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Chopin w Wikipedii
Chopin w Wikipedii


Cytat[edytuj | edytuj kod]

If the mighty autocrat of the north knew what a dangerous enemy threatened him in Chopin's works in the simple tunes of his mazurkas, he would forbid this music. Chopin's works are canons buried in flowers.. Robert Schumann

Frédéric Chopin[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Frédéric François Chopin, Polish Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (1 March 1810[1]–17 October 1849) was a Polish composer, virtuoso pianist and music teacher. He was one of the great masters of Romantic music.

Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola, a village in the Duchy of Warsaw, to a French expatriate father and Polish mother. A renowned child-prodigy pianist and composer, he grew up in Warsaw and completed his musical education there. Following the Russian suppression of the Polish November 1830 Uprising, he settled in Paris, France, as part of the Polish Great Emigration. He supported himself as a composer and piano teacher, giving few public performances. From 1837 to 1847 he carried on a relationship with the French woman writer George Sand. For most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health; he died in Paris at the age of 39.

All of Chopin's works involve the piano. They are technically demanding but emphasize nuance and expressive depth. Chopin invented the musical form known as the instrumental ballade, and made major innovations to the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, polonaise, étude, impromptu and prélude.

Childhood[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Chopin's father was Nicolas Chopin, a Frenchman from Lorraine who had emigrated to Poland in 1787 at the age of sixteen and had served in Poland's National Guard during the Kościuszko Uprising. In France he had been baptised Nicolas but later, living in Poland, he used the Polish form of his given name, Mikołaj. He subsequently tutored children of the aristocracy, including the Skarbeks, whose poorer relative, Justyna Krzyżanowska, he married.[2] The wedding took place at the 16th-century parish church in Brochów on 2 June 1806. (Justyna's brother would become the father of American Union General Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski.)[3][4]

Frédéric Chopin was the couple's second child and only son. He was born in Żelazowa Wola, 46 kilometres west of Warsaw, in what was then the Duchy of Warsaw. The parish record of the baptism (discovered in 1892) gives 22 February 1810 as his date of birth,[5] but 1 March was the date on which the composer and his close family celebrated his birthday;[6] and, according to Chopin himself in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Polish Literary Society in Paris[7] on 16 January 1833, he was "born 1 March 1810 at the village of Żelazowa Wola in the Province of Mazovia."[8] He was baptised on Easter Sunday, 23 April 1810, in the same church in Brochów where his parents had married. The parish register cites his given names in the Latin form Fridericus Franciscus;[5] in Polish he was called Fryderyk Franciszek.

In October 1810, when Chopin was seven months old, the family moved to Warsaw, as his father had accepted an offer from the celebrated lexicographer Samuel Linde to teach French at the Warsaw Lyceum. The school was housed in the Saxon Palace, and the Chopin family lived on the palace grounds. In 1817 Grand Duke Constantine requisitioned the Saxon Palace for military purposes and the Lyceum was moved to the Kazimierz Palace,[9] which also hosted the newly founded Warsaw University. The family lived in a spacious second-floor flat in an adjacent building. Chopin attended the Warsaw Lyceum from 1823 to 1826.

The Polish spirit, culture and language pervaded the Chopins' home, and as a result the son would never, even in Paris, perfectly master the French language.[10][11] Louis Énault, a biographer, borrowed George Sand's phrase to describe Chopin as being "more Polish than Poland".[12]

Others in Chopin's family were musically inclined. Chopin's father played the flute and violin; his mother played the piano and gave lessons to boys in the elite boarding house that the Chopins maintained. As a result Fryderyk became conversant with music in its various forms at an early age.[10]

Józef Sikorski, a musician and Chopin's contemporary, recalls in his Memoirs about Chopin (Wspomnienie Chopina) that, as a child, Chopin wept with emotion when his mother played the piano. By six, he was already trying to reproduce what he heard or make up new melodies.[13] He received his earliest piano lessons not from his mother but from his older sister Ludwika (in English, "Louise").[10]

Chopin's first professional piano tutor, from 1816 to 1822, was a Czech, Wojciech Żywny.[14] Though the youngster's skills soon surpassed his teacher's, Chopin later spoke highly of Żywny. Seven-year-old "little Chopin" (Szopenek) began giving public concerts that soon prompted comparisons with Mozart as a child and with Beethoven.[10]

That same year, seven-year-old Chopin composed two Polonaises, in G minor and B-flat major. The first was published in the engraving workshop of Father Izydor Józef Cybulski (composer, engraver, director of an organists' school, and one of the few music publishers in Poland); the second survives as a manuscript prepared by Mikołaj Chopin. These small works were said to rival not only the popular polonaises of leading Warsaw composers, but even the famous examples by Michał Kleofas Ogiński. A substantial development of melodic and harmonic invention and of piano technique was shown in Chopin's next known Polonaise, in A-flat major, which the young artist offered in 1821 as a name-day gift to Żywny.[10]

About that time, at the age of eleven, Chopin performed in the presence of Alexander I, Tsar of Russia, who was in Warsaw to open the Sejm (Polish parliament).[13]

As a child, Chopin displayed an intelligence that was said to absorb everything and make use of everything for its development. Early on he showed remarkable abilities in observation and sketching, a keen wit and sense of humour, and an uncommon talent for mimicry.[10] A story from his school years recounts a teacher being pleasantly surprised by a superb portrait that Chopin had drawn of him in class.

In those years, Chopin was sometimes invited to the Belweder Palace as playmate to the son of Poland's ruler of Russian nationality, Grand Duke Constantine, and charmed the irascible duke with his piano-playing.[10]

Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz attested to "little Chopin's" popularity in his dramatic eclogue Nasze Verkehry ("Our Intercourse", 1818), in which the eight-year-old featured as a motif in the dialogues.[10]

In the 1820s, when Chopin was attending the Warsaw Lyceum and Warsaw Conservatory, he spent every holiday away from Warsaw: in Szafarnia (1824 – perhaps his first solo travel away from home – and 1825), Duszniki (1826), Pomerania (1827) and Sanniki (1828).[15]

At the village of Szafarnia (where he was a guest of Juliusz Dziewanowski, father of schoolmate Dominik Dziewanowski)[16] and at his other holiday venues, Chopin was exposed to folk melodies that he later transmuted into original compositions. His missives home from Szafarnia (the famous self-styled "Szafarnia Courier" letters), written in very modern and lively Polish, amused his family with their spoofing of the Warsaw newspapers and demonstrated the youngster's literary gift.

An anecdote describes how Chopin helped quieten rowdy children by first improvising a story and then lulling them to sleep with a berceuse (lullaby) – after which he woke everyone with an ear-piercing chord.

