....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, May 25, 2008

The Chopin Currency - May 25, 2008

Chopin News, Reviews, and Previews:

Ingrid Fliter: 'In the middle of my salad, he told me I'd won'
Telegraph.co.uk - United Kingdom

A "Get To Know Her" introduction to UK readers of It Girl Ingrid Fliter ...

Born in Argentina and now living in Milan, Fliter (pronounced Fleeter) has in the past toured Japan and the US and won the silver medal in the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2000. But the Gilmore was an important catalyst, bringing her an EMI contract, management in the US and Europe, and a place on the BBC's New Generation Artists scheme. And now a series of dates in the UK will introduce her to wider audiences, with a Wigmore Hall recital and appearances at the Cheltenham and City of London Festivals.

"The Gilmore changed my life deeply, completely," she says. "In the beginning I had to deal with a lot of pressure and expectations," she admits. "But after two years I'm now really starting to enjoy this very hectic, intense concert life." Her London debut last year, together with her first disc of Chopin for EMI, confirmed her phenomenal technique and the spontaneity of expression she brings to music. There is also a fluent, singing quality to her playing. [...]

"Chopin made me discover the beauty of piano-playing," she says. "I was very lucky to be introduced to his music from the very beginning. Pianistically speaking, it develops the imagination and good taste as regards rubato - where to give and where to take, in a natural way that a singer would do. Rubato in Chopin is very often exaggerated, but I imagine him as a Classical composer, not as a Romantic, though that doesn't restrain you from being dramatic and dark. Sometimes the music reaches moments of deep sorrow."

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The Chopin Experience, Radio 3
Independent - London,England,UK

More musings on the effect of the BBC's Chopin Experience...

In conversation with the pianist Nikolai Demidenko, the latter revealed that Chopin knew his limitations as a composer, but said that he knew that his work appealed particularly to women. "A short, direct line straight to the heart," he said, and Walker said "Mmm", and I was reminded of a friend of mine who said that the only time he really "got" Chopin was when he was in love. So, if you were in love during the weekend of 17-18 May, then you will have enjoyed The Chopin Experience immensely.

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Who needs Rudolf Nureyev?
The Observer - UK

No question what's the hot dance ticket in London town....this UK scribe says the current production of "Dances at a Gathering" (bodies by Robbins, soul by Chopin) is on par with the best ever...

Jerome Robbins's Dances at a Gathering (1969) is a plotless work set to piano pieces by Chopin. Tender, dreamy and shot through with a sense of long-ago love affairs, the piece acquires a different dynamic with every cast. When the Royal Ballet danced it in the 1970s, it became a signature piece, a group portrait of an unforgettable constellation of stars. When the company performs Robbins's piece today, the layers of allusion are dense. But in a good way: the new cast has new things to tell us and is not about to be crowded off the stage by ghosts....

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Chopin News from Outside of London:

After the Good Die Young
Wall Street Journal - USA

Beautifully-written article on the tragically short-lived pianist William Kapell, occasioned by the release of a just-discovered 1953 live concert performance in Australia that turned out to be Kapell's last recording...

You'd think that Kapell's youthful and spectacular demise would have captured the imagination of the listening public and ensured his lasting fame. Charlie Parker, who died two years later at the equally untimely age of 34, remains to this day a cultural icon. Likewise Jackson Pollock and James Dean, whose lives were cut short around the same time. Why, then, did Kapell slip through the cracks of renown? [...]

Kapell died too soon to record more than a handful of the large-scale works in his repertoire, but in recent years a fair number of live recordings have surfaced. RCA, his old label, has just released "Kapell Rediscovered," a two-CD set of radio broadcasts made during a 1953 tour of Australia. They are his last recordings -- he was killed flying home from that tour -- and they include a number of pieces that he never recorded in the studio, among them Chopin's B Minor Scherzo, Debussy's "Suite Bergamasque" and Prokofiev's Seventh Sonata. The sound is only fair, but the performances are pure Kapell, headlong, vital and crackling with a vibrant immediacy that makes you feel as though he were playing in your very own living room.

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Chopin in the Blogosphere:

Chopin Nocturne in E MinorDedicated to Two Individuals
By Jeremiah Jones(Jeremiah Jones)

Chopin's Nocturne in E-minor is one of my favorite Nocturnes. It is a short, yet profound work of art that takes the listener through several of life's most important emotions. It can stir the soul and awaken the spirit. ...
- http://www.signmypiano.com/

Jack Conte’s Video Song - The Giant, Radiohead/Chopin

By robkwok
A VideoSong is a new Medium with two rules:. 1. What you see is what you hear (no lip-syncing for instruments or voice). 2. If you hear it, at some point you see it (no hidden sounds). The Giant. Radiohead and Chopin Combination ...
Unquality: Retarded Videos for... - http://www.unquality.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.