May 14, 2003
chopin piano concerto no.1

I'm listening to it right now. Since accompanying this with the HRO many years back, I probably haven't heard it more than a couple of times. I don't think I differ from many in preferring Chopin's solo piano compositions. His orchestration isn't innovative in any way--it feels like a concerto plain and simple. In spite of its lacking compositional innovation, there's still that feel of a concerto.

It's hard to convey what I mean. For me there's a sense of drama with a concerto that's probably very much tied up in my identifying with the soloist: the subdiaphragmatic whir of butterfly wings as you stand in the wings after the orchestra has finished tuning; how the heavy velvet drapes bow outwards as you walk briskly onto the stage, the hardness of your soles against the wooden stage, eyes and the expectations of the audience and orchestra focused on you; the conductor turns to you, baton poised, eyebrow raised--a silent "ready?" A stray cough echoes through the concert hall; an indrawn breath, and the orchestra starts...

Posted by erich at May 14, 2003 06:05 PM
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