Chopinmusic 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.
Click 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.
Posted in Arthur Greene, Waltzes | Tagged Arthur Greene, Chopin First Editions Online, David Dubal, Sheet Music Archive, Waltzes | Leave a Comment »
Click on the Piano
to hear the Mazurka with its mysterious opening, “a song so sad, heartfelt, naive, diversified and caressing.”
Posted in Arthur Greene, Mazurkas, Recordings | Tagged Arthur Greene, Mazurkas, Piano Society, Serbia, University of Chicago | Leave a Comment »
Chopin’s third waltz has been called a “piece full of melancholy, gloom and grief, expressed in mournful simplicity.”
Though, according to the Vancouver Chopin Society,
The composer Stephen Heller related that Chopin called this slow (Lento) waltz his favorite. When Heller told the Pole that he, too, loved it best, Chopin immediately invited him for lunch at a fashionable cafe. Frederick Niecks wrote of this piece, “The composer evidently found pleasure in giving way to this delicious languor, in indulging in these melancholy thoughts full of sweetest, tenderest loving and longing.”
Polina Khatsko of the Chopin Project performs the Waltz in A minor, Op. 34, No. 2. To hear it, Click on the piano!
For information on obtaining the sheet music to the Waltz from the Musicroom,
Click on the cover page!
Posted in piano, Polina Khatsko, Recordings, Waltzes | Tagged Chopin, Polina Khatsko, Stephen Heller, Vancouver Chopin Society, Waltzes | Leave a Comment »
Today the Chopin Project spotlight falls on Russian-born Michigan pianist Olga Kleiankina
, performing the First Impromptu (in A-flat, Op. 29, No. 1) by Chopin. By its very title “Impromptu” is supposed
to mean just that — just a perky, playful little ditty that Fryderyk
would dash off at the keyboard without a lot of forethought or consideration. The reality is, of course, anything but that! Chopin’s Impromptus are eternally popular, and devilishly difficult to pull off. Olga Kleiankina adds, “I felt a lot of pressure preparing for these concerts and was more than a little anxious. But the audiences were very warm, and it turned out to be such a pleasure. Even though I didn’t happen to play any major works, (many of them were almost unknown, in fact!), I came to love all my pieces, and I felt the audience did too. Even though they were miniatures, I felt that each one was perfectly organized from the very inside – in a way, a microcosmos….part of the transcendental world of Chopin’s imagination.”
Posted in classical, Impromptus, Olga Kleiankina, piano, Recordings | Tagged Impromptus, Olga Kleiankina, Recordings | Leave a Comment »
This rare bit of Chopiniana was supposedly written after violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini came through Warsaw in the summer of 1829, a concert we know that Chopin attended. A month later he graduated from the Higher School of Music in Warsaw, where a teacher wrote, “Chopin, Fryderyk: third-year student, amazing capabilities, musical genius.”
CLICK ON THE PIANO to hear Dmitri Vorobiev perform Chopin’s Variations in A Major, “Souvenir de Paganini” KK 1203
Find the sheet music at Pianopedia
Posted in Chopin, classical, Dmitri Vorobiev, rare & early works, Recordings, Variations | Tagged Chopin, Dmitri Vorobiev, Higher Music School, Paganini, rare works, Warsaw | Leave a Comment »
once wrote, “When one does a thing, it appears good, otherwise one would not write it. Only later comes reflection, and one discards or accepts the thing. Time is the best censor, and patience a most excellent teacher.”
Upon further reflection, Chopin must have realized that this Waltz was an all-time keeper, a favorite of piano virtuosos and amateurs alike since Chopin’s own time. It was a notable favorite of Artur Rubinstein
. In fact, the Chopin.Net site has a nice anecdote
When people asked him how he could continue to play the same waltz for over 75 years, he replied, “Because it’s not the same, and I don’t play it the same way.”
From the Chopin Project concerts, CLICK ON THE PIANO to listen to Svetlana Smolina perform Chopin’s Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2.
Speaking of virtuosos, this is also one of the pieces that Vladimir Horowitz performed at the White House during a 50th anniversary Command Performance for President & Mrs. Carter in 1978. You can watch it on YouTube, with some nice close-ups of Horowitz’s hands.
Posted in Chopin, classical, piano, Recordings, Svetlana Smolina, Waltzes | Tagged Artur Rubinstein, Svetlana Smolina, Vladimir Horowitz, Waltzes | Leave a Comment »