Who Put the Song into Chopin? For all Music Lovers…Voice and Piano
When I spent time in Ukraine, I was most impressed with the love of music that surrounds Kiev and the people of this part of Europe. I sat in on music lessons for young adults at the Kiev School of Music. Their talents were incredible. Walk the streets and one will hear music coming from windows. The opera that I attended was probably the most beautiful that I have ever seen.
Who are the great composers whose music still lives long after their deaths? One of them is Chopin. His life was not a long one. Born in 1810 and being ill for some time, he died at the age of 39. A virtuoso of the piano. He was considered the “poet of the piano” and one of the great Romantic musicians.
The video that I have included in this writing is one on the life of Chopin and a young, modern man, James Rhodes, who set out to find information on the man whose music he loves to play. He wanted to know who influenced him and who put the song into Chopin. He needed to understand the background of this great Polish composer. This took him not only to Warsaw, Poland, but to Paris.
Russian rule in Poland changed Chopin’s life forever…never able to return, but filling his life and music with his memories of and his love for Warsaw. It is hard to imagine we are talking about Chopin as a very young man, much like James Rhodes. Chopin composed at the age of seven and wrote piano concertos at 17; fell in love at 19 but love was a hard part of his life. James Rhodes also feels that finding love is often difficult for most musicians…as it was for Chopin. From 1837 to 1847 he carried on a relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin, Baroness Dudevant, who wrote under the male pseudonym George Sand. She even dressed at times like a man. This writer spent a winter in Majorca at an abandoned Carthusian monastery which she describes in one of her books. Chopin was ill with tuberculosis at this time and she left him before his death. One can still visit the monastery today.
At age 21, Chopin went to Paris which was the cultural center of the world. He reached out to this “music paradise”and especially to those who sang for operas. He supported himself financially by sales of his compositions and as a piano teacher.
This video is about finding and living your passion. Reaching our dreams often takes research as history teaches it to us. How does history effect our own lives? Can we learn lessons from those who have already lived?
In music…instruments are often connected. Chopin found his inspiration for the piano from the human voice. The composer finds his own style. In the case of Chopin, his was one of delicate touch. He played late into the evening and sometimes the people in the saloons would hear him, knowing his great talent. “Fingers seemed to be brushed by an angel’s wing” as one writer expresses.
Set aside time to see this entire documentary…at least 30 minutes. I do not expect that all readers will have an interest, but for those who do have a passion for music…this is my written gift to you. Enjoy!
VIDEO OF JAMES RHODES AND THE LIFE OF CHOPIN