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Thomas J. West Music

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Great Performances #4: Van Cliburn Plays Copin's Polonaise in Ab, Op 53

Here is one of many great recordings to be found online of piano master Van Cliburn performing a portion of Frederic Chopin's masterpiece Polonaise in Ab from his Opus 53. If you don't recognize this music initially, wait for the reprise of the main theme and the thuderous finale. A few technical things to note here: notice the seemingly flawless transition from both hands playing the descending bassline in octaves to only the left hand performing the same thing. Also, note that with his flawless techical execution comes an ability to truly emote and draw forth the intended emotional content of the piece. Van Cliburn, as any great pianist, accomplishes this through complete and utter mastery of every fine motor skill required to execute the music physically and still have enough processing left over to be able to be expressive. As with any accomplished pianist, the piece is memorized in the course of perfecting it. Enjoy the work of one of the greatest concert pianists of all time.

Posted by anonymous on August 30, 2008 at 2:55 PM 3115 Views

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1 Comment

Reply Liz West
9:34 PM on July 28, 2009 
My favorite pianist playing my favorite Chopin piece!
Thank you.