It is always enjoyable to know of highly accomplished people from one's own country of origin. Dang Thai Son (Vietnamese: Đặng Thái Sơn) (born 1958, Hanoi, Vietnam) is a Vietnamese-Canadian classical pianist. He is known for being the first Asian pianist to win the prestigious International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in 1980. He is playing Chopin's Ballade No. 1.
All good music creates within us some kind of response. It may be an emotional reaction, a mood, a visual scene or thoughts of an actual story, even though the imagined story may not be the same for every listener. Sometimes, music is written specifically to create a story, such as in movie soundtracks. This is no truer than in Disney movies. In the following music, see if you can "relive" the movie story-line. If you haven't seen the movie, try to imagine your own movie.
Perhaps this is heard too often and is too familiar, yet it is still beautiful! Listen to the pulse of the first movement. What do you think is the time signature? Try humming along and conducting it.
What do you think of the performance in the first recording below? This is a recording is of an 8 year old several years ago. Now, listen to the recording at the bottom of the page - it is of the same pianist as an adult. How much do you think he had to practice between the 2 recordings?
Please listen to the two recordings of the same piece. What differences do you notice (other than recording quality)?
There are 3 main sections to this piece:
In slow section in the middle, listen to the melody. Do you hear more than one melody?
Listen to the performance below and think about the following questions:
1. How does this piece sound compared to what you expect classical music to sound like?
2. Listen for the way the music is divided into sections. These are different variations. Can you hear any similarities
between the different variations?
3. Is there a picture, scene or color these sounds make you think of?