Education[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Chopin, tutored at home until he was thirteen, enrolled in the Warsaw Lyceum in 1823, but continued studying the piano under Żywny's direction. In 1825, in a performance of works by Ignaz Moscheles, he entranced the audience with his free improvisation, and was acclaimed the "best pianist in Warsaw."[10]

In the autumn of 1826, Chopin began a three-year course of studies with the Silesian composer Józef Elsner at the Warsaw Conservatory, which was affiliated with the University of Warsaw (hence Chopin is counted among that university's alumni). Chopin's first contact with Elsner may have been as early as 1822; it is certain that Elsner was giving him informal guidance by 1823, and in 1826 Chopin officially began studying music theory, figured bass and composition with Elsner.

In year-end evaluations, Elsner noted Chopin's "remarkable talent" and "musical genius." As had Żywny, Elsner observed, rather than influenced or directed, the development of Chopin's blossoming talent. Elsner's teaching style was based on his reluctance to "constrain" Chopin with "narrow, academic, outdated" rules, and on his determination to allow the young artist to mature "according to the laws of his own nature."[17]

In 1827 the family moved to lodgings just across the street from Warsaw University, in the Krasiński Palace at 5 Krakowskie Przedmieście (now the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts). There, the parents continued running their elite boarding house for male students. Young Chopin would live there until he left Warsaw in 1830. (In 1837–1839, artist and poet Cyprian Norwid would live there while studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts; later he would pen the famous poem "Chopin's Piano", about Russian troops' 1863 defenestration of the instrument.[18]) The Chopin family's parlor (salonik Chopinów) is now maintained as a museum open to visitors; it was there that Chopin first played many of his early compositions.

In 1829, Polish portraitist Ambroży Mieroszewski painted a set of five portraits of members of the Chopin family: Chopin's parents, his elder sister Ludwika, younger sister Izabela, and, in his earliest known portrait, the composer himself. (The originals perished in World War II; only black-and-white photographs remain.) In 1913, historian Édouard Ganche would write that this painting of the precocious composer showed "a youth threatened by tuberculosis. His skin is very white, he has a prominent Adam's apple and sunken cheeks, even his ears show a form characteristic of consumptives." Chopin's younger sister Emilia had already died of tuberculosis in 1827 at the age of fourteen, and their father would succumb to the same disease in 1844.[17]

According to musicologist and Chopin biographer Zdzisław Jachimecki, comparison of the juvenile Chopin with any earlier composer is difficult because of the originality of the works that Chopin was already composing in the first half of his life. At a comparable age, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven had still been apprentices, while Chopin was perceived by peers and audiences already to be a master who was pointing the path to the coming age.[17]

Chopin himself never gave thematic titles to his instrumental works, but identified them simply by genre and number.[19] His compositions were, however, often inspired by emotional and sensual experiences in his own life. One of his first such inspirations was a beautiful young singing student at the Warsaw Conservatory, later a singer at the Warsaw Opera, Konstancja Gładkowska. In letters to his friend Tytus Woyciechowski, Chopin indicated which of his works, and even which of their passages, were influenced by his erotic transports. His soul as an artist was also enriched by friendships with such leading lights of Warsaw's artistic and intellectual world as Maurycy Mochnacki, Józef Bohdan Zaleski and Julian Fontana.[20]

Youth[edytuj | edytuj kod]

In September 1828, eighteen-year-old Chopin struck out for the wider world in the company of a family friend, the zoologist Feliks Jarocki, who planned to attend a scientific convention in Berlin. There Chopin enjoyed several unfamiliar operas directed by Gaspare Spontini, attended several concerts, and saw Carl Friedrich Zelter, Felix Mendelssohn and other celebrities. On his return trip he was a guest of Prince Antoni Radziwiłł, governor of the Grand Duchy of Posen – himself an accomplished composer and aspiring cellist. For the Prince and his piano-playing daughter Wanda, Chopin composed his Polonaise for Cello and Piano, in C major, Op. 3.[21]

Back in Warsaw, in 1829, Chopin heard Niccolo Paganini play and met the German pianist and composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel. In August the same year, three weeks after completing his studies at the Warsaw Conservatory, Chopin made a brilliant début in Vienna. He gave two piano concerts and received many favorable reviews – in addition to some that criticized the "small tone" that he drew from the piano.[13]

This was followed by a concert, in December 1829, at the Warsaw Merchants' Club, where Chopin premiered his Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21; and by his first performance, on 17 March 1830 at the National Theatre in Warsaw, of his Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11. In that period he also began writing his first Études (1829–32).[13]

Chopin's successes as a performer and composer opened the professional door for him in Western Europe, and on 2 November 1830, seen off by friends and admirers, with a ring from Konstancja Gładkowska on his finger and carrying with him a silver cup containing soil from his native land, Chopin set out, writes Jachimecki, "into the wide world, with no very clearly defined aim, forever."[21] He headed for Austria, intending to go on to Italy.

Later that month, in Warsaw, the November Uprising broke out, and Chopin's friend and travelling companion, the future industrialist and art patron Tytus Woyciechowski, returned to Poland to enlist. Chopin, now alone in Vienna, wrote Jachimecki, "afflicted by nostalgia, disappointed in his hopes of giving concerts and publishing, matured and acquired spiritual depth. From a romantic... poet... he grew into an inspired national bard who intuited the past, present and future of his country. Only now, at this distance, did he see all of Poland from the proper perspective, and understand what was great and truly beautiful in her, the tragedy and heroism of her vicissitudes."[21]

When in September 1831 Chopin learned, while travelling from Vienna to Paris, that the uprising had been crushed, he poured "profanities and blasphemies, resembling the final verses of Konrad's[22] "improvisation," in his native Polish language into the pages of a little journal that he kept secret to the end of his life.[23] He expressed fear for the safety of his family and other civilians, especially the womenfolk at risk of outrages by the Russian troops, mourned the death of "kindly [General] Sowiński" (to whose wife he had dedicated a composition), damned the French for not having come to the aid of the Poles and expressed dismay that God had permitted the Russians to crush the Polish insurgents – "or are you [God] yourself a Russian?"[24] These outcries of a tormented heart found musical expression in his Scherzo in B minor, Op. 20, and his "Revolutionary Étude", in C minor, Op. 10, No. 12.[21]

Paris[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Chopin arrived in Paris in late September 1831, still uncertain whether he would settle there for good.[21] In fact, he would never return to Poland, becoming one of many expatriates of the Polish Great Emigration.[6] With a view to easing his entry into the Parisian musical community, he began taking lessons from the prominent pianist Friedrich Kalkbrenner. In February 1832 Chopin gave a concert that garnered universal admiration. The influential musicologist and critic François-Joseph Fétis wrote in Revue musicale: "Here is a young man who, taking nothing as a model, has found, if not a complete renewal of piano music, then in any case part of what has long been sought in vain, namely, an extravagance of original ideas that are unexampled anywhere..."[25] Only three months earlier, in December 1831, Robert Schumann, reviewing Chopin's Variations on "La ci darem la mano", Op. 2 (variations on a theme from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni), had written: "Hats off, gentlemen! A genius."[26]

After his Paris concert début in February 1832, Chopin realized that his light-handed keyboard technique was not optimal for large concert spaces. However, later that year he was introduced to the wealthy Rothschild banking family, whose patronage opened doors for him to other private salons.[13]

