Fryderyk Chopin
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1810-02-22
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/09ff1fe8-d61c-4b98-bb82-18487c74d7b7
Fryderyk Chopin

Fryderyk Chopin Biography (BBC)

Chopin’s father was a Frenchman who went to Poland, where he earned his living as a teacher and married a Polish woman. Their only son, Fryderyk (or Frédéric), was a child prodigy whose playing was in demand among the aristocracy of Warsaw. He had a Polonaise published when he was aged only 7. He played for the unpopular Grand Duke Constantin at the age of 10, and the Tsar when he was 15. (In the post Napoleonic era Poland was part of the Russian empire.) Chopin entered the Warsaw Conservatory the following year and took Józef Elsner’s three-year course in harmony, counterpoint and composition.

Chopin’s first piano teacher, Adalbert Zywny, had already introduced him to the music of Bach and the Viennese classics. As a pianist, however, Chopin is considered to have been self-taught: he doesn’t seem to have needed to practise very much. His more extended early works were decorative and brilliant, in the line of display pieces by touring virtuosos like Hummel.

After giving two big concerts in Warsaw at which he introduced his two piano concertos, Chopin left for Vienna in November 1830, staying eight months, during which he learnt of the Warsaw Uprising. He never saw Poland again. He made his way to Paris, where he soon felt at home, since there were many Polish émigrés in the French capital.

Although he made his French debut in the Salle Pleyel, Chopin disliked the publicity and pressure of large concerts, preferring small gatherings in society apartments, where the subtlety of his touch could be better appreciated. Because of his popularity, he found he could make a handsome living from teaching: not only rich young ladies, but also talented students who became professionals. His music sold well, and from 1833 it was published simultaneously in England, France and Germany.

Chopin wrote Nocturnes and shorter pieces in dance forms, such as Mazurkas, Waltzes and Polonaises, throughout his career. He found his mature style early, with the first set of Études, Op. 10 (1829–32). These are still, with their sequel, the Op. 25 set, the cornerstone of modern piano technique, as well as powerfully poetic pieces.

Chopin started a relationship with the novelist George Sand in 1838, composing some of his Préludes, Op. 28, during a winter spent with her in Majorca, where bad weather exacerbated his tuberculosis. From 1839 to 1845 he spent winters in Paris and summers at Sand’s country house at Nohant, writing the Third and Fourth Scherzos, the last two Ballades, the Fantasy in F minor and the Sonata No. 3 in B minor.

The liaison with Sand broke up in 1847, complicated by battles with her two children. The following year, revolution broke out in Paris. An escape of sorts was offered by Chopin’s rich Scottish pupil Jane Stirling, who invited him to England and Scotland, though by now he was seriously ill. He died less than a year after his return to Paris.

Profile © Adrian Jack

Fryderyk Chopin Biography (Wikipedia)

Frédéric François Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849), born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for the solo piano. He gained and has maintained renown worldwide as a leading musician of his era, whose "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation." Chopin was born in what was then the Duchy of Warsaw and grew up in Warsaw, which in 1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising.

At 21 he settled in Paris. Thereafter, during the last 18 years of his life, he gave only some 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon. He supported himself by selling his compositions and teaching piano, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his musical contemporaries, including Robert Schumann. In 1835 he obtained French citizenship. After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska, from 1837 to 1847 he maintained an often troubled relationship with the French writer George Sand. A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand in 1838–39 was one of his most productive periods of composition. In his last years, he was financially supported by his admirer Jane Stirling, who also arranged for him to visit Scotland in 1848. Through most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health. He died in Paris in 1849, at the age of 39, probably of tuberculosis.

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Fryderyk Chopin Audio & Video


Fryderyk Chopin Performances

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Fryderyk Chopin
Nocturne in Ab major op.32 no.2
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Nocturne in Ab major op.32 no.2
Fryderyk Chopin
Prelude for piano (Op.45) in C sharp minor
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Prelude for piano (Op.45) in C sharp minor
Fryderyk Chopin
Nocturne In E Flat Major No.2, Opus 9
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Nocturne In E Flat Major No.2, Opus 9
Fryderyk Chopin
3 Nocturnes for piano (Op.9), no.2 in E flat major
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3 Nocturnes for piano (Op.9), no.2 in E flat major
Fryderyk Chopin
Waltz in C sharp minor, Op.64 No.2
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Waltz in C sharp minor, Op.64 No.2
Fryderyk Chopin
Etude in G flat major, Op.25 No.9
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Etude in G flat major, Op.25 No.9
Fryderyk Chopin
Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 25 No.7
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Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 25 No.7
Fryderyk Chopin
Nocturne for piano in F sharp minor, Op.48 No.2
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Nocturne for piano in F sharp minor, Op.48 No.2
Fryderyk Chopin
Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise brillante (Op.22)
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Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise brillante (Op.22)
Fryderyk Chopin
Etude in C (Op.10 No. 1)
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Etude in C (Op.10 No. 1)
Fryderyk Chopin
Mazurka No.25 in B minor (Op.33 No.4)
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Mazurka No.25 in B minor (Op.33 No.4)
Fryderyk Chopin
Grand duo in E major on themes from Meyerbeer's 'Robert le Diable'
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Grand duo in E major on themes from Meyerbeer's 'Robert le Diable'
Fryderyk Chopin
12 Studies for piano (Op.25), no.2 in F minor;
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12 Studies for piano (Op.25), no.2 in F minor;
Fryderyk Chopin
24 Preludes Op.28 for piano; no.15 'Raindrop'
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24 Preludes Op.28 for piano; no.15 'Raindrop'
Fryderyk Chopin
Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op. 66
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Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op. 66
Fryderyk Chopin
Waltz in A flat Op.42 "Grande Valse"
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Waltz in A flat Op.42 "Grande Valse"
Fryderyk Chopin
Nocturne for piano in E major, Op.62 No.2
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Nocturne for piano in E major, Op.62 No.2
Fryderyk Chopin
Prelude No.3 in G major, Op.28
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Prelude No.3 in G major, Op.28
Fryderyk Chopin
Variations on "La ci darem la mano," Op.2 – Variation 1
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Variations on "La ci darem la mano," Op.2 – Variation 1
Fryderyk Chopin
Variations on La" ci darem la mano," Op.2 - Theme
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Variations on La" ci darem la mano," Op.2 - Theme
Fryderyk Chopin
Ballade for piano No.1 (Op.23) in G minor
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Ballade for piano No.1 (Op.23) in G minor
Fryderyk Chopin
Berceuse, Op. 57
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Berceuse, Op. 57
Fryderyk Chopin
Prelude in D minor, Op.28 No.24
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Prelude in D minor, Op.28 No.24
Playlists featuring Fryderyk Chopin
Essential Classics: Guest Choices
Essential Classics: Guest Choices
Radio 3 Breakfast: Music Box
Radio 3 Breakfast: Music Box
Clemency Burton-Hill
Clemency Burton-Hill
Stargazing LIVE: Music to Watch Stars By...
Stargazing LIVE: Music to Watch Stars By...

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