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Pianists Defining Chopin

Distributed by Filmakers Library, 124 East 40th Street, New York, NY 10016; 202-808-4980
Produced by Tomasz Magierski
Directed by Tomasz Magierski
DVD, color, 90 min.
Jr. High - Adult

Reviewed by Debra Ennen, Maple River Schools, Mapleton, MN

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 7/15/2009

In ninety minutes, the viewer is given a truly unique combination of information about Chopinís music and the story of the process of competing in the thirty day Chopin contest in Warsaw, Poland. Accomplished professors of piano from esteemed places like Julliard together with four American contestants and the views of their teachers set the scene for the contest and what it means for their students. Teachers discuss practice time, ability, precision, musicality and what it may mean for their studentsí education and potential careers as well as the effects of the considerable pressure they feel. There are also segments regarding what it means to play musically and how to interpret Chopinís notational markings. The viewer also learns exactly what is required for each step of the contest, including which pieces are required to be played. This is infused with an abundance of beautiful piano music both to make a point about Chopinís music and as transitional material. The quality of video and sound are excellent, though chapter segments would be nice for easier navigation.