Chopin in the hands of others

  • Details
  • Transcript
  • Audio
  • Downloads
  • Extra Reading

Composers and their compositions are prey to all manner of treatment once they have become public property. Taking Chopin as a particular example, this lecture explores the role of published editions and performance practice from Godowsky to the Jagodzinski Jazz Trio.

Download Transcript


Chopin in the hands of others


Professor Adrian Thomas


This year's series of Music lectures at Gresham College , 'Musical Thoughts and Afterthoughts', takes as its theme the compositional practice and position in history of six composers from Central Europe and Russia . In future talks I shall be looking at two 19th-century composer-virtuosos, Franz Liszt and his Polish pupil Juliusz Zarebski, at the working practices of the Czech composer Leos Janacek, and at the interaction of public and private concerns in pieces by Witold Lutoslawski and Dmitri Shostakovich. My guests on three of these occasions will be Jim Samson, John Tyrrell and David Fanning.

Today, I'll be considering several distinct ways in which another 19th-century composer-performer, Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849), has been treated by creative artists in music and other disciplines and by those, like editors, who act as intermediaries between a composer and his public. The composer, in other words, in the hands of others. Firstly, I shall be looking at the reception accorded to Chopin by visual artists and writers in Poland and abroad; what has been their relationship with the composer and his music? This will be followed by a brief consideration of the fate of Chopin's music in the hands of editors and publishers. And I shall end by looking at how Chopin has fared in the hands of a few other composer-performers, mainly through the prism of his two sets of Etudes, op. 10 (1830-32) and op. 25 (1835-37).

By way of a prelude, however, I'd like to play you the beginnings of two pieces of music. The first is by Chopin.

CD Chopin: Mazurka op.17/4

And here are the opening chords once more of the Mazurka op.17/4 (1832-3).

CD Chopin: Mazurka op.17/4

The second example, in which the opening two chords of the Mazurka become something quite different, is taken from the last movement of Henryk Mikolaj Górecki's Third Symphony, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs(1976).

CD Górecki: Symphony no.3/III

In Górecki's hands, Chopin's chords become something quite new, so transformed for another creative purpose that the connection remains hidden for many listeners. For Górecki, the borrowing and recontextualising of these chords represented both his cultural rootedness and a spiritual transcendence. Chopin was both Chopin and Górecki in this moment.

First, let me take you back to Chopin in his own time and to his representation in the hands of visual artists.


Reception and the Visual Arts

The role of the visual arts in music has a long and rich history. It can tell us many things. For example, what roles do images of a composer play in our consumption of his music? Which images of a composer become iconographic, and why? In Chopin's case, there is Wodzinska's watercolour of 1836. Or Delacroix's portrait in oils of 1838. There is the photograph by Bisson in the home of Chopin's French publisher, taken a few months before Chopin's death in 1849. Or perhaps you would prefer a cast of his hand that you can buy in music shops in Warsaw today, not to mention reproductions of his death mask.

The Delacroix painting is arguably the best known, reinforcing the notion of the lone creative artist, gazing pensively into the distance. It may surprise you to learn that this image was part of a double portrait, cut in half several decades after Chopin's death. Delacroix originally painted another figure standing over Chopin's shoulder to the left, his lover Georges Sand. The sense of isolation inherent in a sole portrait is, therefore, in this case, a fiction created by editing the image to concentrate on Chopin alone. This was arguably for the better since the original - as seen in this woodcut made before the knife was wielded - was a curiously unbalanced one. Whose hand was the more telling - that of Delacroix or the person who decided to cut the painting in two after Delacroix's death? Either way, the result has been a promotional success that has undoubtedly overshadowed other portraits. Chopin himself preferred the greater intimacy of line drawings, such as this one made of him by Georges Sand in 1841.

The images that reveal most about the Chopin myth which developed in the second half of the 19th century are those which show him in company. There is an engraving, based on a painting by Gow (c. 1890) of Chopin as a young child playing the piano surrounded by other (male) children. The original is owned by the Tate Gallery. There's a heliogravure (photo-engraving) by Schuster, based on an oil painting by Siemiradzki (c.1887-88), in which Chopin is depicted at a Warsaw salon held by Prince Antoni Radziwill in 1829, the year before his escape from Poland to France . Such scenes are a familiar feature of 19th-century portrayals of artists and their milieux.

