Revolutionary Etude of Chopin, n. 12 Op. 10 in C minor
Updated: Jan 27, 2020
( Revolutionary Chopin Etude, n. 12 Op. 10 in C minor performed by Alberto Cobo )
Revolutionary Etude of Chopin, n. 12 Op. 10 in C minor
By Alberto Cobo
To my Clementine, an inspiring muse for both interpretation and works related to music, for being pure music itself.
I would like to claim with this article the meaning that a Master Class (Piano Master Class) of 'classical' (academic) piano can have, where it is necessary to argue and explain, expose and set an example, show experience and knowledge to a degree that does not it is simply a waypoint, an approximation or a pretend to look something. Go directly to the musical foundation, not only to the extra-musical, or at least get closer to what can determine the hidden meaning, the reason for it and how to address the most important aspects of the score.
"I am a revolutionary, money means nothing to me," Chopin's famous phrase.
With this phrase Chopin already sentenced what it means to be a genius of music: to be primarily aware of his art and therefore reserve any harmful thoughts that may impair sensitivity and concentration / desire.
His father, Mikołaj Chopin (Marainville, Lorraine, 1771-1844), was a French emigrant with distant Polish ancestors, who had moved to Poland in 1787, encouraged by the defense of the Polish cause, and was a professor of French and French literature; he was also a preceptor of Count Skarbek's family. His mother, Tekla Justyna Krzyżanowska (Dlugie, Kujawy, 1782-1868), belonged to a family of Polish nobility come less and was ruler of the estate where they lived in Zelazowa Vola, 50 kilometers from Warsaw.
Between 1817 and 1827, the Chopin family lived in a building adjacent to the Kazimierz Palace at the University of Warsaw. The building is currently adorned with a Chopin profile.
After passing through Prague, Dresden and Wrocław, he returned to Warsaw, where he fell in love with Konstancja (Konstanze) Gladkowska (1810-1880), a young singing student at the Conservatory, whom he had met in 1828 at a student concert by Carl Soliva.
From this first youth passion several memorable works were born: the Waltz Op. 70 No. 3 and the slow movement of his first Concerto for piano and orchestra in F minor. About him he recognized his friend Titus Woyciechowski: «Perhaps unfortunately, I have my own ideal, which I silently serve for half a year, with which I dream and in whose memory I have composed the Adagio of my new concert» (1829) This work It was released at the Merchants Club in Warsaw in December of the same year and subsequently published as No. 2, Op. 21. He also informed T. Woyciechowski: “I have composed a few exercises; I will show you and touch you soon »; These "exercises" would become the first series of Studies Op. 10.
That romance was a burning feeling, but not decisive, because he was determined to be a composer and soon decided to undertake a "study trip" through Europe. He originally thought of traveling to Berlin, where he had been invited by Prince Antoni Radziwiłł, governor of the Grand Duchy of Posen appointed by the King of Prussia; Chopin had been his guest at Antoni. However, he finally decided on Vienna, to consolidate the successes of his first tour. Although his correspondence of this time in Poland has a tone of a certain melancholy, they were happy times for him, celebrated by the young poets and intellectuals of his homeland. Konstancja would marry another man in 1830.
After performing his Concerto several times in intimate evenings, his fame was already so wide that he was organized a great recital at the Warsaw National Theater on March 17, 1830, the first as soloist in that auditorium, which again It caused a sensation. At that time I worked in his second Concerto for piano and orchestra in my youngest (later numbered as # 1, Op. 11) that premiered on September 22 at his home, and began the Andante Spianato and Polonesa Op. 22. In parallel there were then some uprisings and raids in Warsaw that were severely repressed and caused many deaths. These visions deeply impressed the artist, who years later would compose his famous funeral march in homage to those protesters (later included in Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor Op. 35).
Like every student, Chopin was familiar with typical children's cries about mechanical boredom. Despite his phenomenal technical skills, he had to practice the daily studies of Cramer, Clementi and Moscheles. The rich development of the composer's talent and the discovery of new means of fortepianistic technique made Chopin realize that the school exercises used at that time were not sufficient preparation for his art. So he had to consider creating his own system. Only the plan of such efforts, as a means of didactic and methodological nature, became the main objective of his creative effort. For all that Chopin had to do in life as a composer, it must be presented as an artistic paradigm with the characteristics of the highest category of art.
Chopin has already started writing Etudes from the eighteenth year of life.
