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New Chopin Photo Found!

The Swiss physicist and Chopin connoisseur Alain Kohler, already known for discovering in a private German home a Pleyel piano that once belonged to Frédéric Chopin, has made another sensational find. Kohler, together with Gilles Bencimon of Radio France Internationale, recently announced that they have unearthed a new, previously unknown photograph of Chopin.

The portrait was discovered by pure coincidence, again in the private home of a music-lover Kohler was visiting. In the middle of a discussion, Mr. Kohler noticed on the wall the disturbing image of a character still fairly young, elegant and with a dark face. Kohler immediately made the connection. Aware that the image was unknown to the Chopin iconography, he convinced its owner to authorize him to make a copy of the document in order to study it carefully.

Kohler contacted several specialists in various fields and was actively assisted by Mr. Gilles Bencimon in making careful comparisons with other portraits of the composer – photographic, painted, drawn and carved. The two researchers came to the conclusion that what they had found was in all likelihood a photographic reproduction of a daguerreotype performed in 1847 in the studio of Louis-Auguste Bisson. Bisson also made one of the two other existing photographs of the composer: the similar background decor suggests that the photo was taken in the same studio.

Like the other daguerreotype by Bisson, this new photograph shows Chopin marked by illness and depression. Chopin himself never mentioned the portraits in any of his correspondance, but his pupil Jane Stirling apparently knew about them, and wrote to the composer’s sister Ludwika Jedrzejewicz after his death: “Tell the dear Mother that the daguer[reotypes] are really too ugly – they will not resemble him or her at all” (February 9, 1850).

Reader question

Does this new photo change your view of the person Frédéric Chopin in any way? Please post your comment below!


Resources:
Press release: Polish Institute in Paris
High resolution photo

Link to this article:
http://www.pianostreet.com/blog/piano-news/new-chopin-photo-found-8496/


Recommended reading:

The Women Behind Chopin’s Music
Chopin is more popular than football – at least in Warsaw
Chopin’s 200th Anniversary, March 1 2010


/david

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International Piano – Jan/Feb issue is out

A new issue of the magazine International Piano is out!

In the January-February 2017 issue French superstar pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet brings erudition, insight and boundless energy to his complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas. Jeremy Nicholas can’t help but finding himself bowled over by the Gallic charm and boundless enthusiasm of this unique and stimulating talent.

Melvyn Tan needs no introduction. It is hard to believe that this extraordinary talent marks his 60th birthday this year with a project celebrating Romanticism’s greatest piano pedagogues. International Piano is very excited that Melvyn will be the first Rhinegold Live artist of 2017!

Plus, Mark Bebbington extols the piano music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Dr Carol Leone on the benefits of alternatively-sized piano keyboards and recital and concerto coverage from London, Belfast & Copenhagen.


Piano Street Gold members have instant online access to the digital version of the magazine.


/nilsjohan

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Congratulations Maurizio Pollini 75!

Maurizio Pollini’s talent was recognized early. At eleven, he first appeared in concert, as a teenager he already played the complete Chopin etudes. That’s many years ago. Countless, celebrated concert performances are behind him along with awards and recordings. On January 5th the Italian pianist celebrated his 75th birthday. Piano Street congratulates one of the great pianists of our time and shares a lovely filmed portrait on his life.

Maurizio Pollini – By The Master’s Hand

Two milestones in the history of recorded piano music:

NEW! Click the album covers to listen to the complete albums:

(This is a new feature available for Gold members of pianostreet.com)

Read more:

Interview at steinway.com
Artist page on Deutche Grammophon

Reader question

Which is your favourite recording or the most memorable performance you have attended with Pollini?
Please post your comment below.


/nilsjohan

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Top Picks of 2016

We wish you a Happy New Year with a list of highly recommended reading from Piano Street’s Classical Piano Blog. These are the 10 most read, discussed or shared articles of 2016.


