Episode 101: Chopin 101

Nocturne in G minor, Op. 37, No. 1

rc-chopin101-200No, I’m not making this up: 101 people out of 101 people found the following review helpful: “These two discs are a bargain and unreservedly recommended. Ashkenazy is indeed one of the very best overall Chopin interpreters around.” The place: amazon.com. The CD: Chopin: Favorite Piano Works, featuring pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Chopin 101. Beginning Chopin. Basic Chopin. Chopin when you want to start, as they say in the Sound of Music, “at the very beginning.” So let’s Google “Chopin 101.”

Well, you just heard the first return. Here are a few more: Culturekiosque-dot-com. "101 Best Classical Music CDs.” Chopin’s on three of ‘em – featuring the unlikely trio of pianists Samson Francois, Arturo Benedetti Michalangeli, and Vlado Perlmutter.

Issue No. 101 of the Singapore-based online journal The Flying Inkpot has a tepid review of the second recording of the Chopin Piano Concertos by pianist Martha Argerich and conductor Charles Dutoit: “I had seriously hoped that lightning would strike twice. Instead, any initial excitement over this project got washed out in the rain. Still, there is much to savor.

Or perhaps your tastes run to the 101 strings playing Chopin? Find it at E-Z-Tracks-Dot-Com.

Or if you’ve got the travel bug to go to Chopin’s homeland, check out the 101 reviews of the Hotel Chopin in Krakow: “Hotel Chopin was very clean and staff very helpful. English spoken by most of the staff so no problems there. Breakfast was great with a decent choice, the bedroom was prehaps a little small but really great value.

Okay, now we’re into page 2 of the search, and it shows. The website “Olives101” has a breathless story about the makers of Chopin Vodka announcing a nationwide CEO search…that is, the perfect stuffing for the their Chopin Extra Olives Martini.

So let’s bring this back to the basics. So you want to learn to play Chopin. Try this: “Beginning Chopin.” Fifteen pieces, not 101. But “simple arrangements, carefully devised to be accessible to the early performer, and will help to build confidence and fluency through a variety of melodic and technical challenges.” Included in the collection: This Nocturne in G minor. ..”a wonderfully satisfying addition to your repertoire..” Elemental…and timeless. - Jennifer Foster & Benjamin K. Roe

Radio Chopin Episode 101: Chopin 101

Nocturne in G minor, Op. 37, No. 1