In May 1829, the famous Italian violinist Niccoló Paganini arrived in Warsaw to perform some concerts. Chopin came to see him and was deeply dazzled by his virtuosity. His debt to him has been evident in the Piano Etude Op. 10 No. 1, which he composed for those days. And it served as a precedent for the remaining 11 Etudes of op. 10 that he would dedicate to his friend Franz Liszt, also this one deeply influenced by Paganini. [The 12 Etudes op. 10 were dedicated to his friend Franz Liszt - some editions such as WESSEL & C are also dedicated to Ferdinand von Hiller and with the fingering of his student J. Fontana - of which he said he would like to steal the way he interpreted them. (Paris, June 20, 1833)]
The Op. 10 Etude, No. 12 in C minor, known as the Revolutionary Etude, is a piano piece by Fryderyk Chopin alone (in French, Frédéric François Chopin, Zelazowa Wola, Grand Duchy of Warsaw, March 1 or 22 February 1810- Paris, October 17, 1849) composed around 1831. It is the twelfth of his first series of studies (Twelve Great Etudes). Chopin's two series of studies, Opus 10 and Opus 25, are known as Chopin Etudes, although the Polish composer has three other minor etudes.
Unlike Etudes from previous eras, designed to emphasize and develop particular technical aspects, Romantic Etudes by composers such as Liszt and Chopin have been frequently used as concert pieces, although they continue to share the same objective of developing the technique against the instrument.
In 1829 he informed his friend T. Woyciechowski: «I have composed a few exercises; I will show you and touch you soon »; these "exercises" would become the first series of Etudes (those of Op. 10).
Poland, which in the sixteenth century was the largest state in Europe along with its treaty with Lithuania, from 1795 until the First World War was not an independent state. Only two years, from 1815-17 that Napoleon tried to help them, or rather take advantage of them to conquer Russia and it was his greatest defeat.
Warsaw really was from the Russians since 1795.
In July 1830 Chopin, being in Vienna, learned of the November Uprising, the Polish insurrection against the Russians, which began on November 29; his friend with whom he was traveling, Woyciechowsky, returned to Warsaw to join the revolutionaries, but convinced Chopin to stay there in Vienna. This Study appeared approximately with the Cadet Revolution, the November Uprising in Poland in 1830. Chopin could not participate due to his fragile state of health, so he downloaded his feelings about the revolution in many musical pieces of which the best known It is this Revolutionary Etude. Chopin said later, about the failure of the uprising against Russia: "All this has caused me a lot of pain. Who could have foreseen it!" Therefore, it is from the Cadet Revolution that this Study takes its name. It was an armed rebellion against Russian rule in Poland of Congress. It is included in the European revolutionary cycle, initiated in the three days of July in France, which is known as the Revolution of 1830.
Revolution of 1830, which begins with the so-called July Monarchy in France, and extends with the independence of Belgium and failed movements in Germany, Poland and Italy. It also relates to reformist measures linked to Chartism in Britain, which did not undergo revolutionary political processes.
In 1831 he learned, while in Stuttgart, of the fall of Warsaw to Russian troops and the end of the November Uprising; the news hit him so deeply, it caused a fever and a nervous breakdown. The so-called "Stuttgart newspapers" reveal their despair, sometimes bordering on blasphemy: "The enemy has entered the house [...] Oh, God, do you exist? You do and still do not charge revenge. Didn't you have enough with the crimes of Moscow? Or... Or maybe you are Muscovite! »Tradition believes that the result of this news and these feelings was born the" Revolutionary "Etude in C minor Op. 10 No. 12, although most likely it was composed in its greater Part in Warsaw.
Vienna and the Uprising in Poland
The taking of the Warsaw arsenal, one of the first events of the November Uprising. After passing through Kalisz - from where he traveled with his friend from the Lyceum, Titus Wojciechowski -, Wrocław and Dresden, he was one day in Prague and then set sail for Vienna (where he arrived on November 22, 1830), to stay in Kohlmarkt 9. He remained there until July 20 of the following year. Days after arriving, they learned about the November Uprising, the Polish insurrection against the Russians, which began on November 29; Woyciechowsky returned to Warsaw to join the revolutionaries, but convinced him to stay in Vienna.
His second stay in the capital of the Austrian Empire was not so happy. He no longer arrived as a young sensation from abroad, but as someone who wished to permanently join the Viennese musical environment, and artists and businessmen showed him indifference and even hostility.
Moreover, it was not easy to conquer the taste of the bustling Viennese public: "The public only wants to hear the Waltzes of Lanner and Strauss", he wrote in a letter.
On the other hand, the Polish insurrection was not well seen in the Austrian Empire. For all these reasons he only gave two recitals in Vienna during those eight months, with modest success.
Because of this, his mood declined, and emotionally he was filled with anxiety about the situation in his country and his family. His feelings are known for his letters and diaries. At one point he abandoned his plans to pursue his career; he wrote to Elsner: «In vain Malfatti tries to convince me that every artist is a cosmopolitan. Even if that were the case, as an artist, I am barely a baby, as a Polish, I am over twenty years old; I hope therefore that, knowing myself well, you will not reproach me that for now I have not thought about the concert program ». He was referring to a charity concert he gave on June 11, 1831 again at the Kärntnertor Theater where he played the Concert in my minor.
