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).”
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 [he died of tuberculosis].
Frederic Chopin [March 1, 1810 – Oct. 17, 1849]
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. 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, I believe every other composition of Chopin was for solo piano [someone can correct me-if, as I am many times, wrong].
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.
So, while it is true that most of the other great masters had many more great orchestral works and chamber pieces than Chopin, not many [if any] of the other masters can come close to the so many beautiful solo piano compositions that Frederic Chopin gave the world. This is why I call Frederic Chopin, Mister Piano.
On this Tuesday, March1, 2022, as this blog celebrates Mister Piano on his birthday, please turn up the volume and enjoy some wonderful piano music by Frederic Chopin.
F. Chopin: Impromptu #4 in C# minor, “Fantasie Impromptu”:
F. Chopin: Piano Concerto #1 in E minor:
F. Chopin: Piano Concerto #2 in F minor, Movement 2, Larghetto:
F. Chopin: Nocturne, op. 9, no. 2 in E Flat Major:
F. Chopin: Waltz in C# minor, Op. 64, #2:
F. Chopin: Polonaise In A-Flat Major, Op. 53, “The Heroic”:
Happy Birthday #212, Frederic Chopin!