Cassa Recital

Tickets are available in advance or July 21 at the door.

Cassa Recital July 21, 2019 7:00 pm

St. Vladimir's Cultural Centre, 404 Meredith Road NE 

Register directly here or see the registration page for further information. If ordering online, leave adequate time for processing. 

2019 CASSA Recital

Dr. Rachel Goldenberg, soprano

Edwin Gnandt, piano

Pianist Edwin Gnandt, author of the soon to be published book, The Inner World of Fryderyk Chopin: Psychology, Medicine and the Majorca Period, will perform a recital with Dr. Rachel Goldenberg, soprano. This “Evening with Fryderyk Chopin” will feature Chopin's complete Songs for Voice and Piano. The second half will include solo Chopin as well as transcriptions of Chopin Songs by Franz Liszt. The concert concludes with Mazurka transcriptions for voice and piano by Pauline Viardot.


The Complete Songs for Voice and Piano, Opus 72 , Fryderyk Chopin

Pastoral Songs of Youth and Love

A Maiden’s Wish (1829)  

Of the complete Chopin songs, this selection has established itself as a favourite.  It has been transcribed for solo piano by many pianists including Franz Liszt.  The wishes of a young girl are expressed with simplicity and naïveté.  It is folk-like and the in the rhythm of a Mazurka.

Spring (1838) 

This selection along with the Maiden’s Wish were favourites of Chopin.  Chopin made six different solo transcriptions that appear as Andantino in G-, Opus 74, #2.

What She Likes (1829)

A very young and naïve girl is powerless to say where her heart will stray.

Beautiful Boy (1841) 

A young girl’s unrestrained delight over her lover’s beauty!

The Ring (1836)  

Tells the story of a ring given to a girl in vain, for she marries another.  On September 8, 1836, Chopin had asked Maria Wodzinska for her hand in marriage.  Her parent’s refusal had a lasting effect upon Chopin.  He gathered up all his correspondence letters to Maria and permanently tied them up in a bow with the inscription “My Sorrow.”  There is a strong indication that this song is perhaps in remembrance of her.

Lithuanian Song (1831) 

A folk-tale about a mother confronting her daughter about her lover.

My Darling Pet (1837) 

A love narration in the flow of a waltz.  Some suggest that it was written for the famous soprano Delfina Potocka.


Drinking Song (1836) 

Chopin was the master of spontaneous piano improvisations.  This song is said to have been improvised by him after a party with friends before permanently leaving Warsaw.  A young man, about to enter an unknown future, is carried away with drinking.

River from Foreign Lands (1831) 

A dialogue of a wanderer along a river, sadly reminiscing on the memories of war.  

The Envoy (1831)  

A mother wonders about her daughter who has married a soldier and from whom she has had no news. 

The Soldier (1831) 

This song was composed by Chopin in Vienna prior to his permanent move to Paris.  It was written as a reaction to the November Uprising of 1830 in Poland. He felt immense guilt for not being able to participate: “why can’t I at least beat the drum.” The uprising had a permanent psychological effect upon him.

Double Ending (1845)  

The sad story of two lovers, a Cossack and his girl, and their disparate, untimely deaths.

Bridegroom’s Return (1831)

A man returns from war to find his beloved on her deathbed. He clings to hope that when she hears his cries, she might rise from her coffin to live again.

Leaves are Falling (1836)  

Improvised in Paris among émigré friends, the song mourns the fate of Poland.


Get Out of My Sight (1827) 

This is Chopin’s earliest song, composed at age 17.  The song is composed in two parts: the first expressing an angry parting and the second, reflective. The dual nature of the song is reminiscent of Schubert’s “Lachen und Weinen,” which was published in the previous year. 

Magic (1830)  

The reflective song of a young man hopelessly in love and willing to go to great lengths to requite it.

Lacking What is Needed (1845)  

The lament of a wanderer far from his homeland: “all that I long for is faded and gone.”

Bowed Beneath Their Crosses (1847) 

His last song, composed two years before his death, proclaims great sorrow and inner reflection.  This is perhaps a ‘capstone’ expression of his life!


Chopin may have lived with three major psychoses: obsessive compulsion disorder, paranoid personality disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  These, coupled with his lifelong struggles with tuberculosis, may have influenced certain selections of his compositional output, including the Nocturne in B major.  Within this composition there are four bars in four different places where Chopin has written an abrupt compositional stop, giving way to a pause.  This may be indicative of his psychological state, which was perhaps hallucinatory. The piece ends with the interjection of an ominous chord and a bizarre coda that defies logic.

Nocturne in B+, Opus 32 #1 Fryderyk Chopin (1810 – 1849)

Chopin’s death in 1849 was a turning point for Liszt who up until 1850 had focused solely on a career as a touring concert pianist. In Chopin, Liszt saw a compositional genius and the legacy that a creative compositional output can bring. After 1850, Liszt transitioned toward a ‘compositional’ life. Always in total admiration of Chopin, Liszt transcribed six of Chopin’s songs for solo piano.

Drinking Song Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886)

The Bridegroom’s Return

Pauline Viardot was a leading Spanish operatic contralto who counted the famed Maria Malibran and Manuel Garcia II among her siblings.  Close friends with Fryderyk Chopin, George Sand and Franz Liszt, she spent partial summers at the estate of George Sand in Nohant, France.  It was there that she spent long hours studying all aspects of music with Chopin and transcribing some of his Mazurkas for voice and piano.  

Sixteen arr. Pauline Viardot (1821 – 1910)

Love Me 



Edwin Gnandt

Rachel Goldenberg

Dr. Rachel Goldenberg

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