Frédéric Chopin… Romantic Genius…

Frédéric Chopin…


Buried… was his… “heart“…

In his much loved homeland


Beneath an epitaph

“For where your treasure is…

There will your heart be also”.

Chopinsheart” has reposed… in the Holy Cross church on… Krakowskie Przedmieście… in Warsaw

The romantic genius… was interred… at the Père Lachaise Cemeteryaccording to his wishes. Chopin’s Préludes No. 4 in E minor and No. 6 in B minor… were played at his funeral at “l’Église de la Madeleine“…  The organist was… Franz Liszt who wrote

“no one compares to him: he shines lonely, peerless in the firmament of art.”

His sister Ludwika attended her brother’s funeral… his lover George Sand was conspicuous by her absence  The Funeral March from his Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 was played at his gravesideNumerous visitors… are attracted to Chopin’s grave… which is always covered with the scent of lovely flowers

I have… for a while abandoned listening to Chopin… usually preferring the… “dramatic power and intelligence” of… MozartBrahmsBeethovenSchubert… to name but a few…


Having received… the brilliant classical pianist Maurizio Pollini‘s Deutsche Grammophon nine CD Chopin collection… I have allowed myself to become…

Bewitched… by his genius

I succumbed

Fryderyk Chopin


“Pianistic innovator”…

Virtuoso pianist

“Master of romantic music”…

Poet of the piano“…

Was Idolized by his adoring public…

Born in Żelazowa Wola in Poland on 1 March 1810

His mother Justyna was Polishhis father Nicolas was a Frenchman who immigrated to Poland.

A child prodigy pianist and composer… who moved to Paris following the Russian suppression of the Polish November 1830 Uprising… never to return to his beloved homeland he gave only thirty public performances in the remaining nineteen years of his short life… preferring the atmosphere and ambience of the moreintime“… “Salon“…

Always a sickly child and in poor health most of his adult lifehe died in Paris in 1849… at the very premature age of thirty nine.

Chopin’s works consisted mainly of “solo piano“… he also wrote twopiano concertos“… “chamber music”… songs to Polish texts…  His works were “technically demanding”… emphasizing “nuance and expressive depth“…  Chopin also invented the “instrumental ballad” and introduced major innovations to the “piano sonata“, “mazurka“, “polonaise“, “nocturne“, “étude“… among others…

The Chopin family were all musically inclinedhis father played the flute and violin… his mother… the piano… and gave lessons to the elite students of the boarding house the Chopin family maintained… Chopin became “conversant” with music at a young age.

The Polishesprit“… cultural life and languagewas of the essence in their home… thus the description of Chopin by George Sand… “more Polish than Poland“…

He was tutored at the piano by his older sister Ludwika (Louise)…  Known for his romantic and sentimental sensibilitiesChopin would weep with emotion when his beloved mother played the piano


Chopin generously praised his first professional Czech piano teacher Wojciech Żywny… who tutored him from 1816-1822…

The thenseven year oldlittle Chopin” (Szopenek)… on giving his first public concerts… was being favourably compared to Mozart and Beethoven… the formidable seven year old pianist virtuoso composed two Polonaises, in G minor and B-flat major.  At the tender age of elevenhe performed in the presence of Alexander I, Tsar of Russia


He was also remarkable for his intelligenceabilities in “observation and sketching“… his quick wit and delightful sense of humour… manifesting in a talent for mimicry as well as a literary gift

In 1826, the young Chopin studied with the Silesian composer Józef Elsner at the Warsaw Conservatory…  Elsner tutored the… “remarkable talent“… “musical genius“… by his reluctance toconstrainChopin with “narrow, academic, outdated rules“… and by wisely allowing the young artist the freedom to mature… “according to the laws of his own nature“… comparisons of the young genius with earlier composers was difficult because of the originality of Chopin’s works  When Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven were apprenticeshe was already masterful.

Artistic heaven

A Legend

Chopin was a youth threatened by tuberculosis…  His younger sister Emilia had died of the disease at age fourteen, as did his father succumb to the same unforgiving malady.

