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A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. The Sunday Times (U.K.) Classical Music Book of 2018 and one of The Economist's Best Books of 2018. "A magisterial portrait." --Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times Book Review A landmark biography of the Polish composer by a leading authority on Chopin and his time Based on ten years of research and a vast cache of primary sources located in archives in Warsaw, Paris, London, New York, and Washington, D.C., Alan Walker’s monumental Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times is the most comprehensive biography of the great Polish composer to appear in English in more than a century. Walker’s work is a corrective biography, intended to dispel the many myths and legends that continue to surround Chopin. Fryderyk Chopin is an intimate look into a dramatic life; of particular focus are Chopin’s childhood and youth in Poland, which are brought into line with the latest scholarly findings, and Chopin’s romantic life with George Sand, with whom he lived for nine years. Comprehensive and engaging, and written in highly readable prose, the biography wears its scholarship lightly: this is a book suited as much for the professional pianist as it is for the casual music lover. Just as he did in his definitive biography of Liszt, Walker illuminates Chopin and his music with unprecedented clarity in this magisterial biography, bringing to life one of the nineteenth century’s most confounding, beloved, and legendary artists.
Chopin in Paris introduces the most important musical and literary figures of Fryderyk Chopin's day in a glittering story of the Romantic era. During Chopin's eighteen years in Paris, lasting nearly half his short life, he shone at the center of the immensely talented artists who were defining their time -- Hugo, Balzac, Stendhal, Delacroix, Liszt, Berlioz, and, of course, George Sand, a rebel feminist writer who became Chopin's lover and protector. Tad Szulc, the author of Fidel and Pope John Paul II, approaches his subject with imagination and insight, drawing extensively on diaries, memoirs, correspondence, and the composer's own journal, portions of which appear here for the first time in English. He uses contemporary sources to chronicle Chopin's meteoric rise in his native Poland, an ascent that had brought him to play before the reigning Russian grand duke at the age of eight. He left his homeland when he was eighteen, just before Warsaw's patriotic uprising was crushed by the tsar's armies. Carrying the memories of Poland and its folk music that would later surface in his polonaises and mazurkas, Chopin traveled to Vienna. There he established his reputation in the most demanding city of Europe. But Chopin soon left for Paris, where his extraordinary creative powers would come to fruition amid the revolutions roiling much of Europe. He quickly gained fame and a circle of powerful friends and acquaintances ranging from Rothschild, the banker, to Karl Marx. Distinguished by his fastidious dress and the wracking cough that would cut short his life, Chopin spent his days composing and giving piano lessons to a select group of students. His evenings were spent at the keyboard, playing for his friends. It was at one of these Chopin gatherings that he met George Sand, nine years his senior. Through their long and often stormy relationship, Chopin enjoyed his richest creative period. As she wrote dozens of novels, he composed furiously -- both were compulsive creators. After their affair unraveled, Chopin became the protégé of Jane Stirling, a wealthy Scotswoman, who paraded him in his final year across England and Scotland to play for the aristocracy and even Queen Victoria. In 1849, at the age of thirty-nine, Chopin succumbed to the tuberculosis that had plagued him from childhood. Chopin in Paris is an illuminating biography of a tragic figure who was one of the most important composers of all time. Szulc brings to life the complex, contradictory genius whose works will live forever. It is compelling reading about an exciting epoch of European history, culture, and music -- and about one of the great love dramas of the nineteenth century.
From an early age, Frederic Chopin displayed natural musical ability. Often compared to Mozart, Chopin was invited to play for members of the aristocracy in small, private concerts. But, unlike Mozart, his parents did not take advantage of his childhood talent. Frederic Chopin left his Polish homeland behind when he was only 20 and lived most of his life in Paris, France, the cultural hub of Europe. His genius as a pianist and composer flowered there with the encouragement and support of the female novelist George Sand. He wrote more than 200 works for piano during the course of his life which was cut short by tuberculosis at the age of 39. Symbolically, his heart was taken from his body and returned to his beloved Poland, where he remains a national hero.