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.[27] He formed friendships with Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Vincenzo Bellini, Ferdinand Hiller, Felix Mendelssohn, Heinrich Heine, Eugene Delacroix, Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski, Alfred de Vigny, and Charles-Valentin Alkan.[27]

Though an ardent Polish patriot,[28][29] in France he used the French versions of his given names and travelled on a French passport, possibly to avoid having to rely on Imperial Russian documents.[30]

In Paris, Chopin seldom performed publicly. 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. His precarious health prevented him from touring extensively as a travelling virtuoso, and beyond playing once in Rouen, he seldom ventured out of the capital.[27] His high income from teaching and composing freed him from the strains of concert-giving, to which he had an innate repugnance.[13] Arthur Hedley has observed that "As a pianist Chopin was unique in acquiring a reputation of the highest order on the basis of a minimum of public appearances – few more than thirty in the course of his lifetime."[31]

In 1835 Chopin went to Carlsbad, where, for the last time in his life, he met with his parents. En route through Saxony on his way back to Paris, he met old friends from Warsaw, the Wodzińskis. He had made the acquaintance of their daughter Maria, then sixteen, in Poland five years earlier, and fell in love with the charming, artistically talented, intelligent young woman.[32] The following year, in September 1836, upon returning to Dresden after having spent holidays with the Wodzińskis at Marienbad, 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 (in the winter of 1835–1836 he had been so ill that word circulated in Warsaw that he had died) forced an indefinite postponement of the wedding. The engagement remained a secret to the world and never led to the altar.[33] 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").[27]

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 words by the Polish Romantic poets Stefan Witwicki, Józef Zaleski and Adam Mickiewicz.[34]

After Chopin's matrimonial plans ended, Polish countess Delfina Potocka appeared episodically in Chopin's life as muse and romantic interest. He dedicated to her his Waltz in D flat major, Op. 64, No. 1 – the famous "Minute Waltz".[27]

During his years in Paris, Chopin participated in a small number of public concerts. The list of those participating provides an idea of the richness of Parisian artistic life during this period. Examples include a concert on 23 March 1833, in which Chopin, Liszt and Hiller performed J. S. Bach's concerto for three harpsichords; and on 3 March 1838, a concert in which Chopin, his pupil Adolphe Gutman, Charles-Valentin Alkan and Alkan's teacher Pierre Joseph Zimmerman performed Alkan's arrangement, for eight hands, of Beethoven's 7th symphony.

Chopin was also involved in the composition of Liszt's Hexaméron; Chopin's was the sixth (and last) variation on Vincenzo Bellini's theme.

George Sand[edytuj | edytuj kod]

In 1836, at a party hosted by Countess Marie d'Agoult, mistress of friend and fellow composer Franz Liszt, Chopin met French author and feminist Amandine Aurore Lucille Dupin, the Baroness Dudevant, better known by her pseudonym George Sand. Sand's earlier romantic involvements had included Jules Sandeau (their literary collaboration had spawned the pseudonym George Sand), Prosper Mérimée, Alfred de Musset, Louis-Chrystosome Michel, the writer Charles Didier, Pierre-François Bocage and Félicien Mallefille.[35]

Chopin initially felt an aversion to Sand.[27] He declared to Ferdinand Hiller: "What a repulsive woman Sand is! But is she really a woman? I am inclined to doubt it."[36] Sand, however, in a candid 32-page letter to Count Wojciech Grzymała, a friend to both her and Chopin, admitted strong feelings for the composer. In her 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.[37] By the summer of 1838, Chopin's and Sand's involvement was an open secret.[27]

A notable episode in their time together was a turbulent and miserable, yet musically productive, winter on Majorca (8 November 1838 to 13 February 1839), where they, together with Sand's two children, had gone in the hope of improving Chopin's deteriorating health. However, after discovering the couple were not wed, the deeply religious people of Majorca became inhospitable, making accommodation difficult to find; this compelled the foursome to take lodgings in a scenic yet stark and cold former Carthusian monastery in Valldemossa. Chopin also had problems having his Pleyel piano sent to him. It arrived from Paris on 20 December but was held up by customs. (Chopin wrote on 28 December: "My piano has been stuck at customs for 8 days... They demand such a huge sum of money to release it that I can't believe it.") In the meantime Chopin had a rickety rented piano on which he practised and may have composed some pieces.

On 3 December, he complained about his bad health and the incompetence of the doctors in Majorca: "I have been sick as a dog during these past two weeks. Three doctors have visited me. The first said I was going to die; the second said I was breathing my last; and the third said I was already dead."

On 4 January 1839, George Sand agreed to pay 300 francs (half the amount demanded) to have the Pleyel piano released from customs. It was finally delivered on 5 January. From then on Chopin was able to use the long-awaited instrument for almost five weeks, time enough to complete some works: some Preludes, Op. 28; a revision of the Ballade No. 2, Op. 38; two Polonaises, Op. 40; the Scherzo No. 3, Op. 39; the Mazurka in E minor from Op. 41; and he probably revisited his Sonata No. 2, Op. 35. The winter in Majorca is still considered one of the most productive periods in Chopin's life.

During that winter, the bad weather had such a serious effect on Chopin's health and chronic lung disease that, in order to save his life, the entire party were compelled to leave the island. The beloved French piano became an obstacle to a hasty escape. Nevertheless, George Sand managed to sell it to a French couple (the Canuts), whose heirs are the custodians of Chopin's legacy on Majorca and of the Chopin cell-room museum in Valldemossa.

The party of four went first to Barcelona, then to Marseille, where they stayed for a few months to recover. In May 1839, they headed to Sand's estate at Nohant for the summer. In the autumn they returned to Paris, where initially they lived apart; Chopin soon left his apartment at 5 rue Tronchet to move into Sand's house at 16 rue Pigalle. The four lived together at that address from October 1839 to November 1842, while spending most summers until 1846 at Nohant.[38] In 1842, they moved to 80 rue Taitbout in the Square d'Orléans, living in adjacent buildings.[39]

It was around that time that there is evidence of Chopin's playing an instrument other than the piano. At the funeral of the tenor Adolphe Nourrit, who had jumped to his death in Naples but whose body was returned to Paris for burial, Chopin played an organ transcription of Franz Schubert's lied Die Gestirne.[40]

During the summers at Nohant, particularly in the years 1839–1843, Chopin found quiet but productive days during which he composed many works. They included his great Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53, the "Heroic", one of his most famous pieces. It is to Sand that the most compelling description of Chopin's creative processes is owed – of the rise of his inspirations and of their painstaking working-out, sometimes amid real torments, amid weeping and complaints, with hundreds of changes in the initial concept, only to return to the initial idea.[39] She describes an evening with their friend Delacroix in attendance:

