Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

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Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Raphael » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:21 pm

Fantasie impromptu, OP 66:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvm2ZsRv3C8

WOW! The passion, sweeping melodies..dramatic rises and falls in tempo, pitch etc....
Methinks our poet would have loved this.
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Re: Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Pjerrot » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:18 am

Thank you for the link. Chopin is a favorite of mine and one of the composers that inspired me to learn piano with the Polonaise op. 40 no. 1 ("Militaire") http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wsd1qpm2zjk . It is such a shame that he too died young like John and from tuberculosis nonetheless.
My last music performance for a state-wide festival was of Chopin's Raindrop Prelude. The (supposed) story behind it brings a well of tears to my eyes every time I recount it. While staying in a cathedral in Majorca, Chopin was said to have played the piece in a trance during a torrential night while awaiting the arrival of George Sand and her son who were returning from Palma. When they finally arrived, exhausted and completely drenched, Chopin started at the sight of them and said, "Ah! I knew you were no longer alive!" The repeated a-flats/g-sharps are said to be the raindrops that the composer envisioned which repeatedly dropped sharply on his dead body while floating in an icy lake.
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Re: Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Raphael » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:33 pm

Thank you for the link. Chopin is a favorite of mine and one of the composers that inspired me to learn piano with the Polonaise op. 40 no. 1 ("Militaire") http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wsd1qpm2zjk . It is such a shame that he too died young like John and from tuberculosis nonetheless.


Yes- poor Frederick! I think if John's poetry could be translated into musical sounds it would sound like the nocturnes and this piece don't you think? There is some special quality to the music; something I cannot define.I know most people would say Beethoven or Mozart are the best composers, and indeed they are truly great, but Frederick Chopin has some extra something in his melodies and intensity of feeling. To my mind, he is greatly underrated.But at least classic FM has been playing his music lately- this is where I first heard the fantasie.I can hardly describe the effect on me- something rapturous. To create such music he must have been a genius.
By the way- I have heard this Polonaise somewhere before. I haven't been listening to Classical music for long- since about October last year- I didn't like it before, except one or two pieces.All of a sudden I have a great hunger for it!And gone right off (most) pop music.


My last music performance for a state-wide festival was of Chopin's Raindrop Prelude. The (supposed) story behind it brings a well of tears to my eyes every time I recount it. While staying in a cathedral in Majorca, Chopin was said to have played the piece in a trance during a torrential night while awaiting the arrival of George Sand and her son who were returning from Palma. When they finally arrived, exhausted and completely drenched, Chopin started at the sight of them and said, "Ah! I knew you were no longer alive!" The repeated a-flats/g-sharps are said to be the raindrops that the composer envisioned which repeatedly dropped sharply on his dead body while floating in an icy lake.


Wow, what a story! Raindrops as music...I can see why you like rain..Funnily enough it is raining heavily here today and I'm listening to the fantasie on you tube as I type this- yes Chopin works well with rain- but it needs to be heavy wild rain, with big fat raindrops and if there is thunder all the better! :D
I must buy the fantasie on CD.
I wish I could play the piano- I do actually have a keyboard (someone gave it me) and mean to learn to play once the stubborn eczema goes.
Is there a biography on Frederick Chopin?
I haven't found many websites for him and there doesn't seem to be an offical one either.

There is one for the brilliant Yundi Li:

http://yundili.homestead.com/home.html
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Re: Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Jupiter » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:09 pm

Oh I have heard this rendition more than a dozen times before, and it still gives me the goosebumps. I don't know much about pianos, but I can't tell this is a very difficult piece because it requires both very advanced technical skill (which is apparent from the speed of the first part and the many changes of tempo) and considerable artistic sensibility of the pianist, both of which are very well mastered by the excellent Yundi Li. He feels Chopin in a way that few people do - I have heard interpretations by other, more prestigious pianists that failed to awake the same feelings in me that this one does. He's definitely one of the best pianists of his generation, possibly one of the greatest ever. Here is his performance during the 14th International Chopin Piano Competition (which he won):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo82ipPk ... re=related

In case you haven't seen it, I strongly recommend it.

I find it incredible that Chopin actually hated this piece, which is why he never published it during his lifetime, and wanted it to be burnt after his death, at least that's what they say. Happily, his heirs did not comply with this testamentary request, and consequently we have the privilege of being able to listening to this truly unearthly piece of music.

Chopin works well with rain- but it needs to be heavy wild rain, with big fat raindrops and if there is thunder all the better!


