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Frédéric Chopin

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

June 26

Just in: Warsaw to stage Chopin competition on period instruments

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped discThis 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.

My Classical Notes

June 5

Angela Hewitt Plays Chopin

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:






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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