Fryderyk Chopin

~ Person

Legal name: Frédéric François Chopin, Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin


Frédéric François Chopin (/ˈʃoʊpæn/; French pronunciation: ​[fʁʁik ʃo.pɛ̃]; 22 February or 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 one of the leading musicians 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 after 1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed many of his works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising.

At the age of 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 a Polish girl, 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, probably of tuberculosis.

All of Chopin's compositions include the piano. Most are for solo piano, though he also wrote two piano concertos, a few chamber pieces, and some songs to Polish lyrics. His keyboard style is highly individual and often technically demanding; his own performances were noted for their nuance and sensitivity. Chopin invented the concept of instrumental ballade. His major piano works also include sonatas, mazurkas, waltzes, nocturnes, polonaises, études, impromptus, scherzos, and preludes, some published only after his death. Many contain elements of both Polish folk music and of the classical tradition of J. S. Bach, Mozart and Schubert, the music of all of whom he admired. His innovations in style, musical form, and harmony, and his association of music with nationalism, were influential throughout and after the late Romantic period.

Both in his native Poland and beyond, Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest superstars, his association (if only indirect) with political insurrection, his love life and his early death have made him, in the public consciousness, a leading symbol of the Romantic era. His works remain popular, and he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying degrees of historical accuracy.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1959 Concert in Rhythm II Ray Conniff 1
1961 Martha Argerich: Début Recital Martha Argerich 5
1969 Moog Rock Les Baxter 1
1973 "Humoresque": Favorite Violin Encores Isaac Stern 3
1974 Classics Up to Date, Volume 3 James Last 4
1976 A Romantic Collection Van Cliburn 1
1976 Classics Up to Date, Volume 4 James Last 2
1978 Classics Up to Date, Volume 5 James Last 2
1978 Rosewood and Silver Vance Koenig & Warren Weisbach 3 1
1979 Jubiläumskonzert James Last 1
1979 Semprini Plays Favourite Piano Pieces Semprini 1
1979 Träumerei Various Artists 1
1983 Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue / Addinsell: Warsaw Concerto (Philharmonia Orchestra feat. conductor Neville Marriner, piano: Misha Dichter) Gershwin, Addinsell 1
1984 Chanson pour Titine: Bluesy, Bluesy Colette Magny 2
1985 Horowitz: The Last Romantic Vladimir Horowitz 2
1986 Chopin: Piano Works (disc 2) Vlado Perlemuter 1
1986 The Art of Youra Guller 1895-1980 Youra Guller 1
1986 The Burlesque Trombone Christian Lindberg, Roland Pöntinen 1
1987 Classics in the Air, Volume 3 Paul Mauriat 1
1987 Con Amore Brahms, Kreisler, Elgar; Kyung Wha Chung 2
1987 My Favourite Kreisler Itzhak Perlman, Samuel Sanders 1
1987 Piano Masterpieces Silvia Čápová 1
1987 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 1 Balázs Szokolay 2
1988 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 2 Péter Nagy 2
1988 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 4 Péter Nagy 1
1988 Amsterdam Guitar Trio Plays Music by Debussy, Fauré, & Chopin Amsterdam Guitar Trio 1
1988 Best Loved Classics, Volume 3 Various Artists 1
1988 Favorite Piano Pieces Various Artists 1
1988 Favourite Piano Pieces Rudolf Buchbinder 1
1988 Wunschkonzert / Kleine Stücke - Grosse Meister (disc 2) Various Artists 1
1989 Nocturnes Ludwig van Beethoven 1
1989 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 7 Péter Nagy 2
1989 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 8 Péter Nagy 2
1989 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 9 Balázs Szokolay 2
1989 Moonlight Classics - Romantic Piano and Orchestra Various Artists 1
1989 Plays Chopin and Liszt Dimitris Sgouros 1
1989 Portrait of Vladimir Horowitz Владимир Самойлович Горовиц 1
1989 Romantic Classics - Violin & Piano Concerto, Volume 3 Various Artists 2
1989 The legend of Sviatoslav Richter, Vol. 1: Piano Concertos Святослав Теофилович Рихтер 1
1990 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 5 Balázs Szokolay 1
1990 The Complete Music for Solo Piano, Volume 5: Saint-Saëns, Chopin & Berlioz Transcriptions Franz Liszt; Leslie Howard 1
1990 Andante Cantabile Lynn Harrell 1
1990 Bridges Gene Bertoncini & Michael Moore 1
1990 Horowitz in London Владимир Самойлович Горовиц 1
1990 Piano Concertos (feat. Orchestra: Vienna Symphony Orchestra feat. Piano: Guiomar Novaes) Various Artists 1
1990 Pieces for Piano Solo Franz Liszt; Janina Fialkowska 1
1990 The Instruments of Classical Music, Volume 7: The Piano Various Artists 1
1991 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 6 Balázs Szokolay 2
1991 The Complete Music for Solo Piano, Volume 10: Hexaméron / Symphonie fantastique Franz Liszt; Leslie Howard 1
1991 Meditation: Vocalise / Träumerei / Wiegenlied / Après un rêve / Ave Maria Mischa Maisky & Pavel Gililov 2

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