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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Take a few moments to enjoy Frédéric Chopin's Rondo à la Krakowiak Op. 14, performed by Idil Biret and Robert Stankovsky with the Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra:

YouTube blurb:
Of all the piano + orchestra works Chopin wrote, this one has (arguably) the most beautiful introduction. A soft, meditation where the piano hums a melody, the woodwinds lag to complete it, and the strings soar above. The rondo itself is probably one of the least well known of Chopin's works, which isn't too much of a surprise, but it is a delightful dance that makes for great morning time music.


  1. Idil Biret, one of many great twentieth-century piano virtuosi, was born in Turkey but received the most significant part of her training in Germany with Willhelm Kempff, one of the least virtuosic but most sensitive and enlightened interpreters of great piano literature.

    Kempff is remembered mostly for his interpretations of Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and to a certain extent Brahms, but his understanding of the lyrical elements in Chopin's work are practically unexcelled.

    I had never heard this piece before. I doubt it will become a favorite. I'd place it, perhaps, a half-step above Chopins' C-Minor Sonata, a work performed only on rare as an historical curiosity.

    Biret's playing, however, is perfectly splendid. There is nothing she cannot play with solid technique and consummate ease. She has even recorded every one of Liszt's transcriptions of the Beethoven Symphonies for solo piano.

    1. FT,
      I doubt it will become a favorite.

      Probably not.

      But the piece -- a stranger to me, too -- is beautiful piece, nonetheless.

      There is so much "undiscovered" music now easily available. YouTube is glorious!

  2. The beginning has a very modern feel...


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