Friday, August 27, 2010

Poetic Chopin at Beyond Baroque, 9/12/10 (Vol. 1 No. 8)

Time to hear Chopin and poetry again! The next reading from Chopin with Cherries is scheduled for Sunday, September 12, 2010, 3 p.m. at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center, 681 Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291-4805. Admission, benefiting Beyond Baroque, is $7.00 for general public and $5.00 for Beyond Baroque members. For driving directions and more information about BB, visit the website:

The following poets are scheduled to read their contributions to the anthology:
  • Marlene Hitt,
  • Georgia Jones-Davis,
  • Lois P. Jones,
  • Marie Lecrivain,
  • R. Romea Luminarias,
  • Radomir Vojtech Luza,
  • Rick Lupert,
  • Mira Mataric,
  • Ruth Nolan,
  • Marilyn Robertson,
  • Susan Rogers,
  • Kathi Stafford,
  • Taoli Ambika Talwar,
  • Kathabela Wilson, and
  • Erika Wilk.

Everyone knows that Chopin wrote almost exclusively for the piano, but our event will feature another instrument that was favored by his father, Nicolas Chopin: the flute. Moreover, we will hear actual 19th century flutes, a French one, made of crystal glass, and an English one, made of ivory. These rare instruments belong to a private flute collection of Rick Wilson.

He will use a seven-key crystal glass flute by Claude Laurent (Paris, 1834) to play the following two sets of variations:

1. Variations on a Theme of Rossini ("Non piu mesta" from La Cenerentola)
Op. B.9, by Fryderyk Chopin (1824)

2. Fantaisie on a Melody of Chopin, Op. 29 by Jules Demersseman (1833-1866); Theme (Un poco lento andante) - Variation (Piu lente)

Rick Wilson wrote the following about Jules Demersseman:

"The composer of the Fantaisie, Jules Demersseman (1833-1866), was born in The Netherlands but began study at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 12. He was considered the best flutist in Paris and actually was appointed as the flute professor at the Conservatoire briefly ca.1860 before being forced out because he would not adopt or teach the new Boehm-system flutes."

Another group of Chopin's pieces consists of 19th century transcriptions of his piano compositions for the flute:

3. The "Minute Waltz" - Waltz, Op.64 no. 1 (transposed from D-flat to D)
4. Waltz, Op.69 no. 2
5. Nocturne, Op.9 no. 2
6. Zyczenie (A Wish), song by Chopin arranged for flute solo

Rick Wilson will use an eight-key ivory flute by J. & W. Wainwright, London,
ca. 1830, for these pieces (the flute is the third from the top in the photograph, from

These rare instruments, crystal glass and ivory, will add to the unique character of our history-making event. Dr. Wilson, a noted expert on historical flutes, explains:

"In the first half of the 19th century, the vast majority of flutes were made of wood. But ivory flutes, though expensive and made in far fewer numbers, were not rare. Glass flutes were only made between 1806 and 1857, by Claude Laurent and his successor, in Paris. These were not mere novelties, but state-of-the-art flutes of their time. Laurent flutes were owned e.g. by Napoleon and his brothers, James Madison (4th president), and Franz I of Austria. Over 100 are known to survive today, but perhaps 75% are in museums and cannot be heard."

Those who will spend the afternoon of September 12 at Beyond Baroque, Venice, will be able to hear these flutes and enjoy the romantic music and contemporary poetry inspired by the timeless oeuvre of Fryderyk Chopin.


Photo from "Chopin with Cherries: Poetry and Music at the Ruskin" held on May 8, 2010, at the Ruskin Art Club in Los Angeles. Left to Right, standing: Millicent Borges Accardi, Georgia Jones-Davis, Donna Emerson, Wojciech Kocyan, Erika Wilk, Laura Mays Hoopes, Mira Mataric, Maja Trochimczyk. Seated: Kath Abela Wilson, Kathi Stafford, Marian Kaplun Shapiro, Beata Pozniak Daniels with her son, Ryland Daniels, Taoli-Ambika Talwar, and Susan Rogers. More photos from this event may be found on Picasa Web Albums, at
Chopin with Cherries II Photo Album.

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