Review Summary: One of the most expressive pieces of music ever written.
4 of 4 thought this review was well written
In 1945, after years of hiding from Nazi soldiers, Jewish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman was caught by a German officer and was told to play. Szpilman did not know that the officer would have saved him regardless of the quality of this performance-he thought he was playing for his life. The pianist did not choose to play a giant, technically challenging sonata or some piece commonly to show off, such as Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu. Instead, he played a short, simple nocturne for the simple reason that it's one of the best and most expressive pieces of music ever written.
The piece is short, being only around four to four and a half minutes long, but in this time it conveys more emotions than many skilled composers can convey in their lives. In truth, almost every possible human feeling is in this nocturne-misery, hopelessness, nostalgia, joy, tranquility, and, in some performances, anger. Therefore, one does not need impressive speed and technique to play this composition, but they must be able to play expressively and convincingly for the nocturne to sound natural.
The piece begins with slow, booming, assertive chords which are then repeated, but this time softly, as if they were an echo. Then, a mournful, melancholy, flowing melody enters and then escalates into a brief frenzy filled with despair. After this, a soft melody played by the left hand leads into a innocent and playful passage, which is then repeated, but now in the minor key. The melody is now less jovial, and instead restrained, staid, and pondering. However, this calmness and thoughtfulness is brief, as the nocturne quickly transitions into a loud, lively mazurka, which fades out until only silence is left.
The original, mournful melody plays again, but this time it quickly crescendos into an absolute cacophony filled with anger. This aggravated melody is reminiscent of the final struggle of a dying animal-it is a brief, frantic struggle that quickly dies down. After the outburst, the piece descends into soft, high pitched passages best compared to the sound of wind over a grave.
It is only in the last measure that the piece finally turns to a major key-a small sign of hope.
Honestly, this piece contains a shocking amount of emotion, especially considering it's short length. Most contemporary albums do not convey as much in their entire running times. With that said, this is essential for anyone interested in classical music.
nocturnes are pretty great. i'm not a huge fan of listening to them back-to-back (i.e. in a collection), which i'm pretty sure is normal for most people--classical is something i'm just not used to taking in except for small bits, and it can get a little dreary for me. that might just be my problem though.
op. 9 no. 3 in b major allegretto and op. 37 no. 2 in g major andantino are my favorites
Hi, Vander. Classical musical must be the most difficult genre to review, so you should be well versed on the genre and be an skillful writer; otherwise the review comes up like yours: completely bland and unimaginative.
I do not want to be harsh, but I am pretty sure you are not convinced even for a second of your own review, and it shows. You can not approach this music as you usually do with everything else. That said, it is a decent effort, and cheers for trying.
Thanks for all the feedback.
You know what, I agree completely with you. I'm not confident about this review at all. That said, its probably not my knowledge of the genre that is lacking. I've been playing the piano for almost seven years (I'll be playing Chopin's Op.9 No.2 at a competition in about a month), I listen to a lot of classical music, and I've been to over 150 classical concerts so far. It's probably my rather poor knowledge of English that weakens this review.
"It's probably my rather poor knowledge of English that weakens this review"
Really? I could not have guessed it, your writing is good (by the way, what is your first language?). But yeah, I understand it could be an issue, which is a shame. Just keep writing, I definitely would read more of your reviews.
Don't worry Vanderbob. Your english is more than good if compared to mine. I'm french and using Sputnik helps me to improve a bit. More than a year ago, when I've written my first review, a user said this to me: ''Keep on practicing and don't be afraid of the language barrier''. Man, I just wish I had more guts to write some other reviews. English is still a bitch for me sometimes. If the site was in french, I would have written a big amount of reviews since then, trust me. All this story just to say.. Keep it up dude.
My first language is Russian. I've been speaking in and reading in English for a long time now, so perhaps calling my knowledge of the language "poor" was a slight exaggeration. I speak English competently, but its frequently hard for me to express my ideas, especially through writing.
And Jethro, your English is certainly not bad. There are some slight errors in your reviews, but these aren't very important, so you should definitely review some more. Oh, and I'll definitely write some more reviews.
Much appreciated, buddy. It actually motivates me to take an unfinished review out of the shelves. It always takes to me a ridiculous amount of time and energy for a single review here on Sputnik, but dammit.
I love to write. Oh que oui.
I would appreciate your stopping by to check my Alcest's Écailles de Lune review I wrote in french. I'm aware it is flawed (I have already made some corrections), but it would be great to have some other opinion, if you have the time, that is.
I would like to write some more in that language, but yes, it also takes me a great deal of time and effort to do so.