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|12 Études op.10|
|01. N° 1 in C major (2:12)||0.49|
|02. N° 2 in A minor (1:23)||0.49|
|03. N° 3 in E major (4:11)||0.49|
|04. N° 4 in C sharp minor (2:00)||0.49|
|05. N° 5 in G flat major (1:49)||0.49|
|06. N° 6 in E flat minor (4:19)||0.49|
|07. N° 7 in C major (1:44)||0.49|
|08. N° 8 in F major (2:30)||0.49|
|09. N° 9 in F minor (2:42)||0.49|
|10. N° 10 in A flat major (3:10)||0.49|
|11. N° 11 in E flat major (3:18)||0.49|
|12. N° 12 in C minor (2:48)||0.49|
|12 Études op.25|
|13. N° 1 in A flat major (2:39)||0.49|
|14. N° 2 in F minor (1:56)||0.49|
|15. N° 3 in F major (1:43)||0.49|
|16. N° 4 in A minor (1:30)||0.49|
|17. N° 5 in E minor (3:58)||0.49|
|18. N° 6 in G sharp minor (2:05)||0.49|
|19. N° 7 in C sharp minor (6:27)||0.49|
|20. N° 8 in D flat major (1:17)||0.49|
|21. N° 9 in G flat major (1:14)||0.49|
|22. N° 10 in B minor (4:37)||0.49|
|23. N° 11 in A minor (3:55)||0.49|
|24. N° 12 in C minor (3:10)||0.49|
Total Time 57:16
It is with his 24 études in particular that Frédéric Chopin, who was himself a formidable virtuoso, created one of the essential references of piano literature. This volume is made up of two books of twelve études each: opus 10, which Frédéric Chopin began composing in Warsaw in 1829 at the age of nineteen, and opus 25, completed in 1837 in Paris, where Frédéric Chopin had been living since 1831.
The 24 études offer a double challenge: technical and musical. Indeed, they present the major difficulties of piano playing, each étude requiring specific technical skills, such as chromatismes (op. 10, n° 2) arpeggios (op. 10, n° 11), sixths (op. 25, n° 8), thirds (op. 25, n° 6, and octaves (op. 25, n° 10).
And yet, Frédéric Chopin could not remain confined in the academic étude tradition of Ckementi, Czerny, or Cramer. While placing the most extreme demands on dexterity and agility, Frédéric Chopin used the étude form with elegance and felicity to create concert pieces which quickly took their place at the top of the piano world.
At the heart of the études is a divine inspiration which allows virtuosos to bring to life an extraordinarily emotive and musical impact, and to find behind the arduous technical difficulties a surprising richness of melodies, harmonies, ambiance, and colors, (Etüde in E major). Since the ingenuous compositions set up patterns which, despite sometimes large intervals and leaps (as in the étude op. 10, n° 1) still adapt perfectly to the fingers, the work on the études is very enjoyable for the pianists. Alfred Cortot compared them to Bach’s preludes et fugues du « Well-Tempered Clavier » because both works not only have musical aspirations but also are intended to instruct.
Some of the pieces have earned a special significance. In 1831, while in Stuttgart, Frédéric Chopin learned that the Russians had conquered Warsaw. A fervent patriot of his Polish homeland, he responded by writing his tempestuous Etüde in C minor (opus 10 n° 12), which became one of the historic symbols of a free Poland: In 1939, during the bombardments by Nazi Germany, Radio Warsaw played it day and night...
Other pieces have taken on evocative titles such as op. 10, n° 5 La négresse because the right hand plays only the black keys, and op. 25, n° 11, once known as Le vent d’hiver (winter wind).
The musical impact of the étude op. 25, n° 6 is felt less in the brilliant execution of the thrids than it is in the feeling of melancholy which the melody played by the left hand should evoke.
Upon hearing Chopin play the étude op. 25, n° 1, La harpe éolienne (the aeolian harp), Schumann remarked, « to say that each note of the composition was clearly heard would be a mistake. It was more like a stream of harmony... one of those dreams that you try to follow, only half awake. »