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Chopin and his 'espaces imaginaires' - The Fortress of Venus - An escapist thought in these disordered times

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The Fortress of   Venus

Michael Moran



In the summer of 1844 Chopin was at Nohant with George Sand, her children, his sister Ludwika Jędrzejewicz and his sister's husband Kalasanty. 
After they left to return to Warsaw he wrote a letter to her expressing his sense of loss at her departure:
'I feel strange this year [...] but I am not at all here at this moment, only as usual in some strange space. This must be espaces imaginaires, but I am not embarrassed by it.'

It is now exactly 50 years since I left civilization as a young man and went to live on a South Pacific Island. I took with me my C. Bechstein upright grand piano and a great deal of the music of Fryderyk Chopin. I intended, among other escapist tendencies, to practice and realize the utterly false hope of turning myself into a concert pianist. 
As much of the world is now living in strange and unaccustomed isolation during one of the greatest catastrophes mankind has experienced, I thought during this unaccustomed disloca…

Tomasz Ritter at the birthplace of Chopin at Żelazowa Wola - 210th Birthday of Fryderyk Chopin, 1st March 2020 - 'Wszystkiego najlepszego Frycek!' (Happy Birthday Frycek!)

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For a fascinating detailed examination in English of the originally disputed date of his birth  http://en.chopin.nifc.pl/chopin/life/biography/page/2
Throughout this recital he played an Erard from 1838 from the NIFC collection.. He ambitiously opened with the Ballade No.4 in F minor. His opening of the narrative was convincing and confident with much transparent polyphony and colour of sound.  He showed affecting, passionate lyricim and the overtones of the period instrument gave a warm watercolour diffuseness to the soundscape in pianissimo performance. His rubato was emotional yet I still felt a certain diminishment of poetry and sensibility. There were inspiring elements of chiaroscuro sound, colour and a fine balance of the 'registers' of period pianos was preserved.
The Etude in E minor Op.25/5 had an affecting and loving cantabile with a fine singing left hand. A sensitive balance was achieved here. The Etude in E-major Op.10/3  was a spectacularly driven interpretation of…