his or her foibles. This author just seeks to manipulate his audience by trying to induce dislike for Chopin the man; he wants to create a justification for sharing his disdain for Chopin the composer. Obviously, he is so rankled by Chopin's supposed antisemitism that he simply wants to destroy him. That motive is so transparent, and the tactics so brazen, that all the vitriol comes off as a rather pathetic "doth protest too much."

I never thought I would find lifelong lechery toward women and homosexual tendencies imputed to our Chopin in the very same essay! How did he ever find time to compose? And how, too, could such a libertine be described by credible biographers as chaste to the point of asexuality? Peter Katin must have been mortified that this vicious garbage was dedicated to him. At least I hope he was. :rolleyes:

I am so thankful to scholars like Eleanor Bailie, Alan Walker and Jim Samson for their thoughtful analyses of Chopin's musical landscape. Their words are so much more interesting than tedious ad hominem attacks that positively reek of a biased author's desperate agenda. If we want insight into Chopin's mind, we can certainly read Chopin's Letters for ourselves and draw our own conclusions.

On the topic of books about Chopin, has anyone here read Chopin's Funeral by Benita Eisler? I have not (yet), and mention it just because it was published fairly recently (2003).
Posted By: Mountain Ash

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 11:02 AM

OK I don't know what call waiting music (music you hear when put on hold by a friend etc. who answers another call) in the US but in Australia it's always Chopin's waltz in A minor - Op. 34 no. 2.

Anyway I still can't believe Telstra (phone company) managed to destroy such a beautiful piece. The sound quality is muffled and crackley.

Worst of all they play only a small section over and over again ignoring the wonderful progression of the song. mad

Maybe I should write them a letter saying "Look I'm so glad you chose this song for call waiting BUT..." laugh laugh
Posted By: Mountain Ash

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 11:10 AM

"Chopin is not a great composer. In fact, he is very limited."


Well, one can stop right there and read no further. Anyone who has listened to any of Chopin's works will by now be rolling around on the floor laughing." wink
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 01:27 PM

Maryrose:

I am a little puzzled with this article, what kind of motives does the author have, why does he want to bring this disgrace on Chopin ? If he does not like his music why can't he just ignore it.

I have not read much about Chopin, I just like his music. But even if this had been the only essay I had read I think I would have problems not liking him. I do not find it a surprise that an unmarried man would have wished for a loving wife, and I can not see why it should make him less of a composer.

About the concerts, I heard the beautiful E minor concert live this spring persuasively played by a Norwegian pianist, Håvard Gimse. I did not miss more of the orchestra for one second, but I kept thinking that this music has a lot rhytmic figures that to me seems more like jazz than classical music.

BTW, how to measure the greatness of a composer ?

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 03:56 PM

From MountainAsh

Quote
Chopin is not a great composer. In fact, he is very limited."
I have to admit my jaw dropped (almost to the floor) while reading some of the ludicrous, atrocious completely bizzare comments made by this man.

Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, but I wonder how this person came to his.

Is this man Jewish? If so, I can understand his hateful remarks, for Chopin...it is true, did not like Jewish people. As is so often the case with such feelings of racism and prejudice, Chopin distrusted Jews because he felt they were not honest with him and even tried to deceive him as to the value of his compositions. THIS IS NO EXCUSE for his discrimination, for he was painting the whole Jewish race with a broad brush just because he had some unpleasant dealings with one or two of them. This is to his shame.

Chopin disliked a lot of things and a lot of people. This could and probably was the result of his feelings of insecurity. As with almost every genius, his ego was fragile and delicate. And because he had to compete (for a living) with so many other composers of his time, he thought by dismissing their greatness, he could elevate his own.

Basically, IMO, Chopin was a child emotionally. He wanted to be cared for, but at the same time, he wanted his independence to make his own decisions and live his life his way. One can hardly blame him for wanting to revert back to childhood because those days were the happiest of his life.

To say he was an enigma or a paradox is an understatement!

The only two things about the essay that I agreed with were his statements about Jan Stirling. She was a wonderful woman and more than generous and kind to Chopin. I have often wondered how different his life would have been had he met her before George Sand. I think he would have lived longer and would have been happier. But Chopin couldn't possibly think of marrying her because, in his own words, he was closer to the deathbed than the marriage bed. He was very grateful to Jan and her sister, but because of all the fussing and hovering, they did get on his nerves. He was in a lot of pain most of the time during this period, and his moods were a reflection of his despair and depression. It's hard to be "nice" when knowing that death is knocking at your door.

As a personal aside...from the age of 18 to 21, I was almost in constant pain from a kidney problem (which eventually had to be removed). And I can remember how crabby and unkind I was to those who tried to comfort me.

And the writer of this essay had to admit that the second movement of Chopin's concerto in F was the most beautiful music Chopin wrote. And the fact that Chopin wrote this at the tender age of 19 only proves his genius.

On the subject of Chopin perverted attitude toward woman, well, like someone else said...I had to laugh. Nothing could be further from the truth. As far as Chopin having homosexual tendencies...there has never been anything in his life that has firmly supported this belief.

All in all, I believe this essay was written to provoke people and to gain the author some attention. He obviously did no research into Chopin's life, but simply chose to turn fiction into fact.

And I, too, wonder just how much of Chopin's music he has listened to. Even my husband (who is far from a classical music fan and NEVER says anything after I have played a Chopin recording) just recently said: "That music is really something."

This essay is pitiful and the writer is even more so.

Kathleen
Posted By: ilm

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 04:49 PM

I absolutely love Chopin's music.

Are you all able to play his pieces and have the hand reach all his notes in some of his chords? That is the frustration for me - my hands aren't big enough to play all the notes in some of his chords.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 05:06 PM

One of my prior defenses of Chopin:

Quote
Guys, you have to remember what academia is. In order to be taken seriously you have to some up with something different. Right now the fashionable thing is "deconstruction" and it's Chopin's turn. I confess. I'm in the process of researching for a novel on Chopin so I've turned into a bit of an expert on the man if not the musician. The most unfair accusation of him is turning him into a raving antisemite. He wasn't. In that respect he was an average early 19th century Pole. The antisemites of his era were doing nasty things like writing "The Protocol of the Elders of Zion." In his time, Polish Jews were not regarded as Poles, they were regarded as Jews. Being Jewish was considered as more of a nationality than a religion. I don't know about the attitude of today's Poles, but today's Russians take the same attitude. My best friend is a very cultured, highly educated woman (two Phd's and an MD) from St Petersburg whose attitude I have simply learned to ignore. Chopin regarded Jews as sharp but honest businessmen with a certain amount of grudging respect. His publishers were almost all Jewish and he had issues with them (with reason), not so much as Jews but as sharp businessmen. He once remarked to Fontana that if he was going to be dealing with "Jews" please at least deal with REAL ones, as he was more likely to get paid. He also admired Jewish music and played it so well that he was once offered a gig at a Jewish wedding. He did once take issue when someone billed "Jewish" music as "Polish" music as he regarded them as two separate entities with different characteristics and origins. As for the Russians... This was the same guy that was repeatedly dragged out of bed as a boy to go play for the Tsar's brother Konstantine The Madman in the middle of the night. Incredibly enough he managed to develop as certain amount of grudging affection for Konstantine and wrote a march for him. This is also the same man who had a nervous breakdown imaging Russian soldiers trampling his little sister's grave. So you might say he feelings toward the Russians were mixed. He did turn down an offer to become the tsar's court composer. It was made at a time when he could have really used the work. He reply was unequivocal and very dignified. He say that though his health had not permitted him to take part in the November uprising, he was totally in sympathy with the goals of the rebels, considered himself as guilty as any of them, shared their exile, and therefore the acceptance of such an appointment would be inappropriate. Chopin was above all a realist, not an ideologue. He was far more interested in individuals than politics. He was a survivor interested in surviving long enough to be true to his music. He and George Sand had real issues over this. She regard him as far too passive. He regarded himself as a man with one great gift and it wasn't for political activism. Regarding Beethoven, he must not have hated him too much. It was probably more a matter his music not being really to his taste. Chopin did use some Beethoven pieces with his students and he did buy a Beethoven score for his favorite student as a reward after an outstanding performance. AS for lack of orchestral composition... He just wasn't interested. The concerto was literally written as an assignment for the Conservatory. As for disloyalty... He lost the love of his life because he refused to accede to George Sand's demands that he turn his back on her pregnant destitute daughter, whom he regarded as his daughter as well. "She has no one left but me." As for his character, you must remember that those who described him as charming, funny, etc were his contemporaries who actually KNEW him, not distant biographers ready to put a negative construction on the slightest ambiguity in order to gain academic credibility.
Enough of my soapbox - - I'm sure a few of you now have issues with ME. As for Beethoven, I think the guy just needed more loving and a good backrub. [QUOTE]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 05:32 PM

Wow!! Thank you Frycek. We can always count on you for giving us a true picture of our "hero."

You certainly know much more than I about his life even though I've read several biographies about him. I am always amazed at the range and depth of your knowledge; and I stand corrected about Chopin's atttitude towards Jews. The books I've read did not go into as much detail as you about the Chopin's real opinion of them.

to ilikemozart: Good for you for liking Mozart. Chopin did also but he admired Bach more so.

And no....we don't all know how to play all of Chopin's music. If we did, we wouldn't be posting on this forum but touring the world with our unbelievable talent. But, and I think I can speak for many of us, we would absolutely LOVE to be able to. And some of us are striving to add more of this music to our repertoire even though, as you mentioned, it seems impossible to handle at times. But the more of it you can play, the easier it does "seem" to become. Well, almost!

Sotto Voce: I did read "Chopin's Funeral." It was O.K. True to the facts with no obvious opinion of the author apparent.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 08:40 PM

I was so astounded by Dr David Wright's article that I searched for some more info on him and have concluded that he judges composers mainly on their perceived sexual behaviour. He has written a whole lot of drivel on various composers! For example, he loathes Benjamin Britten - I think for being gay and also for farting too much! He seems to be some sort of fundamentalist Christian.

The funniest thing of all is part of an autobiography he wrote. It is so unselfconsciously ludicrous. If he hadn't been utterly unreasonable about Chopin I would feel sorry for him.

For more laughs, go to:

http://www.musicweb.uk.net/wright/rain1.htm

I thought the most unfair assumption of all was that Chopin must have been a womaniser at the age of eight because he dedicated an early Polonaise to a countess!!
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 08:51 PM

Sotto Voce - nice to "hear your voice" again :-)

I totally agree with what you say, as seems to be my habit. I have the Walker anthology and various Samson works about Chopin - excellent. I like your phrase "Chopin's musical landscape." I must remember to steal that one day when you're not there to witness the theft.

Eisler's book is very much about the man not the music and written in a very easy-to-read, almost page-turning way. She re-examines all the old evidence with some new insights, and some new inaccuracies. On the whole I like her take on his life.

Ragnhild - if you've not read serious biographies of Chopin then please don't imagine that Dr Wright's essay is anything other than unadulterated fiction. In a lot of ways it is the opposite of the truth - which is why it's funny as well as enraging. I think the author must have serious personal problems.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 09:02 PM

Frycek - I'd just like to add a couple of things to what you said about Chopin's supposed anti-semitism. I am totally against ANY form of racism but I'm sure it wasn't meant as such - he was just using a term common at that time, the same as we might accuse someone of being a vandal nowadays without meaning to suggest that the ancient Germans were actually evil. OK, maybe I'm bending over backwards a bit here to defend my hero.....

More importantly, he actually had some good friends who were Jewish - Leo and Alkan for example.

BTW I love your description of Beethoven needing love and backrubs! It's too true. Preferably the backrub should take place in the bath, in his case, methinks :-)

So where was this prior defence of Chopin posted? I'd like to go and read the whole thread.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/02/06 10:24 PM

The original Chopin dustup:

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/2/9116.html#000000
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/03/06 04:28 AM

Two absolute horrors. These are actual posters I've found for sale.

[Linked Image]
[img]http://www.tinkersviews.com/worstchopin.bmp[/img]
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/03/06 07:28 AM

Wow, I must get a framed enlargement of the second one immediately :-) Actually I have seen these on a poster website some time ago, and wrote to tell them that they had obviously got the wrong information, but to no avail. Couture (artist who painted the first of your two choice images, Frycek) was active in France at the right time so maybe Chopin did sit for him. If so, it would explain why Couture isn't better known today.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/03/06 08:41 AM

Thank you Frycek, you gave me the answer :

Quote
Right now the fashionable thing is "deconstruction" and it's Chopin's turn.
Of course, I have seen it done to other great men (and a few women). I'll just close my eyes to written nonsense and keep listening to the music
smile
Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/03/06 09:19 AM

Quote
Originally posted by maryrose:
Wow, I must get a framed enlargement of the second one immediately :-) Actually I have seen these on a poster website some time ago, and wrote to tell them that they had obviously got the wrong information, but to no avail. Couture (artist who painted the first of your two choice images, Frycek) was active in France at the right time so maybe Chopin did sit for him. If so, it would explain why Couture isn't better known today.
I think the one by Courture is just a very bad portrait. Chopin looks like a walleyed drunk with the mumps but still somehwat like Chopin. I think the second one is just plain mislabelled. Lord knows who that one's actually supposed to be.
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/03/06 01:46 PM

[Linked Image]


About the monument:
http://www.chopinsocietyofhouston.org/About-Chopin-Articles.aspx/15
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/03/06 03:13 PM

Quote
Jesus Christ, you have issues.
This was one of the responses to the post that Frycek just mentioned. I may not have used those exact words but I certainly agree with them.

Thank you LA for that wonderful link about the Chopin monument. Being half Polish, I take a certain amount of pride in the achievements of the sons and daughters of this noble country. They are a proud and determined people, and the history of their country speaks for itself.

But I am an American! Through and through, and I great pride in being so.

Kathleen
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/03/06 04:25 PM

Quote
Originally posted by LisztAddict:
[Linked Image]

Strange that they put him in a dress.

Mel
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/03/06 05:05 PM

I think it's supposed to be a cloak. Note it has a cape.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/03/06 06:40 PM

Cute, Mel!! A dress...? laugh


O.K., since we're asking questions about the statue...what in the world is that thing he's holding on to? Is it some kind of abstract of a piano? confused

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/03/06 07:37 PM

It's a windswept tree. I think he's supposed to be out in the weather getting inspired to compose 25/11, Winter Wind. He's probably just making his chest worse. Note: no hat, no gloves.
Posted By: prober

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/04/06 08:41 PM

viva chopin !!
I´m sure God's having him as one of his main
composers for his angelic-praise-the lord choirs.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/05/06 08:29 PM

Minature portrait of Chopin painted by Polish artist Zygmunt Sowa for the 1949 centennial of Chopin's death.
[Linked Image]
The Chopin Monument, cut up by the Nazis and loaded onto a flat car, a photo taken surreptitiously by a Polish patriot, May 31, 1940. [Linked Image]
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/05/06 09:28 PM

Wow Frycek. Where did you dig out all these info/pictures?
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/05/06 10:47 PM

Quote
Originally posted by LisztAddict:
Wow Frycek. Where did you dig out all these info/pictures?
I have the book they're in. It's a collection of essays published in 1949 for the death centennial. I got it on ebay. It's entitled Frederic Chopin 1810-1849 by Stephen Mizwa. The minature is the frontpiece of the book. I've never seen the flatcar picture anywhere else.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/06/06 12:59 AM

Frycek: Both are amazing.

The last (Chopin in the flatcar) gave me goosebumps. When the momument was standing, Chopin appeared proud, maybe a bit arrogant or distant, also...thoughtful and perhaps preoccuppied. But how differently the expresssion changed when viewed at a different angle and close up. It appears that he knows what is happening, not just to the statue, but to his country. His expression defies description. That's what's so spooky. The sculptor did a magnificient job in capturing what (I think) is a lot of anguish and despair but was also able to infuse into that cold piece of stone an obviously deep love and respect for him.

I'm going to see if there is another book on e-bay available.

Welcome Prober: We'll all second your cheer " Viva Chopin!" And what a wonderful thought about his being one of God's chosen composers.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/06/06 12:38 PM

Here's a link to an amusing Chopin story I ran across once upon a time. It's told by his Piano. Of course, his piano is decidedly female. The story ties in with Kathleen's least favorite Chopin movie Impromptu but don't hold that against it. Enjoy. And no, I didn't write it.


http://www.yuletidetreasure.org/archive/6/thepiano.html
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/06/06 07:09 PM

Frycek: I absolutely loved it! How wonderfully clever and insightful. I wish I had the ability to create such a touching portrait using words. Thanks for sharing.

I think you should (in some way) post it on a "Those devoted to Liszt" site or somewhere so the Liszt fans can read it. I don't think it is insulting to him at all. It's a known fact that he did pound the living daylights out of a keyboard, but he also created magnificent music in doing so. That he was a showman is nothing to be ashamed of. He gave the people what they wanted, and they loved him for it.

And their friendship was (for too short a time) very cherished by Chopin (and Liszt also). Chopin was very fond of him. But like so many of his friendships, he let it slip away.

The piano was his first love and his last. He didn't seem to need anything or anyone else.

Kathleen


Kathleen
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/06/06 08:12 PM

I need to start a new thread "Just for those totally devoted to Liszt". laugh

But that brings up a question "what am I doing here?" help
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/06/06 11:07 PM

I think you'd have many "fans" if you started that thread, LA. You might want to start the thread on the Pianist Corner though and then bring it over here.

But, you know, some people can be totally devoted to more than one composer. Which means you could still hang out here. laugh At least I hope you would. thumb

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/07/06 05:45 PM

Those of you who have read about Chopin's life will know that, during the best part of his final year, he was so ill that he was unable to compose or give the piano lessons on which his livelihood depended. In fact he died technically destitute - although fortunately he had many friends who ensured he had everything he needed right up until the end, including a superb new apartment in the best part of Paris.

At a time when he was sorely in need of money to pay his doctors etc, a huge anonymous donation was made of many thousands of Francs. This kind gesture has always been credited to Jane Stirling, a Scottish pupil who was in love with him.

However there are some people who believe that Jenny Lind, the megastar Swedish soprano, was the benefactor, and that she too was in love with him. I don't know if any of you have read this before, or whether it's true, but here is a link to the information:

http://www.iconsofeurope.com/chopinlind.drama.warsaw.introduction.htm

What d'you all think?
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/08/06 12:03 PM

If it is true I do not know.
But I think Jenny Lind would have been the kind of woman who would make Chopin happy.

Sometimes I wonder if the Great Creator should spend a lttle more time with logistics. I mean just to let people who would make a good team be born at about the same time and place. I just can not see why he wants to see all this unhappy love-stories frown

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/08/06 03:52 PM

Maryrose:

Very interesting, but (this is just my opinion), I believe this story to be pure fiction. I've read many of Chopin biographies (about 20), and I never came across anything that would give credence to this theory about their relationship.

He knew he was dying, and he was too much of a gentleman to expect a woman to marry him when the marriage was doomed to be a very short one.

Another quote from him: (paraphrase): I am ready for the deathbed not the marriage bed. He made this comment about Jan Stirling.

Chopin admired Miss Lind and her singing voice very much; however, that he was in love with her to the point of marriage is pretty far-fetched. The man was dying. And one of his famous sayings at this time was "Rich women should marry rich men."

Jan Stirling was his main benefactor at the end, and this can be proven. She sent him 20,000 francs (which was misplaced at one time, a great story on how it was found) and she paid for his apartment and his funeral. After his death, she made certain that all of his belongings, compositions, etc., were sent to Chopin's sister.

I know Frycek will come in pretty soon with more facts. My memory isn't great and much of what I have read I've forgotten. But I am 98% positive that Lind and Chopin were never linked romantically.


However, I do have an open mind. But as I mentioned, I've never read anything that even hinted that their relationship was more than platonic.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/08/06 05:36 PM

Frycek doesn't know any more about Chopin and Jenny Lind than is found on that website. The only way to get any further information is to buy the book, which I may or may not do someday. Being perpetually broke does tend to put a cramp in my style sometimes. I do think though that as goodhearted as Jane Stirling was, she was actually just the go between for that gift of 20,000 francs, an apparently enormous sum. (Some have argued that a gift of that magnitude was out of her financial league, that while she was comfortable and well connected that she was far from personally wealthy. Chopin flatly refused to accept the money as a gift and finally accepted half of it as a "loan." Considering his condition at the time the difference is academic but the man had his pride. At that time he said something along the lines of he'd only accept it if it came from Queen Victoria herself. There's probably as much or as little evidence for the Royal Family being the benefactor as for Jenny Lind, about whom I really have no opinion. I do agree with Kathleen that Chopin would never have gone through a marriage that could never have been consumated. I've often wondered if Prince Albert, who came and stood by Chopin at the piano when he played for the Royal Family, might have had something to do with that money. He certainly showed more interest in Chopin than Queen Victoria did, who referred to him in her diary for that evening as "some pianist."
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/09/06 02:27 PM

In the book: "The Glorious Ones" by Schonberg. there is a chapter devoted to Jenny Lind. The only mention of Chopin was his description of her as "a typical Swede, but not in an ordinary light, but in some sort of Polar dawn.....She sings with extreme purity and certainity, and her piano notes are steady, as even as her hair." ( As an aside, I am part Swedish and would like to know just what a typical Swede is?)

She appeared to be a very sweet and pure person and was quite religious. However, she did have her "diva" side. Not to take anything away from her. If I had her talent, I'd be a diva also. Could Chopin be considered a "divan" (the male counterpart of a diva)?

She was a shrewd business woman, but she was also quite charitable.

While Chopin did not consider her especially beautiful, he loved her native songs and compared them with those of his own country. He did meet with her several times for dinner with other guests, and she did sing for him alone until midnight on one occassion.

Frycek's suggestion that the 20,000 francs were not from Jan was news to me. Just goes to show that one learns something new everyday.

All in all, none of us will ever know the real truth about their relationship. It's all conjecture.

No matter; it all makes for some interesting possibilities.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/10/06 12:56 AM

Kathleen - I don't think that a woman being not especially beautiful would have affected Chopin's attraction or otherwise. Take Maria Wodzinska and George Sand for instance - neither classic beauties.

But as you say, we'll never know the real truth... not unless there is even more evidence uncovered at some point...
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/10/06 01:30 AM

Actually, Jenny Lind was quite pretty in an almost little girl way. I've heard her character was as sweet as her looks.
[Linked Image]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/10/06 03:19 PM

I agree, MaryRose, that looks were not a determining factor for Chopin. I just mentioned it because he stated something to that effect in one of his letters.

Frycek: That portrait of Jenny is certainly lovely, and I did read she was pure of heart. However, not all the time. wink When and if I can find the sections in the chapter about her that weren't so flattering, I'll post them, and also another picture of her with her husband.

I, by no means, am trying to depict her in a negative way, just in a more realistic one.

We have a new nocturnite, NancyM. smile

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/10/06 03:45 PM

Kathleen - someone who was pure of heart ALL the time would be boring indeed:-) (I certainly ain't!!) I look forward to hearing more about La Lind from you. If she gave Chopin any comfort whatsoever in his final months - be it the joy of hearing her voice, musical companionship or even something more romantic, I am grateful to Jenny Lind for ever.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/10/06 04:29 PM

I'm afraid I shall always see her through Hans Christian Andersen's lens.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/10/06 08:59 PM

Seven ways I try to cheer myself up when feeling sad about Chopin:

Sometimes when I am thinking or reading about Chopin’s life, particularly the purgatorial final years, I feel so terribly sad. At such times I try to list ways in which he was actually very fortunate:

1- How wonderful to know you have composed such music (and although modest, he wasn’t so stupid at to not recognise that his works are great)
2- He could actually play those works, and by all accounts, without much effort (unlike poor us)
3- He had a very fortunate childhood – I can think of no other composer who had a better start in life. Loving, sensible, unselfish parents who were able to give him just the right amount of opportunity without ever exploiting him
4- His musical education was ideally suited to his character; he had a strong foundation of harmony and theory, whilst being given his head in piano playing which must have gone a long way to contribute to his originality
5- When he got to Paris he was in the perfect place and time for his genius to flourish. He was welcomed into the society of the top musicians, intellectuals and artists of his day, and had a lifelong gift for making true friends so that he had a wonderfully protective inner circle almost from the beginning
6- Women cherished him right up to the end of his life
7- His music has been loved all over the world and all over the centuries by those who know about music, by those who just like a good tune, and by many in between. He continues to be venerated today by folks such as us to which I am sure he would respond by being heart-warmed (if slightly non-plussed!)

That’s the way I manage to cheer up sometimes… any other suggestions of how lucky he was?
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/10/06 09:01 PM

He had the ability to laugh at himself, and to laugh through tears. Both are great gifts.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/10/06 09:27 PM

MaryRose: I couldn't agree with you more. That she brought so much happiness and joy into Chopin's life just when he needed it the most, would certainly qualify her not only as the Swedish nightingale, but as a Swedish angel.

[Linked Image]

I didn't mean to imply that she wasn't a kind and sweet woman, and she was certainly a wonderful and caring friend to Chopin. I remember how thrilled he was when she came to visit and sang into the night, obliviously making it an evening of pure bliss for him.

A. Lincoln is a great hero of mine. Some years ago, someone made a demaining remark about him, and I recall getting so angry I couldn't see straight.

I guess I am like Frycek in the respect that I wish all of our childhood fantasies could remain ever so, especially about the people we so love and admire.


Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/10/06 10:09 PM

Kathleen - thanks for posting that photo. It's lovely. Lind isn't beautiful exactly but she looks nice, and has quite a "modern" face.

This is an example, though, of comparison between painted portrait and photograph. She is definitely romanticised in paintings.

Frycek - thanks for your addition to Chopin's "good fortune list"; very true.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/10/06 11:40 PM

MaryRose: Your poignant post brought tears to my eyes, for I, also, get terribly sad and often depressed when thinking of his life. How so very short and so very painful it was, both physically and emotionally.

You definitely have taken the higher road when thinking of all the positives in his life. I agree with all of them. In so many ways he was so fortunate (think about poor Schumann, for example).

I think what upsets me the most is that he could have lived much longer if the doctors could have provided better treatment. And in doing so, he would not have sufferred and would have found the kind of happiness to which he was so entitled. I believe he deserved the very best because of his legacy to us.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't listen to a recording of his music. And though I have heard all of it, over and over, for years and years, it never fails to find that certain spot down deep within that can only be reached by his music and his music alone.

Frycek: The M.Chopin CD (2 discs) came in the mail today. I can hardly wait to listen to it. I feel like a kid the night before Christmas!

MaryRose: M. Chopin is/was a one-man played starring Hershey Felder as Chopin. The play takes place in Chopin's salon (the room where he gave lessons). The actor actually lost 30 pounds, plays the piano, and research for 2 years in order to do justice to his character. It's like he is giving a piano lesson to the audience and talking/playing at the same time. It was a sold-out performance everywhere it went. He did Gershwin before and is working on Beethoven next, in the same type of format. The actor actually looks like Chopin (at least, the way I would picture him.)

I am posting the front and back of the CD. If you want information on how to order it, let me know. And I will let you both know just how wonderful it is...tomorrow.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Kathleen smile
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/11/06 10:13 AM

Thanks for taking the trouble to show us the outside of the Hershy Felder CD, loveschopintoomuch. He must indeed be versatile (or possibly have very good make-up artists) to play both Chopin, and Gershwin, and Beethoven!

Is the inside as good as the outside?

Love to all Chopinophiles on a blue-skyed morning near London
Posted By: Numerian

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/11/06 12:20 PM

I'll have to order that Hershey Felder CD. I heard his performance as Monsieur Chopin and was very impressed with his playing. He is not a traditional classical musician and you can fault him on some things like tempo. Nor would he win any contests, because his style of playing goes against the conservatory approach to Chopin.

What is different about him is this very light, silvery touch that he brings to Chopin's music. In his hands, Chopin sounds even more mystical, romantic, and ethereal than we are used to hearing. Or, to put this in technical terms, Felder certainly can play fortissimo, but he utilizes pp and ppp tones unlike any contemporary artist. You have to go to recordings before the 1930's to hear anything like this.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/11/06 12:27 PM

Numerian, I wonder if Hershey Felder is actually trying to "enact" Chopin's own playing, rather than being himself? I also wonder what piano he used? Oh, why isn't this show coming to the UK! [groans]
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/11/06 04:04 PM

A good article that answers some of the questions. NB Hershey Felder is half Polish.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20050826/ai_n15363130

Quote
Last week, as he strolled around the elegant, antique-filled set for his Chopin show, Felder -- who has let his hair grow long and has dyed it chestnut blonde, the color of a lock of hair Sand kept until her death -- took particular pride in the new Italian piano, a Fazioli, he will perform on. The instrument, on loan from PianoForte Chicago, Inc., was about to be specially treated to resemble the lighter-hued Camille Pleyel piano that Chopin used in Paris. A stickler for authenticity, Felder did on-site research in Warsaw and Paris this summer.

Dressed in a brocade vest and morning coat (the costume is by Boguslaw Sankowski, the wedding gown maestro who owns an Oak Street workshop), the actor no longer moved like the Jazz Age master for whom speed was of the essence, but rather, with the aristocratic posture and graceful bearing so important to Chopin. And when he sat at the piano to play in the floating style Chopin was renowned for, it was clear that even his keyboard attack had shifted. If Liszt, Chopin's peer, was the rock star of his time, and known for his pianistic pyrotechnics, Chopin was the ultimate lyricist and the darling of the salons. A reticent performer, he grew to be a renowned teacher who tutored the elite of Paris, and who, in this show, which is set in the composer's Montmartre studio at 9 Square d'Orleans, turns the audience into his student. The music flows as the memory of time past comes to mind.

"For Chopin, everything was a pure expression of the soul and emotion," said Felder. "His playing had a silvery tone, and I've found it helpful to think of him as an early Debussy, with that exquisite airiness and shimmer."
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/11/06 04:08 PM

I suspect Hershey Felder may be one of us.

A good article that answers some of the questions. NB Hershey Felder is half Polish.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20050826/ai_n15363130

Quote
Last week, as he strolled around the elegant, antique-filled set for his Chopin show, Felder -- who has let his hair grow long and has dyed it chestnut blonde, the color of a lock of hair Sand kept until her death -- took particular pride in the new Italian piano, a Fazioli, he will perform on. The instrument, on loan from PianoForte Chicago, Inc., was about to be specially treated to resemble the lighter-hued Camille Pleyel piano that Chopin used in Paris. A stickler for authenticity, Felder did on-site research in Warsaw and Paris this summer.

Dressed in a brocade vest and morning coat (the costume is by Boguslaw Sankowski, the wedding gown maestro who owns an Oak Street workshop), the actor no longer moved like the Jazz Age master for whom speed was of the essence, but rather, with the aristocratic posture and graceful bearing so important to Chopin. And when he sat at the piano to play in the floating style Chopin was renowned for, it was clear that even his keyboard attack had shifted. If Liszt, Chopin's peer, was the rock star of his time, and known for his pianistic pyrotechnics, Chopin was the ultimate lyricist and the darling of the salons. A reticent performer, he grew to be a renowned teacher who tutored the elite of Paris, and who, in this show, which is set in the composer's Montmartre studio at 9 Square d'Orleans, turns the audience into his student. The music flows as the memory of time past comes to mind.

"For Chopin, everything was a pure expression of the soul and emotion," said Felder. "His playing had a silvery tone, and I've found it helpful to think of him as an early Debussy, with that exquisite airiness and shimmer."
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/11/06 06:20 PM

Thanks Frycek - interesting. I'm not sure that Chopin would have liked to hear Square d'Orleans called "Montmartre" - it's in the more up-market Opera district. And why on earth try to turn a Fazioli into a Pleyel? I wonder what else he's got wrong.

Grumpy of Milton Keynes (trying to make out it's rubbish because she can't go)
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/11/06 07:05 PM

Montmartre may've been the reporter's fault. As for the piano (or pianos?) I wonder if it travels with him or if he adapts on site. Because it does seem to me that in one write up I read he was using a Pleyel. (Of course I've heard the Pleyels of today are nothing like they were in Chopin's day. For one thing they now have the double escapement that Chopin hated. Chopin would probably be happier with old Sam.)
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/11/06 08:05 PM

Quote
"For Chopin, everything was a pure expression of the soul and emotion," said Felder. "His playing had a silvery tone, and I've found it helpful to think of him as an early Debussy, with that exquisite airiness and shimmer."
Boy, these are "fight'g words, parnder!"

First and foremost, Chopin set the stage for all who followed him and "opened up new horizons of musical poetry. DeBussy above all others excelled in such discoveries, although he exploited them for their magic rather than for their potentialities of musical content." (The words in quote are those of Artur Rubinstein.)

To think of him as an "early DeBussy" is an injustice and an insult. (IMO). It's as if one is giving more esteem to the would-be copycat than the creator.

And, watch out!! To use the word "emotion" in the same sentence with Chopin is definitely a no-no.

Emotion=Romanticism And anyone who knows anything about Chopin would not put his music in that category (or genre) for he, himself, hated the word and its connotation. He has been given credit for "bridging" the two schools...Classic/Romantic, and "opened a great unexplored world of new sounds and vibrations. He mixed sounds as paints are mixed on a palette, and produced colors that had not even been imagined before. He developed his own alchemy of tones; he ventured unexpected combinations, and created harmonies with extraordinary freshness." (again Rubinstein)

Now Kathleen...
It's difficult to listen to much of Chopin's music and not get emotionally involved. So therein may lie the false labeling. I can only speak for myself, but his music weaves its magic spell on my rational thought more so than on my temperment or passion. Yes, when I was younger, I admit to shedding a few tears at the beauty of it all. But now, many, many years later, I've come to appreciate it on a more logical level.

It seems to "complete" me. Everything seems to fit, so that you almost have to nod your head as if to say: "Yes, that's it! That's how it is suppose to sound, and how I, myself, would make it sound if I had the ability."

Lastly, Chopin was a perfectionist and his art was his life. He didn't go off walking on a cloud, humming to himself some little ditty and then put the notes to paper in a blink of the eye. He labored long and hard for days, months and even years to get it perfect.

And that's what I hear when I listen to him. The perfection, not the emotion.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/11/06 08:16 PM

Kathleen, your mention of Rubinstein reminds me that I have been meaning to ask if you could tell us more about his concert that you went to... and sat on the stage.... what an experience! Rubinstein is my favourite pianist, although I was never in a position to hear him live.

Please can you give an account of how that came about, and your impressions of the concert?

BTW on another thread you mentioned that he wasn't note-perfect, and I thought to myself that that wasn't surprising as he must have been decades past his prime at that time. Even so, what a man, and what an interpreter of Chopin.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/13/06 02:27 PM

Hi MaryRose:

I would LOVE to tell you about one of the most memorable days in my life. I never get much of a chance to do so, since my friends and family aren't very interested. None likes classical music. And one thought that Artur Rubinstein was the "guy who invented the atomic bomb." eek

Sometimes I think I was adopted. laugh

This took place when I was 15, so he would have been 67 (hey, just the age I am now). I was born and raised in Chicago in a small Polish neighborhood. It wasn’t unusual to hear Chopin’s music being played on the radios or stereos or even pianos, especially during the summer when everyone’s windows were open. Since my family didn’t get the daily newspapers, I found out about his performance, just one day at Orchestra Hall downtown, only 4 days beforehand. I HAD to get a ticket, no matter what the cost. All the kids my age were ga-ga about Elvis. Me…Rubinstein!! I grew up listening to alll of his Chopin recordings, and I memorized every one, with every nuance. Horowitz was around at the same time, but he seemed (at least to me) a bit too loud. I used to call him “heavy-handed Horowitz.”

Luckily, when I called the box office on Thursday, I was informed that there were just a few SRO places remaining. I rushed downtown (taking the el and subway) and bought a ticket. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep those next remaining days.

When I arrived at Orchestra Hall, I was told that because they couldn’t allow people to stand, they were setting up folding chairs on the stage! And, I was one of the lucky (and late) people who were going to be able to sit there. Wow! So much for the “early bird gets the worm.”

I had a seat on the “aisle” just where Rubinstein would walk as he approached the piano. And he did, walk right by me, within an arm’s length.

My impressions: He looked like someone’s beloved grandfather. On the short side, wild white hair that floated around his head like a wispy halo. But a bundle of energy and confidence. The house figuratively hit the roof with applause when he appeared.

The next two hours are somewhat of a blur because he played as beautifully as I thought he would. I did hear the clinkers but, of course, thought I must have imagined it because how could Rubinstein hit a wrong note? confused

The audience would not let him leave the stage, and he played 3 encores.

I think, aside from the fact that he was the ONLY interpreter of Chopin…IMO, I loved the fact that he was quite a playboy and “fooled around” a lot until his mid-twenties. It was at that point when he realized he couldn’t live off his friends and family. So he applied himself to the piano in earnest, and the rest is history. His story rather inspired me because although I had to intenitons of playing in the concert hall, I did think that starting rather late (in my mid-teens) would not impede my progress at playing.

What a guy!

Someday, if you’re interested (and this is a great and hilarious story), I’ll tell you about my attending a Van Cliburn concert. Another unforgettable experience.

Thanks for your interest, and I hope I didn’t bore you…too much.

Oh, if you have any teens, they may have heard of the Nine Inch Nails (an acid rock group bah ). My nephew, James, played with them for about 4 years. Another tale to be told, someday.

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/13/06 02:55 PM

I just received this poster, which I ordered from allposters. com.

At first, I loved it...the coloring and etc. Then I was struck by something very wrong about it. Can you guess what that might be?
[Linked Image]

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/13/06 06:03 PM

Well there's that fiddle for starters.

Now, let's hear about Van Cliburn.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/13/06 07:08 PM

Yep, you're right, of course.

Why in the heck did they put a violin smack in the middle of the picture instead of a piano? confused

Very strange. Maybe they have some type of boiler plates made up as posters, and they forgot to take off the fiddle for Paganini.

I think I told the Van Cliburn story on the Pianist forum. I'm going to see if I can find it so I won't have to type it all over again.

Kathleen
Posted By: Piano Again

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/13/06 08:29 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Frycek:
As for the piano (or pianos?) I wonder if it travels with him or if he adapts on site. Because it does seem to me that in one write up I read he was using a Pleyel. (Of course I've heard the Pleyels of today are nothing like they were in Chopin's day. For one thing they now have the double escapement that Chopin hated. Chopin would probably be happier with old Sam.)
In the performance I saw in San Diego a few weeks ago, he played on a Steinway (guess that's what they had in that theater), but they had draped a shawl so that it covered up the name on the side of the piano.

He does look a bit like Chopin probably did, but Felder looks very much like Gershwin.

[img]http://images.google.com/images?q=tbn:DqqAVtZdMYRqJM:http://www.classical.net/[/img]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/13/06 08:54 PM

Remarkable. Maybe that's what gave him the idea to start with.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/14/06 12:21 AM

I wonder how he's going to change his looks for Beethoven. That should be a challenge.

Old Ludwig was (from what I remember reading) on the shorter side, broad and barrel-chested.

Poor Hershey. He'll have to gain back the 30 pounds he lost for Chopin and then probably put on another 30 to play Beethoven.

Gee...every woman's dream. Someone telling you you HAVE to gain 30 pounds!! laugh

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/14/06 05:04 PM

Kathleen, thank you so much for telling us about the day you nearly touched Rubinstein! Your description was so vivid that I almost felt I was the fifteen-year-old you. Far from being bored, I was riveted as I am sure we all were.

"my friends and family aren't very interested"
I have the same problem. I have lots of friends, including some I love very dearly, but NONE understands my love of Chopin or, indeed, music in general!

"It wasn’t unusual to hear Chopin’s music being played on the radios or stereos or even pianos, especially during the summer when everyone’s windows were open"
What a delightful image

"he did, walk right by me, within an arm’s length." Gosh!

"He looked like someone’s beloved grandfather..... But a bundle of energy and confidence. The house figuratively hit the roof..."
I can just imagine.


"I loved the fact that he was quite a playboy and “fooled around” a lot until his mid-twenties"

Until his mid-nineties more like wink

"I did think that starting rather late (in my mid-teens) would not impede my progress at playing"
So did you start before, or after, or because of, this concert experience, Kathleen?

"if you have any teens" ...thankfully not

"the Nine Inch Nails" .... I know of them! (My musical tastes are catholic to say the least... favourite band: Ramones)

Thanks once again. I adore Rubinstein!
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/15/06 12:36 AM

Thank you, MaryRose, for your exuberant words of gratitude. smile I, also, adore him. And yes, you are right, he did continue his "wide and wicked ways" right up to the end. I think he was 80 or something when he divorced his wife of many years and married a much younger woman. wink

I came across a term while reading yesterday, called "the obsessive genius" (it was in reference to a book about Marie Curie [another famous Pole]). Well, I thought, of course, what a common-sense type of notion. All geniuses have to be obsessive, but not all obsessive people are geniuses (me, as an example).

I can't count on my ten fingers, geniuses from the arts, past or present who weren't obsessive. They have to be so, don't you think? They have to foresake all other things/people in order to give priority to their creative spirit. I don't think they have much of a choice in the matter, either. It just takes over.

And manic-depressive (or biopolar) disorder is very prevalent among them also.

Will write about my Van Cliburn experience later. This one will definitely tickle your "funny-bone." ha

Regards,
Kathleen


Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/17/06 02:36 PM

Warning: Long.... eek

heck HATH NO FURY AS CLASSICAL MUSIC FANS SCORNED
OR
A SWEET TALE OF REVENGE


O.K. Due to an overwhelming demand (just two requests, actually), here is my story about attending a Van Cliburn concert.

The young Texan had just won the 1st Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow and immediately became the darling of the decade, a household word. The very first person from the arts to win a ticker-tape parade in New York City. His recording of the Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1 went platinum, selling over 1.000,000 copies! Imagine that. I bet that was a first and last in the classical recording industry.

However, before he had taken the prize in Moscow, he must have committed to appear in Chicago for the park district in the wonderful outdoor band shell right on the lakefront. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra was to accompany him as he played the concerto. Best of all, it was free to the public.

My girlfriend and I (both having such a crush on the tall redhead and loving classical music) HAD to attend, of course. I think we were about 17 at the time. Anyhow, the concert began at 8 P.M., so in order to assure `we got good seats, we packed our lunch, dinner, some snacks, books to read, pillows for our rear, a big jug of liquid refreshment (probably lemonade), a camera, our autographs books (in case we got that close to get one) and, most important, a pair of binoculars.

It was a beautiful July day, not too hot, with a beautiful breeze coming off the lake. We arrived at 11 a.m. It would be a long wait, but it would be worth it to sit up close.

How naïve we were. The first 30 rows of 30 foot benches were reserved for the big shots of the city and state. The major, of course, the governor, and all the rich and/or powerful. There were actually police there guarding these benches, so we had no choice but to take the very first row in back of the reserved section. And we sat on the end so not to be squeezed by bodies on both sides.

The hours crept by. Little by little people started to appear and took seats (or should I say a spot on a bench?). Did I say we were the first to appear? We spent the time talking and eating and reading and just generally goofing around and being silly.

The sun went down and the moon came up and the night was perfect. By 7:00 p.m., there wasn’t a space on a bench (I think they had about 200 of them), and the lawn was full of people on blankets. You couldn’t see a blade of grass for all the bodies spread out and about. All the big shots were seated also. We put our stuff on the ground beneath of seats, not wanting to take up a space that someone might be able to use. See how considerate we were.


On the lake, hundreds of boats had amassed, close to shore, eager for the music to begin.

They lighted the band shell, and the musicians started filing in, taking their appointed chairs and started that terrible noise, called warming up. Then everything went completely quiet. A hush could be heard two miles back. Our hearts were beating so fast, we could hardly talk. Then just about 2 minutes before the performance was to begin, a woman who had been walking up and down the aisle looking for a seat (mind you, she came two minutes ahead of time, spotted two inches of space between my girlfriend and me and decided that her rear, which was the size of a small battleship, if there is such a thing…a small battleship, that is, could fit into that tiny space. A snake couldn’t fit in, but she decided she could and she did…proceed to plop her backside right down, crushing both Diane’s and my legs in the process. Sitting at the end of the bench, I actually fell off, but I quickly jumped up and got back on for fear that once her “cheeks” started to out and my spot would disappear completely.

If I were the age I am now, there would be no way that that woman would have gotten away with this gross miscarriage of justice. I’d tell her off in no uncertain terms. Can you imagine? We came 9 hours early to get our seats. She came 2 minutes early and got the very same seats as we and managed to inflict bodily pain on both of us, as a result. Not to mention that I had to hold on for dear life and had to dig my heel into the grass as a brace for fear of falling off the bench And, just how comfortable were we going to be? How could we possibly concentrate on this wonderful concert? However, we were brought up to respect our elders, so we kept quiet, but boy, were we steaming.

Then the mother of all great ideas hit us, at the very same time. Diane had the binoculars hanging from her neck by a leather strap, and it wasn’t very long.

Just when Van walked across the stage on his way to the piano, the cheers and applause neared cacophonic proportions. And that’s when we began our evil “get-even” routine.

Diane: “Kathleen, do you want to use the binoculars to get closer look?”

Me: “Great, thanks.”

Did she remove them from around her neck?? No. Aha!! She leaned into the woman, across to me, and I, at the same time, leaned into the woman from the other side, across to Diane so I could just raise the binoculars to my eyes for several minutes. Then, of course, it was Diane’s turn, so we just passed them back and forth like this…during the entire concert!

The woman never said one single word. She wouldn’t have dared. I think if she said something about our squeeze-play, I would have mouthed off to her (proper upbringing or not) and told her off…BIG TIME.

So, we got even. Through it all, we did manage to enjoy the concert and Van. It was truly a night not to be forgotten, for more ways than one. smile


Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/17/06 02:45 PM

laugh

Actually William and I employed the same strategy with a woman who refused to swap seats at an antique auction so he and I could sit together. This time it was sodas and hot dogs and popcorn and kleenex, nasal spray, Rolaids etc that got passed. (I carried a lot of his stuff in my purse.) And it was totally deliberate.
Posted By: gmm1

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/17/06 03:03 PM

There was a free "concert" in Echo Park in LA one summer. As you walk around, there were bands, groups, etc. playing. A bunch of us went and we went our seperate ways to listen to what we wanted to hear. I was lucky and came in just as a classical guitarist was getting ready to start. The place was crowded, but I did find a spot close up, but I did have to sit between two people who were taking up 3 spaces.

The music was great, but the idiots sitting on either side of me kept passing stuff back and forth. So, after a few minutes, I decided to get even and started to sing the melodies as rudely as I could, and tried to be out of key. Then, I would take bites of their food and sips of drinks as they passed them back and forth.

Some people, eh?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/17/06 04:18 PM

gymm1 laugh laugh

But I'm glad you mentioned they were taking up 3 seats. Then they deserved it.

Taking a bite out of their hot dog!! eek but ha

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/18/06 09:09 AM

Kathleen - thanks for the Van Cliburn story. Did he play any Chopin on that occasion? I have to confess I've never even heard one of his recordings. I love your phrase "A hush could be heard two miles back". laugh

It seems that our Hero himself didn't have to rub thighs in the lower levels of seating - when Chopin went to the opera, theatre etc he was often given a box by a friend. Once he was given a ticket for someone's box but didn't really want to go, so he passed it on to his friend Fontana with the proviso that Fontana couldn't actually sit down or the transfer of ticket would be too obvious. Poor Fontana. smile
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/18/06 03:14 PM

MaryRose: I don’t remember what Van Cliburn played at that concert. Obviously the Tchaikovsky concerto. But I doubt if he played anything by Chopin since he had The Chicago Symphony Orchestra backing him. It would have been nice if they played one of Chopin’s concertos, but I don’t think they did.

Yes, poor Fontana, indeed. How Chopin could take advantage of his friends and acquaintances. It was definitely a case of a seemingly weak and meek person having some type of control over the rich, powerful and famous. This is not uncommon. There are just certain people who can do this…and Chopin was a genius in this respect also. When you consider all the hundreds of rich, powerful and famous people he knew during his lifetime, and how generous and loyal they were to him, until the very end (and even after), one has to be amazed and bewildered. I think that because he was so “needy,” but more so that he was so charming and gentle…also humorous and talented (who wouldn’t want to help a genius if they had the chance?). And, of course, there is the ego-boasting element: “I had Chopin as a houseguest last week.” I have, on more than one occasion, bragged that my nephew played the keyboard with the Nine Inch Nails for four years. And as talented as he might be, he’s not a genius.

Nancy: You mentioned you found some good theory/technique books. I haven’t been able to find one that is complete in this respect. I’m not the beginner stage, so I don’t want to start with learning the notes, but I would like to learn about logic structure of chords, etc. I do have Alfred’s books on scales, arpeggios, cadences, etc., which is great for technique. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Kathleen
Posted By: stephenc

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/21/06 08:39 AM

Well I've not posted here before, but I think I am becoming totally devoted to Chopin! And I thought new age music was my style. I am especially enjoying his nocturnes, he is certainly the master of this musical style.

I thought I'd post a link to an amateurs you tube performance that a PW member called florhof posted in the digital forum. This is a wonderful "medley" of Chopins most famous works, the Pianist is extremely talented wouldn't you agree?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuvE_FlC5IQ
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/21/06 08:59 AM

Hello all - I was so touched when my press office sent me the link to this site, that I thought I would ring in as well. Of course, thanks for all the lovely thoughts and ideas. MaryRose, and LovesChopinTooMuch (is that possible? smile the press sometimes does quote things out of context that makes a statement sound quite incorrect. But it's wonderful to see discussion on the matter.

Firstly, thanks to all for attending and the lovely support. When I started these characters - and this notion of creation of character tied directly to the music itself as a form of theatrical storytelling, it was something that had not really been done - no model to follow - so it is an endless amount of discovery...in fact the recording which you received is an original first month's recording that is vastly different from the current production. What is fun about these things - is how the audience becomes involved in the continuous creation of these characters. And there is always so much room for improvement...

To address the misquotes - indeed, Square D'Orleans is not in Montmartre - I'm not sure how that happened - but then again, in Clavier magazine, no matter how many times I said it is Square D'orleans (avec accents, svp) the editor seemed to think he or she knew the correct wording and printed 'carre orleans.' (I had even sent in corrections via email...) or the time when a well known POLISH (!) Magazine printed under a photo of Chopin's heart crypt - that the heart is resting eternally in CRACOW!!! One can't help these things, we just cringe when it happens and move on...

With regard to the Debussy quote - that's interesting and important and a good note from you...taken out of context, it indeed sounds as if I am crediting Debussy for Chopin's success... no matter how much I do these interviews, it is still so difficult to 'think' in print... so that what one says and what one means doesn't appear misquoted...that said - the "Debussy" statement comes from my having said that "Debussy credited Chopin for his entire creativity, thinking and approach to the piano saying that without Chopin, he (and other impressionists) could never have achieved what they did at the piano." I then went on to say when asked about my approach to tone... "When we think of Debussy - we think of an airy light touch - a floating delicacy a shimmery very light sound...and sometimes we think of Chopin in a much more "classical" light, Mozartean, perhaps - there are others who appraoch him with a vast rich sound...but to me Chopin was indeed the first impressionist - who used color as a main function of his expression - all reports - especially the Eigeldinger (a MUST READ for anyone even remotely interested in Chopin - there is the English version, and much more in French...) are of chopin's color, use of sound - how one is lost in the sound rather than the function of the actual notes...etc...

Somehow, that turned into, in the reporter's version, that Chopin was an early Debussy. Ah well.

