can’t see the forest

A Piece of Chopin

Here, from yours truly, is a performance of Chopin’s Mazurka in G minor, Op. 17, No. 1. Let me tell you—you have to attend some pretty fancy music schools to learn to bob your head to and fro this way, and they also teach you how to grow your bangs just so. Actually, I didn’t even realize I did that. But the camera doesn’t lie, apart from the spooky strobe-light effect for which I can offer no legitimate explanation. And who doesn’t love playing Chopin in baggy street clothes? Tuxes be damned. Seriously.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) was a Polish composer of French and Slavic ancestry. He spent virtually his whole career among the artsy folk in Paris in a sort of self-imposed exile from his homeland, which had in his youth become largely property of the Czar. The mazurka is a Polish folk dance which Chopin raised to the level of an art form—it is in triple meter like the waltz. But whereas the waltz is usually felt with a strong emphasis on 1 or 3—ONE two three, or one two THREE, the mazurka usually accentuates the second of the three beats in each bar. The melodies and harmonies of the mazurka are also more typically Eastern than befits the Teutonic mirth of a good, rowdy Viennese walzer. This particular example is neither lengthy nor technically difficult, but it’s a beautifully wistful and consummately Slavic melody that is always a pleasure to play.

The family cockatiels sure seem to like it, as you might hear in the background.


2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. peoplesgeography said, on 11/7/06 at 4:49 am

    Bravo maestro, bravo :)

  2. Curtis said, on 11/7/06 at 12:00 pm

    Thank ye kindly, guv’nor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: