Dessicated Chopin

Having studied the piece before, I found myself waiting for certain pitches throughout the space between each chord, and I was very able to hear the melody despite its exaggerated duration. I’m very curious about the thoughts of anyone who hasn’t heard or studied the piece before: did the pitches sound functional, or did the note changes sound random or haphazard? Did you hear a melody? What do you think of the delay given to the right hand?

2 thoughts on “Dessicated Chopin

  1. I also knew the Chopin piece quite well before hearing Beaudoin’s “transcription” of Argerich’s performance of it. I do think that knowledge of the piece helps holding the sound events together so that even though the speed is quite slow, I can still make sense of them as groups of events. In this case, memory is filling-in the gaps. Nonetheless, the slow speed really adds another layer to my experience, especially in how the left-hand accompaniment contributes to the temporal unfolding. Instead of being unified, my hearing of the piece is split between melody and accompaniment, as if those two streams were occurring in parallel: as if the left-hand accompaniment assumed an independent status, released from the dominance of the melody. In that perspective, the asynchrony between the hands is perceived less like a coordinated expressive gesture and more like an almost coincidental friction between two otherwise unrelated streams.

  2. I don’t know this piece very well; though I’ve probably heard it before I’ve never studied it or listened really carefully. My experience is very halting, and sort of frustrating also because I sort of wish the piece would speed up so I could hear the melody all together. It feels like listening to a skipping record, tape player, etc. The repeated chords in the left hand, rather than being a “background” or surface for the melody, take a much larger place because their repetition takes a lot more time, such that the chord sits around for much longer in the harmonic state of the piece. I can’t really hear the line in the right hand hardly at all, nor am I very able to synthesize the chord changes in the right hand (which make sense, harmonically, even without structure) into a larger melodic framework. As I listen I’m not sure if I’ve heard the part before because it’s been a long time, and the figures are pretty similar.

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