Quanta grazia nei Notturni di Chopin (dieci, per intero), cui temperamento sognante trae ispirazione dalle opere del compositore e pianista irlandese John Field
The nocturne is generally credited to John Field, an Irish composer and pianist, who published his first three nocturnes in 1814. These romantic character pieces are written in a somewhat melancholy style, with an expressive, dreamy melody over broken-chord accompaniment. The majority of Chopin’s nocturnes adopt a simple A-B-A form. The A part is usually in a dreamy bel canto style, whereas the B part is of a more dramatic content. In distinction of melody, wealth of harmony and originality of piano style, Chopin’s nocturnes leave Field’s far behind. The similarity of Chopin’s nocturnes to Bellini’s cavatinas (such as Casta diva from Norma) has often been noticed, though there is little evidence of direct influence in either direction.
‘We have seen the shy, serenely tender emotions which Field charged them to interpret, supplanted by strange and foreign effects. Only one genius possessed himself of this style, lending to it all the movement and ardour of which it was susceptible. Chopin, in his poetic Nocturnes, sang not only the harmonies which are the source of our most ineffable delights, but likewise the restless, agitating bewilderment to which they often give rise.’
Ho trovato un articolo molto interessante, di Joao Paulo Casaroti, University of North Dakota, che riguarda il metodo di insegnamento adottato da Chopin, il quale, al contrario di Liszt, pare, non amasse esattamente esibirsi in concerto e preferisse di gran lunga impiegare il proprio tempo in compagnia dell’alta società parigina e in lunghe sessioni di insegnamento; dice l’articolo, Chopin prediligeva suonare pianoforti Pleyel e attorniarsi di pochi ‘pupils’, allievi, che accoglieva nel proprio appartamento, in sessioni della durata di 45 minuti, un’ora, talvolta più, in cambio di 25 franchi, una cifra piuttosto alta rispetto ai 5 di media richiesti dagli altri insegnanti parigini. E’ ben noto, dice ancora l’articolo, che molti degli allievi educati da Chopin non sono diventati musicisti riconosciuti, e questo perchè in prevalenza donne, aristocratiche, a cui era proibito suonare in pubblico eccetto che nelle funzioni di beneficenza (tuttavia questo articolo dedicato alle piano women che si sono esibite in concerto tra il 1750 e il 1900, e in Europa e negli States, sembrerebbe non confermare le ipotesi avanzate dall’articolo – Yesterday’s Concert Pianists-Alphabetical).
In Chopin’s lessons, when a student played stiffly and mechanically, he would say impatiently, “Do put your whole soul into it.” He considered “feeling” the most essential quality for becoming a fine pianist. Even though Chopin often played to his students, to demonstrate an idea or purpose, he did not want them to become his imitator. He wrote to his student Delfina:
‘Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow. And everyone may admire it for a different reason; one will enjoy the fact that the crystal has been artfully carved, another will like the red color, still another the green, while the fourth will admire the purple. And he who put his soul into the crystal is like one who has poured wine into it.
You know that I tell my pupils to play my own and others’ works as they feel them, and that I dislike it if they imitate me too much, adding nothing of their own in the interpretation.
As for myself, you know, I seldom play a thing twice in the same way. You realize that the cause is in the disposition.
People sometimes tell me reproachfully that I have been playing better, e.g., at Custine’s than at the Perthius, but they don’t understand that man is not a machine.’
via Chopin the Teacher.