Chopin is at the piano, quite oblivious of the fact that anyone is listening. He embarks on a sort of casual improvisation, then stops. 'Go on, go on,' exclaims Delacroix, 'That's not the end!' 'It's not even a beginning. Nothing will come ... nothing but reflections, shadows, shapes that won't stay fixed. I'm trying to find the right colour, but I can't even get the form ...' 'You won't find the one without the other,' says Delacroix, 'and both will come together.' 'What if I find nothing but moonlight?' 'Then you will have found the reflection of a reflection.' The idea seems to please the divine artist. He begins again, without seeming to, so uncertain is the shape. Gradually quiet colours begin to show, corresponding to the suave modulations sounding in our ears. Suddenly the note of blue sings out, and the night is all around us, azure and transparent. Light clouds take on fantastic shapes and fill the sky. They gather about the moon which casts upon them great opalescent discs, and wakes the sleeping colours. We dream of a summer night, and sit there waiting for the song of the nightingale ...[41]

As the composer's illness progressed, Sand gradually became less of a lover and more of a nurse to Chopin, whom she called her "third child." But the nursing began to pall on her. In the years to come she would keep up her friendship with Chopin, but she often gave vent to affectionate impatience, at least in letters to third parties, in which she referred to Chopin as a "child," a "little angel," a "sufferer" and a "beloved little corpse."[39]

In 1845, as Chopin's health continued to deteriorate, a serious problem emerged in his relations with Sand. Those relations were further soured in 1846 by problems involving her daughter Solange and the young sculptor Auguste Clésinger. In 1847 Sand published her novel Lucrezia Floriani, whose main characters – a rich actress and a prince in weak health – could be interpreted as Sand and Chopin; the story was uncomplimentary to Chopin, who could not have missed the allusions as he helped Sand correct the printer's galleys. In 1847 he did not visit Nohant. Mutual friends attempted to reconcile them, but the composer was unyielding.[39]

One of these friends was mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot. Sand had based her 1843 novel Consuelo on Viardot, and the three had spent many hours at Nohant. An outstanding opera singer, Viardot was also an excellent pianist who had initially wanted the piano to be her career and had taken lessons with Liszt and Anton Reicha. Her friendship with Chopin was based on mutual artistic esteem and similarity of temperament.[42] The two had often played together; he had advised her on piano technique and had assisted her in writing a series of songs based on the melodies of his mazurkas. He in turn had gained from Viardot some first-hand knowledge of Spanish music.[42]

The year 1847 brought to an end, without any dramatics or formalities, the relations between Sand and Chopin that had lasted ten years, since 1837.[39] Count Wojciech Grzymała, who had followed Chopin's romance with George Sand from the first day to the last, would later opine: "If he had not had the misfortune of meeting G.S. [George Sand], who poisoned his whole being, he would have lived to be Cherubini's age." Chopin died at thirty-nine; his friend Cherubini had died at Paris in 1842 at age eighty-one.[43] The two composers are buried four metres apart at Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Final years[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Chopin's public popularity as a virtuoso waned, as did the number of his pupils. In February 1848 he gave his last Paris concert. In April, with the Revolution of 1848 underway in Paris,[44] he left for London, where he performed at several concerts and at numerous receptions in great houses.[39]

Toward the end of the summer he went to Scotland, staying at the castle Johnstone,[45] in Renfrewshire near Glasgow of his former pupil and great admirer Jane Wilhelmina Stirling and her elder sister, the widowed Mrs. Katherine Erskine. Miss Stirling proposed marriage to him, but Chopin, sensing that he was not long for this world, set greater store by his freedom than by the prospect of living on the generosity of a wife.[39]

In late October 1848 in Edinburgh, at the home of a Polish physician, Dr Adam Łyszczyński,[46] 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. In his thoughts he was constantly with his mother and sisters, and conjured up for himself scenes of his native land by playing his adaptations of its folk music on cool Scottish evenings at Miss Stirling's castle.[39]

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.[13] His appearance on that occasion proved to be a well-intentioned mistake, as most of the participants were more interested in the dancing and refreshments than in Chopin's artistry on the piano, which cost him much effort and physical discomfort.[47]

At the end of November, Chopin returned to Paris.[39] He passed the winter in unremitting illness, but in spite of it he continued seeing friends and visited the ailing Adam Mickiewicz, soothing the Polish poet's nerves with his playing. 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, and had to sell off his more valuable furnishings and belongings.[39]

Death[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Feeling ever more poorly, Chopin longed to have a family member with him. In June 1849 his sister Ludwika Jędrzejewicz, who had given him his first piano lessons, agreed to come to Paris.[39]

In September 1849, Chopin took a very beautiful, sunny apartment at Place Vendôme 12. The second-floor, seven-room apartment had previously housed the Russian embassy; Chopin could not afford it, but Jane Stirling, his wealthy Scottish pupil, rented it for him.[48]

On 15 October, when his condition took a marked turn for the worse, his numerous visitors were asked to leave, and a handful of his closest friends remained with him. A couple of times during those last two days, they thought that the end had come, but the composer was able to catch his breath again. He asked Delfina Potocka to play sonatas and prayed and called out to God, though only a few days earlier he had refused confession, saying that he did not believe in it. He complained that George Sand had promised that he "would die in her arms." He asked for a piece of paper and wrote: "Comme cette terre m'étouffera, je vous conjure de faire ouvrir mon corps pour [que] je ne sois pas enterré vif." ("As this earth will suffocate me, I implore you to have my body opened so that I will not be buried alive.")[48]

On 17 October, after midnight, the physician leaned over him and asked whether he was suffering greatly. "Not any more," Chopin replied.[48] A few minutes before two o'clock in the morning on Wednesday, 17 October 1849, Chopin died.[49]

His death certificate stated the cause as tuberculosis. In 2008 an alternative cause of Chopin's death would be proposed: cystic fibrosis.[50][51]

Many people who had not been present at Chopin's death would later claim to have been there. "Being present at Chopin's death," writes Tad Szulc, "seemed to grant one historical and social cachet."[52] Those actually around his bed appear to have included his sister Ludwika, Princess Marcelina Czartoryska, Solange and Auguste Clésinger (George Sand's daughter and son-in-law), Chopin's friend and former pupil Adolf Gutmann, his friend Thomas Albrecht and his confidant, Polish Catholic priest Father Aleksander Jełowicki.[49]

Later that morning, Clésinger made Chopin's death mask and casts of his hands. Before the funeral, pursuant to his dying wish, his heart was removed. It was preserved in alcohol (perhaps brandy) to be returned to his homeland, as he had requested.[50] His sister smuggled it in an urn to Warsaw, where it was later sealed within a pillar of the Holy Cross Church on Krakowskie Przedmieście, beneath an epitaph sculpted by Leonard Marconi, bearing an inscription from Matthew VI:21: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Chopin's heart has reposed there since, except for a period during World War II when it was removed for safekeeping. The church, rebuilt after its virtual destruction during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, stands only a short distance from Chopin's last Polish residence, the Krasiński Palace at 5 Krakowskie Przedmieście.