Well... there is a sort of "watery" feel to his music. I'm not sure how to express it words, but sometimes when I listen to his composition I feel that I am drowning, it awakens some very strong, yet vague and indistinct sensations. It's the same feeling that you get after waking up from a dream that you can't but dimly remember... It may have something to do with the fact that he was born under Pisces, which is the most enigmatic, mystical and imaginative sign in a zodiac. You never quite know what they're trying to say, but you feel swept off your feet and taken to a magical world in another dimension, a world where the most intense and exquisite emotions you are ever likely to experience come to life. You can't just listen to Chopin. You have to be willing to slip into a musical trance, and lose all consciousness of the 'real' world.

I think if John's poetry could be translated into musical sounds it would sound like the nocturnes and this piece don't you think?


I do think so, yes. In fact the idea has occurred to me before. They had many things in common, they were both very intense and passionate, they both immersed their soul in art and love, they both suffered greatly throughout their lives, they both died from tuberculosis... It would have been interesting if they had met... What do you think the impact would have been on one another?
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Re: Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Saturn » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:41 pm

Schubert is a much more appropriate analogy to Keats, and in my opinion a far superior composer.
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Re: Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Malia » Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:28 pm

I don't consider myself a classical music aficionado in the general sense, but I absolutely love Chopin. He's one of those composers whose music helps me truly connect with the inner depths of feeling. Beethoven does that to me, too--and Puccini.
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Re: Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Pjerrot » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:09 pm

Is there a biography on Frederick Chopin?
I haven't found many websites for him and there doesn't seem to be an offical one either.


Raphael, there is one biography (very, very, brief) of his life by fellow composer Franz Liszt. I found it very insightful. And yes, the nocturnes are fitting for John's poetry, very sensational and rich. As far as Beethoven and Mozart are concerned, I have strong admiration for both but much prefer Beethoven's strength of spirit and originality that exudes through his music. Mozart has a prodigious output some of which isn't entirely to my taste. However, his sense of pacing and gift for melody are by far among the greatest in compositional history.

I haven't been listening to Classical music for long- since about October last year- I didn't like it before, except one or two pieces.All of a sudden I have a great hunger for it!And gone right off (most) pop music.


I first heard the Siciliano from Bach's flute sonata (BWV 1031; for those who wish to find a version to their liking) about six years ago and have been hooked ever since to classical music. Some of it has been commercialized and used too much for it to be much appreciated beyond advertisements, which is both good and bad: we get exposure but lack its true context and meaning. Great pieces by the masters do have a very satisfying quality that sometimes can't be found anywhere else. For any who are easily moved to tears, please, indulge in Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's Stabat Mater or Salve Regina. (Pergolesi was too taken away by tuberculosis.)

Well... there is a sort of "watery" feel to his music. I'm not sure how to express it words, but sometimes when I listen to his composition I feel that I am drowning, it awakens some very strong, yet vague and indistinct sensations. It's the same feeling that you get after waking up from a dream that you can't but dimly remember...


Jupiter, this has been a much sought-after musical goal of mine.

Schubert is a much more appropriate analogy to Keats, and in my opinion a far superior composer.


Saturn, I agree that the comparison between Keats and Schubert is more appropriate in terms of how their lives were similar, but I disagree that Schubert was a superior composer than Chopin. The two (Schubert and Chopin) were working with quite different musical ideals despite them being so close to one another in compositional history. Schubert was, for the most part, a Romantic using Classical period structures and Chopin was a Romanticist who shunned the term and composed within revolutionary Romantic structures. Schubert was a master of the german Lied while Chopin revolutionized piano playing to something more instrospective. Simply put, the two had different methods in their approach to "music."
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Re: Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Raphael » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:38 am

Saturn, I agree that the comparison between Keats and Schubert is more appropriate in terms of how their lives were similar, but I disagree that Schubert was a superior composer than Chopin. The two (Schubert and Chopin) were working with quite different musical ideals despite them being so close to one another in compositional history. Schubert was, for the most part, a Romantic using Classical period structures and Chopin was a Romanticist who shunned the term and composed within revolutionary Romantic structures. Schubert was a master of the german Lied while Chopin revolutionized piano playing to something more instrospective. Simply put, the two had different methods in their approach to "music.


