Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Fryderyk Chopin, often referred to as 'the poet of the piano'. Today, we catch fleeting glimpses of the composer through his letters.
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Fryderyk Chopin, often referred to as “the poet of the piano”. Today, we catch fleeting glimpses of the composer through his letters.
Chopin was a prolific if reluctant letter-writer on a wide range of subject-matter, from practicalities – instructions for negotiating with publishers, requests for items to be purchased and sent – to detailed accounts of his recent activities; his longest surviving epistle, a 6,000-word epic to his family in Warsaw, paints a picture of his time in Scotland during the summer of 1848. Around 800 of Chopin’s letters have come down to us. They’re an invaluable source of information about his life, but an exceedingly patchy one; for one reason or another, most of his correspondence seems to have been gone missing over the course of time, leaving holes in his biography that will probably never be filled.
2 Mazurkas (Mazurka in G; Mazurka in B flat)
Garrick Ohlsson, piano
Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor, Op 11 (2nd mvt, Romance—Larghetto)
Jean Marc Luisada, piano
Benjamin Berlioz, double bass
Preludes, Op 28 (No 1 in C, Agitato; No 2 in A minor, Lento; No 15 in D flat, Sostenuto; No 16 in B flat minor, Presto con fuoco)
Grigory Sokolov, piano
3 Mazurkas, Op 50 (No 1 in G; No 2 in A flat; No 3 in C sharp minor)
Janina Fialkowska, piano
2 Nocturnes, Op 55 (No 1 in F minor; No 2 in E flat)
Samson François, piano
Produced by Chris Barstow for BBC Wales