Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mr. Piano

Hat tip: my twitter friend Connie Bach for tweeting that today is indeed the great Polish Romantic pianist and composer, Frederic Chopin's birthday. 

From the Chopin bio web site:  "Frédéric Chopin was born Fryderyk Franciszek Szopen on March 1, 1810, in the small village of Zelazowa Wola, Duchy of Warsaw (now Poland)."

Happy 207th Birthday Frederic, "Mr. Piano",  Chopin!

Chopin, a child prodigy, was a great virtuoso pianist and composer for the piano during the Romantic era of music.  Born in Poland he moved to Paris, France as an adult [at age 21] and lived their for the rest of his short adult life.  Like many of the great composers, Chopin died at a very young age, 39.

Frederic Chopin [March 1, 1810 - Oct. 17, 1849]

From the Tales piece entitled Mr. Piano: "While most of the masters were virtuoso's in more than one instrument, that is not true with Chopin.  Piano was his instrument.  For that reason Chopin did not compose many pieces that contain orchestral music or even any other instruments.  Chopin, I believe, composed only 6 pieces that contained instruments other than the piano.  He composed two beautiful piano concertos, and 4 chamber music pieces, 3 for cello and piano and a trio for violin, cello and piano.  Other than those pieces, every other composition of Chopin was for solo piano.  He was prolific in his solo piano compositions with Etudes, Nocturnes, Polonaises, Sonatas, Preludes, Impromptus, Scherzos, Ballades, Mazurkas, and Waltzes.  Chopin is known for some of the most beautiful melodies for piano ever composed.  Frederic Chopin is the quintessential romantic composer.  I remember when my daughter took classical piano lessons, Chopin's piano music was introduced at a later age because of the challenging nature with Chopin's use of very large chords [especially difficult for a child with small hands].  While it was challenging, it was some of the most pleasing to play with its ultra beautiful romanticism.


It is true that most of the other great masters had many more great orchestral works and chamber pieces than Chopin, but not many of the other masters can come close to the so many beautiful solo piano compositions that Frederic Chopin gave the world.   Frederic Chopin is indeed, mister piano."


So, today Tales celebrates Frederic Chopin's birthday with six of his well known pieces:  The Fantasie Impromptu [that includes the melody that has become known as "I'm always chasing rainbows" at the 1:19 mark]; his short exciting "Minute" Waltz [with Valentina Lisitsa in a brilliant performance at the piano]; the first of his two great piano concertos in E-minor. This beautifully melodic Piano Concerto #1 has 3 movements: 1. Allegro Maestoso, 2. Romance, Larghetto, and 3. Rondo, Vivace.  This You Tube version has Maestro Zubin Mehta leading the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with soloist, Evgeny Kissin at the piano; also, the well known third movement, Lento, of his Piano Sonata #2, known as the "funeral march." Pianist, Yundi Li, performs Chopin's soothing
Nocturne, Op. 9, #2 in E Flat Major. And finally virtuoso pianist Emanuel Ax performing the beautiful Larghetto movement from Chopin's second piano concerto.

Please turn up the volume and enjoy some beautiful music from Mister Piano, Frederic Chopin.

Frederic Chopin: Impromptu #4 in C# minor, "Fantasie Impromptu":


Frederic Chopin:  Waltz in D-Flat Major, Opus 64, #1, "Minute Waltz":



Frederic Chopin:  Piano Concerto #1 in E-minor



Frederic Chopin: Piano Sonata #2 in B-Flat minor, Movement 3, Lento, "Funeral March":



Frederic Chopin: Nocturne, op. 9, no. 2 in E Flat Major:



Frederic Chopin: Piano Concerto #2 in F minor, Movement 2, Larghetto:


4 comments:

Pamela said...

His sonata for cello and piano, Op. 65-1 is exquisite. I stumbled on it many years ago and kept thinking that it doesn't "sound" like Chopin. But it's beautiful. So full of emotion - almost as if telling a story. On my last trip to Paris, I fulfilled a lifelong dream to visit his gravesite (though his heart rests in Warsaw). His music was filling my ears through my Walkman as I place a bouquet on his grave. Yes, it WAS EMOTIONAL!! Happy birthday, Messieure Chopin.

Connie Bach said...

The poet of the piano!

Big Mike said...

:-)) Thanks Pamela so much for your information!!!

Big Mike said...

Yes, an even better way to say it Connie. Thank you!!