Chopin's unpredictable, quasi-fractal offshoots.
August 6, 2017 8:57 AM   Subscribe

The Joys of Chopin, Our Most Catlike Composer. An appreciation, by pianist Jeremy Denk (with audio/video examples and commentary, SLNYT).
posted by storybored (8 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
Great article! The part about overtones rings so true for me; I was awestruck by genius when I first realized the high trill in the Eb nocturne (near the end) is just sitting in that resonance. The text of the piece is already so wonderful, but the subtext is sublime. So much of his music is that way, and I envy the people who've made a career out of understanding and appreciating that.
posted by dbx at 9:32 AM on August 6 [4 favorites]

I can understand why someone might say they don't like Chopin anymore, but if they say they never liked Chopin, then I say they never had a soul.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:42 AM on August 6 [3 favorites]

Thanks for posting this. I read the article in the newspaper and thought "Now I will have to find all those pieces on line to I can listen for the various effects." Lovely to have the work done for me!
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 10:14 AM on August 6 [1 favorite]

So I went through junior high and high school with Jeremy Denk. We were both piano students, actually the best two piano students at both schools. We played in orchestra together, him on viola, me on string bass. We were in the same AP classes, spent lunchtime playing Spades while we ate...

It's been interesting to watch his career across the decades. This article sounds exactly like a thing that Jeremy would write, even back in high school. He's always had a specific voice.
posted by hippybear at 12:26 PM on August 6 [6 favorites]

Kate Beaton, as always, on point: Chopin and Listz
posted by Malla at 6:36 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]

I used to have a magnet-backed note pad that went on my fridge that was labeled Chopin Listz. I listed groceries I needed on it.
posted by hippybear at 7:08 PM on August 6

There's a Youtube video of a masterclass with the legendary Rubinstein. The student is playing Chopin's Ballade, one of the four.

At a particular point, Rubinstein stops the student and says: "No, no, no, you must never be pompous with Chopin. You can with Liszt! But not with Chopin."
posted by metaseeker at 9:24 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]

J.K. Seazer How can anyone say they don't like Chopin any longer? That's just inconceivable to me, and very sad. You take piano lessons/study music for a few years and you never get tired of Chopin. At least I haven't.

The Rubinstein vid was just what I need on this awful, rainy day. Thanks!
posted by james33 at 5:55 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]

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