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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

A Gentle Stroll in the Classical Garden with Frédéric Chopin, Part 1 of 2

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Poland has given the world many exceptional and life-enriching composers, and Chopin is perhaps the most famous. Regarded as a leader and figurehead of the Romantic era, Chopin was also an astonishing virtuoso pianist. Throughout his short but stunning life, he focused on pianistic compositions and transformed the limits of the instrument with his poetic interpretations. Many of his works are beloved personal favorites for people from all walks of life, which speaks universally to hearts around the world and through the ages. Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin was born in 1810, in the small village of Żelazowa Wola, Poland. The young Chopin’s family soon moved to Warsaw, which is where Fryderyk spent his youth. Chopin’s array of solo piano works includes meditative nocturnes and preludes, ballades, highly technical etudes, fanciful impromptus, and soul-searching sonatas, in addition to dances such as polonaises, waltzes, and mazurkas. He wrote two piano concertos and a number of chamber pieces. For many of these genres, he expanded and reinvented the form with inspiration of ineffable depth. We will now listen to Chopin’s “Waltz No. 10 in B minor, Op. 69, No. 2” performed by distinguished Russian pianist, Mr. Mikhail Turpanov. The dance’s rhythm and gentle melody remind us of the great ballrooms of Vienna, with people swirling together with freedom and joy. Seemingly improvisatory in pure inspiration and flow, every piece that Chopin penned was a gleaming gem. There was also a certain dreaminess and sentimentality, often paired with a consoling melancholy in his work. He frequently used widely spaced chords in the bass, with delicate ornaments such as trills, grace notes and runs, as well as a beauteous background of harmony that framed the melody. He shared his ideals with his students by declaring, “Everything must be made to sing.” Let’s listen to another elegant piece composed by Chopin “Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 55, No. 2” performed by the talented Ms. Anna Lipiak.
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