However, it cannot be said that all this time was wasted for Chopin. In addition to meeting musicians such as Anton Diabelli, Vaclav Jirovec, Joseph Merk and Josef Slavik, and attending various musical events and operas, the strong and dramatic experiences and emotions inspired the composer's imagination, and probably accelerated the birth of a new style and individual, different from the bright previous style. In the "Stuttgart newspapers" he wrote later: "And I here, doomed to inaction! It happens to me sometimes that I cannot help but sigh and, penetrated with pain, I pour my despair on the piano.
He composed the Nocturne n. 20 in C # minor, and advanced the Etudes Op. 10, the Nocturno Op. 9 (among them the famous Op. 9 No. 2, Op. 15 No. 2) and began the Scherzo in B minor and Ballad No. 1 in G minor.
Being forced to give up his first intention of traveling to Italy due to the political situation, he decided to go to London via Paris. On July 20, 1831 he left Vienna, passing through Linz and the Alps to Salzburg. On August 28 he arrived in Munich, where he played in a matinee of the Philarmonische Verein; at the beginning of September he arrived on Stuttgart, where he met Johann Peter Pixis. In this city he learned of the fall of Warsaw before the Russian troops and the end of the November Uprising; the news hit him so deeply, it caused a fever and a nervous breakdown.
Tradition believes that the result of this news and these feelings were born the "Revolutionary"Etude in C minor Op. 10 No. 12 and the Prelude in D minor Op, 28 No. 24, although most likely it was composed in Warsaw.
This nickname or qualifier "Revolutionary", was not applied at the beginning, I think it could be in the middle of the twentieth century when said nickname was placed, which transcended enormously until today, being thus known, simply as "The Revolutionary." And he is also, of all his Etudes, the best known and interpreted in concert halls, and I would dare to say: the most famous Piano Studio in history.
Chopin's work is foreign to the relationship of poetic, literary or other nature, since there is no document or writing that tells us otherwise. The nicknames with which we know some of his works today, are alien to its author and only obey the romantic character of some famous pianists and critics (especially Schumann), who insisted on playing the Polish musician from extra-musical approaches. That is why the Etudes, each his own, are still being called by these pseudonyms, and they are still applied by many the category of small musical poems, and <compendium of knowledge of piano performance>.
I have always listened to that in the authentic Polish people the one that more or less came from some aristocratic blood (Spain may also, by its heraldic surnames, one of mine goes back neither more nor less than Hernán Cortés). I could see it when I went to Warsaw, it showed in the air, although they have been badly mistreated by wars and invasions and much was destroyed. Chopin's mother, Tekla Justyna Krzyżanowska (Dlugie, Kujawy, 1782-1868), came from a family of Polish nobility come down. Perhaps from there he was infused with that sense of love and defense towards his deep roots that permeated all his work, and also used the rhythm of ancient Polish dances many times.
In 1833, at the age of 23, he published his first cycle, Opus 10, and had already prepared a part of the second volume op. 25. None of the greatest European composers created a masterpiece equal to the Chopin Etudes at such an early stage. This determines the uniqueness of the Etudes from the point of view of the psychology of genius.
IMPORTANCE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE TIME
In the same way, as in all other musical forms, and perhaps even more than in others, Chopin's field was in that of the Etudes. You can see this especially after analyzing an extremely large number of Chopin's music points with his Etudes with those that existed from previous piano, and with any type of music. To synthesize at the same time the technical innovations of Chopin in the Etudes, we will mention some of the most important. First, highlight the extension of the limit of the chords split from the eighth to the tenth, and even more in the consonant and dissonant chords. Then, themes with thirds and octaves are created in combination. A constant use of third or sixth in a hand to expand throughout the composition. The counter-motifs are developed on the black keys. The use of extensive arpegiated chords as the only material for the construction of the Etude. In addition to these things, there are many new details in the Etudes that can only be addressed with careful analysis.
The great realization of Chopin is manifested in his Etudes in all its splendor. Each of the Etudes is a kind of masterpiece, built on a form with monomotor material (insofar as it does not introduce other motifs in its three parts). With the similar logic with which it forms operative sentences, Chopin amplifies them to the dimensions of symmetrically constructed Etudes. One connects with the other with an inexorable consequence, each tone seems to be the result of the previous one, never feels the lack of naturalness or compulsion in it, everything is like a kinetic energy.