The funeral, to be held at the Church of the Madeleine in Paris, was delayed for almost two weeks, until 30 October. Chopin had requested that Mozart's Requiem be sung. The Requiem had major parts for female voices, but the Church of the Madeleine had never permitted female singers in its choir. The Church finally relented, on condition that the female singers remain behind a black velvet curtain.

The soloists in the Requiem included the bass Luigi Lablache – who had sung the same work at the funerals of Haydn and Beethoven, and had also sung at Bellini's funeral – and Chopin's and George Sand's friend, the mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot.[53] Also played were Chopin's Preludes No. 4 in E minor and No. 6 in B minor. The funeral was attended by nearly three thousand people, but George Sand was not among them.

The funeral procession traversed the considerable distance from the church, in the centre of town, adjacent to the Opera, to Père Lachaise Cemetery at the city's eastern edge. It was led by the dean of the Polish Great Emigration, the aged Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski; immediately after the casket, which was borne by shifts of artists (including Eugene Delacroix, cellist Auguste Franchomme and pianist Camille Pleyel), walked Chopin's sister Ludwika.[48]

Chopin was buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery, in accordance with his wishes. At the graveside, the Funeral March from his Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, was played, in Napoléon Henri Reber's instrumentation.[54]

Chopin's tombstone, featuring the muse of music, Euterpe, weeping over a broken lyre, was designed and sculpted by Auguste Clésinger. The expenses of the funeral and monument, to a sum of 5,000 francs, were covered by Jane Stirling, who also paid for Chopin's sister's return to Warsaw.[48]

Chopin's grave attracts numerous visitors and is constantly decorated with flowers, even in winter.

Memorials[edytuj | edytuj kod]

In 1909, to celebrate Chopin's centenary, the Russian composer Sergei Lyapunov wrote a "symphonic poem in memory of Chopin", titled Zhelazova Vola, Op. 37, a reference to Chopin's birthplace.[55]

In 1926 a bronze statue of Chopin, designed in Art Nouveau style by sculptor Wacław Szymanowski in 1907, was erected in the upper part of Warsaw's Royal Baths (Łazienki) Park, adjacent to Ujazdów Avenue (Aleje Ujazdowskie). The statue was originally to have been installed in 1910, on the centenary of Chopin's birth, but its execution was delayed first by controversy about the design, and then by the outbreak of World War I. On 31 May 1940, during the German occupation of Poland in World War II, the statue was destroyed by the Nazis. It was reconstructed after the war, in 1958. Since 1959, free piano recitals of Chopin's compositions have been performed next to the statue on Sunday afternoons in the summer. The stylised willow over Chopin's seated figure echoes a pianist's hand and fingers. Until 2007, the statue was the world's tallest monument to Chopin. A full-scale replica of the statue can be found in Warsaw's sister city of Hamamatsu, Japan. There are also preliminary plans to erect a replica on Chicago's lakefront, in addition to another sculpture in Chopin Park, to mark the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth.

A bronze bust in memory of Chopin stands at Symphony Circle outside Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, New York.

There are numerous other monuments to Chopin around the world. The most recent, taller than the Warsaw statue by a small margin, is a modernistic bronze sculpture by Lu Pin in Shanghai, China, unveiled on 3 March 2007.

The world's oldest monographic music competition, the International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition, inaugurated in 1927, is held every five years in Warsaw.

The Fryderyk Chopin Museum, established in 1954, is housed in Warsaw's Ostrogski Palace, headquarters of the Fryderyk Chopin Society. Refurbished in 2010 for the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth, it is among the most modern museums in Poland.

Periodically the Grand prix du disque de F. Chopin is awarded for notable Chopin recordings, both remastered and newly recorded.

Named for the composer are Poland's largest college of music, the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy; Warsaw's Frédéric Chopin Airport, Gdańsk Frédéric Chopin Philharmonic and asteroid 3784 Chopin.

The great majority of Chopin's compositions were written for the piano as a solo instrument; all of his extant works feature the piano in one way or another. They are technically demanding, but emphasise nuance and expressive depth. Chopin invented musical forms such as the instrumental ballade, and made major innovations in the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, polonaise, étude, impromptu and prélude.

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."[31]

It is very difficult to characterise Chopin's oeuvre briefly. Robert Schumann, speaking of Chopin's Sonata in B-flat minor, wrote that "he alone begins and ends a work like this: with dissonances, through dissonances, and in dissonances," and in Chopin's music he discerned "cannon concealed amid blossoms." Franz Liszt, in the opening of his biography Life of Chopin, termed him a "gentle, harmonious genius." Thus disparate have been the views on Chopin's music. The first systematic, if imperfect, study of Chopin's style came in F. P. Laurencin's 1861 Die Harmonik der Neuzeit. Laurencin concluded that "Chopin is one of the most brilliant exceptional natures that have ever stridden onto the stage of history and life, he is one who can never be exhausted nor stand before a void. Chopin is the musical progone[56] of all progones until now."[57]

According to Tad Szulc, though technically demanding,[58] Chopin's works emphasise nuance and expressive depth rather than sheer virtuosity. Vladimir Horowitz referred to Chopin as "the only truly great composer for the piano."

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. He took the new salon genre of the nocturne, invented by Irish composer John Field, to a deeper level of sophistication. Three of Chopin's 21 Nocturnes were published only after his death in 1849, contrary to his wishes.[59] He also endowed popular dance forms, such as the Polish mazurka and the Viennese waltz, with a greater range of melody and expression.

Chopin's mazurkas, while based somewhat on the traditional Polish dance, were different from the traditional variety in that they were suitable for concert halls as well as dance settings. With his mazurkas, Chopin brought a new sense of nationalism, which was an idea that other composers writing both at the same time as, and after, Chopin would also incorporate into their compositions. Chopin’s nationalism was a great influence and inspiration for many other composers, especially Eastern Europeans, and he was one of the first composers to clearly express nationalism through his music. Furthermore, he was the first composer to take a national genre of music from his home country and transform it into an entirely new genre worthy of the general concert-going public.

Chopin was the first to write ballades[60] and scherzi as individual pieces. He also took the example of Bach's preludes and fugues, transforming the genre in his own Préludes.

Chopin reinvented the étude,[61] expanding on the idea and making it into a gorgeous, eloquent and emotional showpiece. He also used his Études to teach his own revolutionary style,[13] for instance playing with the weak fingers (3, 4, and 5) in fast figures (Op. 10, No. 2), playing in octaves (Op 25, No.10) and playing black keys with the thumb (Op. 10, No. 5).

Influence[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Several of Chopin's pieces have become very well known, for instance the Revolutionary Étude (Op. 10, No. 12), the Minute Waltz (Op. 64, No. 1), and the third movement of his Funeral March Sonata No. 2 (Op. 35), which is often used as an iconic representation of grief. Chopin himself never named an instrumental work beyond genre and number, leaving all potential extra-musical associations to the listener; the names by which we know many of the pieces were invented by others.[62] The Revolutionary Étude was not written with the failed Polish uprising against Russia in mind; it merely appeared at that time. The Funeral March was written before the rest of the sonata within which it is contained, but the exact occasion is not known; it appears not to have been inspired by any specific personal bereavement.[63] Other melodies have been used as the basis of popular songs, such as the slow section of the Fantaisie-Impromptu (Op. posth. 66) and the first section of the Étude, Op. 10, No. 3. These pieces often rely on an intense and personalised chromaticism, as well as a melodic curve that resembles the operas of Chopin's day – the operas of Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, and especially Vincenzo Bellini.[64] Chopin used the piano to recreate the gracefulness of the singing voice, and talked and wrote constantly about singers.

