Frederic Chopin in the Sun and Sand

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Frederic Chopin. Frederic Chopin. (titusjon/flickr)

On this week’s Reflections from the Keyboard, host David Dubal continues on his pianistic voyage exploring Frederic Chopin’s Preludes and Impromptus.

Chopin lived and composed on the Mediterranean island of Majorca for one full year. The landscape gave him incredible inspiration, but he found the village of Valldemossa provincial. On the Pleyel piano he had shipped from Paris, Chopin wrote all 24 of his preludes while residing on the island, some of them being the smallest pieces written in an age where most compositions were lengthy operas and concertos.

In this episode, Dubal recounts Chopin’s days with the writer George Sand and how his failing health did not deter him creating some of the last memorial pieces in the canon. This was to be the most productive period of his life.

Program playlist (all by Frédéric Chopin):

Prelude No. 10 in C sharp minor, Op. 28
Jorge Bolet

Prelude No. 10 in C sharp minor, Op. 28
Bela Davidovich

Prelude No. 10 in C sharp minor, Op. 28
Alfred Cortot

Prelude No. 10 in C sharp minor, Op. 28
Ann Schein

Fantaisie-Impromptu No. 4 in C sharp minor, op.66
Wilhem Kempff

Prelude No. 18 in f minor, Op.28
Juana Zayas
Music & Arts

Prelude No. 18 in f minor, Op.28
Bela Davidovich

Prelude No. 18 in f minor, Op.28
Madeleine Forte
Roméo Records

Improptu No. 2 in F sharp major
Claudio Arrau

Prelude No. 17 in A flat major
Ann Schein
MSR Classics

Prelude No. 23 in F major
Ann Schein
MSR Classics

Prelude in A-flat (Op. Posth.), Op. 28

Comments [6]

Kathleen landis from Staatsburg, New York

Ah what an engaging and thought provoking program of Chopin. Two pianists up in Staatsburg N. Y. spend Sunday evening preparing for their weekly piano lesson with David Dubal… and are never disappointed with the lessons and new exposure he offers.
I loved hearing Bella Davidovich - whom I always thought to be exceptional and even more so, hearing the exquisite playing of Shura Cherkassky, who brings a whole orchestra in sound to the keyboard.

This program and David Dubal deserve major recognition in its importance to the furtherance of the musical arts.

Dec. 09 2015 01:59 PM
Larry T from Big Stone Gap VA

Belated thanks to Reid Condit! The pianist I was looking for was Yuan Sheng --- quite a few of his recordings are available online.

Nov. 08 2015 06:10 PM
Meredith from nyc

Thank you David Dubal for another program unique on the radio today---full of content--feeling and thought. Your picks were all intriguing. What a difference in tone with the 19th C piano.

This week I'm haunted by the prelude 17. It's competing for me now with last week's favorite--the impromptu 3 for its intoxicating powers. Also 23 was great.
I play tapes from your shows as I walk in the park and around the town. It makes the joggers' high even higher and with food for thought. Thanks again.

Oct. 18 2015 11:22 PM
Jim Hall

Oh my Lord, is there any way I can get the text of what David said at the end of this amazingly perfect program? It so expresses what I feel so deeply about Chopin and the state of the increasingly empty-headed world we are forced to live in. If anyone can help me out, I will love you forever.

Oct. 18 2015 11:03 PM
Reid Condit from San Francisco

The name sounded like "Yuan Chang" as I just heard D.D. pronounce it about 36 minutes into this program, but I am no authority in such matters. He teaches in Beijing.

Oct. 18 2015 10:43 PM
Larry T from Big Stone Gap, Virginia

Very nice parallel presentations of Chopin performances, thanks.

I thought the Chinese pianist's performance of the Impromptu was really remarkable, but I heard his name as something like "Shuan Yang" and now I'm having no luck looking him up. Nor does he appear on the playlist here.

Could someone give me the correct transliteration of his name?

Oct. 15 2015 09:07 PM

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