I have been lucky enough to have played and be filmed at Chopin's piano in Warsaw on Ogulnick street - the last one he had at 9 Sq. D'o. Such a tiny little thing - my fingers barely fit on the keys, the depth of touch is next to nil - and the sound (what's left of it) isn't anything that we think of as piano, today. I have played restored Pleyels from 1845 - and the sound is remarkable - it "lives and breathes" unlike any piano I play today... one only really understands Chopin when playing a restored original pleyel. Everything about the approach, the technique is different and very specific. And so much easier to play from a purely physical standpoint. One immediately understands the legerte required, and connects to the things he said to his own students.

I do now own a 9' Steinway that I finally found that has a shmmery enough tone to enable me to really 'work' the pianissimi (Chopin's metier, it would seem). The most important thing that I have learned with regard to what I do is that in the theatre, as opposed to a concert, the piano work must be in the form of storytelling, and very different from what one would hear in a concert. Then again, in my work with Dr. Jeff Kallberg - international specialist in Chopin, I have come to the conclusion that Chopin's approach would have been a good deal like that - mainly because emotional storytelling (even though he absolutely was against connecting one specific story to any work) was the artists' approach - there were no films, no mass media, no daily radio...it was all human expression and communication. Putting this together with all the source material from the day and reports of his work was a great deal of fun.

As far as the Fazioli itself - it was something I tried - it had such a light touch in the upper registers and in the pianissmi range, but got too dark if there was any power attached to it...and the pleyel "treatment" was for look as opposed to sound. (It is a designed piece of theatre, an imaginary Delacroix 'tableau vivant,' as it were.) I moved onto my own Steinway in the end, because it allows me the control that I need.

I do in fact, not play the way Chopin played (who can?) But - I attempt to 'imagine' or at least create a sound that could be thought of as really Chopin-it is a sound that I like with his 'character' - and of course, it is important to remember still that this is a play, a piece of theatre, and it functions completely differently than a concert. But most importantly...I first heard op. 25/9 when I was nine years old, and learned it. It was then that something about Chopin caught my ears, my heart, my soul... and I have been so in love with that world of sound and ideas ever since.

My schedule now seems to indicate that Chopin will appear in Los Angeles this summer after a run of Gershwin. Beethoven next season - now, I won't gain 30 pounds (getting rid of that mess once was enough...) I am ammenable now to tricks of the trade to look a certain way... however I am having fun with this new piece.

And on a last Chopin note - I just acquired a recently discovered manuscript of 9/2 with a changed cadenza. It was one of Chopin's own teaching scores - the cadenza is re-written in his own hand. Just magical. It now holds a very special place in my home.

Thanks for the chance to ring in here - I wouldn't have known about this lovely site if someone in my office didn't have me on google alert (god bless this business... smile And to sign off - I write to you from my home in Paris - on the Rue De Conde in l'Odeon. Only a few meters from my kitchen window is George Sand's 1848 residence - where she lived on the third floor - her window is facing mine, she essentially lived here at the time when the rupture with Chopin happened, and the letters to Viardot... etc. I imagine (of course a fantasy, but all the same) the pained Chopin walking down Rue de Conde, looking up at her window... wondering, 'why.'

My best from Paris -

Hershey
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/21/06 03:04 PM

Wow! The eloquent ones, LovesChopinTooMuch (Kathleen to her friends) and MaryRose (real name) seem unaccountably absent this morning so it's left to me to be the official greeter and thanker. So, thank you so very much for posting on our thread and answering our questions and puzzlements. Finding your post was an astonishment to me this morning. Neither Kathleen nor I have been able to see the production which is one reason we treasure the CDs. MaryRose in London has had the opportunity to do neither but is thoroughly intrigued by the concept. I've listened to the CDs several times. Your characterization rings true and your playing is exquisite. I've heard new beauties in very familiar pieces. I enjoyed the Op 18 Valse so much that I've decided to rework it for the next online "recital" we have here. (Kathleen warned me I had a surprise coming when I listened to the part about Emilia's death. I'd just played Lulajze Jezuniu in the last recital.) Thank you also for sharing your own musings about George Sand's window. I've been in the same situation with an eventual happier outcome. In the midst of it a huge, heartbroken, bewildered "Why?" is definitely the question. Thanks for taking the time to come to us and for a very memorable portrayal of Our Friend.
Joe (aka Frycek)
Posted By: Piano Again

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/21/06 03:31 PM

Hershey: What a surprise to see your note here! I just want to say that my husband and I completely enjoyed your performance in San Diego last month. We were only able to get SRO spots, but it was well worth standing for a couple of hours. I hope I have the chance to see your Gershwin show some day (and Beethoven!). Thank you for taking on these projects.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/21/06 09:00 PM

I COULD NOT believe my eyes when I saw your post, Hershey. I don't want to sound gushy, but (like Frycek) after listening to your CD (the best $30 I've spent in my entire 67 years) every other day, you have "become" Chopin to me, or as close as any human can come, 157 years after his death.

I am not embarrassed to admit that there were more than just a couple of occasions when my emotions got the best of me. You were so "perfect" for the role, in every way. You brought out his gentle and loving nature, his kindness, his sense of humor (wicked as it could be), and his depths of despair. AND, you played as I would have imagined he did. Gosh, now I am gushing.

As far as George Sand, my only comment is that I wished he had met Jane Stirling 20 years eariler.

I'm originally from Chicago but moved out to the super, super suburbs years ago. Therefore, I was unaware of the play until 6 months after it closed. No words can express my disappointment. I noticed that you "opened" in Chicago, which was a great place to start. Chicago has a larger Polish population than Warsaw, and I'm sure you and your performance were most appreciatively and graciously received. And, as I am certain you know, we Poles are a proud and loyal bunch, and how very proud we are of our "son,"...the ultimate poet of the piano. Thank you for portraying him in such a noble manner. He deserves it, and you deserve countless accolades for all the years of research and hard work you invested in bringing him "to life."

If I hadn't just blown my budget on Christmas gifts, I would fly out to CA to see your final performance...that's how exquisite I thought it was. I inquired about a possibility of a DVD being produced but was told it was very expensive to do, and you needed some heavy backers. Well, I'm not what you'd call "heavy," but I would certainly contribute to such a laudable endeavor. All you would have to do is inform those would-be "backers" that, in Chicago alone, such a DVD would sell in the millions.

Frycek is our resident expert on Chopin. I know more than most about him, but, as you so beautifully stated...I am one who gets lost in his sound.

In closing, I want to join the others in thanking you for taking time out of your hectic schedule to post on our forum. We consider it an honor. And, you can be certain that, once the tickets go on sale for the Beethoven performance in Chicago, I will be one of the first in line.

Gratefully,
Kathleen (Kasha...Kathy in Polish....I can't remember how to spell Kathleen. As Liszt once remarked (paraphrase)--- All those consonants without a vowel in sight.
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/21/06 11:57 PM

It's official, then now... I'm a total local yokel. So, here's what we should all plan - why not hold a gathering at he Los Angeles opening of Monsieur Chopin? I think it will be August, I don't have the exact date yet, as I start at the Geffen with Gershwin followed by Chopin. As I have played LA, and am known in LA, this evening promises to be filled with loads of celebs - it's all fun and silly - and I am sure my office cna somehow contribute to making some form of travel arrangements, discounts and lodgings... and of course, tickets are on me.

Hey, I'm just one of the gang, someone who loves music and loves sharing. Why not? Isn't that the way to bring more people into the fold?

At any rate - next time you will see Chopin, there is so much different than on the recording - I have made him even funnier - (in that totally Polish, edgy way) and introduced new works - now having op., 53 in the first Polonaise spot, and the op. 22 Grande Polonaise Brilliante in the last spot... though now I start with his first juvenile Polonaise in G- - and include the op,. 35 funeral March for Emilia's death.. on which note... one of the THE MOST emotional moments in all of my Chopin studies was my visit to Powaski (Powonski, in pronounciation) cemetery in Warsaw... after enough wandering, having seen the joint stone for Rodzice Chopin (Parents...Chopin) I went looking for the little Emilia's grave. That's when tears began to roll freely - coming up on this little stone, laying flat, here is the text on the stone - I took it down...first in Polish...then English...

Emilia Chopin


znikla w 17

wiosnie zycia

jak kwiat

w ktorym piekna

owocu kwitla

nadzieja

10 kwietnia

1827

Emilia Chopin


disappeared in the 17th

spring of life

as a flower

in the fruit of which

beautiful hope

bloomed

April 10

1827

...I imagined the entire family there,,, friends. and the young seventeen year old Chopin, in such pain. I truly believe that it was this period when his "melancolia..." bi-polar disorder...clicked in, and began to be unmasked - something that would only get worse with time...

The newer version of the play, as one of the posters who recently saw it in San Diego can tell you... really begins with this episode - which multiplies in intensity as the piece goes on...

At any rate - Kasha - there is nothing like the Poles of Chicago - I am now one of them, even if only my father was born in Poland, and I am a Polish North American. The good news is that I have been invited by my friend Jarek Killian - who is the director of Teatr Polski - the Polish National Theatre in Warsaw (across the street from both the Church of the Holy Cross, where Chopin's heart lies, as well as next door to the Chopin society, in the little castle with his memorabilia and piano... on which note - you should see this gift that Stirling had made for Ludwika - UNREAL... it sparks of overkill - really something - they just got this piece in some months ago. Quite something.)

At any rate - there is lots more to offer on all of this... if I figure out how to post a jpeg, I'll show you the new manuscript image in Chopin's hand, that I now have.

The more questions, you ask, though, the more I can answer... I am happy to check in and be a bit of a cuber-freak - it's kinda fun, between scales... of course.

Then there is the musee de la vie romantique hear in paris... have any of you been here? Ari Scheffer's old house... Liszt and Chopin and Sand - they all hung out there... it's all wild - going back in time... so much fun!

More anon -

Hersh
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 12:21 AM

Hallo Hershey88 - part Chopin-impersonator, part chocolate bar - what more could we wish for? It is very kind of you to write to us on the forum and I'd just like to say thank you so much! I think that Kathleen is wonderful to have started this particular Chopin thread, and your magical and unexpected appearance is her due reward.

I think Emilia died age 14 so perhaps there is just one detail wrong from your tomb transcription? On the other hand, maybe they got their numbers wrong, just as they did for our hero's birth date. It's very interesting, in any case, to hear about it from someone who has actually visited the cemetary.

When I saw the cover of the CD that Kathleen kindly posted on the forum, it struck me that you look more like Liszt than Chopin. I think you should do a Liszt performance next!
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 01:54 AM

MaryRose: You are a riot..."half Chopin-impersonator...half chocolate bar." How funny, smile but, you're right. That's total perfection! thumb

Yes, the hair is definitely a Liszt "do," but the carriage and stage presence is definitely Chopin, sorry. Everyone knows what a show-off Liszt was, but for good reason, I should add.

Speaking of hair, I remember laughing once when reading one of Chopin's letters. In it he was complaining to someone how tiring it was to get ready to go out and do the town. How he had to get his clothes ready and how he had to make sure he had the time to curl his hair. wink

Hersh: I can only imagine how painful and sad seeing Emilia's small headstone must have been. She was the intellectual of the family, and certainly seemed to share her brother's genius, but for the written word. Perhaps she might have become another Charlotte or Emily Bronte, even a Mary Shelley, minus the Gothic horror.

What I have often wondered about is why Chopin only writes of his sister being ill just once. I don't recall his writing about her death (except perhaps in passing) to Titus or Jan. I'm sure Frycek will know if I'm correct in this or just having a memory relapse.

And I agree that this tragic event may very well have initiated the onset of his biopoloar disorder. It often takes a traumatic experience for this to occur. For me (I am also biopolar...Polish and biopolar...now that's a really explosive combination, albeit an exciting one), it was major surgery at a young age. But much to my dismay, I don't possess the genius gene that many biopolars seem to have inherited.

You have opened a Pandora's box when you "volunteered" to answer questions about Chopin, his life and music. Any tidbit of information you think might be interesting (and we think ANYTHING about Chopin is interesting), please do drop in and have a chat with us. Someone is always home (usually me, since I'm retired and have nothing to do but play on the computer and at the piano). And the details of your travels are wonderful to hear about. Makes it all seem more real than just something that happened 150 years ago in a far distant land to people we've only read about in "history" books.

Are you kidding me? It would be paramont to the thrill I experienced being on the same stage as Rubinstein (a long story) to come to LA and see you in a somewhat revised version of M. Chopin. And next summer would be fine as my social calendar is completely open laugh and my "mad money" fund will be re-established by that time.

And just who are these celebrities of whom you speak? If ever there was an acceptable place to be a name dropper, this is it.

Look forward to hearing from you again, whenever the urge strikes,

Regards,
Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 08:42 AM

I must admit that I did not believe what i saw yesterday morning, have been waiting to see Kathleens reaction today smile

I am sorry Hershey888, I have not seen your performance - maybe I can blame it on the fact that I live in "Ultima Thule". Since I am a great fan of Chopins music (Even if I'm the Bach-Mozart-Chopin fan) I am very curious now...In fact I know very little about his life except what I have learned from Frycek, Kathleen and MaryRose on this and the Chopin-Nocturne- Study thread.

So Kathleen, I am interested in knowing how to order a cd of "Monsieur Chopin" (it is not to be found on dvd ?)

Also like to add, Kathleen that I also have this personality known as a small bi-polar disorder. Getting used to how to live with it, and knowing that art is the only medicine, it I have chosen to call it "Melancholia" - sounds more "artistic" wink

Ragnhild
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 10:13 AM

Amazing...really. One of the truly unforseen things about playing this role, is the fact that the material has opened up a huge discussion about bi-polar disorder - the effects of drugs, in the case of Chopin, the lack thereof, the notion of genius as it is connected to this - and of course, the fact that George Sand so clearly identified in her letters to Viardot, the symptoms of Chopin's situation - his melancolia, the symptoms that indicate traditional bi-polar disorder. Reading his letters are so remarkable for the insight into his mental state - it is a never ending study for me - that, and the fact that as a practicing artist myself, I firmly believe that one's art is not at all removed from one's emotional state and make-up.

Indeed, MaryRose, the transcription from the grave site seems to be correct (it was a little worn down, so, it could have been the numbers and how they have changed with the elements, however, it read as 17, not 14, which was very interesting. Some time ago I became a scholar in residence at Harvard University in America, as first and foremost, I approach much of this research on an extreme academic level. Whether that always translates into good drama on a stage is a different story - however, regardless of the end result, I think it is very important to know the "truth" as far as we know it, which is why I associate with the finest in the field. That said - if indeed the grave does read,' in the 17th year of her life' (as opposed to 14, that changed over time with wind and rain etc.) - then it would mean according to the calendar, that she was sixteen years old. According the dates we have on record, she was fifteen, he was seventeen. Stuff like this is always very curious. But as my pal Jeff Kallberg taught me - when it comes to historical reesearch, the most important thing is to treat the information first and foremost, and in the extreme - at face value. Only when that is completely exhausted, that is when one moves on to different ideas. If you have not read Kallberg's book "Chopin at the Boundaries" It is a fascinating look into the period and the social and sexual circumstances of the time.

Indeed, in those early photos, I look a heck of lot like Liszt. But as Kasha says - it is all in the stage comportment. Some of the early paintings of Chopin have him looking a lot like a more refined Liszt - so that's how I based the "look - that, and a little of the Delacroix portrait... Which reminds me. Have any of you been to Valldemossa? (Not really a tangent..) My friends own the Cartuja that Chopin and Sand lived in, and now there is a museum in there, with a lock of Chopin's hair. Very blonde indeed - it is the lock that Sand carried around in her pocket for the rest of her life, after Chopin died, with the note "poor Chopin..." (In English, as she was an anglophile, hence the English spelling of George...) - yesterday, while walking down the Rue de Seine here in Paris, I found her apartment from 1831. Imagine - they were all just kids - she was twenty-seven! He, twenty-one, just arrived in Paris...so wild...

I was at the Louvre yesterday (as Chopin said - don't practice hours on end... practice, take a walk, look at nature, study other art forms... very important for the mind!) and there - of course the chopped up Delacroix of Chopin, also, a basis for the "look." Delacroix's studio at Furstemburg (where the full Sand/Chopin painting was discovered after Delcaroix died) is just a few blocks away from where I live, practice and write. The dutch collector finds the painting after Delcroix dies, doesn't like the Chopin part, cuts the paintingin half, and takes Sand away with him for display in the Netherlands. And there is Chopin, by himself in the Louvre (well, not far from Delacroix's self portrait...) It all really brings us into the reality of these lives...( and of course, neither Sand nor Chopin liked the painting which is why it sat unfinished in Delacroix's collection until after he died..when it was cut up.)

I often walk around Paris looking up at the sky... at the tops of buildings (I eliminate the street cars etc.) and think that this is exactly what Chopin saw as he walked to Delacroix, or Nourrit, or Czartoryska, or Grzymala or many of his other friends - on a crisp November morning...ah, that's another thing - I will write to the Rothschilds at the Hotel Lambert on Ile St. Louis - which still looks inside as it did when Chopin attended soirees chez Czartoryska, and played for the guests - or gave her lessons. I hope to be invited to see the interior. It must be absolutely beyond belief...

I've also lived at Nohant - and was photographed at George Sand's piano there in costume...on exactly the spot where Chopin premiered so many new works composed at Nohant... I really cried when I sat down to play - and I also took up residence for a bit at the Quai Malaquais - where Sand lived and wrote in 1836, when she first met Chopin at the Hotel de France. (oh, and the Chopin Society now displays that little note - "on vous adore, with Dorval's moi aussi, moi aussi, moi aussi..."

I think the fun for me in all of this besides the glorious music, is the time travel... I would have been so happy here in Paris in 1836... not that now is all that bad - but my, what it would have been then...

smile
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 12:26 PM

You are all speaking as though it is definite that Chopin had bipolar disorder. I disagree.

Yes, he was sad and melancholy at times – but if a person has events of great sorrow to deal with, a permanent sense of loss of one’s country, one’s family; if a person has had his one attempt to set up his own home with a wife, rejected; if a person experiences waves of incapacitating illness alternating with a lesser but continual feeling of malaise; if a person is treated for many years with opiates of which, at the time, the side-effects are unknown; then is it not natural for him to feel melancholy at times, sometimes even despairing, without it being an illness? It seems to me a miracle that Chopin was able to be so charming, warm and kind to his friends and pupils and polite to everyone else, when he had so much suffering to endure.

I would posit that in the circumstances he experienced it would have been a sign of mental illness NOT to have had times of grief and gloom. I can see no evidence whatsoever that Chopin had clinical depression to any degree.

As for George Sand’s descriptions of Chopin’s behaviour; all her writing should be taken with a pinch of salt. She was blatantly dishonest in some of the things she wrote (I can give instances if you don’t agree). I am not suggesting that she consciously lied – that I don’t know – but she was one of those people who are able to deceive themselves as well as others. She was also deluded about Chopin’s character, in spite of having lived with him for so long – for example at the end of their relationship, she was convinced that Chopin was speaking against her which everyone (including Pauline Viardot) assured her he was not. Just imagine the life he had to endure, and ask yourselves if he was unreasonable. I think not.

This is not to say that I don’t have huge sympathy with those who do suffer from bi-polar disorder, or any form of depression. In fact I live with and adore someone who does. I am not arguing in this way because I don’t want him to have had it, but simply because I too search for the truth about him.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 12:45 PM

Paris in the 1830s: I suppose to have been happy or not would have depended on who you were. If at the top of the social scale - able to flee as soon as plague or revolution threatened, having servants to cart water up the many flights of stairs for one's toilette, and travel by carriage so as to avoid the hordes of beggars, cut-throats and overflowing human and animal detritus on the streets; well then yes, it might have been an interesting experience. Even so, one would have had to drink water from a supply just downriver from the local cholera hospital, one would have to get used to the idea that most of one's children would die in infancy, one would have to accept the constant risk of parasitic infestations and one would have had to be content that one's own level of comfort was based solely on the deprivation of others.

On the other hand, rich man or beggar, there was the chance that one could have had at least a glimpse of Chopin in person.... yes, maybe the cholera, lice, incurable diseases and social conscience would be a small price to pay....

Romantic of Milton Keynes
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 01:12 PM

Dearest Ragnhild:

I’m certain my utter disbelief and complete surprise and delight were pretty evident in my return response to Hershey. I hope I didn’t come off like a star-struck school-girl.

Yes, you can order Hershey’s CD (sorry, no DVD had been made, at least, not yet). I will send you the information on how to order on a PM because I don’t want the forum police getting after me for “promoting” something…even though I think it’s highly worthy of being promoted. Both Frycek and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I believe you will also. He’s perfectly delightful and an extremely talented and polished pianist.

Now why are you always apologizing for your Bach-Mozart-Chopin preference?? To me, it makes perfect sense that you would feel this way. They follow one another in a perfectly logical sequence. Maybe Mozart-Bach-Chopin would be a more accurate time-line, but who cares? I just wish I had the patience to play the other two. For some strange reason, I just can’t get “into” them. Maybe I am just too “bent” towards the Romantic style…broad sweeping arpeggios, thunderous chords, etc. (not that I can play them, mind you). I guess this type of music just fills an emotional need. But I do hope, one day, to discipline myself to learn their music because I know Chopin loved them, and for good reason. They provide a solid foundation on which to build and grow. And I think, in the end, I’ll have an easier time playing Chopin, once I learn and can play Bach and Mozart with ease. It just seems that at the age of 67, I always feel like I don’t have a whole lot of time left. And I want to spend it playing what appeals to me. Well, maybe I’ll be lucky and live to 85, like my grandpa…if only I could count on that.

Now for the bipolar thing. From your description, you may have what they refer to as Biopolar II (not quite as “black” as Biopolar I, but still no walk in the park). And yes, music certainly does seem to fill that sometimes “bottomless pit” of melancholy. But take heart, dear girl, we are in very good company here. You would be amazed at the number of artists, poets, writers and composers who had/have this disorder. I, for one, am not in anyway embarrassed by it, and I hope you feel the same. I always describe it (to those who ask) as a physical disorder that manifests itself psychologically. After all, from what I have read and from what my shrink (she’s really just a pill pusher, who, finally found the right “cocktail” of antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds for me) it’s a chemical imbalance…pure and simple. No more strange to understand than diabetes. And I should add, it’s usually inherited. I hope you are on some type of medication to help ease those really rough periods. If not, please try to get some help in this respect. It has made all the difference in the world to me.

I finally returned to the piano after a 30+ year absence (mainly caused by my utter lack of interest not only in music, but in everything else…a common symptom).

Sorry, it seems I’ve written yet another novelette. I just wanted to give you some encouragement. You are such a sweetheart. Let me know (privately, if you wish) how you are feeling.

And anyone else who would like info on how to order Hershey’s wonderful CD, just PM me.

I think I may have posted this a couple of weeks ago. Maybe you can go back a few pages on the thread to check it out.

Take care,
Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 02:18 PM

Kathleen, if you find it hard to "get into" Mozart, can I suggest you try his Rondo in A minor K511 which I am currently learning? I think this work is close to being "romantic" in some meaning of the term - it is very beautiful and moving..... I am sure that Chopin loved it as I can see echoes in his own works. An added bonus is that it isn't too technically difficult - it is medium paced and if I can cope with it I am sure that you could.

If you do try that I think it will help to provide a framework for your understanding of Chopin, in just the same way that his orchestration provides a framework for the piano's voice in his Concertos.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 02:22 PM

Originally posted by MaryRose :

Quote
You are all speaking as though it is definite that Chopin had bipolar disorder. I disagree.

Yes, he was sad and melancholy at times – but if a person has events of great sorrow to deal with, a permanent sense of loss of one’s country, one’s family; if a person has had his one attempt to set up his own home with a wife, rejected; if a person experiences waves of incapacitating illness alternating with a lesser but continual feeling of malaise; if a person is treated for many years with opiates of which, at the time, the side-effects are unknown; then is it not natural for him to feel melancholy at times, sometimes even despairing, without it being an illness? It seems to me a miracle that Chopin was able to be so charming, warm and kind to his friends and pupils and polite to everyone else, when he had so much suffering to endure.
I agree with you MaryRose, sorrow, melancholy and even despair is not at all a desease. Chopin had all possible reason to feel melancholic.

To me the bipolar diagnosis is more for making friends and collegues having a name to put on it to help them bearing over with me not being the party-girl. I might have reasons to be sorry too, together with an introvert, intuitive, feeling personality.

Nobody have actually measured the chemistry of my brain and I don't want them to either.

I guess people in Chopin's time was a lttle too eager to "cure" peoples sorrow and despair as they are today. It seems to me that Chopin, described by Liszt as "a man of prayer", had his own way of dealing with his melancholia. Composing music I think also must be a "pain-killer" if he was not overcritical to his own work.

I know I am lucky to have a not-too-bad "Melancholia" that I can deal with without medication and I know there are symptoms that are much tougher to deal with than mine.

And most of the time I feel fine even in November, especially listening to Chopin wink

Kathleen : Thank you for beeing such a nice, caring, feeling and very-alive-beeing person. It is still Bach-Mozart-Chopin in the right cronological order and I will not apologize again laugh

Ragnhild
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 02:23 PM

Sorry, double post.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 02:56 PM

Wow!!....Hershey and MaryRose and Ragnhild!! eek

Some very heavy, compelling and thought-provoking stuff, just begging for some deep and thoughtful discussion.

Alas, I have a doctor's appointment in 30 minutes and must rush out, but I will be back. wink

Ragnhild: I must apologize for being so presumptuous and having one heck of a nerve as to suggest you seek some medical assistance. Please forgive me and know that I was only speaking from my own experience and not wanting anyone to go through heck when help is available.

Hersh, You mentioned something about trying to figure out how to get some pictures posted. If you are still interested in knowing how (and would we ever love to see them), let me know. I'll give you directions on how to do this. A bit complicated, but easy once you know how. smile

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 03:23 PM

I could add quite a bit to the bipolar dialogue but I'm at work trying to make the world safe from atypical cells. Maybe this weekend.

I do have a couple of questions for Hershey.

1. On the CD you depicted Emilia as suffering convulsions. I haven't been able to find any detailed information about her condition other than "consumption" and actual death from a massive esophageal(?) hemmorhage. Do you have a source or is it from your imagination.? (I've written a version of that scene myself.)

2. What to you think of Chopin's relationship to Tytus?

Kathleen, I believe at the time of Emilia's death both Jan M. (medical school) and Tytus (law school) were in Warsaw. Chopin wouldn't have needed to write.
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 05:08 PM

Is everyone familiar with the wonderful University of Chicage web site?

Chopin First Editions

It has over 400 first editions and other early editions of Chopin's music.

All of the sheets can be downloaded, saved, and printed.

It's a treasure trove for those who play Chopin.


And welcome Hershey!

It's great to have you here!

Mel
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 06:21 PM

Re: Chopin and bi-polar disorder

This requires an important clarification. In my case, this is a projection made in the context of play based on an idea - much like Amadeus, and the projection that Salieri had something to do with Mozart's death, and that Salieri lived in envy of Mozart. It'a great story. Both are plays - "imaginations" a complete projection of what Chopin (and Mozart) may have been like based on what we know about him.

In reality, MaryRose, your argument for him not having bi-polar disorder (which seems to have so many important details) is a very good one, but this too is your projection, no one knows for sure - I hear it in the music very clearly, and with the help of a well known psychologist analyzed what we have of his letters, and his emotional and mental state. But all this to create a character for the stage, not to write a diagnosis of a dead man. You say he did not have it, others say he did, none of us know...but it is certainly interesting to guess or project, which is in fact, all we do - sometimes I forget to preface the tale with that clarification.

Paris in 1830 - well a person can dream can't they? And reality and 'truth' when it comes to human beings is subjective anyway. But that's what it is... a dream... a fantasia...the reality may have been very different from my dream - but what if indeed I was alive in the 1830's in Paris, and it was exactly what I was looking for. Each of us are looking for something - and my dreams are not anyone else's - smile

Now to answer the questions:

Emilia: Convulsions in this case refer to coughing convulsions - much clearer on stage because of how I tell the story. It comes from Chopin's own description of Emilia and her illness, I don't have my letter collection with me at the moment, but I can find the reference for you. But of course, the scene is totally imagined - it has to be, I wasn't around to witness it. Still, having lost a family member (my young mother, I was 13, she was 35) I understand huge immediate loss at such a young age, and what the effects can be.

Now, the relationshio to Tytus. Of course, many have projected that Tytus was Chopin's real love. Again, who knows. If one looks carefully at the letters, he writes more openly to Tytus than to anyone else. He speaks of kissing him on the mouth, of holding him, of needing him. Was this a schoolboy crush? who knows. Was this just traditional behavior of the times? Perhaps. Today in paris I saw to older gentlemen walking arm in arm down the Rue de Seine, talking to one another. In America, they would be thought of as a couple of old queens. (I say that with absolute affection.) Here, the traditions are very different, and no one would even suggest such a thing. The fact is, we don't know - we can only base our projections on what is there for us to look out, and then we can dream...

One of the things that I am always careful about with the press and the public is that my representation of Chopin, Gershwin, adn the upcoming Beethoven - these are all creations of my imagination based on things that I have studied and know. If in the end, the creations ring somewhat true, it's only because I have succeeeded at the illusion, not at the reality.

on another note - I have two friends, a couple who were camp mother and father in america this summer. They told me that just about all of the children (an semi-upscale summer camp, but not just for the children of the wealthy) came to camp with huge amounts of medication and instructions. They feared that the entire generation based on what they were seeing (only) was being medicated for absolutely anything and everything. That most of the kids wouldn;t know what to do if they were confronted with a real issues, and they didn;t have their medication to help them through.

I don't know if it means anything, but just that it is happening, is something, and of course, the talk above inspired me to mention this.

Hope everyone is well...I am happy to be able to share here, because I am off the stage for a few months.

indeed, LCTM, i would happily like to post some fun images for you. If you let me know how, I will do so.

smile Hersh
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 06:25 PM

I apologize for all the typos. I really can spell, promise - but I have a similar problem with email. for some reasons, my letters sometimes switch around in cyberspace, without my approval. smile
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 06:41 PM

Hi Hershey88, I also find that my spelling is a lot worse on email than in "proper" letters. You can actually press the "edit" button if you want to go back to change stuff.

I do appreciate that you are re-creating a Chopin of your own imagination, and by all accounts doing that very compellingly. You have certainly done a massive amount of research, which makes a change from the previous film portrayals.

I suppose that each of us who loves him has a slightly different image. One thing I often think of with gratitude is that we probably know more about him than did his peers. We can read intimate letters that no-one at the time would have seen in full. We are able to hear all his music played well, at the press of a button; most of his contemporaries, even those wealthy and cultured enough to attend concerts, would probably have heard only a fraction of his output. So we are very lucky.

One thing that interests me about Chopin - and which you have touched on in your mention of the Delacroix painting - is that there are so many images of how he looked, each one different from the last. I can think of no other historical personage who looks so very different every time he is portrayed; so much so that it is difficult to imagine what he actually looked like. On the other hand, Liszt for example, or Beethoven, or for that matter George Sand, usually look pretty much the same in most of their portraits. The only "definite" image of Chopin is the daguerrotype or photo towards the end of his life when he was greatly altered by his illness - and of course the death mask.

Chopin the man is elusive indeed.
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 07:00 PM

MR - do you know the "other" image? The Bisson that you refer to is actually a photograph, not in the Daguerre fashion. Bisson was using a different technique, BUT there is a Daguerrotype from 1847. It is absolutely amazing. Some of it is blurred, but it looks hugely different from the belle-coiffe swollen faced Bisson.

Not many know this image. When I learn how to post things. I will. Talk about elusive, wait till you see this!!!

Hersh
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 07:21 PM

Posting pictures here is a bit fiddly. I use a site called Image Shack (at Euan Morrison's kind suggestion).

http://imageshack.us/

I know that that very late portrait is nowadays considered to be a photo - I mentioned daguerrotype too so as to be clear which one I was referring to, as that is what it is often called.

I think the 1846?7? dag. was posted by Frycek somewhere - the one I'm thinking of is surprisingly animated. I can't find it so am including it again here.

[Linked Image]

He looks somewhat dark haired in both of these. The reason I didn't include the 1847 pic in my earlier post is that it is so lacking in clarity. However maybe you have yet another picture in mind....

I suggest you don't look at the portrayal of Chopin on page six of this thread. It might give you indigestion wink
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 08:10 PM

EXACTLY this photo. Glad to see you have it to, Something, isn't it?

You know what they say about forbidding a child his candy. Well, of course I looked on page six.

Good lord!

Anyway thanks for putting this one up for those who have not seen. I have always thought of working this in photoshop to "restore" the blanks and give some impression of it. To me this is really the fascinating one. It is exactly how I picture him!

It is true, the repro usually takes blonde and makes it much darker - though at Valldemossa, that lady with the museum, Rosa Ferra, she has that lock of dirty blonde hair. It's really dirty blonde - not a particularly vibrant light brown, but very light all the same.

smile H
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 08:18 PM

Hershey, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE photoshop that image. I'd have done it a long time ago if I knew how. We'll teach you how to post them.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 08:34 PM

Talking of photoshopping images, I have recently noticed that the most famous photo of Chopin has been improved/clarified over the years. When I first stared at it during the dark ages before computers, it wasn't good at all. Now you get:

[Linked Image]

... or even:

[Linked Image]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/22/06 09:53 PM

First things first, Hersh...here's how to post an image (photo) on this forum site.

If I seem to be talking down to you, please forgive me...it's me talking down to me to try to remember all the steps involved. Oh, and I am a retired school teacher, so that explains a lot. wink

1. Scan your photo into your computer and REMEMBER where you put it. (Usually in your picture folder) Naturally, give it a name

2. Minimize this screen and go on line to a site called photobucket.com (This is a free site where you can upload photos and even store them there.)

3. Up at the left, there is a place where you can register (once registered, you then just log in from then on). Create a usename and password, then Log in. Oh, write down both if your memory is anything like mine.

4. I can't remember if you have to wait until they e-mail you an "acceptance" notice or not. If so, it will be sent almost immediately, if not...

5. You will be on a screen that will allow you to upload your photo from your home computer to this site and then to download it with its own address on the forum site.

6. YOu'll get a screen "Upload Images & Videos" Click the Browse button and it will take you back to your computer and keep back tracking until you find your picture folder and the actual photo you want to upload.

7. Click on it and then click on Open

8 Your personal screen will disappear and you'll be back at photobucket. Click on the Big Button Marked Upload (in Bold Letters).

9. It will take a few moments, but shortly you get a message that says "Your image has been uploaded..then, you'll be able to scroll down this screen and see your photo. Under it, will be three boxes. Highlight the http address (the complete address in the first box. Press Copy (from Edit menu)

10. Close out that screen or minimize it if you want. Get back to this particular thread site on the forum.

11. Go to the last post, click Full Reply Form. You'll see a bunch of funny faces on the left and in the middle two rows of buttons.

12. Click on Image. A box will apear in the top left screen. Delete out the http; that's already there. When that little box is cleared. Press Edit, then paste.

13. If all goes well (and it didn't for me for the first few times), you'll see the address of your photo in the response box. To check that it worked, press Add Reply. You should see your photo.

14. To get back to the response box where you were, go the the very top of your completed message with the photo showing (we hope). At the very right, you'll see two "" marks, next to them an icon with a pen and pencil. Click on that one (it allows you to edit or delete anything in your message).

15. You'll be back to your original posting box. When you're done, just hit the Edit Post.

I had to walk myself through this because I almost forgot how to do it.

The image at the bottom must have been painted after someone read that letter in which Chopin was complaining about curling his hair. laugh

My daughter and her animals have just arrived for the weekend (lucky me).

I really wanted to post an intelligent and well-thought out response to the biopolar topic and a couple other things. But I'll have to wait until everyone is napping.

Thanks again Hersh.

Hi Mel: thanks for that site. A real goldmine!

MaryRose: I promise to give that particular piece by Mozart a try. Thank you also.

Kathleen

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/23/06 12:08 AM

Talk about a thesis in imagery posting. My goodness, learning the both op 10 and 25 looks like a walk in the park compared this. Thanks muchly for the tutoring. I will work on it - as well as work on the photo clean up in the next few weeks, In order to do it properly I will have to use a very high res scan. so I'll get one of those.

Gosh, so much fun to be able to practice and just log on and chat. I can't do any of that duringt the long runs... six months of this! Who needs the stage altoghether!

MR - great observation regarding the difference in Chopin representation. i wonder if folks were trying to romanticize him, or what. There are some images where he looks positively ugly, yet Heine describes him quite clearly as different than Liszt but equally as beautiful. And of course we have youthful photo/daguerre images of Liszt, (or Lits according the Parisians, and the patronizing Maurice...) - so we know what he really looked like. Such a shame there weren't more of Chopin, but that's what probably makes him quite mystical to us...Just imagine what we would think of Marilyn Monroe. or John F. Kennedy, if we saw them age, perhaps not so gracefully...or Diana...

On the image note: Since you guys know all about this stuff, I am sure you have all seen the Clesinger fixed up death mask - lined up next to the real horrifying death mask. What pain poor Chopin must have been in... how painful his death must have been. It made me very sad to see it. I have friends now whose offices are in the Place Vendome, 12, where he died... I visit it regularly - just to imagine what that scene must have been like...

Anyway - the real desk mask - (which I think is now on the quai d'orleans, Ile St. Louis in the Polish Cultural centre (I will visit it soon enough - only a ten minute walk away from home, but a place with very bizarre and specific hours...) I think the original mask is there.

Perhaps there are those who would like to talk about the music, and actual music making - I would enjoy that discussion very much... especially discussing technical and musical approaches.

Random thoughts (as you can see, flow freely...) There was a Polish movie, two, three years ago, I think: Pragnienie Milosci..the story of Sand and chopin. It was photogrpahed SO beautifully, but not so good in the text or story or acting dept. Still an absolute joy to look at!

Bidding all good night from Paris, here in the 6th, Rue de Conde.

Hershey
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/23/06 01:20 AM

Hershey, I did really like one scene in that movie though. Your "little ditty" observations made me think of it. When Chopin is newly arrived in Paris and that publisher asks Chopin if he "knows what a piano is for," and proceeds to play "a little ditty." Looking back from our time I don't think many of us realize how truly off the wall Chopin must've seemed at the time. That movie could've been so much better. (It's also probably as close as I'll ever got to Valdemossa or Nohant as well so I'd better treasure it.)

Oh yes. I have a picture of the untouched death mask somewhere. It amazes me how little it's reproduced. I've only seen one picture.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/23/06 02:02 AM

Hi Stephnec: And welcome to the club. Good to have you join us and glad to learn you found your way to Chopin's music. You'll never be sorry.

Hersh: Sorry I made such a novel on the "How to...". I've always been one who has believed in the old adage...never say in 20 words what you can in 200.

I was thinking the exact same thing as you mentioned. How, because Chopin was such a enigma, paradox and so often considered aloof or mysterious, that that might account for the wide variety of images we see painted of him.

Edit: shocked Just found out that Hersh and I are writing about the same movie.

I didn't see the movie to which you referred, but I do have a DVD of one called: Chopin, Desire for Love. The entire movie is Polish through an through. It was filmed, directed, produced and all the actors are Polish. But what an insult to his memory and anyone with a bit of intelligence.

The movie portrays Chopin as nothing more than a spoiled brat. Of course, Sand is the all-sufferring, all-giving, all-forgiving, under-appreciated and totally misunderstood perfect reflection of womanhood. I couldn't believe that such a movie, so blatantly biased, could have been made by people with even an ounce of Polish blood running through their veins. I wouldn't want or even expect it to put Chopin up on some kind of pedestal to be worshipped by all, but it was beyond cruel to his memory and so devoid of the real truth. It was painful to watch.

I must get that book you were also referring to.

And, would we ever love to discuss music and music making, since that's what this forum is all about.

Wow...could I ever use some advice on technique, since I don't possess a shred of it. And theory and just about anything else you can think of.

Since you play so beautifully, I wanted to ask where you studied, and with whom and for how long. I know...you are still studying. Also your ideas about practicing...you know scales, Hanon (an always vigorously heated debate going on over this one). And any tips on how we can improve in the shortest time possible. laugh I had to throw that in.

Would you believe that in just a matter of a few hours, we have communicated (and quite intelligently I must say) with people in England, France, Norway, Australia, South Carolina, Washington, the United States (where did I leave out??). Amazing.

I loved that scene with the "little ditty" also. Plus how your voice took on a rather ominous tone when you spoke of the "devil in the details."

And, the last 45 minutes were also such fun. What a treat for the audience that must have been.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/23/06 09:05 AM

Frycek: “Oh yes. I have a picture of the untouched death mask somewhere. It amazes me how little it's reproduced. I've only seen one picture.”

It is reproduced in Benita Eisler’s book. It breaks my heart and I can’t bear to look at it.

Kathleen: “I didn't see the movie to which you referred, but I do have a DVD of one called: Chopin, Desire for Love. ... what an insult to his memory and anyone with a bit of intelligence.”

Pragnienie = desire, Milosci = for Love! I agree with Hershey that it is a visual feast – as I’ve said before I think the actor who plays Chopin, Piotr Adamczyk, looks really good. You’re right though Kathleen, it is inaccurate and unfair to our hero.

Hershey – when did you begin to become so interested in Chopin? And are your feelings about Gershwin and Beethoven as strong?

I remember something Frycek once said about Beethoven that amused me: “All he needed was a good back-rub.” laugh
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/23/06 09:09 AM

Of course we want to discuss the playing of Chopin's music !
I don't know if you have seen it, Hershey but we also have a Chopin Nocturne study group, were we have discussed the 55.1 Nocturne.
We are adult beginners and adults starting over again so we have a lot to learn. There are some questions in this thread about the "Chopin roll" (roll with grace notes inside):

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/32/2633/18.html

Maybe you can add some information on how you play these ?

I would also like to hear you play the C# minor posth. Nocturne. I have Stefan Askenase's version that I like, but I need some advice on how to practice to play the 35 vs 4 and 15 vs 4 nicely.

Ragnhild
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/23/06 09:43 AM

'morning Kasha, Frycek, MaryRose et al...

Kasha, I am looking forward to you seeing the developed play this summer. It is not at all like the CD - I must admit, as these things never stop developing, the CD is a VERY early version. The play is now so much richer, (I believe) and the charazterization so much deeper. The dramatic flow is terrific...somewhere, I have the live recording from Ravinia - (I did the whole production there this summer) if it is halfway decent, I'll send it to you, so you can get a picture what happens with the show live and in its current form.

As for "Desire for Love" Indeed, that is Pragnienie Milosci, and like I said, a beautiful looking film, but a mess from other aspects. Oh, and then the other "desastre..." - "La Note Bleu." Now that was a scary "trip" - eh?

Now - as for the piano, music, technique...I answer your straightforward questions first:

I studied originally at McGill University in Canada with Dorothy Morton, I started there when I was thirteen, having had standard tutoring before that, with some appearances on stage.

I then went to study with Jerry Lowenthal who was head of the piano department at Juilliard when I was eighteen, and spent the next three years with him. During that time, I also had lessons with Karl Engel, Menahem Pressler, Janina Fialkowska, Anton Kuerti - mostly in the master class form. By the time I was 21, I finished formal studies and began the creative process that I am now engaged in. I had the option at that time to practice to become a competition player, or to embark on the dual career of theatre/music. Of course, the latter was more creative, and more for me, and as someone said, I don't approach the piano with the rigorous conservatory method (personally, I think Chopin would be horrified at so much of the xerox playiing we hear today...) I too am a fiend of the old-timers - Hoffman, de Pachmann, Rosenthal, - the ones who seemed to spin their magic... of late, I have discovered (! of course, not really) Michelangeli, whose playing I knew, but never really associated with Chopin. Have you seen his films on YouTube? His Chopin presentations are astonishing. There is that absolute coolness which we know to be Chopin's style, and yet a glorious control and warmth. Infact, Michelangeli comes close to how I imagine Chopin himself playing. Personally, I like to go even further into the "dreamy" as it were - but gosh, Michelangeli is really something. Do have a look.

Now as for daily practice. This is never ending in its discovery too. It's not that Hanon itself is important or not important, or to be cherished or avoided... what is important is the regular alignment of the technical mechansim. Certain folks have a natural ability that requires little to no work (think of the little Karl Filtsch) and others need constant attention to detail but everyone needs to remember to take some time to align the technical matters. Personally, I love my Hanon - but as Chopin would have practiced him - with a beautiful and musical tone, with musical direction (not empty repetition) completely loose and free of tension (facilement! Facilement!) and absolute control - as if the hands float upon the keys, as opposed to any tension or pushing, but with an evenness that is beyond important. Every note must be controlled, and every note must be heard.

The MOST important thing to work on, whether it be pure technical excercises or repertoire of any sort is the connection of the ear to the actual finger production. The ear must WANT to hear something, the fingers must then follow suit. Don't practice outside in (ie: push THIS hard, and a good sound and beautiful line will come out) The reverse is most important and a lifetime of study... imagine the most beautiful line with the most beautiful tone, and then make it absolutely certain that your fingers will do what your imagination is guiding them to do. It's amazing how one finds technical means to accomplish what the ear demands. That's when the magic happens. Open up your ears to really HEAR what you are playing. Always make beautiful sounds, connected, warm, legato - an "easy" sound. Always work mentally to eliminate the tension in the arms and the hands, the torso and the feet - the neck and the mind - playing due to tension is never beautiful playing.

With regard to Chopin, always remember his own credo "Music is a language like any other language, when it speaks, it must make sense." Every line that is in Chopin speaks something - not necessarily an obvious earthly thought - but some deep emotion or thought - not to be confused with "emotion" ie: swooning, shmalzty playing. How the artist translates these emotional states, is what makes for great Chopin playing. That Polish ZAL - that deep sadness that never goes away - something that he was so famous for.

Always work slowly and carefully and to the point. As he said - ridiculous practice that has nothing to do with the end result is like learning to walk on your hands so that you can go for a stroll, In the end, you won't be able to walk on your hands, and you will not be able to go for a stroll either. The idea is to think of the end result and then carefully and without tension fashion your way to get there. Hoffman said that when he studied with Rubinstein and once asked him "how do I do that?' Rubinstein replied with... "Your nose! I don't care. Figure it out, and make it beautiful!"

And that's what we must do. Typical and standard technical piano training goes only so far to communicate beautiful music to an audience... we have gotten used to judging pianism based on that - my belief is that is totally anti-Chopin...each voice, each detail, each color, each idea, must spring anew every time it is played...

Above all relax. This is the most important thing I have learned for public and private playing. Don't get worked up or excited... in fact, slow the metabolism, deep and long breathes, don't fire up before you play, you will have much more control, you will play much faster, and even more fiery. To confuse pianistic fire with inner hysteria, and rising blood pressure is a BIG mistake. It's exactly the opposite in its technical mean to get there. This is very hard. And on days when I am the master of my body, I can play quite well. Tough stuff.

Personally, I do practice Hanon - from the scales on - I begin with the scales. the earlier stuff is not so valuable to me at this time. I also practice chopin etudes - in particualr 10/4, 10/12, 25/2, 25/10, 25/11...these tend to root me in my daily work, and force me to do a particular kind of work - to play such big things, but not to "show off" - the difficulty with these works is to bring them back to the piano - and not make them extroverted show-off pieces. This grouping allows me the difficulties of surmounting this problem. It became very clear to me how to approach these things after playing Chopin;s own Pleyel. It is very specifically light and delicate, and focused. Every now and then, I'll take up some Liszt transcriptions (ie; Tanhauser, Don Giovanni) and work through technical areas, using some of the wild technical ideas to create excercises of my own.

Then, I find my own weak spots (and I have plenty) and because in another life, i am a composer, i composer certain etudes on my own personal issues... take for instance - opus 53 - for some reason, in public, I have always had a horror with the Bb- scale, because I would tense up at the beginning of it, given the choreography - I was still thinking chords, and here we are, scales... so I must retrain, and work the "quick thinking" of this problem, so I create my own etude on this matter.

the idea of quick thinking brings me to one of the most important technical books that I have come across - the Joseph Hoffman. He puts all technical ideas in the simplest terms, and this book is a MUST READ for anyone who plays the piano. It is not fussy, it answers tremendous questions, and it reminds us to make piano playing simple straightforward and elegant, and that there is no hocus-pocus to the whole thing. This all of course from one of the greatest pianists ever. (Who also invented car windshield washers. Imagine!)

At any rate - there is so much more to discuss with this, specific questions are always appreciated - it's always fun to share... pictures then when I have a moment for the photo dissertation.

Have a great day all - Hershey
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/23/06 10:02 AM

PART Two -

I just posted, and see the other posts... So I shall answer quickly:

MaryRose - I became interested in Chopin when I was nine years old. I was with my parents for x-mas Holiday in Miami (!!) and my piano teacher's mother, also a pianist, was atthe same hotel. One day I heard her practicing 25/9 - and I was hooked for life. The sounds, the colors - wow! That was really the moment. I asked her who the composer was - and I was sunk - that was it.

As for Gershwin and Beethoven - well the Gershwin production is enormously successful, and I must thank Mr. G - for the wife career that has allowed me based on trust for the Gershwin show to bring people to the Chopin show. It has opened many doors. This season alone, Chopin sold several hundred thousand tickets all told. I am closer to Chopin and to Beethoven. I love Gershwin, and have fun performing it, but it is different, requires different "show-offy" elements, that i am sometimes not fond of (and that early folks confused as me, as opposed to me playing Chopin) but I respect Gershwin and the production itself taught me a whole lot about how to do these things. Have a look at www.GershwinAlone.com - it gives an idea of how different these are.

Now Beethoven - that's a whole other story. I'll get into that this season as I prepare for the world premiere. Pianistically, Chopin is my guy - symphonically, Beethoven, of course, operatically, Puccini (I am wild about how he uses the orchestra - of course the voice - but the orchestra! to create drama) and orchestration-wise, Ravel and Mahler. There's my whole musical "fach" in a nutshell - of course, I study as much as I can - and everyone, however, these are my main guys.

Ragnhild - the C#- posthumous. Good question. The version on my recording, halfway decent... the piano (and I) were not feeling so good that day, the trills are harsh. Since I worked a great on this piece after that recording, I can walk you through the whole thing with specifics:

In terms of your final scales... even, slow, careful, delicate study, every day, every day... in performance, start the scale slowly, about the fifth note pick up the speed and aim for the top. At the top (just before you get there) you must quickly think of the evenness in the turn around. No thumping, and then you simply and naturaly flow down to your landing point. The important thing in this scale is that it is melodic. .. play it as if it were a very fast, abd very light and airy melody - not a scale, This will engage you in a beautiful tone. You must then practice the left hand independently - a simple four note passage. Get the feeling in the left hand of playing independently, Then put the two together. In order to achieve success, you must be able to hear both the scale and the left hand accompaniment independent of one another, and you must teach yourself to hear it. Don't try to fit in 35 against four... that will always create thumping about - Think of fantaisie Impromptu - same idea - independent three in the left hand, independent four in the right, then put the two together as two independent voices, and that's when the magic happens. It's harder on paper (in words) than it is in practice... but that's how this is done beautifully.

Also, the TRILLS. Since that recording, I have taken up a serious study of beautiful trills, the absolute relaxation of the hands, the control of finger to finger weight exchange, not a "spasm that involves two notes..." very hard - but my what fun when you get it to work. So nowadays my trills are much finer... like i said, a never ending saga...

Hope this helps.

Hersh
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/23/06 10:04 AM

Last one - what is it with the mistakes --- ealry on I read Wife Career - no, LIfe Career, and then later, a show-offy Chopin, I mean a show-offy Gershwin!

smile H
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/23/06 04:51 PM

shocked shocked shocked

This is me, embarrassed that I didn’t know Hersh and I were speaking of the same movie. Duh.

Hersh: Thank you for your invaluable advice and sharing your vast experiences with us. Everything you suggested makes such perfect sense, and I, for one, will start applying what you’ve written, starting today. I’m sorry to admit that I am one who wants to run before I can walk. And have finally come to the realization that this is impossible, especially with the piano. There is no reason why scales and Hanon can’t be played musically. I need to get a little creative with this undertaking, as others have suggested also.

