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Chopin - A great composer and Pianist

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Chopin - A great composer and Pianist

Post by Thomandy on Mon May 26, 2008 1:34 am

Chopin might have become my nr one favorite, dont know yet. But his on first place for now! Smile
And, therefore Id like to make a topic where you can read about this great man. Feel free to ad facts and theroy about him and his music if you want to!
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Re: Chopin - A great composer and Pianist

Post by Thomandy on Mon May 26, 2008 1:36 am

Fryderyk Chopin (Polish: Fryderyk [Franciszek] Chopin, sometimes Szopen; French: Frédéric [François] Chopin;March 1, 1810 -- October 17, 1849) was a Polish virtuoso pianist and piano composer of the Romantic period. He is widely regarded as the greatest Polish composer, and one of the most influential composers for piano in the 19th century.

Chopin was a genius of universal appeal. His music conquers the most diverse audiences. When the first notes of Chopin sound through the concert hall there is a happy sigh of recognition. All over the world men and women know his music. They love it. They are moved by it. Yet it is not "Romantic music" in the Byronic sense. It does not tell stories or paint pictures. It is expressive and personal, but still a pure art. Even in this abstract atomic age, where emotion is not fashionable, Chopin endures. His music is the universal language of human communication. When I play Chopin I know I speak directly to the hearts of people!

Chopin's music for the piano combined a unique rhythmic sense (particularly his use of rubato), frequent use of chromaticism, and counterpoint. This mixture produces a particularly fragile sound in the melody and the harmony, which are nonetheless underpinned by solid and interesting harmonic techniques. He took the new salon genre of the nocturne, invented by Irish composer John Field, to a deeper level of sophistication. Three of his twenty-one nocturnes were only published after his death in 1849, contrary to his wishes.He also endowed popular dance forms, such as the Polish mazurka and the waltz, Viennese Waltz, with a greater range of melody and expression. Chopin was the first to write ballades and scherzi as individual pieces. Chopin also took the example of Bach's preludes and fugues, transforming the genre in his own preludes.

Chopin was born in the village of Żelazowa Wola, in the Duchy of Warsaw, to a Polish mother and French-expatriate father and came to be regarded as a child-prodigy pianist. In November 1830, at the age of twenty, Chopin went abroad. After the suppression of the Polish 1830--31 Uprising, he became one of the many expatriates of the Polish Great Emigration. In Paris he made a comfortable living as composer and piano teacher, while giving few public performances. A great Polish patriot, in France he used the French version of his given name and, to avoid having to rely on Imperial Russian documents, eventually became a French citizen.After some ill-fated romantic involvements with Polish ladies, from 1837 to 1847 he conducted a turbulent relationship with the French writer George Sand (Aurore Dudevant). Always in frail health, at 39 in Paris he succumbed to pulmonary tuberculosis.

Chopin's extant compositions all include the piano, predominantly alone or as a solo instrument among others. Though his music is technically demanding, its style emphasizes nuance and expressive depth rather than technical virtuosity. Chopin invented new musical forms such as the ballade,and made major innovations to existing forms such as the piano sonata, waltz, nocturne, étude, impromptu, and prelude. His works are mainstays of Romanticism in 19th-century classical music. His mazurkas and polonaises remain the cornerstone of Polish national classical music.

According to Wikipedia this it the only know picture of Chopin:



Last edited by thomandy on Mon May 26, 2008 2:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chopin - A great composer and Pianist

Post by Admin Andrew on Mon May 26, 2008 2:17 am

Hey Thomas! Great topic! CHopin is my #1 favorite composer of all time no question about it. I'm part polish as well, so i feel national pride in his music. (Even though i'm only about 50% polish)

Did you also know that out of all the piano that is played world wide, chopin's pieces are the most played of any other composer? What i'm trying to say is that chopin is the most played piano composer world wide.

Also I think you should give a link/source to what you posted up there Wink

One technique people don't know is chopin sounds best with a half pedal, and usually with the soft pedal down (only on grand pianos) as this leaves one open string at all times which gives his music the rich sound produced by over tones stretched across the strings. ^_^

Chopin's also pretty amazing with his rubato and use of appogatura's to make tension and release such a flowing and wonderful experience ^_^

Also with him he's VERY hard to analyze. His music is always modulating changing, and when you think you know what's happening, you have to stare at it long enough to actually see what's going on. It's sort of like one of those 3D pictures. He's very complex, yet simple and amazing. There's also another name for it.....GENIUS

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Re: Chopin - A great composer and Pianist

Post by Thomandy on Mon May 26, 2008 2:47 am

No, I didnt know. Before i started piano I havnt really heard much about him. Knew his name for som reason, but nothing more than that. And I havnt got the theory in me to analyze him yet, but maby some day Smile

Here is a link to Wikipedia and Chopin!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chopin
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Re: Chopin - A great composer and Pianist

Post by stevenz on Thu May 14, 2009 6:16 pm

Chopin continues to blow my mind. He came up with the coolest stuff. I wonder how much more there was that was never documented? The 24 Preludes are by far my favorite pieces of music ever written. period. Actually, I think there's even acouple more that have been discovered...

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Re: Chopin - A great composer and Pianist

Post by Klavier on Thu May 14, 2009 6:51 pm

I got one major thing to add: Eternal Sonata - Playstation 3 or Xbox 360! Very Happy

A game with Frederick Francois Chopin as a playable character, where in life he is dying and experiencing a dream-like state, a world which he can't work out. Is it real, isn't it?

