Born: 1810, Zelazowa Wola, Poland
Died: 1849, Paris, France
“In order to be a great composer, one needs an enormous amount of knowledge, which… one does not acquire from listening only to other people’s work, but even more from listening to one’s own.”
Chopin was one of the great virtuoso pianist composers. His music, with its adventurous harmonies, formal creativity, and inspired invention for his chosen instrument, quintessentially captures the spirit of the Romantic era. His stormy love affair with the writer George Sand (she created a scathing portrait of him in her novel Lucrezia Floriani) only heightened the fascination surrounding him. His music captures the essence of salon and concert life for the pianist of the 1830s and ’40s and represents a watershed in the history of piano music.
Further listening:27 Nocturnes (1827-1846)Ivan Moravec (Nonesuch)
4 Ballades (1831-1842)Krystian Zimerman (DG)
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