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 Post subject: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:36 am 
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Hello all,

Some of you might know me from Piano World. :D


Anyhow I am a student, and my primary hobby is music, though I have little hope of being a professional. I strive for excellence, though, and I study with a fine piano teacher. Right now, as you can see in my sig, my primary projects are the Rachmaninoff Sérérade Op. 3 no. 5 and Chopin's Op. 44 Polonaise. The Polonaise is my "fun" project; I just started it to see if I could handle it at all, and much to my surprise I have made great progress with it. Very difficult, but the parts I have down are fun to play. But it's on the back burner right now because I have a timetable on the Rachmaninoff.

Since this site focuses a lot on recordings, I'll just say that I don't have any right now, but I will this fall and I'll think about uploading. I'll be playing a Chopin nocturne (Op. 15-1) for an electronic recital at PW, and I'll plan to record a few other pieces at the same time.

And, in case you haven't guessed it by now :lol:, I'm a Horowitz fanatic. I do enjoy other pianists, but for some intangible reason I am drawn to Horowitz more than any other.

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:00 pm 
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Hi and welcome to PS.

Horowitzian wrote:
Since this site focuses a lot on recordings, I'll just say that I don't have any right now, but I will this fall and I'll think about uploading. I'll be playing a Chopin nocturne (Op. 15-1) for an electronic recital at PW, and I'll plan to record a few other pieces at the same time.


Oh, well, by uploading that nocturne you would complete the whole set on PS, since 15/1 is the one still missing if I'm not wrong. By the way, I have been trying to convince myself to study and record it. It would be my first Chopin recording on PS.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:57 pm 
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I second the welcome to you, Horowitzian. Not long ago I watch the video of Horowitz in Moscow, and last summer attended a talk by his personal piano tuner. He's a cute little old man with some highly entertaining stories of his days together with Horowitz.

alf wrote:
I have been trying to convince myself to study and record it. It would be my first Chopin recording on PS.


Really? No Chopin, yet? Well then yes - you should record it, Alfonso. I haven't thought about or even looked at that Nocturne for a long time. I do like it, though, and would love to hear your velvety fingers play it. Does that convince you? :)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:02 pm 
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Welcome! I hope you will share lots of music with us for our listening enjoyment.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:03 pm 
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Thanks, guys! There's no Nocturne Op. 15-1 yet? I'll be happy to complete the selection, but as I said it'll be a while. I haven't even started the nocturne yet. I'm going to this spring, though.


Pianolady, do you have Mr. Mohr's book, My Life With the Great Pianists? It has a lot of interesting stories about his work with Horwitz, Cliburn, Rubinstein, and Gilels; as well as his own personal life story. And that Moscow recital is simply incredible! 8) I've never been to any of Mr. Mohr's talks, but I've heard about them.

And juufa, that sig line is a scream! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:07 pm 
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alf wrote:
It would be my first Chopin recording on PS.

I have been wondering if perhaps Chopin makes you feel exposed. 8)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:29 pm 
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Horowitzian wrote:
And juufa, that sig line is a scream! :lol:


That's why I put it there!

Terez wrote:
I have been wondering if perhaps Chopin makes you feel exposed


Maybe Alfie had a traumatic childhood experience and the sound of Chopin makes him relive the experience? Was it l'uomo nero , Alf?

-Julius

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:49 pm 
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Have you seen this? It's in the same vein as your sig, no pun intended!

Quote:
Musicale


C, E-flat and G go into a bar. The bartender says, "I'm sorry, but we
don't serve minors." So E-flat leaves, and C and G have an open fifth
between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished, and G is out
flat. F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp
enough.

D comes in and heads for the bathroom saying, "Excuse me. I'll just be a
second." Then A comes in, but the bartender is not convinced that this
relative of C is not a minor. Then the bartender notices B-flat hiding at
the end of the bar and says, "Get out! You're the seventh minor I've
found in this bar tonight."

E-Flat comes back the next night in a three-piece suit with nicely shined
shoes. The bartender says, "You're looking sharp tonight. Come on in, this
could be a major development." Sure enough, E-flat soon takes off his suit
and everything else, and is au natural.

Eventually, C sobers up and realizes in horror that he's under a rest. C
is brought to trial, found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a
minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of DS without Coda at an upscale
correctional facility. On appeal, however, C is found innocent of any
wrongdoing, even accidental. The judge rules that all contrary motions are
bassless.


:lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:50 pm 
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Terez wrote:
I have been wondering if perhaps Chopin makes you feel exposed. 8)


I always thought that was Mozart. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:17 pm 
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Horowitzian wrote:
I always thought that was Mozart. :D

In a sense, I suppose...depends on what we're talking about exposing. Mozart exposes technical weaknesses; Chopin exposes your soul. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:40 pm 
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Terez wrote:
Mozart exposes technical weaknesses; Chopin exposes your soul. :wink:


It is exactly the opposite, Terez.

Anyway, Monica and Terez, I'll record that Nocturne sooner or later, but want a row of serious remarks from you then! Julius, I had a traumatic childhood, and it was neither Chopin's nor bogeyman's fault. It was HANON's fault! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:41 pm 
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Terez wrote:
Horowitzian wrote:
I always thought that was Mozart. :D

In a sense, I suppose...depends on what we're talking about exposing. Mozart exposes technical weaknesses; Chopin exposes your soul. :wink:


You know, I'd never thought of it that way. But that's so true. Perhaps introverts are the ones who have trouble with Chopin. :D :wink:

PS--I've noticed that quotes are a bit dodgy on here. How do you get them to work properly every time? :?:

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:45 pm 
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alf wrote:
Terez wrote:
Mozart exposes technical weaknesses; Chopin exposes your soul. :wink:


It is exactly the opposite, Terez.

Anyway, Monica and Terez, I'll record that Nocturne sooner or later, but want a row of serious remarks from you then! Julius, I had a traumatic childhood, and it was neither Chopin's nor bogeyman's fault. It was HANON's fault! :lol:


:lol: :lol:

I actually rather like Hanon. but he isn't everything that's for certain. But YMMV. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:57 pm 
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Horowitzian wrote:
I actually rather like Hanon.


Good grief.

Horowitzian wrote:
But YMMV. :wink:


Definitely! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:38 am 
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Horowitzian wrote:
I've noticed that quotes are a bit dodgy on here. How do you get them to work properly every time? :?:

Disable HTML, either by checking a box in the post submission, or permanently in your profile.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:41 am 
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alf wrote:
Terez wrote:
Mozart exposes technical weaknesses; Chopin exposes your soul. :wink:

It is exactly the opposite, Terez.

Is it then? I don't feel too terribly exposed when playing Mozart, but that's just me. With Chopin, I have to pretend like you're not there. ;)

Alfie wrote:
Anyway, Monica and Terez, I'll record that Nocturne sooner or later, but want a row of serious remarks from you then!

Aye, you'll get them. I'm sure it will be perfect though - you'd never submit anything less. I have a prediction: technically perfect, stylistically quite tasteful, if tame. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:55 am 
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alf wrote:
Horowitzian wrote:
I actually rather like Hanon.


Good grief.

Horowitzian wrote:
But YMMV. :wink:


Definitely! :lol:


:lol: :lol:

Well, I wouldn't be as technically proficient as I am without Hanon. :wink: It is rather repetitive, so I generally don't do more than, say, 10 of them in one day before moving on to the "real music". :) What was your bad experience with Hanon? I hope it wasn't an injury from overdoing it.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:56 am 
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Terez wrote:
Horowitzian wrote:
I've noticed that quotes are a bit dodgy on here. How do you get them to work properly every time? :?:

Disable HTML, either by checking a box in the post submission, or permanently in your profile.


Thanks, I just did that! I've never seen HTML interfere with BB code before. :?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:41 am 
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Horowitzian wrote:

Pianolady, do you have Mr. Mohr's book, My Life With the Great Pianists? It has a lot of interesting stories about his work with Horwitz, Cliburn, Rubinstein, and Gilels; as well as his own personal life story. And that Moscow recital is simply incredible! 8) I've never been to any of Mr. Mohr's talks, but I've heard about them.


Yes, I do have that book. I bought it from him when I went to his talk. He seems to come around my home town often. But of course that's because of the big Steinway dealer located here. :wink:

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:52 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Horowitzian wrote:

Pianolady, do you have Mr. Mohr's book, My Life With the Great Pianists? It has a lot of interesting stories about his work with Horwitz, Cliburn, Rubinstein, and Gilels; as well as his own personal life story. And that Moscow recital is simply incredible! 8) I've never been to any of Mr. Mohr's talks, but I've heard about them.


