Chopin “Études”, opus 25‏

by richibi

if the Debussy, was a bit too fast a move from Chopin’s
Romanticism, his enchanting melodies wrought with
pressing and intent emotion to tug at your most
unresisting aural senses, into a 20th Century of
cynicism and machinery, speed, neurosis, world war,
it was probably too fast for those who actually lived
it as well, just as we think of our own world as out of
control, ultimately the swoons of Chopin would no
longer cut it alone as mileposts towards so unmoored
a future, a heretofore beyond mere private emotions,
other voices would come up responding to further
calamities, inconsistencies in the cultural argument,
where the poet no longer could stand prophetically
alone, there were others also to tend to, and nations
and even new ideologies burgeoning, social, sometimes
sinister even, experiments, Romanticism would have no
choice but to cede to the imperatives of a new, often
inclement, order

but that nevertheless choice still imprint is nowhere
near as definitive as Chopin before all that happened,
as people were still all celebrating and expressing
their newfound personal validity, freedom, worth,
fruit of the revolution not only of the political world
but of the cultural one as well

Elizabeth Barrett Browning is to my mind his only
literary equivalent, compare their equal ardour
and the likeness of their compelling muse

Daniil Trifonov, playing Chopin’s other set of
“Études”, opus 25, not only lives them, he’s
utterly possessed, he’s in Tel Aviv, it’s May, 2011


psst: the first Étude is called the “Aeolian Harp”,
the ninth the “Butterfly”, the second to last,
or eleventh, the “Winter Winds”, all of which
you might try to make out in passing, they are
not that difficult to identify, all the others are
named for their key