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Chopin, Frédéric

A five-part biography to celebrate the life of Chopin, whose invention and innovation had an
indelible effect on the world of Romantic music and the piano. Chopin (1810-49) embraces the
most serene of nocturnes to a breakneck waltz lasting but a minute. “As a seven-year-old,” Bill
says, “Chopin could not only play the piano beautifully, he composed very well,” and offers a
polonaise to confirm. Bill drops in a recording of Rachmaninoff playing a waltz Chopin wrote at
just 19. Bill takes to the piano to illustrate not only the beauty but also the ingenious techniques that, he says, “make the entire piano sing.”
 
Program 1

Bill opens this week with the story of Chopin’s father Nicolas and his immigration to Poland. His marriage to Justyna Krzyżanowska produced a very musical family, one of which was their son Fryderyk. We hear Chopin’s first piano compositions as a young boy and teenager.

Chopin: Etude #12 in c minor, Op. 10, Revolutionary (excerpt)
Pollini, p.
Chopin: Etudes, Préludes, Polonaises
DG 413794
:46

Chopin: Contradanse in G-flat Major (excerpt)
Ohlsson, p.
Chopin The Complete Works
Arab 6686
:25

Chopin: Mazurka #47 in A Major, Op. 68 (excerpts)
Ohlsson, p.
Complete Mazurkas Vol.1
Arab 6730
:20, :34

Chopin: Etude #2 in a minor, Op. 10 (excerpt)
Ohlsson, p. 
The Complete Works
Hyp 44351
:37

Chopin: Polonaise In G Minor, Op. Posth.
Garrick Ohlsson, p.
Chopin: The Complete Piano Works, Vol. 5 - Polonaises & Impromptus
Arabesque 6642
3:34

Bach: Polonaise fr. Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067 (excerpt)
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Marriner; Bennett, fl.
Trio - Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
Philips 470934
:22

Chopin: Polonaise In G Sharp Minor, Op. Posth. 
Ohlsson, p.
Chopin: The Complete Piano Works, Vol. 5 - Polonaises & Impromptus
Arabesque 6642
6:50, :32

Chopin: Introduction and Variations On A German Air
"Der Schweizerbub" In E Major, Op. Posth (excerpts)
Ohlsson, p.
The Complete Works
Hyperon 44351
2:11, 1:20

Chopin: Rondo In C Minor, Op. 1 (excerpts)
Chiu, p.
Chopin: Études (12), Op. 10
HM 907201
2:09, :57

Szymanowska: Prelude No. 1 In F Major, Vivace (excerpt)
Ciborowska, p.
Piano Works
Dux 450
:36

Szymanowska: Mazurka No.12 In B Flat Major (excerpt)
Ciborowska, p.
Piano Works
Dux 450
1:01

Chopin: Mazurka #47 In A Minor, Op. 68/2 
Rubinstein, p.
The Five Beethoven Piano Concertos
RCA 5614
2:49

Chopin: Variations on "Là ci darem la mano" from Mozart’s Don Giovanni
Slovak State Philharmonic/Stankovsky; Biret, p.
Chopin: Complete Piano Music
Naxos 8501501
18:15

Chopin: Polonaise #8 In D Minor, Op. 71/1, Adieu
Ohlsson, p.
Chopin: The Complete Piano Works, Vol. 5 - Polonaises & Impromptus
Arabesque 6642
5:58

 
Program 2

We start off with a recording of Rachmaninoff playing a Chopin waltz. Bill continues with music from Chopin’s time at the conservatory in Warsaw, including his Piano Trio in G-Minor and his first piano concerto.


