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Thread: Chopin, fantaisie op. 49

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    Senior Member Op.123's Avatar
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    Default Chopin, fantaisie op. 49

    I was wondering what you thought of this work?
    I really like it and I don't think it gets the attention it deserves. It has to be one of the greatest pieces of music ever written for solo piano but on the tc top recommended keyboard works it is in 158th place. Just listen to it, I think it is ingenious and should be in the top 10.

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=kGifw...%3DkGifw8dMkqk
    “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

    - Mozart

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    Senior Member Op.123's Avatar
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    So I guess no one agrees with me. I can't believe it!!!!! I wonder why?????
    “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

    - Mozart

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    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    Didn't know it existed until now. Il give my opinion tomorrow or something
    "That as s."

    - Mark Twain

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    Senior Member Op.123's Avatar
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    Read this

    And now we have reached the grandest--oh, banal and abused word-- of Chopin's compositions, the Fantaisie in F minor, op. 49. Robert Schumann, after remarking that the cosmopolitan must "sacrifice the small interests of the soil on which he was born," notices that Chopin's later works "begin to lose something of their especial Sarmatian physiognomy, to approach partly more nearly the universal ideal cultivated by the divine Greeks which we find again in Mozart." The F minor Fantaisie has hardly the Mozartian serenity, but parades a formal beauty--not disfigured by an excess of violence, either personal or patriotic, and its melodies, if restless by melancholy, are of surprising nobility and dramatic grandeur. Without including the Beethoven Sonatas, not strictly born of the instrument, I do not fear to maintain that this Fantaisie is one of the greatest of piano pieces. Never properly appreciated by pianists, critics, or public, it is, after more than a half century of neglect, being understood at last. It was published November, 1843, and probably composed at Nohant, as a letter of the composer indicates. The dedication is to Princesse C. de Souzzo--these interminable countesses and princesses of Chopin! For Niecks, who could not at first discern its worth, it suggests a Titan in commotion. It is Titanic; the torso of some Faust-like dream, it is Chopin's Faust. A macabre march, containing some dangerous dissonances, gravely ushers us to ascending staircases of triplets, only to precipitate us to the very abysses of the piano. That first subject, is it not almost as ethically puissant and passionate as Beethoven in his F minor Sonata? Chopin's lack of tenaciousness is visible here. Beethoven would have built a cathedral on such a foundational scheme, but Chopin, ever prodigal in his melody making, dashes impetuously to the A flat episode, that heroic love chant, erroneously marked dolce and played with the effeminacies of a salon. Three times does it resound in this strange Hall of Glancing Mirrors, yet not once should it be caressed. The bronze fingers of a Tausig are needed. Now are arching the triplets to the great, thrilling song, beginning in C minor, and then the octaves, in contrary motion, split wide asunder the very earth. After terrific chordal reverberations there is the rapid retreat of vague armies, and once again is begun the ascent of the rolling triplets to inaccessible heights, and the first theme sounds in C minor. The modulation lifts to G flat, only to drop to abysmal depths. What mighty, desperate cause is being espoused? When peace is presaged in the key of B, is this the prize for which strive these agonized hosts? Is some forlorn princess locked behind these solemn, inaccessible bars? For a few moments there is contentment beyond all price. Then the warring tribe of triplets recommence, after clamorous G flat octaves reeling from the stars to the sea of the first theme. Another rush into D flat ensues, the song of C minor reappears in F minor, and the miracle is repeated. Oracular octaves quake the cellarage of the palace, the warriors hurry by, their measured tramp is audible after they vanish, and the triplets obscure their retreat with chromatic vapors. Then an adagio in this fantastic old world tale--the curtain prepares to descend--a faint, sweet voice sings a short, appealing cadenza, and after billowing A flat arpeggios, soft, great hummocks of tone, two giant chords are sounded, and the Ballade of Love and War is over. Who conquers? Is the Lady with the Green Eyes and Moon White Face rescued? Or is all this a De Quincey's Dream Fugue translated into tone--a sonorous, awesome vision? Like De Quincey, it suggests the apparition of the empire of fear, the fear that is secretly felt with dreams, wherein the spirit expands to the drummings of infinite space.

    Alas! for the validity of subjective criticism. Franz Liszt told Vladimir de Pachmann the programme of the Fantaisie, as related to him by Chopin. At the close of one desperate, immemorial day, the pianist was crooning at the piano, his spirits vastly depressed. Suddenly came a knocking at his door, a Poe-like, sinister tapping, which he at once rhythmically echoed upon the keyboard, his phono-motor centre being unusually sensitive. The first two bars of the Fantaisie describe these rappings, just as the third and fourth stand for Chopin's musical invitation, entrez, entrez! This is all repeated until the doors wide open swinging admit Liszt, George Sand, Madame Camille Pleyel nee Mock, and others. To the solemn measures of the march they enter, and range themselves about Chopin, who after the agitated triplets begins his complaint in the mysterious song in F minor. But Sand, with whom he has quarrelled, falls before him on her knees and pleads for pardon. Straightway the chant merges into the appealing A flat section--this sends skyward my theory of its interpretation--and from C minor the current becomes more tempestuous until the climax is reached and to the second march the intruders rapidly vanish. The remainder of the work, with the exception of the Lento Sostenuto in B--where it is to be hoped Chopin's perturbed soul finds momentary peace--is largely repetition and development. This far from ideal reading is an authoritative one, coming as it does from Chopin by way of Liszt. I console myself for its rather commonplace character with the notion that perhaps in the re-telling the story has caught some personal cadenzas of the two historians. In any case I shall cling to my own version.

