Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to Frédéric Chopin!

A Celebration of Genius Ushers in Month of March

by Anne French

Frédéric (or Fryderyk) Chopin was born March 1, 1810 in Warsaw, Poland, settled in Paris following suppression of the 1830 Polish Uprising, and died in 1849 in Paris at the age of 39. In that short span he became a composer of such renown that it would be impossible to summarize his contribution to western music in this brief description. We can note that all his works involve the piano, and he invented the instrumental form known as the instrumental ballade. From his myriad sonatas, preludes, mazurkas, nocturnes, études and more, I have chosen his Nocturne op. 9, no. 1, performed by Maurizio Pollini. It was not an easy task to highlight just one short piece, and this selection was almost arbitrary... though a favorite of mine. Happy Birthday to this giant of the music world.

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