Episode 86: Chopin and Couperin

Etude in A minor, Op. 25, No. 4; Etude in E minor, Op. 25, No. 5

rc-couperin-200"Chopin is ‘hand-feeling’ first. Like Couperin made for the keyboard. It’s a sensitivity of the finger, and it gives you the harmony and the polyphony, everything at the same time." - Jean-Frederic Neuberger

Yes, Chopin’s admiration of Johann Sebastian Bach is well-documented. But French pianist Jean-Frederic Neuberger looks to an even earlier Baroque forebear to explain Chopin’s unique touch to his Preludes and Etudes: Francois Couperin, author of a 1717 book called “L’Art de Toucher” – literally, “The Art of Touching” – that is, playing – the keyboard. A treatise containing both a series of preludes – and suggestions for fingerings, touch, trills. and other aspects of keyboard technique.

Neuberger explains, "Chopin music – you feel it in your finger right away. And when you read Liszt, and Prokofiev and Bartok music, you cannot feel it in your finger right away. It’s a little bit more intellectual and less sensitive. Everything goes in the same time..in your finger, in your. .mood, when you hear it, when you create it, when you rehearse.. you will hear it. It’s a quite wonderful thing.. like magic." - Frank Dominguez & Benjamin K. Roe

 

Radio Chopin Episode 86: Chopin and Couperin



Etude in A minor, Op. 25, No. 4



Etude in E minor, Op. 25, No. 5