Yes, I do have that book. I bought it from him when I went to his talk. He seems to come around my home town often. But of course that's because of the big Steinway dealer located here. :wink:


It's one of my favorite books I've ever bought. If he ever comes around here, I'm going to get him to sign it. Has he ever come around with Horowitz's piano? I've sworn to myself that I will play that piano at least once. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:33 pm 
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Teresina wrote:
alf wrote:
Terez wrote:
Mozart exposes technical weaknesses; Chopin exposes your soul. :wink:

It is exactly the opposite, Terez.

Is it then? I don't feel too terribly exposed when playing Mozart, but that's just me. With Chopin, I have to pretend like you're not there. ;)


Let me partially amend my reply: to me, it is just the opposite.

Teresina wrote:
Alfie wrote:
Anyway, Monica and Terez, I'll record that Nocturne sooner or later, but want a row of serious remarks from you then!

Aye, you'll get them. I'm sure it will be perfect though - you'd never submit anything less. I have a prediction: technically perfect, stylistically quite tasteful, if tame. :lol:


Your crystal ball is quite talkative, isn't it? Did you know that Chopin himself was pretty a tame guy? :P

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:10 pm 
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Horowitzian wrote:
Well, I wouldn't be as technically proficient as I am without Hanon. :wink:


Are you really sure you're pinpointing the cause of your proficiency? :wink:

Look at what kind of mechanism you develop practicing what is pompously called "The virtuoso pianist", then consider the endless piano literature and what it asks for (even in the easiest pieces). "Hanon" is little more than 5-finger mindless exercises in parallel motion. Pretty useless under every respect.

Horowitzian wrote:
It is rather repetitive, so I generally don't do more than, say, 10 of them in one day before moving on to the "real music". :) What was your bad experience with Hanon? I hope it wasn't an injury from overdoing it.


No injuries in my case, luckly I've never had problems of that kind. On the other hand, I've never overdone piano practice so I don't feel I'm especially smart about it.

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Last edited by alf on Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:59 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:20 pm 
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alf wrote:
Did you know that Chopin himself was pretty a tame guy? :P

Indeed. I also know that he preferred the way Liszt played his music, so long as he played what was on the page. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:59 pm 
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Terez wrote:
alf wrote:
Did you know that Chopin himself was pretty a tame guy? :P

Indeed. I also know that he preferred the way Liszt played his music, so long as he played what was on the page. :lol:


AFAIK, Chopin admired the way Liszt played the Etudes. The Nocturnes were Chopin's realm and nobody else's.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:24 pm 
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I don't recall having read that, but I trust you. I do know that he didn't like the way other people played the mazurkas, though. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Hello and introduction
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:33 pm 
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alf wrote:
Horowitzian wrote:
Well, I wouldn't be as technically proficient as I am without Hanon. :wink:


Are you really sure you're pinpointing the cause of your proficiency? :wink:

Look at what kind of mechanism you develop practicing what is pompously called "The virtuoso pianist", then consider the endless piano literature and what it asks for (even in the easiest pieces). "Hanon" is little more than 5-finger mindless exercises in parallel motion. Pretty useless under every respect.

Horowitzian wrote:
It is rather repetitive, so I generally don't do more than, say, 10 of them in one day before moving on to the "real music". :) What was your bad experience with Hanon? I hope it wasn't an injury from overdoing it.


No injuries in my case, luckly I've never had problems of that kind. On the other hand, I've never overdone piano practice so I don't feel I'm especially smart about it.


I'm glad to hear you didn't have any injuries. 8)

Since I was a rather late beginner, Hanon combined with scales, arpeggios, and basic harmony helped me overcome those missed years of early training. Even so, like I said, YMMV.:wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 9:35 pm 
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Terez wrote:
I don't recall having read that, but I trust you. I do know that he didn't like the way other people played the mazurkas, though. 8)


I always have wondered what he would have thought of Horowitz's playing of Mazurkas. 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:04 am 
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Terez wrote:
I don't recall having read that, but I trust you. I do know that he didn't like the way other people played the mazurkas, though. 8)


Performance-wise Chopin's Mazurkas are still a mistery today.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:05 pm 
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Yah, Chopin always said that the manner of playing them was a Polish thing (imagine that).

