Chopin: Chopin At The Opera (Christiane Libor/ Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger/ Katerina Hebelkova/ Peter Feuchtwanger/ Roland Pontinen/ Vesselina Kasarova) (Arthaus Dvd: 101513)
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The opera for Chopin was the highest form of art - even though he never entertained the thought of writing for the stage himself. His contemporaries Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini meant more to him than Beethoven, Liszt or Schumann. They influenced the songful lines of his piano music, and their coloraturas are reflected in its flow, its trills and cadences. At the castle of Chopin's beloved George Sand, in Nohant in France, three singers, a pianist and an actress meet with the most knowledgeable experts on Bel Canto and Chopin of our time. For one whole week in late autumn they delve for Chopin's opera experiences: his admiration for the great Bel Canto singer Giuditta Pasta, his friendship with Bellini and his relationship with Pauline Viardot, daughter of tenor Manuel Garcia and sister of Malibran, who, as pianist and composer, worked on Chopin's Mazurkas for voice and piano. These Mazurkas, as well as pure piano compositions - are rehearsed and discussed in Nohant and, by means of mezzo-soprano Katerina Hebelkova and soprano Christiane Libor's voices, unfold their songful potential.Great Bel Canto artist Vesselina Kasarova complements Chopin's music with the sources of his inspiration by singing arias by Rossini and Bellini.