I'm with you Pjerrot- Schubert is not superior to Chopin- I have been listening to a lot of Schubert on Classic FM (a radio station) and whilst he is good- to my ears- Chopin far surpasses him.I wasn't making a comparison of our poet's life -the composer's life- was meaning the music itself- the intensities, melodies, feelings, moods- Chopin's music sounds like John's poetry if it could somewhow be made into musical notes.I cannot explain it, I just feel it. I'm not a poetical person so you have to excuse me that I cannot find the words to describe and explain. I'm also not up on poetic and musical technical words- maybe if I was I could use them to explain.
I never had heard of Chopin til I was doing the art gallery training. The lecturer played us music from different art eras- she didn't have any Chopin but she told us that he did something really different (with the nocturnes) to any other composer before him- that his music was a "shock" in the music world.I cannot remember what terms she used to describe this- but it was enough to get me intrigued- and so I looked Chopin up on you tube and was hooked!
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Re: Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Saturn » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:54 am

Horses for courses etc. I wouldn't judge a composer only on what they play on the radio anyway which is probably mainly the most popular pieces.
Chopin is great, I love Chopin, his piano concerto's particularly but I meant Schubert was a greater composer in terms of musical variety.
Schubert has a far greater breadth of work, not just confined to the piano, he has Symphonies, masses, operas, over 600 songs, sonatas, Quartets, quintets, a far greater range of pieces in many different forms. Chopin, while a truly great pianist and virtuoso, was a poet of the keys, faithful to one instrument, it was his pen, his voice, his orchestra.
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Re: Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Raphael » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:03 pm

Saturn wrote:Horses for courses etc. I wouldn't judge a composer only on what they play on the radio anyway which is probably mainly the most popular pieces.
Chopin is great, I love Chopin, his piano concerto's particularly but I meant Schubert was a greater composer in terms of musical variety.
Schubert has a far greater breadth of work, not just confined to the piano, he has Symphonies, masses, operas, over 600 songs, sonatas, Quartets, quintets, a far greater range of pieces in many different forms. Chopin, while a truly great pianist and virtuoso, was a poet of the keys, faithful to one instrument, it was his pen, his voice, his orchestra.


Chopin's music can be played on other instruments- Classic FM has been playing them. Ok, maybe Chopin wrote specifically for the piano....but what he did with it is awesome..and the variety of tempo, mood, keys etc- sorry not a tecchie with musical speak but I know he did amazing things with the piano.One can use many instruments but not make them sound as good, one can use one and make it sound like everything.
Horses for courses yes Saturn- to me Chopin is the greatest!
John....you did not live to see-
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Re: Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Pjerrot » Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:46 pm

Chopin is great, I love Chopin, his piano concerto's particularly but I meant Schubert was a greater composer in terms of musical variety


Ah, yes, Saturn, I see now what you meant. Unfortunately, Chopin died much too young before writing a greater variety of pieces. His other instrumental works include a few more pieces for piano and orchestra; a trio for violin, cello, and piano; a cello sonata; a "Grand Duo" for cello and piano; and a mere 19 Polish songs for voic and piano. I truly believe that had he lived longer, Chopin's music would have expanded into different territories; many composers do when they reach mature years. Schubert is definitely superior on the account of completing a prodigious amount and variety of music before his death when compared to Chopin.

*added:

Raphael, the nocturnes were quite revolutionary when they were published. Chopin sort of unwillignly helmed the way into the later Romantic period with all those lush harmonies and moving melodies. And I'm very content to know that you enjoy his music so much.
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Re: Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Raphael » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:35 pm

Raphael, the nocturnes were quite revolutionary when they were published. Chopin sort of unwillignly helmed the way into the later Romantic period with all those lush harmonies and moving melodies. And I'm very content to know that you enjoy his music so much.


Very lush and moving! I bought an mp3 of the fantasie played by Yundi Li on Amazon this morning- it was only 79p! Bargain- it is now on my media player.I want to reply to your other comments but as I'm back on the 02 dongle and it is slow and previously had spamhaus problems I'm doing a short post to see if I can reply!
Ah, how I miss routing off my neighbour's internet- he moved out, but I'm not grumbling as I had free internet for a few months.
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Re: Extraordinary Chopin piece- a must watch!

Postby Raphael » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:11 pm

Oh I have heard this rendition more than a dozen times before, and it still gives me the goosebumps. I don't know much about pianos, but I can't tell this is a very difficult piece because it requires both very advanced technical skill (which is apparent from the speed of the first part and the many changes of tempo) and considerable artistic sensibility of the pianist, both of which are very well mastered by the excellent Yundi Li. He feels Chopin in a way that few people do - I have heard interpretations by other, more prestigious pianists that failed to awake the same feelings in me that this one does. He's definitely one of the best pianists of his generation, possibly one of the greatest ever.