Also many thanks for the suggestion of Hoffman’s book and the video to watch. Since I am not cooking a turkey today, I have most of the day to get on e-bay to try to find the two books you have mentioned.

As Ragnhild stated, we have another site on the forum ” Chopin Nocturne Study Group”. This is the link to the last four pages to give you an idea of what’s going on.

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/32/2633/18.html

We are trying to help one another learn to play 55.1 through advice, suggestions, discussions and much encouragement when needed (which is quite often).

If you have the time, patience or inclination, we would certainly appreciate your input, since some of us are floundering, especially starting with measure 56. Some of us have technically mastered the piece and are now in the stages of polishing. A few have actually recorded their performances and these are posted as well.

Also we had a very interesting discussion about the grace note in measures 51 and 55. Here is the link to that discussion.

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/32/2633/18.html

I should add that a few months ago, we were studying Op. 28, 15 and I think we all did quite well. But the 55.1 is a tad tougher.

Again, much gratitude…for everything. 3hearts

Best regards,
Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/23/06 10:55 PM

I'm scanned Clesinger's first casting of Chopin's death mask. It could be upsetting and I hesitate to post it here. If anyone wishes to see it I can PM a jpg.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/24/06 02:32 PM

Yes, Frycek, I would like to see it. Thank you.
I've become so upset over so much concerning Chopin, that one more thing probably won't make much difference.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/26/06 02:02 AM

Valldemossa tourist photos - more and more interesting images than the official site

http://www.pbase.com/koster10/valldemossa&page=1
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/26/06 02:02 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Hershey88:


Now as for daily practice. This is never ending in its discovery too. It's not that Hanon itself is important or not important, or to be cherished or avoided... what is important is the regular alignment of the technical mechansim. Certain folks have a natural ability that requires little to no work (think of the little Karl Filtsch) and others need constant attention to detail but everyone needs to remember to take some time to align the technical matters. Personally, I love my Hanon - but as Chopin would have practiced him - with a beautiful and musical tone, with musical direction (not empty repetition) completely loose and free of tension (facilement! Facilement!) and absolute control - as if the hands float upon the keys, as opposed to any tension or pushing, but with an evenness that is beyond important. Every note must be controlled, and every note must be heard.

The MOST important thing to work on, whether it be pure technical excercises or repertoire of any sort is the connection of the ear to the actual finger production. The ear must WANT to hear something, the fingers must then follow suit. Don't practice outside in (ie: push THIS hard, and a good sound and beautiful line will come out) The reverse is most important and a lifetime of study... imagine the most beautiful line with the most beautiful tone, and then make it absolutely certain that your fingers will do what your imagination is guiding them to do. It's amazing how one finds technical means to accomplish what the ear demands. That's when the magic happens. Open up your ears to really HEAR what you are playing. Always make beautiful sounds, connected, warm, legato - an "easy" sound. Always work mentally to eliminate the tension in the arms and the hands, the torso and the feet - the neck and the mind - playing due to tension is never beautiful playing.

With regard to Chopin, always remember his own credo "Music is a language like any other language, when it speaks, it must make sense." Every line that is in Chopin speaks something - not necessarily an obvious earthly thought - but some deep emotion or thought - not to be confused with "emotion" ie: swooning, shmalzty playing. How the artist translates these emotional states, is what makes for great Chopin playing. That Polish ZAL - that deep sadness that never goes away - something that he was so famous for.

Always work slowly and carefully and to the point. As he said - ridiculous practice that has nothing to do with the end result is like learning to walk on your hands so that you can go for a stroll, In the end, you won't be able to walk on your hands, and you will not be able to go for a stroll either. The idea is to think of the end result and then carefully and without tension fashion your way to get there. Hoffman said that when he studied with Rubinstein and once asked him "how do I do that?' Rubinstein replied with... "Your nose! I don't care. Figure it out, and make it beautiful!"

And that's what we must do. Typical and standard technical piano training goes only so far to communicate beautiful music to an audience... we have gotten used to judging pianism based on that - my belief is that is totally anti-Chopin...each voice, each detail, each color, each idea, must spring anew every time it is played...

Above all relax. This is the most important thing I have learned for public and private playing. Don't get worked up or excited... in fact, slow the metabolism, deep and long breathes, don't fire up before you play, you will have much more control, you will play much faster, and even more fiery. To confuse pianistic fire with inner hysteria, and rising blood pressure is a BIG mistake. It's exactly the opposite in its technical mean to get there. This is very hard. And on days when I am the master of my body, I can play quite well. Tough stuff.

Personally, I do practice Hanon - from the scales on - I begin with the scales. the earlier stuff is not so valuable to me at this time. I also practice chopin etudes - in particualr 10/4, 10/12, 25/2, 25/10, 25/11...these tend to root me in my daily work, and force me to do a particular kind of work - to play such big things, but not to "show off" - the difficulty with these works is to bring them back to the piano - and not make them extroverted show-off pieces. This grouping allows me the difficulties of surmounting this problem. It became very clear to me how to approach these things after playing Chopin;s own Pleyel. It is very specifically light and delicate, and focused. Every now and then, I'll take up some Liszt transcriptions (ie; Tanhauser, Don Giovanni) and work through technical areas, using some of the wild technical ideas to create excercises of my own.

Then, I find my own weak spots (and I have plenty) and because in another life, i am a composer, i composer certain etudes on my own personal issues... take for instance - opus 53 - for some reason, in public, I have always had a horror with the Bb- scale, because I would tense up at the beginning of it, given the choreography - I was still thinking chords, and here we are, scales... so I must retrain, and work the "quick thinking" of this problem, so I create my own etude on this matter.

the idea of quick thinking brings me to one of the most important technical books that I have come across - the Joseph Hoffman. He puts all technical ideas in the simplest terms, and this book is a MUST READ for anyone who plays the piano. It is not fussy, it answers tremendous questions, and it reminds us to make piano playing simple straightforward and elegant, and that there is no hocus-pocus to the whole thing. This all of course from one of the greatest pianists ever. (Who also invented car windshield washers. Imagine!)

At any rate - there is so much more to discuss with this, specific questions are always appreciated - it's always fun to share... pictures then when I have a moment for the photo dissertation.

Have a great day all - Hershey
Sorry I've missed this thread for the last few weeks. Hershey, thanks you for the above. I think I may print it out and keep it near the piano. Now if you could only come over and help me with measures 47-54 in 10/3 you would make my day! laugh

P.S. Mmm, I just watched Michelangeli on youtube play Chopin's Ballade. Stunning. It's everything you say. His hands and arms are so relaxed. His fingers just rest on the keys no matter how "intense" the music. How anyone can play those runs at the end is just beyond me.
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/26/06 10:47 PM

Back again to answer questions - of course, I apologize for any typos before the fact, no matter how often I recheck - typos show up.

So - first to 55/1 - what a tremendous and evocative work... What's most important about this work is that we must create a world of color that is immediately identifiable with the first struck C natural. Interestingly, that C is not the 7th degree of a Db chord, or the tonic of the C chord, as two examples - but in fact it is the beginning color for Chopin's heartbeating world of F minor - and this F- in particular. The note must be struck as if it is already a part of that color world - the song must begin not just with a note - but with a breath - a color - that will then naturally continue into the continued line. It must be peaceful, and it must float, and the note and then continued line must feel as if one breath can continue forever - no plunking in the left hand - but a cushion of color, (use your ears to pedal, use both pedals, experiment, the singing line must float above the cushion of sound created below... ) what it "means" is up to each individual - but it must mean "something" or at least evoke some kind of emotional response in the listener - again, not shmaltz emotion - but something inside. Those are the colors you are after - colors and line that will resonate as if a person is speaking through the piano.

Here's a thought for the bars that you are discussing with regard to the "roll" that appears in the 50's bars - the way that this has been established, in general, is to play Eb, G, D, C, using color, moving quickly, but identifying the melodic note - but playing all four in this order, and borken. In Chopin's own teaching scores - (in particular for the C- nocturne, 48,) he indicates in pencil where these embellishments begin and end, and how the bass is struck, and where... either way - the traditional way to play it, is as I mention above. HOWEVER - look carefully at 27/1 (C#-) by comparison - in the middle of this nocturne, suddenly - what is absolutely indentifiable as a "mazurka" appears - almost bringing him back to some dream world, some memory of Poland, perhaps.

Above all, Chopin was very clear - he said it to many students, they reported it: Music can mean anything - and the same notes on paper can mean something very different from day to day, depending on all kinds of factors, (how one is feeling physically - one's mood, one's view of the world. etc.) and that these things will change - It is likely that he did not want to give Impressionistic titles to his works, for this reason - he didn't believe that music was "just one thing." That said - this roll that we are talking of here, appears in the Forte section of this nocturne, coming out of this remarkable dream - it appears just before the diminshed accompaniment and the nervous melody that comes just a few bars later. There are these strong triplets and then the specific chords with a dotted eighth and sixteenth... for me - this is once again, a return to Poland, to Polish heroism, to strength - to the strong royal, or military figure that Chopin himself was not but dreamed of - or maybe - it is a memory of that. So - give this a try...give that chord a quick grace note - the D, and then the solid chord so that what emerges is a strong and solid dotted eighth, then sixteenth - with an exacting and military Polonaise-like rhythm. He has the same in opus 53. We don't break that grace note business in the theme - we play it boldly, and solidly, and heroically. Given that we are in this clearly forte section - strong, passionate, and decisive - I feel it more as a decisive grace note attached to a solid chord. Try it - it has a strength and a majesty that is indeed the Polish Chopin -

Now Peyton - for your practice of 10/3 - Oh, I know the horror well - Don't overdo the chordal presence - you must voice your chords and your lines, with ABSOLUTELY NO HAND TENSION - loose as a goose! Voice your lines, by following the treble - and make sure all your other voices follow as well - make the highest note the melodic voice that you follow. Don't add any extra hand, finger, anything - movement - than you absolutely need with a completely loose hand to accomplish the goal. Legato does not mean forced connection, it means notes that are connected - do this by means of a loose hand, direction of hand, listening very carefully, understanding the beats of each bar (make sure you are physically very clear where each beat is, and that your body understands it, and that the hands follow suit. Playing "around" the beat is something that gets us into huge trouble in these sections. Again, easily - practice lightly, with a light touch, and a beautiful sound. Follow the phrase marks, and above all, don't force. Of course, all this is a bit tough on a forum, but maybe one day we can all get together and have a masterclass somewhere - that would be fun.

Above all, don't stop thinking and working, and remaining relaxed with a beautiful sound, and loose hands and fingers, using only as much movement as you need to accomplish a beautiful sound and line as your goal... it takes a long long long time for these difficulties to become easy - don't let any pianist tell you it comes naturally right away, it never does, not even to the greatest of them...

Soon enough I will take the time to figure out the posting of photos and stuff - and then maybe I'll have some fun things to show -

I love the questions by the way - so fire away any time...

Best - Hershey
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/26/06 11:26 PM

Any general advice about mastering 10/12 - I've been working on that one a year, or the first scherzo (op 20) (particularly dynamics) would be greatly appreciated.
Posted By: Euan Morrison

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/26/06 11:31 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Hershey88:
I love the questions by the way - so fire away any time...

Best - Hershey
Hi Hershey88,

I havent had the time to read your detailed and informative posts yet, but it seems obvious that you love Chopin's work deeply. I was just wondering which composition of his is your favourite to listen to/play and why?
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/26/06 11:49 PM

Awesome! Loose is what I'm going for. That will be my mantra. Thanks.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/27/06 12:41 AM

Hi Hersh:


It's not difficult to notice that you are probably a bigger fan of Chopin than we are (if that's possible). I loved your description of that first C in the 55.1. Because this nocturne reminds me so much of a polonaise (with the heraldry of those LH chords), I considered that C as the first noble step of the "grand march" to follow. Although I don't normlly "paint" a picture in my mind with his music, this one piece just calls out for some kind of image. And that "nervous" triplet section...you chose the perfect word to describe it. I won't mention how nervous it makes me every time I attempt to play it. Though with me, it's more of a frantic feeling.

I'm also attempting to learn, at the same time, 48, #1...so similiar to the 55.1. I love the melody line, so dramtic and sweeping in its passion.

A master class? Would that ever be something, to say the least. But while we have you here, and for as long as you can stay, we consider ourselves very fortunate. I just hope everyone on the forum doesn't find out out you, you'll be deludged. wink

Kathleen
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/27/06 02:08 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:

I'm also attempting to learn, at the same time, 48, #1...so similiar to the 55.1. I love the melody line, so dramtic and sweeping in its passion.


Kathleen
Kathleen,

I've started working on 48/1 again as well. Last time I did it I got up to the fast octave part and gave up. I actually like this nocturne a lot more than 55/1. The melody is haunting.
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/27/06 02:26 PM

Hi Kathleen,

I've pretty much decided to learn the wonderful Waltz No.14 in e minor, Op. Posth. for the Feb. recital.

Now, if I can get it as fast and delicate as Dinu Lipatti's recording... heart

Since I'm also working on the Heroic Polonaise, I'm going to put the 48/1 on the back burner for a while.

Have you done any work on the Minute Waltz?

Mel
Posted By: Ozor Mox

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/27/06 03:01 PM

Believe it or not, I listened to Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu for the first time about a week ago, as I know it's such a well-known piece. I'd heard it mentioned many times before, but never actually heard it. Then, when my new CLP240 arrived with 50 preset songs, I listened first through all the Chopin as he is easily into my favourite composers list! I was completely blown away and captivated by the piece; it is beautiful and incredibly emotional and powerful, I love it! I can't believe the man himself disliked this piece and ordered it to be destroyed, as it was only published after his death!

I do in fact have the sheet music for it (all the songs on the CLP240 come with accompanying sheet music) and...erm... oh my! eek
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/27/06 07:11 PM

Hi Peyton:

I just finished the first page of the 48.1. And, like you, I like it so much more than the 55.1. I agree, the melody is astounding. And the way Chopin keeps repeating it over and over, faster and faster...it blows me away every time I hear it. But to be able to play it...well, that may be a different story. As I have often mentioned, I lack much of the technique required to play such a composition (and I wonder if I'll ever get through the 55.1. It will either make me or break me.) However, I'm not a quitter; it's just going to take me a while.

Mel: Good Luck on both the waltz and the polonaise. I envy your skill to be able to play them although I am certainly aware of the hours and hours and hours of practice involved. Now Mel, you know I can't do "fast". How in the world could I ever play the Minute Waltz?

Ozor Mox: It must have been something to hear Chopin's Fanatasisie for the first time. So happy to learn he's made it to your list of favorite composers. From what I've read, he wanted it destroyed because he thought it was too similiar to another composer's work. Check back a few pages on this site and you can read the whole story. Welcome!

Kathleen
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/28/06 01:12 AM

Wow--what a wonderful resource to have Hershey here. I hope he understood that when he said "fire away" that I have quite an arsenal of questions!

Gosh, where to start. First, Hershey, I am totally befuddled by the whole relaxation issue when I play. I have been playing for 35 years, 11 actively with a teacher, and all these years I have wrestled the pieces into submission with my hands, forcing the notes in the exact way you said not to do ("press harder here, a little less now"). Many people have commented on my lack of passion/emotion/feeling when I play, but I really don't know how to fix that.

I heard a young Polish pianist last spring at a Chopin Society concert, and I was struck by the color in his playing, just as you mentioned. In fact, when I came home I even told my husband, "I see now that have been playing with the primary colors while this young man has the box of 64 Crayolas." Or more. I just don't know how to move from where I am to more colorful playing.

I am also playing the 55/1, and I have been working on it since April or May. Do you have a tempo you recommend for the first section--up to the piu mosso? I've heard a wide variety, and I am not quite sure what Chopin intended or if that is known by anyone.

Unlike everyone else that contributes to this thread, I know nothing of the life of Chopin or anything about him--I am almost ashamed to admit this to this erudite group! I am not familiar with your show, but the talk of it has me very anxious to see it. Is LA the only U.S. destination on your tour schedule? My family does a good bit of traveling in the summer, so maybe I would try to make our trips coincide with your tour if I could. Or maybe my piano teacher and I will take a special trip to see you!

Thanks for any and all ideas you have. I have loved learning from your responses.

Nancy
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/28/06 04:31 AM

Quote
Originally posted by NancyM333:
I heard a young Polish pianist last spring at a Chopin Society concert, and I was struck by the color in his playing.......
Adam Golka?
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/28/06 01:29 PM

No, Stanislaw Drzewiecki. He was really terrific. Our small Chopin Society gives free tickets to piano students, so my children and I get to go to these wonderful, small concerts. This group seems to get great pianists on a small budget. Ingrid Fliter, an Argentinian pianist who won the Silver Medal at the 2000 Chopin competition at Warsaw, played last fall. On the night she played it was announced that she had won the Gilmore Artist award, a cash prize given every four years to an exceptional talent (no competing required, just a decision by a foundation). We've been very fortunate to have access to these artists whose programs mostly consist of Chopin, at least when they play here.

Nancy
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/28/06 01:34 PM

Hey Nancy, I'm going to a concert by Stanislaw Drzewiecki at the London Chopin Society in December! What a coincidence. BTW he was actually born in Russia but I think he considers himself a Pole.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/28/06 03:19 PM

Well, as difficult, as this is to admit, I think I am living in the wrong country!! We get nothing like what you have described here in Rockford, IL. frown

Rockford has a very STRONG Swedish population (founded by Swedes year ago). I'm not sure if they're "into" classical music that much. eek Sorry to any Swedes who may be reading this (I am 1/4 Swedish myself), and if I am wrong in my assumption (probaby am). :rolleyes:

Just wish I could attend all those Chopin concerts you are speaking of.

Kathleen
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/28/06 04:14 PM

Hello all -

While I will be playing opus 22 (Grande Polonaise Brilliante) this coming season - I never took the time to read through the other works for piano and orchestra - the Air on Polish National Themes, the Krakowiak - it's amazing what he was able to do - when just a boy! Some o the wonderful and exotic harmonies are really stunning and so very Polish - they really do create that wonderfil buzzing sound that is so apparent in traditional folk music. Do give some of this a read if you have a chance -

For today's questions - Nancy M: The whole idea of relaxation is something that takes a lifetime to achieve. With certaiin artists, it comes quicker and younger, others, it is a lifetime commitment fo work and revision.

Begin by letting your hand drop in your lap. Let it drop completely, as i it were dead weight. You must not control it, you must allow it to drop. When it's down there, and when it is relaxed simply twiddle your fingers. Remember - no tension in the arm, hand, nothing... when you twiddle your fingers, it should be easy - an "air trill" as it were. Keep on thinking and connecting your brain to what you are actually doing with your hands - relaxation, no tension, no "force." Work on this feeling, do it a lot, remember it, constantly work - even when around the house, of connecting your conscious brain to the activity in your arms and your body. This doesn't come easily - it is hard thinking work.

When you are closer to understanding your body - then, go to the piano. Drop your hands on the keys, do not worry about sound, what you hit, hitting something at all - just drop. Chopin was very clear himself - let the hands drop onto the keys - let the natural weight of the hand take you to where you must go. Don't imagine pushing AT the piano - imagine there to be natural weight in your arms and et gravity do it's thing. Anything against nature wil make it more difficult for you to play.

The most important thing in all of this, is to engage the mind, in what is logical for YOU. Everyone has a different approach to accomplishing the goal, because our physiognomies are all different. Think of what it is that will allow you freedom at the keyboard and then work in that direction. The fingers must not be forced, they must work naturally.

As for 55/1 - you must listen to the heartbeat of the piece - by this - I mean, every work, for each individual has an inner life, for me, 55/1, I play it in cut time, I feel two beats per bar, not fast, but feel the rhythm of the work - follow the bass F- G - Ab, etc. but create color, don't push. And above all, use your ears. That's really the only thing that plays piano.

Peyton: Don't give up on 48/1 because the octaves scare you. Go back, and slowy and easily approach each one, lightly and carefully. My guess is that you are looking at the "whole" and it is putting you off. Never mind - each octave, and then the direction that octave takes, and make them all melodic. Do three at a time - and remember Chopin wasn't a Lisztian virtuoso, he was a very delicate pianist... remember =- Facilement, Easily, but don't get ahead of yourself - just take the configurations three octaves at a time, and don't force. The piano makes enough noise without any pushing.

Hope this is of some help.

Hersh
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/28/06 05:56 PM

Thank you so much for these suggestions, Hershey. I am reading a book currently called "Passionate Practice," and it advocates a similar drop weight exercise. I was thinking the author might be "way out there," but now I see she is right on. I will try to be patient with myself as I learn this technique. I am definitely one who likes instant gratification (if a cake bakes in an hour at 250 degrees, won't 30 minutes at 500 degrees work the same?), but in my heart I understand the concept of incubation of a skill.

I appreciate your thoughts.

Nancy
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/29/06 08:58 AM

A question for Hershey:

Any general advice about mastering 10/12 - I've been working on that one a year, or the first scherzo (op 20) (particularly dynamics) would be greatly appreciated.
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/29/06 12:06 PM

Frycek -

To begin, your tag line makes the most sense - "slow down and do it right."

Indeeed - this is the place to begin.

Again, playing well, easily, quickly has to do with many things, but it begins with relaxation. So that first.

Of course one of the wild and great performances of this piece (for me) may just be Richter - may be on YouTube - if not, it is certainly in certain other visual collections.

Begin to practice this thing QUIETLY (he says with screaming capital letters) and I mean, quietly, piano - pianissimo. That way, you won't be forcing notes to sound but you will be relaxed in the hands, the arms, and you will make a beautiful sound. Eventually, when both your ear and hands are attuned, you can make dynamic adjustments. Practice this in groupings, rhytmically, (changeing rhythms, etc.) but never loud, you'll just hurt yourself. Think easy, light, and above all, legato - there should be no tension in the hand. If there is, you won't be able to ever play quickly. Map out the choreography so that you amke certain that your hand is behind the wrist (ie - the hand and wrist , and of course, the arm) should be behind the notes that are being played, not stretching from elsewhere. Practice easily, slowy, legato, with a metronome. Do two weeks of daily work that way. If it is too much, then in groupings - but make certain that each group is worked out. Get the technical stuff right and free all the while thinking of the music - but don't "force" the music the just yet - otherwise you will "show off" and either damage your technical work, or never solidify it.

As for opus 20 - sheesh! Light thing you like!

This guy is a biggie - and the business is the same - get it quietly, lightly, armonioso, (so that the many notes are part of a structural harmony first) and then worry about speed and fire. First things first, slowly, in groupings. Look for patterns, and above all, ALWAYS with EASE.

This kind of work is hard to describe in words. Hopefully one day there will be a chance to show you in person.

H
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/29/06 12:37 PM

Maryrose--What I especially loved about Stanislaw Drzewiecki's performance was that for his encores he played very easy Chopin pieces, things any of us could play. Since I was not distracted by the impossibly speedy fingers and enormous jumps all over the piano, I could concentrate on absolute beauty of the way he played. It helped me hear the color he put into his playing. I think maybe the difficult pieces are so intimidating to me, so far beyond my ability, that I can't quite pick up the nuances that the pianist puts into them.

Nancy
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/29/06 02:15 PM

Nancy - it will be interesting to see if Stanislaw Drzewiecki does the same at the forthcoming recital. I'll let you know. thumb

Hershey - when talking about playing the piano you sound just like Chopin himself wink

(Well, strictly speaking, he would be unlikely to have said "this guy is a biggie" but I mean the essence of what you say!)
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/29/06 03:32 PM

Hershey, thank you very much for your advice. I seem to have reached a plateau in 10/12. I'll back off a bit and practice it as you suggest.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/29/06 04:09 PM

Hi Hersh:

You haven't heard much from me because, quite frankly, I am not in the same league as Frycek, Peyton, MaryRose Nancy, and Ragnhild. Not even in the same ballpark!! Maybe I'm in the parking lot someplace. frown

But I wanted to write to tell you that I actually took your advice to heart yesterday, and it paid off, big time. smile

I usually don't practice when I am physically tired because when I do the results are always horrendous.

Anyhow, after a hectic run-around-town (actually drive around town) morning, I was exhausted. However, I made a pledge never to get a let a day go by without playing/practicing, no matter what.

I had just read your message about completely relaxing and letting the arms hang loose. It didn't take any real mental focus for me to do this, since they were hanging pretty loose already.

I played my favorite waltz by Chopin. That little A minor one that was on the soundtrack of Desire for Love. Whenever I sit at the piano, I think to myself...well, what and how many wrong notes are you going to hit today? Yesterday, I couldn't have cared less. I was too tired to worry about wrong notes. I just went "with the flow," as they say. AND I have never played it better. Imagine my surprise!!

Hersh, it's one thing to read about technique and practicing tips from a book; it's quite another to have an artist of your stature speak to us personally. Once again, I want to thank you. We all so appreciate you and your willingness to share what you've have learned through years and years of hard work and experience.

Have you helped turn me from a dud to a diva?? Well, not quite, because I have a long way to go. But I will remember yesterday's experience and hope to approach the piano each and every time with that "loose as a goose" attitude. wink

MaryRose (she's so funny) is right-on when she mentioned that you do take on Chopin's persona when talking about playing the piano.

There is no greater compliment that we could pay you.

Oh, another great Chopin quote (paraphrase). Practice is the best teacher, time is the best critic.

Regards,
Kathleen (Kasha)
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/29/06 07:41 PM

Kathleen - "I am not in the same league as Frycek, Peyton, MaryRose Nancy, and Ragnhild"

I assure you that I'm standing right next to you in that parking lot. Shall we just get in the car and put on a CD of Rubinstein?

laugh
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/29/06 09:12 PM

MaryRose...so good to have some company out here. laugh

I was getting a tad lonely. frown

Where should be go? Carnegie Hall? Maybe they'd let us sit in the parking lot there, especially if we're playing a Rubinstein CD...playing Chopin, really LOUD! To give the place some ambience. wink
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/29/06 09:21 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
MaryRose...so good to have some company out here. laugh

I was getting a tad lonely. frown

Where should be go? Carnegie Hall? Maybe they'd let us sit in the parking lot there, especially if we're playing a Rubinstein CD...playing Chopin, really LOUD! To give the place some ambience. wink
I'm not in the parking lot either. I'm off in the deep dark woods practicing where no one can hear me.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 01:14 AM

Frycek: Your practicing sounds like someone else's recital. smile smile

But one good thing about playing in the dark woods is that you wouldn't be able to see the keys...one of Chopin's suggestions to his students about blowing out the candles to discover if they really knew the piece. (I almost said turning off the lights...then realized the light bulb wasn't yet invented.) confused

But watch out for that posion ivy. eek

Kathleen
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 02:23 AM

Hershey,

Thank you for that advise concerning 48/1. I've got to get back up to that octave section but when i do I'm sure it will help. It always seems to come back to relaxing the hands and arms doesn't it?


And now I guiltily ask another question (I am amazed and honored that you take the time you do with us poor amateurs smile )

I have been playing the 28/3 prelude for a year now and just can't seem to get the left hand to speed. My problems start with the jump in measure 7. That second finger (or at least that's what I use) on the E then jumping to the D (measure 8). I just can't seem to do it smoothly at speed. The rest of the piece comes and goes depending on how much coffee i had that morning ha but I can rarely play that last measure well.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 08:20 AM

Only a few words from the dark wet Norwegian Woods... I have been reading this thread very carefully, trying to catch all your advice, Hershey, even if I have not posted too much.
I have not played Chopin at all lately just because I can not stand to listen to all my mistakes. Yesterday, though, I got the opportunity to practice 1 hour on my friends Kawai upright. I felt so much better having a descent piano to play, that even the mistakes sounded better wink

Hershey, do you play the Nocturne in Bmajor (32.1) ? For me this one suits my personality, and I like the ending which is a little "scary" (or full of "angst" as Kathleen would say). But I really do not now clearly how I want the ending to sound (from the repeating LH triplets).

I admire you Frycek, playing the 10/12, of course I am not at your level. But what I think we all have in common here is the sincere approach, wanting to do the best we can.
I have had so many disappointments especially from not being the singer i would like to be, but I know I just can't let be playing and singing.

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 11:34 AM

Dear Ragnhild, your mention of your disappointments touched my heart. I too would have loved to be able to sing well. It is very frustrating - both my parents had lovely voices and at age 91 my mother can still sing better than I can! I thought these things were supposed to be inherited bah

But take heart, you play your beloved Bach VERY nicely and your piano suits his music I think.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 12:22 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Ragnhild:
I admire you Frycek, playing the 10/12, of course I am not at your level.
Ragnhild [/QB]
You might want to change that to "trying to learn to play 10/12" and I think your playing is charming. It has simplicity and dignity and competance.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 02:30 PM

Ragnhild:

I want to add my voice to those of MaryRose and Frycek. Your playing is wonderful, really. I wish I could play as well. smile

You may not have the singing voice you wish for, but you DO HAVE a beautiful and charming VOICE on the piano. I think we have to find where our talent lies and work like crazy to bring that out to the best of our ability. To be proud of something we can do well is the best spirit-lifter I know of. Rather that dwelling on what we can't do (I wish I could paint, you know...like Rembrant), stay hopeful with what we can.

There's an old, corny song from the 1940's I think that sums it up pretty well. "Accenuate the positive and eliminate the negative." laugh

If you do, you will be a happier and more content person. 3hearts

With much affection,
Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 02:40 PM

Are Chopin-loving girls always that nice ?...thanks !

Me singing really has very little to do with Chopin, except for the fact that I find some of Chopins piano-music very "singing" like the Nocturnes, the Walzes and even the Piano-concerts. I think this is why I like it so much (and maybe this is also one thing he has in common with Mozart who is - as you all know -another favourite of mine).
The sadness (I think you had a better word for it,Hershey) of Chopin's music is a strange thing. A voice an quite easily express sadness, but youcan not alter the sound of each piano-key to make the sound "sad". Still Chopins music (when played well) has this melancholia even if I think no "sadness formula" of composing can be found.

Somehow a persons musical life always start with singing and even if my parents were not singers; my mother used to sing for me when I was little. I think I started singing and speaking at the same time not even knowing the difference.
I think my frustration when it comes to singing is the feeling of having the vocation but lacking the talent and skills. (piano is more "just a hobby").

Do you sing Hershey ? smile

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 03:24 PM

MaryRose: Do you have a VCR player?

The reason for my question is that I have a great tape of Rubinstein playing Chopin (Frycek told me about it on e-bay). It is in black and white, made in 1950, and he is playing in his living room to several guests. You have to see it! His hands and how he makes that grand sing and sigh. He plays 4 pieces by Chopin, all wonderful. So let me know if you have a player, and I will mail it to you (lending, of course).

Any anyone else who would like to see it, just let me know.

Kathleen
Posted By: Piano Again

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 04:07 PM

Ragnhild: I just wanted to tell you that your performance of the Bach prelude inspired me to work on that P&F pair next in my project of memorizing the WTC -- or at least attempting to.

A few other random thoughts:

One big reason that I am practicing the piano is to be able to play Chopin. He actually wrote his only other solo pieces for my other instrument, the cello, BTW, but there are only two of them, and though they are wonderful pieces, they aren't nearly as satisfying to play as his piano music. (Hershey, maybe you can shed some light on Chopin's interest in the cello? The Polonaise Brillante is op. 3 and the sonata with piano is op. 65.)

A few years back, the New Yorker did a piece of short comments by some fiction writers about things they did or would like to do besides writing (IIRC). Joyce Carol Oates, of all people, said something along the lines of how worthwhile it would be to spend all of one's time playing Chopin.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 05:44 PM

Kathleen - how kind of you to offer to lend me your precious Rubinstein video. That is what I call true generosity. Alas, I have no VCR player which was a victim to cat-sick. cursing I watch everything on DVD on my computer now. However in a way I'm glad I cannot borrow it as I would be terrified it got lost or damaged en route. Thank you very much for the thought.

Pianoagain - I don't know what inspired Chopin to write his early cello work but the cello concerto was written because one of his best friends in Paris, Auguste Franchomme, was a top class cellist.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 05:47 PM

Quote
Originally posted by maryrose:

Pianoagain - I don't know what inspired Chopin to write his early cello work but the cello concerto was written because one of his best friends in Paris, Auguste Franchomme, was a top class cellist. [/QB]
As I recall, he actually shared authorship with Franchomme, the only time he shared it with anyone.
Posted By: Piano Again

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 06:35 PM

I believe original of the op. 3 Polonaise Brillante (as opposed to the version rewritten by Piatigorsky that most play) was ripe for improvising (I have some memory of having seen this at some point). Perhaps Franchomme had some tricks he added when playing it. It's a pretty frivolous bauble of a piece.
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 08:55 PM

Hello all - back in Paris today. Happy answer all the questions - goings in reverse...

Piano again...indeed, Franchomme (pronounce - Frahnk - homme) was a very good friend of Chopin's - was with him when he died - played at 12 Place Vendome, at the end played the Cello Sonata with Chopin (I like that work a great deal...) and the Polonaise Brilliante was something they must have done together - but the actual co-authorship was for the Robert Le Diable work - I think it is called a Fantasy on Themes - Robert Le Diable, was a very popular Opera in Paris at the time, Liszt did his own transcription as well - the story goes that people were so amazed as to how he accomplished the effects that the day the piece was published and put on sale - it broke sales records... imagine!

As for Franchomme and Chopin, my guess is that Chopin didn't have much true knowledge of string technique, and so relied on F. for the technical tricks, but inspired all of the actual composition and approach. Remember, he also composed a trio, then there is those variations for flute and piano, lots of quaint stuff...

Ragnhild - the word for the sadness is ZAL - it is actually Chopin's own, and everyone else in Poland's too - a certain sadness that is always there no matter what - a deep heartfelt sadness - the exact translation of which is impossible in any other language - Do I sing? Yes, I can - I sing loud, and a lot, and in the Gershwin production too much - and I love to sing, and I studied singing, and coached some of the worlds great singers, also, playing for them in concert... dreaming of having a great voice. So yes, I can sing. Is it a great voice? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Ragnhild - 32/1 - great work - knock yourself out, and remember - always sing, and sing with color... make the melodies work as if they are coming from the human voice.

Peyton - 28/3 - you and me both - and lots of folks... again, this goes back to the HOW TO practice. Don't twist about with this one. One of the secrets is making sure, that once again, the wrists are behind the notes. MOST important. Of course, one is meant to play this legato - but you can't connect every single note, otherwise you would twist yourself into a pretzel. It's about giving the impression that every note is connectedbut always moving the wrist to be behind the hand, and opening up the hand, when the wrist is immediately behind it. This way, you never twist about, and it allows you to play faster. That said - this must be practiced VERY VERY VERY slowly, with great ease - and always open up the palm in the direction that you are going - ie, end of bar 2 - sol, la, so, re, sol (octave lower) - when you play the si, open the palm so that the 2 easily is right on front of the d, then open again directionally so that the 2 and 5 have the wriste immediately behind them, the plan is open, and the interval is easy to play. Map these out slowly, and carefully and lightly, and you should be okay. Above all - even for the greats - none of this comes fast... slow and steady...

This is good fun for me, to have to write down thought on piano teaching and music. Thanks for the opportunity.

Hersh
Posted By: Peyton

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 10:53 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Hershey88:


This is good fun for me, to have to write down thought on piano teaching and music. Thanks for the opportunity.

Hersh
And you do it so well! Many thanks again! thumb
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 11/30/06 11:09 PM

ACK!!!!

The spelling - like I', illliterate! Unreal - really, it is my computer - the one correction I do have to make is the notes for 28/3 - what I mean is sol, la, SI, re, sol... the rest - just have good faith that I can actually write in English. Eeek!

smile H
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/01/06 01:20 PM

Well Hershey, Chopin wasn't the best speller in the world so you are in good company laugh
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/01/06 03:22 PM

Hi Hersh:

No need to apologize for “typos.” It’s just a sign that your brain is working much faster than your fingers. And considering how fast your fingers can work, your brain might be breaking the sound barrier.

I started reading Hofman’s book last night, and in just the first 30 pages, he does give some very useful advice:

The practical:

1. Do an hour of practicing in the morning, before breakfast, when your mind is fresh, (I do hope he allows us that cup of coffee first). Then after breakfast, another hour.

2. Never practice for more than an hour, or at the most, two hours at a time. Get up and walk around the block, etc to take a break. Don’t let your mind think about the piano at all. This allows your unconscious mind to absorb and mature what you have newly learned. If you don’t allow for this “time-out,” when you return to the piano, it will almost be like starting over. He says the whole process of playing/practicing is taken in by your brain and it takes pictures of every finger movement, your ears…will transfer every tone produced to the brain. And all this takes a little time to process. (I guess this is why is it so important not to hit wrong notes or not play attention to the markings (pedal, rit. Cres. F, p, etc.) Because once it is implanted in your mind, it’s going to take a lot of work to “undo” the damage.

3. Aha! My favorite. Finger Exercises. He advises no more than ½ hour a day only to warm up and get the fingers flexible. But after a year, he believes that if one can play them, then why continue to play them everlastingly. Once learned, play them only briefly to get the fingers “broken-in.”

I don’t want to write out the whole book (I might be sued!).

***************************

Hersh, are you still there?? :p

I do have a question about something Hofman wrote. He advises that we “move our arms as little as possible and hold them and the shoulder muscles quite loosely.” Isn’t this a contradiction of what we are told by the “experts” as the correct technique?

From what I have read, we should be playing, with not only our fingers, but using the arm and shoulder muscles as well. Yes, we hold them loosely, but we have to move our arms. So I am confused. confused

Also he said not to reach. But what do you do when you have a four-octave arpeggio? You have either to reach or slide your whole body across the bench. confused confused

O.K. That's it. We are in the middle of a giant snow-storm. So far 8 inches with another possible 4-5 to come. yippie

Kathleen
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/01/06 06:11 PM

Hi Kathleen - your remind me how much I LOVE Hoffman's book. It brings us back to basics. No snow here in Paris (sorry) just magic, and beauty, and art, and life, and crisp air (and get this...) downloaded episodes of Grey's Anatomy (Such a darn well written show - sappy - sure, but written and structured in a most excellent way. Always reminds me - art is art, even if it is popular, and it is so wonderful to see art well produced, well crafted, and well thought out. As far as Grey's Anatomy - I'm a TOTAL junkie... when I'm out in LA, i will definitely make the pitch to play a pianist in the solarium in the psych ward, or something....

At any rate - back to work. There is one video presentation of Hoffman - playing rach's self-loathed C#- prelude. You can watch what he does, but he doesn't do what most of the rest of us do. His hands were small, he was small, and in fact, his piano has several tenths of an inch shaved of the width of each key - the keys were smaller....!!!! (He worked hard on this project... a good idea!) That said - it isn't always the exact specifics of what he says - it's in the logic and understanding of what he is getting at.

Basically, with what you are asking above - my theory is this: Our bodies, our hand structures, our minds, everything about each one of us is different. That being the case, we can't make exacting physical rules as an approcah to an instrument that is meant to communicate soul. My idea as a teacher is to get the student to THINK - to recignize problems, to figure out ways to deal, and then to execute, but always with relaxation - and even that means something different to each person.

All this to say - don't play by any hard and fast rules - the idea is that you want a beautiful sound to come out of that instrument and communicate something - anything - Hoffman has brilliant basics, but they are not rules - they are logical approaches toward accomplishment. But in temrs of what Hoffman says - as you wrote “move our arms as little as possible and hold them and the shoulder muscles quite loosely." - It is exactly in keeping with what we have been discussing: STAY RELAXED, and don't move any more than you absolutely have to - this will be the most direct way to get your soul through the piano and out into the ether... so nothing contradictory at all... relax, and don't hinder. Or in Grey's Anatomy logic... above all, do no harm.

smile smile Hersh
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/02/06 12:47 AM

I'm going to have to read this book. It sounds wonderful.

Everyone planning new Chopin pieces to play has inspired me. Is anyone familiar with Etude 10, #12? It is gorgeous and powerful, and I really do need to work on playing more powerfully. On the other hand, the only other Chopin Etude I tried, the Harp Etude, took me forever and I never did nail it down. It was just too hard. I really hate to invest all that time in something that I will never play to my satisfaction, and that is what happened with that Etude.

Hersh--I don't watch Grey's Anatomy, but I totally agree with you about outstanding art. Sometimes I watch something on TV, or a movie, and I am overwhelmed by the quality of the writing. I've felt that way about Aaron Sorkin's work. Unfortunately with TV they sometimes keep going on after they've exhausted what they can reasonably do with those characters, but I'm usually addicted by then and keep at it anyway.

Nancy
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/02/06 01:08 PM

Ever ready to lower the tone, I have been looking at a photo of the young Paderewski trying to remember who it is he reminds me of. It has just dawned on me - he looks like a youngish film actor of today - any ideas who I'm thinking of?

[Linked Image]

Frivolous of Milton Keynes
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/02/06 01:52 PM

Hershey: Thanks for the advice. I guess what it all boils down to is that you read as much advice as you can and then follow what you are physically capable of and just sort of "adjust" the best you can to the rest.

Another great theory of Hofmann's was his belief that there is absolutely NO ONE RIGHT WAY of playing a composition. Even the COMPOSER HIMSELF might not have been able to play it as perhaps it should have been played (now that's a new one). But I do remember that Chopin once commented to one of his students that although he (Chopin) would not have played a composition the way the student played it, the student played it very well, and if that's the way he heard it...it was just fine. (Chopin...what a guy!) BUT Hofmann did stress that in order to put your own interpretation into a piece, you must have the ability to analyze it completely beforehand. (Now this is where I'd fall flat on my face, since I know so little theory). But at least he does give us "permission" to bring out our own emotions and insight, but never, ever to the extreme, as far as completely ignoring the intent of the composer's idea.

And as far as Hofmann...he and Rachmaninoff were live-long friends. They made quite a pair...Hofmann being rather short...5'5", and the Rach about 6'3". Imagine seeing them walking down the street together.

I got on this new site called: video.aol.com and found you can listen/watch and download practically every video ever made (some people playing classical music but also series on TV). Pretty great.

Hersh: I never got into Grey's Anatomy because of the "sappiness" as you put it. I'm pretty much a realist. My husband is the romantic in our family and likes to watch love stories...gag!!

Nancy:
Frycek is working on 10/12. Check with her, and I am sure she will be happy to commisterate with you. However, how I envy both of you to be able to play this etude. And the Harp (25/1?) is absolutely spectacular. I remember hearing it as the background music for one of the Olympic figure skaters years ago and combined with the gracefulness of the skater and that heavenly music made me cry, literally. A very emotional experience and one I'll never forget.

I don't watch much TV...trading spouses and Call Me Earl...ugh. However, there is a series that I make certain I never miss because of the quality of script and acting. It's called "Close to Home" on Fridays. I also like "Criminal Minds." Not for the faint of heart. But by the time you watch 10 episodes, you'll know enough to become a profiler for the FBI.

Mary Rose: Nothing like a little fun to brighten up our thread. Paderewski was quite the darling of his time, for quite a while. But he wasn't all he was cracked up to be. Sort of reminds me of a Shakespeare quote: "Full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing." People and critics finally got wise to him. He also looks a tad like Anton Rubinstein. Is it that English actor (darn, can't think of his name), but he is one of the "bad boys" of Hollywood?

Regards to all,
Kathleen
Posted By: Euan Morrison

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/02/06 08:58 PM

For all those who enjoy The Pianist movie, here is a little-known fact that I discovered tonight:

In the film, when Wladek and Dorota are on their first date, they walk down a narrow street, and are about to enter a cafe on the corner. They then discover that the cafe is closed to Jews.

Tonight I was looking at a travel guide to Warsaw, and saw a photo of a narrow street, called Kozia Street. It reminded me of the scene from the film. So I watch the scene in question, and it's the same. THEN I see this sentence:

"There has been a cafe on the corner since the 19th century: it was once called 'Kawa u Brzezinskiej' and was frequented by one Frederic Chopin".

The scene in the movie is no coincedence, I think they intentionally used that street+cafe due to its Chopin connection!
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/02/06 11:28 PM

Good spotting there, Euan. I remember that cafe. Thanks for pointing this out. "Kawa u" means "coffee at" but I don't know what Brzezinskiej means - maybe the name of the street?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/03/06 12:08 AM

Euan...that is so very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

And I know the director, Roman Polanski, wanted to portray that movie as realistically as possible. Poor Adrian Brody...he really deserved the Academy Award. Polanski had no heat on the set...and it was freezing. When Adrian had to climb that wall, he was really climbing it, in the ice and snow...with no or little shoes. And the clothing he wore did little to keep him warm. He also had to lose 30 pounds (I think) because Polanski wanted him to look the part of a starving man.

MaryRose: I'm so impressed by your knowledge of the Polish language. Are you part Polish?

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/03/06 07:59 AM

Kathleen - alas, no Polish blood here. 90% Scottish 10% French. But I'm trying to learn so that I can read Chopin's Polish letters in the original. It is the most difficult language I have ever come across! Do you know Polish?

Interesting what you said about the film. I think Brody was just so well cast.

Love to all Chopinophiles on a very wet and windy day near London
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/03/06 04:06 PM

Wow, MaryRose, you're trying to learning Polish to read Chopin's letters in the original? That has to be the greatest act of love and admiration I've ever heard of. I can only sit back in awe of your dedication. Yes, Polish is really difficult. Like Liszt said: "All those consonants with not a vowel in sight." laugh

I don't know how to read Polish at all, just can speak a few phrases (my mom's form of swearing). However, my uncle did teach me a sentence...this is just a phonetic way of spelling, and not very good. Anyhow, it sounds something like this: Yeach da duma spoch.

The reason I bring this up is rather touching, I think. Mind you, I know but this one sentence. When I was living in Chicago, Pope John came to our city for a visit (at that time I believe we had more Poles than in Warsaw). Anyhow, I was lucky enough to find a spot to stand right below the small balony of the cardinal's residence where he was staying. He came out onto the balony and raised his arms in blessing all of us there and also spoke a few words in Polish. The crowd kept cheering and applauding and wouldn't let him go back into the room. Finally, he said to all: "Yeach da duma spoch." I couldn't believe it. The meaning of this sentence is: "Go home and go to sleep."

Again, one of your experiences you will never forget. smile

I so commend you for doing this. Do you have any plans for writing a biography about Chopin? It would seem that taking on this daunting endeavor should "pay" off in some way.

Regards and love to all on a very snowy and cold Sunday morning just about 100 miles west of Chicago. I have to find my summer clothes today because we're leaving for FL on Saturday. I'm staying just a week. Don't like to leave my doggie in the kennel too long. So if you don't hear from me durning this time, you'll know it's not because I'm dead! wink

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/03/06 05:03 PM

Kathleen - how wonderful that the Pope said exactly the phrase you understood! (Well he was hardly likely to use your Mum's swear words, was he laugh )

I don't think I will ever really master Polish but at least I might be able to order a meal when I visit. I don't trust Chopin's translators. Certainly I can understand French enough to know that there might be some misunderstandings about his French correspondence ... but I have no plans to add another biography to the already huge list.

You have chosen a good time to go to Florida to escape the chill - have a wonderful time, Kathleen, and come back refreshed.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/04/06 09:28 AM

Maryrose, I really like you trying to learn Polish. How do you work on it, are you taking classes or studying by yourself ?
After I was in Warsaw (a very long time ago) I wanted to learn Polish myself, but it is a difficult language and I never really got started on the project. I have a friend, though who learned Russian in a few years so everything is possible I guess.... smile

I have done some listening to the Nocturnes this weekend (in Stefan Askenases version which I like because he makes it all seem so simple, almost like children songs )
I have a lot of listening to do since I have started my life as a Chopin-fan this year. I had to grow up first, trying to play Chopin when I was 16 did not turn out very well. I think I needed some knowledge of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven.....first.

I have started to practice the Db major Nocturne (27.2) which will take me a lot of work to learn. Wish I had the skills to play an Etude, but maybe later...

Paderewsky, in your picture Maryrose, looks like Orlando Bloom wink

Yes, and I like Grey's anathomy it can be seen also at one of the Norwegian TV-channels !

Ragnhild
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/05/06 02:27 AM

In his book, The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present, Harold C. Schonberg writes in chapter VIII titled "Romanticism and Its Rules" (incidently, my copy of the book has a copyright date of 1963),

Quote
But it remained for Hans von Bulow to provide one of the greatest pieces of nineteenth-century fiction, in his analysis of Chopin's twenty-four Preludes. First von Bulow gave each one of them a title:

1. Reunion
2. Presentiment of Death
3. Thou Art So Like a Flower
4. Suffocation
5. Uncertainty
6. Tolling Bells
7. The Polish Dancer
8. Desperation
9. Vision
10. The Night Moth
11. The Dragon Fly
12. The Duel
13. Loss
14. Fear
15. Raindrop
16. Hades
17. A Scene on the Place
de Notre-Dame de Paris
18. Suicide
19. Heartfelt Happiness
20. Funeral March
21. Sunday
22. Impatience
23. A Pleasure Boat
24. The Storm

Then von Bulow supplied a complete program for each Prelude. These interpretations were endorsed by Wilhelm von Lenz and a pupil of Liszt named Madame de Kalergis, both of whom said that the annotations "reflect the composer's feelings and intention with the utmost accuracy." Thus, the E minor Prelude, we have it on such impeccable authority, pictures one of the paroxysms to which Chopin was subject on account of his weak chest. In the left hand we hear his heavy breathing, and in the right hand the tones of suffering wrung from his breast. At the twelfth measure he seeks relief by turning on the other side; but his oppresion increases momentarily. At the stretto he groans, his pulse redoubles its beat, he is near death; but toward the end he breathes more quietly (the chords must be breathed rather than played). His heart-throbs grow slower and fainter; at the chord resting on B flat (third measure from the end) thwy suddenly cease for a moment. Four eighth-notes must be counted to every half note, so that these beats, though not audible, may yet be felt. The final chord shows that he sleeps.
This is von Bulow's anaysis of Chopin's Prelude in E minor, Op. 28 No. 4. He did this for each of the Preludes. Schonberg goes on to say that if von Bulow had been pressed to the wall, he may have admitted to their exxageration as a prop upon which his students could lean, but should not be taken too literally. Further, Schonberg states, "that this inanity could have come from what was conceded to be the sharpest musical mind of the time passes belief."

With the passage of time, however, we can see that the names have stuck to some of the Preludes and it is in this spirit that I leave you with a link to my recording of the "Suffocation" Prelude.

I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about it, and that you'll enjoy my humble, yet flawed, attempt to bring the composer's consumptive pain and sorrow to mind:

http://www.box.net/public/zlb7uhh70a
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/05/06 02:36 AM

Thanks for posting that, along with your beautiful rendition of the Prelude. Such a gorgeous piece, and I really like how at the end you manage to make each chord a little quieter than the previous one. Nice work.

I'm reading a book of interviews with great pianists by David Dubal. It's fascinating to hear the words of some of these people who are truly descendants of the Masters--pianists who were taught by a teacher who was taught by one of the great composers of the 19th century. I'll have to find the Schonberg book and add it to my list.

Nancy
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/05/06 03:55 PM

Lisztener: First and foremost, as I once mentioned, your rendition of the prelude is quite lovely. It is a difficult piece to play well although, to some, it looks a whole lot easier that most of Chopin's compositions. Chopin requested this prelude to be played at his funeral. He must have had some special affection for it though I have no idea of what it could have been.

Wow, that list by von Bulow is quite imaginative. And as you stated, he may have used it as a "teaching tool" for his students. As a retired teacher, I have practically stood on my head to get an idea across to my class, so I can understand, somewhat, his reasoning in doing this.

