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Thread: Mozart or Chopin: Piano Works

  1. #61
    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    Chopin - Rondo a la Krakowiak
    Not to be missed Captain.

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  3. #62
    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post


    Chopin - Rondo a la Krakowiak
    Not to be missed Captain.
    Very charming!

  4. #63
    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Larkenfield;1698378]Unusual recital — Chopin: Introduction and Variations on a German Air ("Der Schweizerbub") for piano in E major, KK. IVa/4, CT. 227 (B. 14)



    Fryderyk Chopin :
    Wariacje E-dur na temat piesni "Der Schweizerbub" op. posth.
    08:50) Wariacje na temat Chopina (Federico Mompou)
    25:50) Wariacje i fuga na temat Preludium c-moll Chopina op. 22 (Ferruccio Busoni)
    Chopin Preludes

    The story behind this composition, "Der Schweizerbub," is interesting. Chopin, a promising 16-year-old composer/pianist studying in Warsaw, was a friend of the well-to-do Sowinski family, whose matriarch was Katarzyna Sowinska. (Her husband was an important war-hero General.) She became enamored of the German song Der Schweizerbub after hearing a performance of it by renowned soprano Henriette Sontag. Madame Sowinska prevailed upon a reluctant Chopin to write variations on it. Apparently he wanted to dispatch the request as quickly as possibly, since he is said to have written the piece in less than an hour. If this account is true, it bears witness to Chopin's remarkable facility and burgeoning genius, for this is a fine, if minor composition.

    After a slow introduction Chopin presents the theme, which bears a curious resemblance to the famous tune in the Marine hymn "From The Halls of Montezuma." Yet, it is lighter here and, oddly, has an Italianate sort of chipper character which might make it suited to a Rossini comedy. The variations all feature brilliant keyboard writing, with the Scherzando second brimming with color and playfulness, and the ensuing Tranquillamente variation, in contrast, somber and elegant. The last variation quickly transforms into a colorful waltz, whose thematic ties to the Schweizerbub melody are the most distant and, in a sense, the most subtle. This was Chopin's first surviving effort at a variations work, and it must be counted as an overwhelming success. [unquote]

    https://www.allmusic.com/composition...4-mc0002360326
    I listened to and enjoyed the first work. I suppose I need to devote more time to Chopin!

  5. #64
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    Too many notes? He could also be the soul of simplicity in numerous Preludes and lightyears beyond Hummel and Field in Chopin's best works no matter how much he had been influenced by them... Chopin was thoroughly modern in his era and his harmonic voicings are still advanced for today... he was a revolutionary... and once he found his stride, it was masterpiece after masterpiece with the same exact care that Bach and Mozart had put into their works—two more of his important influences. I find great heart in his works that make him easy to understand.
    My post was a joke, it's a reference to this famous scene in Amadeus--



    Chopin is among my favorite composers, you don't need to sell me on him

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    After a slow introduction Chopin presents the theme, which bears a curious resemblance to the famous tune in the Marine hymn "From The Halls of Montezuma."
    More on that tune: "It came as quite a surprise to Sousa and Lieutenant Friedlander to learn that the composer of “The Caisson Song” was still very much alive and that the song was less than ten years old. It had been written in March, 1908, by Lieutenant Edmund L. Gruber of the U.S. Army Field Artillery at Camp Stotsenburg, Philippine Islands. The piece was composed in the presence of at least two fellow officers who assisted in writing the lyrics. No doubt Lieutenant Gruber was even more surprised to find that his song, much revised, had skyrocketed to fame. He raised no objections to Sousa’s use of the song, which was serving the army’s purpose so admirably.... The melody became even more popular when the Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Company adopted it as its sales song."


