The Man and His Music
Frederic Chopin (1810 - 1849) was one of the most influential musicians of the 19th Century. Discovered as a child-prodigy pianist in his native Poland, he later travelled to France, where he remained after the Polish uprising of 1830-31. There he gave few public performances, but worked as composer and piano teacher. He later became a French citizen and conducted a stormy relationship with French writer George Sand (Aurore Dudevant). He died at 39 of pulmonary tuberculosis.
Chopin innovated many traditional forms of piano music and also created new forms such as the ballade. Though technically demanding, his music is nuanced and deeply expressive. His mazurkas and polonaises became the centerpiece of Polish classical music.
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Author: James Huneker
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