    The F minor Fantaisie will mean many things to many people. Chopin has never before maintained so artistically, so free from delirium, such a level of strong passion, mental power and exalted euphony. It is his largest canvas, and though there are no long-breathed periods such as in the B flat minor Scherzo, the phraseology is amply broad, without padding of paragraphs. The rapt interest is not relaxed until the final bar. This transcendental work more nearly approaches Beethoven in its unity, its formal rectitude and its brave economy of thematic material.

    While few men have dared to unlock their hearts thus, Chopin is not so intimate here as in the mazurkas. But the pulse beats ardently in the tissues of this composition. As art for art, it is less perfect; the gain is on the human side. Nearing his end Chopin discerned, with ever widening, ever brighter vision, the great heart throb of the universe. Master of his material, if not of his mortal tenement, he passionately strove to shape his dreams into abiding sounds. He did not always succeed, but his victories are the precious prizes of mankind. One is loath to believe that the echo of Chopin's magic music can ever fall upon unheeding ears. He may become old-fashioned, but, like Mozart, he will remain eternally beautiful.
    Last edited by Op.123; May-14-2013 at 06:31.
    “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

    - Mozart

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    Senior Member CypressWillow's Avatar
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    I love this piece. My favorite performance is by Arthur Rubinstein.

    Here is Part One:
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzBfrFSU5LU[/yt]

    And Part Two:
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7pUv0qJTtE[/yt]

    Rubinstein seems to bring Chopin alive for me. I hear something new in him every time.

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    Senior Member hreichgott's Avatar
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    The F minor Fantasy? It's a warhorse in no danger of being forgotten. Position #158 on some TC list just means it's behind the Moonlight Sonata and the Well-Tempered Klavier and various other warhorses. The piano repertoire is very big.
    Heather W. Reichgott, piano
    http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

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    Senior Member Op.123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravndal View Post
    Didn't know it existed until now. Il give my opinion tomorrow or something
    I will be interested to see what you think
    “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

    - Mozart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Op.123 View Post
    I was wondering what you thought of this work?
    I really like it and I don't think it gets the attention it deserves.
    I've always liked it too, and I recently gave it more attention by making an animated graphical score for it:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Malinowski View Post
    I've always liked it too, and I recently gave it more attention by making an animated graphical score for it:

    Welcome to the boards !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Malinowski View Post
    I've always liked it too, and I recently gave it more attention by making an animated graphical score for it:

    Looks great, welcome to Talk Classical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hreichgott View Post
    The F minor Fantasy? It's a warhorse in no danger of being forgotten. Position #158 on some TC list just means it's behind the Moonlight Sonata and the Well-Tempered Klavier and various other warhorses. The piano repertoire is very big.
    Very true (it'll not be forgotten) and on another day or another forum it could have come much higher. It is more substantial than many of Chopin's pieces. But I am not sure I get what we mean when we say a great work is a warhorse. It sounds derogatory but I'm sure you don't mean it in that way. It is sometimes used as a criticism of promoters and recording companies tendency to focus on a few very popular pieces. Perhaps there is a suggestion that we have nothing new to learn about a warhorse but there is always something new to hear in really great music.

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Op.123 View Post
    Read this

