Tuesday 29 July 2008

Killer Opening Songs (Chopin 'Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor Op 66' & Etude in C minor 'Revolutionary' Op 10 No 12)

Classical music has bequeathed the world some of the most beautiful melodies known to man, but it has failed in its duty to provide it with Killer Opening Songs. This, in no way, is a shortcoming of the genre but a technological misfortune. LPs, cassettes and CDs did not exist when compositions by Haydn, Bach and Mozart prowled concert halls all through Europe. That is why it is left to people like yours truly, to figure out which song would open a record by someone like Chopin, for instance. Nocturnes or polonaises? Neither in my opinion. I think that had Chopin had the opportunity to choose the introductory song to an album he would have gone for one of his études or his Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor Opus 66. And that is precisely the song that I will be uploading today on the blog. But not on its own. What do I mean? Well, my dear, just what I wrote. I will be uploading two Killer Opening Songs today. And if you think that’s cheating, yes, it is, and wait until you see the surprise I have for you two weeks hence.

You see, alongside the Fantaisie-Impromptu I had to include also the Polish musician’s étude in C minor ‘Revolutionary’ Opus 10 No 12, purely because it is a demanding piece, technically speaking, and also because of the feelings that it awakens in me. Chopin wrote this étude when Russian troops were about to crush the ‘November Uprising’ in Poland in 1831 and his patriotic feelings towards his fellow countrymen are as strong as they can be, especially taking into account that the musician was living in exile at the time. The inclusion of the Fantaisie, on the other hand, carries a sentimental motif. This was one of two pieces (Lecuona’s ‘La Comparsa’ was the other one) that my father always used to play as soon as his piano practice was over. And I grew up listening to both.

So, despite classical composers like Schubert and Tchaikovsky not having been able to release albums à la Rolling Stones, I promise to make up for that and every now and then suggest what to me would be the ultimate Killer Opening Song of a particular classical musician's oeuvre. And of course, my dear fellow blogger and reader, your opinion counts, too.

Copyright 2008


  1. Yep, these two are definitely killers! :)

    How magical to be able to listen to your father play the piano. I'm sure this gave you a love of classical music.

  2. Yes, it did indeed, willow. And maybe like most children I took that gift for granted. I played the piano myself from age five to age twelve (or thereabouts) though unlike my own children, I was never able to sight-sing or sight-read. Chopin, alongside our very home-grown talent (Cervantes, Lecuone et al) has always had a place of honour in the music I listen to. Thanks for popping by.

    Greetings from London.

  3. La Fantasia Impromptu esa uno de los temas que mi mama toca en el piano. Te dire que mi mama amenizaba las tardes y noches de apagones con su piano, y un dia cerre los ojos mientras tocaba esta pieza de Chopin, y me quede extasiada. a partir de ahi, siempre le decia 'mami, tocame mi preferida'.
    yo soy mas bien ignorante en cuanto a musica clasica pero eso no quiere decir que no me guste.
    Esto es absolutamente maravilloso.
    besos, gracias por traerme buenos recuerdos.

  4. Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto Op. 35 in D major es uno de mis preferidos... Que infancia esa de haber tenido un abuelo tocando piano en casa!
    saludos desde la tierra de los Campeones :)

  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG2WQfUauFg



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