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Chopin Nocturnes, the best?

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by musical-md, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    When I moved I grabbed a dual CD of the Chopin Nocturnes and Impromptus. As I listen to the Nocturnes during my commute, I think there is no finer genre collection of music for the piano (possibly excepting Bach's WTC). The combination of melody, harmony, lyricism, drama, form, nuance and consistency of quality is simply superlative. What do you think?
     
  2. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I love the nocturnes, too. It's been awhile since I've listened to all of them though. The last time I did is when I got Pollini's new CD of them, which got rave reviews. However, I don't really like his nocturnes that much because I think he plays them too fast. His technique is terrific, it's just his tempi that bother me. My favorite nocturne is 27/2, but it's even better when you play 27/1 and then at the end, you don't stop but instead go right into 27/2. That's how I saw Pollini do it in a live concert and it was so wonderful. I can't remember if he does that on the CD.
     
  3. musical-md

    musical-md New Member

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    I've been listening to Claudio Arrau. I too love the 27/2 and have performed it in recital (right after the Ballade No. 1 in G minor, or was it before), but now I feel like I want to learn and play them ALL! But first, I still need to get my piano in my house (livingroom shelves/cabinets next week so maybe before weekend of Sept 8-9). :roll:
     
  4. IJR

    IJR New Member

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    I absolutely love op48 no1 and think it is the best by far. I have a rare connection to this piece that I don't have with a lot of other really popular music. It is hauntingly beautiful and epic.
     
  5. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Op. 48/1 has some nice variety in it, which is nice. Op. 27/1 has the sorrowful and angst section followed by the starkly-contrasting pretty section which is wonderful too. And op. 27/2 is all beauty and tenderness. It's still my favorite, but it does depend on one's mood. If I need something to calm my nerves, then 27/2 is my go-to piece. Sure is hard to choose favorite Chopin pieces, though. There are so many great ones!!
     
  6. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Eddy (and everyone)! Op. 48/1,2 are my favorite Nocturnes. As far as recordings are concerned, I consider Artur Rubinstein's recording of the Nocturnes untouchable. There is not a hint of awkwardness nor exaggerated rubato in his recordings. The level of musicianship is unparalleled in these gems as they seem so complete in every aspect. Some of the Nocturnes seem comparable to larger scale formal works in terms of form and development. Musically, they require the highest form of musical understanding - technique, rubato, dynamics, tone, control, etc. One can hear it in a few recordings as the Nocturnes can punish a musically immature pianist. I hope you had a great summer! So, what happened to your piano?...

    Hello Monica, I was never a fan of Pollini's tempos and musicianship in the Etudes even as a kid. From your assessment, it seems not much has changed even though his routine string breaking days have long passed. I felt that his fast tempos were analogous to eating a gourmet meal so fast that one couldn't "taste" the music nor the sonorities. I have been listening to a fine French pianist lately, Alexandre Tharaud, and some of his Chopin playing is truly exquisite.

    There is a unique and innate quality to these Nocturnes that make them different than all other works of Chopin... If Etudes glitter, then the Nocturnes glow. I think it's that inner sublime quality that appeals to the listener's core. At some point in our lives, we are all beckoned to return to the Nocturnes...
     
  7. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello again, George (I just sent you a long email....).

    Well said - you just made me feel like playing a nocturne right now! Perfect day for it too, since it's raining and I can't do any gardening.
     
  8. pianomusic165

    pianomusic165 New Member

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  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Op. 27, no. 2 is my favorite one too!
     
  10. pianophir

    pianophir New Member

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    In my opinion, all of Chopin's posthumus nocturnes are the best
     
  11. MarkieUK

    MarkieUK Member Piano Society Artist

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    The texture and harmonies of the bass in Op. 27 no. 1 are sublime and that final chord never fails to send a shiver down my spine. The f-sharp minor nocturne is a favourite of mine too.
     

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