Chopin – Les nocturnes


The second recording I have of the Chopin nocturnes. I have written about them earlier, I have written about Rubinstein already, so what to do? Rubinstein just the same, the man is full of nice anecdotes.

When playing for the 1945 inauguration of the United Nations Rubinstein showed his love for his native country of Poland. He complained to the public about the absence of a Polish delegation and the Polish flag. He stopped the concert and ask the audience to stand. Then he played the Polish national anthem loudly and slowly. Poland was at that time controlled by the Soviets.

He always claimed he didn’t believe in practicing too much. Young pianists, he said, should practice no more than three hours a day.

but I must say, in my defense, that it is not so good, in a musical way, to overpractice. When you do, the music seems to come out of your pocket. If you play with a feeling of ‘Oh, I know this’, you play without that little drop of fresh blood that is necessary—and the audience feels it.

Yet at the same time, in 1934 he practiced for up to nine hours a day to rehearse his whole repertoire. He wanted his children to look up to him. He said it made him discover new meanings in the music.

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