For the National Poetry Month (April), we will have some Chopin poetry in Pasadena. Three years after the publication of Chopin with Cherries, one of the poets included in this anthology, Rey Romea Luminarias, invited me to present some of my poetry at his National Poetry Month celebration at the Pasadena Public Library, Wright Auditorium, April 29 at 6 p.m.
The event, entitled "Co-Inspirators: Poets, Artists, Music-Makers" will present interactions between various arts. The Pasadena Library is located at 285 East Walnut Street Pasadena, CA 91101, tel. (626) 744-4066. Rey invited me to read three poems: "Memory Mirrors" (inspired by Susan Dobay's digital artwork, "Reminiscence" from her "Impression of China"), and "A Study with Cherries," and "How to Make a Mazurka" from the Chopin with Cherries anthology. For the first poem, Rick Wilson will accompany me on a Chinese flute from his exquisite and extensive flute collection. For the Chopin's pieces, celebrating his music as heard in my childhood, at my grandparents house in a Polish village, I will bring two Chopin music boxes... It is going to be a beautiful, beautiful event.
To play some Chopin, I will bring two of my music boxes tthat play Chopin - I have a mazurka, in a box shaped like a brown, wooden grand piano, and a nocturne in a rectangular jewelry box with a peacock inlay... How very, very sweet...
Here's a Chopin's Nocturne in B-flat Major played on a music box (the whole piece!):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h0LcKI4dec . The main problem is that it has no rubato, nor any kind of rhythmic flexibility. It is truly mechanical music! Very fast and very square.
That is a strange way to "kill" the charm of Chopin's music. Here's another music box, held in hand, with a fragment of Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDLTmnPB2yk. That one is quite lovely.
Reynald Romea Luminarias wrote a beautiful poem for my anthology Chopin with Cherries. I was very happy to include it in the book.
There Is No Other Love
After Chopin’s Etude in E Major, Opus 10, No. 3
R. Romea Luminarias
November sunlight peers
Between leaf-veins. Oval windows.
Rose petals on velvet. Autumn vines our arms
Glazed with ripeness, steeped in unrestrained embrace.
Tongues stilled; drought-pained mouths this one now-love alone
Can heal. Our Love steers
Unknown universes’ oceans of shadows,
Maps red coral galaxies. Anemone-meteors swarm
Around us, stir hunger’s hull knifing waves, probing abysses.
There is no other love obtains the soul, breaks open steel and stone;
There is no other Love destroys this present, ancient drought, this fall
Stripped bare of songs, deprived of harvest; there is no other Love sees
Through storms of swirling fires; only this love, O this our Love alone:
No other Love ordains, builds up the spirit, breathes life into dry bones.
Here's the Etude that inspired this poem:
- Maurizio Pollini, Chopin's Etude in E Major, Op. 10, No. 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS7KfOyMEIY (rather fast and dramatic)
- Vladimir Askenazy, Chopin's Etude in E Major, Op. 10, No. 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ol-B7Hlxbl0 (slower, sweet)
- Sviatoslav Richter, Chopin's Etude in E Major, Op. 10, No. 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxtANqqXxlA (slow with lovely rubato)
http://en.chopin.nifc.pl/chopin/composition/detail/name/etude_in_E_major_op._10/id/162 (this is very slow and on a historical fortepiano, so it sounds out of tune).
As Prof. Mieczyslaw Tomaszewski writes: "The third Etude (Lento ma non troppo), in E major, is a nostalgic song, broken off by a moment of extreme agitation. It is one of Chopin’s most beautiful melodies, which he also regarded as such. Almost a nocturne, though at the same time a song, it proceeds in accordance with the rhythm of deep breathing, rising and falling. A moment of agitation and passionate explosion fills the middle section of this Etude, as the unavoidable consequence of the previous song. The reprise of the music from the opening is like a mere recollection. The quieting that concludes it heralds the next Etude, with which it forms a coherent whole."
On May 21, there will be another celebration, that of American Paderewski Piano Competition .Held at the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles, the event will preasent 27 pianists; with 30 hours of Chopin, Paderewski, Bach, Liszt, Ravel, Debussy, Beethoven, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, Szymanowski, Haydn, Bartok, Brahms, Mozart, Clementi, and many more.
There will be Piano Masterclass with a world-renowned pianists; Piano Recital of the Winner of the APPC 2010 -- http://
One of the "fringe events" will be an exhibition of photographs about music. Andrew Kolodziey, the founder and president of the Art Group KRAK, invited me to show some of my music-themed photographs and selected two of my photographs - a portrait of Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki and the keyboard of Chopin's Playel Piano in Paris. The piano dates back to 1845 and belongs to the permanent collection of the Polish Library in Paris. The photo was taken during the 2011 Maria Szymanowska Colloquim, when the piano was taken downstairs and played! The recitals of French songs by women composers and of Szymanowska and Chopin were unforgettable.
I'm very happy to share this photo here; the Szymanowska concerts and presentations were truly wonderful! But I'm also quite thrilled to be invited to a second "invitation-only" art exhibition of my brief career as a photographer.
Photos of roses from my garden and Chopin's piano from Paris
(C) 2011-2013 by Maja Trochimczyk