Chopin never gave… “thematic titles“… to his instrumental works… he merely identified his works by “genre” and “number“. His compositions were also greatly inspired by his own emotional and sensual experiences… and, his friendships with the foremost figures of Warsaw’s artistic and intellectual world… as Maurycy Mochnacki, Józef Bohdan Zaleski and Julian Fontana… After a brilliant début in Vienna, Chopin gave two piano concerts with favourable reviewssome however… criticised the “small tone” that he drew from the piano”… However… his success as a piano virtuoso and composeropened doors to Western Europe

Chopin bade farewellto his homelandhis friends and admirers… on November 2, 1830… wearing a ring from a beautiful young singer of the Warsaw Opera… Konstancja Gładkowska… and touchingly carrying a silver cup containing soil from his native Polandhe embarked onto a journey into the unknown…

Alone in Vienna… afflicted by nostalgia

“Disappointed in his hopes of giving concerts and publishing”, Chopin, “matured and acquired spiritual depth. From a romantic… poet… he grew into an inspired national bard who intuited the past, present and future of his country. Only now, at this distance, did he see all of Poland from the proper perspective, and understand what was great and truly beautiful in her, the tragedy and heroism of her vicissitudes.”

Chopin arrived in Paris… in September 1831never to return to Poland.

François-Joseph Fétis, the influential musicologist and critic wrote in Revue musicale… after Chopin gave a concert in 1832 that was universally accoladed and admired

“Here is a young man who, taking nothing as a model, has found, if not a complete renewal of piano music, then in any case part of what has long been sought in vain, namely, an extravagance of original ideas that are unexampled anywhere…”

Robert Schumann… earlier reviewing Chopin’s Variations on “La ci darem la mano”, Op. 2 (variations on a theme from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni)… wrote…

Hats off, gentlemen… A genius“…

Chopin participated and played frequently at Salonsspecial gatherings of the aristocracy and artistic literary elitepreferring to play at his Paris apartment… for a small “intime” group of friends

“As a pianist Chopin was unique in acquiring a reputation of the highest order on the basis of a minimum of public appearances – few more than thirty in the course of his lifetime.”

Countess Marie d’Agoult… mistress of friend and fellow composer Franz Lisztintroduced Chopin to the French author and feminist… Amandine Aurore Lucille Dupin… the Baroness Dudevant… better known by her pseudonym… “George Sand“… A chance encounter that led to eternal fame… Initially… our composer felt an aversion to herdeclaring

“What a repulsive woman Sand is… But is she really a woman?  I am inclined to doubt it.”…

HoweverSand… in a letter to Count Wojciech Grzymała… a friend to both her and Chopin… did admit to strong feelings for him. Chopin’s and Sand’s… legendary love affair… was an “open secret” by 1838

In spite of a turbulent and miserable winter together in Majorca  It was considered one of the most productive periods in Chopin’s lifeSand also pennedUn hiver à Majorque“… (A Winter in Majorca)… whereby the controversial author described the period she and her lover Chopin spent on the Island in 1838-1839.

During the years 1839-43Chopin composed the Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53, the “Heroic” one of his most famous works.  In 1845, his health deteriorated drastically… so did his relationship with Sandwhich ended in 1847

For ChopinGeorge Sand… was the love of his life… lover… mother… nurse… companion… and muse… but Chopin… was one of many famous lovers in Sand’s life After their… “rupture“… he rarely composed again… before his death two years later.

His health deteriorated markedly on October 15th 1849 Chopin complained that George Sand promised that he… “would die in her arms“… on Wednesday October 17th… a few minutes before two o’clock…


A divine light



There will never be another

Like him

With the brilliant pianist Polliniplaying Chopin’s piano concerto no.1dreamily poeticdivine music flooding my space  Emerging shapes and shadowsreflections of emotions… summer nights… dreams of moonlight… memories… profound feelings

Emotions that moved me to tears

I hadhave fallen




In love






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