Beauty and Hope in the 21st Century

The recently published compilation “Beauty and Hope in the 21st Century” contains contemporary solo piano pieces from many internationally renowned composers. Nikolas Sideris and Editions Musica Ferrum generously give access to complete scores of new piano pieces from the compilation that are available to download and print for Piano Street members. Read more >>


Valentina Lisitsa on Searching for the Rachmaninoff Affinity

When Valentina Lisitsa came to Stockholm to play Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto, it was a welcome fact not only for all her fans but also for anybody well aware of the enormous challenge this concerto means for any performer. In 2013 Lisitsa released her Complete Rachmaninoff Concertos (including the Paganini Rhapsody) on Decca and therefor this was a rare chance for Piano Street’s Patrick Jovell not to talk to her about YouTube but… Sergei Rachmaninoff. Read more >>


Google Builds One-Tone Piano

In their most recent “Be together – not the same” commercial for Android, Google doesn’t exactly choose the easy way of hammering home their message about the beauty of diversity. The video shows the pianist Ji playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on two different instruments, one normal piano and one that Google modified to have all 88 strings tuned to middle C. Read more >>


Italian and International Excellence in Cremona

Piano Street visited Cremona last weekend to meet with Italian and international pianists and piano brand representatives at the Piano Experience. Read more >>


Elisabeth Leonskaja In Conversation

When Johannes Brahms was celebrated in Malmö, Sweden, legendary pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja played both piano concertos at the very same concert. Piano Street talked to Ms. Leonskaja after one of the rehearsals. Read more >>


Ditching the Intermission?

British pianist Stephen Hough addressed the issue of shrinking and ageing classical music audiences. Admitting that it’s a complicated issue, and acknowledging that many ideas have been floated – better education, more creative repertoire, lower pricing etc – he went on to focus on one of the more practical aspects of the subject: the intermission. Read more >>


Explosive Piano and Percussion Rendezvous in Beijing

The rare combination of Yuja Wang and famous drummer and multi-percussionist Martin Grubinger performed together at the Concert Hall of NCPA in Beijing on August 18th. In this exceptional and particular formation, a special version of Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion was presented along with “One Study One Summary” by John Psathas. Read more >>


Piano Music to Cleanse the Soul – Pietro De Maria on Bach’s 48

At the Cremona Mondomusica Piano Experience in October, the Italian pianist Pietro De Maria performed selected preludes and fugues from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (WTC), as part of the exhibition’s Decca/Deutsche Grammophon showcase series. After the concert, Piano Street’s David Wärn had the chance to talk to De Maria about the challenges pianists face when tackling Bach’s legendary “forty-eight”. Read more >>


Schiff Horses Around in Master Class

In a piano masterclass on Schubert’s Moments Musical at The International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, Andras Schiff noted, for one of his students, that, in Schubert’s time, horse-drawn conveyances were the norm instead of just a tourist attraction. Read more >>


Trifonov Live in Carnegie Hall

Hear Trifonovs captivating recital at Carnegie Hall as of December 7th in works by Schumann, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and encores by Medtner.

The music on this program requires poetry and passion that only a master pianist can deliver. “Daniil Trifonov’s playing has it all … he leaves you struggling for superlatives,” said The Guardian. Read more >>


/nilsjohan

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The Audiovisual Study Tool (AST) Updated

In a significant improvement of Piano Street’s Audiovisual Study Tool (AST), Naxos Music Library is now fully integrated allowing users to conveniently stream recordings without logging in separately to a Naxos Music Library account.

Moreover, 623 pieces by 8 composers have been added to the AST. Sheet music connected to recordings of piano pieces by Clementi, Haydn, Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Satie, Scarlatti and Schubert are now available one mouse click away, along with the piano music by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and others.

About Naxos Music Library

As the leading online streaming service specialised on classical music, NML contains more than 126,260 CD-length recordings, equivalent to 1,931,800 tracks, with an average addition of 1,150 CDs every month.

The new integration allows Piano Street users (Gold member level) to stream the complete catalogues or selected recordings of over 800 labels such as BIS, Capriccio, Chandos, CPO, CSO Resound, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Erato, Dynamic, Finlandia, Grand Piano, Hänssler Classic, Harmonia Mundi, Hungaroton, LSO Live, Marco Polo, Naïve, Naxos, New York Philharmonic, Nimbus, Nonesuch, Ondine, Orfeo, PentaTone, RCA Records, Sony Classical, Supraphon, Teldec, Universal Classics, Vanguard Classics, Warner Classics, Warner Classics – Parlophone (former EMI Classics) and many more.

Log in for instant access (Gold members only), or read more about the AST here:
www.pianostreet.com/ast

The Audiovisual Study Tool (AST) allows you to:

  • Learn piano pieces faster
  • Improve your interpretational skills
  • Broaden your repertoire knowledge
  • Improve your sight reading
  • Effortlessly enjoy the great art of classical piano music

In the new AST version, 2200+ pieces by 28 of the most popular piano composers are included.

When logged in to your Gold membership account, look for the AST icon in the digital sheet music library to instantly open the AST for that piece:


/nilsjohan

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