 

Chopin: Waltz #10 In B Minor, Op. 69/2
Rachmaninoff, p.
Sergei Rachmaninoff: The Complete Recordings
RCA 61265
3:01

Chopin: Piano Trio In G Minor, Op. 8, I & IV
Ax, p.; Frank, v.; Ma, vc.
Chopin: Piano Trio
Sony 53112
14:36

Chopin: “The Wish” - Op. 74, No. 1 “The Spring” - Op. 74, No. 2
Söderström, s.; Ashkenazy, p.
Chopin Songs-Melodies-Lieder Op. 74
Lon 414 204
1:28, 2:21

Chopin: Piano Concerto #2 In F Minor, Op. 21, II
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy; Rubinstein, p.
Piano Concerto No.2, Fantasia On Polish Airs, Andante Spianato & Grande Polonaise
RCA 60404 
9:14

Chopin: Piano Concerto #2 In F Minor, Op. 21, III
Orch. Of The Age Of Enlightenment/Mackerras; Ax, p.
Chopin: Concerto For Piano No 2
Sony 63371
8:10

Chopin: Fantasia On Polish Airs, Op. 13 (excerpts)
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy; Rubinstein, p.
Piano Concerto No.2, Fantasia On Polish Airs, Andante Spianato & Grande Polonaise
RCA 60404 
12:41

Chopin: Etude #2 in a minor, Op. 10/2 (excerpt)
Chiu, p.
Chopin: Études (12), Op. 10
HM 907201
1:03

 

 

Program 3

We pick up with Chopin in his early twenties and we hear his second piano concerto, although it is marked his first due to the time of publication. Bill plays Chopin's Scherzo No.1 in B-minor, composed when Chopin heard of the fall of Warsaw to Russian forces in 1830. We hear of Chopin's arrival in Paris, as well as his introduction to the nocturne form made famous by John Field.

Chopin: Prelude #10 in c# minor, Op. 28/10
Argerich, p.
Début Recital / Martha Argerich
Phil 456703
:25

Chopin: Piano Concerto #1 In E Minor, Op. 11, II
Philharmonia Orchestra/Kletzki; Pollini, p.
Chopin: Piano Concerto No 1
EMI 67549
10:13

Chopin: Piano Concerto #1 In E Minor, Op. 11, III (excerpts)
LSO/Abbado; Argerich, p.
Piano Concerto No.1 / Piano Concerto No.1
DG 449719
:39, 2:30

Chopin: Krakowiak, Op. 14 (excerpt)
Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra/Kord; Ohlsson, p.
The Complete Works
Hyp 44351
1:38

Chopin: Scherzo No.1 in B minor, Op. 20
Moravec, p.
Fryderyk Chopin: Scherzi, Etudes, Mazurkas
Dorian 90140
10:12, :24

Chopin: "The Warrior" - Op. 74, No. 10
Skaluba, tenor; Malicki, p.
Polish Songs - Moniuszko, Chopin
Dux 527
2:00

Chopin: Variations for Piano in A Major, B. 37- Souvenir De Paganini
Barenboim, p.
Chopin: Preludes
EMI 85453
4:26

Bellini: “Ah, non credea mirarti” fr. La Sonombula (excerpt)
Orchestra La Scintilla/Adam Fischer; Bartoli, ms.
Maria
Lon/Dec 4759077
1:20

Field: Nocturne #4 In A (excerpt)
O'Conor, p.
15 Nocturnes
Telarc 80199
:36

Chopin: Nocturne #19 In E Minor, Op. 72/1
Ohlsson, p.
Chopin The Complete Works
Arab. 6653
4:44, :32

Chopin: Ballade No. 1 In G Minor, Op. 23
Cortot, p.
Alfred Cortot - The Master Classes
Sony 89698
8:37

Chopin: Prelude #11 in B Major, Op. 28/11
Argerich, p.
The Originals Vol. II
DG 463663
:33

Chopin: Etude #9 In G-flat Major, Op. 25/9, Butterfly
Freire, p.
Chopin: Piano Sonata No 3, Études Op 25
Decca 470288
:54

 

 

Program 4

We continue with Chopin in Paris as we hear more of his nocturnes and etudes. Bill tells of the last time Chopin saw his parents and his relationship with George Sand, as well as the beginning of his declining health.


