ARTISTIC EXPRESSION, INDIVIDUALITY AND AUTHENTICITY IN CHOPIN PERFORMANCE
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The ability to perform Chopin fluently is an essential skill for any accomplished classical pianist. Chopin composed primarily for solo piano, and his technical and musical mastery of the instrument allowed him to write some of the most outstanding compositions in the piano repertoire. Two of these compositions, the Barcarolle Op. 60 and the Sonata in B-Flat Minor, Op. 35, are especially deserving of close study. Both of these pieces have unique technical and musical challenges as well as unusual musical forms. I have listened to various historical interpretations and each pianist makes vastly different choices in tempo, tone, dynamics, and artistic detail. It is important to understand how and why these choices are made, and what helps to create the most successful and musically inspiring performances. I will examine five performances of the Barcarolle, and four performances of the Sonata Op. 35, to study the interpretations by each pianist.