He is great isn’t he Jupiter! I agree Yundi has a marvellous feel for Chopin.I don’t think my 02 dongle will handle you tube- I’ll try tomorrow, otherwise will have to go to the library when I’m up to going out- the eczema is so bad at the moment- I’m detoxing it seems. I feel like I’m on fire.


I find it incredible that Chopin actually hated this piece, which is why he never published it during his lifetime, and wanted it to be burnt after his death, at least that's what they say. Happily, his heirs did not comply with this testamentary request, and consequently we have the privilege of being able to listening to this truly unearthly piece of music.



Yes- they said that on Classic FM- I am glad we have it- it is truly amazing.I wonder why he didn't like it?



Well... there is a sort of "watery" feel to his music. I'm not sure how to express it words, but sometimes when I listen to his composition I feel that I am drowning, it awakens some very strong, yet vague and indistinct sensations. It's the same feeling that you get after waking up from a dream that you can't but dimly remember... It may have something to do with the fact that he was born under Pisces, which is the most enigmatic, mystical and imaginative sign in a zodiac. You never quite know what they're trying to say, but you feel swept off your feet and taken to a magical world in another dimension, a world where the most intense and exquisite emotions you are ever likely to experience come to life. You can't just listen to Chopin. You have to be willing to slip into a musical trance, and lose all consciousness of the 'real' world.



Well put Jupiter! I think exquisite describes the music perfectly. I’m listening to it again now- and guess what it is raining heavily outside! And I think there was a rumble of thunder earlier. I’m glad I have it at home and the internet again here because when listening to it I go into a rapture with closing of eyes and sighing and I think people were looking at me funny with the headphones on in the UK online internet place! Do you get shivers listening to Chopin? I do!!! The effect is much like reading the poetry of John Keats.

I think if John's poetry could be translated into musical sounds it would sound like the nocturnes and this piece don't you think?

I do think so, yes. In fact the idea has occurred to me before.



Ooh you too- you see, feel it too!


They had many things in common, they were both very intense and passionate, they both immersed their soul in art and love, they both suffered greatly throughout their lives, they both died from tuberculosis...



Immersed their souls in art and love, passionate…*sighs* I may be in the wrong century…


It would have been interesting if they had met... What do you think the impact would have been on one another?



Oh wow, it would have been wondrous! We know John was greatly moved by music and Chopin was just starting out when John was leaving this world, so he probably didn’t hear any Chopin music…but if he had lived longer….he would have adored it I feel certain!
I can imagine that sensitive mouth trembling and those big expressive eyes glistening at hearing the Nocturnes and the fantasie. What poems of greatness he could have written to Chopin’s melodies! Did Chopin like poetry?
Perhaps they are sitting with a glass of claret *up there* discussing love, art, music, poetry… :wink:

Chopin might even let Joseph Severn play one of his Nocturnes. :lol:


I absolutely love Chopin. He's one of those composers whose music helps me truly connect with the inner depths of feeling. Beethoven does that to me, too--and Puccini.



Beautifully put Malia. What about Rachmaninov- that piece on Puccini? It’s rather emotional too.


Raphael, there is one biography (very, very, brief) of his life by fellow composer Franz Liszt. I found it very insightful. And yes, the nocturnes are fitting for John's poetry, very sensational and rich. As far as Beethoven and Mozart are concerned, I have strong admiration for both but much prefer Beethoven's strength of spirit and originality that exudes through his music. Mozart has a prodigious output some of which isn't entirely to my taste. However, his sense of pacing and gift for melody are by far among the greatest in compositional history.



I’ll look out for one in the library. I am intrigued by this Polish genius- would like to know more about him. Beethoven I prefer to Mozart, but both are good. I rather like Handel also. A new musical world is opening up to me- what took me so long? I cannot believe I used to hate classical music! My Dad is amazed- I used to be right into 1960’s pop- he says I must be getting old to suddenly like classical music. Can’t be it – he is way older than I and doesn’t like classical. Not only that, I even like some opera now! One of my brothers has liked classical for ages and I enthusiastically sent him the link to Yundi playing the fanstasie with "oh wow listen to this" kind of email and he said yes, he already knows it.


For any who are easily moved to tears, please, indulge in Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's Stabat Mater or Salve Regina. (Pergolesi was too taken away by tuberculosis.)


Will do Pjerrot!
John....you did not live to see-
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what it is we are in what we make of you.

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