But, I know, as well as you, that Chopin would have "literally" rolled around in his grave, knowing that his "perfect gems" were given titles and programs to go along with them.

Nancy, I agree that reading about the great masters through descendants of his students and his friends is fascinating. I have managed to amass a small library (about 15 biographies, etc.) in the past few months. I think I read somewhere (it's terrible getting older...the memory is so fickle) that the very last descendant of a descendant of a descendant of a student of Chopin died in 1947. Really not that long ago. Hofmann was 17 when Liszt died; however, he never met him. Hofmann died in 1957 (the year I graduated high school!)

I have two books by Schonberg, and I highly recommend them. "The Glorious Ones"...all about the legendary performers, starting from the early 18th century to Domingo and Pavarotti. And the other "The Great Pianists," from Bach to Perahia. The chapter devoted to Chopin is called "Tubercular, Romantic, Poetic."

Regards to all,
Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/05/06 10:00 PM

Hi Hersh:

What do you think of Van Bulow's list? And what would you think Chopin would have thought of it?

Over on the Nocturne Study Group, we are having some discussion about that triplet section of the 55.1. One of our group wonders if it would be permissible to just gloss over it. Would anyone notice? I have to admit it's taken me almost a month to get it "down." It definitely has a life of its own.

Oh...would you agree or disagree that it just might take a pianist (of any degree of skill), depending on the composition, of course, 1,000 times or more, to learn/play a difficult part.

Thanks,

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/05/06 11:53 PM

Another "portrait" for our gallery. Chopin as Elvis Pressley.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 01:54 AM

Lisztener - I could just hear that wheezing, and then a little glob of phlegm at the end there. Nicely portrayed ;-)

Frycek - glad you added the inverted commas.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 11:21 AM

Ragnhild - you were right about who Paderewski reminds me of. It's Orlando Bloom :-)
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 02:01 PM

Frycek: As Elvis! eek Who's left? With a moustache as Joseph Stalin?? mad

MaryRose: Sorry...it must be a few generation gaps, but I don't know who Orlando Bloom is? confused

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 02:11 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
[QB] Frycek: As Elvis! eek Who's left? With a moustache as Joseph Stalin?? mad
Actually I have seen "Chopin" with a moustasche. Someone had mislabelled a picture of Edgar Allen Poe. If I can find it I'll post it.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 02:12 PM

Sorry Kathleen. He played "Legolas" in Lord of the Rings - and appears a lot in our gossip mags over here. Obviously he hasn't "made it" in America! So you are excused from not guessing laugh
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 02:54 PM

Frycek: How funny! I read somewhere (here goes that memory black-out again) that Chopin once met a very famous U.S. writer, maybe when he was in London or even Paris. Was it Edgar Allen Poe? Or N. Hawthorne? Anyhow, some great author of the time. I know you'll know.

MaryRose: His name can't help but get me thinking of the U.S. city where DisneyWorld is located AND a quite famous actress of years ago...Claire Bloom. laugh

Whoa! What name would any of you chose if you could...a combination of two people, from history perhaps, people whom you admire or think were important in their own way. Mine would be Constance Chopin. It would have to be Constance and not Connie!! :rolleyes:

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 03:30 PM

Chopin met James Fennimore Cooper as in The Last of the Mohicans.

Who's Constance?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 03:59 PM

Thanks, Frycek:

Quote
Who's Constance?
I hope I'm correct here...I'm never sure about anything.

Wouldn't Constance is an English "version" of the name Konstancja, the young, but somewhat insensitive young woman for whom Chopin pined.

Now here is where I get confused. Was it the adagio of the F minor concerto or the slow movement of the E minor? Both (IMHO) contain the most beautiful music ever written.

And, really, really confused. Just who inspired him...Konstancja or Tytus?

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 04:26 PM

Oh, THAT Constance.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 05:56 PM

Yeah, even though I don't particulary care for her that much (especially that last interview when a "reporter" told her how "madly" in love with her Chopin was). Her answer was quite hurtful, something like: paraphrasing.

"Really? Well, he was very shy and strange."

Maybe I'll think of another first name, after all.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 06:11 PM

Yeah, as my mother would put it, "Constance didn't even know he was alive."
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 06:15 PM

Hi all - Great, um - "Liszt "- from Von Bulow... (who if I am not mistaken also took a dab at reorchestrating the E- concerto - I think it was Von Bulow anyway - I'll have to look it up.)

Kathleen - with regard to your question: I have mixed feelings about all of this. People change their minds, circumstances have them feeling differently about different things on different days...the fact is, with what I know of Chopin, one day this list would have totally amused him, another it would have sent him into a wild fury. In fact, there is not only precedent, but actual knowledge of his reaction to exactly this: My library is still in boxes (just unpacking the Paris house...so,. please forgive the memory, and we'll see the researcher back next week...) - Early in Chopin's letters, he mentions that a certain so-and-so (maybe a critic, a poet, something like this...) who raved and raved and waxed prolific about the La Ci Darem variations, explaining each variation to mean "and now they meet... and now he takes her hand... and now...and so on..." Chopin had a mildly amused reaction to the whole thing - not really much more. He thought it was silly and funny - no doubt, it was a time when he was in very good spirits. But who knows how he would have reacted later on to Von Bulow's list.

As for the list itself... I often think that it is important to remember - that before electricity, tv, computers, film - all the media that we have around us - the way people created magic is by painting pictures: with music, with art, with architecture, with poetry, with prose...(etc.) - so I understand where this is coming from - though, I can imagine Chopin reacting negatively to the music being "one" thing as opposed to several... Then, of course, there is Sand's direct reference in the final pages of her "Histoire de Ma Vie," they are in Majorca, and he is composing either the B- or the Db+ prelude (we don't really know which one is the so-called "raindrop"...but folks tend to think it is the Db...) - At any rate - Sand told the story that when she arrived back late from her walk in the rain in Valldemossa - he looked like a ghost - his hair standing on end, mad as ever, convinced she was dead, and that he was seeing a phantom. She said that once she convinced him that it was her in the flesh, she spoke of this work he was composing - she used the words "imitative harmony" - the raindrops - sounding upon the piano... and of course he called her an idiot for saying so - and then said, that her explanation of it all, was just ridiculous, and that she had no understanding of the true complexities of it all... to which she then postscipts with: "He was right. It was not "imitative harmony" that would have been too simple. It was in fact, god's raindrops falling on his soul.

EEK!

smile H
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 07:25 PM

A couple of trivia questions for Hershey:

In Desire for Love Piotr Adamczyk has a mole on his cheek. Is it his mole or is it supposed to be Chopin's? Did you run across any indication that Chopin had a mole on his cheek?

Did you every find out what Chopin liked to eat?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 08:04 PM

Hi Hersh:

I do remember that one episode to which you are referring. But, as usual, my memory does not provide the exact circumstances. From what I do recall, this reviewer (or whoever) was raving on and on and used a certain word (darn, can't think of it) that could have been taken in a "humorous?" way. Chopin got a big laugh over it as he was relating it to someone else.

I'm sure Frycek (her memory has to be the biggest and best) will tell us exactly what this was about.

Isn't it a fact that the Dflat prelude was written BEFORE Valldemossa? People do like to associate it with the "fairy-tale" hinted at by Sand. The quantity of her prose was prolific, to say the least. The quality of it, however, especially when about Chopin, was a bit ethereal, when she was in a good mood, that is. Otherwise, her remarks stung like arrows and cut to the core.

She might have imagained herself another Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She certainly resembled her.
[Linked Image]

Enough of her...not my favorite subject.

I agree that Chopin's moods could have very well altered his opinion of the list.

I happened upon an interview you gave while surfing the Internet. Please, please don't think I am trying to second-guess you, for my knowledge of Chopin is but a "drop in the bucket" to yours. But you mentioned that the last time Chopin saw Sand on the stairs in the hallway of a mutual friend, he asked her: "Do you still love me?" I don't remember reading that he actually ever said this to her, his Polish pride being what it was. But he did write it in a letter, I think. Anyhow...

I don't envy you, unpacking. However, I do envy you unpacking in a home in Paris!! thumb

Best regards,
Kathleen
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 08:46 PM

Well, I'm back from my piano lesson. I discussed with my teacher the Chopin Revolutionary Etude, the 10/12. Sigh. She is exceedingly polite, but her meaning was clear: I'm not up to it, at least not now. She would like me to "get really strong at the point where you are" before I try to tackle something like that. She said to wait a year, though I am not sure a year will do it. Fortunately, I am not old (45), so maybe in a few years I will have amassed more skills and be able to do the 10/12 justice.

Frycek, are you really working on this one?

In any event, I will play the 55/1 for my Christmas adult recital, then set it aside until February. My teacher has us play for a judge in March each year, and I will pull the 55/1 Nocturne out for that. Sadly, I think I have overpracticed it and am tired of it. Maybe a few days rest from it will help brighten it up.

Nancy
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 08:52 PM

Re 10/12. Yes, I really am working on it. Very seriously. I think I've got a good chance of doing a reasonably good job of it considering the performer. I probably need another six months.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 09:03 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Hershey88:
she spoke of this work he was composing - she used the words "imitative harmony" - the raindrops - sounding upon the piano... and of course he called her an idiot for saying so - and then said, that her explanation of it all, was just ridiculous, and that she had no understanding of the true complexities of it all... smile H [/QB]
I think his gut reaction was that she was patronizing him and trivializing the piece and the process of composition itself. I think he was right.
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 09:46 PM

Kathleen,

Your copy of "The Great Pianists" by Schonberg is one that I'll have to peruse for its revisions. Did your copy not have the passage I quoted from the earlier version? Thanks again for your kind words and for the book info.

Nancy,

Quote
I'm reading a book of interviews with great pianists by David Dubal. It's fascinating to hear the words of some of these people who are truly descendants of the Masters--pianists who were taught by a teacher who was taught by one of the great composers of the 19th century.
This book sounds like a must read. If Amazon has it, it will be in my next order from them.

Thank you for listening to my play and for your generous words.

Yesterday, my piano teacher (first teacher since I was twelve years old, and a wonderful lady) surprised and frightened me with a new assignment. I am now going to learn Beethoven's "Pathetique" Sonata Op. 13. I asked if she is convinced I can handle it, she responded with an enthusiastic, yes to all three movements. I'll keep you all posted on how it goes.

Regards
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/06/06 11:31 PM

Congratulations, Lisztner: You must be thrilled to be "taking on" the Pathetique Sonata. The second movement is beyond beautiful!

Actually, I love almost everything by Beethoven (except Fur Elise!) bah . He's my second favorite composer. That's why I'm looking forward to seeing Hersh's performance next year.

Yes, I do have the same book as you. I just never got around to reading that chapter because I decided to start a "Chopin Library" two months ago and ordered 12 books all at one time. Naturally, it will take me a little while to read all of them. And then...to remember what I read. laugh And he also wrote "The Lives of the Great Composers." A definite must-have!

Yes, please do let us know how you are doing on the Beethoven. thumb

Regards,
Kathleen
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/07/06 03:03 AM

Wow, Lisztener, the Pathetique. That's quite a task. Of course, everything is big when you look at it as a whole. I'd love to hear your version as you get some of it done. Don't wait until it's complete to post it for us!

Nancy
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/07/06 12:18 PM

Lisztener:
Just a little coincidence, first thing I did this morning (even before reading the forum smile )was printing the Pathetique.
I got the inspiration from the theory study at Pianist Corner - after looking at the slow movement I had to try it and was surprised that it was at a level that is possible for me to play.
I guess the other two movements will be harder, esp. the first, but hopefully I will find a teacher sometime - then it will be my 5 year project.

Kathleen : Beethoven is great, and I think there is more angst in his music than in Chopin's.

I am sorry that I live too remote to see your Beethoven performance, Hershey. When i was a girl I wanted to travel in time to go back and be Ludwig's girlfriend. I thought that fate was too hard on him. I think he shall be very happy this was not possible, he certainly had enough trouble as it was wink


Ragnhild
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/07/06 01:00 PM

Hi All - unpacking, indeed.

Frycek - no, I have never come across a mole on Chopin's cheek. I think this may be one of Adamczyk's qualities. I have a little one too - hardly noticeable, must be the "actor playing Chopin" trait...

Kathleen - we do a great deal to the press, don't we. They know how to muck things up oh so wonderfully well. I loathe looking myself up on the net (though I have to for producing purposes, my office is always sending me things to look at and review...) because usually stuff is full of mistakes or stupidity.

Anyway - not only did I never say that he asked her if she still loved him, but it is VERY clear that he didn't say anything at all beyond asking her how she was, and telling her about Solange's baby, who was just born, (and of course, who died, several days after that last meeting.) Sand, it seems, did not yet know of the baby's birth. Moreover, Chopin wrote a letter to Solange telling her what happened at the meeting, and in Histoire de Ma Vie of Sand, she tells her version of the meeting... ie: I took his damp clammy hand, and waited for him to say something, anything, but he did not, so it was my turn to believe that he simply didn't love me anymore....

That said, I am absolutely certain that I never even intimated that he asked her such a thing (TOTALLY against his character) at that meeting. The Press. As the Rabbi says of the Czar in Fiddler - "May God Bless the Tzar and keep him FAR AWAY FROM US!" Same for the press.

As for Fur Elise - it was probably Fur Therese, (his handwriting so SOOO bad... ) and it was but a series of sketches that got published, in what was it - 1867, or 1887 or something like that? ... One of the great history bits - the greatest western composer perhaps is most famous (well, to the average individual or young piano student) for a work that he never completed and for a totally false name.

The press - history... ah, god bless...

smile H
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/07/06 01:17 PM

Another research question for Hershey: I was listening to a taped biography of Chopin's life this morning. It was mentioned that he and Constance "exchanged rings" immediately before he left Warsaw for good. I've heard this casually mentioned several places but never is any detail given or any authority referenced. Do you know anything about this? Is this just another Chopin legend?
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/07/06 03:08 PM

Hi Frycek -

This could very well be a bit of a legend. As far as I know - Constancja Gladkowska as "true love" probably existed more in Choppin's mind than it did in any reality. Maybe they exchanged something - who knows...but he then went to Vienna, and contracted (as some say) some form of VD from a "lady of the night..." (he writes about this experience...) So I wonder - a young man sweing his oats - trying to forget Gladkowska - of course, the real"love" was Wodjinska, but even those letters pose more questions than they do supply answers - who knows... I think it's important not to cast aspersions, but when it comes to great artists' lives, anecdotes are lots of fun. Of course, we relish every word, every moment, every idea - they, they just lived, much like we do. ...

So to answer your question in the worst roundabout way... maybe they did exchange rings, though I don't remember any such "real" reference.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/07/06 03:55 PM

Thanks, Hershey. Here's another legend I'd like to know your thoughts on, the one that Chopin made an abortive attempt to follow Tytus back to Poland after the Uprising started. I very much doubt the ring business but an impulsive attempt to follow Tytus (then thinking better of it) sounds just like a distraught Chopin to me.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/07/06 04:14 PM

I wonder if the rumours of an exchange of rings between Chopin and Gladkowska might have originated in the true story that Chopin took away with him a ring that was made up of the hairs of his family members?

Yes, Frycek, it is easy to imagine Chopin getting drawn back to Poland at a moment of emotion and then his good sense taking over.

Hershey - I know to which of Chopin's letters you are referring when you mention his alleged "lady of the night" experience but if you examine the letter closely I think this is by no means a definitive interpretation. In fact after years of thought I have come to the conclusion that the VD is as much of a myth as any of those other stories that seem to attach themselves to him so readily.

{edit} I appreciate that Hershey stated "as some say" and was not quoting his own definite opinion here.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/07/06 07:20 PM

How I LOVE this thread!! smile

Ragnhild: This breaks my heart. frown Unlike Chopin, who was immediately accepted into the higher class of his time, poor Beethoven was not. People thought him a brute. Oh, how they loved this music, but not the man.

I once read (here we go again) that Beethoven was so eager to be accepted into "polite" society (the elite or aristocracy) that he actually took lessons in etiquette. It didn't work. How that man must have sufferred, both physically and emotionally.

You say you would like to go back in time to be his ladyfriend. What a difference that would have made in his life...to have a woman of your quiet elegance, charm and intelligence at his side. He would have died a happy man! wink

I, however, would like to go back in time to tell those arrogant and cruel airheads off. I don't want to say that I'd punch them out (because I'm too much a lady for that), well, on second thought...the heck with it. I would punch them out and then some. My blood boils when I think of how he was treated. mad

Hersh: I just KNEW you didn't say that. You know so much about Chopin that it would be unbelievable for you to utter such a statement. When will I ever learn not to take what is written as gospel?? I am learning quite quickly, especially when reading about the lives of composers and what they did or didn't do or said or didn't say. It is fun to "speculate," but one must always keeping in mind the character of the person. There are things that Chopin would NEVER do. And this is evident in reading not just one biography but as many as you can get your hands on...and of course, his letters. That MaryRose doesn't "trust" the translators of Chopin' letters and is learning Polish so she can read them herself goes way beyond admiration and respect for the man. I congratulate her for her ambition and admire her patience and perserverance.

I also remember reading that Chopin gave a ring to both Gladkowska AND Wodjinska. I thought to myself...he's giving rings to everyone??

It is so true that Chopin did not live in the real world (so lucky for us). He was in love with the concept of love, and he LOVED being unhappy. (This is a good indication that he was not biopolar). He fell into moods of nostalgia, melancholy, saddness, and despair. But, he was able to create some of the world's most beautiful music while in these moods. He himself once wrote that he was unhappy, but didn't really mind it. (paraphrasing).

When a person suffers from biopolar disorder, in the depressed state...he can't create. He's lucky if he can get out of bed in the morning. And, he certainly is not happy to be in this terribly black (not blue) condition. There are no words to describe the utter and complete lack of hope or lack of feelings of any kind, for that matter. The person goes through the motions of his daily obligations (sometimes), but inside, there is nothing.

I remember at my daughter's wedding (my only child, by the way), I was unable to shed a tear. Everyone around me was crying. She was so beautiful and the ceremony so lovely. But her own mother was incapable of that feeling of joy/sadness. I might as well have been watching a stranger.

So, that's why I think that Chopin was not biopolar. Yes, he had his depressive moods and he had his high and happy times. But, neither were in the extreme...as is in the case of this disorder.

Gosh, I got a little carried away.

Thank you all for making this thread so interesting.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/07/06 10:23 PM

A new Chopin show: but no rival to "our" Hershey's!

http://www.hoohhah.com/nightpiece/

Remember the sound if you look at the web page.

cool
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/08/06 06:15 AM

maryrose,

Quote
Lisztener - I could just hear that wheezing, and then a little glob of phlegm at the end there. Nicely portrayed ;-)
Your comment on my play of the "Suffocation" Prelude leaves me in a quandry considering your vivid description of the end. I don't know whether or not it was gruesome humor or a compliment. I'll accept it as the latter and give you my thanks. That was a nicely turned phrase. wink

Ragnhild,

Quote
Just a little coincidence, first thing I did this morning (even before reading the forum )was printing the Pathetique.
I got the inspiration from the theory study at Pianist Corner - after looking at the slow movement I had to try it and was surprised that it was at a level that is possible for me to play.
I guess the other two movements will be harder, esp. the first, but hopefully I will find a teacher sometime - then it will be my 5 year project.
After studying the "Pathetique" more closely, I'm beginning to question my ability to play the first and third movements. I listened to my CDs of V. Ashkenazy and G. Gould playing the Sonata and my questioning became doubt. I think my teacher is more interested in me learning the second movement and once I have it under control (in months), she'll tactfully move me on to something else. Only time will tell, but the second movement is a beauty worth the time to learn and play well. Much success to you should you endeavor to learn it.

Nancy,

Quote
Wow, Lisztener, the Pathetique. That's quite a task. Of course, everything is big when you look at it as a whole. I'd love to hear your version as you get some of it done. Don't wait until it's complete to post it for us!
Thank you for your interest. I'll comply with your request when there is enough to make it interesting for you.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/08/06 02:14 PM

Lisztner: I'm sure MaryRose was complimenting you on your playing. Perhaps it was the "title" that gave rise to her description.

Funny, but that piece (although I always say I NEVER, EVER put a program to Chopin's compositions) with its soulful cadence reminds me of someone who is terribly homesick. Remembering, with nostalgia, the innocent and sweet moments of the past. Then projecting to the present and the despair. Anyhow, I love it; maybe it's because it's one of the first preludes I learned to play and I think I can play fairly well.

Good luck with the Beethoven.

And I agree with MaryRose: Hersh has nothing to fear!

Kathleen
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/08/06 10:11 PM

Quote
Originally posted by maryrose:
"Kawa u" means "coffee at" but I don't know what Brzezinskiej means - maybe the name of the street?
I got the answer for you from my Polish friend from Warsaw. "Kawa u Brzezinskiej" means "Coffee at Brzezinska". Brzezinska is just a Polish female name.
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/09/06 07:32 PM

Kathleen,

Quote
Lisztner: I'm sure MaryRose was complimenting you on your playing. Perhaps it was the "title" that gave rise to her description.
I'm inclined to agree with you. The phrase she used grabbed my attention and momentarily sent me reeling into my minds eye. It was a memorable, humorous few words.

I need to scream from the housetops my good fortune within the past twenty-four hours. If you'll notice, some beautiful soul considers me worthy of being rated. How shockingly sweet. I can't imagine qualifying for such an honor in the brief time I've been a member of the forums. In a way, it would be nice to know who holds me in such regard, but it's much more gratifying to just revel in the heartfelt satisfaction it gives. The best I can do is give my thanks to that special someone. I hope you don't mind serving as the vessel for me to keep my thoughts on this occasion. If that person reads this message, I will have reached my goal to personally offer my sincerest, thank you.

Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing the beauty of your soul in both word and sound for all to witness. Your light is an inspiration.

Humbly,

Lisztener
Posted By: apple*

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/09/06 07:49 PM

i bet this thread becomes the longest ever.. i hope so. it's neat to read such passion

- apple, still hoping to conquer the etudes
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/09/06 10:00 PM

Frycek -

Sorry, I didn't follow through with your question about Tytus... (pronounced, as I understand it, TEE-TOOSS.)

Well, those letters are quite something, aren't they. Would Chopin have wanted to head back to Poland in '31? Maybe, maybe not - I can certainly imagine how distraught he must have been - the Stuttgart ramblings - but really, they aren't the ramblings of a madman, but to me, the poetic images of a distraught and helpless poet. Times were so different - no emails, no telephones - no contact - and suddenly I think of Katrina - in this day and age, and people, in America - (!!!) Losing one another - displaced - lost, for years - how does that happen? And yet, not so long ago, it happened all the time...and it still can - the thought that Chopin may have wanted to return - certainly in spirit anyway... Of course, the 1831 revolution has been attributed as the inspiration for 10/12 (the Etude...) but not so at all as we know. In fact, the 1831 revolution was more likely to inspire opus 20 - certainly the opening, what madness! Never before had a composer began a work on the 7th degree the way he begins the first run. So astonishing, even today - so very modern... someone once said of Chopin (someone important, mind you... can't remember who...) that he was a 20th century composer who got stuck wandering through the 19th century... absolutely so. I still marvel at his invention. Where did he hear these things? What magical world opened up to him and allowed him to create sounds that had never been heard before or since? The harmonic invention is staggering, and yet it makes complete sense, though who would ever think to do such a thing?

Back to Tytus... Chopin loved him - I'm sure he did - but from Chopin's letters it is apparent that Tytus didn't quite respond in the same way. Was this a homosexual thing? Who knows...? and really, who cares... I have never believed that a person's sexual proclivities have anything to do (in the real sense) with their artistic output... but still the letters indicate that Chopin had an open and loving soul - in fact, those letters are the only ones that are full of abandon in a way that none of his other love letters seem to be (except of course the made up ones... did any of you ever see the gag-inducing um - "film" called "The strange case of Delfina Potocka" or something like that? It was one of the few unbelievable things... as you may know, there was a whole scam about a bunch of so-called love letters between chopin and Potocka - all made up....

anyway - I ramble now, I so enjoy being able to ring in on the board with random thoughts on a Saturday night in Europe... I should be at the piano - shouldn't I?

Be well until next time. Hersh

PS - MaryRose - "our" Hersh. I LOVED THAT! THANK YOU!

smile
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/09/06 11:17 PM

Hersh, I feel that Chopin felt a very deep friendship for Tytus, a friendship that, given any encouragement from Tytus, could have found physical expression without crossing the line into overt sexuality. There are times when I think Chopin's idea of heaven at that point in his life would've been for Tytus to have held him as he slept.

I certainly agree with you about op 20 which I am studying right now. I find it very interesting though I don't have any training in theory that allows me to articulate why. I simply find it addictive. My husband only finds it disturbing.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 01:25 AM

LisztAddict - thanks for the explanation of the coffee shop's name. Phew, fancy being called "Brzezinska". I think when the Poles invented their names they first thought "now let's see, how can we make this one difficult for foreigners?<evil grin>"

Lisztener: I truly enjoyed your playing and do hope that I haven't spoiled the image of 28/4 for you <lowers eyes contritely>

Hershey88 - I can't emphasise too much that Polish men traditionally kissed each other on the lips and old-fashioned ones still do. And you are right to say that in any case, Chopin's sexual proclivities should not matter; except, of course, that we are interested in EVERYTHING about him (well I am anyway)

Frycek - your analysis of Chopin's feelings for Tytus expressed how I feel, but more beautifully than I could have put it.

Love to Chopinophiles across the globe from Mary-Rose, somewhere near London very late on a Saturday night
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 08:57 AM

MaryRose,

I played it last evening and though I began it with a huge grin, within three measures my composure would have pleased its creator. I think von Bulow aptly named this beauty although Chopin would have been outraged.

Thank you for your concern.

May music fill your day and your spirit,

Lisztener
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 10:20 AM

Quote
Originally posted by maryrose:
LisztAddict - thanks for the explanation of the coffee shop's name. Phew, fancy being called "Brzezinska". I think when the Poles invented their names they first thought "now let's see, how can we make this one difficult for foreigners?<evil grin>"
I've heard this attributed to Liszt regarding the Polish language, "All those consonants and not a vowel in sight!"
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 05:36 PM

Hershey,

Here is a stunning performance of the Chopin Scherzo in b minor that won this lady a $10,000 Best Talent award at the Miss Texas Competition in 2000:

Share-zo in B Minor


Mel
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 06:30 PM

It must be a Share-zo because I am sure that is not Chopin Scherzo No 1. $10,000 award for that huh? mad cursing
Posted By: Iain

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 06:40 PM

That was so good. I just love that someone is actually capable of playing this way. She didn't run off stage crying or anything.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 07:07 PM

That was bloody awful.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 09:20 PM

This gives a new meaning to rubato. The runner-up was robbed.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 09:31 PM

Quote
Originally posted by maryrose:
This gives a new meaning to rubato. The runner-up was robbed.
The runner up was probably a baton twirler. That's the calibre of those beauty contest competitions.
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 09:54 PM

LisztAddict,

Earlier today I listened to your Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 3 linked on S-H's Time Capsuled Recordings. (I downloaded it as well and now have three of your performances.) Your performance is beautiful, again. I hope you don't get tired of people throwing superlatives your way because thay are well-deserved. Do you have a web site containing a collection of your pieces? If so, I would like to have a link. Could you give a little of your piano-playing background to lend understanding as to how you play so well. Please don't be shy or deferential. You are a magnificent artist and I, for one, would like to understand you better.

Thank you,

Lisztener,
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 10:03 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Frycek:
The runner up was probably a baton twirler. That's the calibre of those beauty contest competitions.
A baton twirler would have been oh so much more enjoyable though.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 10:25 PM

Well, I’ve just got back in from the Stanislaw Drzewiecki recital at the Chopin Society in London. These concerts take place in a (smallish) nineteenth-century stucco mansion which is now the Polish Institute. It really is a privilege to listen to pianists in such a historic and intimate setting. As I arrived Rotten Row, opposite, was full of Sunday horse-riders which, if you didn’t look too closely, gave even more of a centuries-old atmosphere. The room in which the concerts take place is a well-proportioned but by no means large salon with decorative plasterwork and oil paintings on the walls (including one of Chopin). It has handsome windows overlooking Hyde Park, and as the afternoon wore on you could see the sun setting behind the grand piano.

I had forgotten how very young nineteen-year-olds look! Drzewiecki is slight of build and stature, with beautiful shiny blonde shoulder-length hair. His face has a childish chubbiness which leads to charming dimples on his cheeks. His girlish complexion didn’t look as though it would ever bear stubble. In a word, he was reminiscent of our hero. This impression of extreme youth brought home to me the remembrance of what Chopin had achieved by that age: it seems miraculous that works such as the Concertos could have emanated from a mere boy like that. (The glossy brochure told us that Drzewiecki is a composer also.)

However, the playing was not like Chopin’s is said to have been. Drezewiecki has small hands, which he looks at nearly all the time, that make a very loud sound. I found his piano more mezzo and his forte tended to the fortissimo . He is of course used to filling larger auditoriums with sound. His technique was formidable. Some of his performance was more successful than others.

The programme started with a faultless rendition of the Op 53 Polonaise. I got the impression he likes Polonaises; he played with gusto and enthusiasm. Next was the op. posth. C sharp minor Nocturne. I thought this could have been played with more tenderness, as could the Fantaisie-Impromptu which sounded a bit jaded (though still technically excellent). The five Mazurkas op 7 came over really well – he has a great Polish sense of rhythm and they made you want to dance.

The first half of the concert ended with a GREAT rendition of the first Scherzo. Not quite up to Miss Beauty Queen’s standards, of course, but wondrously played; the outer sections properly spiky and the lullaby both reverent and lyrical. The elderly Polish gentleman sitting behind me gave a deep sigh of satisfaction as the first notes of this Christmas carol wafted from the Steinway. I was happy that Drzewiecki’s performance was how I try to play it myself (after being inspired by Frycek’s e-cital contribution). Previously I’d listened to Pollini who seems to insistently over-emphasise that upper repeated F sharp.

The second half of the programme consisted of Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Paganini and Ravel’s famously challenging “Gaspard de la Nuit”. I tell you, this was terrifically well played. He made it sound effortless, atmospheric, compelling. The audience was bewitched (at least I was). His pedalling was supremely skilful and he has such power (or maybe it was just the nearness of the piano – I was only a couple of yards away). The encores he offered were the “Military” Polonaise - presumeably a nod to the hosts - and the Prelude 28/6. I was glad to have the latter “left in my ears” right at the end as he played it very sympathetically and - for once – quietly.

To round it all off, a Polish Christmas buffet was served with wonderful-looking cakes. It was raining outside but I chose to walk in the darkness through Hyde Park. It may or may not have been a dangerous thing to do but somehow I needed the rain on my face and the wind in my hair before getting into my car.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 11:06 PM

Of course after that I had to google some pictures. Apparently a charming young animal and he can play the piano too. wink

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 11:44 PM

Today he looks more like this....

[Linked Image]
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/10/06 11:56 PM

His looks are going to do him no harm at all.
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/11/06 02:28 AM

I'm glad you enjoyed it Maryrose. My experience with him was wonderful musically, but the atmosphere was not exactly that of a historic mansion. He played in a small hall we have here in my suburban town, which isn't a bad venue in itself. Unfortunately, they do not do a good job manning the doors at these events, so people go out in the middle of a performance, and the fire doors go th-thunk, th-thunk every time someone would go out. It made me crazy. The music was beautiful, though.

Nancy
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/11/06 03:55 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Lisztener:
Do you have a web site containing a collection of your pieces?
Now that you got the files downloaded, I can delete the rest of this post to save space. laugh
Posted By: Piano Again

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/11/06 04:55 AM

After listening to Ms. Beauty Queen's performance of the share-zo, I had to find another one to compare it with. I found this, thought it was interesting (and quite good):

http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=d9c92fb7875aadd84de51afe6cf8fc5a.831172
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/11/06 09:40 AM

Hi All -

Ah, the famous SHARE-Zo.... this thing made the rounds... I need to ring in on this one... of course, it's funny, bizarre, wild, sort of nuts... but here's what I think happened. I think it probably went halfway decently at home - in some form or other. And then in front of the crowd - poof.

I remember being very young, inexperienced at what can happen on stage (VERY young - I began onstage when I was eleven...) and I was playing Brahms 119 - which I love very much... and I remember going at it great guns at home...all was wonderful - but then I was meant to do a luncheon concert and the same that happened to Miss Texas, happened to me... some form of anxiety - probably that of playing it in public way before I was ready to, way before I had practiced iit enough - thinking, that I've done it a few times at home, sure I can do it in public... and I sloshed through the whole opus, hoping for the best - because there is nothing like an axiety attack on stage - which years have taught me - come from really only one thing - lack of absolute preparation, and the shutting down of the mind - and then panic takes over. It's a strange occurence, because you never imagine that it can happen, and then it does - something throws you - and the connected mind to the keyboard suddenly shuts down - and panic takes over, and you begin sloshing about the keyboard. Years (and years) in front of the public have taught me how to slow myself down immediately - and to refocus so that I am back on track - all this while playing...

Anyway - why the lengthy yakking? To say - that someone once sent me this link - (someone VERY important in the world of the piano) and just thought it was the funniest thing in the world. For me, it made me sad for the girl. Here's the theory - she manages to eek out a few passages halfway decently which indicates that at some point in her experience, she probably did learn how to play - certainly the notes...she plays enough of them to indicate that at one point she must have at least understood...and then this panic attack (with the planned cuts, obviously, which is enough to send anyone off on the wrong path) ...so, she has to have known something about the way it should have gone, and probably felt completely terrible about the way it came out... I know what that's like. It's terrible, it's painful, and it gives you nightmares for a long time. She probably got over it quickly, but I can only imagine what she felt like when she came off that stage.

You see, she plays just enough to indicate, that she does know how the piano works. I actually felt very sad for her. Been there... there is nothing like it. Promise.

Anyway - that's my story on this one... as for recordings - Horowitz is of course, so wildly virtuoso - very Lisztian for certain - but I have often wondered how Chopin would have played this one... but to my knowledge, he never played it in public - the one he played often was the third one - and that must have been magical with his touch...

smile H
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/11/06 10:33 AM

LisztAddict,

Thank you for the links and for your personal information. I downloaded all but the "Ave Maria." I don't know why but the download froze-up on me with it. I don't need to download it anyway since I already have it in the November recital.

I can't imagine why it will take another five years cosidering what I've heard. However, You are the only one who knows exactly what you need. Surely, however, you must know that you have a unique, soulful expression that makes your music so different from most others. Perhaps I enjoy it so because it has the very qualities that I wish to portray in my own play. When I listen to you, I feel your music deep within me. Both my wife and I truly admire the delicacy in your soft passages and your overall interpretations.

Please accept our encouragement in reaching your lofty standards.
Posted By: Piano Again

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/11/06 03:55 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Hershey88:
Hi All -

Ah, the famous SHARE-Zo.... this thing made the rounds... I need to ring in on this one... of course, it's funny, bizarre, wild, sort of nuts...
I played this recording for my husband last night, and he said it almost sounded like something Conlon Nancarrow would have done.

About Nancarrow:
http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199710/29_bakera_nancarrow/

Hubby rather shared Hershey's sympathy for the performer.
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/11/06 05:42 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Piano again:
I found this, thought it was interesting (and quite good):
I've watched many of Cambry's video on youtube. I think he is an excellent pianist. I really like his playing style, very relaxing, no excess upper body movement, phrasing is pleasant to listen to. His playing is overall very clean, very little mistakes.
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/11/06 06:42 PM

I feel sad for Miss Texas, too. Has anyone ever heard her speak on the subject of this performance? It would be interesting to hear what was going through her mind and how she continued with the pageant requirements after that. I don't have a lot of respect for pageants like these, but I do empathize with anyone who has a terrible experience in front of a live audience like that. Plus, it's forever digitized now and floating around the internet.

Nancy
Posted By: Piano Again

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/11/06 07:43 PM

Okay, but don't feel TOO bad about it for her. After all, didn't she win first place in the talent division (according to the person who posted the clip here)?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/12/06 12:39 PM

Well, I just had what must be the shortest vacation on record!! frown

We left for FL on Saturday, and I returned on Monday (by myself).

Back problems...but I had to get on the forum and read what's happening. So much. Did I ever say how much I LOVE THIS THREAD!! thumb

And, Hersh...MaryRose said it so well. We consider you "ours." And so glad that you are glad that we do so. smile

More later when this irritating pinched nerve gets "unpinched." confused

Kathleen
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/13/06 04:26 AM

Kathleen - I think you just couldn't stay away from this forum for too long so you made up that back problem excuse to go back. laugh ha
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/13/06 12:58 PM

I've enjoyed reading the kind-hearted fantasies some have constructed concerning the Miss Texas 2000 Beauty Pagent and the virtuosa beauty queen who, after an attack of the vapors, looses contact with the Muse and runs off the stage, all the while crying her big-breasted heart out.

Here's my fantasy of what happened:

That night, Cindy played the Share-zo as well as she ever did.

She left the stage happy with her playing and thrilled at the cheering of the crowd.

If, later, she had a tinge of doubt about her performance, she was quickly consoled by that big pile of cash.

No, my concern is with her sanity. Who in their right minds would choose the b minor scherzo to play at a beauty pagent, in Texas, yet?

I don't know anyone who has ever been to a beauty pagent, unless a strip bar counts, but I feel the scherzo is way too difficult to listen to for an audience unfamiliar with classical music.

My other concern is with the runner-up, the baton twirler.

Perhaps she twirled her little heart out and really deserved to win the Talent Award.

I can picture her in tears at the injustice of it all.

And no pile of cash to console her.

Mel
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/13/06 12:59 PM

Hi LA: I love it!! smile You could be right. thumb

The mind is a strange thing (especially mine). eek

When I got to our condo, I discovered (argh!) that the piano that was once in the community room had been destroyed by Katrina, and the association didn’t see the need to replace it. (Can you imagine?). And here, I brought practically all my music, leaving no room for my clothes in the suitcase…but who cares about that. I planned on wearing the same “outfit” the whole time there anyhow.

Then, I dropped my brand-new CD player on the cement stairs and it broke…almost in half. So I had no way to listen to my Chopin (especially some new CD’s I had been so looking forward to hearing).

The mean lady in the office wouldn’t let me use the computer (I wanted to log on each day to keep up with everything on the forum). She said it had to be an emergency situation. As hard as I tried to explain to her that it was an emergency, she didn’t buy it. Obviously not a music lover!! :rolleyes:

The final straw was a phone call from the kennel where I had “stored” my little doggie. I was told Kasha had started whimpering/crying from the day I had dropped her off and she was still doing her "poor-me" bit. She was not a “happy camper.”

All of the aforementioned disasters could have very well contributed to my back problems. Some people have told me that most back problems are brought about by stress.

However, as much as I wish this was true (then I could just take a happy pill), there is a nerve between L2-3, that isn’t happy; therefore; it is making sure that (because it isn’t happy), I am not going to be happy. And boy, I wasn’t…especially on the flight home. I came pretty close to crying, something I haven’t done in a long time.

Enough!

But I want to warn all the young ladies out there. DO NOT, under any circumstances, EVER LIFT ANYTHING THAT WEIGHS MORE THAN 5 POUNDS.

Thanks, LA. You brought a smile and giggle to start my day. wink I owe you one for that. But don’t ask to borrow any money, since I had to play $100 to change my flight. Another argh!!

I love you guys…

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/13/06 01:15 PM

I just listened (well, just the first minute was all I could take) to the SHARE-Zo. And while I agree with Nancy that few people could possibly understand the stress this young lady was experiencing, I wonder if she thought she was playing the minute waltz.

I shouldn't be mean. When and if I ever get to the point where I can play such an impossible piece, then and only then, will I have "right" to critique someone's playing.

It's just that it was actually so painful to listen to. And I also had a passing thought that maybe she was pulling everyone's leg...like, you know, a joke. eek

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/13/06 01:29 PM

Re Sharzo - I'm with Mel and I feel sorry for the baton twirler. (Unless the whole thing is totally made up.)
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/13/06 06:16 PM

Quote
Originally posted by dannylux:
but I feel the scherzo is way too difficult to listen to for an audience unfamiliar with classical music.
If she played something like Chopin Fantasie Impromptu or Nocturne 9/2, she couldn't fake it.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/13/06 11:07 PM

Kathleen - I just noticed that you had posted on this thread and thought "Kasha must have found a computer on holiday". Then I read your message! That is terrible... I am sooo sorry about your back and all the other misfortunes. Just before Christmas too.

Love and sympathy, Mary-Rose xx
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/14/06 11:09 AM

I have spend some time trying to figure out what a "baton-twirler" is, I think I know now.
She deserved to win whatever she did with that baton. smile

As for the Share-zo - faking Chopin, hoping that nobody in the audience would have the skill to notice I would say qualifies to "Miss no-brain ". I hope this is not the case. The poor girl must have had some kind of piano-teacher. I wonder where he/she was.... It might be a good advice to all piano-playing "Miss somethings" to ask their teacher for some advice (on what to play..) before going to stage.

(I'm sorry, I am a little harsh on the Miss - this beauty-contest-thing is not so common in Norway - and I am probably just envious because I have always been too inelegant to even think of participating in one wink )

Hope your back is not causing you to much pain, Kathleen !

Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/14/06 12:30 PM

Baton Twirlers for Ragnhild
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/14/06 01:34 PM

Thank you Frycek, I certainly like the smallest twirler the most.

It is quite common for the school-brass-bands here to have baton-twirlers to go first on "17th of May" and other great occasions.

I get a little bad conscience when I see this because when my daughter was about 7 she wanted to be a baton-twirler. I told her if she was going to join the school band she had to play an instrument.
Result was she decided to play piano ...

Am I a bad mother ??

(She will never want to participate in a beauty-contest ... smile )

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/14/06 02:58 PM

Not a baton twirler but... here's what Chopin would have been living with had he and his relationship with La Sand lasted 20 years longer. [Linked Image]
Posted By: Piano Again

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/14/06 03:21 PM

Some friends of ours have a son who is in the marching band at a local university. Last week they had their "battle of the bands" extravaganza at the performing arts center there. We ran into the kid's father and asked him how it was, and he said the most impressive part was watching the baton-twirlers do their thing. smile
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/14/06 09:06 PM

The good and bad in George Sand

There is no doubt that GS was an extraordinary woman. Her boldness of action and independence of mind were very unusual for the time. She had a great capacity for work, was capable of being very caring and generous. She attracted men well into middle age. She had courage and the ability to conceive passion. Her politics were unselfish in that, as a member of the landed gentry, she championed the common people.

I will never cease to admire her originality. She could so easily have been a downtrodden female slave like the majority of her fellow women of the time. Likewise I applaud her energy for work, and the way that she generally paid her own way in an era when women generally just lived off men.

HOWEVER
Her generosity did not prevent great meanness of spirit and selfish behaviour at times: it takes a certain type of hard heart to be able to launch into an affair with the doctor of one’s sick lover. It takes a positively steely cardiac muscle to abandon one’s long-term partner just at the point he is about to begin a prolonged death agony.

Her attraction was, I believe, largely due to her availability at a time when most women were not supposed to know about or enjoy sex let alone have intimate conversations with anyone (not even their own husbands). Any man meeting GS, even a physically unattractive man such as Michel de Bourges, knew he had a chance of unleashing some of his pent-up urges on her to put it crudely. He also knew that in so doing he’d also get well looked after and be amused.

Passion to George Sand was “easy come easy go”. Even Liszt and Marie d’Agoult were aghast at the number of men she managed to get through during the summer they stayed with her in the mid 30s. She had no staying power, which suggests a certain superficiality.

Politically, she did not have the capacity to think deeply and often made stupid mistakes. This lack of judgement also applied to other areas of life, such as being unable to realise that she was hopeless at writing plays. Her greatest error of judgement IMO was to take Chopin to Majorca. He never recovered.

As a mother, she spoiled her son and neglected her daughter. Not many mothers would throw a pregnant daughter out onto the streets.

The thing I like least about GS is her dishonesty. She lies to others and she deceives herself. Everyone is human and makes mistakes in life, but this lack of integrity would be unacceptable to me in anyone I called a friend. Obviously poor Chopin was blind to this facet until it was too late and he had become reliant on her.

Would she be famous today, were it not for Chopin? In France – probably. Elsewhere – almost certainly not. Her books are almost unreadable nowadays. Whereas Chopin’s music is as popular as ever.
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/14/06 09:20 PM

maryrose,

You are very generous to share with us this profile of the famous...infamous?...George Sand. Not having read about her (other than in "The Great Pianists", this sketch is very enlightening. In many ways it is unfortunate that Chopin fell under the spell of this "could be" witch, but our good fortune that you help us to know her better.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/15/06 02:52 AM

Maybe Ragnhild has been here. Be sure to read the whole article. It tells the strange tale of Chopin's canape.

http://www.mic.no/mic.nsf/printstory/art2002092610523913169604
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/15/06 09:11 AM

Yes, I have been there !

My mother tells that first time my brother and sister went inside and I (about 2,5 years old) had to wait outside because I was the kind of child that just had to figure out how things work...
And so I declared "When I get big I will go into the orange house !"

Later I have played a few notes of Mozart on the hammerklavier, but I have not tried Chopin's sofa. The cast of Chopin's hand fascinated me though, it was so small...

I studied in Trondheim and our choir had a concert in the barn of Ringve singing Grieg's 4 psalms.

Next year I hope to take my children to the museum, they have never been to Trondheim so they have to see Norway's only cathedral also. smile

As for George Sand, I can not help thinking she was kind of brave - choosing to be intellectual, seductive and even selfish in a world where women were supposed to be "men's delights" only .

How often do we accuse a man for being selfish ?


Ragnhild
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/15/06 09:48 AM

Ragnhild,

Please forgive me for not seeing this shortly after you posted it in the December Piano Bar

Thank you for your kind words, but With the intent to improve my interpretation of this piece, could you please elaborate on this comment:

"maybe I miss a little desperation (that is only IMO)."

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Ragnhild:

Lisztener . Your Moonlight is peaceful and beautiful, maybe I miss a little desperation (that is only IMO). I am sure you will do a great job with the slow movement of the Pathetique. (and then the Rondo )
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't understand what you mean, or how to make it sound desperate.

Thank you for commenting.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/15/06 10:10 AM

Lisztener :

I do not think I can give you advice on the first part of the Moonlight. But when I listen to the 1. page (1. movement) of the Pathetique, my first feeling or thought is despair. I think Moonlight has some of it too.

I have never worked properly and with a teacher on the Moonlight 1. movement. It is though, the only piece I have ever played on a grand - and despair was also then my feeling (might have had other reasons.... wink )

The repeated G#'s (dotted 1/8 + 1/16 + dotted 1/2)
- sometimes also G natural and B - played first in RH then in LH just gives me a feeling of desperate trying or maybe kind of a prayer. But these things are so subjective and you will have to bring your own understanding and emotions to it.

Now we have to be careful not to turn this into a "totally devoted to Beethoven" thread laugh

But Hershey, are you there ?
Maybe you can teach us a little about Beethoven and despair ??

Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/15/06 01:22 PM

Yes, is Hershey there? I have another non musical Chopin question. How did you research Chopin's wardrobe and what did you find out? Did any of Chopin's garments survive?
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/15/06 07:23 PM

Ragnhild,

Quote
Lisztener
The repeated G#'s (dotted 1/8 + 1/16 + dotted 1/2)
- sometimes also G natural and B - played first in RH then in LH just gives me a feeling of desperate trying or maybe kind of a prayer. But these things are so subjective and you will have to bring your own understanding and emotions to it.
I understand and have felt the same emotion on occasion.

Thank you,

Lisztener
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/17/06 12:04 AM

I am concerned about Kathleen. Three or four days ago she had to return from holiday with a bad back - and she hasn't popped in for a while. That's not like her. Kasha, if you are reading this but not able to write, please take care and know that we are thinking about you and wishing you a quick recovery! I am sure that all the Chopin fans on this forum would join me in that.

On the other hand, Hershey's not been around for about the same length of time. Now could they perhaps have ridden off together into the sunset I wonder.... eek
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/17/06 02:11 AM

Quote
On the other hand, Hershey's not been around for about the same length of time. Now could they perhaps have ridden off together into the sunset I wonder.
eek

laugh laugh laugh Hershey is young enough to be my son!! In fact, I was hoping to adopt him. wink

But thanks, MaryRose, for the words of concern.

I'm OK. Just a little lazy and trying to do some catch up with my music.

BTW, I liked your editorial on Sand. Yikes, that picture. Imagine the pair together...kind of like that "Jack Sprat and his wife" nursery rhyme.

While she did have a few (?) good qualities, I just can't forget/forgive those nasty ones.

The only thing I will give her any credit for (if that's the correct word) is taking care of our hero for those years. I believe she did the best she knew how, at least for the first 6 years or so. And he was happy for most of that time, and that's all that counts!

I still wish Jane Stirling would have been around much sooner.

Your quiz is wickedly difficult. I got one, so far.... confused

Best to all,
Kathleen
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/17/06 09:13 PM

Um...back again - sorry for not being around - this unpacking thing really gets the best of you... and god forbid you should head to Clignancourt (the Marche aux Puces - or Flea Market...) you're DONE FOR! And that's where I've been living. Gosh, Paris is fun...at any rate, now more or less properly installed, so first thing's first...

Getting "personal," eh??? (He says oh so slyly - with regard to riding off into the sunset with older women, see above post...) well, because the world knows, and it has been public news for quite a while, I am married to a wonderful brilliant and tremendous woman who is twenty years my senior - and we have been married for eleven years...she is the Right Honourable Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada (the only woman), former Minister of National Defence (the first woman on NATO) and the first woman Attorney General and Justice Minister of the country...needless to say - she is inifinitely more interesting than I am, and plays piano (and cello!!!!) remarkably well - sings (every last work of Gilbert and Sullivan, not to mention a vast knowledge of operatic repertoire) and so on, and so forth. Quite frankly, I am sort of dull, compared... so - going off into the sunset has nothing to do with age dear Kasha! Sadly, bad backs do have everything to do with age - and believe me, at 38, I kvetch a whole lot myself. The running around the stage and six hours a day of piano, can really do you in over years... but I am careful - as must you all be...

now to answer questions...let's scroll up and see...ok...with regard to C#- the Moonlight... despair is good, but approaching it techincally first is better...so, first things first - take away the melody, and place the bass notes carefully, following the harmonic progression. HEAR where you are, and where you are going to. Don't just play notes - but understand from an auditory point of view what the voice leading is. then: practice the "andante" movement... the "walking..." I prefer not too slow, evenly, and also with a very "impressionistic" sound. The pedals are a big deal here - and remember, our pedals and pedalling are not like Beethoven's. We have to compensate. I have a feeling he was looking for a cushion of sound, upon which to place the heartbeats. I don't quite think despair - but I do think heart beats - rather irregular, and crying - but the tone must be a pleading absolue legato tone. (For this, there is no technical explanation - you must use your ears - and adapt as you see fit, but be properly rhythmic, though think "bowing" -or singing - as on the cello, as opposed to pushing notes in time - Everyone will do something different...) Follow through with the movement of the piece - ie: keep it moving. Don't get stuck in it. Always use an impressionistic sound, always have your melody speak as a person accompanied by the andante motion, and always play in tempo, and don't bend any rubati so out of shape that the movement (ie: motion) of the piece changes or is unrecognizeable... this is a place to begin... and as always listen, listen, listen... three different things: Bass rooting our harmonies... inner andante, and then upper register, speech - heart.

Now as to Frycek's wardrobe question...mainly - we just colorized the few photos we had of him, understood that he clearly did not like lots of color (he writes orders to Fontana in his letters - black, or black with some embroidery, blue, dark...) of course we had to liven it up for the stage, after all, it is a fantasia and it must "pop" under lights...and then of course historical reference to traditional late 1840's garb - somewhat empire fashion - but again, designed for the stage to give the "impression." The whole thing is an illusion - sometimes not interpreting something can make it rather dull.

