A star lights up in my eyes –
For each note played in Chopin’s
Gorgeous Grande Valse Brillante –
Opus 34, Number 2 –
When played at the right tempo
Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.
Notes to this poem…
Some people say a beautiful piece of music can leave them feeling starry-eyed. I can definitely relate. I just took that imagery further tonight when caught by an especially gorgeous rendition of Chopin’s Grande Valse Brillante, Opus 34, Number 2.
I felt that as I listened longer into the piece, I became more starry-eyed, and the only way that could happen was if stars appeared as notes were being played. A star a note seemed right to describe the feeling and voilà, I had my poem!
I listen to a lot of beautiful music, including solo piano music like this piece. What made this piece, or more specifically this interpretation, special, was that it matched how I would play the piece if I could play the piano. It’s not an interpretation you’d hear a lot of if you surveyed the recordings out there. The most obvious difference is that it was at a slower tempo. It’s about a minute or 10-20% longer than most other interpretations out there. The notes were also more accentuated because of it, with more time in between. Yet. for some phrases that were like echoes of notes, Evgeny Kissin didn’t space it out more. Rather, he put them closer together like two voices instead of one and an echo. It was all just magical, the interpretation and discovery of it for the first time as I had never heard a version at this tempo or with the articulation. Those things were what contributed to the feeling of stars appearing in my eyes as each note were being played.
p.s. Too bad the catalog reference couldn’t have been changed to be one syllable shorter. I could have written a tanka about this rather than just free verse, with a few words removed. Eight syllables for that reference when I needed seven. Couldn’t even get a rhyme scheme in with two endings being French nasal sounds. Oh, well. Classical forms don’t count for much these days. The content felt plenty poetic enough to me.
The O-series of poems are one stanza poems composed before I got onto writing haiku and tanka, and short poetry while in action or traveling by select means like plane or ferry. These poems are 3-9 lines long with at least one rhyming couplet, and not of the short forms just mentioned. For the sake of elegance, I just called the collection One.