Chopin's style and gifts became increasingly influential. Robert Schumann was a huge admirer of Chopin's music, and he used melodies from Chopin and even named a piece from his suite Carnaval after Chopin. This admiration was not generally reciprocated, although Chopin did dedicate his Ballade No. 2 in F major to Schumann.

Franz Liszt was another admirer and personal friend of the composer, and he transcribed for piano six of Chopin's Polish songs. However, Liszt denied that he wrote Funérailles (subtitled "October 1849", the seventh movement of his piano suite Harmonies poétiques et religieuses of 1853) in memory of Chopin. Though the middle section seems to be modelled on the famous octave trio section of Chopin's Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53, Liszt said the piece had been inspired by the deaths of three of his Hungarian compatriots in the same month.

Johannes Brahms and the younger Russian composers also found inspiration in Chopin's examples.[57] Chopin's technical innovations became influential. His Préludes (Op. 28) and Études (Opp. 10 and 25) rapidly became standard works, and inspired both Liszt's Transcendental Études and Schumann's Symphonic Studies. Alexander Scriabin was also strongly influenced by Chopin; for example, his 24 Preludes, Op. 11, are inspired by Chopin's Op. 28.

Jeremy Siepmann, in his biography of the composer, lists pianists whose recordings of Chopin are generally acknowledged to be among the greatest Chopin performances ever preserved: Vladimir de Pachmann, Raoul Pugno, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Moriz Rosenthal, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Alfred Cortot, Ignaz Friedman, Raoul Koczalski, Arthur Rubinstein, Mieczysław Horszowski, Claudio Arrau, Vlado Perlemuter, Vladimir Horowitz, Dinu Lipatti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Martha Argerich, Maurizio Pollini, Murray Perahia, Krystian Zimerman, Evgeny Kissin.

Arthur Rubinstein had the following to say about Chopin's music and its universality: "Chopin was a genius of universal appeal. His music conquers the most diverse audiences. When the first notes of Chopin sound through the concert hall there is a happy sigh of recognition. All over the world men and women know his music. They love it. They are moved by it. Yet it is not 'Romantic music' in the Byronic sense. It does not tell stories or paint pictures. It is expressive and personal, but still a pure art. Even in this abstract atomic age, where emotion is not fashionable, Chopin endures. His music is the universal language of human communication. When I play Chopin I know I speak directly to the hearts of people!"

Style[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Although Chopin lived in the 1800s, he was educated in the tradition of Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart and Clementi; he used Clementi's piano method with his own students. He was also influenced by Hummel's development of virtuoso, yet Mozartian, piano technique. Chopin cited Bach and Mozart as the two most important composers in shaping his musical outlook.

The series of seven Polonaises published in his lifetime (another nine were published posthumously), beginning with the Op. 26 pair, set a new standard for music in the form, and were rooted in Chopin's desire to write something to celebrate Polish culture after the country had fallen under Russian control.[65] The Polonaise in A major, Op. 40, No. 1, the "Military," and the Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53, the "Heroic", are among Chopin's best-loved and most often played works.

Rubato[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Chopin's music is well known as benefiting from rubato (which was how he himself performed his music),[66] as opposed to a strictly regular playing. Yet there is usually call for caution when the music is performed with wobbly, over-exaggerated rubato (for example, when used to justify insecure playing, as opposed to expressive rubato).

His playing was always noble and beautiful; his tones sang, whether in full forte or softest piano. He took infinite pains to teach his pupils this legato, cantabile style of playing. His most severe criticism was "He – or she – does not know how to join two notes together." He also demanded the strictest adherence to rhythm. He hated all lingering and dragging, misplaced rubatos as well as exaggerated "ritardandos ... and it is precisely in this respect that people make such terrible errors in playing his works." Friederike Müller "From the Diary of a Viennese Chopin Pupil".[67]

However, while some can provide restrictive quotes about Chopin such as the above, often to the effect that "the accompanying hand always played in strict tempo", these quotes need to be considered in better context,[68] in terms both of the time when they were made and of the situations that may have prompted the original writer to set down the thoughts. Constantin von Sternberg (1852–1924) has written:

It is amusing to note that even some serious persons express the idea that in tempo rubato "the right hand may use a certain freedom while the left hand must keep strict time." (See Niecks' Life of Chopin, II, p. 101.) A nice sort of music would result from such playing! Something like the singing of a good vocalist accompanied by a poor blockhead who hammers away in strict time without yielding to the singer who, in sheer despair, must renounce all artistic expression. It is reported by some ladies that Chopin himself gave them this explanation, but – they might not have understood him [...] Constantin von Sternberg (1852-1924) Tempo rubato, and other essays[69]

There are also views of contemporary writers such as Hector Berlioz,[68][70] which suggest that Chopin is not to be described in terms of the commonly encountered extremes. Any of the following views would be inappropriately one-sided:

  • that Chopin requires metronomic rhythm in the left hand;
  • that insecure performances of Chopin can be justified with reference to rubato;
  • that performances with inflections that result from technical limits or insecurities rather than a performer's intentions can be justified with reference to rubato.

Some performers' (and piano-schools') "too-strongly-held one-sided views on Chopin's way of playing rubato" may account for some unsatisfactory interpretations of his music.

Romanticism[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Chopin is considered one of the great masters of Romantic music.[71]

Chopin regarded most of his contemporaries with indifference, though he had many acquaintances who were associated with romanticism in music, literature, and the fine arts – many of them through his liaison with George Sand. Chopin's music is, however, considered by many to epitomise the Romantic style.[72] The relative classical purity and discretion in his music, with little extravagant exhibitionism, partly reflects his reverence for Bach and Mozart.

Chopin never indulged in explicit "scene-painting" in his music, or used programmatic titles. He castigated publishers who renamed his compositions in this way.

