Chopin--why doesn't he get too much respect here?
Nov 8, 2008 at 8:33 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 76

johnation33

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It seems like most of the classical music threads here are geared towards mozart/beethoven/bach but I was wondering why you guys don't consider chopin to be up there. Would you call him the defining romantic period composer? (just like mozart dominates the classical period [you can't apprecate the period without listening to mozart])? Who would be? I'm looking for some good romantic period composers and was about to buy some chopin cds but not a lot of people seem to like him here.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 10:46 AM Post #2 of 76

zumaro

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I like him immensely - I don't know if he defines the romantic period anymore than a Wagner, Brahms or Schumann does, but he is a heavyweight, A+ level composer, whose critical reputation is correctly very high.

As for disks - maybe Perahia playing the Etudes, or Pollini on the Preludes or Polonaises, or any number of mix and match disks of his music played by huge names like Rubenstein, Horowitz, Argerich and others. Impossible to make one recommendation really - so many good disks to choose from.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 1:29 PM Post #3 of 76

jsaliga

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Given the amount of rock-music discussion on this forum, you could probably argue on that basis that classical music period doesn't get too much respect around here.

I don't think that lack of discussion about Chopin on Head-Fi means much of anything. Though some might disagree with me, where music for piano is concerned I believe that Chopin was easily the equal of Beethoven and Brahms. My favorite composition for solo piano is Chopin's Ballade No. 1 in G Minor.

Here are some suggestions you may find helpful:

Horowitz Plays Chopin

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Horowitz on Television

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This I beleive is out of print on CD but can still be found on eBay, and vinyl copies seem to be available as well. This not a Chopin recital, but there are three great Chopin pieces here, and a stirring performance of Ballade No. 1 in G Minor.


Arthur Rubintein - The Rubinstein Collection, Vol. 28

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This disc contains the second set of Chopin Polonaises recorded by Rubinstein in 1951. The sound is in mono but it's great nevertheless. I have all three Polonaise sets from Rubinstein, 1935, 1951, and 1964. The final recording is in stereo but lacks some of the fire of '51 set.


Arthur Rubinstein - The Rubinstein Collection, Vol. 49

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Nineteen Nocturnes spread across two CDs.


Arthur Rubinstein - The Rubinstein Collection, Vol. 50

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Fifty-one Mazurkas spread across two CDs.

Also, there is a very competently performed survey of all of Chopin's piano music by Vladimir Ashkenazy.

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--Jerome
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 3:06 PM Post #4 of 76

tru blu

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I have another fave for the Nocturnes…the late Polish pianist Andrzej Wasowski. I'm a fan of the Rubinstein interpretation mentioned above, but Wasowski's has this spectral quality that speaks to me, too.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 5:01 PM Post #5 of 76

lwd

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I think he's not discussed here so much simply because most of his output is for piano alone as opposed to the other composers you mentioned. Personally I'm a big fan of Krystian Zimerman's performances in this rep. Especially his Piano Concertos with Polish Festival Orchestra on DG.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 5:16 PM Post #6 of 76

Bunnyears

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Chopin is very well liked here. Plenty of good material to choose from as noted above. Try using the search box!

Other great Romantic composers are also appreciated here as well:

Schubert, Dvorak, Brahms, Schumann, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Taneyev, Rimsky-Korsakov, Richard Strauss, and above all Mahler and Shostakovich have all been discussed. Just use the little search button and put in the composer name and you will find plenty of recommendations. Please don't forget the 20th century composers such as Prokofieff, Rachmaninoff and even Stravinsky who all can be considered late Russian Romantics as well. Chopin is merely the tip of the iceberg.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 6:20 PM Post #7 of 76

DarkAngel

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I mainly like Chopin waltzes, etudes, and mazurkas and concentrate my collection on these......some really nice CDs are:

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Rubinstein name is always first to come in mind when discussing Chopin he has such a vast catalog of Chopin work for RCA, he may not be the best for any given work but close enough that he must be seriosly considered......just get the ultra cheap box set at Amazon sellers $21 for 11 Cds and be done with it
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For etudes Pollini/DG is the best I have heard, a master at work here


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For waltzes the experts will scoff at this but I have tried 10+ versions and Ashkenazy/Decca gets the palm, he has a natural feel for the undulating rythms of the waltz style and pulls them off with great vitality and panache. As an important supplement the Lipatti/EMI GROTC waltz CD is also essential, a mono recording with good sound.


