The Life of Frederic Chopin

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A presentation on the life of Frederic Chopin, a famous Polish composer and pianist. Enjoy!

By Tony Ng

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The Life of Frederic Chopin

  1. 1. The Life of Chopin Tony Ng (1P320) Chetwyn Zhou (1P333) Sheyuan Yeo (1P327) Lee Wen Jie (1P315)
  2. 2. Content Page 1. Objectives 2. Biography o Basic Introduction o Early life o Life in Paris o Maria Wodzinska o George Sand o Final Years 3. Musical Nationalism 4. Music
  3. 3. Content Page 5. Romanticism 6. Minute Waltz 7. Nocturne Op.9 No.2 8. Composition 9. Famous Pieces • Etudes • Nocturnes • Preludes • Marzukas 10. References
  4. 4. Objectives • To get audience to know more about Chopin's biography • To get audience to know more about Chopin's music composition • To introduce to the audience some famous music pieces composed by Chopin • To introduce to the audience some of Chopin's composition: Etudes, Nocturnes, Preludes and Marzukas
  5. 5. Basic Introduction
  6. 6. Basic Introduction • Frédéric François Chopin • Was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist. • Is widely considered one of the greatest Romantic piano composers. • Was born in Żelazowa Wola, a village in the Duchy of Warsaw. He grew up in Warsaw and completed his music education there. • He composed many of his mature works in Warsaw before leaving Poland in 1830 at age 20.
  7. 7. Basic Introduction • Chopin settled in Paris. During the remaining 19 years of his life, he gave only some 30 public performances. • He supported himself by selling his compositions and teaching piano. • From 1837 to 1847 he was in relationship with the French writer Amandine Dupin, also known as George Sand. • For most of his life Chopin suffered from poor health. He died in Paris in 1849 at age 39.
  8. 8. Early Life
  9. 9. Nicolas Chopin • Chopin's father • Was a Frenchman from Lorraine who had migrated to Poland in 1787 at age sixteen • Hired by Weydlich for his Warsaw tobacco factory • During the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising Nicolas served in the Warsaw municipal militia, rising to the rank of lieutenant • Tutored children of the Polish aristocracy • Married Justyna Krzyżanowska, Chopin's mother in 2 June 1806 • Chopin was the couple's second child and only son
  10. 10. Early Life • Chopin was baptized on 23 April 1810, Easter Sunday • When he was seven months old, his family moved to Warsaw (October 1810) • Attended the Warsaw Lyceum from 1823 to 1826. • Received his earliest piano lessons from his older sister Ludwika. Ludwika, Chopin's older sister
  11. 11. Early Life Chopin's family members were also musically talented: • Chopin's father played the flute and violin • Chopin's mother played the piano and gave lessons to boys in the elite boarding house that the Chopins maintained. As a result Chopin became conversant with music in its various forms at an early age.
  12. 12. Early Life • First professionally tutored by Wojciech Zywny, in 1817 • Composed two Polonaise, in G minor and B-Flat minor in the same year (Seven years old) • Began giving public concerts that soon prompted comparisons with child prodigies Mozart and Beethoven • Performed in the presence of Alexander I, Tsar of Russia when Chopin was 11 • Was sometimes invited to the Belweder Palace as playmate to the son of Russian Poland's ruler, Grand Duke Constantine, and charmed the irascible duke with his piano-playing
  13. 13. Early Life As a child, Chopin displayed an intelligence that was said to absorb everything and utilize everything for its development. He early showed remarkable abilities in observation and sketching, a keen wit and sense of humor, and an uncommon talent for mimicry. A story from his school years recounts a teacher being pleasantly surprised by a superb portrait that Chopin had drawn of him in class.
  14. 14. Early Life • In the 1820s, when teenage Chopin was attending the Warsaw Lyceum and Warsaw Conservatory, he spent every vacation away from Warsaw: In Szafarnia (1824 – perhaps his first solo travel away from home – and 1825), Duszniki (1826), Pomerania (1827) and Sanniki (1828). • At the village of Szafarnia (where he was a guest of Juliusz Dziewanowski, father of schoolmate Dominik Dziewanowski) and at his other vacation venues, Chopin was exposed to folk melodies that he later transmuted into original compositions.
  15. 15. Life in Paris
  16. 16. Life in Paris • Chopin arrived in Paris in late September 1831 • On 26 February 1832 Chopin gave a concert at the Salle Pleyel that garnered universal admiration. • In Paris, Chopin found artists and other distinguished company, as well as opportunities to exercise his talents and achieve celebrity, and before long he was earning a handsome income teaching piano to affluent students from all over Europe. • The French passport was issued on 1 August 1835, after Chopin had become a French citizen.