Chopin was also depicted in a semi-mythological way. One of the artists most associated with him during his lifetime was Teofil Kwiatkowski, who made a 'scraped' water-colour triptych a few years after the composer's death. A recent Hyperion CD has used the right-hand 'panel' of the triptych for its cover. Known as Chopin's Polonaises or Ball at the Hotel Lambert in Paris, it shows Chopin being inspired by a muse from his home region near Warsaw - the young girl in folk costume. There's a procession of historical figures dancing in the background, and the whole scene is being watched by real people close to the composer, such as Georges Sand. Thus Chopin is placed prominently in "a great romantic, national spectacle partly real, partly symbolic, in which the realistic elements ... give way to a poetic fantasy, and the dancing procession interwoven with the procession of shades creates a pretext for revealing the romantic legend of Chopin's vision". 1

It is to Kwiatkowski, who was present during Chopin's final hours, that we owe the watercolours of the composer's head in profile that became prototypes for a multitude of replicas which helped to create the legend of the artist prematurely taken from us. Kwiatkowski also created three oil paintings of Chopin's last moments. The 'reality' of these images provided the basis for the more allegorical Death of Chopin, painted by Barras some 35 years later, in the mid-1880s. Here, the figure of Countess Potocka - whom Chopin asked to sing to him on his deathbed - assumes the guise of the muse, the symbol of artistic immortality.

Nowadays, although we may not be able to 'read' all the iconographic references, we can still see the elements of fantasy for what they are. Tastes have changed, and 20th-century images of Chopin tend towards the less complex, while retaining elements of the symbolic. Perhaps the best-known example of this is the large-scale sculpture situated in Lazienki Park in the Polish capital. It was created by Waclaw Szymanowski in 1926. Destroyed by the Nazis in 1940 - they recognised the power of its national symbolism - it was reconstructed on the same site in Warsaw in 1958. Its image of Chopin, bent but not broken by adversity, continues to provide a backdrop to open-air piano recitals each summer. Its history recalls the perceptive words of the German composer, Robert Schumann, a hundred years earlier:

If the despotic monarch of the North knew what a dangerous foe menaced him in Chopin's works, in his mazurkas full of simplicity, he would forbid these works to be performed in his realm: they are cannons disguised in flowers. 2

Reception and Literature

After Chopin's death, Polish authors, even more than artists, appropriated him as a symbol of nationhood - a lost nationhood, of course, but one which seemed gone for ever. The music's lightness of touch was not uppermost in their minds, except as a largely fictive memory of the past. Instead they invested their writings with what Poles call 'zal', a sort of deep melancholy. (By the way, the word 'Sorrowful' in the title of Górecki's Third Symphony stems from the same root.)

There are substantial poetic odes, such as Wlodzimierz Wolski's Fantasia(1859), a tribute whose subject matter moves deliberately through the different genres of Chopin's music, from the mazurkas, polonaises and other dances to the Funeral March from the Piano Sonata in B flat minor and the Nocturnes. Also in the late 1850s, another poet, Kornel Ujejski (1823-1897), wrote a series of poems, Translations from Chopin, in which he set out to create verse equivalents of specific compositions, notably some of the mazurkas. Towards the end of the century, Kazimierz Przerwa Tetmajer (1865-1940) wrote poems with titles such as Chopin's Shadow or At the Chopin Monument (1894). Chopin is also invoked (as is Tetmajer) in the bitingly ironical, anti-establishment drama, The Wedding(1901), by the major artistic figure in fin-de-siècle Poland , Stanislaw Wyspianski (1869-1907).

