Thoughts about Chopin

Music thoughts about Chopin

  • Sometimes, someone asks me if I might have had something to do with Chopin in another life, others venture sayings of reincarnation. I think that in another life I was simply a piano!
  • Of so many precious gems spilled on a table, some stand out because of their own sparkle; there is no need to fling them around to make them noticeable: this is to be borne in mind on some Chopinian accents and “forte’s.” Sometimes there are pearls among these precious ones that bounce two or three times like the three B-flat notes of the Ballade in G minor in the octave rise and fall.
  • Why do we need to know whether it was sad, knowing the specific and tangible causes of it? To perform? Isn’t it obvious from his music? If you need to know it by reading the story, let it go…
  • If one has to highlight every little note with too much emphasis it would be like putting a spotlight under every beautiful thing. In Italy, for example, you would have to go out with sunglasses to shield your eyes during the whole walk.
  • Youth works, adulthood works–knowing this ruins everything. I listened back to a recording of me when I was 14 years old, and I sounded much better, much more mature…
  • If there is a particular note, concluding a phrase, like in the Etude Op. 25 No. 1 in the passage to D-flat major, let’s not give it accent because the ear goes and finds it on its own: it has to be intense but not strong because sometimes certain sounds don’t have to be strong. For example, the flavor of a filled chocolate is an intense but soft flavor…
  • Rabbits are quick and are known to lack courage. But cor-agere i.e. “acting with the heart” is the secret to understanding Chopin: don’t rush!
  • Anything predictable is more boring, such as people! And yet Chopin’s music never is, it always seems to be improvised. If you amaze yourself by playing you amaze others. If you bore yourself you bore others.
  • Sometimes you notice that you are being watched or you look at someone, that person feels he is being watched and turns around even though he has not seen you. The same thing happens with some of Chopin’s notes you hear them even though they are hidden among others. It is much more intriguing, fascinating, and captivating to let the listener discover them, leaving him or her in doubt that he or she has heard them correctly.