Friday, November 02, 2007

More music, less Politics

Because politics sucks. In fact, hearing about all the campaigning and party "debates" has made me sick enough with the subject (this is saying something, as I'm in a constant state of irritation regarding it) that I've decided to post something as a departure from dicing of governmental hooliganism, populist doltage and vitriol, as is my usual posting. Other than guns, that is.

In keeping with my interest in music that is nominally considered "Classical" (this stuff is actually from the Romantic period), I've been comparing some different interpretations of Chopin's Preludes, specifically Op.28, No.15 in D flat-major, usually referred to as Raindrop, on the YouTube.

I think this is simply butchering the piece. No soul, and he's playing it as though he's trying to keep up with a god-damned metronome that's been set too high. Bereft of even the slightest bit of emotion, and the piece is simply filled with sadness. Precise, but flat.

This is much better, though still a bit mechanical in some spots, but technically, quite clean.

This one is outstanding, with lots of retard in certain phrases and much better control of the pace. He steers the mood around with his subtle changes in pace and keystroke weight.

Then I found this. Left me on the floor, and I'd never even heard of Valentina Igoshina before. I'm going to track down more of her stuff. This was just brilliant, and I can't imagine her other stuff to be anything but great.

Heavy, emotional stuff. I love Chopin.

Update: She speaks! The first 40 seconds or so she gives a hint at how she gets into the music. I couldn't have put it any differently when listening to the way she conveys the music through her playing.

Labels: ,


Blogger BobG said...

Nice to know there are more people listening to "classical" music out there. My tastes run more to baroque stuff, though I listen to just about anything but operatic pieces.

3:55 PM  
Blogger theirritablearchitect said...


Nice of you to drop in, sir.

I'm curious of your opinions, if any, of the performances linked in the post. I'd very much appreciate your thoughts.

I too am more of the classical listener, and frankly, I always have been. My mother was an excellent pianist before the arthritis got to her. My mom's other sisters were all trained in music as well, so I grew up with much music around me, much of it being classical.

I've grown to like certain operatic pieces, though it's an acquired thing, and can definitely wear out the listener if they are forced to listen to something live for hours on end.

9:14 PM  
Blogger BobG said...

I tend to agree with your opinions on the artists. My tastes tend to run a bit different, however. Part of the morning I have been listening to Handel and Bach; though I can enjoy Chopin, he doesn't appeal to me as much as say, Vivaldi or Mozart. I tend to listen to a large variety of music; the only types I don't like are disco and rap. My collection of music runs heavy on baroque, old rock, country, blues, and jazz, depending on my mood at the time. I found that baroque and light jazz were good when I was studying, since the highly structured form and lack of lyrics helped me think, especially when I returned to school some years ago and studying programming. Some of my favorite rock music was done by people that had some classical training.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Romantic, too. Chopin played wrong is Teh Ghey; his solo pieces have been known as the one genre most likely to induce seasickness since Karl Haas was still at WJR. I doubt if there's any composer so vulnerable to interpretation. Funny? Walter Liberace had a 15-minute every-night TV show just before signoff, in the 50's. That's when the candelabra became his trademark. Say anything you like about Liberace--but he could play Chopin.

Almost by mistake about 10 years ago I went to hear Murray Perahia play an all-Chopin program, in Florida. I came away thinking he's the man. Ayn Rand, of course, was just wild about Earl Wild, a Chopin specialist. I have a couple of his collections, and he's no sissy about it.

6:49 PM  
Blogger theirritablearchitect said...

Jeezis! Perahia doing an all Chopin program. Hope someone was there doing a recording, though we'd know about it if there had been, surely.

I need to check out Earl Wild. Yes, I much prefer someone who attacks a piece. Rand had an excellent grasp of some very fine stuff, not just literature and philosophy.

8:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home