Chopin extends the darkest and most demonic resources of expression of his nature in number 12 with a terrifying passion, there is no veiled or repressed anger, everything explodes in the frenzy of a hurricane. The characteristics described by Leichtentritt also deserve to be mentioned: "From the point of view of a purely pianistic approach, Chopin expresses in this powerful piece a pathetically eloquent heroic melody, penetratingly acclaimed, in the octaves of his right hand, accompanied by waves in passages of the left hand, in torrents of flow and stormy reflux. The melody of the pathos of the Etude is correct, the adequate force, the accompaniment that captivates the rage of the impact, the uninterrupted impulse of the wave, is a task in practice, difficult"... At such heights of power and pathos they had not even reached a Symphony or Sonata, even in which Beethoven so recently ended before this Etude was written: creativity still did not know the variety of media that Chopin developed here. These include the intensified chromatic element in relation to Beethoven and the use of interchangeable notes in the serious passages, and finally the great combination of waves in shorter and longer passages, which allows a great variety of dynamic effects.
The phrases in this Etude are a classic example of the theory that melody is a fluid force. In the eight measures of the main theme, whose motives serve to extend the entire study, we are dealing with the coordination of a series of tensions and relaxations of melodic energy in a linear whole.
The general system has the highest category harmony. In this sense, I personally believe that it is the added value of the work that his master in composition, Elsner, insistently instilled in him about the counterpoint, which allows him to increase the dose of genius of our universal composer. The bass notes that become shorter tensions and relaxations are a preparation prior to the great melodic assault accentuated by the upper voice in the first and strongest rhythm of two and four notes, which is accompanied by greater tension and relaxation in the low. These rhythmic, longer and oscillating movements of the internal dynamics of the motives of the Etude give it an expression of strength in itself.
Bourguès and Denéreaz write their impression about their powerful volume and strength: "s'il est une musique dont on puisse dire qu'elle squeezes the durée pure, the fluence des vicissitudes de l'âme, c'est bien celle de Chopin"... >> ("If there is music that can be said to express pure duration, the influx of vicissitudes of the soul is that of Chopin").
<< It is a short, glowing, and generous sketch, from the hand of Franz Liszt, (who, considered in the double light of composer and performer, has no living equal,) of the original and romantic Chopin; the most ethereal, subtle, and delicate among our modern tone-poets. It is a rare thing for a great artist to write on art, to leave the passionate worlds of sounds or colors for the colder realm of words; rarer still for him to abdicate, even temporarily, his own throne, to stand patiently and hold aloft the blazing torch of his own genius, to illume the gloomy grave of another: yet this has Liszt done through love for Chopin. >> Franz Liszt in his biography about Chopin
<< We believe he offered violence to the character of his genius whenever he sought to subject it to rules, to classifications, to regulations not his own, and wich he could not force into harmony with the exactions of his own mind. He was one of those original beings, whose graces are only fully displayed when they have cut themselves adrift from all bondage, and float on at their own wild will, swayed only by the ever undulating impulses of their own mobile natures. >> Franz Liszt in his biography on Chopin
"He is the purest and best-tasting artist I have ever encountered," the painter Delacroix said of Chopin.
One of the most prominent testimonies was offered by Robert Schumann in 1837, when he wrote: << Imagine that an aeolian harp possessed all the musical scales, and that the hand of an artist were to cause them all to intermingle in all sorts of fantastic embellishments, yet in such a way as to leave everywhere audible a deep fundamental tone and a soft continuously-singing upper voice, and you will get the right idea of his playing.
But it would be an error to think that Chopin permitted every one of the small notes to be distinctly heard. It was rather an undulation of the A flat major chord, here and there thrown aloft anew by the pedal. Throughout all the harmonies one always heard in great tones a wondrous melody, while once only, in the middle of the piece, besides that chief song, a tenor voice became prominent in the midst of chords.
After the Etude a feeling came over one as of having seen in a dream a beatific picture which when half awake one would gladly recall.>>
In the execution of this Etude - the most famous in the history of piano - we consider several aspects that require a specific preparation of the technique (all Etudes require this specific preparation). Being precise, neat and respectful of the great genius, to whom we should not amend the plan because it would fall into a high level of arrogance, it is necessary to rigorously examine his writing, which is the only thing we retain of rigorous authenticity. In this case, since the Etude has greater development of the left hand, we say that it is a study for this hand - and therefore it is very good to review it to keep it exercised. If we are neat in what Chopin writes, we see in the beginning the accents every four semiquavers, which curiously go unnoticed in most of the proposals. It is not easy to assume these accents if the realization is quick, and in a final metronomic proposal established by the author of crotchet = 160 (Allegro con fuoco, in the first edition of Stockholm "Stichvorlage" -A-, write half note = 76 that it would be crotchet = 152, somewhat less fast), to obtain a result that is appreciated requires only a specific possibility of realization if it is also within the indication of legitimate and reinforced this by a slurthat encompasses two measures in the left hand.