Among the earliest tributes were those by Chopin's fellow exile in France, Cyprian Kamil Norwid (1821-83). Norwid saw the future of Polish art "as a banner on the tow'r of human toil, Not as a plaything or scholarly hum". The poem from which these well-known lines are taken, Promethidion(1851) 3, explores the relationship between art and life, with all its travails. Norwid comes down firmly against any notion of art as an elitist pursuit. The poem also indicates, as the noted scholar and translator Jerzy Peterkiewicz has said, that Norwid was "deeply interested in native folklore, [and] had this in common with Chopin that he was never sentimental about it". 4

Norwid is best known in musical circles for his poem, Chopin's Piano, which was provoked by a story that reached Paris in 1863. During the Polish uprising of that year against the Russian occupation, Chopin's piano was thrown out of the window of his sister's apartment by the soldiers of the Tsar and smashed on the granite-cobbled street below. The following extracts from Chopin's Piano raise a number of issues regarding the composer's contribution to musical history:

(iii) I was with You in those latter days, Frederick . 5 You, whose hand,

because of its alabaster whiteness, its grace, its poise, its touch, limber as ostrich feather, my eyes confused with the keyboard's ivory . . . and you were like that envisaged figure [which] the chisel of Genius, the eternal Pygmalion, has yet to carve from the marble's womb!

(iv) In what You played, in what the chords said and will yet say, though

differently the echoes are attuned than when You blessed each with Your Own hand, in what You played was the very simplicity of Periclean perfection, ...

(v) And in that music was Poland, caught in iridescent ecstasy from the zenith of the ages - the Poland of the wheelwrights, whom God had called to greatness...

Norwid concludes:

(x) ... Let us strike up a song meet for the Day of Judgment and proclaim:

'Rejoice, you later generations! The dumb stones have rung. The Ideal has reached the Street.' 6

Subsequent poets and writers have continued to evoke Chopin's name. The author, debaucher (and acclaimed Chopin pianist), Stanislaw Przybyszewski (1868-1927), who was dubbed the 'Polish Satanist', wrote a tract called Chopin and Nietzsche. His comment that "to none other of Poland's sons do we owe so much as Chopin" was a simple observation of the received view of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 7 The centenary, in 1910, of Chopin's birth brought forth many tributes, from distinguished and minor poets alike; by coat-tailing Chopin in this way, their poems performed an important role in the growing demand for the restoration of Polish nationhood. Independence eventually came at the end of the First World War.

The centenary, in 1949, of Chopin's death was similarly commemorated. One outcome was a volume of collected poems about Chopin, published at the height of Stalinist socialist realism in Poland . 8 This weighty tome contains some 200 poems from the previous hundred years and is a telling witness to both the changing and recurrent responses to the symbols, myths and realities of Chopin's position in Polish culture. A brief survey of the volume shows that it was the mazurkas which most inspired Polish poets (39 poems), followed by the preludes (31) and nocturnes (22), while the individual work most frequently invoked was the Funeral March (16).


Reception in Great Britain

Chopin came to England and Scotland in 1848, the year before he died. He stayed for seven months, playing before Queen Victoria and the Duke of Wellington and visiting Edinburgh , Manchester , Glasgow and the City of London , where he gave his last ever public concert, at the Guildhall, on 16 November 1848 . After his death in Paris in 1849, England too produced poetic tributes. The Lady's Companion, for example, published a sonnet, Memories of Chopin, on 9 November 1850 . That a journal with the title The Lady's Companion should devote space in this way tells us a great deal about how Chopin's music was received in this country. As Derek Carew has demonstrated, 9 in this country Chopin was corsetted into the genteel world of the drawing-room and regarded as a gracefully lyrical composer rather than one of reliable substance. It was a world where Mendelssohn's Songs without Words and Chopin's Nocturnes were highpoints of the repertoire; unfortunately, they directly inspired the weak imitations and miniatures that overflowed the pages of popular Victorian piano albums.

Even as late as the mid-1920s, one of the principal music historians of the day, Sir Henry Hadow, reiterated the view of Chopin as overly poetic if not inclined to morbidity. This view was, perhaps, the English interpretation of the patriotic 'zal' so central to Norwid and other Poles. Hadow even went so far as to accuse Chopin of a "want of virility". 10Time precludes further investigation here, but the history of British and American reception of Chopin between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries reveals an often dismissive approach that owes much to the 19th-century emphasis on 'robust' Austro-German music and to a lack of genuine comprehension of the Slavonic spirit, too often belittled as sentimental.


