Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Haiku Wednesday: Chopin at Dusk

1 Comment

Dusk. As the light fades,
Birds sing their last song, and deer
Emerge from the woods.

A crescent moon peeks
Through the trees, gathers courage,
And rises boldly.

An open window.
Notes like fireflies twinkle
In the cool night air.

They dance for a while,
Then fade away, but surely
They’ll last forever.

You might be expecting a nocturne here.  But what inspired this was Chopin’s Andante Spianato.  Below is a performance by Daniil Trifonov.*  I also like the performance of Benjamin Grosvenor on his Dances album.  Both sublime.

Have a pleasant evening.

 

*Email subscribers, please click here to see the video on my webpage.

References

http://daniiltrifonov.com/

_____

Image attribution: Nightfall image via https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1324389, CC0, public domain.

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One thought on “Haiku Wednesday: Chopin at Dusk

  1. it has taken me seven decades to hear Chopin. I have listened a fair amount, but seldom, if ever, heard. Listening to Andante Spianato triggered this reflection of Douglas Hofstadter on Chopin.

    Douglas Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop (2007), Chapter 1, On Souls and Their Sizes

    One gloomy day in early 1991, a couple of months after my father died, I was standing in the kitchen of my parents’ house, and my mother, looking at a sweet and touching photograph of my father taken perhaps fifteen years earlier, said to me, with a note of despair, “What meaning does that photograph have? None at all. It’s just a flat piece of paper with dark spots on it here and there. It’s useless.” The bleakness of my mother’s grief-drenched remark set my head spinning because I knew instinctively that I disagreed with her, but I did not quite know how to express to her the way I felt the photograph should be considered.
    After a few minutes of emotional pondering — soul-searching, quite literally, — I hit upon an analogy that I felt could convey to my mother my point of view, and which I hoped might lend her at least a tiny degree of consolation. What I said to her was along the following lines.
    “In the living room we have a book of the Chopin etudes for piano. All of its pages are just pieces of paper with dark marks on them, just as two-dimensional and flat and foldable as the photograph of Dad — and yet, think of the powerful effect that they have had on people all over the word for 150 years now. Thanks to those black marks on those flat sheets of paper, untold thousands of people have collectively spent millions of hours moving their fingers over the keyboards of pianos in complicated patterns, producing sounds that give them indescribable pleasure and a sense of great meaning. Those pianists in turn have conveyed to many millions of listeners, including you and me, the profound emotions that churned in Frederic Chopin’s heart, thus affording all of us some partial access to Chopin’s interiority — to the experience of living in the head, or rather the soul, of Frederic Chopin. The marks on those sheets of paper are no less than soul-shards — scattered remnants of the shattered soul of Frederic Chopin. Each of those strange geometries of notes has a unique power to bring back to life, inside our brains, some tiny fragment of the internal passions and tensions — and we thereby know, at least in part, what it was to be like that human being, and many people feel intense love for him. In just as potent a fashion, looking at that photograph of Dad brings back, to us who knew him intimately, the clearest memory of his smile and his gentleness, activates inside our living brains some of the most central representations of him that survive in us, makes little fragments of his soul dance again, but in the medium of brains other than his own. Like the score to a Chopin etude, that photograph is a soul-shard of someone departed, and it is something we should cherish as long as we live.”

    Liked by 1 person

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