 

Chopin: Nocturne in D-flat Major, Op. 27/2
Rosen, p.
Collected Piano Music Of Chopin
Musicmasters 67154
5:05, :34

Chopin: Etudes, Op. 10: Nos. 2, 3 & 4
Chiu, p.
Chopin: Études (12), Op. 10
Harmonia Mundi 907201
8:00

Chopin:  “Śliczny chłopiec (Handsome Lad)” fr. Polish Songs, Op. 74
Elly Ameling, s.; Jansen, p.
On The Wings Of Song / Elly Ameling, Rudolf Jansen
Philips 422333
2:44

Chopin: Nocturne #9 in B Major, Op. 32/1
Rubinstein, p.
The Chopin Collection: The Nocturnes
RCA 5613
4:41

Chopin: Etude #12 in c minor, Op. 10/12, Revolutionary
Pollini, p.
The Originals
DG 413794
2:38

Chopin: “The Sad River” fr. Op. 74, No. 3 (excerpt)
Söderstrom, ms.; Ashkenazy, p.
Chopin Songs-Melodies-Lieder Op. 74
Lon 414204
2:07

Chopin: Impromptu #4 in C Sharp Minor, Op. 66, Fantaisie-Impromptu
Rubinstein, p.
The Chopin Collection: Impromptus, Barcarolle, Nouvelles Etudes, 
Bolero, Berceuse, Tarentelle, Andante Spianato And Grande Polonaise
RCA 5617
5:15, :45

Chopin: Preludes, Op. 28 Prelude #14 In e-flat minor 
Prelude #15 In D-flat Major, 
Raindrop Prelude #16 In b-flat minor
Argerich, p.

Chopin: 24 Preludes Op 28, Prelude Op 45
DG 415836
6:20

Chopin: Barcarolle in F Sharp, Op. 60
Zimerman, p.
Chopin: 4 Balladen
DG 423090
8:54

Chopin: Prelude #3 in G Major, Op. 23
Argerich, p.
Chopin: 24 Preludes Op 28, Prelude Op 45
DG 415836
1:30

 
Program 5

As we reach the final years of Chopin’s life, Bill opens with his third piano sonata. We continue with several of Chopin’s favorite styles such as the polonaise, waltz and mazurka before we come to his death at the age of 39.


 

Chopin: Piano Sonata #3 In B Minor, Op. 58, III
Friere, p.
Chopin: Piano Sonata No 3, Études Op 25
Decca 470288
7:32

Chopin: Cello Sonata In G Minor, Op. 65, IV
Ma, vc.; Ax, p.
Chopin: Piano Trio
Sony 53112
6:13

Chopin: Polonaise #3 In A, Op. 40/1, Military
Horowitz, p.
Horowitz Vol Vii - Early Romantics
Sony 53468
4:50

Chopin: Polonaise-Fantaisie in A-flat Major, Op. 61
Pires, p.
Maria João Pires - The Voice of Late Chopin
DG 4777483
13:58

Chopin: Berceuse In D Flat, Op. 57
Kissin, p.
Four Ballads, Berceuse, Barcarolle, Scherzo
RCA 63259
4:34

Chopin: Waltz #12 in f minor, Op. 70/2 Waltz #14 in e minor, CT 222 
Waltz #9 in A-flat Major, Op. 69/1, L'Adieu
Lipatti, p.
Complete Chopin Edition
EMI 62820
6:43

Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2, II (excerpt)
Rachmaninoff, p.
Rachmaninoff Plays Chopin
RCA 62533
1:22

Chopin: Mazurka #13 In a minor, Op. 17/4,
Kapell, p.
Mazurkas
RCA 68990
4:20

Chopin: Prelude #7 In A, Op. 28/7
Rubinstein, p.
Arthur Rubinstein: The Complete Album Collection
RCA 6514
:52

 

 

 

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