Chopin – abstract and classical.

Just can’t stop playing Chopin at the moment. Mostly the larghetto of the Piano Concerto No.1 Op. 11 played by Rubinstein (vinyl). As well as the Nocturnes played by Pires (CD). Not to mention the Etudes played by Pollinni (vinyl). But below I give you the Nocturnes played by Rubinstein. I have emerged from the prejudice that Chopin was a sloppy sentimentalist. I made it!

He never wrote a work of “programme music” in his life, a piece that sets out to tell a story or invoke an image. Yet his music, more than anybody else’s, has been heard to embody everything from ­revolution to raindrops, from a ­funeral march to wind whistling through a graveyard. … Chopin, who revered Bach above everyone else, was among the most ­abstract and classical of the early 19th-century composers, yet he opened up worlds of pianistic colour and texture without which a whole tradition of ­Romantic virtuosity could never have started. And yes, he’s a miniaturist, but Chopin also created forms and structures – the ballade, the scherzo, the hybrid fantasie – that are models of innovative musical architecture. John Rink, a leading Chopin scholar, has spoken of the “quality of ‘present absence’ and ‘absent presence’ that defines so much of Chopin’s music”. – Tom Service, The Guardian, 2010 (full article below).


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