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

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Chopin Currency - July 9th, 2008

Chopin Broadcasts:

Waltz in A-flat, Op. 69, no. 1 "L'Adieu"
Performance Today - American Public Media

Today's edition of Performance Today - the most popular classical-music show in the USA - will feature a performance from The Chopin Project: Chih-Long Hu's live interpretation of Chopin's Waltz in A-flat, Op. 69, no. 1 "L'Adieu"

Produced and distributed by American Public Media, Performance Today is broadcast on 245 public radio stations across the country and is heard by about 1.1 million people each week. Each station individually decides what time to air the program. To find out where and when to hear Performance Today, check out publicradiofan, an independent website that is an excellent guide to online streaming of US public radio stations. You'll also be able to hear the show on the Performance Today website for up to seven days after the broadcast.

Chopin News, Views, and Reviews:

Rudolf Firkusny, piano = SCHUBERT: Three Pieces, D. 946; MARTINU ...
Audiophile Audition - USA

Review of a BBC Legends CD featuring the renowned Czech pianist in a 1980 London recital at Queen Elizabeth Hall: "If Firkusny wanted to be Vladimir Horowitz, he could be."

The Chopin and Smetana offerings play as encores. The Op. 63 Mazurka is the pearl of the set of three--what Cortot called an exquisite, aristocratic dream--Firkusny’s touch is a mite pesant, but the natural lilt and grace of the shifting accents retain their innate, mesmeric charm.
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Monday, July 7, 2008

the Chopin Currency - July 7th, 2008

Chopin News, Reviews, and Previews:

A Souvenir From Vladimir Horowitz
New York Sun - United States

A just-released "souvenir" CD from "one of the great uneven performers in all history" Vladimir Horowitz's very last recital (from June of 1987) hits its highest points with Chopin: "The event took place in Hamburg, allowing the record label, Deutsche Grammophon, to call the album "Horowitz in Hamburg." A little alliteration is always appreciated."

We then have a Chopin mazurka, the one in B minor, Op. 33, No. 4 — and Horowitz plays it with perfect rhythmic sense. The bend and snap of that thing are amazing. He plays it very purely, too, with complete refinement.

In this piece — on this track — Horowitz is in total control of his fingers. There is no old-man faltering.

He ends the printed program with Chopin's "Heroic" Polonaise — so often associated with Rubinstein, but played for decades by Horowitz, too.

Does Horowitz have enough technique — in 1987 — to get through it? Yes. And he summons up plenty of charisma. Or rather, he doesn't summon it up: It simply flows from him, naturally.

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Discovering Poland’s heritage at St James Cavalier
Malta Independent Online - Malta

If there's Polish culture on display in Malta, Chopin cannot be far from the picture....

A piano recital by the pianist Pawel Mazurkiewicz from Poland preceded the opening of the exhibition. He performed works by Bach, Chopin, Scriabin, Grieg, Gershwin and Debussy.

Prizewinner of the prestigious Swiss music prize, Prix Credit Suisse – Jeunes Solistes 2003, Pawel Mazurkiewicz was born in Warsaw and graduated with distinction from the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw in 2000. In 2004 he graduated also with distinction and with Eduard Tschumi Music Prize from the University of Arts in Bern. He is currently assistant professor of the Piano class at the University of Arts in Bern, Switzerland. He has started composing, arranging and performing jazz music as an addition to his classical repertoire...

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Chopin in the Blogosphere:

My favourite Chopin recordings
By Stephanie Delacey

A nice post that's both entertaining, and well-researched, with audio to boot: "Here are my top ten Chopin recordings (all, interestingly enough, historical recordings made more than fifty years ago…):" In the Top 10: Dinu Lipatti, Solomon, Alfred Cortot, and even Percy Grainger...

Stephanie's Pillowbook - http://pillowbook.co.uk

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Chopin Currency - July 6, 2008

Chopin News, Reviews, and Previews:

‘The Year of Sembrich’ features pianist Simon Mulligan as part of ...
Schenectady Gazette - Schenectady,NY,USA

News of a series of events marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of Polish-American soprano and vocal instructor Marcella Sembrich, (1858-1935) sponsored by the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum on the shores of Lake George, NY. "Programs will include works by composers she either knew personally or whose arias she sang — she took walks with Brahms and discussed the fine points of vocal production with Puccini."

A Frederic Chopin Festival will be held from July 23 to 27. “It’s an apt time,” said Richard Wargo, the museum’s artistic director and opera composer. “Sembrich was born 10 years after Chopin’s death. She was very particular to end her solo recitals with his ‘A Maiden’s Wish’, in which she sang and played piano. Because he was her compatriot, we thought him a likely composer to celebrate.” Both she and Chopin were Polish.

Pianist Simon Mulligan will set the tone of the season at his recital on Saturday, July 12, with a program that includes Liszt’s “Reminiscences of Lucia”, Chopin’s Ballade in G minor and his “Raindrop” Prelude and Mulligan’s own transcription of Offenbach’s Barcarolle from “The Tales of Hoffman.”


The Chopin Festival (July 23 to 27) begins at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday with Ruth Albert Spencer’s talk on the liaison between the writer George Sand and Chopin. Pianist Christopher Johnson will also play.

“It’s the scholarly approach as opposed to the Hollywood fanfare of the film ‘Impromptu,’ ” Wargo said.

The 1991 movie will be shown at no charge that night at 7:30 p.m. in the Bolton Town Hall.

On Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, pianist Diana Fanning will play several solo Chopin works and with cellist Dieuke Davydov will play Chopin’s Cello Sonata and his Polonaise Brilliante. Johnson returns at 7:30 p.m. Friday with narrator Lindsay Gates, who will give a dramatic reading about Chopin’s affair with the singer Jenny Lind, known as the Swedish Nightingale.

In 1848, Chopin was broken in health and spirit after his breakup with Sand and took a trip to England and Scotland, where he met Lind.

“She wanted to marry him, but Chopin felt it was too late,” Wargo said.

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Chopin Videos:

F.Chopin "Valse a moll" "Chopin-Pragnienie milosci"
By Daria(Daria)

From the Famous Polka Dancers and Musicians blogsite, Chopin on the Squeezebox...

Frederic Chopin`s "Waltz in a minor", romantic music from the movie "Chopin: The need for love". Solo accordion Miroslaw Marks.

Famous Polka Dancers and Musicians - http://famouspolkadancers.blogspot.com/

About Chopin2010

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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.