Chopin News, Reviews, and Previews:

Rachmaninoff fails to fill the hall
Arizona Daily Star – Tucson,AZ,USA

Not “news,” but an interesting time capsule from February 1925:

Maybe folks went to the literature club’s discussion of “Modern English Novels” or possibly the talk at the Tucson Fine Arts meeting on “Artists of the Nineteenth Century,” but for some reason, on February 2, 1925, when Rachmaninoff performed in Tucson, he did not fill the auditorium. […]

The Saturday Morning Musical Club was responsible for bringing many well-known artists to Tucson. They brought Rachmaninoff here as a special attraction. Tickets for the event were $1.50, 2.00 and 2.50. Season ticket holders received special rates.

The composer chose selections from Schuman, Liszt and Chopin, in addition to several of his own works. He played with only one brief intermission.

“Rachmaninoff was the quiet, reserved master of his instrument. Not for him the physical accompaniment of his forte passages with the sway of head or body, other than that wrought by flying arms, nor any eye-closed dreamy posture, for such dainty bits as Chopin’s “Ballade” offered.”

According to the reviewer, his playing of “Ballade” “may be likened only to delicate lace, the melody coming from beneath his fingers with magic ease, making a sweetly appealing selection, thrice applauded.”

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Pianist Ralph Votapek instills sweep and grandeur at Brock Hall
The Birmingham News – al.com – Birmingham,AL,USA

Ralph Votapek, the very first Van Cliburn Competition winner, wows ’em in Alabam…

He rendered Chopin’s Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48, No. 1, with sweep and grandeur. The “Tarantelle,” Op. 45, was pure energy. The Chopin set converged in the perfect sturm und drang of the Ballade in F minor, Op. 52. Cascading chromatic scales were fluid, quick and flawless. With a masterful touch, Votapek shaped this work with countless gradations of dynamics while instilling it with Lisztian fervor.


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Chopin in the Blogosphere:

Chopin: Favorite Piano Works
By admin0

From a used-vinyl and CD site, a nod to a 1996 compilation by Vladimir Ashkenazy:

This is a masterful performance by the great Vladimir Ashkenazy of Chopin’s favourite piano works. If you love Chopin’s music and Ashkenazy’s magic touch, this 2-disc CD is a must.
Seek & Buy Audio CD – http://vinylrecords.890m.com/wordpress

Misc. Chopiniana:

The Chopin Hotel HDR
By nobody@flickr.com (David Giral)

Nice arty image of the Hotel Chopin in Paris, posted on flickr.com:

Photos from David Giral – http://www.flickr.com/photos/thepretender/


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