  17. 17. Life in Paris • Chopin seldom performed publicly in Paris. • In later years he generally gave a single annual concert at the Salle Pleyel, a venue that seated three hundred. • He played more frequently at salons – social gatherings of the aristocracy and artistic and literary elite – but preferred playing at his own Paris apartment for small groups of friends. • In 1835 Chopin went to Carlsbad, where, for the last time in his life, he met with his parents.
  18. 18. Maria Wodzinka
  19. 19. Maria Wodzinska • Chopin had made the acquaintance of Maria, now sixteen, in Poland five years earlier, and fell in love with the charming, intelligent, artistically talented young woman. • The following year, in September 1836, Chopin proposed marriage to Maria. She accepted, and her mother Countess Wodzińska approved in principle, but Maria's tender age and Chopin's tenuous health forced an indefinite postponement of the wedding. The engagement remained a secret to the world and never led to the altar. Chopin finally placed the letters from Maria and her mother in a large envelope, on which he wrote the Polish words "Moja bieda"("My sorrow").
  20. 20. Maria Wodzinska • Chopin's feelings for Maria left their traces in his Waltz in A- flat major, "The Farewell Waltz", Op. 69, No. 1, written on the morning of his September departure from Dresden. • On his return to Paris, he composed the Étude in F minor, the second in the Op. 25 cycle, which he referred to as "a portrait of Maria's soul." Along with this, he sent Maria seven songs that he had set to the words of Polish Romantic poets Stefan Witwicki, Józef Zaleskiand Adam Mickiewicz.
  21. 21. George Sand
  22. 22. George Sand In 1836, at a party hosted by Countess Marie d'Agoult, mistress of friend and fellow composer Franz Liszt, Chopin met French author Amandine Aurore Lucille Dupin, the Baroness Dudevant, better known by her pseudonym, George Sand.
  23. 23. George Sand Chopin initially felt an aversion to Sand, but admitted strong feelings for the composer. In George's letter she debated whether to abandon a current affair in order to begin a relationship with Chopin and attempted to gauge the currency of his previous relationship with Maria Wodzińska, which she did not intend to interfere with should it still exist. By the summer of 1838, Chopin's and Sand's involvement was an open secret.
  24. 24. Final Years
  25. 25. Final Years • In late October 1848, at the home of Dr. Łyszczyński,] Chopin wrote out his last will and testament—"a kind of disposition to be made of my stuff in the future, if I should drop dead somewhere," he wrote to his friend Wojciech Grzymała. • Chopin made his last public appearance on a concert platform at London's Guildhall on 16 November 1848, when, in a final patriotic gesture, he played for the benefit of Polish refugees.
  26. 26. Final Years • At the end of November, Chopin returned to Paris. • He no longer had the strength to give lessons, but he was still keen to compose. He lacked money for the most essential expenses and for his physicians. He had to sell off his more valuable furnishings and belongings. • Chopin died on 17 October 1849, at the age of 39.
  27. 27. Musical Nationalism
  28. 28. Musical Nationalism • Refers to the use of musical ideas or motifs that are identified with a specific country, region, or ethnicity, such as folk tunes and melodies, rhythms, and harmonies inspired by them.
  29. 29. Musical Nationalism • Frédéric Chopin was one of the first composers to incorporate nationalistic elements into his compositions . • Joseph Machlis states, "Poland's struggle for freedom from tsarist rule aroused the national poet in Poland. … Examples of musical nationalism abound in the output of the romantic era. The folk idiom is prominent in the Mazurkas of Chopin." • Chopin's mazurkas and polonaises are particularly notable for their use of nationalistic rhythms. • Moreover, "During World War II the Nazis forbade the playing of … Chopin's Polonaises in Warsaw because of the powerful symbolism residing in these works"
  30. 30. Music
  31. 31. Music The great majority of Chopin's compositions were written for the piano as solo instrument; all of his extant works feature the piano in one way or another. Chopin, according to Arthur Hedley, "had the rare gift of a very personal melody, expressive of heart-felt emotion, and his music is penetrated by a poetic feeling that has an almost universal appeal.... Present-day evaluation places him among the immortals of music by reason of his insight into the secret places of the heart and because of his awareness of the magical new sonorities to be drawn from the piano."
  32. 32. Music Chopin's music for the piano combined a unique rhythmic sense (particularly his use of rubato), frequent use of chromaticism, and counterpoint. This mixture produces a particularly fragile sound in the melody and the harmony, which are nonetheless underpinned by solid and interesting harmonic techniques.
  33. 33. Romanticism
  34. 34. Romanticism • Also known as the Romantic era or the Romantic period • Was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850.
