Recorded on 08/15/2009, uploaded on 01/19/2010
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
While it is one of his most well-known works for the piano, the Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor was never published during Chopin’s lifetime. Composed in 1834 for Julian Fontana, a close friend of Chopin’s, the composer requested that he destroy the work after his death. To our benefit, we can be thankful that Fontana published this wonderful work of art instead of heeding Chopin’s wishes. Though the last to be published, the Fantaisie-Impromptu was actually the third of four impromptus composed by Chopin and the only one to which he prefixed the word “Fantaisie.” It is a somewhat curious title as both words connote essentially the same meaning, i.e., the semblance of an ex tempore improvisation with the only apparent distinction being the origin of the two terms—“fantasie” having been applied to improvisatory-like compositions since the 16th century, whereas the first known use of “impromptu” was in 1817. Even in terms of form, it is difficult to draw a clear distinction between the two terms.
The work begins with ominous octaves on the dominant leading to two measures of tonic harmony which establish the triplet arpeggio figure that dominates much of the accompaniment throughout the piece. Following this introduction, the right hand, in cross-rhythms with the left, begins its moto perpetuo of sixteenth notes. Eventually through the endless swirl of notes, a passionate melody emerges in an inner voice, and then moves to the upper part of the texture. At the conclusion of this first section, the persistent triplets of the accompaniment break off before a thunderous descent through the tonic triad. As with the opening, two measures of the triplet accompaniment, though this time in D-flat major, begin the Moderato cantabile middle section. Over this gently rolling accompaniment, a beautiful song-like melody unfolds. However, hardly without warning the tempestuous first section returns shattering the peaceful scene of the preceding music. At the end of the reprise, the final descent heard at the conclusion of the opening section is extended leading into the piece’s coda. Amid a storm of sixteenth notes precariously positioned between C-sharp minor and its major counterpart, the cantabile tune of the middle section suddenly sings out from the bass. Like a voice calming the storm, the music then fades away into C-sharp major and the piece concludes with a quiet and serene close. Joseph DuBose
Oppps . . . this is not Mephisto Waltz. Its actually Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu.
This is an excellent performance by Keti. I noticed only mistake throughout the entire piece. Emotion was dramatic and continuous, and the pedal placement was outstanding. I could listen to this performance over and over!!!!
strange, I don't play chopin fantasie-Impromtu
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