Poland revisited

At the same time that Hadow was prolonging the Victorian view, Poland was emerging as an independent nation for the first time since before Chopin's birth. And the most distinguished Polish composer of the day, Karol Szymanowski, took issue with what he saw as the threat of Austro-German hegemony. While his comments were made primarily in the context of a renewed patriotic and political culture, he was in fact simply returning to a view of Chopin as a Slavonic composer that had already empowered Russian composers from Glinka and Balakirev to Rimsky-Korsakov and Scriabin. Furthermore, Szymanowski also observed the empathy felt by French composers for Chopin's music. Fauré, Debussy and Ravel had also fought against German musical dominance.

... great music can be based on foundations other than those of the ever-shrinking circles of German 'emotionalism'. That liberation must rest first upon the elevation of the artistic qualities of ethno-musical traits of other national groupings. This involves not only 'formal' qualities, but the very 'spirit' of the music, its deepest substance. This process has already been accomplished in France and Russia , and what an enormous role Chopin's music played in this process! ... I should like the 'transformation of values' which Chopin initiated a century ago to become at last an accomplished fact in Poland . 11

Despite Szymanowski's acknowledgment of the "ethno-musical traits of ... national groupings", he was wise enough to understand that the appeal of Chopin's music was strong enough to transcend national boundaries.

But "ethno-musical traits" are still the features that are often most readily latched onto in Chopin's music. An excellent politicised example of this is contained in a conference paper delivered by a Chinese delegate at a Chopin Congress in Warsaw in 1960:

Chopin's music was first introduced into China only four or five decades ago, but owing to its artistic impressiveness, its profound patriotism and flowing melodies, it enjoys hearty admiration among the Chinese people. ... We have, through analysis and study from the Marxist-Leninist viewpoint, acquired a better and deeper understanding of Chopin. ...

His Black Key Etude with its pentatonic melodies enjoys special popularity among the Chinese people.

During the one hundred years before liberation, the Chinese people suffered enormously under imperialist aggression. ... so they can easily understand and readily accept the revolutionary struggle and patriotic spirit expressed in Chopin's music, ...

His RevolutionaryEtudein C minor reflects the indignation, hatred and anguish evoked by the invasions of his motherland and reveals the composer's boundless zeal for revolution. 12

CD Chopin: Etude in C minor op.10/12 'Revolutionary'

What a contrast a history of political and national turmoil makes to the reception of this music when compared to the drawing rooms of bourgeois society. This dichotomy has haunted Chopin reception to this day. 13


Sources and Editions

These observations on visual, literary and musical reception, selective rather than comprehensive, give cause for reflection on our general function as lay receivers of artistic output. There is now a more informed debate not only on the contexts of Chopin's music, but on its texts, musical materials such as sketches, autograph scores and printed editions. This is largely thanks to the recent efforts and insights of authoritative musicologists, historians and analysts, some of whom are active in this country, notably at Royal Holloway in the University of London .

And what of the music itself? What has been the role of printed editions? The quest for the definitive Chopin is problematic. It has been exacerbated for several reasons, most of which arise from custom and practice during his lifetime.

Firstly, in his lifetime, Chopin's music was published simultaneously by different firms in France , Germany and England , giving rise to numerous discrepancies. Secondly, the source materials for the different publishers were also variable. Because he was based in Paris for much of his life after leaving Poland , Chopin had the closest working relationship with his publisher there. So French editions, unlike those produced elsewhere, were usually based on autograph scores, and any changes to them may well have been sanctioned by the composer. In Germany and England , the materials were often altered versions of autographs or editions that had come from elsewhere. Thirdly, print-runs were short, so reprints were open to further editorial changes, either by the composer or by the editor.

Unfortunately, it is not the case that the last chronological version, if it can be identified, is to be given precedence. The conundrum is simply this: although Chopin took a keen interest in the process of publishing his music, his own compositional practices militated against the certainty of a single authorised or final version of a work. He was fond of presenting copies of his music to friends or pupils, often tweeking a musical figure here or an ornament there on individual copies. He it was who wanted to alter works at intervening stages of the printing process, thereby creating variants that are still extant. He would even amend first editions in his own hand. Most tellingly, when faced by such changes, sometimes several that he had made to a particular passage, Chopin was often unable to decide on a final version, regarding each of them has having equal merit.

