Chopin Video of the Day:

Woody Woodpecker: “Musical Moments from Chopin

Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda give a piano performance for an audience of barnyard animals. Soundtrack is provided by the duo-piano team of (Thomas) Saidenberg & (Edward) Rebner.

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Chopin News, Reviews & Previews:

A Poet of the Piano, in the Company of His Forebears
New York Times – United States

Times critic finds “Listening to the pianist Richard Goode playing Bach and Chopin on Sunday was a perfect, soul-soothing tonic after a busy week…”

Both Chopin’s life and his music are sometimes overromanticized; his works are either imbued with a sickly sweet perfume and exaggerated rubato or used as Lisztian showpieces. But Chopin adored the music of Mozart and Bach and reportedly sometimes played “The Well-Tempered Clavier” to warm up before concerts.

When Mr. Goode played Chopin after works by Bach, it made musical sense, and each composer benefited from the diligence of his approach. He played with the clean articulation and voicing essential to Bach’s music, which also highlighted the intricacies and counterpoint of the Chopin selections.

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Young pianist enthralls
The Republican – – Springfield,MA,USA

18 year-old pianist Claire Huangci “brought the audience to its feet with her performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor. …”

A recent Curtis Institute graduate and prize-winner in the 2006 Kosciusko Piano Competition, Huangci proved to be an elegant technician.

She controlled the piano with warm assertion, bringing a broad timbral palette to bear in her execution of Chopin’s singular manipulations of the instrument. Neither the bravura passagework general to 19th century piano music nor the whimsical filigree so intimately identified with the Polish master posed any difficulty for Huangci’s flying fingers.

The consistency of certain tiny details (mannerisms in the playing of triplets, for example) seemed to reveal a studied expression rather than the appearance of spontaneous extemporization that will surely settle in with ensuing years of immersion in this repertoire.

That said, the fact that composer and player were virtually the same age (Chopin was only 19 when he wrote the piece and 20 when he played the Warsaw premiere), speaks volumes for the value of youthful energy and ardor.

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Pianist Rafal Blechacz displays grace, versatility in thrilling
Kalamazoo Gazette – – Kalamazoo,MI,USA

The Chopin Competition winner lives up to the hype at his debut at the prestigious Gilmore Festival….

But a Polish pianist is expected most to have natural affinity with Chopin’s music. This proved true with Blechacz performing all 24 of Chopin’s Preludes, Op. 28 (1836-1839) — a “tour de force.” The artist elicited totally unique, individual “personality” from each short piece. No. 4 in E Minor was the epitome of sadness, for example, as Blechacz wrung every ounce of wistfulness from the score.

Everyone in the audience had his favorites, and mine included the utterly charming No. 9 in E Major, featuring the pianist’s stunning left hand trills, a glorious No. 15 in D-Flat Major and a highly dramatic, affecting last prelude in D Minor, with blistering left-hand playing and dramatic chromatic runs in the right hand.

A genuine surge of approval came afterwards from the audience, leading to a brilliant rendition of a Moszkowski showcase jewel. Clearly, Blechacz had won the hearts of his discerning Gilmore audience.

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Review: Brubeck Braid at Glamour Bar
Shanghaiist – Shanghai,China

Don’t know their music, but after the description, of the this piano/cello jazz duo, you may want to check them out!

The two mainly performed pieces from their album twotet/deuxtet including Wash Away (inspired by a dream in which Chopin meets Ray Charles),
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