Chopin--why doesn't he get too much respect here?
Nov 8, 2008 at 8:24 PM Post #16 of 76

Bunnyears

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jsaliga /img/forum/go_quote.gif
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



If the op only wanted Chopin suggestions, he should not have asked if Chopin was the defining composer of the romantic period -- which he isn't by a long shot. And that has nothing to do with disrespect; he composed principally for piano and his output was not that large. In order to define a movement despite the originality of his work, one needs to dominate the music of his time and Chopin did not do that the way Schumann, Mendelssohn, Wagner or Brahms did.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 8:46 PM Post #17 of 76

jsaliga

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I'm not disputing anything you said. But the OP mentioned that he was about to buy some Chopin CDs but pulled back... One might have thought that some discussion about Chopin would be appropriate. But it certainly isn't worth arguing over...

--Jerome
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 6:26 AM Post #18 of 76

Tyson

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For regal chopin, Rubinstein is your man. For heroic chopin, Zimerman can't be beat. For hyper chopin, Francois. For neurotic chopin, Horowitz. For scintillating chopin, Argerich. Pedestrian chopin, Ashkenazy (although his 60's recordings on decca are quite good), for polished, refined chopin, Perahia, and for my favorite, magisterial chopin, Pollini.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 6:33 AM Post #19 of 76

davidhunternyc

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
For regal chopin, Rubinstein is your man. For heroic chopin, Zimerman can't be beat. For hyper chopin, Francois. For neurotic chopin, Horowitz. For scintillating chopin, Argerich. Pedestrian chopin, Ashkenazy (although his 60's recordings on decca are quite good), for polished, refined chopin, Perahia, and for my favorite, magisterial chopin, Pollini.


^^^ Wow, well said. I think I would have to agree with this.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 6:38 AM Post #20 of 76

Tyson

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Oh, and for the greater discussion of chopin's greatness, I would posit not his ballades, his preludes, his sonatas, but rather his Mazurka's are his greatest contribution. Most other music "tells" you how to feel, it gives you directives on what the composer is trying to elicit. But not the Mazurkas. They are completely ambivalent. You listen to them and they resonate with the modern consciousness by virtue of being music of depth, but which are completely open to any interpretation of your own personal story. No other music I can think of is so subjective.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 6:52 AM Post #21 of 76

gilency

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I am a big fan. I have many recordings including Waltzes, Nocturnes and Polonaises, etc. played by many artists including Rubenstein, Horowitz, Kissin, etc.
As a matter of fact, my best sleeping/relaxing remedy is listening to his Nocturnes......Ahhhh! music from heaven.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 2:10 PM Post #22 of 76

DarkAngel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
For regal chopin, Rubinstein is your man. For heroic chopin, Zimerman can't be beat. For hyper chopin, Francois. For neurotic chopin, Horowitz. For scintillating chopin, Argerich. Pedestrian chopin, Ashkenazy (although his 60's recordings on decca are quite good), for polished, refined chopin, Perahia, and for my favorite, magisterial chopin, Pollini.


This hints at the problem facing the Chopin collector, extremely hard for any single performer to be equally great with all the different styles of Chopin. For instance the waltz requires a special sense of dance rythms compared to the slow introspective nocturnes.........Rubinstein probably comes closest overall but as I said previously he is not the absolute best in any given style.

I am big Argerich fan but was not too impressed with her Chopin solo piano work, lots of technical fireworks but don't touch me on a personal level.
I like her Chopin piano concerto better

I was not expecting much from Ashkenazy but I still maintain his waltz performances (1977-85) are of the highest order........I have not heard anyone better

Who is your pick for best Chopin waltz performances?
(I am big collector of these)

I am also a big Zimerman fan but other than Chopin piano concertos very little available to buy.............
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 2:27 PM Post #23 of 76

DarkAngel

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Bunny
Where do you find all these relatively little known artists to recommend?

The problem is when I check into them further they often turn out to be great performances and often very expensive.........my resources become stretched thin

I am just finished listening to samples of the Tharaud/HM waltzes collection which sound very promising, unusual that he mixes up the playing order but that is fine by me since I like for an artist to be individual in his performance
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 3:40 PM Post #24 of 76

Bunnyears

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Hi DA,

Just word of mouth.

I've been a big Tharaud fan since getting his first cd of Bach at BMG years ago. He also has a new album of Chopin Preludes which is on my short list when prices fall a bit.

51gR2ANx3qL._SL500_AA240_.jpg


I'm not really sure where I heard of the Indjic Mazurkas. I had been looking for a set of the Mazurkas for quite a while when I saw it at Arkiv, and remembered hearing about it. After looking for another set, I finally pulled the trigger because this one sounded better than anything else I came up with. It's one of those albums that go in and out of print (Calliope is a licensing label like Brilliant Classics) so I took a chance, and was very happy with the result.

Btw, I'm in agreement with you for some of Martha's Chopin. Her first album is very flashy, but some of her choices really reflect her youth and immaturity. There is however, a freshness about the album which is very appealing. I believe I also picked that up at BMG as well.