As for George Sand - what can I say - I am now looking out at her window - meters from my nose - looking at her door - knowing that she came in and out for a long time from there - at the time when she let him go... knowing that he would have come to the Odeon - which is just up the street - and knowing that the street looks more or less exactly as it did - knowing that my flat was here, and particularly knowing that besides modern amenities, the decor of my flat, is the same as it was when Chopin was in the neighborhood, because it has been meticulously restored to its origial state (1780's onward...) and funnily enough - my piano arrived on Thursday - and I have been playing in my salon, and I feel as if there is a spirit around watching (totally projected, but fun all the same) and I am playing even more delicately, more internally, not more sadly, but more "easily..." plus facilement... as he would say... and there is strange freedom to playing Chopin (and Debussy et al) in the neighborhood where so much of it was written...

My relative was in for the weekend, we popped into the Louvre (my, how I love saying that) and once again, i visited with the Delacroix Chopin and self portrait... side by side, just about... and this time, i stood very close to the chopin and imagined him in the room, at the pianino, as Delacroix painted, paris, 1838... and Delacroix's last home, where the dual painting (Chopin/Sand) was discovered, and which is now the Delacroix museum...) is just a few blocks away... ah, I so love art and artists!!!

Frycek mentioned that he/she would help posting some images, so I shall send them along for your amusement...

best till next time!

Hersh
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/17/06 10:59 PM

Hershey's Pictures:

The arrival of M., Chopin to teach his lesson, having just seen
George Sand for the last time on the stairs of the Marliani Residence
at Square D'Orleans.

[Linked Image]

At Chopin's actual piano (the one he had in Paris in 1848...at the
Square D'Orleans...) now in the CHopin Society in Warsaw... I was
being filmed on this day at the instrument.

[Linked Image]

My huge fingers on Chopin's tiny delicate keys... the piano itself is
so much smaller than anything we are used to!

[Linked Image]

Shot at Nohant, in the salon at George Sand's piano, (not there when
Chopin was there, but did arrive in '67, I think...) nevertheless, it
is on the spot where Chopin would have premiered so many of his works
composed there, or just upstairs.

[Linked Image]

In M. Chopin, Chopin's arrival in Vienna - playing la Ci Darem La
Mano at the Imperial and Royal Opera House.

[Linked Image]

The really lousy cough in his "cell" in majorca, with the Candle that
he writes about...

[Linked Image]

In some dream, or other...

[Linked Image]

in moving images of Maria Wodzinska, filmed at Lazienki park
in Warsaw - sort of holographic projections that emerge from the
second mvt. of the e minor concerto...

[Linked Image]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/18/06 02:44 PM

WOW and WOW again! eek eek

Those photos are absolutely gorgeous. Thank you Frycek (Hersh, she is a female) for getting them on the forum and thanks to Hersh for making them available to us.

Now the rest of the "group" can see why Hersh is such a remarkable personification of Chopin. It's spooky.

Hersh: Is there ever, ever a chance of M. Chopin being made into a DVD?? I know someone said it was costly to do this. But, gosh, so many people would buy it. And, why couldn't someone just use a camcorder (or such type of simple equipment) to do this? I HAVE to SEE your performance. Listening to it is great but seeing it would be a total life-changing experience for me. And I am not exaggerating.

Your wife sounds as if she may have come from another planet. All her talent, intelligence and wisdom (in chosing you as a husband, for one thing) are surreal. How fortunate you both are, but I'm certain you have both worked extremely hard. Now living in Paris and seeing all those magnificient places is a great reward for all of your labor (of love). 2hearts

Congratulations and continued success to you both. smile smile

Now, I HAVE to put up the Christmas tree before Christmas is over. wink

Regards,
Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/18/06 07:45 PM

Hershey and Frycek - thanks so much for the pictures. What a wonderful Christmas present to us all on the forum.

The thing that surprised me most was the tiny-ness of Chopin's piano. I knew that they had got bigger but I didn't realise it was by that much. Virtuosi today must have an even harder time of reaching all the notes; but then again, it must have been harder to make a "big" sound in the mid C19th.

Love to all you Chopinophiles on a chilly December day here near London.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/18/06 11:25 PM

So true, MaryRose. Of course, Chopin wasn't concerned with making a big sound. However, it might explain why Liszt practiced 10-12 hours a day.

Oh, I was reading about Rubinstein yesterday. Did you know he divorced his wife when he was 90 and married his secretary? He died at 95. His only regret that he didn't get a chance to smoke all the great cigars and taste all the fine wines he had hoped to. He had very large hands, could reach from a C to a G - a 12th. And, once he made it, he didn't have to practice much, often just read the score for a couple of hours.

His only unpleasant times were those terrible minutes of stage fright, which he experienced right to the end. Imagine that.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/18/06 11:37 PM

Another thing about pianos of Chopin's time, that must have made a considerable difference to the sound of his (and others') works: they were tuned differently. They didn't have equal temperament. Hence each key would sound different from all the others, and have a special character of its own.

Maybe that is why Chopin favoured some keys and seemed to dislike others. The one he used most was A flat and the one he used least was D minor.

Kathleen - yes I did know that about Rubinstein's late marriage. It's the one thing I don't like about him. Maybe Alzehiemer's was setting in? What huge hands. I didn't realise they were quite that big. I wish mine were a bit bigger. Maybe stage fright is necessary to get that "edge", that adrenalin flowing?
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/19/06 12:35 AM

I didn't realize that the pianos of Chopin's time were still tuned differently--I guess I thought that went away after Bach's time and all his work on the Well-Tempered Clavier. I have heard many times that we can't play like Chopin because our piano is so different from his, but I didn't understand what that meant. Can anyone fill me in on the other differences?

Friday night is my adult piano recital where I will play Chopin's Nocturne 55/1. I have been playing this piece since May and feel I know it inside and out, but I still worry that I won't be able to properly express the beauty of it to the other people there. Does anyone have suggestions about how to prepare for a public performance of a piece with such feeling like so many of Chopin's? It almost seems like it needs to be played alone to be in the proper atmosphere.

Nancy
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/19/06 01:18 AM

Nancy, when Bach wrote the WTC he was celebrating what was then a modern form of tuning. For three centuries, up until 1700ish, "meantone" had been prevalent. This meant that some intervals were so dissonant as to be unusable so it was quite restrictive. "Well temperament" is where all keys/intervals are usable but some are more dissonant than others, giving them a particular character. This lasted from 1700 to around 1880.

In the late C19th we got "equal temperament" which most people still use today: dissonance is spread equally among the intervals and no one key is more acceptable than another. This means that we have got rid of the "worst" but also got rid of the "best" sounding keys, giving an overall uniformity (and comparative blandness). I hope I've made this clear - I don't feel very eloquent tonight!

I have never heard Chopin played in any form of well temperament - I imagine he was so sensitive to such things that he'd have used the different characters of the keys to the full. One day I would like to own a well-tempered Pleyel piano. The other day I saw a Pleyel 1845 Pianino for sale - like the second piano that Chopin used during lessons. If only....

Good luck with your Nocturne on Friday. I'm afraid I have no advice as I just wouldn't be able to play Chopin in front of a crowd. His music is too personal for me. Just pretend you are alone, maybe? Do you have a good imagination? Let us know how you get on thumb
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/19/06 03:06 AM

Thanks, Maryrose. I appreciate your encouragement and your information. I certainly understand what you mean about his music being personal.

About the equal temperament--does this mean that a piece written in C minor sounds the same as one written in E minor? I have always wondered how composers choose a key for a piece. If they all sound the same, then it seems everything would be written in C Major and A minor for simplicity.

Nancy
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/19/06 08:33 AM

Thank you Hershey and Frycek for the wonderful pictures - especially the background dream of the Lazienki-park - wish I could have seen the play.

Good luck with your performance Nancy, forget about the listeners and enjoy Chopin's music !

I was really so happy to see the "small grand" piano - so I can go on playing Chopin on my tiny little piano even if it's not well-tempered wink

Written by NancyM333:
Quote
About the equal temperament--does this mean that a piece written in C minor sounds the same as one written in E minor? I have always wondered how composers choose a key for a piece. If they all sound the same, then it seems everything would be written in C Major and A minor for simplicity.
C minor will never sound as E minor because a C is a C (whit its characteristic frequency) and an E is an E wink
With equal temperament the oktave (eighth C-C) is divided into 12 equal parts - the ratio between C and C# will be the same as between E and F and between A and A#.

This implicates that in every key the fifth will not be perfect but near-to and the ratio of the two notes in the fifth will be the same in every key. If you want to hear a perfect fifth, though, you would have to listen to a (good) choir or a string quartet. The same goes for the fourth and the third.

Before the well-tempered tradition the harpsichord was tuned on the key to play with perfect fifths and thirds, but any other keys (exept the parallel minor/major) would sound a little out of tune - this was not so big a problem since the harpsichord has to be tuned very often wink I am more concerned about how the church organs sounded....

The principle of well-tempering I am not sure of.


Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/19/06 03:31 PM

Good luck, Nancy. I have to agree (what...are we twins or something?) with MaryRose that I find it difficult to play Chopin for anyone but myself.

The only advice I can offer you (and this is difficult to put in words) is to play this nocturne with as much elegance and grace that you can find within. Use a tad of rubato...here and there, to bring out the melody line. Chopin used to say: "Put your soul into it." And I think that's where the trouble lies. We can do this when we are playing alone. But in front of others, it's almost impossible to "bear ourselves" in such a way.

And, and this is rather silly, I guess, offer it to Chopin as a gift for all the beautiful music he had created...including this one.

Break a leg..., as they say in show biz. laugh
Let us know how it went.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/19/06 07:14 PM

Quote
Originally posted by NancyM333:
If they all sound the same, then it seems everything would be written in C Major and A minor for simplicity.

Nancy
Even if all keys did sound the same, I still don't think that C major/A minor would be the first choice for pianists. OK, they are easier to sightread because of having no accidentals; but they do not fit the hands so easily when playing. And sight-reading a piece at the beginning is only a small part of learning, isn't it.

I believe that Chopin taught the scale of B major first, and C major last, as being the one that fit the hand least naturally (no pun intended!)
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/20/06 12:28 AM

Yes, Maryrose, I can now see how much better B fits the hand than C. I often wondered if composers had a particularly complex passage in mind and then chose the key that would make that passage possible. Who knows? Their minds are so different from mine that I can't begin to imagine how they work.

Hmmm...I'm thinking more on that C Major/A minor thing. You know, it really isn't that easy to play in that key now that I think about it, especially to play fast.

Kathleen, thanks for your good thoughts. I have really slowed the piece down (by 20 seconds, about as much as I can do, so now I play it in 5 minutes even) so that it sounds more solemn to me. If people fall asleep (that was my worry when I began playing it faster--that it dragged too much for an audience), then I hope they won't disturb my concentration with their snoring! I think I have to feel good about how I'm playing it or I will never "put my soul into it."

I'm also playing two easy duets with two different partners, so hopefully I'll work my nerves out with those and be fully relaxed when it's time for 55/1.

Nancy
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/20/06 12:59 AM

Nancy - you have already proved to us with your recording that you really know that Nocturne well. So all you have to do is to give it every ounce of feeling you possess, at Friday's performance. I love Kathleen's idea of offering it to Chopin as a gift. And it's a good idea to have slowed it a little.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/20/06 01:32 AM

Nancy: If anyone starts snoring ( eek ), they don't belong in the audience...in the first place. Not that this would ever happen, I'm, sure. And I know you were just kidding. thumb

But people nowadays are so used to having everything "fast." From food service to action-packed movies to microwave dinners to multi-tasking and on and on. It's one of the reasons why our young people can't concentrate for more than two minutes on anything. These kids were raised by Sesame Street. Everything was quick and pleasing to the eye. Instead of this show educating, it created a generation of slow or poor learners and also people who need immediate gratification. Oopppsss, on my soapbox again.

As MaryRose mentioned, we have heard you play the nocturne here on the forum, and you must take our word for it....you play it beautifully. So have no fear. smile smile

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/22/06 12:51 AM

I can see that dear Chopin is about to slip on to the next page. We can't have that. So I thought I would share with you what George Sand's daughter Solange said about Chopin. She was one of the small handful of close friends and family who were present at his deathbed. Solange said the following when she was an old lady, looking back at the dear friend and almost-father that she once had:


"Chopin! The exquisite soul, the marvellous and unique genius, with his tenderness, resignation, and sense of honour! With his perfect manners, his amiable spirit, his light-hearted and gentle irony, his boundless generosity…all aspects of generosity: that of spirit, emotions, talent, and purse. I grew up under the spell of his piano, and the magic of his divine music has remained in my heart together with the all too rare, sweet and grateful memories of my childhood. .... Chopin was like no other; no one resembles him, even remotely. And no one will ever be able to explain adequately enough what he was like. What a martyr’s death, what a tortured life for such a perfect and pure creature. He is surely in heaven….if…”
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/22/06 01:04 AM

MaryRose: Solange's description of Chopin and what he meant to her, are, without a doubt, the most heart-breaking words I've read in a long, long time. I was moved to tears.

It seems she knew him better that he knew himself, perhaps. And, most certainly, better than her mother.

It's no wonder Chopin cared for her so, as a daughter.

Thank you for sharing.

Never fear...it is my station in life, NEVER to let our site slip to page 2.

Kathleen
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/22/06 02:40 AM

Thank you all so much for your support. I do think I can play it well. I played it for a student at work this week, and I only forgot a small, forgiving section. I have worked out the tempo to a compromise I can live with--not so fast as to make me feel I am betraying Chopin's intention, and not so slow so I feel I am putting people to sleep. Tomorrow is the real test. The tradition at these recitals is that the performers are handed a glass of wine right after they've finished, which makes that the sweetest glass of the season. Sometimes, though, I think it would be helpful to get it a little earlier than that!

I will take everyone's good wishes with me as I play. Thank you all so much for your emotional generosity.

Nancy
Posted By: teachum

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/22/06 02:41 AM

Chopin is always on my music desk. I'm sure my PT is frustrated at times because I keep promising to learn something different, but keep coming back to Chopin. Nothing is quite as satisfying as his music. Not even sure how I came to love it so much. It just happened. I do force myself to play other things, but it's always, *okay, now I have done my duty, I can play my Chopin's now.*
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/22/06 08:45 PM

Nancy33: By now, you are either anxiously awaiting your performance or it's over. Yes, maybe just a few sips of wine could very well take the edge off.

So eager to hear how it went. Please let us know.

teachum:
You bring up a question that has been dwelling within me for a long, long time. Like you, I also always come back to Chopin. In truth, I don't stray too often or too far at all. And, I know you and I are not alone in the draw he has on us.

My question is this: Is there a particular personality type/or character trait that is present in some people that makes them so moved by Chopin's music that it borders on almost a worship-type of attraction?

Most music lovers do like Chopin, some a little more than others. While we...well, to put it quite bluntly, do like other composers' music, but none holds our soul in its hands as does Chopin's.

Why do you think that is so?

How is a Beethoven or Mozart or Bach lover different that we are??

Or is there any difference at all?

I'd really like to hear any of your comments out there. Can you put it in words? I find it quite difficult, if not impossible.

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/23/06 01:44 AM

Ssshhhhhh! Don't tell anyone. But a couple of us have decided that we are going to make an all-out effort to get our thread the biggest yet on the ABF. But that entails beating out the "page 1" thread by Super Hunky.

However, this is not just going to be a "war of words," but an honest and sincere desire to educate, entertain and enthrall each other with facts and even fallacies about our hero.

No item is too small for posting. It can simply be one sentence. Or, if you prefer, more lengthy. The only requirement is that it be of some interest to those who might not know a lot about Chopin, his life and his music and the huge and every-expanding influence it has impacted on the world of music. Of course, anything and everything is open for discussion.

I'll begin.

Imagine you had a 6 year old child...you wrote and gave you this verse on your name's day.

When the world declares the festivity of your name-day, my Papa, it brings joy to me also, with these wishes;

that you may live happily,
may not know grevious cares,
that God may always favour you with the fate you desire,
these wishes I express for your sake.

F. Chopin... to his father on his name's day...
when Chopin was but 6 years old.

Is it any wonder that a child of such tender sensitivities would not grow to be a man of compassion and genius??

Kathleen
Posted By: Mountain Ash

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/23/06 03:49 AM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
My question is this: Is there a particular personality type/or character trait that is present in some people that makes them so moved by Chopin's music that it borders on almost a worship-type of attraction?
Is there a personality trait? Well of course:
1. Intelligence.
2. Attractiveness.
3. Class.

No seriously, I think that it could have something to do with music resonating with our personalities.

I would imagine that people who have a thin skin, who are affected deeply by life's issues, and perhaps even those who battle with depression, would identify and feel the power in Chopins genious.

Some people seem to float along in a jovial manner in life, and perhaps they resinate with Mozart more!?!?
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/23/06 04:40 AM

I am back from my recital and wrote up my assessment of it on the Nocturne Study thread.

I will say here that at the recital more advanced pianist played a different Chopin Nocturne that I had never heard before. I'll have to look up the number and let you know what it was. And she had the kindness to tell me afterward that she had been wanting to learn the 55/1 but wasn't sure if it was too hard for her!

Nancy
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/23/06 05:59 PM

Mountain Ash: You do raise an interesting point about people who are battling depression might connect with Chopin more readily.

I don't consider myself having a thin skin. By this, I mean I "don't sweat the small stuff because it's all small stuff." Maybe I've achieved this attitude by just the common sense or wisdom that comes with age. I'm 67.

A friend once said that Chopin wrote a lot of sad music. And I told her that this might appear so. But actually, if one really listens, it isn't sad at all.

There is a yearning in all of his music, both the lively mazurkas and the more somber ballades.

And it is this yearning that gets to me. Yearning for what? I really don't know.

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/23/06 08:09 PM

Well, I finally got my "Chopin Room" in order. Actually it's my office, but I decorated it with Chopin's pictures, posters etc. Also have a wall devoted to Hershey.

My bookcase... [Linked Image]

Above my Clavinova
[Linked Image]

Hershey's wall
[Linked Image]

Hey, some people collect license plates or salt/pepper shakers.... laugh

Kathleen
Posted By: The Emperor

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/23/06 08:56 PM

I don't think Chopin's music is really sad, surely isn't happy which is something i really don't like most of the time in music.
It's just as a lot of emotion in it, and imo that's why it appeals to so many people.
Posted By: sophial

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/23/06 09:11 PM

HI
I just finished reading "Chopin's Funeral" by Benita Eisler and awhile ago read "Beethoven the Universal Composer" by Morris-- both very interesting. What strikes me is that 1) these are extremely complex people with both incredibly wonderful and amazingly difficult aspects to their personalities, although some of that no doubt was the effect of the health problems and treatments (Beethoven was found to have probably had lead poisoning) and that 2) despite health problems that would have rendered most people nonfunctional, they wrote amazing masterpieces that will live as long as music is played during times of horrendous physical suffering and impairment.

I would have loved to have sat at the table at Nohant with Chopin and Sand, and Lizst and Marie d'Agoult. what a conversation that would have been!

Sophia
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/23/06 10:42 PM

Sophia: I agree that it is beyond comprehension that these two composers and many others were able to achieve what they did. They were not made of "ordinary stuff."

I would love to sit at that table also but not with Sand or d'Agoult. Neither had anything to say that would have interested me at all. Definitely, Del la Croix and Schumann although I doubt Chopin would have liked the latter there.

Kathleen
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/24/06 07:58 PM

A Wall???? My own WALL????

Well, I'll be....

smile smile smile

Now I have to send Frycek some interesting Chopiniana that no one really has seen, like 9/2 - the re-handwritten manuscript of the cadenza - which I now have in my possession in Chopin's own hand.

Also - I just noticed a plaque today on my building here in Paris. Not only did Sand live meters from my apartment in 1848 - BUT Malibran was born in my building in 1808. What a neighborhood! And of course, on other more recent notes, Guernica was painted around the corner - Wilde died just a few blocks down, Chopin himself lived around the Luxembourg prior to the Place Vendome residence... really what a place!!!

Enjoy the holidays, my best to all!

Hersh
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/24/06 10:08 PM

On a truly lighter note, this morning I awoke from a dream staring Our Favorite Pole. He was dressed in a dark grey Armani suit and looked like he did in his handsomer portraits. He and I were seated in a small sporty car. I appeared as a short skirted young woman. I was trying to teach Our Friend to drive. He was a good sport but a very poor pupil. He drove too fast and had only a rudimentary grasp of the function of a red light. Yes, we did attract the attention of the police. Our friend was very wry, amusing and apologetic and spoke with Hershey's Accent.

And Hersh, whenever there are more pictures to be posted my jpgs are at your disposal.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/24/06 11:17 PM

Hersh: I wish I had a larger pic of you to frame, then I could have given you a bigger wall. I hate to have put you in that small corner. :rolleyes:

What an historical and absolutely intriguing area you write about. And to actually live there is something most of us could only dream of. It is such a pleasure reading your delightful descriptions of these wonderful places. You sound like a child in a toy store...so obviously overwhelmed with it all. And who could blame you?? thumb

What a strange coincidence. I was just trying to get through the 9/2 today. I haven't played it in a long time, but it is so calming and seemed like the perfect day to pull it out of the piano bench. The 55.1 is starting to give me nightmares. I could never figure out (I've seen photos of Chopin's handwritten manuscripts...he wrote so small. How could anyone decipher all those notes squeezed in a relatively small measure?) We look forward to seeing the cadenza.

I imagine Christmas in Paris, with all those lights, must be something to see. I hope yours was a happy one, and of course, my sincerest wishes for a successful and healthy New Year.

Frycek: You had me chuckling while reading your description of giving our hero driving lessons. I can just picture him in an Armani suit (what else would have been good enough?). Did he insist on driving gloves? And yes, I can also believe that he would have a difficult time with traffic lights and speed limits, He never was one to do what everyone else did. And, of course, he certainly did charm that traffic cop, no doubt about that....with Hershey's accent! How perfect. wink

You both made my day. smile

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/24/06 11:41 PM

I've only been away a couple of days and there is so much to reply to!

Nancy - so glad that your recital went well. I was thinking of you. Congratulations!

Kathleen - what attracts us to Chopin? It seems that he also attracted people during his lifetime with a unique magnetism. He had many, many good and faithful friends who truly loved him and wrote eulogies about him. I think that his music is very much a reflection of the person he was - in real life he was a very private person, but in his music he unstintingly reveals his soul to anyone who cares to listen. And that soul is beautiful. He is very human. We recognise that in him, and it makes some of us love him very much.

I don't think I am depressive or thin-skinned, but I never tire of listening to the secrets that Chopin reveals about his inner self, in his music.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/25/06 02:31 AM

So lovingly stated, MaryRose. I agree.

He was a private person, but he still had so many loyal and true friends, who obviously saw in him what he could not see himself.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/25/06 07:59 AM

Yesterday Hershey gave us a flavour of his area of Paris. La Malibran, who was born in the very same building, was connected with Chopin to an extent. The younger sister of this opera diva was Pauline Viardot, with whom Chopin spent happy hours at the piano in Nohant where they played and sang through whole operas together. Sand wrote something like "Chopin and Viardot together - that is quite something" as indeed it must have been.

It's Christmas day here in England. Warm greetings to you all!
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/25/06 04:54 PM

Caricature of Chopin teaching Pauline Viardot at the piano. The caption reads, "That's the way Liszt plays. It's unnecessary to accompany the voice." It was drawn by Maurice Sand, Chopin's arch enemy, and is unkind to both portrayed.
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/25/06 08:44 PM

I actually think that our Chopin looks rather stylish in this, Frycek!
Posted By: sophial

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/25/06 09:37 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Sophia: I agree that it is beyond comprehension that these two composers and many others were able to achieve what they did. They were not made of "ordinary stuff."

I would love to sit at that table also but not with Sand or d'Agoult. Neither had anything to say that would have interested me at all. Definitely, Del la Croix and Schumann although I doubt Chopin would have liked the latter there.

Kathleen
Hi Kathleen
Merry Christmas! and in the spirit of good will to all (even George Sand) I'd have to say that even though she was a deeply flawed person in many ways, she was likewise someone who seems to have had great charisma and energy, who drew people to her (and repelled them) and was probably very complex and interesting herself. Her sins against Solange are probably greater than any she committed against Chopin, who probably was not the easiest person to live with either, from some biographies. "Interesting" is not the same as "admirable". She was quite ahead of her time in terms of women and their role in society. It is quite sad she was not there for him in his last days.
These were flawed, complex people-- with contradictory parts within each one. I think they are far more interesting as such rather than as one dimensional saints or demons. So, around that table there was no doubt genius, beauty, vanity, gossip, generosity,selfishness, nobility of spirit, pettiness-- i.e. humanity at its best and worst. I'd find that interesting.

Hope you are all having a lovely day!

Sophia
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/25/06 10:39 PM

Sophia (what a lovely name you have): I don't think that there actually was an instance of Chopin/Liszt/d'Agoult/Sand being around the table at Nohant. However I agree that it would have been fascinating to be a fly on the wall at such a gathering. I imagine that Liszt would have held the audience with the force of his personality; Chopin would have put in a sparkling witticism now and then but taken a back seat; Sand would have been quiet, as was her habit - probably taking mental notes for a future novel; and d'Agoult would have been trying to be interesting but really out of her depth.

I agree that George Sand was a worse mother than she was lover (and that is saying something).
Posted By: sophial

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 02:12 PM

Hello Maryrose (talk about lovely names!)

Perhaps it was not at Nohant but at another of their homes? well, it's an interesting scene to think about anyway. yes, d'Agoult was probably the lightweight of the bunch and Liszt a force of nature.

Sophia
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 03:14 PM

First and foremost, MaryRose and Sophia...your names paint a perfect picture of your personalities and intelligence. At least, that is what is coming across to me. I am partial to the name, Mary. My mother's name was Mary Eve. She would have been 95 this Christmas Eve. I wanted to name my daughter Mary Kathryn, but I was voted down.

Getting back to the "table." I have never been able to figure out the attraction that Sand had for so many people, mostly men. She was not a beauty, but that didn't seem to matter. What is surprising is that during an era when women were not given much, if any, credence, she attracted so many reasonally intelligent men. Not all, of course. I would think that men of that time (even of this time) would have been intiminated by her.

You are correct, Sophia, that these people were flawed, but, of course, that is what makes them so appealing. We sometimes think of geniuses of the past as "not human."

And I do agree that Sand was a century before her time. I read quite a bit about her a few days ago, and her life was a "lively" one. Yes, interestesting and admirable are two different things. But I am one of those people who has to find a person admirable before I am willing to invest any respect for them. I know no one is perfect, but the good has to outweigh the bad, so to speak. While she made herself out as a "giver," she was a "taker," big time. I don't think any of the others at that table could be classified as such.

More later, my battery is running low. Great conversation....

Regards to all,
Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 03:40 PM

Sophia - yes I'm sure the famous foursome had many times of togetherness in Paris. Liszt and d'Agoult stayed with Sand at Nohant for quite a while but without Chopin. It has even been suggested that Sand and Liszt got it together between the sheets at some point but I have no idea if that is true.

Kathleen - I hope you refer to computer batteries and not human batteries? Actually the name "Mary" means "bitter" and I hope I'm not that. Well, maybe I am in my railings against some aspects of Sand's behaviour cursing

I think that George Sand's attraction must have been her originality, inner strength and aura of motherliness - albeit that the latter was a bit of a thin veneer. Chopin didn't seem to go for mere beauty although he does express a preference for dark-haired women and, as we know, she was certainly that - almost a gypsy in colouring. I am sure that Chopin was deeper than the type of man who looks just at the externals; for example, Maria Wodzinska wasn't beautiful (though again, she was dark) but she was musical and was later in life described as an interesting person who entertained Polish poets and artists at her Florentine villa before retiring to Poland.

I wonder if she dreamed wistfully of Chopin in her later years? I wonder if she cursed George Sand?
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 03:42 PM

PS Kathleen - Sand was also very attractive to women. Pauline Viardot adored her and she is said to have had a lesbian affair with the actress Marie Dorval. So she must have had a lot going for her. It's easier for us to see her faults in hindsight; her friends would not have had all the evidence to hand, as we do.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 04:57 PM

I don't imagine Liszt and Sand ever made it to bed. Liszt was too robust for her taste as a lover, they related as "male" friends. At the time Liszt and Sand were close George was interested in Liszt's mistress Marie D'Agout. The ramifications of that triangle would've been a bit too messy even for Liszt at his wildest.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 05:22 PM

eek
Whoa...what fodder for a soap opera!! Wouldn't it be great if some intelligent person put on a daily drama like the ones currently on TV.

At least the characters in "our" story have some substance and certainly would rise above the insipid and shallow plots and actors of the modern TV soaps.

But, of course, this would never happen because it would be too intelligent a story to tell.

Oh, something just came to mind.

Have any of you ever sensed that some people thought you aloof or snobbish?? I have the feeling that this is how I am perceived by a few people.

Why?

Because I like classical music and can play it on the piano (fairly well) and know the lives of famous composers, etc.

Also my vocabulary often takes off with some choice words that normally are not a part of everyday conversation. I "blame" this on my second passion, reading. The more I read, the more often these words find voice. It is completely unconscious on my part. I mean when was the last time you used the word "vainglorious?" I don't recall reading this word, but I used it recently, and everyone at the table looked at me strangely.

I'm probably the most unsnobbish person I know. But it is interesting how being just a little different can set you apart from the rest of the "maddening" crowd.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 05:47 PM

Kathleen - it's certainly good to be amongst people who understand one's interests without thinking along the lines of "snob". You are most certainly neither a snob nor aloof! I have to admit that I live with someone superior to me both intellectually and educationally so I don't suffer from that, exactly. I'm more prone to feeling stupid, unsophisticated and ignorant eek However I think I've said before that it is such a relief to have at last "met" (albeit in cyberspace) some folk whose feelings about Chopin are similar to mine. It's the best thing that happened to me in 2006.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 06:47 PM

The thrill of finding true Chopin lovers is definitely one of the biggest highlights in my life. I always thought my passion for his music might be a little "unhealthy." But now I am so pleased to have found others who feel the same.

This means we can just ramble and blah to each other to our hearts' content and be perfectly secure in the knowledge that we're not nuts!!

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 07:02 PM

I just came across this photo of George's son Maurice Sand - pupil of Delacroix, failed artist and puppeteer. Doesn't he look like his mother! Except that he has a firmer chin.
[Linked Image]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 07:15 PM

Where do you find these things, Mary Rose? confused

Yes, he does look like his mother with the exception of the mustache. Of course, with Sand penchant for wanting to look like a male, she might have grown one somewhere down the line. laugh

Boy, I hated him as a kid. But, in some ways, it is reasonable to understand why he disliked Chopin so much. He wanted his mother all to himself...very common with young boys (and even men, sometimes).

Did you ever find out if Solange and her brother got along as adults, or were they astranged?

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 07:41 PM

Benita Eisler makes the good point that Chopin got on very well with both children for quite a few years - which said a lot about his charm considering that they met under such difficult circumstances (the Majorca nightmare). I think that Chopin and Maurice became gradually estranged as Maurice reached adulthood.

At that point Maurice's behaviour seemed to become worse and worse as he first had an affair with the married Pauline Viardot at Nohant and then seduced his young cousin, apparently both with his mother's approval; he also got rid of all the old servants at the first opportunity - all behaviours which would have been anathema to Chopin.

Maurice's (probably half-) sister Solange seems never to have been fully accepted back at Nohant, and she had an unhappy life, losing babies, failing as a writer and going from man to man.

This picture is the nicest one I have found of her - it is by her husband Clesinger, the sculptor who designed Chopin's tomb, and whom she left permanently in 1855 (I think with good reason).
[Linked Image]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 08:06 PM

Thank you so much MaryRose. What a wealth of information you are.

When you think of it, both Solange and Maurice were bound to live unhapppy and unfulfilled lives. Their childhood was hardly stable, to say the least. While their mother cared for them physically (kept a roof over their heads and food in their mouths), she could never provide the strong emotional support and real mother love that they needed. I think she put herself first, in all things. Even though she was very good at playing the martyr. Imagine growing up with a mother who had so many lovers around, men and women, alike. Like a revolving door. And I doubt if she was discrete about her affairs. How could a mother allow her children to witness all this?

I guess I'm a little old fashion in my thinking. Although Sand was highly regarded by many for her courage in seeking equal treatment for women and later for her political views, I believe her first responsibility was to her children. And here, she failed miserably. She just went through the motions in this respect. Her heart and passion were somewhere else. Either in the bedroom or on the written page.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/26/06 10:21 PM

Unfair as life is, I think that Maurice was reasonably happy. He shared with his mother an unawareness that the trouble he caused, so had little disturbance from his conscience. He married later in life and had a comfortable family existence.

I think George Sand did try to be discreet about her affairs - for example she insisted that her own bedroom be well separate from theirs. But children gather what is going on, don't they!
Posted By: sophial

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/27/06 12:04 AM

What great pictures ! Thanks Kathleen and Maryrose-- this is a fascinating conversation. I agree Sand was by the standards of our time incredibly insensitive to her daughter in particular. I have to remind myself that our ideas about child rearing, child psychology and the relationships between parents and children have evolved considerably from the early-to-mid 19th century, when it was not unusual to have children raised by servants or sent to boarding schools (for the wealthy) or work houses or indentured servitude (for the poor). Having said that, though, she treated Solange quite badly from accounts I've read, no matter how one looks at it.


Sophia
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/27/06 12:13 AM

I agree with you, Sophia. However one good thing that she did for Solange was to give her an education equal to Maurice's. Many girls had no eduction to speak of - even daughters of the upper classes. Of course, this might also have been to get rid of Solange who sometimes begged to be allowed back home from school
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/27/06 05:04 AM

Up for commentary, here's an item I found for sale on ebay, a 19th century French minature painting on ivory, identified as George Sand. They want $400 for it.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/27/06 01:17 PM

Well... for that price it obviously has no provenance whatsoever. Reminds me of a violin that I saw for sale on Ebay "labelled Stradivarius" for which they were asking £300. I suppose if you write the word "Stradivarius" on a label and stick it on a violin then, yes, strictly speaking you are selling a violin labelled Stradivarius.

Moreover the picture doesn't look like her. But you are more knowledgeable about Ebay and about antiques than I am, Frycek; what do you think?
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/27/06 02:02 PM

I think someone is selling a halfway decent, somewhat appealing minature with the label "George Sand" stuck on it. It may be someone's fanciful depiction of George, or it may just be some cute dandy.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/27/06 02:32 PM

Well, even if it were Sand, I wouldn't pay .04 for it. But then you all know how I feel about her. bah

It's amazing that E-bay is always coming up with these "new finds." Where were these "treasures" hiding before? I'm always checking e-bay for Chopin stuff, and there only seems to be the same things up for sale. :rolleyes:

I did have an idea of making you all a mouse pad with Chopin's picture on it. laugh Easy to do with a special mouse pad kit. However, I gave it some serious thought and realized none of us would like rolling our mouse across our hero's face. eek

But if any of you wouldn't mind, let me know. smile

Now, trying to get my house back in order after my daughter and her dog and cat leave.

Also, I have to find a way to practice in the living room on my grand for at least sessions of 45 minutes or so without my "brat" yapping her head off. mad

Regards and affection to all,
Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/27/06 02:46 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
However, I gave it some serious thought and realized none of us would like rolling our mouse across our hero's face. eek

Kathleen is wise.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/27/06 02:53 PM

I don't have a mouse. I have too many cats for that to be possible. I used to have a nipple (ha!) and now have a touch pad - I love my touch pad.

I have in my possession a miniature of my great-great grandfather. I wonder if I could label it "Chopin" and sell it for a fortune on Ebay?

(Just kidding).
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/27/06 03:17 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Frycek:

[Linked Image]
Isn't this Miss Hathaway, Mr. Drysdale's secretary?

wink

Mel
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/27/06 03:34 PM

Of course you're kidding!! thumb

But if times ever get tough, you might have to change your mind (with a heartfelt apology to your great-great grandfather [I'm certain he would understand]) and put it up for sale.

To actually have something that old is a real treasure. On second thought, you will just have to keep it. If things get tough, let me know. I have a slush fund (or mad money) and would be glad to lend you a few pounds. smile

I have never been able to get used to my touchpad. It's too quirky, and I can never find the pointer. But paying $30 for a mouse every few months (I drop them on the floor and they cracked) is getting tiresome and costly.

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/27/06 03:37 PM

Mel: Are you referring to the Beverly Hills...something or other? Probably the worst program EVER on TV...a close tie with Gilligan;s Island.

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/28/06 12:53 PM

I'm starting a little early (it's not quite the New Year), but I am taking the challenge to make this thread the biggest on the forum quite seriously, and I want to contribute informative, interesting and items for discussion or conjecture on a daily basis...hoping some of my posts will "take off" on their own.

(An aside: I woke at 3 this morning. The reason...I ate 3 chocolate bars before retiring, and everyone knows chocolate contains caffeine. So I am wide awake at this ungodly hour and will probably fall asleep on the couch at 2 p.m.) frown

For today:
I have several books (bios, mostly) on Chopin, but none seems to be an infinitive source of good and valid information. Can any of you suggest a book that is a "must have" regarding Chopin...his life and his music. Maybe there isn't any ONE, but surely there has to be one that's pretty close. Can anyone help me out? Thanks,

HERSH: If you're out there, can you suggest any? I remember your mentioning a professor at a college that you used as a excellent reference. Did he write a book? Never mind. I found the book on Amazon. It's called "Chopin at the Boundaries" by Jeffrey Kallberg...for those who might be interested.

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

As I was scrolling though all the pages in this thread, looking for the book Hershey mentioned, I thought it might be helpful if I started an Index of the information listed. There is just so much good stuff here, and it would really be great if we could just hop to the right page to look up something we might have forgotten.

I wonder if it would be best to create a whole new thread that was just entitled: Index for Totally Devoted to Chopin" or could this create some problems with other forumites who aren't that ga ga over Chopin?

What do you think? (Boy, my caffeine high is certainly making itself evident!!)

Kathleen
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/28/06 03:17 PM

Heya!

Sorry haven't been around - Paris tends to do that to you!!!!

The name of the book that i made reference to is - in french, CHOPIN VUE PAR SES ELEVES - in English, Chopin Teacher, as Seen by His Pupils - the image of Chopin teaching Viardot, posted further up on the thread - on the cover. Probably available through Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. By far THE Chopin Bible. Do read it, and you will see why. It is full of the real thing - from folks who were there, from Chopin himself - and the provenance is spectacular. As far as I am concerned it is the only REAL collections of Chopiniana when it comes to his music and the performance of it - in terms of what he left us.

Let me know your thoughts...

In the next week, i am going to get around to posting stuff from Paris that i have a feeling you will enjoy VERY much --you'll see... smile smile

Happy holidays!

Hersh
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/28/06 03:23 PM

Thanks, Hershey!

I found this link:


Chopin


I just ordered it.

Mel
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/28/06 03:26 PM

I got my copy on ebay. It shows up there from time to time. Great book.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/28/06 03:28 PM

I have that book! And have read it in sections over the past three years.

Now I am going to start from the beginning and take it slowly chapter by chapter and hope it all sinks in. There is so much information within.

I was really so disappointed to learn that he was working on a "theory" book, starting right from the beginning (for us novices). Wasn't that wonderful of him to do so? However, it never got finished...sad.

Thanks Hersh, but I still ordered that book by Kallberg from the Internet. Can't hardly blame you for not being around...with Paris in the background. Sure beats Rockford, IL laugh

Hi Mel: What are you playing now?

Kathleen
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/28/06 03:46 PM

I'm working on the Chopin Waltz No.14 in e minor Op. Posth. for the Feb. recital, and the Heroic Polonaise, for a lot later. smile

Felix Blumenfeld wrote a set of 24 Preludes, Op.17 that are based on Chopin's Preludes. I'm working on Nos.15 and 21.

Blumenfeld's music is gorgeous, and has been essentially lost for 100 years.

It's a tremendous joy to play music that is almost unknown and help spread it around.

Mel
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/28/06 04:31 PM

Where are his recordings/sheet music available?

Kathleen
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/28/06 05:14 PM

I'll send you a few cuts from the CD.

In the meantime, you can here samples here:


Blumenfeld Preludes and Impromptus


My favorite is No.15, but I also love Nos. 5, 7, 19, 21, and 22, and all the rest!

You can really hear Chopin's influence, but with Blumenfeld's amazingly beautiful and haunting harmonies.

I just got this CD a few days ago from the Amazon partner mrdavis for only $11.00!

The sheet music is in the public domain, and you can get it here, Op.17:


Blumenfeld Sheets


Mel
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/28/06 07:12 PM

Thanks Mel. It looks very HARD! Yikes. But I agree about the Chopin influence.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/28/06 08:39 PM

dannylux - I remember playing that Chopin posthumous waltz when I was a kid. Unusually for Chopin, it actually sounds harder than it is, doesn't it. It's great fun to play. I must try to get up to speed on it again (which will take me forever now).

Kathleen - I read the Kallberg book earlier this year. It is really a collection of essays, and has some interesting insights into how Chopin has been viewed over the years. I found it a bit heavy-going in parts though, I must confess.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/29/06 09:12 AM

I've posted this before awhile back but it might bear repeating here. Apparently this is not widely known.

This gent is Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski and Fredryck Chopin's first cousin, a son of Chopin's maternal uncle. He was a brigader general in the Union Army. Check out the link. As you can see from the backwards date (1867) in the upper right hand corner, the negative has been reversed.
[Linked Image]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wlodzimierz_Krzyzanowski
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/29/06 11:46 AM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Thanks Mel. It looks very HARD! Yikes. But I agree about the Chopin influence.

Kathleen
I've been practicing the 15th Prelude for about a week now, and I'd say it's harder than the Chopin f minor Nocturne, but easier than the Op.48 c minor Nocturne.

So it's definitely playable.

Quote
Originally posted by maryrose:
dannylux - I remember playing that Chopin posthumous waltz when I was a kid. Unusually for Chopin, it actually sounds harder than it is, doesn't it. It's great fun to play. I must try to get up to speed on it again (which will take me forever now).
Maryrose, yes I agree, it is easier to play than it sounds. Except for the last page, which is as hard as it sounds, and maybe even harder. It really demands a lot from the 4th and 5th fingers!

I try to imagine how the 19 year old Chopin would have played this glorious Waltz. With ardor and passion, maybe?

I've listened to a bunch of recordings of the e minor Waltz, and Lipatti's is by far the best (of course). He had that incredibly light and crisp, sensitive and expressive touch, and his tempo is, I think, perfect at mm=240. The slowest I've heard it played is mm=180, which is just too slow, although it's beautiful, even at that speed. Mischa Levitzki plays it at mm=280 in his Nov.1927 recording, and after accelerating on the last page, ends at over 300. His other 1924 recording is slightly slower, but wonderfully expressive and colorful.

Well, lets face it. I have no hope of playing that last big right-hand e minor arpeggio up and down the whole keyboard at mm=300 for the Feb. recital. It's only a month and a half away.

I'll be extremely happy to get it at 220-240.

We'll see.

Mel
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/29/06 12:33 PM

Mel, I totally agree with you - Lipatti's interpretation of the Waltzes is beyond improvement. Another example of someone who should have been allowed to stay on this earth a little longer...
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/29/06 01:34 PM

Quote
Originally posted by maryrose:
Another example of someone who should have been allowed to stay on this earth a little longer...
Another Pisces - - -
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/29/06 01:56 PM

Frycek wrote:
Another Pisces - - -

I'm glad that not only "Pisces" are allowed to play Chopin, or that'd be this goat out of bounds. But maybe Pisces play him best...
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/29/06 02:33 PM

Kathleen: a while ago you asked about the creation of an index for this thread. I too sometimes try to find stuff, but it's difficult! It would be wonderful if you could do some sort of reference, but how and where I wonder? I think it would be best to keep it within the thread rather than as a separate one. Perhaps at the top of the very first page?
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/29/06 02:35 PM

MaryRose : Sometimes I just need a translator :

Quote
or that'd be this goat out of bounds.
????

If I understood Frycek right, Lipatti was a "fish" also ??

I am a Capricorn and that might be a good excuse for not being a good piano-player at all wink

Are there statistics that shows that some Zodiac-members are higher represented in the musical world (I am just curious) ?

Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/29/06 03:15 PM

When I was a kid my mother gave me a book called History's 100 Greatest Composers. There was a picture of each, a brief bio, and dates of birth and death. As an idle teenager fliring with astrology I divided the composers into sun signs. Pisces was disproportinately represented. If I recall about 25% of them were Pisces, which is three times what a random sampling should've been. I don't remember any other cluster like that. For what it's worth.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/29/06 03:22 PM

Frycek: Wow...great looking guy. And that look on his face is something else. There's nothing like a man in uniform!.

MaryRose: I will be very happy to create an index. I did one for the first prelude study group we did although the number of pages never got so huge. I did it on the first page. I'll try to get everything on the first page and hope I don't push everything else back a page.

Ragnhild: I have to look up Capicorn.

Positive Traits:
Practical and prudent
Ambitious and disciplined
Patient and careful
Humorous and reserved

On the Dark Side:
Pessimistic and fatalistic
Miserly and grudging

I didn't make this up, just copied it from an Internet site. How do you think you measure up, Ragnhild??

It would certainly appear that you would be a great pianist from the positive traits. But I can detect your "I'm not that great attutude" from the Dark Side. See???

I doubt if there is a list of composers and their Zodiac signs, but it wouldn't be too difficult to pick about 25 of the top ones and look up their signs. Hey, I have loads of time. It's another project that could be very interesting.

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/29/06 04:06 PM

I was reading THE BOOK last night and came upon this quote by Mikuli.....

"Trills, which he mostly began with the auxiliary note, were to be played not so much rapidly as with great evenness, and with the ending [turn] tranquil and not at all precipitate."

Would someone explain this to me in English?

I remember Frycek saying that Chopin stressed evenness over rapidity with trills, but the other terms "auxiliary note" and "ending" and "not at all precipitate" are confusing to me. I'd appreciate a translation. Thanks.

Kathleen
Posted By: Piano Again

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/29/06 04:11 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
I was reading THE BOOK last night and came upon this quote by Mikuli.....

"Trills, which he mostly began with the auxiliary note, were to be played not so much rapidly as with great evenness, and with the ending [turn] tranquil and not at all precipitate."

Would someone explain this to me in English?

I remember Frycek saying that Chopin stressed evenness over rapidity with trills, but the other terms "auxiliary note" and "ending" and "not at all precipitate" are confusing to me. I'd appreciate a translation. Thanks.

Kathleen
Auxiliary note would be the note above or below the main note.

Ending: most trills end with a turn or mordent type of figure.

Not at all precipitate: don't play the ending turn too soon!
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/29/06 04:33 PM

Thanks, PianoAgain.
So, it would be optional on what note the trill should begin?
I'm not sure what you mean by a turn or mordent type figure. Does it mean when you play the next main note of the piece? Or when the trill slides into a part that's away from the trill section, which doesn't make sense, I guess.
The last part...hey! I got that!!

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/30/06 10:50 AM

Kathleen, I always think of Chopin's ornamentation (particularly in the Nocturnes) as being a sort of unfolding of the melodic line - not a mere add-on but part of the essence of the theme. Think operatic aria.

I was taught to begin Chopin's trills on the note above (same as with the Classical composers such as Mozart). His own pencilled-in additions to students' manuscripts suggest that this is true most of the time. I have never, however, played any of the Polonaises, which I have noticed from recordings sometimes seem to have trills that begin on the main note.

It's so difficult to write about this stuff, and so easy if only we were standing next to a piano! I hope I've made myself clear here Kasha smile
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/30/06 02:25 PM

Thanks, MaryRose: It is difficult to explain. I have been working on a very simple mazurka, but it has several "small" trills, just 1,2,1. I should say 3,4,3 or 4, 5, 4. Just can't seem to find the right fingers and I've experiemented with these for a couple of months. One day they work, the next day, they don't.

However, I guess they take what was referred to as a turn, and this has been taking me sooooo looonnngggg to get right. After I post my astrology signs on that other thread, I am going to print out a page from that mazurka.

Kathleen
Posted By: mdp1w

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/30/06 05:25 PM

Hello Kathleen and all you other Chopin lovers!

Although I do not play Chopin (yet) I felt compelled to peek into this thread just to see what all the continuous fuss is about. And, quite honestly, the “smart a**” in me wondered how this thread could possibly be longer than the “1” thread!! I GET IT now - heart !

Quote
Originally posted by maryrose:
[b] Kathleen: a while ago you asked about the creation of an index for this thread. I too sometimes try to find stuff, but it's difficult! It would be wonderful if you could do some sort of reference, but how and where I wonder? I think it would be best to keep it within the thread rather than as a separate one. Perhaps at the top of the very first page?
Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
MaryRose: I will be very happy to create an index. I did one for the first prelude study group we did although the number of pages never got so huge. I did it on the first page. I'll try to get everything on the first page and hope I don't push everything else back a page.
Kathleen
In my attempt to make a worthwhile post I, the former librarian (with a concentration in reference), offer my humble contribution of a hyper linked list of resources for any future index you would be creating.

__________________________________________________

FRÉDÉRIC FRANÇOIS CHOPIN -- RESOURCES ( an incomplete list smile )

RollingStone - Frederic Chopin discography

Chopin works - Sheet Music Online (annotated!)

Anecdotes, Quotations, and Trivia - Chopin

Rhapsody online - Frédéric Chopin

Chopin -- live recordings (classicalarchives.com) alas, $25 annual fee

Frédéric François Chopin - excellent & concise biography

Duke University Library comprehensive list to even MORE links of Chopin-related resources

__________________________________________________

Daria [/b]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/30/06 07:01 PM

Well...I'll be!! smile

Daria, THANK YOU SO MUCH. What a wonderful gift to us all. thumb

Now, with the added resources you have made so "available" to us, we can GO ON FOREVER!! laugh

CHOPIN RULES!! yippie Thank you again. Those links will certainly come in handy.

Regards,
Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/30/06 07:05 PM

Hello Everyone:

Isn't Daria's suggested link page fantastic. thumb

I am going to set up our own index, also. I am still working on get my capsule music ready, and I'm pulling out the little hair I have left. frown

I vowed never again to record. What happened to that promise. Anyhow, once I submit them, I'll be free.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/30/06 08:18 PM

Kathleen - good luck with the recording!

Daria -thanks so much for the links.

Wow, Chopin's very own thread has now reached the 500 mark. I am sure that ***1000*** will not be long in coming smile
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/30/06 08:21 PM

Not many people know this, but our dear Chopin was also a keen horticulturalist. Here he is on his lawnmower.

[Linked Image]

http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Chopin
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/31/06 01:17 AM

MaryRose: eek ..... laugh laugh laugh

With what Frycek dreamt, I wouldn't get too close to that mower...if I were you. thumb

I did read that Chopin wasn't exactly a nature-lover although he did appreciate the country air, a majestic view or two and, of course, violets.

Here''s a picture of "our" Hershey, sans long blond hair and period dress. He looks very good, either way. wink

[Linked Image]

Kathleen
Posted By: mdp1w

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/31/06 04:50 AM

Kathleen & MaryRose, You are too funny!!!!!!!!!!


laugh laugh laugh


As a librarian , I fondly remember one of my student assistants who eventually got booted out of my library because he was always playing around!! eek


[Linked Image]


Daria laugh
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/31/06 08:51 AM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Here''s a picture of "our" Hershey, sans long blond hair and period dress. He looks very good, either way. wink

[Linked Image]

Kathleen
I bet this is a shot of Hershey as Gershwin. That's a really old fashioned suit and hairstyle.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/31/06 11:56 AM

Gosh, Frycek, I hope you're right, otherwise you have just insulted Hershey! eek That might be his favourite look, right now...