Although determined by the dynamic expression f we find two types of accents, that of the initial chord of the right hand with a wedge, which refers to being a more striking accent, which is not within the slur, with the other accents more planes that refer to being of much lower intensity, practically of pure mental intention. It should be noted that the first accent on the left occurs in the third semiquaver note, not in the first, as is usually the case. As this beginning already determines the rest of the interpretation, we must also note that the measure is not 4/4 but two-four time 2/2. Which gives it an even faster sense.
Our way of thinking is no longer every four semiquavers, but every eight.
A great stumbling block that appears is at the end of the phrase on the left, where the five “beats” (four last semiquavers and final chopped quaver notes) have to match the dotted quaver, semiquaver and half-note of the right hand. It is common to hear how the interpreter delays at that point to achieve the accuracy of hand coincidence and facilitate the jump of the right hand from fifth to eighth and seventh chord to dominant, with bravery, somewhat mitigating the risk, which at my point of view, the temperamental exposure of Chopin and the rhythm of the rhythm are stopped from the beginning. Even more between measure 4 and 5, where the jump is still greater, seventh. Studying it slowly and without a pedal is highly recommended.
I was very interested in how it is that in the first editions of this Study, Chopin indicates that measures 7 to 9 are joined by a phrase, perfectly and clearly written (with a crescendo from the second half of measure 7), in editions A (Stiftelsen Musikkulturens Främjande, Stockholm), GFE (G1, German First Edition, University of Chicago Library), Second German Edition (G2, University of Chicago Library), Third German Edition (G3, from the collections of the British Library ), EFE (English First Edition, University of Chicago Library), Second English Edition (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) and Third English Edition (from the collections of the British Library), while in the best known commercial editions so far, except for the last of Jan Ekier of the National Edition, like that of Paderewsky of the Institut Fryderyka Chopina, and probably based on this, those of the publishers Peters, G. Henle Verlag, Alfredo Casella, Boileau (Ibérica Edition), and finally the Salabert Edition of Paris, revised by the always considered myth of Chopin's interpretation, Alfred Cortot (although I honestly never thought it was magnificent), which indicates that phrase from the second eighth note of bar 5, no right from the first note of bar 7 as in the originals, editions reviewed by Chopin. By the way, these commercial editions cost me dearly at the time.
It is possible that in some later edition these changes were already made (see: https://books.google.es/books?id=MKncuXztQ1IC&pg=PA868&lpg=PA868&dq=CATALOGUE+THEMATIQUE+DES+ETUDES+%7C+DE+%7C+F.+CHOPIN,+A.+HENSELT+ET+S.+THALBERG&source=bl&ots=huXsrVuTsI&sig=ACfU3U3KPVcVSRjYW_86twA4upa5IcfzTQ&hl=es&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj7gtXRp5vlAhXa6OAKHRZpBSUQ6AEwDHoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=CATALOGUE%20THEMATIQUE%20DES%20ETUDES%20%7C%20DE%20%7C%20F.%20CHOPIN%2C%20A.%20HENSELT%20ET%20S.%20THALBERG&f=false )
And of course, one way of phrasing or another determines one interpretation or another, being the closest to the idea of the composer who pursues what he wrote and decided as his most successful idea (hence the meaning of the "Urtext" Editions , as faithful as possible to the writing and idea of the creator of the compositions).
Regarding the meaning of the phrases and their correct realization, it is necessary to understand the origin, the antecedent school of the harpsichord and the fortepiano. A phrase has a micro-breath at the beginning and another at the end. These breaths, consequently at a high speed of execution, are purely of intention, mental, it can only serve to think about them, but based on the work of having practiced them a lot so that they are very clear within the meaning of the interpretation. Then such is its importance. In music everything is written from Mozart. It is not as with the poems of poets, for example, where there can be a wide range of possibilities and form of communication.
We arrive at measure 9, where the motif appears in the left hand for the first time with a surge effect. With a slur that includes it whole, and two regulators up to the middle and down. The proposals of Paderewsky and Ekier seem to me right, but not that of Cortot, which when using the thumb on the last ascent note and not using the 4 finger on the rise and fall, but the 3, will slow down the option want to get more speed. Even with this fingering and everything, the execution is not simple and requires a great balance in the hand and does not exceed the thresholds to emphasize too much the regulators. Also of course, the correct form we use in terms of mobility, which is at this point where I would like to make practical examples so that you could see the difference and where one system or another would lead us, the risks, the benefits, the sonority, etc.