  8. #66
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    Hummel's influence can also be seen in the early works of Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann, and the shadow of Hummel's Piano Concerto in B minor as well as his Piano Concerto in A minor can be particularly perceived in Chopin's concertos. This is unsurprising, considering that Chopin must have heard Hummel on one of the latter's concert tours to Poland and Russia, and that Chopin kept Hummel's piano concertos in his active repertoire. Harold C. Schonberg, in The Great Pianists, writes "...the openings of the Hummel A minor and Chopin E minor concertos are too close to be coincidental".[6] In relation to Chopin's Preludes, Op. 28, Schonberg says: "It also is hard to escape the notion that Chopin was very familiar with Hummel's now-forgotten Op. 67,[7] composed in 1815 – a set of twenty-four preludes in all major and minor keys, starting with C major".
    It's also interesting they actually knew each other in person:
    "The 19th-century composer who owes the most to Hummel, and with whom he enjoyed the warmest relationship, was Chopin. Chopin first met Hummel in Warsaw in 1828, where Hummel, the touring virtuoso, made his usual spectacular impression on the public, and even more so on the young and sensitive Polish musician. Chopin and Hummel kept in close contact throughout their lives and became genuine friends. They took excursions together, such as a trip to the country home of Chopin’s beloved Dr. Malfatti in the spring of 1831, and they visited each other as often as possible. One such visit occurred on December 22, 1830, in Vienna, when Hummel came calling with his talented nineyear-old son Carl, who went on to become a noted painter. Chopin was feeling homesick during the Christmas season, since it was the first time he was living away from Warsaw. He was obviously moved by Hummel’s visit and by the fact that the young Carl made a drawing of him; he wrote to his parents: “Hummel came to see me yesterday with his son who has done a portrait of me, so life-like that it could not be bettered.… Hummel père is extraordinarily kind.” Chopin continued to express, in both words and deeds, his admiration for Hummel. For example, on December 10, 1842, five years after Hummel’s death, Chopin would proclaim that Hummel was one of the “masters we all recognize.”
    "The two great pianists were also in complete agreement on many aspects of playing the keyboard. One was fingering, a matter of great importance to Chopin, who wrote in his own unfinished piano method “everything is a matter of knowing good fingering.” Chopin considered Hummel to be the master of this art, writing that one should be able to produce “as many different sounds as there are fingers…. Hummel was the most knowledgeable on the subject.”"

    https://www.earlymusicamerica.org/fi...er07Hummel.pdf
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Sep-09-2019 at 07:21.

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    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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  10. #68
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Robert Levin discussing "The slow movements and the human formula" regarding Mozart sonatas at 4:48


  11. #69
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    I once wrote that whenever Chopin builds tension, it always falls into one of these three categories:

    1. To play both hands together in unison (as in the final movement of Sonata in B flat minor or Polonaise Op.44 in F sharp minor)
    2. To play melody in one hand, play chords in the other hand. (as in Polonaise in A flat Op.53)
    3. To play Prelude-styled repeating figures (Etude Op.25 No.1 in A flat, Prelude in F sharp minor Op.28 No.8, some sections from Polonaise Fantasy in A flat)

    There's not a section in his music where he demonstrates solid understanding of texture beyond these three. It's either adding notes of no melodic value to the bass each time the main theme returns, as in the final movement of Sonata in B minor Op.58 or Fantaisie in F minor Op.49, or random chromatic harmony figures meant for show-off, as in the right hand of Etude Op.25 No.11 in A minor. And I think it's the reason why Wagner called Chopin "a composer for one right hand". Just look how Chopin keeps going on with the same left hand on D flat for 5 minutes from start to finish in Berceuse. Yes, there's Etude Op.10 No.4, Nocturne Op.55 No.2 and certain sections of Ballade No.4, Barcarolle. but again, they're skin-deep compared to the level of texture other great composers demonstrated.

    "Complex texture" is something you would say about the first movement of Mozart sonata K533, where there is continuous coexistence of monophonic, harmonic, contrapuntal elements, or the last movement of K310 of where there's actually balance of voice-leading in both hands. Or Prelude and Fugue in C K394, (which follows the tradition of Bachian universe-expansion) or the organ piece Fantasie in F minor K608 where Mozart turns the fugue of the exposition to double fugue in the recapitulation to achieve operatic drama, or the chromatic embellishment on the main theme in the coda of Rondo in A minor K511 - all of which I posted earlier.



    In fact, "texture" is the area where I find Chopin especially inadequate compared to other greats. If someone uses expression "complex texture" to put Chopin higher than other greats, I have to assume that person is just trying associate whatever positive attributes they randomly thought off the top of their heads, to make his music look better than it actually is.