    And now we have reached the grandest--oh, banal and abused word-- of Chopin's compositions, the Fantaisie in F minor, op. 49. Robert Schumann, after remarking that the cosmopolitan must "sacrifice the small interests of the soil on which he was born," notices that Chopin's later works "begin to lose something of their especial Sarmatian physiognomy, to approach partly more nearly the universal ideal cultivated by the divine Greeks which we find again in Mozart." The F minor Fantaisie has hardly the Mozartian serenity, but parades a formal beauty--not disfigured by an excess of violence, either personal or patriotic, and its melodies, if restless by melancholy, are of surprising nobility and dramatic grandeur. Without including the Beethoven Sonatas, not strictly born of the instrument, I do not fear to maintain that this Fantaisie is one of the greatest of piano pieces. Never properly appreciated by pianists, critics, or public, it is, after more than a half century of neglect, being understood at last. It was published November, 1843, and probably composed at Nohant, as a letter of the composer indicates. The dedication is to Princesse C. de Souzzo--these interminable countesses and princesses of Chopin! For Niecks, who could not at first discern its worth, it suggests a Titan in commotion. It is Titanic; the torso of some Faust-like dream, it is Chopin's Faust. A macabre march, containing some dangerous dissonances, gravely ushers us to ascending staircases of triplets, only to precipitate us to the very abysses of the piano. That first subject, is it not almost as ethically puissant and passionate as Beethoven in his F minor Sonata? Chopin's lack of tenaciousness is visible here. Beethoven would have built a cathedral on such a foundational scheme, but Chopin, ever prodigal in his melody making, dashes impetuously to the A flat episode, that heroic love chant, erroneously marked dolce and played with the effeminacies of a salon. Three times does it resound in this strange Hall of Glancing Mirrors, yet not once should it be caressed. The bronze fingers of a Tausig are needed. Now are arching the triplets to the great, thrilling song, beginning in C minor, and then the octaves, in contrary motion, split wide asunder the very earth. After terrific chordal reverberations there is the rapid retreat of vague armies, and once again is begun the ascent of the rolling triplets to inaccessible heights, and the first theme sounds in C minor. The modulation lifts to G flat, only to drop to abysmal depths. What mighty, desperate cause is being espoused? When peace is presaged in the key of B, is this the prize for which strive these agonized hosts? Is some forlorn princess locked behind these solemn, inaccessible bars? For a few moments there is contentment beyond all price. Then the warring tribe of triplets recommence, after clamorous G flat octaves reeling from the stars to the sea of the first theme. Another rush into D flat ensues, the song of C minor reappears in F minor, and the miracle is repeated. Oracular octaves quake the cellarage of the palace, the warriors hurry by, their measured tramp is audible after they vanish, and the triplets obscure their retreat with chromatic vapors. Then an adagio in this fantastic old world tale--the curtain prepares to descend--a faint, sweet voice sings a short, appealing cadenza, and after billowing A flat arpeggios, soft, great hummocks of tone, two giant chords are sounded, and the Ballade of Love and War is over. Who conquers? Is the Lady with the Green Eyes and Moon White Face rescued? Or is all this a De Quincey's Dream Fugue translated into tone--a sonorous, awesome vision? Like De Quincey, it suggests the apparition of the empire of fear, the fear that is secretly felt with dreams, wherein the spirit expands to the drummings of infinite space.

    Alas! for the validity of subjective criticism. Franz Liszt told Vladimir de Pachmann the programme of the Fantaisie, as related to him by Chopin. At the close of one desperate, immemorial day, the pianist was crooning at the piano, his spirits vastly depressed. Suddenly came a knocking at his door, a Poe-like, sinister tapping, which he at once rhythmically echoed upon the keyboard, his phono-motor centre being unusually sensitive. The first two bars of the Fantaisie describe these rappings, just as the third and fourth stand for Chopin's musical invitation, entrez, entrez! This is all repeated until the doors wide open swinging admit Liszt, George Sand, Madame Camille Pleyel nee Mock, and others. To the solemn measures of the march they enter, and range themselves about Chopin, who after the agitated triplets begins his complaint in the mysterious song in F minor. But Sand, with whom he has quarrelled, falls before him on her knees and pleads for pardon. Straightway the chant merges into the appealing A flat section--this sends skyward my theory of its interpretation--and from C minor the current becomes more tempestuous until the climax is reached and to the second march the intruders rapidly vanish. The remainder of the work, with the exception of the Lento Sostenuto in B--where it is to be hoped Chopin's perturbed soul finds momentary peace--is largely repetition and development. This far from ideal reading is an authoritative one, coming as it does from Chopin by way of Liszt. I console myself for its rather commonplace character with the notion that perhaps in the re-telling the story has caught some personal cadenzas of the two historians. In any case I shall cling to my own version.

    The F minor Fantaisie will mean many things to many people. Chopin has never before maintained so artistically, so free from delirium, such a level of strong passion, mental power and exalted euphony. It is his largest canvas, and though there are no long-breathed periods such as in the B flat minor Scherzo, the phraseology is amply broad, without padding of paragraphs. The rapt interest is not relaxed until the final bar. This transcendental work more nearly approaches Beethoven in its unity, its formal rectitude and its brave economy of thematic material.

    While few men have dared to unlock their hearts thus, Chopin is not so intimate here as in the mazurkas. But the pulse beats ardently in the tissues of this composition. As art for art, it is less perfect; the gain is on the human side. Nearing his end Chopin discerned, with ever widening, ever brighter vision, the great heart throb of the universe. Master of his material, if not of his mortal tenement, he passionately strove to shape his dreams into abiding sounds. He did not always succeed, but his victories are the precious prizes of mankind. One is loath to believe that the echo of Chopin's magic music can ever fall upon unheeding ears. He may become old-fashioned, but, like Mozart, he will remain eternally beautiful.
    This was uncredited from James Huneker's
    CHOPIN: THE MAN AND HIS MUSIC.
    Huneker was a Chopin fanatic with
    an amazing command of language,
    and his book can be found online.
    He wrote on the composers of
    the Romantic era, and
    Chopin was his all-time favorite.
    Huneker also discusses the most
    prominent pianists of his day before
    the invention of the phonograph
    and well worth reading for his
    enthusiasm about his subject
    matter and his personal insights
    on virtually everything that
    Chopin wrote. I enjoy the
    informality of his writing and
    his book is a special treat
    for Chopin devotees.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4939
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-20-2018 at 14:09.
    "That's all Folks!"

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