Another of Chopin's most interesting and characteristic points are its rhythmic combinations. With the rhythmic cell created in the second measure in the right hand, we propose a small variation, expanding it with a semiquaver note previously, to be joined these four notes in octaves with a phrasing slur. While in the beginning that opening would serve as an effect presentation (along with the 9 initial bars), in this case it shows us what will be the main leit-motiv and true seal of the Study, his bravado credential, sense of dignity, pride of race, well marked and with determination, and always coinciding perfectly with the left hand, which in this case is divided into two minor waves, so that it enters almost in the middle of the second and solves the intrinsic weight or accent of the next measure, helped by the ascending regulator, with the highest load of Polish absolute sense. It's like getting the cavalry.
Combining this cell (which curiously has four notes such as that of the fifth Beethoven Symphony) with an echo of it in "piano", a fourth more serious but with the eighth filled that provides a more special sound, returns to attack again repeating the same thing in the echo-mirror response, surprise with the becuadro, in round and tenuous that has grown to reach the sforzando, forming part of the dominant chord of the dominant minor C but omitting the main note (D), and chaining it for the pursuit of the vehement character to the jump of fourth in legato, with the eighth filled with the fifth and marked with the sign of stacatto, short sound with the silence of subsequent eighth note that gives us foot and has produced climax to get to develop all the fury (with force) in these four measures, 15, 16, 17 and 18, both rhythmic by the addition of the chord in the second half of the first half and by the trigger of each wave d and on the left, descending the bass in chromatic until reaching the G, and posing a perfect cadence effect with the fourth and sixth cadence and the E flat of the right that modifies this aspect to incredibly convert the perfect cadence into almost a semi-trend because when in measure 18 it dissipates.
Impressive the skill for, in broken movements of second and third intervals of the left - which requires a power of said hand to the real Samson piano performer - that does not cease to remain complete the impulse of brave until the end of said measure with the diminishing, having reached the cusp of the ascending motor in the flat B of the left hand and descending with scale (of G, or dominant, since the flat BF then becomes natural B) and separation of third in the last two semiquaver notes, which is where the phrase of two measures of the left hand ends. The effect reached this point has been devastating and everything that has to come later, even if it is maintaining the level of genius, is still merely a sequel to what has already been exposed and happened.
Returning in measure 19 to a repetition of measure 9, but this time in sotto voce (in a soft way and half voice), it resurfaces with sforzando in 23 to return to the passion and vary with respect to measure 14 (remember that it was the chord from dominant to dominant) to the seventh dominant F chord in second investment in measure 24, also in sforzando and tenuto (really the difference between the previous one and this new change is produced by having the natural F), and this occurs with a progression of agitation in crescendo, syncopated that culminates in stretto, with the bass rising in chromatic, until it ends at measure 26 where the pianist must flaunt great technical power in the left hand in the arpeggio rise and descent marking the Cadence, this time, perfect, that determines us towards the modulation of the flat (if that is, we have lowered a descending tone). The variant that appears in the manuscript or first edition Stichvorlage A (Stiftelsen Musikkulturens Främjande, Stockholm) is strikingly pointed out the sharpest note on the left, the G, turning the following FA into fusa (variant adopted by Paderewsky publishers, BOILEAU and Peters). Like me, particularly the version kept in the University of Chicago Library (EFE, English First Edition -E1-, Douze Grandes Etudes -in Deux Livraisons- pour le Piano Forte, Op. 10).
Perhaps it is the passage that follows the one with the greatest technical difficulty, mainly for students, due to the number of alterations, and how to develop safety, precision and speed within the framework of the chosen tempo and rhythm maintenance. From bar 28 to bar 37. For the modulation variant so drastic that Chopin proposes going from flats to sharps (and double doubles), something common in him on the other hand, but that makes understanding much more difficult. Dividing the four measures from 29 to 33 in a progression of two measures. The relationship between the B flat B of the measure 28 with that of the minor G # is by means of a direct modulation. The left hand makes a bridge connection between the two measures with the effect of chromatism, establishing a very original and surprising turn when going up and down on scales of four semiquaver notes where fingers 5 and 4 require very balanced positions to develop these passages, very much to Chopin's idea of the natural anatomical search of the hand and its movement. The chopped eighth note from the bass and semiquaver that originate each measure is the base from which it originates, and both the sonorities and the idea of whether waves crashing on cliffs originate.
The final chaining of the progression, of the C# less than its theoretically dominant one, the G # major, is a natural discovery that results after coming from such depths. And all this still maintaining - general tone for the Etudes completely - that bravery, the young impetus that rides captaining a battalion towards victory.