Nationalism[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Chopin's Polish biographer Zdzisław Jachimecki notes that "Chopin at every step demonstrated his Polish spirit – in the hundreds of letters that he wrote in Polish, in his attitude to Paris's [Polish] émigrés, in his negative view of all that bore the official stamp of the powers that occupied Poland." Likewise Chopin composed music to accompany Polish texts,[73] but never musically illustrated a single French or German text, even though he numbered among his friends several great French and German poets.[57]

According to his English biographer Arthur Hedley, Chopin "found within himself and in the tragic story of Poland the chief sources of his inspiration. The theme of Poland's glories and sufferings was constantly before him, and he transmuted the primitive rhythms and melodies of his youth into enduring art forms."[31]

In asserting his own Polishness, Chopin, according to Jachimecki, exerted "a tremendous influence [toward] the nationalisation of the work of numerous later composers, who have often personally – like the Czech Smetana and Norway's Grieg – confirmed this opinion..."[57]

The Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, Chopin's contemporary, wrote that Chopin "may be ranked first among musicians who have had an individual poetic sense of a particular nation," referring to Chopin's Polish homeland.[74] He would refer to Chopin as "a Polish artist."[75] Composer Robert Schumann acknowledged the strength of Chopin's personal reaction to Russia's suppression of the November Uprising when he wrote that in Chopin's music one could find "guns buried in flowers."[76]

Over 230 of Chopin's works have survived; some manuscripts and pieces from his early childhood have been lost. All of his known compositions involved the piano. Only a few of them ranged beyond solo piano music, as either piano concerti or chamber music works.

Chopin composed:

  • 58 mazurkas
  • 27 études (twelve in the Op. 10 cycle, twelve in the Op. 25 cycle, and three in a collection without an opus number)
  • 26 preludes
  • 21 nocturnes
  • 20 waltzes
  • 17 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 Niccolo Paganini
  • 3 écossaises
  • 3 piano sonatas
  • 2 concerti for piano and orchestra, Opp. 11 and 21

He also composed a Fantaisie in F minor, an Allegro de concert (which is possibly the remnant of an incomplete concerto), a barcarole, a berceuse, a bolero, a tarantella, a contredanse, a fugue, a cantabile, a lento, a funeral march and a Feuille d'album.

Chopin's other works include a krakowiak for piano and orchestra; fantasia on themes from Polish songs with accompanying orchestra, a trio for violin, cello and piano; a sonata for cello and piano, a Grand Duo in E major for cello and piano with Auguste Franchomme on themes from Giacomo Meyerbeer's opera Robert le diable, and 19 Polish songs for voice and accompanying piano.[57]

Opus numbers[edytuj | edytuj kod]

The last opus number that Chopin himself used was 65, allocated to the Cello Sonata in G minor.

Chopin expressed a deathbed wish that all his unpublished manuscripts be destroyed. However, at the request of the composer's mother and sisters, his pianist friend and musical executor Julian Fontana selected 23 unpublished piano pieces and grouped them into eight opus numbers (Opp. 66–73). These works were published in 1855.[77]

In 1857, 17 Polish songs for which Chopin was known to have composed music at various stages of his life were collected and published as Op. 74 – the order within that opus having little regard to the actual order of composition.[78] Other songs have since come to light, but they are not part of Op. 74.

Works that have been published since 1857 have not received opus numbers. Instead, alternate catalogue designations have been applied to them.

Publishing[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Chopin published much of his music simultaneously in Germany, France, and England. While this certainly earned the composer triple exposure and likely a good sum of revenue, the discrepancies between these three (or more) editions can be quite the conundrum. Ever the romantic, Chopin lived in a constant state of inspiration and improvisation, and was certainly prone to editing and revising his own music even after sending final drafts to his publishers. Especially considering that all published editions of his work during his lifetime were in fact proofed and approved by the composer himself, this is a popular source of anxiety amongst pianists and scholars.

How is one to know what the composer truly meant and wanted when we are presented with autographs and first drafts bearing the composer’s approval that differ in content? Details such as phrase markings, dynamics, fingerings, even the notes themselves are often subject to suspicion. The several editions of the time had different ways of dealing with this problem; the Germans of course believed that their version was infallible, the French called Chopin their own, having spent most of his adult life based in Paris, and the English publisher (a German who largely copied the French editions) annoyed Chopin by insisting on adding flowery titles to his pieces. Nearly 200 years later, the state of affairs in regards to Chopin editions has turned over a new leaf.

Today, several scholarly editions exist that attempt to organise the vast array of sources and compile the information in one presentable volume, notably the Paderewski and Polish National editions which contain lengthy and scholarly explanations and discussions regarding choices and sources. Even so, it is ultimately up to the taste of an editor as to which version of which piece suits them most at the given time, and perhaps Chopin himself faced the same dilemma, resulting in the variations we have today.

Fiction[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Possibly the first venture into fictional treatments of Chopin's life was a fanciful operatic version of some of its events. The opera, entitled Chopin, was written by Giacomo Orefice and produced in Milan in 1901. Orefice incorporated Chopin's music, arranged as arias; the operatic arrangements have been described as "coarse".[79] Various arias have been recorded by well-known singers, but the opera has long been out of the repertoire. Orefice also applied an operatic treatment to one of George Sand's novels, Consuelo.

Chopin's life and his relations with George Sand have been fictionalised in film. The 1945 biopic A Song to Remember earned Cornel Wilde an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor for his portrayal of the composer. Other film treatments have included Impromptu (1991), starring Hugh Grant as Chopin; La note bleue (1991); and Chopin: Desire for Love (2002). The 1975 Ken Russell film Lisztomania outlandishly portrayed Chopin and Sand's relationship as dominant and submissive with Sand fulfilling the role of dominatrix over Chopin's submissive attitude.

Another reference to Chopin in cinema occurs in Ingmar Bergman's Autumn Sonata. The difference of interpretation of Chopin's Prelude No. 2 in A minor by the pianist Charlotte Andergast and her daughter Eva constitutes a major scene in the film.

The role-playing video game Eternal Sonata (2007)[80] is set in a dream world created by a fictional Chopin on his deathbed. Its story line refers to Chopin's life and music, and his compositions are heard on the soundtrack. Periodically, episodes of Chopin's life are narrated, acompanied with photographs and video footage of relevant locations.

