The classical and non-classical in performance interpretations of Etudes op. 25 by Fryderyk Chopin

Oleksii Volik


The relevance of the study is determined by the stable position of F. Chopin’s works, in particular, his Etudes op. 25, on a modern concert-competitive stage.

The main objective of the study is to approbate the criteria set forth by the author of this work for evaluating the performance approach to F. Chopin’s Etudes op. 25 by the representatives of different national schools.

The methodology of the article is focused on the historical-typological and interpretative approaches to the selected issue. The first of them helps to explain the concepts of the classical and aclassical through various aspects of perception of canonicity and acanonicity parameters in music art. The second one allows us to determine, through concrete examples (audio recordings), what type of performance a certain interpretation belongs to as well as to make a comparative description of interpretations.

Results and conclusions. The use of above-mentioned approaches let us obtain the results of the study. The following main canonical guidelines in performing practice are considered: the author’s music text, which serves as a kind of reference point for performers; established standards for interpreting the canonical performance of the piece rooted in the thesaurus of social consciousness; and musical and theoretical observations that constitute the "image" of the composer’s style. This article highlights criteria for assessing the results of musical interpretation, on the basis of which the classification of specific performances is made. The material of the analysis includes K. Arrau’s, G. Сziffra’s and S. P. Francois’s interpretations of F. Chopin’s Etudes op. 25. It is concluded that the concept of K. Arrau has mostly classical tendency, maximum observance of most of Chopin’s instructions, and a rather ascetic use of pedals in some places; non-classical adaptation of the Polish composer’s style to the big concert stage and the emphasis in almost all aspects of performance prevail in G. Сziffra’s interpretation; the approach of S. P. François joins classical and aclassical tendencies by the complementary principle. The results of this study can be used in teaching materials, in programs on the history of piano art, the history of music and other scientific aids.


classical; aclassical; interpretation; performing art; Etudes op. 25; the work of F. Chopin


Barsova, I. (1975), Gustav Maler’s simphonies. Moscow: Sov. kompozitor [in Russian].

Chopin – Arrau Claudio 12 études op 25 (rec 1953), Available at: [in Russian].

François Samson plays Chopin Etudes Op.25. Available at:

Grigorev, L. (1985), Modern pianists: Biographical essays. Moscow: Sov. kompozitor [in Russian]

Kirillina, L. V. (2009), Bethoven. Life and creation. In two volumes; Vol. 2. Moscow: Moscow conservatory [in Russian].

Martinsen, K. A. (1966), Individual piano technique that based on sound-creative will. Translated from German by V. L. Mihelis; Eds. G. M. Kogan. Moscow: Muzyika [in Russian].

Mulyar, P. (2009), Extended abstract of candidate’s thesis. Odessa: State academy of music named after A. V. Nezhdanova [in Ukranian].

Polusmyak, O. M. (2007), Two directions in pianism: question about the influence of the perfomer on listener. Musicology notes. (Issue 12), (pp. 56–61). Kyiv: DAKKK [in Ukrainian].

Raaben, L. N. (1962), About objective and subjective in perfoming art. Questions about theory and aesthetics of music. (Issue 1). (pp. 20–51). Leningrad: Gos. muz. izd-vo [in Russian].

Rabinovich, D. A. (1979), The performer and the style. Problem of pianistic stylistics, (Issue 1). Moscow: Sov. kompozitor [in Russian].

Tomashevskiy M. (2011), Chopin: Man, Creativity, Resonance. (L. Akopyan and E. Yanus, Trans.). Moscow: Muzyika [in Russian].

Tsiffra Dyord (FORTEPIANO). Available at:

Zasimova, A. V. (2009), How to perfom Chopin. Digest of articles Moscow: KlassikaXXI, ser. «Master-klass» [in Russian].

GOST Style Citations

Барсова И. Симфонии Густава Малера. Москва : Сов. композитор, 1975. 496 с. (Зарубежная музыка. Мастера XX века).

Григорьев Л., Платек Я. Современные пианисты: Биографические очерки. Москва : Сов. композитор, 1985. 472 с.

Как исполнять Шопена : сб. статей / сост., вст. ст. А. В. Засимова. Москва : Классика-ХХI, 2009. 240 с. (Серия «Мастер-класс»).

Кириллина Л. В. Бетховен. Жизнь и творчество : в 2 т. Т. 2. Москва : Моск. консерватория, 2009. 596 с.

Мартинсен К. А. Индивидуальная фортепианная техника на основе звукотворческой воли / пер. с нем. В. Л. Михелис; ред., прим. и вступ. ст. Г. М. Когана. Москва : Музыка, 1966. 220 с.

Муляр П. Стиль твору і виконавської інтерпретації в аспекті взаємодії класичного та акласичного у фортепіанному мистецтві : автореф. дис. … канд. мистецтвознавства : спец. 17.00.03 «Музичне мистецтво». Одеса, 2009. 17 с.

Полусмяк О. М. Два напрями у піанізмі: до питання впливу музиканта-виконавця на слухача // Музикознавчі записки: зб. ст. Київ, 2007. Вип. 12. С. 56–61.

Раабен Л. Н. Об объективном и субъективном в исполнительском искусстве // Вопросы теории и эстетики музыки. Ленинград : Гос. муз. изд-во, 1962. Вып. 1. С. 20–51.

Рабинович Д. А. Исполнитель и стиль: избранные статьи. Москва : Сов. композитор, 1979. 320 с.

Томашевский М. Шопен: Человек, творчество, резонанс / пер. с польск. Л. Акопяна и Е. Янус. Москва : Музыка, 2011. 840 с.

Циффра Дьёрдь (фортепиано) [Электронный ресурс]. URL:

Chopin – Arrau Claudio 12 études op 25 (rec 1953) [Electronic resource]. Access mode: Title from the screen.

François Samson plays Chopin Etudes Op.25 [Electronic resource]. Access mode: Title from the screen.

ISSN 2522-4190 (print)
ISSN 2522-4204 (online)