My name is Mark Smith and I am studying for the final year of my Music Degree at King's College London.
Part of my course is 'Performance Practice on Record' which follows how performance practices have changed, how this can be seen through recordings and even how the invention of recorded sound and its development has lead to a change in performance practices.
I have to write a 5000 word research paper for this course and I have chosen Chopin as my subject matter. There is an article I read regarding Chopin's use of virtuosity in his compositions; whether it was there for pure show-off or whether in fact it was an integral part of the music. (particularly the Bercuese, due to the fact it was a Lullaby, virtuosity cannot occur because of the pieces genre - it has to be musically important).
So I am trying to find more information to back this up, as well as recordings of the Bercuese which can illustrate it. I am particularly looking for extreme performances, ones which may be particularly fast or slow, or some which are overly virtuosic or really play down the difficulty.
If you have any suggestions or ideas I'd be most grateful!
Many thanks, Mark Smith