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Frederic Chopin (Frédéric François Chopin, approximate Sopan or ASD: fʁedeʁik fʁɑswa ʃɔpɛ, in Polish Fryderyk Franciszek Szopen)

Born in Poland in 1810. Information on the date of his birth is not accurate: according to some was born on February 22 or March 1, and there is information that he was born a year earlier. He stated however that the date of birth on March 1. His father Nicolas Chopin was French who lived in Poland since 1787. Had acquired even the Polish citizenship and had taken part in the rebellion of 1794. In Poland gave courses French language. The composer's mother, Justyna Krzyźanowska, were Polish.


Frederick showed little of the talent he had in music. Attending classes from 6 years old when he was 7 years printed his first composition, a Polonaise in G minor. At the age of 8 first appeared publicly as a pianist. His reputation quickly became big in Warsaw considered him second Mozart. The teacher of composition at the Conservatory of Warsaw, Jozef Elsner, spoke for exceptional skills and musical genius. In 1829 he gave his first major concert in Vienna, and in the meantime he had already composed some major projects such as the concerto in F minor (known as 2nd concerto), the first piano sonata (in C minor), and some of the studies for piano. In 1830 he left Poland to continue his performances in Vienna. After leaving the country erupted in revolution against the Tsar which crashed and composer was never able to return to his homeland.

From 1831 he lived in Paris, then a center of intellectual and artistic life. There lived many great composers such as Gioachino Rossini, Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz. A few months after his arrival gave his first recital and gradually his fame spread. Soon gained many students (mostly girls) and courses offered him financial comfort and security. Despite his great fame but avoided appearances in large audiences. (She claimed that she was very frightened the public.) So, at 18 years of residence in Paris, only gave 19 concerts. In 1837 he had fallen in love with one piano student, the Maria Wodzińska, and had become engaged, but the family of the girl broke off the engagement, probably because of the health problems of the composer.

In Paris, Chopin was related to the cycle also famed composer and pianist Franz Liszt. At home he met the writer George Sand (pseudonym of Baroness Aurore Dudevant), 6 years his. The first acquaintance with the bold and rather eccentric writer (smoked and wore men's clothes) had a negative impression and commented critical behavior and appearance. Since 1838, however, the relationship began, which lasted nine years.

In 1838-9 the couple lived for a few months in Mallorca, the deserted monastery Valldemossa. The George Sand went there because the climate would help her son Maurice to overcome some health problems and composer followed believing that there would be improved and his health (he suffered from tuberculosis). The climate of the area but did not help him, and in addition had to cope with the negative attitude of the locals towards unmarried couple. So soon left Spain and returned to France where he lived intermittently in Paris and Nohant, the residence of George Sand.

Their relationship began to gradually cooled correctly and the couple divorced in 1847. The reason of separation, according to the letter of Sandis Chopin which was discovered in 1950, is that the composer took the daughter of George Sand, Solange, in sharp dispute she had with her mother because she had secretly betrothed.

Last year

Since that year his health deteriorated. In 1848 he lived for a time in England and Scotland for concerts at the invitation of his pupil Jane Stirling. When he returned to Paris his health was much worse and its financial means are limited.

He died in Paris in 1849, after years of tuberculosis. It may, however his death was due to heart disease. He was buried in Paris and the Père Lachaise Cemetery, but on his own desire his heart was moved to Poland, where it is kept until today.

The work of Chopin intended exclusively for piano, with the exception of some music concertante works for piano and orchestra, a trio for piano, violin and cello, a few works for piano and cello and some songs for voice and piano. Several of his works are very demanding masterly as the ballads and the scherzo, but what matters is not the skill, but the melodic character. Has even been noted that the structure of musical phrases such as if they were to be interpreted by the singer. But alongside the inexhaustible melodic inventiveness, Chopin had a highly developed harmonic imagination, an element of art that often escapes the attention of music lovers.

Chopin utilized the traditional dances of his homeland, the Polish and Mazurkas, but his own works not intended for dancing, being very quickly and skillfully. The same applies to the Waltz: it is pleasant parts lounge, for fun.

Some of the 24 Preludes were composed during his stay in Majorca. The most famous of these is the 15th, the prelude "drop of rain." It is said that he composed one night with intense storms, which waited anxiously Sand and her son, who had been slow to arrive due to the weather. However these kinds of stories about Chopin's works should probably be placed in the field of fiction.

Notable are the 24 studies for piano: apart from technical requirements, is remarkable musical pieces that can be interpreted in concerts. This was not common before, for example in studies of Karl Kramer Chernobyl and the interest is purely pedagogical. From the era of Chopin but after many composers had claims similar projects, such as Franz Liszt, Claude Debussy and Alexander Scriabin.

Sonatas by Chopin not follow the tradition of Viennese Classicism. Critics of the time even noticing that they probably were not familiar with the form of the species, but the truth is that they probably would not want himself to observe strict form. Moreover prefer pieces in free forms such as ballads and scherzo. It was indeed the first Scherzo presented as a standalone piece.

The Concertos for piano and orchestra works in which dominates the piano and the orchestra has a secondary role (presents the introduction, the connecting parts and closing). Wherever you find the piano's role is purely accompanying orchestra.


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