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  1. 2021 Listening Project - Jan 25

    Chopin
    Nocturnes Op. 9
    Maurizio Pollini, piano

    I have a CD with all 19 Chopin Nocturnes played by Pollini (including the posthumous Op. 72). That seems like too many to absorb at one sitting, so I will try to listen to one opus per day. Today was Op. 19. I listened to each twice.

    I like these first three. When I've played this CD in the past, it's just been background music, where I was really only paying attention for the first minute or two. So Op. 91
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  2. 2021 Listening Project - Jan 23

    Brahms
    Arrangement of the 2nd movement from the String Sextet No. 2 Op. 18
    Emanuel Ax, piano

    Brahms apparently did the transcription himself, as a gift to Clara Schumann on her 41st birthday, but was never published in his lifetime.

    I like this, but not as much as the sextet version. Some parts work in the piano version, but other really don't (i particular I really miss the pizzicato in some sections). Nevertheless, enjoyable to listen to.
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  3. 2021 Listening Project - Jan 22 - Part 2

    Whoops, I forgot to include this one on Jan 22:

    Brahms
    String Sextet No. 1
    Violins: Isaac Stern, Cho-Liang Lin
    Violas: Jaime Laredo, Michael Tree
    Cellos: Yo-Yo Ma, Sharon Robinson

    I've owned this disc for a long time, and I really like this piece. I think I prefer it to the 2nd sextet, but it's a close call. I particularly like the 2nd movement.
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  4. 2021 Listening Project - Jan 22

    Charles Ives
    Holidays Symphony
    Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor

    A big question for me with this piece (and other Ives' pieces) is how can we fully understand and appreciate what he is doing, unless we are familiar with all of his source material? I like the way that familiar tunes come in and out of "focus" in this piece, but I suspect that there is a *lot* going on here that I am missing because the source material is unfamiliar
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  5. 2021 Listening Project - Jan 20

    * Jan 20 & 22, 2021

    Mozart
    Andras Schiff, piano

    This is a 1986 recording with eight different pieces. I've owned this for a long time, and always enjoyed it.

    There are two sets of variations, 10 on "Twinkle Twinkle, and 12 on "Unser dummer Pöbel meint". I do like the Twinkle Twinkle ones, though I was once told by a (with hindsight snooty) pianist that they are actually really boring. I admit that this time I thought the 12
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