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Simon/Vox is a great hidden treasure, cheap 2CD set of waltzs and etudes stereo recording from 1970s. Many have not heard of Abbey Simon but he outperforms many of the biggest names with his Chopin work


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Finally we come to Horowitz/Sony favorite Chopin misc collection, this new remastered CD has expanded to 20 tracks and $7 at Amazon sellers. Not the most pure or beautiful chopin but he has an electricity and imagination that few rival versions can even come close to so he is essential for me.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 6:31 PM Post #8 of 76

davidhunternyc

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Ahh, Chopin. What a fantastic thread. Actually, as soon as I started reading this thread I thought about one of my favorite pieces of music of all time. Schubert's, "Sonata for Arpeggionne." It is so romantic, elegant, and warm like amber. This recording by Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky is breathtaking!




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Nov 8, 2008 at 6:44 PM Post #9 of 76

DarkAngel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by johnation33 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Would you call him the defining romantic period composer? (just like mozart dominates the classical period [you can't apprecate the period without listening to mozart])? Who would be? I'm looking for some good romantic period composers and was about to buy some chopin cds but not a lot of people seem to like him here.


Brahms probably the pinnacle of romantic style classical music and finest example

Then Schumann, Mendelssohn, late Schubert, and Tchaikovsky
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 7:00 PM Post #10 of 76

Bunnyears

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkAngel /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Brahms probably the pinnacle of romantic style classical music and finest example

Then Schumann, Mendelssohn, late Schubert, and Tchaikovsky



Huh? How about Berlioz, Field, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, and so many others; don't they get a mention?
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 7:35 PM Post #12 of 76

DarkAngel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bunnyears /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Huh? How about Berlioz, Field, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, and so many others; don't they get a mention?


Yeah those also..........Mahler is hard to assign a style to, he starts with a basic romantic style/foundation and then distorts and mutates it to such extremes, resisted the influences of Wagner and took his own musical journey......a most interesting one. Mahler's themes and literary references are very romantically rooted
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 8:00 PM Post #13 of 76

Bunnyears

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jsaliga /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Seems to me that the OP was mainly interested in Chopin suggestions...

--Jerome



No, OP thought Chopin was not sufficiently respected; and then asked if Chopin was "defining" Romantic period composer -- a more interesting discussion. In any event, to satisfy you, here are two more cds that you can look for.

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Nov 8, 2008 at 8:08 PM Post #14 of 76

jsaliga

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There's no need to satisfy me....I didn't start the thread.

It just struck me how so few Chopin suggestions there were before the thread ran off into a discussion about other composers. So perhaps the OP had a point when he said that Chopin isn't very respected here...or at least favored.

Seeing that this forum was able to produce a thread of some pages in length about Beethoven piano sonatas, I find it a little disappointing that we couldn't muster more than an handful of posts about Chopin.

--Jerome
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 8:15 PM Post #15 of 76

Bunnyears

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkAngel /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yeah those also..........Mahler is hard to assign a style to, he starts with a basic romantic style/foundation and then distorts and mutates it to such extremes, resisted the influences of Wagner and took his own musical journey......a most interesting one. Mahler's themes and literary references are very romantically rooted


You know, I should have put Wagner into the list too. Mahler comes out of the Late Romantic tradition, although like Beethoven his works bridged into a new style -- Vienna School of Schoenberg and the later atonal 20th century composers. However, even as one cannot take Beethoven out of the Classical period, one can't take Mahler out of the Late Romantic either. Btw, with all of the Wagner themes that proliferate through Mahler, I would rather think that he incorporated Wagnerian motifs rather than resisting them, and turned them into something uniquely Mahlerian.
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Wagner, despite his unique status is also squarely in the Late Romantic tradition as is Stravinsky and even Shostakovich. Romanticism is still alive and well today; one only need listen to the movie scores of John Williams, Maurice Jarre or John Barry. Sibelius, Bax, Arnold, Elgar, also I would group into the Romantic as well. Also Copland, Gershwin and Bernstein. And Debussy, Ravel, Satie and even Milhaud of the French schools (impressionism, post impressionism, etc.) also would fall into the Late Romantic as well. For that matter, I'd also put Bartók into the Romantic tradition as well!

As to the question of whether Chopin is the defining composer of the Romantic period: I would hesitate to say that any one composer is the defining composer of that period because it is so varied and encompasses so many different nationally/ethnically influenced styles.
 

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