Its a brilliant Role Playing game, filled with Chopin's Music, in between chapters there is background info about the man, his most famous pieces, his love interests and everything. The other characters all seem to compliment him, show a part of him and are people in themselves. The names of characters and places will be familiar to people who know music theory and terminology too, with characters and places names like, "Allegretto" "Count Waltz" "Polka" "Beat" You can ever collect piano scores throughout the game and play with other musicians throughout the world Very Happy Its an awesome gameeeee~

I know so much about Chopin because of it. I know a lot about George Sand mentioned in the Wikipedia article, he said to a friend when he first saw her "Is that really a woman?" because she wore male clothing and smoked cigars and later he fell in love with her and they were together for a long long time. He fled Warsaw when revolution was coming and supposedly always regretted "Running away" and his friends who insisted he leave for his safety told him "To fight for independence with his music" I certainly think he accomplished that. Poland was where Chopin was from and a place he loved and a place that inspired him, through knowing Chopin's music, you know Poland! ... Though sadly he never got to see his beloved Poland again.

After he met George Sand (her pename -male so her books would sell better, what fickle times) his pieces started getting lighter and he composed the waltzes and the light-hearted bouncy pieces which have filled concert halls ever since! ... Although, eventually his bad health caught up with him and through George's insistance they fled to a better climate and stayed in a Monastery because no one else would take them in for fear of getting Chopin's illness, but George never feared! because of the better climate Chopin's health improved! (Yay!) but eventually winter came and then the following year followed an extremely long monsoon season and Chopin started falling Ill again. Very Happy. His health improved again eventually but for reasons still quite unknown George and Chopin ceased their relationship. Sad He continued to play for many years of course, wherever and whenever he could til a final illness befell him and took his life. D:

Personally, when I listen to Chopin's Music, I hear defiance, I hear steadfast resilience to allowing illness to cloud his work. Even when he was in Paris and expected to compose works for banquets and the high classes, you can always find a piece or two where you feel a struggle within himself, a sadness (perhaps at the loss of Sand). As you can expect Chopin was a human being like the rest of us, people had expectations, he felt pressures, he had a broken heart and he struggled with a frail body most of his life, but all throughout everything he loved one thing, Music, and he never gave up, or gave in ... and because of that hes a genius, hes more than that to me, hes the biggest inspirational character I've ever come across and I love him for all that he did. Thank God for Chopin! Piano would be less without him! <3


I was researching George Sand and I came across this supposed diary extract attached to a Youtube video about when Chopin composed and first played "Raindrops", its quite fascinating!

George Sand on Chopin and this prelude:

There is one that came to him through an evening of dismal rain—it casts the soul into a terrible dejection. Maurice and I had left him in good health one morning to go shopping in Palma for things we needed at our "encampment." The rain came in overflowing torrents. We made three leagues in six hours, only to return in the middle of a flood. We got back in absolute dark, shoeless, having been abandoned by our driver to cross unheard of perils. We hurried, knowing how our sick one would worry. Indeed he had, but now was as though congealed in a kind of quiet desperation, and, weeping, he was playing his wonderful prelude.

Seeing us come in, he got up with a cry, then said with a bewildered air and a strange tone, "Ah, I was sure that you were dead." When he recovered his spirits and saw the state we were in, he was ill, picturing the dangers we had been through, but he confessed to me that while waiting for us he had seen it all in a dream, and no longer distinguishing the dream from reality, he became calm and drowsy.

While playing the piano, persuaded that he was dead himself, he saw himself drown in a lake. Heavy drops of icy water fell in a regular rhythm on his breast, and when I made him listen to the sound of the drops of water indeed falling in rhythm on the roof, he denied having heard it. He was even angry that I should interpret this in terms of imitative sounds. He protested with all his might—and he was right to—against the childishness of such aural imitations.

His genius was filled with the mysterious sounds of nature, but transformed into sublime equivalents in musical thought, and not through slavish imitation of the actual external sounds. His composition of that night was surely filled with raindrops, resounding clearly on the tiles of the Charterhouse, but it had been transformed in his imagination and in his song into tears falling upon his heart from the sky.

- George Sand
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Re: Chopin - A great composer and Pianist

Post by Thomandy on Thu May 14, 2009 10:04 pm

Great Reading man!!! Smile
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Re: Chopin - A great composer and Pianist

Post by Klavier on Sat May 16, 2009 1:24 pm

It does inspire me when you realise that although these great composers were well.. great! That they were human too, with everyday issues, things like declining health and love lives, people having expectations and them feeling pressures. In the end, they start out exactly as we do and its their drive, dedication, sometimes luck and life experiences which make their music great and speak to every other humans soul because we can all relate! (I just noticed that I seem to have long winded sentences which often can be spoken in a tune like flowing melody with sharp sudden stops! I bet its all this piano talk which is making me type very unorthodox-edly Very Happy)
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Re: Chopin - A great composer and Pianist

Post by Klavier on Sun May 17, 2009 8:04 am

I just downloaded loads of Chopin off Itunes so now I can listen to it wherever I gooooo~ Though I still love YouTube for the different interpretations, especially Rubenstein! ~~ <3
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Re: Chopin - A great composer and Pianist

Post by ramaral on Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:49 am

He had a great soul. We can see that through his music. My favourite indeed.
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Re: Chopin - A great composer and Pianist

Post by Matthieu Stepec on Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:25 pm

@Andrew: you can't just say that Chopin needs to be played with una corda and half pedal just like that... The interpretation of his work is much more subtle than something that could be summed up in one single sentence!

Anyway, I own a great book about Chopin called "Chopin vu par ses élèves" (=Chopin as seen by his pupils) which gives a lot of first hand sources about the composer, often destroying clichés that many people tend to believe about him... (Chopin was not a sick little strengthless thing)
It also tells about his rhythmical subtlety (especially in Mazurkas, Nocturnes), his own suggested interpretation of many works, his fingerings, etc...
I don't know if it is available in English, though Wink
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