The distinguished Polish pianist and editor of the most recent Polish attempt at a Complete Edition, Jan Ekier, has neatly summed up the major cause of confusion:

Where, he says, does the problem of variants in Chopin originate? There is

one answer. Variants were part and parcel of the nature of Chopin's creative process. This is due above all to the richness of his invention.

Ekier then draws attention to a prime example of this "richness of invention" in the Mazurka with which I began this talk, op.17/4. Here we can see how it was an essential part of Chopin's creative spirit to bring out new aspects of a particular phrase by altering its rhythmic or melodic character. Both the first and third bars of the opening melody (but not, significantly, the chordal accompaniment) are treated to new variants as the Mazurka unfolds.

CD Chopin: Mazurka op.17/4

And bear in mind that this piece lies at the definitive end of the editorial spectrum!

In the face of this history of changes, what, you might ask, do performers do? Which editions do they play from? And, without doing the research themselves, how can they know about the variants that have been identified by musicologists? The reality is that there are quite a few editions of each piece still being published - Chopin is still a lucrative market, after all. In some cases, such as the Henle Urtext, there have been serious attempts to provide authoritative scores. In many cases, however, editions are still based on 19th-century exemplars and so perpetuate the problem, often by borrowing further changes piecemeal from each other. (A particular area of curiosity is that of editions by other composers, such as Saint-Saëns and Debussy.)

The role of Complete Editions - like those for Bach, Mozart and others - is critical. Here, at least, one might look for reliable and informed editing practices. The Chopin Complete Works series, familiarly known as the 'Paderewski' edition, is generally regarded as flawed and lacking in the rigorous procedures expected of today's editors. Jan Ekier's more recentPolish National Edition is incomplete and has seemingly stalled. Much hope is therefore invested in the new The Complete Chopin: A New Critical Edition being published by Peters Edition. Here, a single principal source for each piece will be printed, accompanied by variant versions from other sources, therefore enabling pianists to participate in the composer-performer process by giving them the tools to make their own informed judgments. And in the new digital age, a research project currently being carried out at Royal Holloway will, in a few years time, enable anyone to access all of Chopin's first editions online.


Chopin and Composer-Performers

And this brings me to the final part of today's talk, Chopin and composer-performers. I'm not going to consider comparative performing traditions of Chopin's music, as handed down to us by teaching methods or sound recordings - that's a topic for another day. Instead, I'm going to take a leaf out of Chopin's own book, and refer back to the comment by Jan Ekier, when he said: "Variants were part and parcel of the nature of Chopin's creative process. This," Ekier added, "is due above all to the richness of his invention.". Ekier might also have added: "and to the richness of his skills as an improviser". We know little about the reality of Chopin's skills in improvisation, but there can be no doubt that much of the printed music - such as we have already seen - derives from this aspect of his art.

And that belief in the permissibility of responding to an idea by varying it links Chopin to those other composer-performers who, since his death, have created their own musical glosses on his music. Did you know, for instance, that there are over a dozen versions of the so-called 'Minute' Waltz? And lest purists get too hot under the collar, as they once did, we should perhaps remind ourselves that this process is an honourable one. We need think only of Ravel on Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky on Mozart, Stravinsky on Tchaikovsky, or the several composers who have reworked Paganini's famous 24th Caprice, to recognise the power of taking another artist's work and creating something new and vibrant from it.

Among the composers who have reworked Chopin are Brahms (a study on the Etude op.25/2), Liszt and Reger. The most notorious example is the set of 53 Studies on the Études of Frédéric Chopin by the pianist Leopold Godowski (1870-1938). In fact, the Godowski-Chopin Studies are still little known, except as a phenomenon in pianistic history. To say that they are formidably difficult to play is an understatement. Very few pianists have mastered them, very few have performed them in public or recorded them, and consequently we, as the listening public, have not until recently had the opportunity to acquaint ourselves with them. Fortunately, three pianists have recorded the entire cycle in the past 15 years, most recently the extraordinary Canadian pianist, Marc-André Hamelin, who recorded them all in 1999. Furthermore, the original editions of Godowski's Studies were reprinted in 2002 in a single volume. Here, as a taster, is how Godowsky rethought the first study of op.10.

