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10 Books about Chopin

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art." 

– Frédéric Chopin 

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Chopin: The Four Ballades

Chopin's four ballades are widely regarded as being amongst the most significant extended works for solo piano of the nineteenth century. In an illuminating discussion, Jim Samson combines history and analysis to provide the reader with a comprehensive picture of these popular piano works. He begins by investigating the social and musical background to Chopin's unique style. He describes the manuscript sources and evaluates the many subsequent printed editions, then considers the critical reception of the ballades and the differing interpretations of well-known nineteenth- and twentieth-century pianists. The final two chapters examine the music of all four works analytically. There is a clearly presented formal synopsis of each ballade in turn, followed by a discussion of the works collectively which explores Chopin's own conception of the title 'ballade' and how it may be understood as a musical genre.

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Liszt'S 'Chopin'

Passionate and pioneering, Liszt's biography of Chopin flaunts its author's celebrity while straddling the divide between the scholarly and the popular. In this volume Meirion Hughes combines a new translation of the first edition with an introduction that places the work in its cultural and political context. In his introduction Hughes explores the complex relationship between the two composers, the highly charged political context in which the book was written, and the discourse of cultural nationalism and progressivism that dominates content. He argues that Chopin (put in italics) was more than a tribute to an erstwhile friend, but rather a polemic of national music rooted in the politics of that 'year of revolutions', 1848-9. Hughes remains faithful to the original while putting clarity before strict adherence to what is, by general agreement, a quirky text. Controversial in its approach, Liszt's 'Chopin' challenges the long-held view of the memoir is as lightweight, inaccurate portrait of its subject, but rather as one of the most important and daring musical biographies of the nineteenth century. -- .

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The Cambridge Companion to Chopin

The Cambridge Companion to Chopin provides the enquiring music-lover with helpful insights into a musical style which recognises no contradiction between the accessible and the sophisticated, the popular and the significant. Twelve essays by leading Chopin scholars make up three parts. Part 1 discusses the sources of Chopin's style in the music of his predecessors and the social history of the period. Part 2 profiles the mature music, and Part 3 considers the afterlife of the music - its reception, its criticism and its compositional influence in the works of subsequent composers.

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Chopin, âme des salons parisiens

Plus que tout autre cadre, c'est le salon qui a constitué pour Chopin la situation idéale d'épanouissement de son art. C'est cet univers que se propose d'éclairer Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, en évoquant le monde de Chopin au travers des salons parisiens qu'il a fréquentés (ceux de l'aristocratie, de la finance, des ambassades, des écrivains ou des artistes). L'ouvrage donne accès à une documentation nouvelle, partiellement inédite (correspondances, journaux intimes, mémoires), accompagnée de réflexions et commentaires, concernant le rôle des salons parisiens dans le développement de la carrière de Chopin et dans la réception par ses contemporains de l'image du pianiste, du compositeur et de l'improvisateur. Le recueil de documents présenté au centre de l'ouvrage transmet au lecteur un reflet du monde de Chopin, de son jeu, de sa présence, de son être. La réception de l'image du musicien, défini par des termes récurrents chez tous ses contemporains cités (poète, ange, sylphe...), est ainsi illustrée et développée, et a été résumée dans la formule de Balzac : « Ce beau génie est moins un musicien qu'une âme qui se rend sensible. »

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Chopin: Pianist and Teacher

The first English paperback edition of the unique collection of documents which reveal Chopin as teacher and interpreter of his own music. From the accounts of his pupils, acquaintances and contemporaries, together with his own writing, we gain valuable insight into Chopin's pianistic and stylistic practice, his teaching methods and his aesthetic beliefs. The documents are divided into two categories: those concerning technique and style, two notions inseparable in Chopin's mind, and those concerning the interpretation of Chopin's works. Extensive appendix material presents Chopin's essay 'Sketch for a method', as well as annotated scores belonging to Chopin's pupils and acquaintances, and personal accounts of Chopin's playing as experienced by his contemporaries: composers and pianists, pupils and friends, writers and critics. The statements of Chopin's own students in diaries, letters and reminiscences, written, dictated or conveyed by word of mouth, provide the bulk of these accounts. Throughout the book detailed annotations add a valuable scholary dimension, creating an indispensable guide to the authentic performance of Chopin's piano works.

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The Age of Chopin

This multidisciplinary collection addresses Chopin's life and oeuvre in various cultural contexts of his era. Fourteen original essays by internationally-known scholars suggest new connections between his compositions and the intellectual, literary, artistic, and musical environs of Warsaw and Paris. Individual essays consider representations of Chopin in the visual arts; reception in the United States and in Poland; analytical aspects of the mazurkas and waltzes; and political, literary, and gender aspects of Chopin's music and legacy. Several senior scholars represent the fields of American, Western European, and Polish history; Slavic literature; musicology; music theory; and art history.

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The Music of Chopin and the Rule of St Benedict

The book defines and describes the relationships between Chopin's music and one of the oldest but still used monastic rules, the Rule of Saint Benedict. Its goal is to construct bridges between music and spirituality. Since these two realms both refer to human life, the chapters of the book deal with current and existential issues such as beginnings, authority, weakness, interactions, emotions and others. The Rule of Saint Benedict and Chopin's music appear to belong to the same stylistic category of human culture, characterized by nobleness, moderation and high sensibility. In this way two seemingly incompatible realities reveal their affinity to each other, and the one may explain the other. The book is situated at the boundary of musicology and theology. Its discourse is illustrated by many examples, carefully chosen from Chopin's music.

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Chopin at the Boundaries

The complex status of Chopin in our culture - he was a native Pole and adopted Frenchman, and a male composer writing in "feminine" genres - is the subject of this text. Combining social history, literary theory, musicology, and feminist thought, the author situates Chopin's music within the construct of his somewhat marginal sexual identity and explores how this should figure in our understanding of his compositional methods. Through this approach, Jeffrey Kallberg reveals a Chopin situated precisely where questions of gender open up into the question of genre.

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Joanna is a Front-End Developer at Bookwitty. You can actually find a coffee cup from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw artist lounge on her desk. She has twice won certificates of honour (and a free ... Show More

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