I have to say I prefer the long blond hair.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/31/06 11:59 AM

Daria - what a man of many talents was our Chopin. I knew he liked to always read a book at bed-time, but didn't realise he had actually worked in a library at one time. So are you the young, luscious virginal type of librarian or the six-months-later one??

Happy New Year to all Chopinophiles!!
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/31/06 04:12 PM

If only the other forumites knew what fun we were having. laugh laugh

Daria...you are as "crazy" as we are. How do you guys do it, putting Chopin's head on someone's body? confused

I sort of like our Hershey in that old-fashion suit. It certainly beats out what the young men are wearing now. And I agree, I do love the blond hair (always been a sucker for a guy with blond hair, ala Brad Pit). wink

MaryRose: You know our hero was not much of a reader (he was too busy creating the world's most beautiful music). But I did read somewhere that he liked Voltaire, who was famous for his wit and sarcasm. These qualities would certainly appeal to Chopin, who was well-known for these traits also.

I was told once that I am sarcastic. I did some research and discovered that sarcasm is a form of anger hidden deep within.

So, keep up the good work, ladies (and men also). We are determined to have this thread reach the 100 page point.

It can be silly stuff ( so much fun) or serious. Whatever you want.

Welcome Daria (or did I already welcome you). I know you will fit right in, perfectly. thumb

Now back to the piano for a few hours.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL...PEACE AND GOOD HEALTH!!

heart
Kathleen
Posted By: mdp1w

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 12/31/06 06:46 PM

*The latest sicko reporting for duty!*
[Kathleen, I was in the middle of writng THIS post to maryrose when you "rang the bell!"]


Hi maryrose,

Thanks for the link to Uncyclopedia .
You've just handed me another OUTSTANDING reference source to add to my personal collection -- on my toolbar! laugh

Daria
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/01/07 12:19 AM

I don't think it wise to be "poking" fun at someone who can write like this. eek

Blow your socks off!

And, that young lady playing has just removed any hope I had of becoming an adequate pianist. frown

Kathleen
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/01/07 12:45 AM

Kathleen,

I'm thrilled that you posted to the Time Capsule. Your "Raindrop" Prelude is beautiful, but the links to the Mazurka and Nocturne did not work for me. You may want to check them, again.

Years from now, we'll both look back and see the improvement we've made from this year. In case you don't know, I am 67 as well.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/01/07 12:59 AM

So, Lisztener, you have deigned to call in again after your dastardly support of the "1" thread? Don't think it has gone unnoticed, young man wink

But seriously, it's nice to "see" you again.

Kathleen - I'm going to have to listen to your recordings tomorrow as tonight the TV is on and I won't be able to give them the attention they deserve.

Love to all, Mary-Rose
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/01/07 04:05 AM

maryrose,

I didn't think anyone was looking. shocked

Please absolve this lowly pheasant's guilt for getting caught wandering about the castle by Queen Mary-Rose.

My fate is dependent upon your magnanimous grace.

May the New Year be kind to you, madame.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/01/07 04:40 AM

"How dare he do something so fowl? May I suggest your Gracious Majesty turn him into a Pheasant Pie?" a flunky lurking at the queen's ear snidely suggests.
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/01/07 06:01 AM

I'm happy to report in that in the first hour of 2007 I played Chopin. What a lovely way to start a year.

Nancy
Posted By: Mountain Ash

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/01/07 06:44 AM

Kathleen, Lisztener, I don't think 67 is old at all. My mother is your age makes me feel like the old one around here (I'm 21).

She goes to the gym more often than I do and got up early this morning (new years day) to go for a swim while I was stumbling around groggily.

And just think, you've both outlived Chopin by 28 years. wink
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/01/07 10:17 AM

Kathleen,

I just listened to your Prelude.

That's absolutely gorgeous playing!

Such wonderful expression and dynamic control.

The crescendos in the middle section are terrific-almost frightening.

I'm keeping this in my Chopin folder.

The recorded sound is good; much better than some of your other recordings.

Did Mr. Hankey bring you a Zoom for Christmas?

Thanks for such a beautiful performance, and Happy New Year.

Mel
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/01/07 01:44 PM

Kathleen - very impressive performance of the Chopin Prelude! thumb thumb thumb
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/01/07 04:25 PM

Thank you, all, for your kind words on my performance of the Raindrop. smile It is the piece that I learned years ago and brought back to life with the help of our first Prelude Study group, here on the ABF.

I did fix the other two. Hopefully, they should play for you now.

The Op 48, 1 is a massive goal for me...to be able to play the whole thing (a lot of finger stretching involved here) by the end of this year, 2007. I know the tempo is really slow. Once I get my fingers used to the stretching, I should be able to pick up the speed a tad. I have a strong feeling that I've bitten off more than I can chew with this one. Time will tell. But I really love it, so maybe that will help.

The mazurka was difficult for me. A lot of trills (using 4/5) and trying to get it to sound like a dance instead of a dirge. I've been working on it pretty steadily since April.

Mel, thank you especially for your "glowing" critique. No, I didn't get a new mic. I just got lucky with putting my cheap mic at the right spot and adjusted Audacity in a certain way (of course, I don't remember what I did). :rolleyes:

Now if I could get so lucky with the 55.1.

Hey, you had better lay off Lizstener. (Did you know that the greatest growth in population is the age group from 55-75?) You don't want to get a bunch of seniors angry... wink

Not knowing what I was doing (which happens quite often), I, myself, the Grand Poobah of this thread, actually posted a couple of messages on our "rival" thread. It was purely due to my ignorance of "what the heck the thread was all about." confused

Anyhow, I will make up for my dastardly deed by posting at least two messages a day to this thread. My goal...to get it to 100 pages.

Oh, I will start to work on the Index, which will be on the first page.

Regards and affection to all,
Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/01/07 05:56 PM

Dear Kathleen, I have just managed to listen to your three "time capsule" performances and I enjoyed them all so very very much. The Prelude was just about perfect - really musically played - and I totally agree with Mel's comments.

Although, as you said, the Mazurka was a little slow, I thought that actually imbued it with a wistful quality of "zal", that elusive Polish feeling of sadness and longing. The speed did not detract at all - it gave the work a new dimension for me.

The Nocturne is one of my favourites and you have really progressed for just six weeks' work. You'll perfect that in the coming months with no problems at all, I am quite sure.

The thing that amazed me the most was reading your description of your personal "piano history". You had hardly any lessons, lots of piano-free years (like me, alas) and yet you are giving these truly enjoyable performances. What a lady you are. You have given me hope that one day I too might be able to recapture some of my "lost" playing.

Thank you, Kathleen.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/01/07 06:19 PM

Thank you MaryRose: I do have (and probably always have had) that "zal" within me. I do hear Chopin's pieces a little different than many people do. It's not that they're sad, but, as I have said before, there is that sense of yearning...it breaks your heart.

After I got on the proper "cocktail' (those who have biopolar will know what this means),I seemed to come alive again. For all those years, the piano was just one more thing to dust.

So, the sleeping lioness did awake and found in her den this big, beautiful black object. She managed to find some sheet music that she didn't throw away (I did throw away a lot while in my down mood). Ye gads!! Did I ever know how to play this stuff?

Thanks to the forum, I realized that I did once know how and from there it was just a matter of consistency and patience (both difficult for me).

I KNOW with your love of Chopin, that it won't be long before you are SWEPT AWAY by his music and realize you must make a real effort to regain what you once had...and then some. I have every confidence that you will and SOON!

With affection,
Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/02/07 09:44 AM

I can se I have missed a lot having a little holiday smile
Dear Kathleen, I have listened to the Raindrop Prelude and the Mazurka at the Time Capsule and I am just so happy that you have let us hear what a performer you really are.

I have heard lot of impressing performances at the ABF in 2006, but for the first time (maybe a with a little exception of Frycek's Lullaby) I have the same feeling as a listener that I know from listening to (some) professional performers.

If I had to choose between the two it would be hard, but I would land on the Mazurka - Chopin's Mazurkas has opened my ears this year, I will keep listening.

Your Chopin interpretation is just filled with comprehension and love !

Thank you smile

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/02/07 03:07 PM

We missed you, Ragnhild, where ever you went, and we're glad to have to back.

I am so pleased that you enjoyed my recordings. I agree that the mazurkas bring out the Polishness in Chopin, more than any other of his compositions. Some look very easy to play. But when you start learning one, you soon discover that is not the case. I am still "polishing" three more, and I sometimes wonder if I'll ever get them to shine.

Thank you again for kind words,
Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/02/07 03:13 PM

SO IMPORTANT!!

Do you all realize that in just a little over 3 years (March of 2010) we will be celebrating Chopin's 200th birthday? thumb

I wonder what the air fare is to Warsaw? confused

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/02/07 07:44 PM

Of course we must look forward to 2010 and you WILL be around, Kasha! By then you will have many beautiful Chopin pieces under your fingers. There is plenty of time before then to plan a "Chopin party" on the forum. One thing we could do is have a "concert" - each of us could secretly prepare a Chopin piece that could be premiered at the concert.

It would be great to meet somewhere - especially Warsaw. I guess that the plane fares might change a lot between then and now (and also the dollar - isn't it rather low at the moment? I just saw an exchange rate which was more or less 2 dollars to the British pound - I'm sure that when I was last in the US the dollar was 25% higher). I have heard that good Polish hotels are very cheap but that too might change.

And then there is, of course, Nohant...

If broke, you could always come here and get free bed and board and visit Chopin's London haunts. All in all, lots of ideas to think about for 2010!
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/02/07 07:56 PM

MaryRose: I think I mentioned once before that London is the only city outside the US that I would like to visit. I've never been anywhere, other than Canada (that didn't come out right.) Canada is a wonderful country.

We do have time to plot and plan and pray the the fares and costs aren't too high. I would presume in 2010 that Warsaw will be filling the air with Chopin's music everyday, from dawn to dusk. Perhaps other cities will do the same, but I doubt to the extent that Warsaw would.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/02/07 08:24 PM

I agree, Kasha, Warsaw would be the place to pilgrimage to. Considering that there are Chopin concerts on there all the time, imagine what it will be like in 2010.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/02/07 08:59 PM

I would like to join you in Warsaw in 2010 (or before wink )

Ragnhild
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/02/07 09:11 PM

Are you all entering the XVI Chopin piano competition in Warsaw 2010? laugh wow

I hope USD regains some value by that time so I can go see the competition.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/02/07 11:34 PM

Quote
Originally posted by LisztAddict:
Are you all entering the XVI Chopin piano competition in Warsaw 2010? laugh wow
Unfortunately most of us are a good deal too old, otherwise - - - wink
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/03/07 12:55 AM

Wow! That settled it. Warsaw in 2010, here we come. That they are also going to have the competition there makes it a MUST to do.

I wonder if we peons could get tickets for that competition.

Frycek, maybe for all of you, your age is the factor in taking part in the competition. With me, it's the talent.

By that time Mary Rose will be a speaking Polish so fluently she could pass for a native. And, she could be our guide. How cool. We'll have our very own interpreter.

Just for fun, I'm going to get on the Internet and see what a round trip fare would cost from Chicago to Warsaw.

Ragnhild, so glad you will be coming also.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/03/07 03:36 PM

Quote

By that time Mary Rose will be a speaking Polish so fluently she could pass for a native. And, she could be our guide. How cool. We'll have our very own interpreter.
Ha ha, I don't think I will be able to say, understand or read much even by then! This Polish is the most difficult language I have come across. It is so *different*. I can order a pork loin cutlet and chips now, which might be OK for you but not for this vegetarian. Oh, and beer.

So I hope you don't mind existing on pork whilst in Warsaw :-)
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/03/07 04:58 PM

Polish is difficult, I ate almost nothing but "lody" for a month wink

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/03/07 05:40 PM

Mmmm, Ragnhild, that is one thing I wouldn't mind having a lot of (especially in summer).

So you have been before? Tell us all, please! And you are now promoted to guide and translator laugh
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/03/07 06:06 PM

Maryrose: It's too long ago to qualify for any guiding - and I had to tell about it to be allowed to post at this thread laugh :

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?/topic/32/2901/2.html

But I really want to see Warsaw again (last time I was quite poor, but I bought some sheet music - so I have "Piesni bez slow" and a black dress that I still wear sometimes singing in church)!

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/03/07 06:45 PM

Ragnhild...I forgot you did go to Poland. Yes, please tell us all about it. Did you go just to see Chopin's birthplace?

Not to worry about food. While I may not be able to spell it (who can?), I can pronounce it. So when we go into restaurant, we can just ask the waiter for any of the following:

Polish Food

That's all I can remember and I am surprised I can remember these at all. Of course there are other dishes, but these happened to be my family's favorite.

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/03/07 07:38 PM

Mmmmmmmmmm i just got hungry - except for the duck-blood ? it all sounds very tasty smile

I have to admit (as I did last time) that I did not see Chopin's birth place which is one of the reasons that I want to go back !
And also I do remember a very tasty cheese-cake -and I dream of Lazienki park.......

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/03/07 07:41 PM

I forgot to mention "babka." It's a cake (in a bunt pan) and I think has a bit of liquor in it.

Wouldn't it be great if we could all go to Poland.

Does anyone know what airline flies there? I need to check on the price of those tickets.

Kathleen
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/03/07 07:49 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:


Does anyone know what airline flies there? I need to check on the price of those tickets.

Kathleen
$238.00 New York to Warsaw, round trip:

http://www.cheapflights.com/flights/Warsaw/New-York/


Chicago to Warsaw, $436.00:

http://www.cheapflights.com/flights/Wroclaw/Chicago/

Mel
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/03/07 08:43 PM

Thanks Mel:

You are right on the ball. I got hung up trying to get on the LOT airline site.

This is one time I wished I lived in New York (well, not really). frown But not too bad though (she said with a shiver). Afterall, it will be a once in a lifetime experience. smile

At least we have an idea...it won't be cheap. Maybe they will have some kind of "deal" that year for people wanting to go to Warsaw for Chopin's 200th. That might be a cheaper way to go and we would probably get to see more than we would normally.

Thanks again, Mel. You are alway there when I need help. thumb

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/04/07 01:11 PM

My favourite Chopin cartoon:

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/04/07 01:29 PM

laugh

But..........
This is the typical steretypical joke that has always made me very embarrased to tell that I would like a piano-playing "significant other".
(I've learned the expression now....or ?)

Truth is I'd like somebody to play 4-hands with me. (somebody who is just a little more enthusiastic about it than my 13 year old) wink

BTW, is the woman supposed to be Aurore ?

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/04/07 01:34 PM

Yes, Ragnhild, it's Aurore - I love the expression on her face. I wish you could find your piano-playing partner but they are thin on the ground! I know a Chopin fan/player in Oslo called Olaf.... he also specialises in growing orchids - how far away is that from you??
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/04/07 01:46 PM

Now we're contemplating starting a dating service?? laugh laugh smile

MaryRose: I know I'm dense, but I don't get that cartoon. confused I didn't even realize it was Sand until I read it in the next thread.

What is he suppose to be doing? Honest! I am clueless? laugh

And, as always, amazed where you find these things. Is there a site that's devoted to composer cartoons?

Kathleen
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/04/07 01:52 PM

Are you sure that's Aurore?

It looks more like Katherine Harris.

Or perhaps a drag queen.

Mel
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/04/07 01:58 PM

I think we leave the dating service the sooner the better - I am a specialist in killing any in-door plant wink

I'm just having a bad day I guess (but it is just the kind of jokes that I hate...)

You're right Maryrose, male piano-players are rare and too sought-after (together with the violin-players that are quite attractive too..), and I have developed too many bad habits to attract any of them.

Let's just go back to the holiday planning for 2010 or some nicer cartoons or.......anything !

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/04/07 02:00 PM

She was more or less a drag queen, Mel. As in:

[Linked Image]

Yes, that really is a photo of GS. eek
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/04/07 02:13 PM

Apologies to those of more refined sensibilities than mine, for posting the offending cartoon.

I still like it though! shocked

Re Warsaw 2010 - do we want to attend the Chopin competition? The final seems to take place over four days. There is a website but it doesn't tell much:

http://www.konkurs.chopin.pl/
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/04/07 02:14 PM

I think her hair weighed more than Chopin did. laugh

Not to worry, Ragnhild, we will leave that "service" alone, not to be brought up again. I hope your day gets better.

Speaking of finding people (men) with which you can have a great conversation about classical music. I met such a man, about 60, (from Ireland) at a party last year...in Iowa. We spoke for just a few minutes, but I won't forget it for a long time. He was quite enthusiastic and very knowledgable and with that brogue...a real hoot! HOwever, he was quite the ladies' man and had been married 5 times. eek

My husband just asked me if I wanted to go to that party again this year (his company throws one every year). I asked him if he thought Patrick was going to be there. He said probably, so I said Yes!`

I will spend about 6 hours in a car, eat a dinner that's luke warm and pretty tasteless and sit at a table where everyone must have lockjaw...only to have the opportunity to have a drink and a talk with Patrick again. wink

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/04/07 02:19 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
I will spend about 6 hours in a car, eat a dinner that's luke warm and pretty tasteless and sit at a table where everyone must have lockjaw...only to have the opportunity to have a drink and a talk with Patrick again. wink

Kathleen [/QB]
I'm concerned. This sounds serious. wink
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/04/07 02:37 PM

Not to worry, Frycek.

I have no intention of becoming #6! eek Plus it's taken me 40 years to train my husband, and I know when I've got it good. smile

But seriously, I am almost tempted to put an ad in the local newspaper asking people who love classical music if they would be interested in forming a "group." Afterall, they do have book clubs, why not a music club? bah

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/05/07 08:45 AM

Ok, it seems logical, this thread has not been so popular if ot was'nt for the fact that Kathleen, Maryrose, Aurore , Frycek, myself and a lot of others share the taste for musical male species.

But Kathleen , you are a bit extreme or....?

I love to discuss music with people like our organist or choir-conductors, - they probably find me an over-enthusiastic dilletant. But when I last year had the chance to speak to Leif Ove Andsnes, I was not able to say a word shocked

I had my girlfriends over for a wonderful little birthday party yesterday - so who needs men anyway! wink Please post more cartoons !

Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/05/07 09:03 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Ragnhild:
I love to discuss music with people like our organist or choir-conductors, - they probably find me an over-enthusiastic dilletant. But when I last year had the chance to speak to Leif Ove Andsnes, I was not able to say a word shocked
[/QB]
You're in good company. The same thing happened to young Schubert when he found himself in the same room with Beethoven, whom he idolized. It also happened to the teenaged Chopin when he found himself seated close to Mendelssohn at a meeting.
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/05/07 12:18 PM

Quote
Originally posted by maryrose:
My favourite Chopin cartoon:

[Linked Image]
This is not quite how I imagine Aurore's bed-time attire.

I would think she'd be holding a cigar, and wearing a top hat and boxer-briefs.

Mel
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/05/07 01:20 PM

Dannylux :This is maybe more what you have in mind ?

[Linked Image]


Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/05/07 03:27 PM

Dear Ragnhild: I didn't mean to give the impression that I was only interested in the males species with which to have some interesting conversations. Most definitely I would love to find some females (in fact, they are preferable). Right now I am reduced (other that talking on this wonderful forum) to conversing with my dog. But it's a one-way deal. eek

OK, I still don't "get" the first cartoon, and I'm having trouble with the second. I had but one semester of French and can only make out "the ? politics of 1948." And on the bottom are those rats and male aristocrats?? confused

I'm going to have to find some of Chopin caricatures and post them. Aside from his genius with music, he was really quite good at drawing, and his acting ability was so genuine that he was once offered a position with a theater group.

So glad he decided to stick with music. heart

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/05/07 04:34 PM

Kathleen - I think the cartoon was suggesting that Chopin played George Sand like a piano. I don't know why I like it - I just do. It's quirky whome
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/05/07 04:37 PM

Newly discovered waltz???


Have any of you come across this supposedly recently discovered Chopin Waltz, the "Melancholique" in F sharp minor?

http://nt1k23.com/mp3/walFm.mp3

What do you think?

Moi, I don't think it sounds like Chopin.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/05/07 05:13 PM

Kathleen my dear:
Quote
I didn't mean to give the impression that I was only interested in the males species with which to have some interesting conversations
You did not - I was the one to give that impression, but truth is that I probably know and talk to more female music-interested people than men.

About the Waltz I have not the skills to tell if it is Chopin or not, I don't think Chpoin always sound like Chopin. To me the Waltz it is sweet but a little uninteresting.
I would have liked some additional information like who has financial interests in this beeing a Chopin piece.

Ragnhild
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/05/07 10:40 PM

Hey gang - sorry that I have been so out of touch... you know, as I said, being in Paris - so much studying to be done... and well - had my hair returned to its natural color this season - to be streaked for Chopin...so I am a brunette yet again, but in the Prince Valiant fashion (eek!) and I am going to try M. Chopin this season - a little darker than the shocking blonde... I have a copy of his hair as preserved by Sand (now in Majorca) so - darker, indeed...

I also have a fun idea - fun for me, and hopefully for you too... this coming week, I am going to do a walking tour of Chopin and Sand's Paris... all the great spots - with camera in hand, and then Frycek (poor Frycek who offered her services) will have to post the walking tour photos with my annotations... I thought I'd give a rarely photographed view of the whole thing - starting off with Sand's 1848 apartment, at which I am now looking as I write. (Is she looking back?)

Also - let our little tour begin with this:

http://www.nifc.pl/=files/doc/269/kallberg_2006_en.pdf

This is the paper that my bud Dr. Jeff Kallberg delivered on the manuscripts that I own. Enclosed are images of the annotations in Chopin's hand. They are sitting on my desk... just magical!

As for other stuff - I live in a remarkable neighborhood - Chopin, of course, lived here toward the end of his life - at the Luxembourg which is just a block away... he composed the last mazurka here, I think... and one of the most magical things is to wander through all the antiquarian authograph shops looking at the Chopin and Chopin/Sand memorabilia - which is all over the place here - there is a shop just, in fact, downstairs from me... with a letter in chopin's hand - several in Sand's - I've already made bids - well, as the week progresses, I hope to take you on a real fun tour...

smile Happy new year.

"your" Hersh - oh, and that brunette photo of me previously posted is indeed in action on the stage of the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway as George Gershwin. When I get it together I'll send you more "human" shots...too...

smile H
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/05/07 11:45 PM

Hersh, it's good to have you back because I was just talking about you to someone! It was in relation to the size of piano keyboards in the nineteenth century compared with today's. I wrote to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (who have a great musical instrument collection) and they told me that their early C19th century keyboards tend to be about half a centimetre shorter per octave than modern ones.

That made me think of your photo, showing your hands on Chopin's own piano. And I am wondering how big you are, as a person? I hope you don't think it is rude of me to ask. It is difficult to guess from photos. Are you tall, medium or Chopin height for example?

Thank you so much for the pdf. We will all eagerly await the Paris photos - a virtual tour for all of us - wonderful!

Frycek - at the ready!
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 12:10 AM

Hello again -

I am 5'10", (so six inches taller than Chopin) - I'm pretty much an average size guy and my hands aren't that big in terms of pianist hands - while they are not scrawny, they are average. Fact is, i don't think that the photos of the chopin piano really capture just how tiny the keys and keyboard are. It's as if the piano itself sits in my lap, it is lower, the keys about 1/4 less than what we have today.

Also - one can take from Chopin's own notes in the Eigeldinger - the notion that one is meant to sit in the centre of the keyboard so that one can extend one's arms without any effort - this business of rolling on the rear-end, as it were - is a new invention to get around this massive keyboard. Chopin's idea was that we stay put in the middle and simply extend in and out, and no effort at all - facilement - as he would say...

smile H
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 12:14 AM

Thanks for your prompt reply, Hershey! So do you think that the V&A estimate of an octave on Chopin's piano being about half a centimetre shorter than today's, is correct?
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 12:48 AM

MR - I would think it is closer to an entie centimetre less, it feels that much smaller. As for the V & A - I played there after I spent the 2004 season in London on the stage of the Duchess Theatre playing Gershwin. I loved the hall at the V & A - and there was a reception in one of the great rooms. I love the V & A - so very beautiful!

H
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 12:52 AM

Do you believe this one?

♣ Chopin & George Sand II
George Sand's little dog had a habit of turning round and round to catch its tail. One evening when it was doing just that, she said to Chopin, "If I had your talent, I would compose a pianoforte piece of this dog." At once Chopin composed the charming Waltz in D flat (Op. 64), which is also called Valse du petit chien.

(Frederick Niecks, Frederick Chopin as Man and Musician, 1888-90)

Is chien French for dog? Never mind, I just looked it up...it is. So that lovely and lively waltz is then "Waltz of (for) the Little Dog."

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 01:03 AM

Hershey - still there? What is your hand span (on a modern piano)? Thanks! I impatiently await your pictures.
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 01:33 AM

For LCTM - yes, op 64 - la valse minute (as in small...) is indeed La Valse de Petit Chien - the waltz of the little dog. Chopin's dog was named Marquis - and he loved his dog - he wrote of his habits when he wrote home...) naturally, Chopin's improvisation must have been much more florid than what he left us as 64/1 - but still a real charmer that the audience absolutely adores.

As for my hand span - my left hand has no problem playing scales in tenths (on today's piano) in most keys - when certain stretches are difficult (ie: Db major tenth) I have some intense stretching to do, and can't play that scale quickly in tenths - but most are all right. As for the right hand - a 9th is never a problem, tenth are comfortable as well - but again, I can play most scales in tenths - major tenths being naturally much more difficult than minor ones - which can be a little tough.

It's 2:30 am here in Paris - but so much fun to be up so late iin such a wonderful town!

G'night to all!

Hersh
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 09:14 AM

Your chance to experience one of Chopin's favourite operas:

"I Puritani" will be broadcast live in theatres all across the USA today at 1:30 pm Eastern time. Schedules and theaters can be found here:

opera broadcasts

Sorry, I can't do that url thingy on here. You'll either have to cut and paste or kindly explain to me shocked
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 02:37 PM

Hi Hershey...

Thanks for that info on the waltz. My dog, when happy or excited, does the same thing...runs around in circles. First one way, then the other. Weird. However, she doesn't try to catch her tail. Too lazy for that. She's French...a Bichon Frieze and has more of the qualities of a cat than a dog.

For having an average-sized hand, your reach is fairly great. We did have a discussion about Chopin using wine corks to stretch his fingers. My husband drinks wine, but it has the screw-type top (obviously, the cheap stuff). But I found some stiff foam rubber and cut it into sections to place between my fingers. I think I'll do this everyday right after soaking my hands in really warm water. What do you think?

I second Frycek's message that we eagerly await your photos.

I read (and this is a bit misleading) the paper by Kallberg. Quite frankly, parts of it were too esoteric for me. But you must be so pleased to have in your possession these prized pieces.

Oh, did you notice that some of us are planning to take a trip to Warsaw in 2010 (I'll be over by 70 then). Since it is the year of Chopin's 200th birthday, we thought Warsaw would be the place to go. Partly to see his birthplace but also to (hopefully) attend one or more of the Chopin competitions that will be taking place in Warsaw at that time. And, we think that Warsaw will be just filled with Chopin's music that whole year...from dawn to dusk. What do you think our chances are of getting a ticket to attend one of the competitions?

Thanks for dropping in (whenever you can find the time). We so appreciate your insights and wonderful descriptions of Paris and etc.

MaryRose: No way was that music written by Chopin. Like Ragnhild, I don't begin to describe myself as an expert on his music, but I think I have a sensitive ear for it. The music was formless and had no substance (if you get my meaning). It just sort of meandered all over the place. In the middle, there were a few measures that were mazurka-like. But all in all, it wasn't close to the way Chopin wrote.

Please tell give us more information about it.

Also, you can get a lot of info on the Zoom mic, if you do a search using the keyword Zoom. There have been many threads and posts on this subject. It appears from what I've read that it's very good. Monica Kern bought one and really loves it. Here is the link to her comments about it.

Monica\'s Comments

But then her recordings sounded pretty good before she got the mic.

I am REALLY going to work on the index today. It just seems so overwhelming to me and therefore I have been putting it off. But, today's the day.

It looks like you did the url thingy right. But not forget to give it a name when that option comes up. Thanks for the info.


Kathleen
Posted By: sophial

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 02:43 PM

Hi Hershey
what a wealth of information you have to share! thanks so much.
Regarding the keyboard and piano of Chopin's time- I never realized they were that much smaller although I understand the action is much lighter (and the tone as well). What are your impressions of the action and sound?

Sophia
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 03:11 PM

RE: Pleyel action and sound...

I have played an 1845 Pleyel which is in the US - (at AshBurnham in Mass. Ever been there? What a collection of pianos!) and Chopin's own Pleyel from his 1848 apartment. The keys depress if you blow on them, and the depression depth is much less than ours today (It feels like half, but a technician can tell you exactly how much, probably less than half in reality.

As far as the sound - it is very pretty. more airy - a little covered as it were - but these are generalities. I find that Chopin's music has much more immediate life on his Pleyel. It doesn't feel as if everything is as sad as it sometimes seems. The sound has life, but it isn't a big sound by any means. What one learns when playing his instrument or a similar Pleyel of the period is really how to play his music with no effort at all. His discussion about simply letting the hands drop - the natural weight creating the sound without any tension, is immediately understandable when touching his own instrument. In fact, in order to play (and not break the thing_ one must remove all of this HUGE effort that we put into playing nowadays. Again - facilement - an EASE - that is immediately clear when touching his keyboard. Also, the smaller keyboard forces one to physically draw inward, and remain centered - no showing off - no extraneous movement - but focus and ease.

Somehow, on Chopin's Pleyel, the music flows out, as opposed to being "made." It's a wild a magical experience, and has everything to do with physicality, effort - in fact, I think Chopin would be disheartened and horrified to have a meeting with our current beasts. I don't think he would have had the strength to do anything with it.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 03:34 PM

Wow, Hersh...quite astouding! If Chopin were to attempt to play on my piano (a 1912 Lyon and Healy), he would probably faint from the effort. mad

Why in the world have piano manufacturers changed the pianos from what they once were? confused

I think almost every pianist would prefer to play an instrument with a light touch and think of how many injuries to the fingers and hands could have been avoided if pianos were more responsive to the touch.

Your colorful description on how Chopin's music would have sounded on one of these eariler pianos makes so much sense according to what we have read written by so many trying to describe Chopin playing and touch. Many thought it had a quality that was "not of this world."

You mentioned before that since the keys were a tad more narrow, one could reach the whole keyboard just by sitting smack in front of middle C. I have to do the "dreaded" bun-roll :rolleyes: in order to reach the upper and lower octaves. I am working on stretching my fingers, but I doubt if there is any method whereby I could stretch my arms. I remember an Andy Griffith episode where his deputy, Barney, was trying to increase his height...he would hang from a door frame. ha

Thank you again. You have certainly made Chopin come alive for us. smile smile

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 05:40 PM

Kathleen - thanks for the Zoom link. He he, you'll wish you had never encouraged me when you actually hear one of my recordings (if I ever get that far).

You putting stuff between your fingers to stretch your reach worries me. Don't, please, you might hurt yourself! It may work on a child who is still growing, but even so, I can't imagine it is a good thing. Is there any actual evidence that Chopin did this or is it a myth? I remember it featuring heavily in that least accurate of films, the Delphina Potocka one.

I agree with you about the "rediscovered" waltz. I know nothing about it other than that the website says it is supposedly by Chopin.

As for pianos, it could be you wouldn't really like the sound of an old one. Compared with the resonance of today's instruments they can be disappointing. My feeling is that Chopin would prefer the modern piano for some of his works - for example the "Revolutionary" Etude and the finale of the B minor Sonata, and many of the more tempestuous works. It could be that he'd simply adjust his technique if he had a twentieth century grand. As a young man he would have been strong enough; and he was, after all, a genius, perhaps the most gifted pianist the world has ever known, so I believe he would certainly cope with and enjoy today's pianos.

The greatest difference to his sensitive ears would probably be the difference in tuning.

What we all need is a selection of pianos in our homes; big modern grands and early pianos too for certain works laugh (She said, going back for some more practice on her little 1950s upright.)
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 05:53 PM

MR -

Some nice points - but I am afraid I must disagree with you on the notion of Chopin reacting well to our current instruments. After all - he was not fond of Erard ("for when I am not in a good way, and need a ready-made sound") - I can only imagine his reaction to the seriously manufactured sounds of today's instruments... whether he would be appreciative - oh, I am certain - but our pianos are so vastly different from what he played and composed for (the salon - how many Steinway D's or similar are there in today's salons? How many real salons today?) His belief was quite clearly that music is not made for the big concert hall - or at least real, true musical art cannot be made under those circumstances. Our current D's(9') are made to fill vast concert halls. I would bet that he would very much so have to fight the mechanics to acquire his own very personal touch - and so would not be pleased. Genius or not, his physical limitations gave him problems playing his own works (it is said that he didn't play 53 due the octaves, for which he did not have the strength. Having played 53 on his own instrument - I found the octaves almost too easy to play - and if that would have tired him out, our instruments would have definitely done so!)

I think it would be important that you spend some good time on the period instrument to really capture just how different it is - and why, in fact, Chopin would find our beasts alien - along with the tuning, as you mention, which would have been interesting to his very sensitive ear (which had trouble even taking the new train to orleans!)

smile H
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 06:15 PM

Hershey, you are probably right, and you certainly know far more about it than I do. I would just like to say that, if it is true that Chopin avoided his Op 53 Polonaise, it was written in 1843 when his health was already declining. I was saying that he was strong enough in his youth (by which I meant prior to the health damage that took place in Majorca, which was the turning point IMO).

Thanks once again for all the fascinating information. smile
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 06:26 PM

MR and Hersh:
This is just a "gut" feeling, for I have no real knowledge or insight to back it up...but I would have to agree with Hershey.

The huge sound that our concert grands make would probably get him running for the hills. While it is true that many of his works (or parts of them) are wild and raging, I believe he was able to play them...not with the force of hand, but with the force of spirit. This sounds a little gushy, I know, but Chopin hated extremes in any manner. I think he would consider our modern day pianos brashy and showy. I like Hershey's description of a "beast." He was able to make his pianos purr.

As for my finger stretching plan, I will give it some thought. Thank you for your concern. heart

Kathleen
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 08:31 PM

LCTM -

DON'T try stretching your fingers. That's nonsense. Follow one of Chopin's credos..."trying to learn how to walk on your hands in order to go for a stroll will land you not being able to walk on your hands, and not go for a stroll either."

Stretching your fingers makes no sense. What does make sense is understanding your hand as God gave it to you, and then thinking of all the ways to accomplish your pianistic goals... ie: wrist movement, arm movement, flexibility, use of natural weight, natural flow and natural movement. Should you try anything else that is in any way unnatural, you will or can hurt yourself - and the piano is not a "no pain no gain" situation.

Please - don't be foolish with your body and your health. Schumann did it, and look where he ended up. And if you look carefully at what Chopin really says - he says that you must always use nature to accomplish your goals. Use what nature gave you, and then stretch the only muscle that can get you anywhere you need to go. Your Brain.

smile H
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 09:21 PM

Thanks, Hersh: No doubt about the necessity of my stretching my brain. I read somewhere that even though older people (like me) have lost a lot of brain cells, there are ways to "grow" new ones. Any kind of activity that involves using one's thought processes (crossword puzzles, word games, etc.) will help ward off senility (oh my God eek )and even Alzheimer disease.

I think learning to play the piano is the very best brain exercise around. It involves every ounce of concentration and focus...eye movement, hand coordination and on and on.

As far as stretching the fingers, Frycek and I once read that bit about Chopin putting corks between his fingers. Somehow, this didn't ring true for me. I just can't picture him doing something that "unnatural."

I've never read the details about Schumann's injury. Do you know exactly what he did? His story is the saddest of all composers, I believe. At least he was able to compose. He seemed like such a gentle and kind person. I don't know why Chopin disliked him so. Perhaps it was Schumann's show of affection or that "over the top" review.

Not to worry. I have discovered that by simply trying to reach impossible chords (G#, C, E, F#, G#...from one of Chopin mazurkas) that little by little, day by day, my reach has grown, on its own. Last month I couldn't play it clearly. Today, I can. yippie

Thank you for your concern. smile I am going back to taking lessons from a wonderful teacher. I know I have a lot to learn...other than just how to read the music.

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 09:34 PM

Hersh:

Here is the review M. Chopin by one of our forumites. It was responsible for some of us buying your CD and also, indirectly, your joining our group.

*****************

I got into Chopin recently when a friend of mine got me tickets to "Monsieur Chopin" by Hershey Felder in Cambridge Massachusetts. The performance was just incredible. I didn't know much about Chopin before that and now i am a big Chopin fan. My first attempt at Chopin's music is La grande valse brillante op. 18. I am more than half way through and am thoroughly enjoying the experience. The reason why i picked that particular one to start with is because i like the melody and also because i thought this walze was composed (according to Monsieur Chopin) at a time in Chopin's life when he was happy with himself and it shows in the emotions that come accross in that song. In the play Hershey Felder plays this waltze in sections making comments as he goes along: he talks about being in a soiree and how men would agglomerate and talk about serious topics of the day - at this point he would play part of op. 18 that would reflect the intent of seriousness. Then he would stop and talk about women gossiping in another room - at this point he would play another part of op. 18 that really actually resembles "gossiping" (if you're familiar with op. 18 you could probably easily guess which part of the song would "gossiping". It was quite funny actually.

Another part of the play talks about the death of Chopin's sister when he was still very young. At that point he plays Klaviersonate No. 2 op. 35 which was very touching. The whole play is about the performer completely entering Chopin's skin with the intention of giving the audience a piano lesson but then he reminisces about his whole life for about 2 hours...

Extremely well put together. I recommend anybody who likes Chopin to try and catch Monsieur Chopin if it's playing near you.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 10:10 PM

Hi Kathleen, I am writing to congratulate you on having found a wonderful piano teacher. Lucky you - I am jealous! But seriously, it will be so motivating and I am sure you will progress even faster.

The story about Schumann is that he was dissatisfied with his prowess as a pianist, and tried to improve his reach by tying a rope to his little fingers and stretching them - thereby actually damaging his hands to the point of hardly being able to play at all. Of course, his wife was a brilliant pianist and was admired by Chopin. I don't think that Chopin actually disliked Schumann; he just didn't like his music all that much. After all, it is very "programmatic" with descriptive titles for all the piano works, which was anathema to Chopin.

And although I do feel very sorry for Schumann, and think that at his best he was a composer of the most charming piano music (which I love to play), he wasn't entirely kind. For example, he didn't support his wife's career as much as he might have done. He would have liked her to be a typical Victorian housewife, subordinate to his and their children's needs. And he could have tried to give her fewer children IMO smile
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 11:03 PM

Hi MaryRose: My teacher used to be a child prodigy, and she is very flexible. I call her when I want a lesson (something that I need help with, etc.). She's also VERY reasonable..$15.00 half hour. She lets me work on what I want to and just makes suggestions on how I could play better etc. The only thing she has pressed me on is Hanon. I refused to budge on it but now have to admit that if I were doing those exercises, my fingers would be stronger. I am going to set up regular lessons now because this "once-in-a-while- routine isn't working very well. frown

Thank you for the information about Schumann. Somehow I got the impression he was a gentle soul. I believe I read somewhere that he wrote beautiful love letters to his wife. She was something else! Having all those kids and still touring Europe to support her family. Wow!

I think I was a peeved to learn that she didn't visit Schumann for two years before he died in that "hospital." However, I then read that she tried but the doctors told her to stay away. And of course, Brahms living with her all that time. But, according to another souce, there wasn't anything going on between them. laugh

Take care,
Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 11:06 PM

Kathleen - yes, Schumann did love Clara dearly and wrote not only love letters but secret love music :-) And I don't think that she and Brahms were anything other than platonic, but who knows?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/06/07 11:44 PM

I'm really reaching into my memory (and we all know how trustworthy that is) that Brahms was quite the "purist." He wouldn't dream of anything so shocking as to fool around with another man's wife. He really worshipped Robert, and I think he stayed with Clara to offer spiritual support. After Schumann died, Brahms moved out. As Brahms got older, he became quite the character. He basically let himself go...torned and dirty clothing, long beard, hair a mess and on and on. Perhaps he sufferred some kind of breakdown.

Kathleen
Posted By: pianomia

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 04:43 AM

hello I am new here I was just looking up information about Chopin and came across this forum, I have been reading through the many pages and I must say I am quite impressed with all this information you have here on this forum about Chopin. I have always found him to be one of the more interesting composers of the romantic period. I read the book "Chopins Funeral" but I was not impressed with the information provided in that book. Can you recommend a book about the life of Chopin? I am an intermediate pianist.I have done the Prelude in B minor and the Prelude in E minor. Do you think I would be ready for the Raindrop Prelude? Thank you for your help!
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 01:06 PM

Welcome to the Chopin thread, pianomia! It's great to have another Chopin fan on board. I agree that the Eisler book is far from perfect, although it is very readable and one of the better ones. They nearly all seem to contain some errors. I'll leave the answers to your questions to others as I'm in a rush at the moment, but I just wanted to welcome you.
Posted By: kathy83

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 01:40 PM

Hello Chopin fans! I found interesting article:

http://www.usc.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/2.1.99/weco
Posted By: sophial

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 02:51 PM

Quote
Originally posted by maryrose:


The story about Schumann is that he was dissatisfied with his prowess as a pianist, and tried to improve his reach by tying a rope to his little fingers and stretching them - thereby actually damaging his hands to the point of hardly being able to play at all. Of course, his wife was a brilliant pianist and was admired by Chopin. I don't think that Chopin actually disliked Schumann; he just didn't like his music all that much. After all, it is very "programmatic" with descriptive titles for all the piano works, which was anathema to Chopin.

And although I do feel very sorry for Schumann, and think that at his best he was a composer of the most charming piano music (which I love to play), he wasn't entirely kind. For example, he didn't support his wife's career as much as he might have done. He would have liked her to be a typical Victorian housewife, subordinate to his and their children's needs. And he could have tried to give her fewer children IMO smile
Hi Maryrose,
I agree with your advice to Kathleen about finger stretching with any kind of devices. It's potentially risky and probably not effective either. so be careful, Kathleen!

As for Schumann, poor fellow was seriously mentally ill for a long time and was on a deteriorating course until he died. Hard to say how that affected how he treated Clara but it must have (perhaps he was also a bit jealous of the fact that she could still play well enough to have a concert career while he was sidelined.)I've also read she was barred from visiting him in the last period of his life, probably because of the appalling condition he was in (and the appalling treatments of the times).

Sophia
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 03:57 PM

Welcome Pianomia: There are hundreds of books out there about Chopin, and as MaryRose said, there's not one that gives us the definitive story of Chopin's life.

A MUST HAVE is the book: Chopin, pianist and teacher (as seen by his pupils) by Eigeldinger.
Some others of interest are Chopin in Paris by Szulc, Chopin by Gavoty, Chopin: A New Biography by Zamoyski. And if you are into analyzing his music, the best is the book: The Chopin Companion by Alan Walker.

I wish you well on your journey into Chopin.

I think you just might be able to tackle the Raindrop. Do you have a teacher?


kathy83: Your site didn't come up.

Sophia: Schumann actually starved myself to death. I read that he heard the tone of A in his ear constantly. I actually let out a sob when reading about his later years. How tragic.

Kathleen
Posted By: kathy83

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 04:01 PM

http://www.usc.edu/dept/polish_music/PMJ/issue/2.1.99/wecowski.html
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 04:37 PM

Thank you Kathy. The link works this time. I played Lulajże Jezuniu from Op 20 in our last online recital.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 07:18 PM

yippie
What a SUPER SITE that is. Thank you kathy and Frycek. I'm printing it out right now.

Thanks so much,
kathleen
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 07:24 PM

Kathleen,

Did you see this article on "Chopin in Warsaw's Salons" in Kathy's link?


Chopin in Warsaw\'s Salons


Mel
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 07:28 PM

And this page:


Polish Music Journal


Mel
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 07:31 PM

Thank you for your very interesting link Kathy83.
I will need more time to study it, but somehow the use of religious folk tunes explains some of the magic in Chopin's music to me.
Another thing is that Polish folk songs have lot of similarities to Norwegian folk tunes - both the religious (which I have sung a lot of) and others. When Frycek introduced "Wiosna" to me I thought it sounded like Grieg - and when I played it for my friend he said the same.

Ragnhild
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 07:35 PM

Polish Music Journal Archives:


Archives


WOW!

Mel
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/07/07 08:29 PM

Kathy - thanks so much for coming over to our Chopin thread!! (Well, it's Kathleen's thread really as she started it and we are all very grateful to her.) It is wonderful to get a real live Polish person to join in. Your English seems good, too. Kasha (Kathleen) is part Polish herself, and I think Hershey is too.

(A secret: we are also trying to make this the biggest thread on the Adult Beginners' Forum. At the moment we need about 90 posts to catch up ... I am sure we'll be there by the end of the month. It is the least that dear Chopin deserves.)

Is there anyone else amongst us who is Polish?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 12:51 AM

Hi Kathy: I never noticed you were from Poland. How cool!! We are very pleased to have you here (on OUR Chopin thread...it belongs to everyone, certainly not just to me). Before I forget Kathy...are you a Kasha also? If your full name is Kathleen, how is it spelled. My Polish relatives used to call me Kathleen in Polish. I can pronounce it but not able to spell it. I think it went something like...ka ta jzin na. I know that can't be right, but it sounds something like it. From what part of Poland are you from? Near Warsaw, by any chance?

Thank you again for those unbelievably informative journal entries. I will have a lot of reading to do tonight.

WOW is right, Mel.

We are SAILING!!

First, we have an actual celebrity who portrays Chopin so magically (Hersh is half Polish, on his dad's side) come to join us as a forumite and tell us of his experiences researching Chopin and is also going to give us a tour of Paris...and now we have a member from Poland. We will have a load of questions for you, so be prepared.

Most defintely, thank you MaryRose for bringing it up. If we have any other members who are Polish or part Polish, we'd be so pleased if you would let us know.

Not to worry about our catching up, MaryRose. If I do 10 entries a day (there is so much to write about, about Chopin), we'll be in the lead in just a couple of weeks.

Now, to printing out those papers. Thanks to everyone.

Kathleen
Posted By: pianomia

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 01:10 AM

Chopin in Paris by Szulc, Chopin by Gavoty, Chopin: A New Biography by Zamoyski. And if you are into analyzing his music, the best is the book: The Chopin Companion by Alan Walker.
heart
Thank you Kathleen for recommending the above books and thank you for the welcome.I intend to look up those books, I just got done reading Chopin The Man and His Music
by James Huneker. It was ok, it was better than Chopins funeral. The information in the 2 books I read seemed to differ, which I found a little annoying.

The funny thing is no matter how much I listen to other classical composers music I never seem to enjoy them as much as Chopins! My dream one day is to be able to play at least 10 of my favorite songs of his.

This is such a great forum I am learning so much about Chopin and I thank you , Mary Rose, Frycek and everyone else for educating me!
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 01:28 AM

Take heart, Mary Rose. The Chopin Nocture Group is the LARGEST, beating even that "one" thread.

smile smile

I had an idea on how to keep our "Devoted" thread going and keeping it interesting, informative and even funny... yippie

Whoever would like to take part is more than welcome.

The only two rules (and these are just to keep some continuity to the thread) are these:

1) the item entered must be in somewhat of a chronological order to the previous comment.

2) the item can be either FACT, FALSE, OR FALLACY. The person who enters the next item must identify which of these she/he thinks it is..

For example:

Let's say I enter this:
"Chopin was born in 1810 in a small town near Warsaw."

(The next person would enter)
FACT
(And then enter his/her item that would take off from that point)...such as....

"He had loving parents and three sisters."
FACT
"Chopin's father was Polish and his mother French"
FALSE
"Chopin's father left France because of an argument with his father over money."
FALLACY
" the next statement here."

The examples I've given are pretty basic stuff and are pretty dull. Hopefully, we can find write comments that are a little more interesting. Don't presume that other members are quite well-aware of your statement. You may be surprised.

I had to look up the word fallacy. It is a statement that has not been proven to be either true or false.

At any time, if someone disagrees with a statement, please, please feel free to interject, at any time, your opinion.

Oh...one last thing. All comments have to be about CHOPIN. heart heart

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 01:42 AM

Pianomia: You are in the right spot when you say that no other composer's music can move you the way Chopin's can. We all agree with that!!

Chopin was, without a doubt, one of the most intriguing and interesting of all composers. That's why there are so many books written about him (everyone has his/her own opinion) and that's why every one of them is often very different from the next.

Chopin was a complete paradox.

That Huneker book was a little over-the-top.

Chopin wrote some "easier" pieces if you are just starting off. I began with his five easy preludes, Op. 28,,,#4, #5 (which he had requested be played at his funeral) #6, #7,#20. Everyone yearns to play his "big" compositions, but there are many smaller and lovely pieces that are quite moving in their own way. His mazurkas and a couple of his nocturnes are also playable fairly soon, depending on the student, of course.

Good luck and welcome to the thread.
Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 01:44 AM

THIS STARTS THE CHALLENGE smile smile

Chopin's very first "piano teachers" were his sister and his mother.


Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 01:55 AM

What is this? Chopin trivia?

OK. The teenaged Chopin once bribed a younger boy with caramels to watch out for his father while he was trying to chat up a neighbor girl.
Posted By: kathy83

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 07:53 AM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Hi Kathy: I never noticed you were from Poland. How cool!! We are very pleased to have you here (on OUR Chopin thread...it belongs to everyone, certainly not just to me). Before I forget Kathy...are you a Kasha also? If your full name is Kathleen, how is it spelled. My Polish relatives used to call me Kathleen in Polish. I can pronounce it but not able to spell it. I think it went something like...ka ta jzin na. I know that can't be right, but it sounds something like it. From what part of Poland are you from? Near Warsaw, by any chance?

Thank you again for those unbelievably informative journal entries. I will have a lot of reading to do tonight.
Kathleen
Hi Kathleen,
in polish it is Katarzyna , my name smile
And I am from west part of Poland, from Poznan.
Greets!
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 11:14 AM

Kathleen - yes, his first two teachers were his mother and sister. FACT.

naughty Frycek - you did not read Kathleen's "rules". You have to answer correctly and then ask a "true or false" question yourself.

The caramel story - TRUE?
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 11:39 AM

The Caramels? True -
According to the adult reminiscenes of the younger boy in question

True or False

Chopin could play the violin and cello?
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 11:41 AM

Frycek: Yes it's true (all boys do things like that)

Oh I did not see your next : I believe he did not play the cello ??

One of Chopin's best students was a Norwegian - he also took over some of Chopin's students after his death

Ragnhild
(patriotic as always wink )
Posted By: Mountain Ash

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 11:50 AM

Oh... I thought he could play the cello, but I havn't heard of him playing the Violin.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 11:53 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Ragnhild:
Frycek: Yes it's true (all boys do things like that)

Oh I did not see your next : I believe he did not play the cello ??

[b]One of Chopin's best students was a Norwegian - he also took over some of Chopin's students after his death


Ragnhild

(patriotic as always wink ) [/b]
True: Thomas Tellefsen who also ended up with Chopin's sofa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Tellefsen


True: he also learned to play the violin from Zwyny his piano teacher (who was primarily a violinist) and once is documented to have picked up a cello at a country wedding and played that as well. He apparently let these skills lapse after he left Poland.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 11:55 AM

True or False:

Chopin became friends with his two French aunts, his father's sisters, after he arrived in Paris.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 12:15 PM

False - he had no meetings with any French relatives.

Now, Frycek, you're not allowed to answer this one:

TRUE OR FALSE?