Measures 34 and 35 have the characteristic characteristic of romanticism, with the first two crotchet chords serving as supports in the right hand, while the left invents scales initiated from a sixth downward jump and whose first sentence note serves as a reference for that flow into the rest of the notes that continue as if it were rivers or waterfalls. Three measures, 33, 34 and 35 that may well be considered as progressions or at least have that effect, one after the other, until the third extends in extension without slowing down the rhythm in a whole of semiquaver notes, of a sweeping movement, tumultuous, frantic as if the flow of a storm had to inevitably reach an imaginary point that could be the mouth of the sea, or even greater in its consideration, an interstellar, universal movement, the strumming of measure 37.
Again here another powerful combination in progression of two measures comes to the mind of the composer. When one imagines that it is impossible to grow further, Chopin reveals to us the mystery we were always craving. No, this is proof that you can still grow and grow. Four bars of an enormous power, as if the bursting of a supernova star of absolute magnitude were involved, creates the hatching when entering measure 41 for the first time in very strong ff. A beam of sparkles must have been achieved, an effluvium of volcanoes, rays, a universal explosion, with the character of having transcended the speed of light to enter a new Universe, the recipe for the druid potion or the magician Merlin, that in an overwhelming and inhuman way manages to move us to the mount of this new and genuine panorama. Note that the only difference between measures 37 and 38 with the 39 and 40 of the left hand is only a minimum variation of a semitone in a single note, the RE flat by the Re becuadro until the fourth note of the measure 40. But! what an amazing effect!
It is here, at the beginning of the universal discovery, when Chopin again organizes the resurgence towards the re-exhibition, the presentation of a before and after, this time already in a new world. So far the trip has been of rebellion, willingness to heroic, launching with bare chest... to land in success.
If at this point we still think that it is a simple and mere ‘Etude’, we are not able to transmute to the sidereal door that has been offered and opened to us.
The training of the concertist, I say concertist now because it is the best way to express myself since this point has arrived and have come to express these impressions, it is only and possible work of a true concertist, it reflects from its measure 41 its implication and dedication, also his brave, for undertaking this re-exposure agglutinating the strength (mental and physical) of all the seas of the Cosmos.
It is about re-exposing, of repeating what has been said, of starting again the journey, but never of decaying, not sinking, not diminishing the fight towards the objective, going through this site with the greatest possible mastery. Chopin saves us the first jump he indicated in measure 3 to give a blow at hand in 43 (again returns to the forte dynamic) with the jump he made in 5 but as if it were 3, by the time he reaches 45 as if it were 5 with an even wider leap towards the G sharp and marked with a stacatto accent, favoring an emphasis on this infinite point, where the most acute light of feeling converges with another light, the one that connects you and It transports which inner ship at an unlimited speed, which in a tiny moment makes you visualize a complete galaxy. Chopin no longer mentions, in the boast of overflowing unison in descending semiquaver notes he raised in measure 5, with fuoco (semper legato), that combination of exercise appearance or method to train the fingers like galloping horses in an Olympic competition.
Simply limited to writing the same notes, yes, wrapped this time with a slur that binds them, and lets glimpse the interpreter who had already communicated his idea but this is already part of the re-exposure, different from the beginning. Something is going to happen that will lead to other premises, a change of some subtle nuances that at first glance seems to be that they are hardly noticeable. I refer to the different phrasing that exists between measures 7 and 8 with that of 47 and 48, on the same notes. At the enormous speed that governs the Etude, trying these phrasing changes is really a challenge for the interpreter. This new mental "chip" must be achieved with the greatest naturalness, like a magic trick, that no one apparently notices anything, but in a way it changed and another way of expressing emerged. Perhaps a rhythmic, almost imperceptible change is also implied in the phrase change.
Well, Paderewsky writes on these phrases in his edition just like those he writes in the exhibition, those that I can't find in any other old edition reference verified by Chopin. Jan Ekier does defend them as Chopin already expressed in his first manuscript Stichvorlage A (Stiftelsen Musikkulturens Främjande, Stockholm), as well as in G1, G2 and G3 (GFE, German First Edition) and E1, E2 and E3 (EFE, English First Edition), which is this to the idea that I embrace. However, the editions of Casella, Cortot, Peters and Boileau copy Paderewsky, that is, it would then be exactly the same as the beginning of the re-exhibition, without any change in phrasing.
Entering the next scene, parallel to measure 19, we are in 49, but it no longer dissolves in the sotto voce like that, but returns to the main leitmotiv, although this time with a slight rhythmic variation in triplet, which by the inherent speed of the work cannot be as resounding as the first time. Theoretically, the last semiquavers of the right hand, is shorter, does not match the last of the left hand. Equal in measure 52. However, and despite this more agile mobility, the motu perpetuum has to lead us until compass 55 arrives with the arpeggio rising from the right hand to a vigorous, brio position, which continues with the chords in a rhythmic frenetism, of wrist and own arm of athlete, because having more notes in such a reduced space of time and with the audacity to want more and more, this whole page will suffer from that veleity that causes so much outburst and that already contemplates as a maximum difficulty the right hand, reaching that small jump in measure 62, third between the D and F semiquavers, with the latter accentuated in stacatto that resolves in very short breath (of demisemiquaver) to, without hardly truce, bounce two times in the E flat note.