Has anyone heard Zimerman play mazurkas? I've only seen him play the bigger stuff, but speaking of the bigger stuff, he's of course done the concertos with the PFO, and the 3rd movement of the F minor concerto is a bit mazurkish in places, and he seems to have experimented with that Polish way of interpreting them in that movement.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:43 pm 
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Terez wrote:
Yah, Chopin always said that the manner of playing them was a Polish thing (imagine that).

Has anyone heard Zimerman play mazurkas? I've only seen him play the bigger stuff, but speaking of the bigger stuff, he's of course done the concertos with the PFO, and the 3rd movement of the F minor concerto is a bit mazurkish in places, and he seems to have experimented with that Polish way of interpreting them in that movement.


Check this out, Terez:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmKlYayg ... s&hl=en&q=


He could be Chopin, himself! Image (except I don't like some of the facial expressions)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:57 pm 
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Terez wrote:
Has anyone heard Zimerman play mazurkas?


Yes, there's an old DG disc with Op. 24 Nos.1-2-4 (and the video from the 1975 Chopin Competition Monica's already indicated). If you want to listen to some really extraordinary interpretations of them go to YT and look for Ignaz Friedman. His Mazurkas are one of a kind and in my opinion he gives a possible account of that famous "Polish" thing you mentioned.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:51 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Check this out, Terez:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmKlYayg ... s&hl=en&q=


He could be Chopin, himself! Image (except I don't like some of the facial expressions)

He seems to mostly use a straight 3 tempo throughout that one. In the 3rd movement of the f minor concerto, he doesn't.

Alfie wrote:
If you want to listen to some really extraordinary interpretations of them go to YT and look for Ignaz Friedman. His Mazurkas are one of a kind and in my opinion he gives a possible account of that famous "Polish" thing you mentioned.

I'm listening to one of them now (63/3), but it seems to be straight 3 also.

Both interpretations are nice, but I still think Zimerman's interpretation of the 3rd movement of the f minor concerto is the only one that deviates from a strict meter. I can't get the Meyerbeer scenario out of my head...but I'm definitely willing to accept that the meter deviation could have been a lot subtler than the Meyerbeer anecdote implies (that would certainly explain why Chopin was originally so frustrated with Meyerbeer's insistence that Chopin played his mazurkas in 4).

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:08 pm 
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Terez wrote:
Alfie wrote:
If you want to listen to some really extraordinary interpretations of them go to YT and look for Ignaz Friedman. His Mazurkas are one of a kind and in my opinion he gives a possible account of that famous "Polish" thing you mentioned.


I'm listening to one of them now (63/3), but it seems to be straight 3 also.


Persevere, not all the Mazurkas are born equal. Some are more "Polish" than others. Try this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2s9BJBwlv0

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:29 pm 
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Alfie, you must be mistaken. Here is a better recording of that Polish-sounding mazurka:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxTqjQxWd1w

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:17 pm 
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juufa72 wrote:
Alfie, you must be mistaken. Here is a better recording of that Polish-sounding mazurka:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxTqjQxWd1w


Juufie, you're right, Rubinstein sounds much more polished than Friedman.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:25 pm 
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alf wrote:
Terez wrote:
Alfie wrote:
If you want to listen to some really extraordinary interpretations of them go to YT and look for Ignaz Friedman. His Mazurkas are one of a kind and in my opinion he gives a possible account of that famous "Polish" thing you mentioned.


I'm listening to one of them now (63/3), but it seems to be straight 3 also.


Persevere, not all the Mazurkas are born equal. Some are more "Polish" than others. Try this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2s9BJBwlv0

Yeah, that's more like what Zimerman did in the concerto.

Alfie, master of diplomacy, wrote:
Juufie, you're right, Rubinstein sounds much more polished than Friedman.

:lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:07 pm 
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I have recently begun to seriously study/listen to Rubinstein's playing of the mazurkas. And trying to imitate him the best I can - something that is impossible to get perfected, but it has helped me, anyway.

But doesn't Zimerman look a lot like Chopin! I'm thinking body-double with that earlier video.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:26 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
[...]
But doesn't Zimerman look a lot like Chopin! I'm thinking body-double with that earlier video.


:lol:

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