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Adolfo Barabino

He appeared hardly to touch the piano; one might have thought the instrument superfluous but actually he has discovered how to give a piano a soul.

From his earliest youth, the richness of his improvisations was astonishing. Chopin's most beautiful finished compositions are merely reflections and echoes of his improvisations. It is evidently something like comparing the sketch of a painting to the finished masterpiece.
In keeping time, Chopin was inexorable and some readers will be surprised to learn that the metronome never left his piano, but what characterised his playing was "Rubato". In Chopin's "Rubato" the left hand playing the accompaniment, should maintain strict time, while the melodic line should enjoy freedom of expression with fluctuations of speed. This is quite feasible, you could be early or you could be late, the two hands are not in phase, then you magically compensate re-establishing the ensemble. He often said to his pupils: "the Left hand is the Choir Master, it shouldn't relent or bend, do with the right hand what you want and what you can…"
Rubato was the pinnacle of his art, but "when" and "where" to implement it?
It is like asking a violinist how and where to play with "Vibrato"
Maybe we should leave the answer to our soul.

© 2014 Adolfo Barabino

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