How to Play Chopin

These first six articles are a series by Prof. Regina Smendzianka. The first article in the series deals with the problems relevant to musical interpretation in the broad meaning of the term. The second article discusses the workshop features of Chopin music interpretation, the third deals in greater detail with the composer's Etudes, the fourth is all about Chopin's Polonaises, while the fifth talks about Ballades and sixth about Waltzes.

Prof. Regina Smendzianka, Past Provost, currently Professor of piano at the Warsaw Academy of Music. Laureate of the 1949 International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland, Prof. Smendzianka is recognized in more than 30 countries around the world as a concert pianist, lecturer and piano teacher. She has served as a jury member at many national and international piano competitions (including, of course, the International Chopin Piano Competition).

A pianist's sound exists only in the performer's brain and inner ear. Before a pianist touches the keyboard of any instrument he must internally "hear" the wished-for sound, then produce it. A personal quality of sound is unique, an aural fingerprint. A good pianist will be able to make an unresponsive piano sound at its best, and will make a good piano sound superb. To do this the inner ear must be a consummate listener that continually monitors the hands to produce what the music demands. This is a somewhat different task than that of the instrumentalist who usually performs on his own instrument and knows in advance what sound it will, or can, produce.

How to Play Chopin

Part 1: An Attempt to Provide an Answer

Part 2: Technical Features in the Interpretation of Chopin's Music 

Part 3: Chopin’s Etudes

Part 4: Chopin’s Polonaises

Part 5: Chopin’s Ballades

Part 6: Chopin's Waltzes