41 Posts
On This Day
17 October: Frédéric Chopin Died
Frédéric Chopin suffered from serious and chronic health problems throughout his short life. Already in his teens, Chopin suffered from frequent respiratory problems that included coughing, headaches, and the swelling of the cervical lymph glands. Biographers and doctors have detailed
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Bringing Poland to the Keyboard: Chopin’s Mazurkas
Polish composer Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (1810-1849), better known under the French version of his name, Frédéric Chopin left Poland at age 20, just as the November 1830 Uprising was about to start, and started a new life in Paris. Although
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The Title Is a Lie: Chopin’s Minute Waltz
Chopin was inspired by the antics of a small dog chasing its tail to write his Waltz No. 6 in D-Flat Major, Op. 64, No. 1. His publisher, Breitkopf & Härtel, added a title on it to let people know
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Famous Composers as Subjects of Opera
Recently, I had a chat with a young colleague who suggested that the writing of biographies of great composers was a boring myth-making exercise practiced in a cultural galaxy far away and two centuries removed. She had a point about
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The Sound of the Night: Chopin’s Nocturne, Op. 9, No.2
At age 20, Frédéric Chopin composed one of his best-known nocturnes for the piano. Nocturnes were brief piano works that were inspired by the night. It was Chopin who brought them to their Romantic fruition as a single-movement character piece
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Frédéric Chopin and Maria Wodzińska
Funeral March for the Heart
Frédéric Chopin had turned twenty-five when he fell passionately and hopelessly in love with sixteen-year old Maria Wodzińska. He had known her as a child, and “used to chase her through the rooms at Pszenny.” She in turn greatly “annoyed
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Musicians and Artists: Chopin and Delacroix
In a sense, Chopin (1810-1849) occupied two worlds. In Poland, he was Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin of Warsaw. And, after age 21, when he had settled in Paris, he was Frédéric François Chopin. This Polish/European duality drove his life.
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Polish Sensibility: the Mazurkas of Chopin and Szymanowski
Say ‘Mazurka’ and most people will reply ‘Chopin’. Fryderyk Chopin wrote at least 69 pieces in this form: 45 published during his lifetime, 13 published posthumously, and a further 11, which are known but where the manuscripts are in private
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