CD Godowski: Study 1 (on Chopin: op.10/1)

The reception accorded the Godowski versions was once characterised as "Niagaras of abuse", no doubt because his critics thought that he himself was guilty of abusing Chopin's memory with cascades of unnecessary notes. 14 And yet many of Godowsky's versions are imaginative in their own right. 22 of the 53 Studies, for example, are for left hand alone,15and these offer some of the most rewarding moments, not only because of their technical demands but also because of their convincing expressivity. Remember, these are for the left hand only!

CD Godowski: Study 5 (on Chopin: op.10/3)

CD Godowski: Study 41 (on Chopin: op.25/10)

CD Godowski: Study 43 (on Chopin: op.25/12)

There's no denying the technical driving force behind Godowsky's project, and some of Chopin's Etudes clearly intrigued him more than others. A special place was reserved for op.10/5, the so-called 'Black-Note' Study. Here it is in Chopin's original:

CD Chopin: op.10/5

And here are two of the seven variations which Godowsky wrought on Chopin's Etude: no. 5, in which the left hand plays an inverted form of the principal figuration, and no. 3, a 'Tarantella'

CD Godowsky: Study 11 (on Chopin: op.10/5)

CD Godowsky: Study 9 (on Chopin: op.10/5)

Already, we can hear that Godowsky is doing more than merely 'arranging' or embellishing Chopin. In a couple of instances, he goes much further. In the case of op.25/4, he conjures up a stirring polonaise, in a manner reminiscent of the semi-mythological painting by Kwiatkowski used for the CD cover shown earlier. There are also strong echoes of Chopin's own F sharp minor Polonaise. Here's Chopin's original Etude first.

CD Chopin: op.25/4

CD Godowsky: Study 32 (on Chopin: op.25/4)

Godowsky had some outlandish ambitions. He intended to compose a study combining the three Chopin Etudes that are in the same key of A minor (op.10/2, op.25/4 and op.25/11), but he never realised the idea. I gather that Marc-André Hamelin has actually done this for him, although I've not heard it! Instead, here's a double study, in which Godowsky combined the two Chopin Etudes in G flat - one you've already heard a couple of variants of (the 'Black Note') and the second, which is sometimes known as the 'Butterfly' Etude (op.25/9). Godowski called this combination a "polyphonic badinage":

CD Godowsky: Study 47 (on Chopin's op.10/5 and op.25/9)

Godowsky composed his Studies on Chopin's Etudes between 1894 and 1914. In the intervening century, tastes and styles have developed considerably, and I'd like to end this brief exploration by returning to Poland and to two of today's Polish composer-performers. The first is the pianist Leszek Mozdzer. Here he is playing Chopin's Etude op.25/4, the one from which Godowsky fashioned his polonaise. Mozdzer's performance sounds just like the Chopin, initially.

CD Mozdzer: Chopin op.25/4

Mozdzer is one of the most electrifying and inventive Polish jazz pianists, and he has shown a particular affinity with Chopin. His approach to the Mazurka which we looked at earlier, op.17/4, is characteristic of his thoughtfulness. He has stripped away the melody, leaving simply the underlying chordal sequence, upon which he improvises his own, 'modern' variants.

CD Mozdzer: Chopin Mazurka, op.17/4

As a final example of Mozdzer's art, here's his version of the 'Butterfly' Etude, op.25/9, which we heard a moment ago in Godowsky's quirky double study. But Godowsky has nothing on Mozdzer, who seems to have been listening to Prokofiev and one or two illustrious jazz predecessors in the meantime!

CD Mozdzer: Chopin op.25/9

Where does this leave today's listeners? On entering a CD shop, are they more likely to go for Godowsky, or Mozdzer, or the original Chopin? Or will the name of Jacques Loussier, with his new CD, Impressions on Chopin's Nocturnes, tempt the customer? I can find time for all these options, on the basic principle that none is harmed by the other. In fact, I find that the exact opposite is true, that they cross-fertilise one another. And let us not to forget the less overt borrowings or reworkings, such as that which we heard in Górecki's Third Symphony.