    A few months ago, TwoSetViolin (a massive fan-based youtube channel run by two Asian guys who study violin to be classical musicians in Australia) uploaded a video wherein they discussed and ranked major classical composers based on their greatness by alphabetical letters, S, A, B, C, D.. In the video, the guys first ranked Chopin at C, and later moved him to B.
    The comment section was completely full of angry comments, "how could you rank Chopin so low?" Eventually, TwoSetViolin had to take down the video. They ranked Paganini at D, but nobody complained about that.

    Sorry I just can't take the general Chopin fandom seriously anymore. I'm amazed whenever I talk with those people:
    Casual piano players who think the piano is the best instrument and think that Chopin is actually a Wagner-tier composer.
    People who just came to know classical music through anime, thinking that Chopin Ballade No.1 in G minor is the best stuff there is, etc.
    (I do not mean the kind of knowledgeable Chopin admirers we have here on TC)

    I remember reading David C F Wright's essay on Chopin and getting upset a long time ago. I was upset because back then, I did not think this negatively about the general Chopin fandom. Nowadays I understand why Wright wrote the way he did.
    Just look what's going on in the general classical music community. Johann Strauss II is regarded as "not being a serious composer" for writing Wo die Zitronen blühn op. 364. Chopin is regarded as the "Poet of the Piano" for writing Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2.
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Sep-09-2019 at 17:57.

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Sorry, but the above is as shortsighted and petty about Chopin’s harmonic and melodic genius as ever, as if everyone has been fooled by him except you and David Wright. Not only a blindspot with Chopin but with most of the other Romantics as well... and evidently there’s no cure. Nothing to praise? For all you and Wright know or understand, even Mozart himself might been crazy with admiration for Chopin’s sensitivity, refinement, subtlety, boldness, imagination, and a host of other qualities famous and admired the world over that seem to have escaped your notice. Wright’s rogues gallery also includes a thorough condemnation of Schubert and Debussy, along with his moral condemnation of them, and neither of you have made any headway in putting one dent in Chopin’s well-deserved reputation. He’s just as popular now as he’s ever been. As great as Mozart was — I rate him tops above all composers — Chopin was a far more gifted melodist and his harmonies were advanced. Piano literature and music in general would be unthinkable without him. Virtually every world-class pianist has played him and will continue to play him.

    Last edited by Larkenfield; Sep-09-2019 at 22:08.
    "That's all Folks!"

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    Is this true, or are there some counterexamples?

    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    . . . whenever Chopin builds tension, it always falls into one of these three categories:

    1. To play both hands together in unison (as in the final movement of Sonata in B flat minor or Polonaise Op.44 in F sharp minor)
    2. To play melody in one hand, play chords in the other hand. (as in Polonaise in A flat Op.53)
    3. To play Prelude-styled repeating figures (Etude Op.25 No.1 in A flat, Prelude in F sharp minor Op.28 No.8, some sections from Polonaise Fantasy in A flat)
    .
    If it is true does it follow that

    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post

    "texture" is the area where. . . Chopin [i]s inadequate
    ?
    Last edited by Mandryka; Sep-09-2019 at 21:24.

  16. #72
    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    Lang Lang's recordings of the Etudes are quite nice.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captainnumber36 View Post
    Lang Lang's recordings of the Etudes are quite nice.
    I like Pollini in the études. Not a fan of Mr. Lang. There are a few famous and indeed great Chopinists who have not recorded the complete études due to their difficulty, notably Arthur Rubinstein.

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  19. #74
    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    I like Pollini in the études. Not a fan of Mr. Lang. There are a few famous and indeed great Chopinists who have not recorded the complete études due to their difficulty, notably Arthur Rubinstein.
    Pollini sounds nice too. I'm listening to Op. 10 by Pollini and listened to Lang Lang's Op. 25.

  20. #75
    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    I still think I prefer the clam and steady balance found in Mozart when compared to the fluctuations found in the Romantics like Chopin.
    Last edited by Captainnumber36; Sep-10-2019 at 00:50.

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