If you ever study music, chances are that you will end up hearing the name “Chopin” somewhere along the line. The Polish composer is one of the most famous musicians of all time, and throughout his life he penned absolutely beautiful music that is still popular today. Frederic Chopin wrote music that today is considered part of the classical genre. You may know Chopin ‘s name, but perhaps you've wondered, "What's so great about him?” This book (part of the “What’s So Great About…”) series, gives kids insight into life, times and career of Frederic Chopin.
A new look at the life, times, and music of Polish composer and piano virtuoso Fryderyk Chopin Fryderyk Chopin (1810–49), although the most beloved of piano composers, remains a contradictory figure, an artist of virtually universal appeal who preferred the company of only a few sympathetic friends and listeners. Chopin and His World reexamines Chopin and his music in light of the cultural narratives formed during his lifetime. These include the romanticism of the ailing spirit, tragically singing its death-song as life ebbs; the Polish expatriate, helpless witness to the martyrdom of his beloved homeland, exiled among friendly but uncomprehending strangers; the sorcerer-bard of dream, memory, and Gothic terror; and the pianist's pianist, shunning the appreciative crowds yet composing and improvising idealized operas, scenes, dances, and narratives in the shadow of virtuoso-idol Franz Liszt. The international Chopin scholars gathered here demonstrate the ways in which Chopin responded to and was understood to exemplify these narratives, as an artist of his own time and one who transcended it. This collection also offers recently rediscovered artistic representations of his hands (with analysis), and—for the first time in English—an extended tribute to Chopin published in Poland upon his death and contemporary Polish writings contextualizing Chopin's compositional strategies. The contributors are Jonathan D. Bellman, Leon Botstein, Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, Halina Goldberg, Jeffrey Kallberg, David Kasunic, Anatole Leikin, Eric McKee, James Parakilas, John Rink, and Sandra P. Rosenblum. Contemporary documents by Karol Kurpiński, Adam Mickiewicz, and Józef Sikorski are included.
Music in Chopin's Warsaw examines the rich musical environment of Fryderyk Chopin's youth--largely unknown to the English-speaking world--and places Chopin's early works in the context of this milieu. Halina Goldberg provides a historiographic perspective that allows a new and better understanding of Poland's cultural and musical circumstances. Chopin's Warsaw emerges as a vibrant European city that was home to an opera house, various smaller theaters, one of the earliest modern conservatories in Europe, several societies which organized concerts, musically active churches, spirited salon life, music publishers and bookstores, instrument builders, and for a short time even a weekly paper devoted to music. Warsaw was aware of and in tune with the most recent European styles and fashions in music, but it was also the cradle of a vernacular musical language that was initiated by the generation of Polish composers before Chopin and which found its full realization in his work. Significantly, this period of cultural revival in the Polish capital coincided with the duration of Chopin's stay there--from his infancy in 1810 to his final departure from his homeland in 1830. An uncanny convergence of political, economic, social, and cultural circumstances generated the dynamic musical, artistic, and intellectual environment that nurtured the developing genius. Had Chopin been born a decade earlier or a decade later, Goldberg argues, the capital--devastated by warfare and stripped of all cultural institutions--could not have provided support for his talent. The young composer would have been compelled to seek musical education abroad and thus would have been deprived of the specifically Polish experience so central to his musical style. A rigorously-researched and fascinating look at the Warsaw in which Chopin grew up, this book will appeal to students and scholars of nineteenth century music, as well as music lovers and performers.
Frédéric Chopin: A Research and Information Guide is an annotated bibliography concerning both the nature of primary sources related to the composer and the scope and significance of the secondary sources which deal with him, his compositions, and his influence as a composer. The second edition includes research published since the publication of the first edition and provides electronic resources.

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