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Frédéric Chopin

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

September 20

Why rigged competitions are not victimless crimes

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped discA few days ago we received a complaint from a Asian contestant that a well-known professor on the jury of an international competition in Europe had given top marks to his own son. Without shame. As a matter of routine. This happens all the time. Zakhar Bron is a notorious giver of high marks to his pupils, who are also promoted by his own agency. When they win, so does he – three times over. Boris Kushnir is another known offender for advancing his own proteges. Who cares? We do. Competition fixing is not a victimless crime. At the nepotistic contest cited above, 74 hopefuls had paid their way to a fashionable and expensive European location in the hope of winning a career boost. When the competition is rigged, the money they spent is effectively stolen from them by corruption. Those who care for young artists, as one Shanghai judge told me he did, must be aware that young artists and their families are being ripped off every time they enter a fixed competition. There is a simple solution: Judges cannot be allowed to vote for their own pupils. And teachers should be heavily outnumbered on juries by non-teachers. We commend those competitions which have cleaned up their act: Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Enescu , for instance. And we will continue to call out every known instance of teacher-pupil collusion, until the practice stops.

Guardian

September 25

Chopin: The Piano Concertos CD review – superb flexibility and freedom

Elizabeth Sombart (piano), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Vallet (Orchid)Elizabeth Sombart has been a noted Chopin exponent for many years, but it is only now that she has felt ready to record the two piano concertos. Her approach has always been to try to understand and recreate the ambience of the composer’s time – to find the right conditions to reach into his world. Her partnership with conductor Pierre Vallet and the RPO has proved cruciall in this endeavour, and has now enriched the catalogue with two highly charged yet deeply sensitive interpretations of these favourite concertos. Sombart’s playing is superb: technically precise but possessing a flexibility and freedom that lets the music breathe. Vallet conducts with an innate understanding of the soloist’s intentions. Recommended. Continue reading...






Frédéric Chopin
(1810 – 1849)

Frédéric François Chopin (22 February 1810 / 1 March - 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer, virtuoso pianist, and music teacher, of French-Polish parentage. He was one of the great masters of Romantic music. Chopin is also known as "The poet of the Piano". Chopin was born in ?elazowa Wola, a village in the Duchy of Warsaw. A renowned child-prodigy pianist and composer, he grew up in Warsaw and completed his musical education there. Following the Russian suppression of the Polish November 1830 Uprising, Chopin settled in Paris as part of the Polish Great Emigration. He supported himself as a composer and piano teacher, giving few public performances. From 1837 to 1847 he carried on a relationship with the French woman writer George Sand. For most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health; he died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39. Most of Chopin's works involve the piano. They are technically demanding but emphasize nuance and expressive depth. Chopin invented the musical form known as the instrumental ballade and made major innovations to the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, polonaise, étude, impromptu and prélude.



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