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To play a whole opus or not..

       Chopin Music Forum Index -> Romantic Period
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Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:23 pm    Post subject: To play a whole opus or not..

Many people agree that Chopins set of preludes, opus 28 is a wonderful thing as a whole. On boards like this, users often discuss which the best opus of mazurkas is, ballades vs. scherzi etc etc.

Well, a set (or opus) of Chopins mazurkas usually consists of four pieces, usually in different keys and I haven´t bothered to find out if there is any concrete or abstract relation between them, but I must say that they work great as a whole- but Chopin never preformed a whole opus of mazurkas together, as they are published, did he?

I read somewhere that they basicly never preformed sets and opuses as they are (atleast not for the sake of it), in the 19th century. It´s a thing that came along with the art of recording.

Still, pieces like mazurkas turn out great if you play them together. It´s like an old Polish story being told- could this possibly be his intention?

I post it here because the topic doesn´t only concern Chopin, but if you have his own thoughts about it, feel free to post it.
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On Horowitz-style hiatus ;)

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Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:43 pm    Post subject:

I agree, though I haven't much experience with the Mazurkas, that it's an interesting subject. Would you play a single piece from Schumann's Kreisleriana? What makes an Opus of Mazurkas or Nocturnes so different? Would you play only the Great Gate at Kiev from Pictures at an Exhibition? Not entirely comparable, but you get the idea. Many pianists also play whole sets of Chopn's works (ex: the Etudes Op. 10 or 25) but most of the time they will simply pick the better known ones, which doesn't help the other lesser known ones. So does this make it, like interpretation, rather subjective and controversial, as well as a vexed topic? Meh, I say go for it, why else would Chopin place the Mazurkas in such an intricate Opus system?

Just my two cents.
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