We arrive at the same measure, 64 as on 14. This time, the chord on the right is only three sounds and without tenuous, accented, and equally reinforcing, but it is at the end of it when Chopin surprises us again with another find, the crescendo increases the power to open another universal door, the F# harmonizes with the G flat note in very strong ff that begins a progression of two measures, 65 and 66 towards the next two, 67 and 68. That very strong must be wide, bulky, leaving the weight of the arm, but without losing rope, maintaining the motor flight of the eternal waves, so that the grip of the left hand, together with its dexterity and digital articulation should allow us to create an unparalleled instrument from the piano, with a density and a propagation of sound that would surely be covered by an orchestra (referring to a grand grand piano). Here all the elements of the arm, the leverage and even the body have their function for the projection of the human being before all the unknown truths. Harmony becomes a mantle that covers the melodic and reinforced explanation so that the divine word speaks to us and for its understanding requires the utmost humility that as insignificant little ants we present ourselves to the maximum unbeatable greatness, the endless of the impossible quantify.
The reinforcement that emphasizes the left hand in measure 66 to the half-note chord support of the right - of a greater power than the supports in previous cases, because it is in loud sonority and accent - is not divided into two semi-phrases by measure but which encompasses the compass completely, which gives a broader expressive power. This together with the harmony that sustains it is diminished seventh, which by its nature is more standard of romanticism.
Measures 67 and 68 of the progression are a reflection of the previous two in loudness, a minor point, strong, not very strong. In my experience of having interpreted this study many times in public, this difference is only mental, of natural argument well argued, lowering a tone, and with the first half-note chord with one more note of filling that confers a synergy to the created emotional state and it already prepares somehow the final outcome within the formal structure of the study towards the threshold of the distant.
When in measure 69, the B flat chord in first investment in the right hand and in second from the left, serves as a key, fleeting point, to move to a new dimension. The sforzando - piano, dry blow but with resonance of the pedal, is a final flash towards infinity, which in the perspective of the energetic flow and still alive, close, immerses us in what will be the elaboration of a magical conclusion, fast, but rich in details. It serves this harmony of nexus towards the return to the dominant of the main and initial tonality of the C minor, basted with a subtlety that makes it impossible to think that there is no divinity in its creative hand.
In that change of sound environment, we are already in the ethereal softness, even with mists of the past waves, but with the message that the universal labyrinths guide us from end to end, they come and go, without decaying for a moment in the vertiginousness (no rubato) and the rhythm well dosed in the exact touch. A G note accentuated above, another below in measure 70. One F note above in 71. An elegant turn in 72. Another round (two really round since it is linked) with mystical escape effect to another threshold in 73 , it takes off a celestial dust of millions of meteorites that are dispersed in the hereafter, with the tremendous ascending rise of the left hand on stairs, of an incalculable virtuosity, as if rising to the top of a skyscraper from the subsoil was something insubstantial, it leads us to measure 75, the beginning of the smordering and descent into another new phrase of two measures in the left hand, which continues with the unalterable digital skill. In my opinion, he is smiling, the next sotto voce of measure 77 and the little raging of 80, should not destroy the consciousness of volatility, hiss.
The explosion of previous pages cannot be so suddenly restrained, not even in a patent way, but I again consider the possibility that the interpretation is nothing more than a mental insinuation, only to conceive the passage of these indications in a conscious way that we are crossing said area of dissipation, tremolo (measures 78 and 80), landing towards the (pp) pianissimo (first attempt of landing in measures 77 and 78, second and more controlled in measures 80 and 81).
Said softness, texture, internal fingering of tempered flutter, as if life were a dream and in that dream includes eternity, the flight of the bird of paradise goes off to finally settle on the most delicate branch of the tallest tree on the mount more hidden from the most unlikely region of the most intoxicating subtlety, of the withdrawal of presence in a self-absorbed universe. He puts his paw on that branch...
And it is when, the most enormous dwarf star, the sultana of the Universe, breaks into a divergent schism of spectacular proportions, the desideratum of the emotions found, the magnificence of the pre-established canons, gathers the turn sown in measures 5 and 6 to capture it in a happy way (ff ed appassionato) in 81 and 82, with all the load, all the remaining ammunition, all the available material, all the inner strength, all the frantic baggage until the last apex of the existence itself in human life, trembles in four final strokes, the last two being half as long as the first two and in three efes (fff).
Everything disappeared and from there who looks up is already a new destination and meaning. Silence.
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