Chopin had brown eyes and dark blond hair.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 12:36 PM

I hope this is true Maryrose, if not I will have to read everything from the beginning of the this thread.

But what about this :
Maria Wodzinska was Chopin's great love

(I don't have the answer )
Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 01:02 PM

Ragnhild, you are wrong! He had blue eyes.

Which is just as well, as now we don't have to answer your question which has no answer.

So I have to make another true/false statement:

The key that Chopin used most was A flat major.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 01:31 PM

I would think Chopin's eyes were of a little mixed colours since they look brown in some of the drawings of him.

My daughter (even if she has blue-eyed parents and brother) has a mix of blue, grey, and yellow in her eyes - looks nice.

BTW, (and very Off Topic) how many eye-colors can cats have ?

I would say true about the Ab major (At least for the Waltzes) but that's only guessing - I have a lot of reading to do - maybe I'll come back next year. wink

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 01:39 PM

Yes, Ragnhild, you are correct about A flat being Chopin's favourite key.

Cats' eyes can be: green, gold (varying from pale yellow to deep orange), blue, or odd-eyed (one blue and one green or gold). In addition, there are two types of blue eyes; the sapphire of the Siamese and Birman, and the paler blue of other breeds.

Chopin's passport said his eyes were blue and I think reproductions of paintings, or even the action of time on varnish, can change things to brown.

So now it is your turn to ask a true or false question smile
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 01:51 PM

It is no use, you two are too clever for me :

As a teenager Chopin was an organist in the Church of the Holy Cross.

(And I'll be off reading...)

Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 02:24 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Ragnhild:

As a teenager Chopin was an organist in the Church of the Holy Cross.

(And I'll be off reading...)

Ragnhild [/QB]
True

True or False:

Chopin was an expert billiards player.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 02:28 PM

Chopin was an organist of the Church of the Visitant Nuns, so it's false.

I won't answer - but Mozart was a billiard player too.

Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 02:51 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Ragnhild:
Chopin was an organist of the Church of the Visitant Nuns, so it's false.

I won't answer - but Mozart was a billiard player too.

Ragnhild
Oh, you got me!

False: Re Billiards, Chopin was no Mozart. Aurora tried to teach him to play and all he could do was keep dropping the cues. (Of course he wasn't usually clumsy so that might've been his way of saying, "sorry, not interested."
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 03:09 PM

I read somewhere that Aurore moved the piano in her apartment to make way for a billiards table in the mid 40s. Not great prioritisation for someone whose close companion was the greatest pianist ever.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 03:42 PM

Holy Cow!! I had no idea that the Challenge game would "take off" so quickly or even at all. All of your comments are very interesting, especially the bribing with candy and being a pool player. Ha!!

Thank you Kathy for checking it and for the correct spelling of my name in Polish.

Now, back to the challenge...it appears I won't get away with any easy ones...

Chopin never had a piano lesson in his life.

Kathleen
Posted By: kathy83

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 07:36 PM

I have a question to you : which mazurkas Martha Argerich played at Warsaw competition in 1965?
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 07:59 PM

Kasha - Not true, he had lessons from Zywny!

kathy83 - I believe it was the three Op 59 Mazurkas?
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 08:08 PM

True or False

Chopin spoke fluent unaccented French, learned from his French father Nicholas.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 08:09 PM

Whoooaaa, MaryRose...you are on a roll. You got my questionl correct. I don't know about kathy83's.

Now, MaryRose you are suppose to continue on with the challenge with another statement.

Such as...

Because Chopin was a fragile child, he was not allowed to play with other children.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 08:52 PM

He he Kathleen, you are telling a FALSEHOOD as Chopin certainly played with other children. He also dug up carrots to eat out of the park.

Frycek - Chopin had a gorgeous and wonderful Polish accent when he spoke French. Of course, being a good mimic he could have been as perfect as the natives, but he was aware that it was rather charming
wink
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 09:00 PM

Maryrose, you were supposed to add a statement like :

Chopin's first composition was a mlitairy march.

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 09:06 PM

I thought I ought to wait until Kathy83 says yes or no about my Argerich answer :p
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 09:41 PM

That was a difficult one - I tried to search the web for the answer, but no chance.
Kathy83, we are waiting... wink

I am trying to learn some more about Thomas Tellefsen. I would have liked to have the sheet music for the mazurkas and nocturnes that he wrote.
Since he and Jane Stirling was the ones trying to continue the Chopin interpretation and finish the method book it would be fun to play something by him.

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 09:59 PM

Yes, Ragnhild, it would be nice to know more about Tellefsen. Let us know if you find out anything (perhaps you could send an email to Oslo Conservatory?)
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/08/07 11:20 PM

Well, I'm sorry (or ashamed, as the case may be frown ) that I don't know who Tellefsen is. That's what I get for just listening to Rubinstein's interpretations of Chopin. I think I figure I have the best...so why bother with the rest. smile

Kathy: You were correct about Chopin getting piano lessons from Zywny. I wonder why we so often read that he never had a lesson in his life? Do the experts consider this early instruction meaningless?

Ragnhild:
A shaky FALSE to your comment. Chopin composed a polonaise in Bb M at the age of seven, but it is supposed to be played with vigor and majesty, like a minature Polonaise Militaire. So, I guess I'm guessing. laugh


CHALLENGE STATEMENT
In the same year (when he was 7) he composed a piece dedicated to the Czar, a polonaise.

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/09/07 08:44 AM

Kathleen, I am not so sure about the quality of my source, but it says that his first composition was played like a march by a militairy orchestra. It still might have been written as a polonaise.

Frycek - can you help us ?

About Tellefsen I just find him interesting because he was Chopin's friend and student. Since he learned composing from Chopin it would be nice to see some of his compositions. (even if - of course - genious can not be taught). Also I might learn something about Chopin's teaching methods.

He is not recorded, but i am quite sure he did not play as good as Rubinstein wink

(The information about Tellefsen will probably be in Norwegian which is a little relaxing...)

Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/09/07 01:15 PM

Off the top of my head at work: The boy Chopin wrote a march for ArchDuke Constantine, the Russian Govenor of Poland. Constantine had the army band learn it and played it at reviews. This march was never published and has been lost. Chopin's first published composition was a Polonaise, the same one Hershey plays in Monsieur Chopin.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/09/07 01:29 PM

For those with questionable taste:

http://www.pimpmytones.net/artists7sea-dyn1.php?gid=0040005A2002868000PMTo&kid=chopin
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/09/07 02:01 PM

Maybe I should feel embarrased now, but I've had the Minute-waltz as a ringtone the last couple of years shocked
(I use my cell phone, though, mostly for sms)

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/09/07 07:11 PM

Frycek, I believe you are right. The composition was lost. I guess he wrote it to gain favor with the Tzar. And I also believe he received a diamond ring from the Tzar And the strange thing about it is that even though the Russians were destroying his country and killing many people, some of them dear friends of Chopin, he always kept that ring. One would think it would throw it out or destroy it in some way. But, as we all know, Chopin did like nice things, and I guess his love for the ring was stronger than his hate for the Czar. I don't get it. Unless, he wanted to keep it for a "rainy day," perhaps he would hock it for some cash. Then, I could understand.

O.K.
ANOTHER CHALLENGE QUESTION moving right along into his teens.
The first commercial publication of one of Chopin's works was the Rondo in C mino, op. 1 in the year 1824.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/09/07 07:37 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Unless, he wanted to keep it for a "rainy day," perhaps he would hock it for some cash. Then, I could understand.
Kathleen
Quite possibly. Chopin wasn't a sentimentalist or one to make empty gestures. The ring probably represented one of the high points of his early career and a very pleasant memory. And there was always the possiblity of selling it. That last sad summer at Chaillot he was so distressed financially that he even contemplated selling his beloved gold watch, another cherished souvenir.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/09/07 07:41 PM

So glad to learn that he might have kept it practical reasons.


Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/09/07 07:59 PM

Chopin wrote in a letter to his family mid-1831 that he was saving his money as best he could, in the same way that he was saving the Czar's ring (ie for a rainy day).
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/09/07 11:06 PM

Good news.

Maybe you can help me out with this one.

I read that once his mother wrote him (while he was in Paris) and said that she needed some money very desperately. I can't recall the reason, maybe after his father died. But the author of the book in which I read this never said whether Chopin sent the money or not. We know he had a "thing" about money, but I hope he did send his poor mother what she needed.

Has anyone read about this??

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/09/07 11:13 PM

That's one of the great mysteries. Justyna didn't specify why she needed it, just that she didn't want to worry Mikolaj about it. She was dodging possible censorship at the time. No one knows how Chopin responded. I imagine he found some way to send it. I also imagine he did quite a bit of probbing "through the grapevine" (the Polish network in Paris) to try and find out what the problem was.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 01:10 AM

Very interesting, thank you. A rather covert operation going on, perhaps? Perhaps bribing an official or buying some friend his freedom.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 02:29 AM

I personally think it was some sort of trouble one of Chopin's sisters' husbands had gotten into, a fine that had to be paid or something. Of course it might've had to do with one of Justyna's numerous mysteriously absent and unmentioned siblings.
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 04:05 AM

Have any of you read "Lives of the Great Composers"? I'm listening to it on tape, and I am now at Schumann. I'm wondering where Chopin will enter this book. It's unabridged, and I'm on tape 7 out of 11. I hope we're not going to skim through all the composers I've really been wanting to know about!

Nancy
Posted By: stephenc

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 10:49 AM

Hi, I was hoping some of you may have come across the term "leggieriss" and know how this indicates to play a section. I've come across it in Chopins nocturne op 27-2 - and CAN'T find the answer on Google eek !!
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 11:04 AM

"Leggiere" is French and means something like "lightly". (Try a French - English dictionary) wink

Are you practicing Nocturne 27 no 2, Stephenc ?
(It's giving me a hard time because it can't be broken into segments...)

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 12:03 PM

Stephenc - Ragnhild is right in essence. The word is "leggierissimo" but it is abbreviated, and is Italian for "very lightly".

A useful link for Italian terms and suchlike can be found here:

http://www.music.vt.edu/musicdictionary/
Posted By: pianomia

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 02:59 PM

Quote
Originally posted by NancyM333:
Have any of you read "Lives of the Great Composers"?

Nancy
Hello there. I am also reading the book, nice big book, lots of info, I am not yet done reading about Chopin. Not to interfer with the timeline here...................but I am so curious, I've read one other book (Chopins Funeral), and I am wondering..........there has been so muck talk about his illnesses, that here was very sickly(how sad!) does anybody know what was his sickness? I haard he had a bad case of asthma. Its amazing to me he composed as well as he did with all his different illnesses. Sorry, again about interfering with the timeline. Thank you.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 03:18 PM

He had asthma and various other respiratory problems from childhood. He and his little sister developed tuberculosis when they were 15 and 13 respectively. Chopin recovered (essentially went into remission) for several years. His little sister Emilia died as 15. His health was always fragile and he was frequently ill with bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma etc. He tired quickly, was usually short of breath and had trouble sleeping. The tuberculosis had definitely returned by the time he was in his mid-twenties (probably earlier) and reached a crisis state during the unfortunate stay on Majorca with George Sand. He recovered to an extent but was never truly well after that. His health percipitously declined after his break up with George Sand. He died at the age of 39 of tuberculosis and cor pulmonale, a heart condition which is often a complication of chronic pulmonary disease. He also suffered from migraines and sometimes facial neuralgia.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 03:24 PM

Hi All:

I LOVE that book...The Lives of the Great Composers by Schoenberg. Nancy, I didn't know it was on tape. I'll have to see if I can find it at our library and listen to it while I am on my treadmill. One of my New Year's resolutions that I have yet to start. laugh

Back to the book...it's great and the information within is so informative. Just how true it is, is anyone's guess, but the author is well-respected in the academic community, so that should be of some assurance.

The chapter on Chopin is called "The Apotheosis of the Piano (right afer Schumann). I looked up the word apotheosis and it means "elevation to divine status" or "the perfect example."

Chopin died of complications from (what we now call TB). At that time, there wasn't any medication or a cure for it. His youngest sister died of the same disease at the age of 14. He was told by his doctors to rest and quit his nightly activities (going out to see friends, having a few drinks with them, going to someone's home and playing until the wee small hours.) But Chopin wanted to live his life to the fullest. Perhaps, if he would have taken the doctors' advice, he would have live longer. Who knows? But he did have fun!! And I'm so happy that he did.

Chopin managed to live to the ripe old age of 39, but he had several life-threatening bouts, especially during the last 10 years of his life. I know Frycek can add more detail to this.

Chopin, ever the wit, once said something like: I have see three doctors. "One said I am going to die, the other said I was dying, and the other said I was already dead."

This was a terrible disease and near the end of his life, he did suffer greatly, but almost never complained. On his deathbed, he was asked if he were in pain. He answered: "No more." Those were his last words.

To and for those who are utterly devoted to him, reading the details of his final days can bring tears to our eyes.

Nancy, if you don't have the book, see if you can buy it on e-bay. That's where I got mine and it wasn't expensive.

Kathleen
Posted By: pianomia

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 04:15 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Frycek:
He had asthma and various other respiratory problems from childhood. He and his little sister developed tuberculosis when they were 15 and 13 respectively. Chopin recovered (essentially went into remission) for several years. His little sister Emilia died as 15. His health was always fragile and he was frequently ill with bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma etc. He tired quickly, was usually short of breath and had trouble sleeping. The tuberculosis had definitely returned by the time he was in his mid-twenties (probably earlier) and reached a crisis state during the unfortunate stay on Majorca with George Sand. He recovered to an extent but was never truly well after that. His health percipitously declined after his break up with George Sand. He died at the age of 39 of tuberculosis and cor pulmonale, a heart condition which is often a complication of chronic pulmonary disease. He also suffered from migraines and sometimes facial neuralgia.
I am amazed that he was able to play the piano so well with all his health problems and all, let alone compose as well as he did. Migraines too? I have those and they are extremely painful. He must of had amazing determination and strength!
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 04:32 PM

Quote
Originally posted by pianomia:
[He must of had amazing determination and strength! [/QB]
He did. He had a lion's heart in that frail little body. (He was 5'7" and only weighed 97 pounds.) That's one of the many reasons so many of us admire him so much.
Posted By: pianomia

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 04:51 PM

Unbelievable! 5'7 and 97 lbs! It almost sounds like he was aneroxic! George Sand should have fed him more !
It still amazes me the awesome music he was able to compose despite his health problems. It's amazing he had the strength to play. What an inspiration he was!
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 04:58 PM

Thanks, Frycek, for the more detailed description of Chopin's illness.

And you are so correct in saying that so many of us admire and are devoted to him because of his profound determination to continue to create the world's most magnificent music, despite all his sufferring...both mental and physical.

I'm quoting from Schonberg's book: "Certainly the informed men of the day--Liszt, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Berlioz --knew that Chopin was an immortal; that within his self-imposed limitation he was perfection itself."

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 05:11 PM

Quote
Originally posted by pianomia:
Unbelievable! 5'7 and 97 lbs! It almost sounds like he was aneroxic! George Sand should have fed him more !
It still amazes me the awesome music he was able to compose despite his health problems. It's amazing he had the strength to play. What an inspiration he was!
He wasn't anorexic. When he was acutely ill weight apparently just fell off him. He was small boned and had never really filled out. According to George Sand as a mature man he still he had the body of a slender teenaged boy.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 05:26 PM

Although we think of Chopin as one who wrote sad music (and he wrote plenty of that), it amazes me how he also wrote some extremely sunny compositions even when his suffering was severe.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 05:31 PM

Now here's the question. Frycek: you said he was 5'7", and I am not disputing that. But Hersh (who told us he was 5'10) said he was 6 inches taller than Chopin. So that would make Chopin 5'4", which I seem to recall reading somewhere.

What's the real answer?

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 05:34 PM

There is a lot of misinformation about Chopin's height. I seem to remember Jim Samson writing that our diminutive hero was 5 feet ONE inch!! But his passport said 5'7" and that seems likely to have been accurate.
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 05:49 PM

Passeport: F Chopin

Eyes- blue
Hair-blond
Beard-blond (must've meant his sidewhiskers)
Height- 5'7" (in cm's)
Weight -97 lbs (in kilos)
Face - normal (whatever that means- no scars?)
Nose - can you believe I forgot how they described his nose?
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 06:07 PM

He he, do you think that sometimes they put "Face - ugly" on passports in those days? laugh
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 06:41 PM

Face: Ugly. Very funny!

Indeed, his passport said the above - somewhere, however, I read that when Chopin and Liszt played together they made the strangest team - Liszt was six feet, and Chopin, not much more than five - though the source that I read, had him at 5'4" - I know who to ask though in terms of the true academia..

Think of it though - 97 lbs and 5'7? That must have been really creepy!

smile H
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 07:07 PM

Now I'm upset. I'm 5'7" and weigh 98 lbs and I'm not creepy!!! mad
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 07:08 PM

{only joking}

ha
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 07:46 PM

I'm 5'7" and when I was sick and went down to 115, boy!! I was super creepy, and on top of it all...I couldn't play the piano like Chopin.

Not fair.

Kathleen
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 10:27 PM

Hi everyone,

Look what I found posted on the "1" thread:

Testing 1...2...3...4...5...

Hello! Anyone out there? I feel so lonely.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, (19 years app.) there was a grandy piano down the hall from the lobby of a beautiful hotel. There was a convention going on in a room near the grandy and the doors were open so that one could see that the attendees were nearly finished eating a meal. At this time a piano enthusiast and listener not connected to the convention in any way sat down at the grandy and began to play a piece that he had rounded into good form. Before long, people started streaming out of the banquet room and a few of them (20-25) stopped to listen while this stranger played the Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2. The player was quite surprised and nervous that a group had gathered to listen to him play. He was a self-conscious sort who played for his own enjoyment and the thought of playing for others frightened him more than nearly anything he could perceive. He continued to play, however, and focused on the beauty of the sound he was making on the heavenly sounding grandy. He finished the Chopin piece and felt as though he needed to run and hide somewhere, but the gathered few began to applaud his performance. He remained at the piano for a few seconds and his nerves began to calm. His feelings gradually changed into a warm sense of accomplishment and joy. You see, as this stranger sat down to play, he secretly hoped that some of the conventioneers might stop and listen to him play. He smiled to the onlookers, got up from the grandy and walked away light-hearted. This was his 1st public performance since he was 12 years old and while playing he was 48 years of age. Now, 19 years later, it makes him feel warm inside to remember the evening when he played what for him was a concert at Carnegie Hall to a standing ovation.

Memory is sometimes a good friend.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 10:44 PM

Thank you Lisztner: While so many of us might say that we play for our own enjoyment only, I think that down deep inside each one of us lies that "performer." The one with just the right amount of ego to sit down before that "grandy" and let the world hear what we have learned and take such pride in. I honestly think we all deserve standing ovations... if only we could convince ourselves of that fact.

Yes, memory is a good friend, no doubt about that. But for us seniors, it has a tendency to be somewhat flighty every so often.

I wonder why the story you wrote about was on the "one" page. I still haven't figured out the basic premise behind all those cryptic messages.

Kathleen
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 11:22 PM

Thanks, Kathleen, for your information on the book. I was on Schumann, and today I am onto Chopin. I may listen to the book over again. I thought I'd remember it, but the composers are getting jumbled in my mind.

I was totally shocked, but fascinated, by the section on the..I forget the name exactly..Castratas, maybe? The castrated male singers. The emphasis from the author was on how beautifully surreal their singing was, but I couldn't help feeling very uncomfortable at all they had to give up to get that sound. And from such a young age. And without anesthesia. Ouch.

Nancy
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 11:24 PM

Lisztener, I'm impressed you found that on the 1 thread! I'm glad you did, though, it was a gem. I can just imagine his self-consciousness as people gathered around him. What a lovely ending.

Nancy
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/10/07 11:38 PM

NancyM33, yes the Castrati were a very strange phenomenon! I have an old LP with the voice of the last castrato and he really sounded almost unearthly. Although it seems a horrible thing to do to little boys, the alternative was often a life of poverty and early death as opposed to unabated luxury for the most successful. Even so.... {ouch!}

Both Schumann and Chopin had such sad stories, didn't they? Yet they produced some of the most uplifting music.
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 12:34 AM

I thought that writing in the third person and using the description of the stranger who sat down to play would make it plain that the author was none other than yours truly. Oh well, I guess my writing skills need improvement as much as my piano-playing skills.

Quote
Originally posted by Lisztener:
At this time a piano enthusiast and listener not connected to the convention in any way sat down at the grandy
I find myself quite pensive of late. Here is another inward looking post from another thread concerning a song that I am now learning. I posted this on 12/28/2006:

Quote
originally posted by Lisztener:
I'm a sucker for the type of music that draws upon my emotions whether classical, pop or new age. If it has a haunting melody, it affects me. I'm probably older than most other posters in this thread to this point, with the exception of Kathleen. I believe my age is a factor in my preference for the older standards.

My new piano teacher assigned Beethoven's "Pathetique" sonata for me to learn all three movements and I agreed because of the beauty of the second movement. Well, over Christmas week I sorted through the sheets in my piano bench and came across some songs from my past that made me reconsider the Beethoven sonata. Truthfully, I'm not "in love" with the music of the first and third movements. They have no emotional pull for me. Much classical piano music that must be included in the repertoire of top virtuosos seems to me to serve the purpose of showcasing technical skills as opposed to evoking beauty. There are many classical piano pieces that I truly dislike for the same reasons that I dislike most opera music...sometimes they both sound like non-melodic noise.

After the Christmas break when I go back to my teacher, she's in for a surprise. I've picked up three songbooks that have some classic pop solos from the thirties and forties. The piece that I have chosen to learn is a difficult version of "I'll Be Seeing You" that just so happens to be the favorite song of my dearly departed sister. It makes me weep to hear it, talk about it, and learn it, but its beauty has caused me to become obsessed with it. My sister sang this song around the house when I was a boy. She whistled it when she sat in her favorite rocker. She was a beautiful, upbeat woman with a romantic heart. Unfortunately, she died at the age of fifty-five from complications of rheumatic heart disease. She was living in Florida at the time of her death. I spoke with her on the phone shortly before the end. Her voice was weak and we both knew the end was near. At the end of our conversation, she didn't say goodbye. She gave me her standard, I'll be seeing you. After speaking with her, I wept from the depths of my being. Within two weeks, I helped my brothers put our only sister in the ground. Audrey is her name and once I learn it I'll post it as "Audrey's song".

I'm happy to have introduced you all to a gentle soul who will be in my heart until I see her in a new cafe or a new park across the way.

I'll be seeing you, and
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 01:03 AM

Lisztner: You won't believe it, but "I'll Be Seeing You" is my very favorite of all the wonderful (and I mean WONDERFUL) old time standards. I know each and every word and find myself singing it every so often for no apparent reason other than it is so heartbreakingly beautiful, words and music...the perfect match. I do have it in one of my music books and often turn to it for a break from the heavy classical music I've been learning.

Please do post your recording when you can. We will be looking forward to "Audrey's Song."

I am so sorry to learn about your sister. I know you will be seeing her in a place more beautiful than words can describle. I pray she didn't suffer, and I know she was grateful for having a brother such as you.


Oh...it's nice to know that I am the oldest on this forum. eek Thanks for the reminder. thumb

Sincere regards,
Kathleen
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 02:06 AM

Kathleen,

I'm so happy to hear that "I'll be seeing you" is your favorite of the great standards. It was an enormous hit during World War II and for those of us who are "war babies" it evokes beautiful memories.

You and I share the same age. That tribute to my sister was posted in the "Any hopeless Romantics out there?" thread. You had posted to that thread before me, so, I believe that you and I were probably the oldest to post there and most likely to remember many of the great standards of our youth. I meant you no emotional harm and am confident none was caused.

I read, recently, that you are having problems deciding what piece to post in the upcoming recital. After listening a few times to your entries in the 2006 Time Capsule, I suggest you consider Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude. Your rendition is beautiful.

You are a most kind and endearing lady. Thank you for your warm comments.

I promise to post "Audrey's Song" after learning it. I'm confident you'll find a beautiful piece to post to the recital.

Warm regards to you,
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 02:19 AM

Lisztener, I did think that the pianist was the writer. I just thought someone had posted this story on the "1" thread after reading it elsewhere. I'm glad to know the real author!

Nancy
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 03:11 AM

Nancy, It appears as though I accomplished what I set out to do, then. Thank you for your wonderful comments.

Since I know you frequent this thread, I want you to know that I am in the middle of the book, "Reflections From The Keyboard" by David Dubal that you recommended. It's quite interesting and I'm happy that I purchased it. Now I'd better take leave, quickly, since this post has nothing to do with Chopin.

I enjoy your posts, Nancy,
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 03:41 AM

Thanks, Lisztener. I am glad you're enjoying the book. I look forward to more of your posts, 3rd person or otherwise.

Anyone--Do you happen to know the name of the Chopin piece at the beginning of the movie "The Secret Garden"? I teach a student at my high school that mentioned wanting to learn it to me but didn't know the Opus number. I'm not familiar with the movie.

Nancy
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 02:40 PM

Hi Nancy: I am not familiar with that movie but tried a little research on it. I found a site that plays all the music from that film, and I listened to several of the exerpts...but couldn't find a Chopin piece. Anyhow here is a link to that site.

Secret Garden Music

Dear Lisztner: Of course, you are quite right that I am, not in the least, offended that you "broadcasted" laugh my age to the world. wink Actually, I feel quite lucky that I'm still alive and "kicking." Having someone the same age as I on the forum is great.

You are very kind, but you must know that the people (including you) on this forum have brought out the very best in me. I truly treasure the day I discovered it. While I don't consider myself a romantic (whatever that word means??), I do love so many of the "oldies but goodies." They just don't write them like that anymore, and I feel sorry for the younger generation that they have missed out on these gems. Other than "I'll Be Seeing You," I love "The Way You Look Tonight" and All The Things You Are." I could go on and one. There were so many excellent songs.

I'll make you a deal. I will start learning/practicing "I'll Be Seeing You" in earnest, and I hope you can be doing the same. When we are both ready...we can post our renditions on the monthly 'Piano Bar'. How about it?? We probably have different arrangements, and it should be fun. Please let me know. And, naturally, there is no rush...whenever we are both ready.

Bye for now,
Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 02:54 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
They just don't write them like that anymore, and I feel sorry for the younger generation that they have missed out on these gems. Other than "I'll Be Seeing You," I love "The Way You Look Tonight" and All The Things You Are." I could go on and one. There were so many excellent songs.
[/QB]
I confess to a sentimental attachment to "Blue Birds over The White Cliffs of Dover," and "As Time Goes By."
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 04:16 PM

Quote
Other than "I'll Be Seeing You," I love "The Way You Look Tonight" and All The Things You Are." I could go on and one. There were so many excellent songs.
Quote
I confess to a sentimental attachment to "Blue Birds over The White Cliffs of Dover," and "As Time Goes By."
I just did not now that Chopin wrote all these songs..... laugh

It's probably not the right cathegory, but personally I love "Misty" and even more "Every time we say goodbye.....".

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 08:57 PM

Ragnhild: Did you ever see that movie "Play Misty for Me?" If not, you just have to. It starred Clint Eastwood, and the plot is quite suspenseful. It's an old movie, probably made in the 1970's or so. confused


If Chopin were alive and well today, I think he would agree with us that those songs and several others are beautiful. smile

He did love the human voice and was so impressed especially with the opersa.

Even though the songs mentioned are not operatic in nature, their melodies are lovely and haunting.

I can personally thank Frank Sinatra heart for my knowledge of and love for all these wonderful standards. He sang them all perfectly. He was the best vocalist of all time (just my opinion and probably a few million others).

I'm looking out of the kitchen window right now, and it looks like it's going to rain. And as I do, the song, "Stormy Weather" comes to mind. Luckily, my husband isn't home, so I can sing it out loud. Poor dog though... laugh

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 09:09 PM

No I have not seen "Play Misty for me ", but I will look for it. Thank you, Kathleen !
I'm a bit embarrased to tell but I do have a "soft spot" (is this the right expression ? ) for Clint Eastwood....

We did sing a nice arrangement of Misty when I sang in a kind of "Swingle singers"-group as a student.
Now we are singing "Swing low" and religious folk tunes from our local district but that's nice too... wink

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 09:18 PM

If you have a "soft spot" (and yes, that is the right expression) for Clint Eastwood, you will definitely get a big thrill out of this movie. When he was younger, he was quite handsome and had a lot of hair. wink

However, I do have to tell you that there are some scary parts in the movie. Clint is being stalked by a crazy lady. eek However, compared to the blood and gore they put in movies today, this movie is quite tame. thumb

Do see it. I promise you'll like it.

It's great that you have such a beautiful voice and are able to join a group of other singers. There is nothing like listening to a choir of voices, especially singing songs like "Swing Low". Wish I could hear it. smile

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 10:38 PM

Hallo everyone!

Has anyone seen this film about Chopin - La Note Bleue - directed by Andrzej Zulawski? Chopin is played by Janusz Olejniak, a real-life Polish pianist with no prior acting experience and George Sand is played by Marie-France Pisier. It sounds like it includes the frequently-quoted lies that Chopin is sexually attracted to George's daughter Solange who is played by Sophie Marceau.

Although I've seen this film mentioned on the internet from time to time I've never seen any trace of it in the cinema or DVD shops.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 11:05 PM

Me again...

Just returned from the library with two books about Chopin. One, I've already read and got quite a kick out of it. It's called "Frederic Chopin" by Franz Liszt. eek

Ah, I thought, when I started to read it the first time...this should be good. Boy, was I ever wrong. It was so superfluous and poorly written that I couldn't imagine Liszt writing it. Well, it turns out (I learned this later) that he didn't...not much of it anyhow. Some countess took pen in hand and with a few tidbits of information from Franz, decided to write a biography of Chopin. Ah, I now see on the front flap that Franz did write it with the help of Princess von Sayn-Wittgenstein. :rolleyes:

However, I am anxious to read a book that I haven't heard about. It's called "The Lioness and the Little One," by William Atwood. I did see some great photos within and will probably post them.

But, yikes, the title alone is making me gag! mad

Has anyone read this book?

Not to worry. I'll take everything I read with a ton of salt.

I wish Alan Walker would write a 3 volume bio of Chopin as he did on Liszt.

Perhaps Liszt was a more interesting person, and he certainly did live longer.


Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/11/07 11:16 PM

Hi Kathleen, when I read the Liszt book it seemed to me that parts were in his "voice" but as you say, most was ghost-written by his lady. As for Atwood, I remember reading a book called "Chopin - the pianist from Warsaw" (I think) and it didn't really add anything to my knowledge. I didn't enjoy it. Please let us know what you think of "The Lioness and the Little One"!

In fact, I suggest anyone reading a book about Chopin or those close to him could write a short review for this thread. I'll do so next time I get reading.

I agree that Walker is excellent - he deserves to be taken as seriously as he is. Now how could you suggest that anyone, even Liszt, is a more interesting person that dear Chopin?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 12:28 AM

What a wonderful idea, MaryRose. Using this thread as a book review. I always wanted to have a job like that. My dream come true, without the money, however. laugh Now I will definitely have to read all those books I ordered via Amazon. I've only read a few chapters here and there in most of them. I think I'm like Nancy when she mentioned that as soon as she reads something, she forgets it about 1/2 hour later. That's my problem. I need to start taking notes.

Gosh, how did those words about Liszt being a more interesting person than our hero, slip out of my mouth. eek It must be this diet root-beer I'm drinking. laugh

Yes, I do think Chopin was quite a character
(in the kindest definition of the word). Although he was not well-read, he had so many friends, who truly loved him. I wonder exactly what they would talk about. I know gossip was a big thing back then (and still is now, for that matter). I know he wasn't intersted in politics or literature or art. But he did love opera and, of course, music. I know he especially enjoyed his visits with Delacroix, even if he didn't care for his art. I wonder if Chopin actually told him that he didn't like his work. confused

I guess Liszt, being as flamboyant as he was when he was younger, and then practically turning into a monk when he got older, just makes him a veritable fount of incongruities. Even more so than Chopin, if that's possible.

Anyhow, I do like Liszt, and one of these days perhaps I will attempt the Walker biography.

My husband just told me that he thinks we should take a cruise (what brought this on?). So now I have to go surfing for some info on what's available out there. We've only gone on one cruise, about 5 years ago. Everyone came off the ship with beautiful tans..me with pneumonia. How does a person get pneumonia in 85 degree weather and heavenly ocean breezes?

Good night to all,
Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 12:35 AM

Kathleen, at this time of year a cruise does sound rather inviting! I hope you find a good one.

I know that some writers suggest Chopin was not well-read but I don't think that is true. He liked to take a book to read in bed before he went to sleep, and read poetry and other works. But he was so hard-working during the winter months that he wouldn't have had time to read a lot.

He also enjoyed going to the theatre, and to art galleries, and lectures. He was very cultured and must have had a wide range of engaging conversation to make him so attractive to Delacroix amongst others, himself a cultured and intellectual man who wrote in his diary that he admired Chopin's mind.
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 12:47 AM

Thanks for looking for the Secret Garden for me, Kathleen. I listened to some of the songs on there. She said it was the music in the beginning when the little girl goes outside, so I tried that one. I don't recognize it as Chopin, but I'm not that familiar with all his work. I'll play her the snippets from the Amazon site tomorrow and see if she recognizes one.

I did some websurfing for you. I was hoping there would be a music-themed cruise. There are, but they aren't to warm places and don't seem to feature much Chopin. I guess he spend most of his life in Paris and Poland, not exactly cruise capitals.

Nancy
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 05:48 AM

Kathleen,

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
I'll make you a deal. I will start learning/practicing "I'll Be Seeing You" in earnest, and I hope you can be doing the same. When we are both ready...we can post our renditions on the monthly 'Piano Bar'. How about it?? We probably have different arrangements, and it should be fun. Please let me know. And, naturally, there is no rush...whenever we are both ready.

Bye for now,
Kathleen
With the help of my recently acquired teacher I'm in the process of learning a rather difficult (for me) version of "I'll be Seeing You". It's in the very beginning stages, so it will take quite some time for me to get it to the point where I'll be comfortable posting it in the forums.

Since you are making the proposal that we do this, I presume it will not interfere with any Chopin piece or reading material about him that you may prefer.

If the road is clear for you, then I'm happy to accept your deal and look forward to that day when we each get to hear what the other has created.

This will serve as added motivation for me to hunker down and get it learned.

Thank you for the offer to participate with you on this project.

With warm regards,
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 02:11 PM

A reminder of the approach to piano playing that Chopin shared with his pupils:

Chopin's famous predilection for the black keys springs from his understanding of the keyboard's proper relationship to the physiognomy of the hand, as the black keys favour a natural, comfortable position of the longer second, third and fourth fingers. This is why he made his pupils begin with the scales of B, F#, and Db (following the basic fingering 1-2-3-1, 2-3-4-1 and 2-3-1 respectively). Contrary to the teachers of his time, who sought to equalize the fingers by means of laborious and cramping exercises, Chopin cultivated the finger's individual characteristics, prizing their natural inequality as a source of variety in sound: "As many different sounds as there are fingers"

[copied from the Warsaw Chopin Society website]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 03:22 PM

MaryRose: You have indeed OPENED MY EYES eek to factt about Chopin of which I was not aware. And I feel so grateful to you for doing so. As much as I love the man (and idolize his music), I've always felt a little embarrassed about him, for I was under the impression (from what I read) that he was not very cultured. Yes, cultured in manners, deportment and dress, but not in the true meaning of the word. Now, thanks to you...I can be 200% proud of him, not only as the most profound genius of all time (yes, I know I'm stretching it), but also so proud of him as a man, who took the time away from his composing to learn about and appreciate the culture that was all around him. And, now I can understand why Delacroix so enjoyed his company, for I knew Delacroix was quite educated in these matters. THANK YOU SO MUCH, MARYROSE. You have change my whole impression of our hero. wow

Nancy: I listened to several of those clips, and quite honestly, I think they are all composed by the man responsible for the music in that film. Perhaps there is another version of this film.

And thank you for the surfing you did to find a music cruise. Now wouldn't that be something. To find a cruise that went to some tropical islands and played only Chopin on loud speakers throughout the day. And also had a "study group" on Chopin twice a day. I'm not going to hold my breath on tht one. Besides, I couldn't drag my husband on such a cruise. He'd go bonkers in no time. laugh

Liszter: I was a little worried that perhaps I had overstepped my boundaries suggesting that we both "tackle" this song because I know you want to learn to play it and then dedicate it to your sister. Boy, I do have some nerve, sometimes. So, I was relieved that you were open to the challenge (not really the right word). In no way would I think that learning it would be taking up precious time from learning Chopin and some other classical pieces. In truth, just a few days ago, I realized that I needed to broaden my reportie (I can NEVER spell that word!). I do know a couple of Barry Manilow songs. My arrangement is not easy either, so I think we will be on the same track, more or less. No hurry, obviously. I also need some motivation. So...let's get going on it. smile

MaryRose: I did read about Chopin's predilection for the black keys on the piano and his reason by. How easily the fingers fit in this position. Also, that he did not believe that each finger should be of equal strength for this was defeating their individual nuances.

How brilliant he was in this concept. Where did it all go wrong?? I know I started learning the scales with the key of C, and I'm sure we all did. And because of this, I did build up a fear or dread of playing anything on the black keys. Also, I looked for pieces to learn that were written in the key of C, so I would not have to remember what was sharp or flat...etc. They all seemed so "complicated." And to this day, that silly concept is deeply ingrained in my mind. I'm gradually getting "over it," thank goodness. Thank you for your detailed post. I am going to print it out.

Now...I have a question/problem. I joined another group on the ABF- called the Hanon Study Group. I have resisted Hanon for many years, but I now realize that if I am ever going to play well, I need to strengthen my fingers. Today is the deadline for completing the first lesson. We all know it well. I've been practicing it for two weeks, about 10 minutes a day...also along the way...back a few years, have tried to conquer that first lesson, especially the left hand.

Our group does stress that it is not the speed that counts but the evenness. However, I do remember my teacher saying that I should be able to work up to at least a tempo of 80. Ha!!

OK, here's the problem. I have carpal tunnel syndrone (sp?) in both of my wrists. This was a complete surprise to me as I have absolutely no pain whatsoever. And now I am wondering if this can be the cause of my not being able to play that first lesson (and I'm sure others to follow) evenly and with an acceptable tempo.

Does anyone have any knowledge or experience with this? I am having problems especially with my left hand, the 4th and 5th finger.

Thank you all.

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 05:51 PM

After hearing you play the Raindrop prelude, Kathleen, I can't think you have Carpal Tunnel syndrome - but of course a doctor would be the one to answer that.

I have problems with my LH 4th and 5th finger too- it is very common, and probably the reason why Hanon made these exercises. The best thing to do is to relax (don't forget to breathe - I did and was nearly fainting half way down wink ).

I think the deadline is extended, so come on Kathleen go for metronome 70 (mine says 60 - 108) That is unless your hands hurt - if they do you shall be careful..

frown => smile

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 07:44 PM

Thanks so much for the encouragement, Ragnhild. I bet you are right. I shouldn't get discouraged and just keep on keeping on, as I am always telling everyone else. thumb

In truth, the most difficult part of the Raindrop (for me) was that first page. Reaching with the 5th finger on the LH and playing those broken chords. I thought I'd never get it. I did, eventually, but it was pretty close to torture. The thunder and lightening section was no problem at all...all those chords were easy and fun.

Thanks again, dear. I will take your advice and breathe. wink

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 08:01 PM

MaryRose brought up the idea of writing book reviews on this site. And it's a great idea, I think. So anyone who has read a book about Chopin and would like to share his/her insights with us, that would be wonderful.

That being said...I have two books to recommend, but they are not about Chopin. eek So, right off the bat, I'm bending the "rules" a bit. Actually, there are no rules.

I read "Piano Lessons" last year and just loved it. It's by Noah Adams, and I think you'll enjoy it also. Briefly, (and this is a true stor, by the way), Noah decides one day that he would like to learn to play the piano so he could play jszz...his very favorite type of music. Mind you, he is an adult, probably in his mid to late 30's. He ends up buying a $10,000 Steinway grand piano!! The story covers a year of his life, from the time he buys the piano to the day...a year later, when he actually does play a song, for his wife. The story is quite funny at times and also paints a great picture of the frustrations he encounters along the way. It's a great read.


The second book, and I just started reading it last night, is called "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier" by Thad Carhart. I'm only half-way through because my huband made me turn off the lights, but it's just a very charming and enchanting story. The title practically tells it all. But there is much more detail, of course, and also some very interesting facts about pianos themselves and how the they evolved through the centuries. He does mention CHOPIN, so I guess this book fits into our category. Again, a very light but amusing and entertaining true story.

Kathleen
Posted By: stephenc

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 08:59 PM

Quote
Ragnhild said:
"Leggiere" is French and means something like "lightly". (Try a French - English dictionary)

Are you practicing Nocturne 27 no 2, Stephenc ?
(It's giving me a hard time because it can't be broken into segments...)

Quote
maryrose said:
Stephenc - Ragnhild is right in essence. The word is "leggierissimo" but it is abbreviated, and is Italian for "very lightly".
Ragnhild, maryrose - thank you so much for your replies! (sorry for my late one whome )

Playing very lightly on this section makes perfect sense and I've noticed in some videos of the piece that the pianist certainly plays with a touch that is "Leggiere".

Ragnhild, yes, I am practicing the 8th nocturne. This is simply an exquisite piece of music - but very challenging (especially getting the ornamentation right)! Your right about the segments being hard to find - the piece just flows like clockwork. Im 2 and a 1/2 pages in (of 6) so I think the really hard work is still ahead of me - like the run starting at measure 51 frown
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 09:00 PM

Hey all - hope you are well and working hard at the piano. Lots of talk about Liszt I see... well, I have been hard at work on the Liszt transcription of Beethoven 9 - which I will be using in the Beethoven play... I am going to start my little Paris tour with something new that I bought today...because you all speak of Liszt (indeed his "biography" quotes a whole lot of Lucrezia - but whether his mistress wrote it or not, I have a feeling, a lot of what is written was his perception anyway at that time... My most reliable source, however in judging Lucrezia - comes from Delacroix who wrote in his diary about an evening at Nohant that "listening to Sand read segment of Lucrezia and watching Chopin nod his approval every now and then... was like watching the executioner and victim having a nice discussion just before the act [I paraphrase]. Delcaroix later goes on about asking Chopin about what Chopin thought... and he discusses Chopin;s response. It is very clear, that Delacroix who knew them both very well thought that Prince Karol was indeed a reflection of Chopin. Poorly written, perhaps, but probably close in character - especially if Delacroix who is clear and transparent in his intentions says so... anyway - back to the tour - it is VERY dangerous to wander around in my neighborhood here in Paris - too many original artifcats - so I bought a fun one today... I shall send the bits off to Frycek who will post (I hope) - and I will add why I found the letter fun - this weekend I am off to the Musee de La Vie Romantique where Clesinger's cast of Chopin's hand sits next to Sand's etc... and more...to photograph for you all - the Rue Taitbout just around the corner... oh, and for those who haven't read the zit doctor's book (Attwood - I think his name is...the title escapes me - a dermatologist in NY) a book that I actually liked very much about Chopin's Paris - the environment, the characters - and all the places he lived... good historic stuff- do have a look.

MR - as for the film LA NOTE BLEUE. You think Pragnenie Milosci was bad? Don't even begin with this one. STAGGERING. Jaw dropping, astonishing, bizarre in not such a good way... and I never speak ill of any such effort. Okay. This once. And never again.
smile
Hersh
Posted By: stephenc

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 09:20 PM

Quote
loveschopintoomuch said:
The second book, and I just started reading it last night, is called "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier" by Thad Carhart.....
I'm 3/4 of my way through this one too!! I highly recommend it also - its a nice story and filled with lots of great piano information (history, the inner workings, playing advice, composers etc etc.)
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 10:21 PM

I just finished "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank" night before last. It was uncanny how I reading a thread on the Piano Forum about rating the different pianos, with three of them getting A+--Bosendorfer, Fazioli and Bluthner, when I got to a chapter called, "Fazioli." I enjoyed every page of that book.

It was great to be reading that while listening in the car to "The Lives of the Great Composers." It makes you realize that the intersection of some extraordinary people (Liszt, Chopin, Delacroix, and other giants of the 19th century) with an extraordinary place (Paris) must have been a pinnacle of culture for the human race. It was great to walk along with Thad Carhart as he went through the streets where these greats had been, enjoying the culture they handed down and the people they handed it down to.

Is there any chance someone in the future will be waxing nostalgic about the intersection of rap music and the American suburbs?

I also enjoyed Piano Lessons, but in a different way. It really got me started last year seeing my pastime as something to relish, not what I was feeling at the time, which was that it was a self-indulgence to be so involved in a hobby. Actually, I wrote a note to Noah Adams about how much his story had moved me to action, and though I didn't hear back from him, I always feel good about letting people know when they have done good work. I'm sure he's heard it a zillion times, but a zillion and one is still good.

I am now onto "This is Your Brain on Music," and I am really enthusiastic about this one. I'll write more as I get into it.

Nancy
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/12/07 10:26 PM

Here we have Hershey's new treasure: A Liszt Letter -

Quote

Liszt got the better of me:

Today I wandered into one of the shops on the Rue Bonaparte, and probably against my better judgement, left the store with this...a letter written by Liszt to his student and apparent real prodigy Hermann Cohen. Cohen's nickname was Puzzi - and that's what Liszt called him. He got his nickname Puzzi from George Sand. In this
letter - Liszt is talking about Hexameron, which of course, involves Chopin. I loved the idea of having all the characters represented in a piece that I actually played as kid - Liszt wrote this in 1838 - just at the time when Chopin and Sand got together - having been introduced by Liszt. The language Liszt uses is quite a riot - a young brash, 'comedian' as it were... very very funny! Anyway - I have it now - it will sit on the piano, framed, to remind me, of what it's supposed to be like....
smile H
Puzzi (Hermann Cohen) aged 15
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


Liszt's letter, rustily translated by Frycek:
Quote
May God bless you and the devil take you, Holy Puzzi! Why is it that you no longer write to me? What is it that makes Your Lordship act this way? Mme d'Arragon whom I have met here, has spoken to me of grudges, regrets, susceptibilities on your part, and I don't know what all else, about things I absolutely don't understand. What rats are running around in your brain?
Seriously, if you don't want to make us angry (foolishly, ridiculously, but seriously) you must make up your mind and that within the space of 24 hours write to me a ratty, Puzzi-ish letter. Tell me how your affairs are going and what are your projects for this year. I've known nothing of you for a century.
How is your health? My mother has written to me that you have become a young man with money. There's nothing wrong with that but it's necessary to keep some in reserve. And why haven't you sent me the proofs of Hexameron. I'm extremely impatient about that out of all proportion. It's been a year since the piece was sent. Dispatch yourself to sent it to me otherwise I'm going to be furious. It's absolutely necessary that that appears in Paris by December 1st.
Goodbye my good Rat. Never doubt my sincere friendship. FL
[Linked Image]


Note from Frycek:
Also something I found awhile back, a very
interesting site about Liszt and Hermann Cohen.
http://www.users.cloud9.net/~recross/why-not/Cohen.html
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 12:22 AM

Merci, Hershey and Frycek, tres interessant.

Liszt's handwriting is very Liszt-like, isn't it.

Goodnight to all Chopaholics from Mary-Rose xx
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 04:32 AM

Ah ha! Those of you totally devoted to Chopin are now becoming.....just like me. laugh ha
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 04:57 AM

I think this post will put us to 700. LisztAddict, what piece did you mention that was over 15 minutes long? And where is the Chopin piece I heard you play about three weeks ago--this thread, or another? I wanted to download it.

Nancy
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 08:14 AM

Nancy,

If you don't hear from LisztAddict, I have ten of his pieces (not all Chopin) downloaded. Tell me the name of the piece and I'll find it for you and post a link to it. Oh, very important, which of his Chopin pieces is it?

I have the Etude Op. 10 No. 3
" " " Nocturne..Op. 27 No. 1
" " " Nocturne..Op. 20 in C# Minor
" " " Nocturne..Op. 21 in C Minor
" " " Nocturne..OP. 48 No. 1
" " " Waltz.......Op. 64 No. 2

As you can see, I truly enjoy his playing.

If you don't remember the name of the piece you want, or if I can't find it in the forums, PM me your email address and I'll send all the above to you...assuming you're comfortable sending your address.

I hope LisztAddict responds to your request.
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 02:05 PM

The great, but almost forgotten German-Romantic composer, Theodor Kirchner transcribed 10 of Chopin's Songs for piano solo.

These Lieder have not been commercially available for 100 years, but are in the public domain.

Here are the extremely rare sheets:


Chopin-Kirchner Zehn Lieder


Kirchner also transcribed Schumann's Dichterliebe, Liederkreis, Frauenliebe, Myrthen, etc.

Mel
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 02:12 PM

Thanks, Lisztener. I'll look up which one it was--I have a version of it in my car, but frankly, I thought LisztAddict's was better. I had no idea he had posted so many things--but if you've ever seen his practice log, you know he is a dedicated pianist!

Mel, if these were transcribed for piano solo, for what instrument(s) were they originally written?

Nancy
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 02:20 PM

Piano and voice.

Mel
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 02:53 PM

Nancy: Thanks for putting us over the 700 mark. Although I am amazed at the popularity of this site, I can't say I'm surprised. For how can a piano forum not have a HUGE thread (or two) about Chopin?

When I had to drive 100 miles to work back and forth everyday, I listened to hundreds of books-on-tape. Combined with those books I was reading, I was often living in a kind of "dream world." I had to stop and think (so often) what was real or fiction in my life. Now that I have retired, I have no reason to listen. However, since I am starting on the dreaded tread mill today, I did rent out a book-on-tape to help control the boredom. Did you buy the copy of your "The Lives of the Great Composers" or did your library have it? Any other books-on-tape about composers that you could recommend?

Hi Lisztner: I am just starting to learn to play the 48.1 nocturne, but I've never heard LisztAddict play it. Could you please post a link to his performance for me?? I think this one will be so far over my head as to be out of sight. Many thanks. (An aside: I started on "I"ll be Seeing You" yesterday, and I was wrong when I said the arrangement was difficult. I may have looked at it BEFORE I began learning the "impossible part" of the 55.1 nocturne, so, of course, now, in comparison, it isn't that hard. Although I can play it through, I do need a few weeks to polish it and give it that "extra" touch. But again, please don't rush. I am currently working on about 10 pieces in various stages, so I could use the time also.)

Mel: Thank you for that great site.

For my book review. I believe the book I am currently reading "The Lionness and the Little One" by Attwood is the same one Hersh referred to as the one written by a "zit doctor" laugh . In the introduction, the author says that much of the information he gleaned to write this book was from Sand's letters. bah

We all know what that means. :rolleyes: I'm still going to read it although. I'm curious just how he paints the picture of Sand and Chopin's relationship. But I think I'll be reading it with my teeth clinched!! mad

Kathleen
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 03:58 PM

Nancy - I have 2 Chopin pieces in the 2006 capsule thread. I think the Chopin etude 10/3 is what you are talking about. I also posted Nocturne 27/2 and Waltz 64/2 sometimes in 2006, but the recording quality wasn't good.

I have Liszt transcriptions for piano solo of Chopin songs Op 74.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 04:11 PM

Dear LisztAddict, we will forgive you for your teasing if you would be so kind as to post your lovely playing of Chopin on this thread at the same time as "other" threads. I think it would be nice, in fact, if everyone who recorded something of Chopin would post it here... then when we feel in the mood, we can browse back through the pages and play people's interpretations, all available in one place.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 04:19 PM

Hershey - I forgot to say, thank you for warning us about the film "La Note Bleue". Now I will know to avoid it, and save myself searching it out feverishly and then getting upset wink

Kathleen and Nancy - thank you for your book recommendations. I will certainly look out for those.

