Sunday, 3 May 2009

266. Frederic Chopin - Etudes (1830-37)


Title: Etudes for Piano Op. 10 & 25
Performers: Juana Zayas
Year: 1982
Length: 1 hour


Chopin's Etudes are a phenomenal set of pieces designed to both teach and delight. They are imagined as exercises for the pianist in order to train different parts of the skills necessary to be a great pianist. Each movement focuses on a specific technical skill.

You would logically think that this would not make for the most attractive music, and such was the case in Etudes done before Chopin, but with him it all changes. Chopin manages to strike a great balance between utilitarianism and beauty.

Some of Chopin's most recognisable pieces are in fact part of these etudes, like number 3 and 12 of op. 10 and number 11 of op. 25. Quite admirable and beautiful stuff. It should be noted, however, that this Juana Zayas record is extremely hard to find, I couldn't find it and that I am basing my ideas on Murray Perahia's recording of the Etudes. Still Zayas' is the one recommended by the 1001 book.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Unlike most previous technical studies, which sought to cultivate an independence of finger action driven from the wrist, Chopin's require the engagement of the entire playing mechanism from the shoulder downwards. For example, Op. 10, No. 1 consists of a series of wide broken chords whose span is unreachable for all but the largest hands — it is therefore necessary to use the arm to guide the fingers from note to note. Similarly, Op. 25, No. 10 is a study in octaves in both hands that requires powerful and flexible movements from the shoulders.

Sviatoslav Richter plays Op.25 n 11:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Frédéric Chopin - Complete Études for piano op. 10 and 25
Soloist: Juana Zayas

The only way I found it.