Without doubt, Chopin is the foundation, the genius to whom we are all attached as listeners or as composer-performers. His hands created the artefacts which have been passed down to others. When Norwid commented in Chopin's Piano about "what the chords said and will yet say, though differently", did he have in mind only those who 'reproduce' as performers or did he have an inkling that Chopin's compositional approach and performance practice might lead to others working on Chopin's original material? Or would he have dismissed Godowsky and Mozdzer as indulging in "scholarly hums" or "playthings"? And what might Chopin have thought, not only about how others have 'improvised' on his own compositions but also about the publication history of his music?

Finally, here's a version of the 'Butterfly' Etude, more conventional than those by Godowsky and Mozdzer, but still with a joyful surprise or two up its sleeve.

CD Jagodzinski Trio: Chopin op.25/9



Suggested Discography

 Godowsky. The Complete Studies on Chopin's Etudes . Marc-André Hamelin (piano),

Hyperion CDA67411/2 (2000)

Impressions on Chopin . Leszek Mozdzer (piano), with Madjid Khaladj (tombak),

Opus 111 OPS 30-263 (1999)

Chopin. Metamorphosis . Jagodzinski Trio: Andrzej Jagodzinski (piano), Adam

Cegielski (bass), Czeslaw 'Maly' Bartkowski (drums), with Janusz Olejniczak (piano) in the recording of Etude op.25/9, Opus 111 OPS 30-285 (1999)

Impressions on Chopin's Nocturnes . Jacques Loussier, Telarc CD83602

1 Mieczyslaw Tomaszewski and Bozena Weber: Frederyk Chopin. A Diary in Images (Arkady/PWM, Warsaw/Kraków, 1990), p.131

2 quoted in Zofia Jezewska: Chopin (Interpress, Warsaw, 1980), p.67

3 Julian Krzyzanowski: A History of Polish Literature (PWN, Warsaw, 1978), p.300

4 Jerzy Peterkiewicz: Five Centuries of Polish Poetry, 1450-1970(Greenwood Press, Westport CT, 1970), p.128

5 this phrase refers to section (i) of Chopin's Piano: "those latter days of the soul's inscrutable continuity"

6 T. M. Filip, ed.: A Polish Anthology (Duckworth, London, 1944), p.283-9

7 quoted in Jezewska, p.70

8 Krystyna Kobylanska, ed.: Fryderyk Chopin, natchnieniem poetów, w setna rocznice smierci ('Prasa', Lodz , 1949)

9 Derek Carew: 'Victorian attitudes to Chopin', The CambridgeCompanion to Chopin (CUP, Cambridge, 1992), pp.222-45

10 Sir W. H. Hadow: Studies in Modern Music: Second Series (London, 1926/11th impression), p. 155, quoted in Carew, p.227

11 Karol Szymanowski, 'Fryderyk Chopin' (1923), in Alistair Wightman, ed., Szymanowski on Music (Toccata Press, London, 1999), pp.192-3, 195

12 Professor Ting Shan-Teh: 'What makes the Chinese people accept and appreciate Chopin's music', in The Book of the First International Musicological Congress devoted to the works of Frédéric Chopin,Warszawa, 16th-22nd February 1960 (PWN, Warsaw, 1963), pp.309-403

13 cf. Jeffrey Kallberg: Chopin at the Boundaries: Sex, History and Musical Genre (Cambridge MA and London, 1996)

14 For further information on Godowski's Studies, see the introductory essay by Millan Sachania in The Godowsky Collection, vol.3 (Carl Fischer, New York , 2002), vii-xix. See also Millan Sachania: ' 'Improving the Classics': Some thoughts on the 'ethics' and aesthetics of musical arrangement', Music Review 55 (1994), pp.58-75

15 The Mexican composer Carlos Chavez halso composed left-hand inversions of five Chopin Etudes.

This event was on Thu, 28 Oct 2004

professor adrian thomas

Professor Adrian Thomas

Professor of Music

Adrian Thomas was born in Cornwall and went to school in Manchester, Barry, Newbury and Bath.  He studied at Nottingham University, University College, Cardiff,  and...

Find out more

Support Gresham

Gresham College has offered an outstanding education to the public free of charge for over 400 years. Today, Gresham plays an important role in fostering a love of learning and a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Your donation will help to widen our reach and to broaden our audience, allowing more people to benefit from a high-quality education from some of the brightest minds.