Mel - thanks for the Chopin-Kirchner link. You really are a valuable participant in this thread!
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 04:41 PM

Mel, where on earth and how do you manage to find these things? Thanks!

Mary Rose: Re: "La Note Bleue" I've already tried "searching it out feverishly," knowing it was bad and being perversely curious enough to want to know how bad. It appears to be unfindable without Masonic connections or something. It's so bad it's been buried deep among fish heads and used nappies and had quicklime thrown over it. But one note of interest: The pianist Janusz Olejniczak who played Chopin in "La Note Bleue" also performed for Adrien Brody in "The Pianist."

Janusz Olejniczak - Not exactly Our Frederyk:
[Linked Image]
http://www.bearton.pl/olejniczak_en.htm
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 05:06 PM

What a site...the info here is fascinating.

I never heard of the film 'La Note Bleue." Frycek, you really did give us a good description of what happened to it.

OK. Maybe this has been addressed or answered before, but I can't remember reading about it.

As I stated, I am now reading The Lionness and the Little One (God, do I hate that title). Right off the bat, the author (Attwood) states that Chopin was his most creative while living with "that woman." However, I have to question that statement. He lived with her from the time he was 27/28? to the age of 37 or so.

This period of time would be the most productive for any artist. He was at his prime, no thanks to her. True, she did provide a stable and somewhat happy environment (at the beginning that is), and I am certain this was a factor in keeping his creative jusices flowing. However, let's say, instead of living with Sand, he roomed with someone else (man or woman...makes no difference) who could provide the same type of environment. Wouldn't he have been just as productive, perhaps even more? so ? In other words, was it she and she only who was THE deciding factor. I doubt it.

Also, why didn't Chopin dedicate any of his works to her?? I know he dedicated many to his patrons or good friends or those who might be of use to him someday. So I am confused on this. If she was the be all and the end all in Chopin's life, why didn't he tell the world of this through this music??

Lastly, the author states that after their breakup, Chopin fell to pieces and could no longer compose and his physical health started a profound decline. Good night!! His health was failing all along and started its big decline after that stay in (wherever), where it was cold and rainy. While I am sure Chopin was heartbroken and upset, I don't think the breakup was the cause of his early demise.

Personally, (and I think this is a well-favored opinion), Chopin saw in Sand a mother-figure. And she certainly obliged by pampering and taking care of him until she grew tired of him.

I guess what this long post is all about is that I don't think Sand was the supreme motivation for Chopin. He did compose some great works before he even met her. And why can't we assume that he would have continued to create more masterpieces even if he never met her at all.

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 05:32 PM

Kathleen, I agree with you. Chopin would have been a great composer whomever he had lived with (or if he had lived alone). He had produced all the Etudes and the Concertos before he met her. He reached a musical maturity early on, although he did continue to develop and his late style actually appeals to me even more. I would argue that if George Sand hadn't carted him off to Majorca he might have lived longer, in fact. I think she caused him as much upset as she gave him comfort; not just in the last years, but even in the early to mid forties when she was having affairs and being insensitive if not downright cruel about his delicacy of health and refinement of disposition.

I say this after a lot of thought - I didn't always feel so strongly against her, but the more evidence I have discovered, the more I feel this to be true.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 05:50 PM

Frycek - Olejniczak seems to have a correct-looking Adam's apple but methinks it must have been a challenge to the make-up department otherwise smile
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 06:53 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Hi Lisztner: I am just starting to learn to play the 48.1 nocturne, but I've never heard LisztAddict play it. Could you please post a link to his performance for me?? I think this one will be so far over my head as to be out of sight. Many thanks. (An aside: I started on "I"ll be Seeing You" yesterday, and I was wrong when I said the arrangement was difficult. I may have looked at it BEFORE I began learning the "impossible part" of the 55.1 nocturne, so, of course, now, in comparison, it isn't that hard. Although I can play it through, I do need a few weeks to polish it and give it that "extra" touch. But again, please don't rush. I am currently working on about 10 pieces in various stages, so I could use the time also
Kathleen,

The only link I can find to LisztAddict's Chopin Nocturne Op. 48 No. 1 performance was saved on "savefile.com". I tried to download it again from that site and it is no longer available. I hate that site for deleting uploads so quickly. I do have the 48. 1 on my computer and could send it to your email address, if you wish to PM it to me, or, you could wait for LisztAddict to return to this thread to ask him if he may have another link to the Nocturne.

I might add, I have a total of eleven pieces (I mistakenly told Nancy I had ten) recorded by LisztAddict that took me many hours of searching these forums to find. I've just spent the past hour searching for a link to 48. 1 and found the bad "savefile.com" link.

Let me know how you wish to proceed.

PS I'm expecting guests at any moment or I would list all eleven pieces I have performed by LisztAddict. I'll do it later.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 07:02 PM

MaryRose: Thank you, thank you. For some time (maybe because I worship him so), I never felt Sand was the guiding force in Chopin's life, as so many thought her to be. Quite frankly, she was highly over-rated.

The book I'm reading is actually referring to both of them as geniuses, but of a different nature. bah She was quite good at a lot of things (a legend in her own mind), but she was no genius. mad

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/13/07 07:05 PM

Lisztner: I'm so sorry you had to spend all that time to no avail.

I do have my private e-mail address listed, so, when you have the time and inclination, I certainly would appreciate your sending it to me. Many thanks.

Kathleen
Posted By: stephenc

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/14/07 01:04 AM

Quote
NancyM333 said
I just finished "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank" night before last. It was uncanny how I reading a thread on the Piano Forum about rating the different pianos, with three of them getting A+--Bosendorfer, Fazioli and Bluthner, when I got to a chapter called, "Fazioli." I enjoyed every page of that book.
Just read the Fazioli chapter myself - now I want one!! I did some looking for a recording on a Fazioli and found this video which others might also enjoy - what a wonderful sounding and looking instrument (not the classical looking 308 as in the text - looks futuristic this one) and, what a fittingly wonderful piece of Chopin.

http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=a6c8fc9a56863a112be94971edfb0555.1562690
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/14/07 04:33 AM

I am not sure if posting my recordings in this thread is a good idea, but here they are:

Chopin Etude 10/3 http://www.box.net/public/x0vvkoa8j3

Chopin Nocturne 27/1
http://www.box.net/public/yodavt6ppq

Chopin Nocturne 48/1
http://www.box.net/public/6kpv9ls8iz

Chopin Waltz 64/2
http://www.box.net/public/jd46d5h3ti
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/14/07 05:05 AM

Okay, someone please help me! Watch Stephenc's posted video and tell me which piece is. It's so familiar, and I can't place it. At first I thought maybe I'd played it, but then I couldn't decide. Is it A minor (post)? If it is, I think it's maybe that he's playing it faster than I'm used to so it doesn't exactly register.

I first played the video without the sound by accident, and the music that immediately came to mind was, "Meet George Jetson...and Jane, his wife..." for those of you familiar with American cartoons.

I do want to learn more about Fazioli. That chapter was just astonishing to me. Having just seen it rated A+ on the Piano Forum thread, I expected it to have roots traceable back to the Olympian gods, not just 30 years.

Nancy
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/14/07 06:12 AM

LisztAddict,

I sure am glad you made it to this thread tonight. I've had a hectic day all day and all evening as well, so I never got around to sending Kathleen the Chopin Nocture 48/1 that she wants. Now you have saved me the trouble, thank you.

It is a darned shame that the "savefile.com" links to your posts there have expired. I wonder if the same will happen with "box.net". Only time will tell, I guess.

I can't imagine why posting your links here will pose any problem at all since there is a request for one of them. I believe you have no reason for concern.

Have a great day!
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/14/07 06:02 PM

LA: Listening to the 48,1...it gave me goosebumps! You play it with abandon and yet with complete control and emotional dignity. It was a wow performance. Bravo. It only made me more determined to learn how to play it, even if it takes a couple of years. Thank you. I haven't listened to your other recordings yet but will do so after I practice.

Thank you so much,
Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/14/07 06:07 PM

laugh laugh Nancy: I KNOW the piece he is playing (for once I have a right answer).

Listening to him play, I'm thinking what is that piece, it sounds so familiar? I think I know how to play it. I'm driving myself a little crazy and then it popped into my head.

I do know how to play it (not as well as he did) but, it is a mazurka in A minor, Op. 67, #4. It has taken me about 4 months to learn. It's not that it's difficult, but it has that tempo that you have to get just right.

thumb I'm so proud of myself for having the right answer. Do I get a gold star. wink

I took a chance and recorded it. Here's my rendition.

A minor mazurka

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/14/07 06:16 PM

Janusz Olejniczak as Chopin in La Note Bleue. He's the maniacal blond one.
[Linked Image]
I've found a dvd of it on the French Amazon.com site so I'll be letting you all know just how much of a turkey it actually is in a couple of weeks.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/14/07 06:26 PM

OK, just why is this movie so bad? From the picture, that would be Chopin in the middle, Solange to the left and "that woman" to the right, right?

Is the movie a porno flick? Perhaps linking Chopin with Solange?

What's the deal?

Thanks,
Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/14/07 06:39 PM

Apparently, it's just a real dog. Yes, from what I gather Chopin is portrayed as being in love with Solange but it's not porno. It's supposedly a serious "artistic" movie that just doesn't work. So I will be letting you all know in a couple of weeks. I have a feeling my very rusty French may be a blessing. I'm hoping there may at least be a redeeming piano scene or two.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/14/07 07:43 PM

Did you order it from Amazon?

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/14/07 08:43 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
Did you order it from Amazon?

Kathleen
From the French Amazon site. And I tumbled on it totally by accident. I was searching under Images in Google and found the dvd cover and clicking on that led me to Amazon.Fr.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/14/07 09:04 PM

Remember our discussion about Jenny Lind? Check this out.

Lind to Marry Chopin?

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/15/07 04:05 PM

We have to be on our toes! That Hanon group with 20 lessons to practice and record, could just top our posts.

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/15/07 09:42 PM

The Nightingale by H.C. Andersen was my favourite reading as a child. I hope there was a real love story beetween Chopin and Jenny Lind - of course the sopranos are always the sweetest of girls........ wink

i am listening to Thomas Tellefsens piano-concertoes, they are a pleasant surprise - romantic and pianistic, he must really have learned a lot from his great teacher - and he has put some Norwegian folk-dance in between laugh

I already hate Hanon, but now my piano is tuned and it helps just a little.....
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/15/07 09:43 PM

DreadedDoublePost

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 12:20 AM

I hate Hanon also,Ragnhild. mad

But I have noticed that I really have such weak fingers (4/5) in my LH. My right seems just fine. So, If I want to continue playing some of Chopin's more "difficult" pieces, I need to work on building strength in my LH. :rolleyes:

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 01:16 PM

Kathleen, your A minor mazurka is so beautiful and full of Polish sadness .... and I see it has an interesting tempo characterisation : "Moderato animato".

From me you get five gold stars, but they are smiling at the moment (why are there no stars among the graemlins )

smile wink smile wink smile


Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 01:24 PM

Ragnhild - what does DDP mean?

Stupid from Somewhere-near-London
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 01:37 PM

Maryrose laugh

Now I have mailed the Norwegian Tellefsen expert and I have got her "doctor artium" study which is 350 pages (luckily in Norwegian) about how Tellefsen was inluenced by Chopin's composing also about his teaching and his concerts in Paris.

Also we are planning a trip to Trondheim and Ringve this spring.

What would I be doing without the "totally devoted to Chopin thread" wink

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 02:10 PM

Ragnhild, I'm so delighted that you are learning all this about Tellefsen. I hope you will share some of it with us.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 02:34 PM

When I was a teenager, my mother used to say {insert strong Scottish accent} "Och, I'm glad Mary-Rose is in love with Chopin because it saves her from getting into trouble with the boys"!! Of course, my adoration of our hero was mainly focused on the wonder of his music and the unique, passionate nature that that music revealed; but I also loved the way he looked.

When I was clearing out an old trunk at home yesterday I came across the picture of Chopin that I used to look at with such ardour when I was fourteen smile [Linked Image]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 03:13 PM

Dear Ragnhild:

Thank you for those 5 smiling faces in response to my "rendition" of the A minor mazurka. You are so educated in the tempo recommendations and know exactly what those Italian (?) phrases mean. I (on the other hand) don't even notice them. What I do is listen to a couple recordings of a piece (and we all know how different they can be) and then find a tempo that works best for me and also one that I think brings out the beauty of the music. Of course, I do tend to pick slower pieces. I just have a difficult time playing "fast." Personally, I think most professional pianists play Chopin much too quickly. Thank you again.

I don't know if we are planning a trip to Trondheim and Ringve this spring, but if you do go, please give us all the wonderful details.

laugh laugh MaryRose: It sounds as if your mother knew her daughter well. smile That photo (?) of Chopin is a new one for me, and I can certainly understand why it would be a favorite for you. It is lovely (if that's the correct word).

Just a "heads up". Peyton (on the Nocturne Thread) has indicated he is planning on learning the 48.1...my all-time favorite. So I am going to join him in this massive endeavor. I suggested we start a new topic page so others can see it more readily and perhaps join in. I PM LisztAddict asking if he would help us out since he already know this nocturne. But then I forgot that we have Hershey (how could I forget about him?) to give us all the advice I KNOW we are going to need. If any of you would like to learn this nocturne, please let us know. I am going to start the new topic page, once I heard back from Peyton.

bah It's cold (16F) here and snowy.

Affection to all,
Kathleen
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 05:52 PM

Is anyone interested in learning Chopin's Ballade No.1 in g minor?

I'm working on the Waltz in e minor, the Heroic Polonaise, 2 Preludes by Blumenfeld, and Valsa de Esquina No.8 by Mignone.

The Waltz will be finished in a few weeks, and the Valsa de Esquina shortly after that, so I'll have room for another piece.

I'd really love to learn the Ballade, and a Working Group would be a great way to learn it and have fun, too.

So if you ever had a secret desire to learn something in g minor, here's your chance! wink

Mel
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 05:56 PM

Maybe next year, or the year after, I will be asking you for tips on that Mel! At the moment... not enough time or fingers frown
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 06:39 PM

48/1 is a great work. Have a look in the Eigeldinger - there is a first edition with Chopin's fingerings and notes!!!

I look forward to being able to advise - also LCRM - Looks like I may be in Chicago to give a series of masterclasses in early April - would love to have you attend. Part of a competition that I will be sponsoring that will include a radio broadcast. So far, in the planning stages - soon enough I'll let you know, and perhaps you can join... soon soon will post more shots from Paris!

smile H
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 07:14 PM

Hersh: yippie and wow wow (double wow!)

The possibility of your coming to Chicago is the best news since I learned I was pregnant (36+ years ago).

Would I EVER love to attend. 3hearts

I know you will let me know when it's firmed up, so I will have time to get rid of all my wrinkles and grey hairs. The grey hairs are no problem, but the wrinkles may need some professional help. Just kidding, of course. This would be just an unforgetable experience for me. Thank you! smile

Looking forward to your photos of Paris.

I also have a question for you. Do you have any insights on why Chopin never dedicated any of his works to "that woman?"

Also glad to learn that you think the 48.1 is a great work. Peyton and I and perhaps a few others will post our questions here, if you don't mind. Thank you for the tip on Eigeldinger's first edition. I'll try to hunt it down, perhaps on Amazon.

The first question is "ARE WE NUTS?" eek To attempt such a masterpiece may just be our (at least my) undoing.

Kathleen
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 09:33 PM

With regard to the first question - no one is ever nuts to attempt a brilliant mstaerpiece. My view is - you are nuts if you don't attempt it. Chopin didn't publish these things just for the professional pianists of the world to play them - just think of his many students at all levels. Anyway - a great challenge, an important one, and get to work.

As for the dedication issue: I have always pondered this. It makes me sad - like her, dislike her, argue that she was bad for him, good for him, didn't matter to him - this one bit of information seems bizarre - unless of course, his dedications were all about "business." (I dedicate my Etudes to my DEAR FRIEND Liszt, and my this to that pretty princess with lots of money, and the wealthy business man with a nice chateau, and so on and so forth.) Who knows. Was it a concerted effort? I doubt it. What is merely an oversight? I doubt it. It was probably comfort - comfort that he was a part of her life, and they were this weird family couple, and that was it. Look - their whoel relationship was weird. She was weird, he was weird - but, boy WHAT A COMPOSER!

smile smile H
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 09:43 PM

WOW! lots of good stuff coming to Chicago in April.

Evgeny Kissin will play on April 22. Chopin Andante Spianato and Grand Polonaise are in the program.

But I am more than 1000 miles away from Chicago. frown
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 10:14 PM

Hersh: I'm happy you think that attempting this nocturne is a reasonable endeavor. I've got the first two pages down, but I know the rest will take everything I have and then some. Thanks for the encouragement.

Oh yes, I do believe we are talking about the original "odd couple" when referring to Chopin and Sand. I personally think a person has to be a little (or maybe a lot) eccentric (a nice way saying "looney tunes") to create anything.

LisztAddict: I'm glad you're not upset with me for posting your version of the 48.1 for all to hear. It's gorgeous!!

Where in Chicago is Kissin playing in April? Living out in the super boonies, I don't get the Chicago paper. I certainly would love to hear him. Can you let me know? Thanks.

Kathleen
Posted By: dannylux

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/16/07 11:15 PM

Check out these interesting drawings of Chopin from "Oeuvres posthumes pour le piano : la collection complète", 1855, in the Univ. of Chicago Library of First and Early Editions of Chopin.

Chopin Drawings

Click on "view higher quality image".

The picture is too big to post here.

Mel
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/17/07 01:51 AM

Thanks Mel. I know one was drawn by Maurice Sand...not a big fan of Chopin's.

This one gives a very clear example of Chopin's handwriting.

Chopin Page


Kathleen
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/17/07 04:16 AM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
LisztAddict: I'm glad you're not upset with me for posting your version of the 48.1 for all to hear.
Not a problem at all. Any of my recording I post on this forum, you may repost it in any thread, send it to a friend, put it on a CD, whatever. If at least one listener finds it enjoyable, I can pat myself on the back and say "not bad for Liszt addict that tried to play Chopin" laugh yippie
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/17/07 07:59 AM

Hershey - I am not convinced by your suggestion that Chopin dedicated his works on a business level. He often dedicated them to friends - for example, Delfina Potocka, Julian Fontana, Camille Pleyel - and also to students such as Camille Dubois who wasn't rich and didn't need to be wooed.

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:

This one gives a very clear example of Chopin's handwriting.

Kathleen - not Chopin's own writing! He was dead by the time that volume was published. And his writing was much nicer than that smile

So, how many of us are playing Chopin during the forthcoming ecital? Not me. I don't want to blemish his name.

Love to all Chopaholics on a Wednesay morning Somewhere Near London
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/17/07 02:24 PM

LA: Indeed, you should take a bow for your unbelievably astounding performance of Chopin. This clearly is not an "attempt" at playing Chopin but wonderfully "polished" and professional. As was stated: "breathtaking" and "goosebump" producing.

MaryRose: I think I have to agree with you about the reasoning behind Chopin's dedications. I believe he dedicated (albeit at a very young age) a wonderful polonaise to his piano teacher. And as you stated, many more examples that had nothing to do with $$$.

So, dear heart, why do you think he never dedicated anything to Sand? I have a weird feeling that "she" didn't want him to. Maybe, in the back of her mind, she knew the relationship would not last and didn't want anything out there connecting her name with Chopins'. Just a crazy notion on my part. However, with the size of her ego, this doesn't quite stand up under serious scrutiny.

Oh, just had a thought. Did he ever dedicate anything to anyone in his family? Mother, father, sisters???

Uh oh, eek I should know better than to make a statement about Chopin without doing some research. I can never do any assuming (not with you around). smile

Years and years ago, when I was in a college, (yes, they did have college in the prehistoric ages :p ), I had to give a "demostration-type" speech for a class. I wanted to chose a subject that would interest my classmates, who often would nod off during class, and what better subject than giving a demonstration on handwriting analyses. EVERYONE is interested in this, right?

I did do some research...actually read about 5 articles, so, therefore, I considered myself an expert. ha It was unbelievable how close I came when dissecting the students. AND a little disheartening when I did my own handwriting because a lot of what was "in" my handwriting was so true about my personality and character.

I was hoping to do an analyses on Chopin. I know we did have a doctor do one a while back on this thread, but I want to do one of my own. Do you know of any good, clear example of his writing, with his signature and with an a sentence beginning with I??

Thanks...for keeping us on our toes! wink

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/17/07 02:25 PM

I was just sorting through some old Chopin LPs from my teenage years. That's right - LPs. They were those black circular things. Nowadays I prefer not even to have CDs, and like to just download music to my Viao if possible. Anyway, these LPs were the Polish edition of the complete works of Chopin, and include at least one work that wasn't on my latest (4 year old?) Complete Chopin, which is the DG/Phillips one. I guess not many people have heard of this then?

It's a work for flute and piano. I'll have to get out my flute again and try to regain my embouchure.

Chopin's Variations on a Theme by Rossini


[Linked Image]
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/17/07 02:41 PM

MR: I do remember those big, black, circular things. I had a complete collection of Sinatra on them, until my husband sold them at a garage sale (without my knowledge or permission). eek

That Chopin composed at the age of 4 isn't really surprising considering the level of his genius, but a wonderful new fact to know.

Next to the piano and French horn, I do love the flute.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/17/07 02:53 PM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
MR: I do remember those big, black, circular things. I had a complete collection of Sinatra on them, until my husband sold them at a garage sale (without my knowledge or permission). eek

I knew a similar feeling of loss when my husband did the same thing with our daughter's baby clothes.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/17/07 03:04 PM

Oh no! Kathleen and Frycek - Your husbands sold loved items without your approval? I suggest an immediate visit to the divorce lawyers laugh
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/17/07 04:41 PM

I'm think I can speak for Frycek in saying that if it weren't for all the other hundreds of great qualities heart our husbands possessed...they would have been history!! laugh

Kathleen
Posted By: ted.stanion

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/17/07 07:16 PM

I have a recording Garrick Ohlsson made of the Variations for Flute and Piano. It is at the end of his recording of Chopin songs on Arabesque (The Complete Piano Works of Frédéric Chopin, Vol. 12, Songs)). Unfortunately, it does not appear to be in print anymore. According to the liner notes he wrote it for his father who played flute.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/17/07 08:42 PM

Thank you for the information, Ted.

I didn't realize (or perhaps I forgot) that Chopin's father played the flute. I do remember reading he was quite precise, organized and strove for perfection in all that he did. Perhaps Chopin inherited this trait from his dad. It has always been assumed that he inherited his love of music from his mother's side.

But I believe that genius is an in-born trait.

As far as Chopin's genius goes (or any genius for that matter), I have often wondered if genius always finds a way.

I think we would all agree that that gifted children have to be supported and encouraged, and yet there are many stories out there where people achieved remarkable things without any help at all.

I also have several of Ohlsson's recordings on cassette.

Regards,
Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/18/07 02:41 PM

Two days ago, I borrowed several books from the library...all about the piano. Technique, the history of the piano, and short biographies of the most famous piantists of the last several decades. Very interesting reading, and I am going to post a picture of THE BIG TWO, Rubinstein and Horowitz. bah

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/18/07 02:52 PM

In the same book, in the bio of Horowitz, I learned that he was extremely shy, nervous, and didn't like appearing in public`(he often canceled concerts) fearing he wouldn't LIVE UP to his reputation. For many years, he just recorded.

What amazed me is the fact that this and other piano giants had the same feelings of adequacies that we do. Once more, I was reminded that they were/are human. One would think, that with all their knowledge and skill at the piano, they could just go out on that stage without one ounce of "stage fright." Not true.

The great Rubinstein sufferred terribly from this.

You would ever guess??

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/18/07 07:56 PM

Kathleen, I agree it is ridiculous to suggest that Chopin had contempt for mankind. It makes you wonder if the translator got it wrong. I also felt really annoyed yesterday when I read in a review:

"as we all know, Chopin had a prudish aversion to overt sexuality"

I am left wondering (1) what exactly overt sexuality is and (2) why it is prudish not to like it. Perhaps Chopin thought sexuality was a private thing, as do I and a lot of other people.

Grrrrrr.....

After such annoyances it is a comfort to read that even Rubinstein suffered from stage fright. He can't have done much though, or he'd have chosen another career. Thank goodness he did not.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/18/07 10:05 PM

I love the beginning of that statement, MaryRose..."as we all know..." Well, I, for one, don't KNOW that. I wasn't around at the time to notice this about him, nor was I inside his brain to experience this aversion. mad

I'm a prude also. And I'm proud of it. There is wwwwaaaayyyyyy too much overt sexuality going on, nowadays. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING...is considered private.

There's a wonderful quote from someone, who said: "When anything goes, everything does." eek

I remember once, a long time ago, an interviewer (I think it was Barbara Walters) asked the then President Jimmy Carter and his wife, if they slept in the same bed. Poor Jimmy blushed a bright red. I don't recall what he said (as I was so shocked by the question, probably). But I wish he had said: "That's none of your dam business!" thumb thumb

And it is certainly more information than we need to know.

Getting back to Rubinstein and Horowitz, it is amazing that these giants sufferred from nerves. However, it doesn't help us overcome our stage fright. Afterall, if they (with their unbelievable virtuosity) got butterflies, we'd all probably pass out. smile

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/19/07 08:55 AM

I warn you : This has nothing to do with Chopin, but I just wish I could move my hands like this - I know it would work for playing Chopin too :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgRbp_EznTI

(And the scenery is from the island where I live smile )

Kathleen, I agree with you - people who still has the ability to blush when asked such a question has managed to keep something important...

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/19/07 10:44 AM

There is a connection with Chopin, inasmuch as Debussy admired Chopin hugely. And I am quite sure Chopin would have loved to hear Andsnes' playing. He has a wonderful touch.

Ragnhild, you are fortunate to live on an island. Are you right by the sea? It looks beautiful. Norway is just so clean. When I was in Oslo once I was hanging over the wall at the main harbour, looking into the transparent sea... it was as clear as a highland stream. There was no evident pollution even though I was in a capital city. I took this photo of a jellyfish on that day (even less Chopin-related but never mind....it is a bit impressionistic which is at least reminiscent of Debussy, although he did not approve of the term himself).

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/19/07 11:10 AM

Maryrose, wow , lovely impressionistic jelly-fish laugh
I know Debussy has a piece called something like "Poisson d'or", but no "Jelly Fish Cake walk" as far as I know..
I think the video with Andsnes would have been perfect with "L'isle joyeuse" !

I have a view to the sea from my windows, but I live on the east-coast of the island - from the west-coast of the island there are nothing but sea till you reach America...
The pictures at the video is from different parts of the island - but personally I find the moving part of the scenery most good-looking wink

Ragnhild
Posted By: Sarah M

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/19/07 11:40 AM

Well as always I'm having insomnia so here I am late in the morning.

I listened to two things tonight:

LA's Waltz 64/2 - This sounded very smooth. LA, I think you are as good as a professional!

Kathleen's Mazurka - This sounded really great! It was very musical and it's not a piece I ever heard before so it was very fresh and beautiful. I loved it!

Anyway, I'm off to see if I can sleep now. Bye.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/19/07 12:04 PM

Sarah M - sorry you are having trouble sleeping. Put Chopin's "Berceuse" on the stereo and that will soothe you and rock you to sleep smile
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/19/07 02:55 PM

This crazy computer!! There seems to be a key that when I accidently lean over, my whole message disappears. It happens way too often. So this is a rewrite of my first post that disappeared into cyberspeace.

Ragnhild: You are indeed lucky to have such a view. I'm looking at someone's backyard, complete with two swing sets, a garbage can and a rug hanging from the banister of the deck.

I watched the player's hands, and I noticed that he practically never let his hands/finger leave the keyboard. I believe this is responsible for the wonderfuly flowing legato he was able to produce. I try to do the same thing when I'm playing, but it's difficult with a spirited mazuraka.

Thank you, Sarah. Coming from you, I consider your comment on my playing a super compliment. Finally, those 2-4 hours a day at the piano seems to be paying off.

I am sorry to learn about your insomnia. Chopin's Berceuse is certainly a dozer. Beautiful but yawn .

Speaking of practicing...I have to ask you all to join in to a thread on our forum call MOYD. It stands for Master of Your Domain (a rip-off from an old Senfield episopde). What it is is a commitment that we make to practice each and every day (of course, if we are ill or out of town, we are given a excuse). We have two teams, the Chicks and the Dudes. The Dudes are once again challenging the Chicks to a war, which basically is which team has the greater number of minutes (totalled from each member) for this month. We had quite an "ugly" confrontation the last time we did this...back in August, I think. But the Chicks won, even though the Dudes tried to cheat at the last minute. Silly stuff, I know, but what was so great about it was that many "new" people joined in and therefore practiced each day. This is definitely run on the honor system.

Now, by practicing each day...it can be a low as 1 minute or as high as 240, which a few of us have done. Again, it's a promise we make (to ourselves) to sit at that keyboard everday, no matter how short the time may be.

So, I am asking you all, Ragnhild, Sarah, MaryRose, Nancy33, Pianoagain (who have I forgotten?) oh, and to older members who have seemed to disappear lately.

If you need help signing up, let me know and I walk you through it. Right now, we have 13 Chicks signed up for this month, I think. The Dudes have 11, I think. We are leading in minutes at this time, but we still have 12 days to go, I think.

It's fun, and it gets pretty heated at times...as you will soon see. The Dudes's pitch is called "A Cry for Help" and the Chicks's is "A Call to Arms". But you sign up and post your mintues on "A Link to PW's Practice Log.

Regards to all,
Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/20/07 03:49 PM

smile smile Hi All:

I came up with another of my "great" confused ideas that will help keep this thread going.

This is based on the TV show Jeopardy. Someone could just state a "clue" (such as Maria Wodzinska) and someone else would have to give the "answer" Who was Chopin's true love?

I'm not giving up. This thread is going to reach 1,000 by Chopin's birthday.

Oh, whoever guesses the most number of clues, let's say in a week's time, wins a prize. I'm not telling what it is, but it has to do with our hero.

Oh, anothing thing. Whoever guesses the right "question" does NOT have to write the next clue.

O.K. I'll begin: Remember, your response has to be in the form of a question, as in Jeopardy.

Artur Rubinstein

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/20/07 04:13 PM

Who is Kathleen's favorite interpreter of Chopin?


Clue: "Moja Bieda"
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/20/07 04:46 PM

smile smile Funny, Frycek.... close to the correct question. I was thinking more in the line of "Who is the greatest interpreter of Chopin?"

My question to your clue:

What was written on the envelope found in Chopin desk after his death? The envelope contain leters from Maria. The term on the face of the envelope in Polish means: "My sorrow".

Now my clue:
Karol Mikuli

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/20/07 07:48 PM

Which one of Chopin's pupils produced an edition of his works in 1879?
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/20/07 07:58 PM

Clue: Pauline Czernicka
Posted By: NancyM333

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/20/07 08:22 PM

You all are so impressive! I am reading the questions and answers, but I know none of them. Please keep asking and answering so I can learn something!

Nancy
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/20/07 09:08 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Frycek:
Clue: Pauline Czernicka
Wasn't that the evil lunatic who invented a lubricious correspondence supposedly between our dear hero and Countess Potocka?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/20/07 09:24 PM

You are so right, MaryRose:

Here's some more info about her.

Immediately after the Second World War when the heart of Chopin was returned from Paris to Warsaw, a woman named Paulina Czernicka informed the Polish Ministry of Culture of the existence of several love letters written by the composer to Countess Delphina Potocka. The authorities were scandalised because not only had the Countess's estranged husband been a traitor, but the contents of the letters were salacious, almost pornographic, anti-semitic and full of malicious tittle-tattle about Chopin's contemporary composers including Liszt. (A Countess Potocka indeed had existed and there was historical evidence that she had an affair with the composer and that Chopin had even dedicated some of his compositions to her). The fact that Czernika could only produce notarised copies, undated, of fragments of the letters justified the decision to suppress the material because it was reckoned to be against the best interests of the state, and would destroy the reputation of one of Poland's musical heroes. Afterwards Pauline Czernicka committed suicide - or was it murder. (The death of Pauline Czernicka does seem suspicious. One of the officials explains that she fell from an eighth-story Ministry window…)

My clue:
A Single Minded Call to Arms

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/20/07 11:14 PM

I'm stumped. What is the Heroic Polonaise?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/21/07 12:37 AM

Close, but that only counts in horseshoes. smile

From "Chopin in Paris" by Tad Szulc....Described by Adrian Thomas in the "Cambridge Companion to Chopin as "a single-minded called to arms," the A Major Polonaise has captured the imaginations of generations of patriotric Poles. (In its opening bars were the theme of the Warsaw Radio before WWII and the farewell sound breaking into silence on the airwaves when the invading Nazis succeeded in smashing the capital's resistence in September 1939, almost exactly a century after Chopin had composed the defiant polonaise. It has become known as the "Military Polonaise" because of its optimistic martial drumbeat in a major key with fortissimo markings.

Frycek: I can't remember but could this be the polonaise that was being played in the movie "The Pianist?" confused

OK...time for a somewhat "easier" one.. thumb

Clue:
The longest of all his mazurkas

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/21/07 10:50 AM

Quote

Clue:
The longest of all his mazurkas

Kathleen
Do you mean longest in numbers of notes, or length of time playing?

I'd say "what distinguishes Chopin's Op 33 no 4?" probably, or "what is peculiar about the Op 63 no 3 when being played by MR?" laugh
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/21/07 01:49 PM

I'd say "what distinguishes Chopin's Op 33 no 4?" probably, or "what is peculiar about the Op 63 no 3 when being played by MR?"

laugh laugh Funny, MaryRose:

According to the book (do you think I know all this stuff firsthand confused confused ), the longest (and I believe it is meant, lasting the longest when played in the recommended tempo...)is the C minor, Op. 56.

I think I'm getting a little carried away with this little game. Here's one I know you'll know because even I know it. wink

Clue:
An acquaintance of Chopin's, he was REALLY
intiminated by Paginni.


Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/21/07 02:49 PM

Who was Franz Liszt? (Though I would say more inspired than intimidated and I would say more friend than acquaintance though their relationship had its strains.)

Quote
Paganini was the foremost virtuoso of his day, on any instrument, and having heard him in Paris in 1832 Liszt was determined to replicate his showmanship and mastery on the piano. His Etudes, based on Paganini's infamous Caprices (the nearest the violinist came to notating in full the extraordinary acrobatics he often improvised on stage), are the culmination of this early creative spark.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/21/07 03:50 PM

OOOOpppppssss, eek you are correct! Liszt is correct. I should have read further on, in the article I was using for the clue.

I never knew that Liszt started off as a violinist. And that it was only after hearing Paganini play, that he vowed to produce the same sound on the piano. (I wonder why he didn't think he could do it on the violin? Was it because of that silly rumour that Paginini made a pact with the Devil?)

I thought after reading just the first paragraph, that he thought there was no way he could compete with Paganini, so he decided to "switch" to the piano, which, of course, is not the reason.

After reading the WHOLE article, I discovered that he was so astounded by Paginini (as was Chopin) that he sought out the piano. What is so incredible is that he didn't have much experience with on the piano (am I correct here?) confused , and that he had to practice 14 hours a day to become what, the world generally agrees on, the greatest pianist ever.

He made relatively few public appearances while in his 20's. (I guess he was practicing.) And retired at the peak of his career at the age of 37.

Strangely, he consider himself more a composer than a pianist.

Sorry, I PROMISE from now on that my clues are well-thought out. shocked

As far as Liszt being a friend or an acquaintance...it's difficult to decide. At the beginning of their relationship, I guess one could say they were friends. Chopin, of course...as you know, admired Liszt's pianistic skills (I wonder how much better Chopin would have played if he practiced more, but that would be like guilding a lily), but didn't admire his habit of changing or adding notes to his (Chopin's) compositions or his over-the-top showmanship.

And, Chopin was quite upset with him when Liszt used Chopin's apartment for a trist with a woman friend.

After a few years, the friendship seem to fade. Although Liszt always thought the world of Chopin. Liszt was, indeed, a kind and caring person.

They drifted apart. The question is: Did Chopin still consider Liszt a friend after many years? I don't know. Do you? confused

A new clue:
My collar, mama.

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/21/07 06:14 PM

What was Fryderyk's answer when his mother asked him: "What did the audience like the most ?"
after his first concert.


Ragnhild
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/21/07 08:07 PM

The answer: Adolphe Nourrit
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/21/07 09:53 PM

For whose funeral did Chopin make his last appearance at the organ.


Good Ragnhild: I always loved that little story about Chopin as a young child. Even then he was a "dandy."

Clue:
They were far bolder than his finished compositions.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/21/07 10:18 PM

Correct. Aldolph Nourrit was an operatic tenor who apparently committed suicide in despondency over a failing career by throwing himself out of a window. There was just enough doubt about the suicide to allow him a church burial. He was a good friend of both Chopin and George Sand. Chopin, who was recuperating from the Majorcan misadventure in Marseilles at the time, volunteered to play the organ at his funeral. The officiating priest let Chopin and George Sand into the organ loft early so that their joint celebrity would not in any way detract from the solemnity of the funeral.

Clue:
They were far bolder than his finished compositions.

What were Chopins honest to goodness at the keyboard live improvisions?
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/22/07 01:10 AM

Clue: a donkey
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/22/07 03:01 PM

Correct, Frycek!!

What did Chopin use to get around when the Sand family explored the countryside in ????

I can't remember where this was. It was probably everywhere, as he tired easily.

Clue:
"It's in 3/4 time!"

Kathleen


Ragnhild: heart I posted a comment on the Hanon second week thread. I think you are right in your decision. One of the reasons I don't post is because I sound like a two-year old.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/22/07 10:29 PM

Hi All:

Do you think we should or could start a "fan club" for Hersh? I think he certainly deserves one. smile

However, I would feel rather silly starting one at my age. However, I would be more than happy to do all the "gungy" work, if someone would volunteer to be president. :p

I don't know the first things about fan clubs; I just feel he is such a nice and WAY TALENTED guy, that it is the very least we can do to show our appreciation for all his helpful advice and the wonderful descriptions he posts of the places he has seen. 3hearts

Let me know. OK?

Yikes, I just thought of something. Maybe he has one already. How would we find out without asking him?

Geeze Kathleen, your elevator isn't going to the top floor today. shocked He might read this post or maybe not. We'll just have to take the chance.

Kathleen
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/22/07 11:16 PM

As the good book says... Oy vey. No fan club from you guys - They exist and they are all well and good, but you can just be students/associates/friends...I have yet to send Frycek new pictures... I have been busy at the piano all week (one must every now and then...)

Of course, the 3/4 time clue - what did Chopin (enraged, and red of face) answer to Meyerbeer when Meyerbeer showed up and interrupted Chopin's lesson with Lenz on the C+ mazurka (so simple and yet so difficult!) Lenz claims that this was one of the few times that he saw his maestro enraged...my favorite line from that whole story? Meyerbeer: Well then, let me have it as a ballet in my new work...

But the secret here is - to figure out how Chopin would have played and taught it so that it actually feels like 2/4 time... I have figured it out, and it's quite fun, and of course, very rustic.. if one sees Polish traditional dancing, it is obvious right away... oh here's news (yes... I'm the wise one for posting this on a public forum... well it's nuts to do so... but why not...)

Looks like I will perform M. Chopin as a "command" performance as it were for the Polish Ambassador to the US - this will be in honor of this year's Polish National Holidays in early May, and this will take place in the grand salon of the Polish Embassy in Washington DC. Nothing yet confirmed, but I thought I'd share... let's keep it to ourselves for the time being... (brilliant that I should share this in a public forum... but hey, you guys are cool - so why not?) I'll keep you posted as plans progress and of course will give a full report. Very exciting indeed if it all comes through.

More anon. Hersh smile
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 12:50 AM

We'll keep our fingers crossed.

Clue: S'on Vent ("The House of the Winds")
Posted By: Hershey88

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 05:48 AM

Answer to Clue above -

What house did they get thrown out of in Majorca, after which the proprietor burnt the furniture and sheets - because of course, anyone who coughs in Palma de Majorca is considered a consumptive, and dangerous to everyone.
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 08:42 AM

Hershey, even without a fan-club I can still be a fan...?
(There are already a pianist or two in my evening prayer wink )

Kathleen, I knew you would understand about the Hanon - I was not offended by the comments I just felt very grown-up and incompetent.. frown
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 10:00 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Ragnhild:
...(There are already a pianist or two in my evening prayer wink )

And I think I can guess who at least one of those is.... laugh 3hearts laugh
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 11:10 AM

Maryrose : Soon I will be out of secrets...

Kathleen : Now I have ordered Rubinstein playing the Grieg-concerto on DVD - can't wait.. but then I must say that when Andsnes recorded the Grieg A minor first time it was said to be the best after Rubinstein wink

Clue:
It has a diameter of 14,27 km

Ragnhild
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 02:05 PM

I have a DVD of Rubinstein with Andre Previn (London Symphony Orchestra) playing Grieg A minor piano concerto, Chopin No 2, and Saint Saens No 2. Is that what you are ordering, Ragnhild?
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 03:05 PM

Hi Hersh:

“Gottcha!” laugh …. I knew you would absolutely abhor the idea of a fan club. They can be very cloying, and for the artist, probably more than a little embarrassing. But you HAVE to know you have the biggest and most sincere fans right here on the Devoted to Chopin forum. heart I add my crossed fingers along with Fryceks’ and hope everything works out for your “possible command performance.” How exciting and marvelous that would be. Of course, your “secret” is safe with us. Too bad, we can’t get a man of Polish heritage elected President. Then you would most certainly receive an invitation to perform at the White House. Who knows…a Polish President could very well happen in your lifetime.

You beat me to the House of Winds clue. What a story behind that one and also the 2/4 tempo mazurka. I believe Chopin was able to create that sound by putting the stress on the second beat and not the first. Am I right?? confused

Feel free to leave a “clue.” We have a couple of “expert” experts dwelling here.

The Gershwin play is on a CD, correct? I need to order that one now that I’ve paid off my Visa card. Will the Beethoven also be available on a CD? And, why oh why, can’t they make a DVD out of your performances?? I know I’ve asked this before, but I won’t give up hoping it will happen sometime in the future.

Dear Ragnhild: I am so happy to hear you are giving Rubinstein a try. I guess I love him because I grew up listening to him. Horowitz was always too loud for my ears. I used to call him “heavy-handed Horowitz.” And as far as that Hanon group goes…I think it was a good idea for many of us (like me, who hate Hanon). But I can certainly understand your reasoning. There is so way I would record my lessons!!

Yikes, Ragnhild: Not only is your clue difficult, but I have to figure out how km translates to our form of measurement.

With affection to all,
Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 06:06 PM

LisztAddict, yes I think it's the same DVD with Chopin and Saint-Saëns, isn't it any good ?

About the clue I guess i was just having a little fun, the question was:

"What is the size of the asteroide "3784 Chopin " ?
(don't kill me.... laugh )

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 06:54 PM

Ragnhild: I'm glad you asked us not to kill you. laugh ..because, after wracking my brain and researching all those my Chopin books, I couldn't find anything. frown

But it is interesting to know there is a comet named after Chopin. Do you know when this was done?

Oh, my clue (we have to keep this thing going)

"The truest artist among us."

Kathleen
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 07:07 PM

The asteroid was discovered in 1986 , and I guess Eric W. Elst who first saw it was also giving it its name. Should have been a star, though, named after Chopin,not a tiny little rock...

I have no idea about your clue (as for most of them smile )

Ragnhild
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 07:33 PM

Ragnild, that is a really good one. You clever little Norwegian girl you! (Or are you tall? I always imagine you to be short, like me.)

Kathleen - "What value did Delacroix place on his good friend Chopin?"
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 07:51 PM

Clue: All five of these items relating to Chopin's family were destroyed during the bombing of Warsaw in WWII.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 11:00 PM

MaryRose; Correct: Delacroix is said to have said this about his friend. I believe shortly after Chopin's death.

Gee, Frycek. Make it hard, why don't 'ya. laugh

I have to leave a do a little research. I think I know about 3 maybe 4 or the 5.

Kathleen
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 11:48 PM

Quote
Originally posted by Ragnhild:
LisztAddict, yes I think it's the same DVD with Chopin and Saint-Saëns, isn't it any good ?
Since I got the DVD, I've watched it only a few dozens times and am not tired of it yet. laugh
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/23/07 11:50 PM

Name that tune

This is a pretty great web site. Give it a try.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 12:05 AM

Quote
Originally posted by Frycek:
Clue: All five of these items relating to Chopin's family were destroyed during the bombing of Warsaw in WWII.
Hint: the five were a "set" and originated at the same time
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 12:51 AM

They weren't the set of portraits painted, were they? That would have been 6. Unless one survived.

Kathleen
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 01:49 AM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
They weren't the set of portraits painted, were they? That would have been 6. Unless one survived.

Kathleen
Correct but there were only five, Isabella, Ludwicka, Frycek, Justyna, and Mikolaj. Emilka had already passed on when they were painted. The picture of Emilia often reproduced is a sketch done some years earlier.

http://www.chopin.pl/ilustracje1/ilustracje1_en.html
Posted By: -Frycek

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 02:09 AM

Clue: A compassionate friend of Chopin, he was also an open homosexual and the noted author of an astute book about his travels in Russia
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 02:14 AM

Oh, I was sort of thinking about Emilia, but I couldn't quite remember if she had already died when the famiily portraits were done. Come to think of it, I do remember her "portrait" looking rather strange as compared to the others.

Did you get my use of the word "cloying" in the post to Hersh? Boy, I'm glad I looked up that word back then. It's come in handy.

A Clue:
The first time Sand would describe Chopin's behavior as anything less than angelic.

This might be a toughie for some, but not for the likes of you four.

Kathleen
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 02:21 AM

Frycek: We must be writing at the same moment in time. eek

I know this one...I just have to sleep on it. :rolleyes:

Kathleen
Posted By: Kawaigirl1

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 03:27 AM

To all the Chopin guru's out there smile

I'm slowly getting back into playing classical music and what better place to start than with Chopin. Can anybody tell me what good romantic chopin pieces to start that's abit on the easier side?

This is this only Chopin piece I have in my repertoire:

http://www.box.net/public/ruyeni0znk
Posted By: LisztAddict

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 04:38 AM

kawaigirl1 - try the preludes opus 28. They are from very easy to pretty difficult. You should be able to find a few that you might like.

Excellent job on the Valse. Very clean playing. thumb But try to take the pedal off on the third beat.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 06:30 AM

Frycek's clue: A compassionate friend of Chopin, he was also an open homosexual and the noted author of an astute book about his travels in Russia

MR's answer: the Marquis de Custine
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 06:34 AM

Kawaigirl1, nice to see you popping in to the Chopin thread. Your rendition of the A minor waltz was the first thing I listened to this morning and I thoroughly enjoyed it - thank you.
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 06:48 AM

Anyone fancy moving to Chopin country?

A mansion in the land of the Mazurka, at a price that is less than that of my own small house in Britain.


Polish Palace
Posted By: Lisztener

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 07:23 AM

kawaigirl1,

What a beautiful waltz! I'm glad you shared it. When you get another Chopin piece recorded be sure to post it as well, OK? smile
Posted By: Ragnhild

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 08:22 AM

I started this day listening to the a minor waltz - very beautiful, clean playing - no need to add anything to Chopin, and this waltz is a pearl.
Thank you for sharing, Kawaigirl1 !(your Kawai sounds nice to play too wink )

Maryrose, I would love that "little house" in Mazuria (with a couple of servants) - I have actually been to Mazuria - place like that - riding one of the horses laugh

Ragnhild
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/24/07 01:54 PM

MaryRose: I have to differ from your answer to Frycek's clue. I think it was Grzymala. confused Don't have any real reason for my opinion, just a certain feeling. Oooppss, :rolleyes: I just read that Marquis de Custine (I've never read anything about him at all) wrote a book about his Russian travels, so, sadly, as I look about my office which has all my Chopin books scattered all over the place, I bow to your expert knowledge. Now can you come over and straighten up my mess? laugh

Kawaigirl: WELCOME...YOU'VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE.!!
That beautiful waltz (and you played it wonderfully) is the first new piece I learned after my 30 years absence from the piano last Feb. I love it, and so do many others. As Liszt Addict suggested: Chopin preludes, especially #3,4,6,7, 20 (See below)

BUT, I especially recommend a book by Alfred Publishing called: Chopin: An Introduction to His Piano Works. It contains about 15 of Chopin's lovely pieces, (all the preludes I mentioned above), none that difficult, but still wonderful. The waltz you played is in there. What is really great about this book is that it comes with a CD, all the pieces played by Valerie Lloyd Watts. So you can listen to how they are "supposed" to sound. I think I paid $12 for the book...a real bargin. So far, I learned the A minor waltz, three mazurkas, a very lovely, Polish nocturne, and am now learning that great waltz in B minor, Op. 69, #2. Happy playing.

MaryRose: I looked at that mansion and my heart started beating. But then I noticed the sentence "needs work." Goodbye on that one. Work and I are like water and oil...we don't mix. bah

No one taking a bite out of my clue??

Kathleen
Posted By: Mary-Rose

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/25/07 12:19 AM

Quote
Originally posted by loveschopintoomuch:
No one taking a bite out of my clue??
Kathleen: "The first time Sand would describe Chopin's behavior as anything less than angelic."

I remember noticing this in one of Sand's letters in the very early 1840s, and I think the letter was to a close friend such as Marie Dorval, but other than that I'm afraid I don't know, Kathleen. And I have no books to hand. I have packed them all as we might be moving.

So please put us out of our misery! help
Posted By: Kawaigirl1

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/25/07 02:04 AM

Thanks Kathleen and everyone else for the warm welcome and also for listening. I will definitely go and explore each of those pieces that was recommended.

Lisztaddict: thank you for the tip. Since I am self teaching, I certainly welcome feedback like yours to be able to improve on. smile

Lisztener: I will certainly post a Chopin piece when I learn the next Chopin piece. I know I will next alot of guidance from all you Chopin experts out there.
Posted By: loveschopintoomuch

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/25/07 02:15 AM

Sorry MaryRose: I just posted a long response and it got lost somewhere in space. Cyberspace is getting very crowded with all the disappearing messages that are floating around out there.

Anyhow, I'll have to give you a very shorten version because I'm tired. This pertained to the time Chopin had Antoni (Maria's brother) staying with him in Paris. Antoni was a cad, but Chopin wanted to impress Maria and/or her family. Marie de Rodieres was a student of Chopin, but he thought she would be a good teacher for Solange. To make a long and sorted story short..Marie and Antoni got together, Marie "rooted" herself into the Sand household and Chopin got super, super mad.

I'm sure you read about this somewhere in all your books.

Good nite,
Kathleen
Posted By: Sarah M

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/25/07 02:41 AM

That was really great kawaigirl! It sounds really smooth and natural and professional.

I would say the Chopin waltzes are a good place to start. I started with a couple of them when I restarted about 6 months ago.
Posted By: stephenc

Re: Just for those totally devoted to Chopin - 01/25/07 08:48 AM

Hi

was wondering which of th efollowing Rubenstein recordings of Chopin Nocturnes you would recommend

This one appears to be a quite modern recording
http://www.amazon.com/Artur-Rubinstein-Chopin-Collection-Nocturnes/dp/B000003ENY

On the other hand, this one is a remastered version presumably quite older than the first
http://www.amazon.com/Arthur-Rubinstein-Chopin-Nocturnes-Vol/dp/B000031WBV

So i guess what I'm asking is did Rubinstein - from all reports the greatest Chopin interpreter - get better with age or would earlier recordings be a better option?