Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On Chopin

See, I grew up in country that - at the time that I was growing up - had almost nothing to boast about (at least not legally). And one of those few things people were allowed to enjoy was Chopin's music. And it was everywhere - radio, TV, newspapers, tuna sandwiches - everywhere... OK, in those days few knew what tuna tastes like ;-) And canned tuna has exactly nothing to do with the taste of tuna, no matter what your cats tell you.

But to the point - since Chopin was everywhere, I kinda was growing up unwittingly being exposed to it. Constantly. Perhaps this is the reason why after I started shaping my music taste I - sort of - neglected his works. I have well over a hundred of classical music albums bunkered somewhere in a safe place and only two of those are Chopin music.

Now, in remote corner of Africa I am cut off from all means of legally enjoying anything. Well, except wine, free sex, Cuban cigars, marihuana (if you are into such things), food, etc. But anything we (Europeans) would call culture is non existent here. There virtually is no theatre (just cheap, stupid and not-so funny comedies for the crowds), very few concerts of classical music, many concerts of jazz and r&b (but all African-flavoured - not digestible for anyone who has any kind of taste), no good movies (by good I mean something outside the stream of crap coming out of Hollywood), there is nothing here! So what I did - I obtained a lot of this music that I grew up listening to. I was just a kid then when my father exposed me to Pink Floyd or Alan Parsons or Van Halen. So now, after I grew up (musically) and entrenched myself within several carefully selected music trends, I decided it is time to face all those artists I am haunted by in my childhood dreams.

The first one to tackle is the big one - Fryderyk Chopin himself. I had high expectation, especially that I love good piano (Petrucciani, Jarrett, Możdżer). So I just finished going through Rubinstein Plays Chopin - eleven CD set.
I like it. There are some very nice pieces there. Generally it's slow, peaceful and melancholic (I'd rather avoid word boring), but several of pieces are just amazing. Make no mistake - this is eleven fucking hours of piano, all in very similar style ;-)

Next thing I will do I will go through Deutsche Grammophon Chopin Complete Edition. Yes, yellow covers rulez!

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