  35. 35. Romanticism in Poland • Was a literary, artistic and intellectual period in the evolution of Polish culture that began around 1820 • The music of Frédéric Chopin inspired the development of Polish Romantic movement in all fields of creative expression.
  36. 36. Music Appreciation!!
  37. 37. Minute Waltz The Waltz in D-flat major, Op.64, No. 1, popularly known as the Minute Waltz, is a waltz for solo piano whose music was composed by Frédéric Chopin. It is written by Chopin in 1847, and is dedicated to the Countess Delfina Potocka.
  38. 38. Minute Waltz
  39. 39. Nocturne Op.9 No.2
  40. 40. Composition & Famous Pieces
  41. 41. Composition Chopin has composed: • 59 mazurkas • 27 études (twelve in the Op. 10 cycle, twelve in the Op. 25 cycle, and three in a collection without an opus number) • 27 preludes • 21 nocturnes • 20 waltzes • 18 polonaises, including one with orchestral accompaniment and one for cello and piano accompaniment • 5 rondos • 4 ballades • 4 impromptus • 4 scherzos • 4 sets of variations, including Souvenir de Paganini • 3 écossaises • 3 piano sonatas • 2 concerti for piano and orchestra, Op. 11 and 21
  42. 42. Famous Pieces 1. Nocturnes no.8 and 20 2. Preludes no. 4 and 15 3. Etudes op. 10 no. 3 and 12 and op.25 no.11 4. Funeral March from Sonata no.2 5. Scherzo no.2 6. Ballade no.1 7. Polonaises no. 3 and 6 8. Barcarolle Op. 60, B. 158 and the list goes on ...
  43. 43. Etudes Études
  44. 44. Composition • Three sets of solo studies for the piano • Twenty-seven overall, comprising two separate collections of twelve, numbered Opus 10 and 25, and a set of three without opus number.(Trois nouvelles études) • Chopin's Études are the foundation of a new system of technical piano playing that was radical and revolutionary the first time they appeared • They are some of the most challenging and evocative pieces of all the works in concert piano repertoire
  45. 45. Impact Chopin's Études combine musical substance and technical challenge to form a complete artistic form. They are often held in high regard as the product of mastery of combining the two.
  46. 46. Etudes Nocturnes
  47. 47. Introduction The Chopin nocturnes constitute 21 short pieces for solo piano written by Frédéric Chopin between 1827 and 1846. They are generally considered among the finest short solo works for the instrument and hold an important place in contemporary concert repertoire.Although Chopin did not invent the nocturne, he popularized and expanded on it, building on the form developed by Irish composer John Field. While meters and keys vary, the nocturnes are generally set in ternary form (A-B-A), featuring a melancholy mood, and a clear melody floating over a left-hand accompaniment of arpeggios or broken chords.
  48. 48. Influence When first published, Chopin’s nocturnes were met with mixed reactions from critics, though many of them were not in his favor. However, through the process of time, many who had initially been displeased with the nocturnes found themselves retracting previous criticisms, holding the short compositions in high respect.
  49. 49. Etudes Preludes
  50. 50. Introduction Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28, are a set of short pieces for the piano, one in each of the twenty-four keys, originally published in 1839.
  51. 51. Criticism The brevity and apparent lack of formal structure in the Op. 28 preludes caused some consternation among critics at the time of their publication.No prelude is longer than 90 bars (No. 17), and the shortest, No. 9, is a mere 12 bars. Robert Schumann said: "They are sketches, beginnings of études, or, so to speak, ruins, individual eagle pinions, all disorder and wild confusions."Franz Liszt's opinion, however, was more positive: "Chopin's Preludes are compositions of an order entirely apart... they are poetic preludes, analogous to those of a great contemporary poet, who cradles the soul in golden dreams..."
  52. 52. Etudes Mazurkas
  53. 53. Introduction Over the years 1825–1849, Chopin wrote at least 69 mazurkas, based on the traditional Polish dance. o 58 have been published o 45 during Chopin's lifetime, of which 41 have opus numbers o 13 posthumously, of which 8 have posthumous opus numbers His composition of these mazurkas signaled new ideas of nationalism, and influenced and inspired other composers—mostly eastern Europeans—to support their national music.
  54. 54. References • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chopin • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89tudes_(Chopin) • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preludes_(Chopin) • http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/h/q/hql5056/finalProject/music2.html • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocturnes_(Chopin) • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_nationalism#Fr.C3.A9d.C3.A9ric_Chop in_.281810-1849.29 • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chopin%27s_mazurkas • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanticism • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanticism_in_Poland • http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=123

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