Monday, May 31, 2010

Frédéric Chopin Bicentennial

Frédéric Chopin--1810-1849

Portrait in 1838 by Eugène Delacroix - part of a joint portrait - Musée du Louvre, Paris

the other half of the portrait-George Sand (pseudonym), the French author and feminist Amandine Aurore Lucille Dupin

Photo by Louis-Auguste Bisson, 1849, the year of Chopin's death

Chopin's grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.  The Auguste Clésinger monument features Euterpe, muse of music.

For the bicentennial of the birth of Frédéric Chopin, the classical music critics--Anthony Tommasini, Allan Kozinn, Steve Smith and Vivien Schweitzer--of The New York Times have combed through the many recordings devoted to Chopin and selected their favorites. 
Click here for the article published May 27, 2010

I have selected 2 of my own favorites from my many hours of piano lessons and daily practice, totally encouraged by my father, whom I was reluctant to disappoint: 

Arthur Rubinstein performs Chopin Polonaise in A Flat Major. Opus 53.  Click:

Arthur Rubinstein plays Chopin, Waltz Op. 64, No. 2- Waltz in C Sharp.   Click:

During Chopin's short life he composed Ballades, Études, Concerti, Mazurkas, Nocturnes, Polonaises, Preludes, Scherzi, Sonatas, Waltzes, along with several other formats including vocal music.

Vladimir Horowitz performs Mazurka in C Sharp Minor Op. 30 No.4 and Mazurka in F Minor Op. 7 No. 3 in a recital in Moscow in 1986.  Click: 

Emil Gilels-pianist, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy-conductor
Concerto No. 1, Op. 11   Click:

The Life and Music of Frédéric Chopin
narrated with his music as background

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