Night Music

February 22, 2010 at 10:27 pm (music, Rosie B)

It’s the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth.  I learned enough classical piano when I was young, so as to be able to stumble through Nocturne Op 9 No. 1.  The left hand plays a regular run of twelve notes following the same pattern while the right ripples away and will occasionally play odd numbers of notes eg 11 in the right hand to 6 in the left, or 7 to 6.  So the left hand fixes the rhythm, like the bass in a band, while the right has an improvised feeling.  The piece is full of yearning.

Learning to play an instrument badly does increase your appreciation for those who can play it well.

4 Comments

  1. Jim Denham said,

    Great artists don’t have yo be pleasant people, of course: but Chopin seems to have been a grade-A asshole: vain, selfish, cold and unpleasant to his “lover” George Sand, politically conservative and anti semitic:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classical/features/frdric-chopin–a-very-tainted-genius-1833696.html

    …other than that, a very talented composer, if you like depressing (in a good way) piano pieces; Rubinstein played good Chopin:

  2. les said,

    give me erik satie any day.

    and he wrote some nocturnes too:

    not quite as well known as chopin, but i find they have a quality of reverie to them that chopin’s, for all their touches of brilliance, never quite have.

  3. Red Maria said,

    Jim, I think Adam Mickiewicz would be more to your tastes.

    Litwo, ojczyzno moja!
    ty jesteś jak zdrowie;
    Ile cię trzeba cenić, ten tylko się dowie,
    Kto cię stracił. Dziś piękność twą w całej ozdobie
    Widzę i opisuję, bo tęsknię po tobie.
    Panno święta, co Jasnej bronisz Częstochowy
    I w Ostrej świecisz Bramie! Ty, co gród zamkowy
    Nowogródzki ochraniasz z jego wiernym ludem!

  4. Jim Denham said,

    Good grief, Maria! I’ve been identified with many people in my time (Eddie Condon, WC Fields, Melanie Phillips ["in drag"], Herbert Lom [the *young* Herbert Lom, I should stress], Cary Grant [OK: I made up the Cary Grant bit])…but Mickiewicz is a new one on me:

    http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/mickie.htm

    Why you should think I’d identify with Lithuanian nationalism, I don’t know. But he sounds to have been an interesting guy. Thanks for drawing my attention to him.

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