....a roundup of Chopiniana: current news, views, reviews, recordings and performances in the runup to the 200th birthday of the matchless Polish keyboard composer.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Chopin Currency - March 9, 2008

Chopin News, Reviews, and Previews:

Pianist Alfred Brendel to give his final Chicago performance

Chicago Tribune - United States

On his farewell tour of the USA, pianist Alfred Brendel is not in the mood to second-guess his repertory choices over the years:

At the same time he makes no apologies for avoiding the piano works of Chopin, believing that he could never surpass what the legendary French pianist Alfred Cortot achieved in his Chopin performances and recordings from the late 1920s and early '30s. The only major piano piece Brendel regrets never having performed is Bach's "Goldberg" Variations.

He takes a somewhat jaundiced view of the present generation of pianists, finding fault with many of them for what he believes is their rather cavalier disregard of the composers' intentions as stated on the printed page. "I still would like to hear a decent performance of a Mozart or a Beethoven concerto from one of them," he says dryly.

At the same time he makes no apologies for avoiding the piano works of Chopin, believing that he could never surpass what the legendary French pianist ...
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Yundi Li Recital in La Jolla
SanDiego.com - San Diego,CA,USA

Another mixed review for the young Chinese pianist and Chopin Competition winner, this time from a San Diego critic who finds his performance uneven and puzzling...
At age 25 he has earned his celebrity, but during the first half of his oddly mannered Friday recital at Sherwood Auditorium, La Jolla, the young Chinese virtuoso seemed to be asking the Peggy Lee question, “Is That All There Is?”His bouquet of Mozart and Chopin—staples of his repertory—seemed a bit withered....

...Another disappointment was the familiar Chopin E-flat Major Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 2, which Li made overly cautious and precise, a teacherly example for a slow student. That Chopin staple, the "Andante spinato et Grande Polonaise Brillante," Op. 22, rushed past the listener full throttle, but without much interpretive comment. "Here it is; take it or leave it," seemed to be the performer's message.

There were a few moments, however, when Li’s creative musical personality burst through this ennui. The opening and closing minor-mode mazurkas of “Four Mazurkas,” Op. 33, sounded as if they were being improvised on the spot, with impetuous verve and a vibrant sense of pulse.

At age 18, he won first prize at the 14 th International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Poland, and the following year launched a spate of CD recordings with ...
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Chopin in the Blogosphere

I'm not a big fan... of Chopin
By Nick(Nick)

Blogging violist from Boise State is not impressed by Chopin's creations...

I went to see a fantastic doctoral recital (by some Arizona Post-Grad, BSU doesn't have a Doc program) programmed entirely of Chopin works. I was slightly apprehensive, as I've never taken a deep liking to Chopin, but I went anyway, ...
- http://bsuviolist.blogspot.com/

Evolution of Classical Music - Bach to Chopin
By katyzzz(katyzzz)


click here for the link to this video.
katyzzzplace.com - http://katyzzzplace.blogspot.com/

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....is a roundup of all things Chopin leading up to the 200th anniversary of the matchless Polish composer for the piano in March 2010.