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قراءة كتاب Chopin and Other Musical Essays

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‏اللغة: English
Chopin and Other Musical Essays

Chopin and Other Musical Essays

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 10

outbreaks of the wildest anguish and heart-rending pathos. If tears could be heard, they would sound like these preludes. Two of the saddest—those in B minor and E minor—were played by the famous organist Lefebure Wely, at Chopin's funeral services. But it is useless to specify. They are all jewels of the first water.

Some years ago I wrote in "The Nation" that if all pianoforte music in the world were to be destroyed, excepting one collection, my vote should be cast for Chopin's preludes. If anything could induce me to modify that opinion to-day, it would be the thought of Chopin's études. I would never consent to their loss. Louis Ehlert, speaking of Chopin's F Major ballad, says he has seen even children stop in their play and listen to it enraptured. But, in the études I mentioned a moment ago, there are melodies which, I should think, would tempt even angels to leave their happy home and indulge, for a moment, in the luxury of idealized human sorrow. There is in these twenty-seven études, as in the twenty-five preludes, an inexhaustible wealth of melody, modulation, poetry and passion. One can play them every day and never tire of them. Of most of them one might say what Schumann said of one—that they are "poems rather than studies;" and much surprise has been expressed that Chopin should have chosen such a modest and apparently inappropriate name for them as "studies." Now, I have a theory on this subject: I believe it was partly an ironic intention which induced Chopin to call some of his most inspired pieces "studies." Pianists have always been too much in the habit of looking at their art from purely technical or mechanical points of view. They looked for mere five-finger exercises in Chopin's études, and finding at the same time an abundance of musical ideas, they were surprised. It did not occur to them that Chopin might have intended them also as studies in musical composition—studies in melody, harmony, rhythm and emotional expression. I believe he did so intend them; and finding that his contemporaries did not take his idea, he probably laughed in his sleeve, and exclaimed, "O tempora!"