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#2: Chopin and His Piano Works

James Medeiros - MUSIC 9594

Chopins Contemporaries

Scriabin, Aleksandr Nikolayevich (1871-1915)
While he played piano and composed from a very young age, he did not begin
to study formally until age 12.
During the course of his private study, he took an interest in Romantic
composers, Chopin in particular. Many consider Chopin to be the greatest
influence in his compositional style.
His earlier works up until 1903 (piano Sonata no. 4) are very clearly
emulating Chopins style in both form and harmonic language; use of etudes,
preludes, impromptus, nocturnes, and mazurkas. About half way through the
decade, he seemed to abandon the Chopin-esque mazurkas and impromptus.

Rachmaninoff, Sergei Vasilievich (1873-1943)
Like Scriabin, also Russian.
As a young student, studied with Scriabins piano teacher, Nikolai Zverev;
therefore, exposed to many of the same influences.
As a piano virtuoso, he was known for his performances of Chopins works,
perhaps most notably for Chopins Bb minor sonata. He possessed
tremendous technique through precision, rhythmic drive and great clarity in
complex textures.
Wrote 22 variations on Chopins Prelude in C minor (1902-1903)

Liszt, Franz (1811-1886)
Chopin and Liszt knew each other personally; some say that it was Chopin
that influenced Liszts compositional lyricism.
Not only did Liszt compose several variations on Chopins themes, they also
collaborated on a collective work called Hexameron, which involved
multiple variations on a Bellini theme.
As a traveling virtuoso, Liszt played a considerable amount of Chopin,
mazurkas in particular.

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Schumann was a great admirer of Chopins work, some would say to the
point of idolization. He found Chopins works technically challenging and
wished to master them.
In his critical writings about Chopin, said Hats off , Gentlemen! A genius!
Carnaval, Op. 9 for solo piano, movement 12, Chopin, is an imitation or
homage to Chopin and his style.


Badura-Skoda, Paul, Chopin's Influence in Frederic Chopin; profiles of the man and the
musician. Edited by Alan Walker. London: Barrie Books Ltd., 1966.

Daverio, John and Eric Sams "Schumann, Robert." Grove Music
Online February 1, 2011).

Macdonald, Claudia. "Schumann's Piano Practice: Technical Mastery and Artistic
Ideal." The Journal of Musicology. Vol 19, No. 4 (Autumn 2002): 527-563.

Norris, Geoffrey "Rachmaninoff, Serge." Grove Music
Online February 1, 2011).

Powell, Jonathan "Skryabin, Aleksandr Nikolayevich." Grove Music
Online February 1, 2011).

Walker, Alan "Liszt, Franz." Grove Music
Online February 1, 2011).