An ode to the hands of composer & virtuose pianist Frédéric Chopin!
December 6, 2009
Left hand cast of Frédéric Chopin – the famous polish composer & virtuose pianist!
In 1888 a small monument was erected to the memory of the Frédéric Chopin at Wasswan. Portraits and medallions of Chopin were executed by Ary Scheffer and Eugène Delacroix, and by the sculptors Bary and Clésinger.
A distinguished English amateur thus records his impressions of Chopin’s style of pianoforte-playing compared with those of other masters:
“His technical characteristics may be broadly indicated as negation of bravura, absolute perfection of fingerplay, and of the legatissimo touch, on which no other pianist has ever so entirely leant, to the exclusion of that high relief and point which the modern German school, after the examples of Liszt and Thalberg, has so effectively developed. It is in these feature that we must recognize that Grundverschiedenheit (fundamental difference) which according to Felix Mendelssohn distinguished Chopin’s playing from that of these masters, and in no less degree from the example and teaching of Moscheles…”
“Imagine a delicate man of extreme refinement of mien and manner, sitting at the piano and playing with no sway of the body and scarcely any movement of the arms, depending entirely upon his narrow feminine hands and slender fingers.”
“The wide arpeggios in the left hand, maintained in a continuous stream of tone by the strict legato and fine and constant use of the damper-pedal, formed a harmonious substructure for a wonderfully poetic cantabile. His delicate pianissimo, the ever-changing modifications of tone and time (tempo rubato) were of indescribable effect. Even in energetic passages he scarcely ever exceeded an ordinary mezzoforte. His playing as a whole was unique in its kind, and no traditions of it can remain, for there is no school of Chopin the pianist, for the obvious reason that he could never be regarded as a public player, and his best pupils were nearly all amateurs.”
Portrait + hand casts of Frédéric Chopin.
SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:
• Music is in the fingers!