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Archive for the ‘Arthur Greene’ Category

Smack-dab in the middle of Chopin’s Op. 25 Etudes lies this unique and memorable piece that is unlike any other Chopin creation. And one that has generated a considerable amount of ink over the decades.

Sometimes it’s called the “‘cello Etude,” due to the fact that the prominent melody is in the left hand, approximating the range of a cello. Others have called it “A Duet between a He and a She.” Or perhaps you prefer “Morbidly Elegaic?” Ballade-like? A Missing Nocturne?

Another school of thought says plainly: It’s an Etude. It’s supposed to help you with perfecting you piano technique. And the technique here is an exquisitely difficult phrasing and balance question – making the left hand carry the melody without being overpowered by the right — when the natural tendency is to go the other way.

Oh, and just to mess you up a little further, the left and right hand are playing quite independent musical lines that need to coincide at key moments.

So, for the final word, let’s transport you back to G.C. Ashton Jonson, author of the 1905 tome A Handbook to Chopin’s Works: (For the Use of Concert-Goers, Pianists, and Pianola Players):

Etude in C-sharp Op. 25 No. 7

Click on the piano to hear Chopin Project Artistic Director Arthur Greene perform Chopin’s unique Etude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 25, No. 7.

Read the Wikipedia entry here.

Read the Chopinmusic.net entry here.

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The Waltz, c. 1806Chopinmusic calls it “the most ambitious and substantial of all Chopin’s waltzes.”

The Vancouver Chopin Society goes even further, quoting David Dubal in suggesting that this “Grand Valse” is the essence of Chopin:

A case may be made for the Op. 42 as Chopin’s most perfect valse. After the first measures of trill, a call to the dance, there is a melody with a rare lilt composed in double time, with the triple time of the waltz in the left hand. Schumann remarked that “like his earlier waltzes it is a salon piece of the noblest kind.” The composition, Schumann feels, should be danced to only by “countesses at least.” This waltz is the most demanding technically of the series.

Chopin’s official title for the piece is the Grande Valse Nouvelle pour le piano, Op. 42. There’s a fascinating detail of its publication history available at Chopin First Editions Online.

Piano Player IconClick on the piano to hear it played live at a Chopin Project concert by Artistic Director Arthur Greene.

Want to play it yourself? Get the score at the Sheet Music Archive.

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Arthur Greene playsAs Chopin Project Artistic Director Arthur Greene heads off to Novi Sad, Serbia, to judge and perform in the Isidor Bajic Memorial Competition, he leaves us a taste of his masterful Chopin interpretation with this performance of the Mazurka in C-sharp minor, Op. 6, No. 2.
Click on the Piano Piano Player Icon to hear the Mazurka with its mysterious opening, “a song so sad, heartfelt, naive, diversified and caressing.”
Mazurkas, Op. 6Take a look at this fascinating University of Chicago site with digital images of Historic Scores of the Op. 6 Mazurkas, dating from 1832-1850.

Love the Chopin Mazurkas? Read a fuller description of them on the Pianosociety.com website…

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