Thursday, June 29, 2017
This may sound like political correctness taken a pedal too far. The Chopin Competition is held every five years. The last was in 2015. Now, for political reasons (see below), an extra competition has been announced for next year – with a twist. The Fryderyk Chopin Institute owns a number of instruments that Chopin once played – mostly Erards and Pleyels, with a solitary English Broadwood. It will put them to use for the first time as competition instrument in 2018 in an event arranged to celebrate the centenary of Poland’s independence. A one-off? No, they want to make this competition a regular occurrence. Details here.
I have for you today a new recording of music by Chopin, as performed by pianist Angela Hewitt: Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2 and other works Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 ‘Marche funèbre’ Mazurkas (3), Op. 50 Fantasia in F minor, Op. 49 Nocturne No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 15 No. 2 Étude Op. 10 No. 5 in G flat major ‘Black Key’ Prelude Op. 28 No. 9 in E major Prelude Op. 28 No. 10 in C sharp minor Prelude Op. 28 No. 11 in B major Prelude Op. 28 No. 12 in G sharp minor Polonaise No. 5 in F sharp minor, Op. 44 Étude Op. 25 No. 4 in A minor Étude Op. 10 No. 7 in C major Performed by Angela Hewitt (piano) Angela Hewitt is one of the most distinguished pianists of our time. She specializes in the music of J. S. Bach, but few remember that already in 1980 at the Chopin Competition, she revealed her uncommon abilities and, though she did not win a prize, she certainly did figure among the most interesting artistic personalities. Her competition recordings are being brought back by The Fryderyk Chopin Institute, which reminds listeners of the most interesting performances of the Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition. Gramophone Magazine wrote the following: “Many qualities of the mature pianist are readily recognisable in the 22-year-old contestant, among them careful attention to Chopin’s polyphony, with often surprising though natural voice-leading; a deftly calibrated sound palette; and a strong point of view in virtually every work. Hewitt devotees will find this release irresistible…and, no doubt, all lovers of Chopin will find interesting, even provocative.” Here is Ms Hewitt, playing the Chopin Nocturne Op. 15 number 2:
Today My Classical Notes features a new recording by pianist Shai Wosner. It is titled “Impromptu” The selections we hear are as follows: Beethoven: Fantasia in G minor, Op. 77 Chopin: Impromptu No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 29 Impromptu No. 2 in F sharp major, Op. 36 Impromptu No. 3 in G flat major, Op. 51 Dvorak: Impromptu in D minor, B129 Gershwin: Impromptu in two Keys Ives, C: Three Improvisation, Nos 1 & 3 Liszt: Impromptu S191 1872 Schubert: 4 Impromptus, D935 All performed by Shai Wosner (piano) After his highly praised Haydn and Ligeti album, Shai Wosner returns to solo piano repertoire for his next project. As always with this artist, there is something very different on offer – Impromptus by Chopin, Dvorak, Liszt, Gershwin, and Schubert rub shoulders with Beethoven’s Fantasy Op.77 – the nearest thing we have to a Beethoven ‘improvisation’. The composer did indeed improvise this work at a private house performance, then went home and wrote it down from memory! The pianist said: “There is a rush that comes with losing yourself in an improvisation – the liberating feeling you get when that thing you are making up on the spot seems to take on a life of its own while you are just tagging along (there is also the thrill in the risk that whole thing might fall flat at any moment). I have loved it ever since” Here is Mr. Wosner in the Impromptu Opus 36 by Chopin:
The Paris-based Polish harpsichordist Elisabeth Chojnacka has died, aged 78. After graduation from the Chopin academy in 1962, she moved to Paris where she established a niche at the heart of the modernist movement. More than 80 composers wrote for her instrument, among them Ligeti, Xenakis, Nyman and Gorecki. She was phenomenal.
Date: WED 28 JUNE 2017 | 8:00 PM Performer: KHATIA BUNIATISHVILI, pianist Venue: Ordenssaal, Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg, Germany Address: Schlossstraße 30, 71634 Ludwigsburg, Germany Program: FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN Ballad No. 1 g-Moll op. 23 FRANZ SCHUBERT Four Impromptus D 899 FRANZ LISZT Réminiscence de Don Juan, Rhapsody espagnole, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 cis-Moll Here is Ms. Buniatishvili in Schubert’s Impromptu Opus 90, number 3:
From the Lebrecht Album of the Week: …This is what makes Shai Wosner’s new release so frustrating. A fabulous pianist, incapable of touching an ugly note, Wosner interleaves miniatures of Schubert with matching — at times, surprising — snips by Dvorak, Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, Gershwin and Charles Ives. I enjoyed the record first time round. I revelled in the connections, especially Ives, on second hearing. But now I am poleaxed by the question of where to put this record once it leaves my desk. Seriously, it’s a problem. How will I ever find ‘Impromptu’ again when I need it to compare with some other release? If you have a solution, do let me know…. Full review here. And here. And here.
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.
Great composers of classical music