Chopin News, Reviews, and Previews:

Opera’s elite celebrate music of Viardot
San Jose Mercury News – CA, USA

Another story on the Pauline Viardot stage show in San Francisco, with some fascinating insights from Marilyn Horne:

“She helped Wagner raise money for ‘Tristan und Isolde.’ She rewrote a lot of Chopin’s music for voice – an entire book of mazurkas. Those were amazing things for a woman of that time.”

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He fills halls and sells CDs, but marketing has triumphed over music
Globe and Mail – Canada

The Toronto critics continue to roast Yundi Li:

Chopin’s Four Mazurkas, Op. 33 suffered the same insensitivities of style, with the addition of a failure to grasp the characteristic rhythm of the vigorous Polish dance form. Only the third of the four had any simplicity and command. All of these were accompanied by the subliminal but distinct sound of Arthur Rubenstein spinning in his grave….

He opened the slender first half of his program with Chopin’s most shopworn Nocturne, the one in E flat, Op. 9, No. 2, and played it very badly indeed.
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Why Murray Perahia turned to Bach
Telegraph.co.uk – United Kingdom

Nice article on peerless pianist Perahia’s interest in JSB. Perahia notes he’s not the only one:

Bach, as Perahia realises, had an impact on music not just in the 18th century, but throughout the Romantic era of the 19th and beyond. “Composers took Bach as their bedrock,” he says, “whether it’s Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann or Chopin.

“I don’t think there was a day when Chopin wasn’t playing Bach. When Schumann went into depression, he wrote fugues, and he always told his wife, Clara, to study Bach. It was an important part of their musical make-up….

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Chopin in the Blogosphere:

Betraying Bacon and Boating
By Jeremy Denk

Pianist and blogger Jeremy Denk (currently on the road with violinist Joshua Bell), waxes eloquent on Chopin’s one-and-only Barcarolle:

Chopin writes a passage of drift which allows one motion to become another, a flight between ratios, a mysterious differential equation.

This transition is amazing partly because of its disengagement, because of the sensation that the foundations of the narrative have been removed. This transition is not essentially “musical.” It does not conform to the niceties of musical discourse, it does not attempt to be the smooth unnoticeable gearshift. Chopin deliberately removes us from the world of capital-M Music, in which he had allowed us to bathe.

I chose to program the Chopin Barcarolle (last week in lovely San Diego!) on the strength of a moment I wanted to seize, on a juicy crispy piece of bacon I once smelled in its interior. Ah, I remember the moment well: a student came in
– http://jeremydenk.net/blog

Eternal Sonata
By Kamisamaa(Kamisamaa)

An entry from Live Journal regarding Chopin’s relationship with George Sand…

It is impossible to tell the story of Chopin’s life without the mention of this woman. George Sand was an extremely famous author in Paris who had already published numerous books. Her real name was Aurore Dudevant.
Recurring Reverie – http://kamisamaa99.livejournal.com/

Misc. Chopiniana:

Chopin Chorlton
By manchesterbars

Next time you’re in Manchester, UK, (“the rock’n’goal capital of the world!”) check out the Chopin Bar

Chopin – Manchester Road, Manchester, M21 9PG map classical music played in this new bar Hotels in Chorlton More bars in Chorlton, Manchester Top 10 bars and clubs in Manchester.
Manchester Bar Reviews – http://manchesterbars.wordpress.com/

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