41E2G4J8C1L._SL500_AA240_.jpg
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 7:12 PM Post #25 of 76

DarkAngel

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Tyson /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Oh, and for the greater discussion of chopin's greatness, I would posit not his ballades, his preludes, his sonatas, but rather his Mazurka's are his greatest contribution. Most other music "tells" you how to feel, it gives you directives on what the composer is trying to elicit. But not the Mazurkas. They are completely ambivalent. You listen to them and they resonate with the modern consciousness by virtue of being music of depth, but which are completely open to any interpretation of your own personal story. No other music I can think of is so subjective.


I like Mazurkas also but they are almost an acquired taste. They don't have the strong recognizable rythm of a waltz, but instead are complex tangled affairs that have many layers......like peeling an onion they can reveal many levels with a skilled performance.

Also they often have a bittersweet reflective theme and not always uplifting like the waltzes, very mysterious yet fascinating works
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 9:37 PM Post #26 of 76

Tyson

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Yes, precisely why I think they are his greatest work. They don't telegraph to you how you should feel. That level of ambiguity at that level of greatness is astonishing.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 10:04 PM Post #27 of 76

Bunnyears

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DarkAngel /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I like Mazurkas also but they are almost an acquired taste. They don't have the strong recognizable rythm of a waltz, but instead are complex tangled affairs that have many layers......like peeling an onion they can reveal many levels with a skilled performance.

Also they often have a bittersweet reflective theme and not always uplifting like the waltzes, very mysterious yet fascinating works



Mazurkas are also a triple-time dances (like the minuet, waltz, ländler, and Polonaise), but they stress the second or third beat rather than the first beat of the measure. They are a lot of fun to play, more so than a waltz with its very conventional tempo. The dance, if I recall correctly, incorporated some skipping or slightly hopping steps, thus the stress on the second or third beats when one would very slightly lift up. Frequently the mazurka step was combined with the waltz step -- for the more skilled dancers, I suppose. Chopin used the mazurka form as a starting point for his music, and so some of them are not as danceable. However, many of the mazurkas he wrote are extremely rhythmic, and were popular standards in the 19th century ballroom (eg: op.30/3 and the op.33/2). The Op.33/2 is incorporated in the Fokine ballet Les Sylphides originally called Chopiniana. The mazurka is used for the "prima" sylph's solo.
 
Nov 14, 2008 at 7:17 PM Post #28 of 76

calaf

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one of the first LP of classical music I bought as a teenager is Benedetti-Michelangeli collection of Mazurkas
41FVV0RWPCL._SL500_AA240_.jpg


Thirty year later, in spite of many scratches and fuzzy sonics, it is still one of my desert island recordings: noble, immaculate, but so full of electricity. Definitely not salon Chopin...

A modern recording which reminds me a bit of Michelangeli for its classical, restrained approach is Hewitt's collection of Nocturnes
51231JZCW1L._SL500_AA240_.jpg
 
Nov 15, 2008 at 3:50 PM Post #29 of 76

Bunnyears

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Quote:

Originally Posted by calaf /img/forum/go_quote.gif
one of the first LP of classical music I bought as a teenager is Benedetti-Michelangeli collection of Mazurkas
41FVV0RWPCL._SL500_AA240_.jpg


Thirty year later, in spite of many scratches and fuzzy sonics, it is still one of my desert island recordings: noble, immaculate, but so full of electricity. Definitely not salon Chopin...

A modern recording which reminds me a bit of Michelangeli for its classical, restrained approach is Hewitt's collection of Nocturnes
51231JZCW1L._SL500_AA240_.jpg



I'm not a fan of Hewitt's Chopin, which is a bit too intellectualized for me; I wouldn't trade Michelangeli's for hers. However, if you are a piano (instrument) fan, the sound of the Fazioli she is using is just amazing. If I'm in the market for a new piano, I'm getting a Fazioli. It's got a smaller sound than a Steinway (better for an apartment), but such an action and such a tone. Yummy!!

In any event, my favorite Chopin nocturnes are by Ivan Moravec, who really gets into the emotional subtext of the music as well as having complete technical mastery. And the usual suspects: Arrau, Horowitz, and Rubenstein.

superd_1242813.jpg


These recordings by Maria João Pires and Daniel Barenboim are in my letter to Santa.
wink.gif


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41E41EZAZRL._SL500_AA240_.jpg
 
Jan 26, 2009 at 3:59 PM Post #30 of 76

DarkAngel

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I was very happy with my mono Dinu Lipatti/EMI set of Chopin so I took a flyer on more historical Chopin:
(Lipatti studied under Cortot)

417V3K5ER8L._SL500_AA240_.jpg


These performances date back to 1920s & 1930s so I hope the sound is not too bad.......solo piano does hold up fairly well in historical sound.

Anyone here have any Alfred Cortot performances of Chopin to comment on?

I read somewhere that Cortot's teacher was taught directly by Chopin, so these performances may more closely reflect how Chopin himself would play them compared to modern performances which often seem strangely shallow or dull affairs.

Also read that Cortot can sometimes have less than perfect execution of notes but has inate feel for flow, melody, the overall architecture of music more than making up for any technical flaws. Sounds similar to criticisms of Schnabel's performances
 

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