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Chopin- Nocturnes, op. 9 played on an 1849 Erard piano

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Published on Apr 29, 2013

0:00- no. 1 in B-flat minor
6:06- no. 2 in E-flat major
10:25- no. 3 in B major

The first of Chopin's sets of Nocturnes, op. 9 includes his one of his most famous pieces (and one of the most well-known in the classical canon) - the second nocturne in E-flat major. These are among Chopin's earlier works, written between 1830 and 1832 and published in 1832. Although they are not quite as advanced emotionally and musically as his later nocturnes, he already stakes his claim as the composer who would perfect and coin the "nocturne" style as his own (despite John Field being the original, and sadly underrated, composer of piano nocturnes). Arpeggiated left hand figures typically accompany a right hand melody which is lyrical and bel canto, but also riddled with virtosic, cadenza-like ornamentation. Playing Chopin's nocturnes is no easy feat.

The first nocturne in B-flat minor holds a special place in my heart. It is the piece that caused me to fall in love with Chopin when I first heard it back in 11th grade. It was the first piece that I took it upon myself to learn without having been assigned by my piano teacher, and the first piece I learned to completion entirely on my own. It's still one of my favorites to listen to and play.

This particular recording was made by Dang Thai Son, winner of the International Chopin Competition in 1980, on an 1849 Erard piano. It comes from a box set entitled "The Real Chopin". Compiled by a Polish record label in 2010 to commemorate the great composer's bicentennial, the box set includes recordings (often multiple recordings of the same piece) of his entire works done on authentic period instruments. The recording quality is tremendous, and the playing is spectacular as well. Hearing Chopin played this way really casts his music in a different light. My personal opinion is that recordings on modern instruments are equally as legitimate, but it's incredible to hear the music the way Chopin himself would have in his day.

This recording may be purchased on amazon.com here: http://tinyurl.com/d5olktv

Thanks for listening. Hope you enjoy!

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