References[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  1. Some sources quote the date of 22 February. See the Childhood section for details.
  2. Zdzisław Jachimecki, "Chopin, Fryderyk Franciszek", Polski słownik biograficzny, vol. III, 1937, p. 420
  3. ; Michael Robert Patterson Wladimir B. Krzyzanowski Retrieved 2010-02-14
  4. Jarosław Krawczyk, Wielkie odkrycia ludzkości. Nr 17, Rzeczpospolita, June 12, 2008.
  5. 5,0 5,1 The record of Chopin's baptism (in Latin, dated 23 April), parish of Saint Roch in Brochów, Poland, gives Chopin's date of birth as 22 February:
  6. 6,0 6,1 Barbara Smolenska-Zielinska, Life / Biography – general outline. Fryderyk Chopin Society. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  7. Bibliotheque Polonaise de Paris: (French)
  8. Selected Correspondence of Fryderyk Chopin, abridged from Fryderyk Chopin's correspondence, collected and annoted by Bronislaw Edward Sydow, translated by Arthur Hedley, McGraw-Hill, 1963, p. 116
  9. – Fryderyk Chopin Information Centre
  10. 10,0 10,1 10,2 10,3 10,4 10,5 10,6 10,7 10,8 Zdzisław Jachimecki, p. 420
  11. Benita Eisler, Chopin's Funeral, Abacus, 2004, p. 29: "Language was another matter, rooted in anxiety passed from father to son. A foreigner concerned with shrouding his origins and proving his Polishness, Nicolas was as cautious as a spy dropped behind enemy lines; he never seems to have mentioned his French family to his Polish children. French was the lingua franca of the nobility and the subject Nicolas taught to others' sons – but not to his own... Consequently Fryderyk's grasp of French grammar and spelling would always remain shaky. Surprising for one blessed with an extraordinary 'ear' and famed from earliest childhood as an extraordinary mimic, his pronunciation, too, was poor. More telling was his own unease in his adopted tongue: half-French, living in Paris, the paradise of expatriates, Chopin would always feel twice exiled – from his country and from his language. Imprisoned by foreign words, the expressive power of his music unbound him."
  12. "Chopin, in spite of spending half of his life in Paris, remained characteristically Polish and was a 'lonely soul.' Louis Enault, a biographer, said: 'The Slavs lend themselves gladly but never give themselves; Chopin is more Polish than Poland.'" p. 248, Music Through the Ages – A Narrative for Student and Layman by Marion Bauer, available at Google Books. ISBN 9781406739411. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  13. 13,0 13,1 13,2 13,3 13,4 13,5 13,6 13,7 Arthur Hedley, Encyclopaedia Britannica, p. 263.
  14. Ambroży Mieroszewski's portrait of Wojciech Żywny, 1829.
  15. Artur Szklener, Fryckowe lato: czyli wakacyjne muzykowanie Chopina ("Fritz's Summers: Chopin's Musical Holidays"), Magazyn Chopin: Miesięcznik Narodowego Instytutu Fryderyka Chopina (Chopin Magazine: Monthly of the Fryderyk Chopin National Institute), no. 4, 2010, p. 8
  17. 17,0 17,1 17,2 Zdzisław Jachimecki, p. 421.
  18. Jan Zygmunt Jakubowski, ed., Literatura polska od średniowiecza do pozytywizmu (Polish Literature from the Middle Ages to Positivism), pp. 514–515.
  19. Zdzisław Jachimecki, p. 421., Arthur Hedley, Encyclopaedia Britannica, p. 264: "He valued sensuous beauty throughout life as much as he abhorred descriptive titles or any hint of an underlying 'program.'" Programmatic titles were given to some of his works, against his wishes, by others, including opportunistic music publishers.
  20. Zdzisław Jachimecki, pp. 421–422.
  21. 21,0 21,1 21,2 21,3 21,4 Zdzisław Jachimecki, p. 422.
  22. Konrad was a patriotic Polish hero in poems by Chopin's friend Adam Mickiewicz. Chopin would later set some of Mickiewicz's poems to music.
  23. "This relic of Chopin's spiritual becoming (whose text was first published by Stanisław Tarnowski in 1871) is today [1937] found among the Chopin mementoes in the Polish National Library in Warsaw (initially the journal was preserved by Princess Marcelina Czartoryska, a noted pupil of the artist)." Zdzisław Jachimecki, "Chopin, Fryderyk Franciszek," Polski słownik biograficzny, vol. III, 1937, p. 422.
  24. A reading of Chopin's words may be heard at the Chopin Museum in the Ostrogski Palace in Warsaw.
  25. Zdzisław Jachimecki, pp. 422-423.
  26. Linda Sheppard, "Frédéric Chopin's Résumé". Musical overview (1600-2000): from the History a la carte series. Canada: Longbow Publishing Ltd, 2006.
  27. 27,0 27,1 27,2 27,3 27,4 27,5 27,6 Zdzisław Jachimecki, p. 423.
  28. David Ewen, p. 164.
  29. Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, pp. 12, 404.
  30. A French passport used by Chopin is shown at Tad Szulc wrote (Chopin in Paris, p. 69): "[...] the French granted him permission to stay in Paris indefinitely 'to be able to perfect his art'. Four years later, Frédéric became a French citizen and a French passport was issued to him on 1 August 1835. He is not known to have discussed his decision to change citizenship with anyone, including his father. It is unclear whether he did it to avoid renewing his Russian passport at the Russian embassy for patriotic reasons or simply as a matter of general convenience."
  31. 31,0 31,1 31,2 Arthur Hedley, Encyclopaedia Britannica, p. 264.
  32. She "made sketches of Chopin's head as he played the piano and talked, then sat him down in an armchair to paint his portrait in watercolors. It is one of the best portraits of Chopin extant – after that by Delacroix – with the composer looking relaxed, pensive, and at peace." Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, p. 137.
  33. On 24 July 1841 Maria Wodzińska (7 January 1819 - 7 December 1896) married Count Józef Skarbek, son of Chopin's godfather, Fryderyk Florian Skarbek. The couple divorced after seven years, and in 1848 Maria married Władysław Orpiszewski, lessee of estates belonging to her first husband.
  34. Zdzisław Jachimecki, p 423.
  35. Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, pp. 160, 165, 194–195.
  36. Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, p. 146.
  37. André Maurois, Léila: the Life of George Sand, translation by Gerard Hopkins, Penguin, 1980 (c 1953), pp. 317-320.
  38. André Maurois, Léila, pp. 333, 337-338.
  39. 39,00 39,01 39,02 39,03 39,04 39,05 39,06 39,07 39,08 39,09 39,10 Jachimecki, p. 424.
  40. Krzysztof Rottermund, "Chopin and Hesse: New Facts About Their Artistic Acquaintance," translation in The American Organist, March 2008.
  41. George Sand, Impressions et souvenirs, chapter V, p. 86, quoted in André Maurois, Léila, pp. 338-339.
  42. 42,0 42,1 The Music Salon of Pauline Viardot, Rachel M. Harris. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  43. Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, p. 403.
  44. During the Revolution, to Chopin's dismay, some of George Sand's radical political friends briefly came to power: Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, pp. 366–373.
  45. Iwo Zaluski, (2009-06-02). Chopin's Scottish autumn – Frederick Chopin. Contemporary Review. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  46. Chopin was very pleased to spend several days with the doctor, as he was always looking for someone with whom he could speak Polish – particularly then, as he knew no English. Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, p. 382 and passim.
  47. Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, p. 383.
  48. 48,0 48,1 48,2 48,3 48,4 Maria Barcz, "Etiuda paryska" ("Paris Étude"), Gwiazda Polarna (The Pole Star), vol. 101, no. 17 (14 August 2010), p. 16.
  49. 49,0 49,1 Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, p. 400.
  50. 50,0 50,1 Home is where the heart'll stay. South Africa. 2008-07-26. Retrieved 2010-02-14. In 2008 a controversy arose over whether Chopin died of tuberculosis or cystic fibrosis, an incurable genetic disease whose complete clinical spectrum was not recognized until the 1930s, almost a century after his death. The Polish government declined to allow scientists to remove Chopin's heart from its repository for DNA testing.
  51. According to a 23 June 2008 Times of India article: Polish cystic fibrosis specialist Wojciech Cichy says that the symptoms Chopin suffered throughout his life were typical of cystic fibrosis, a genetic illness which clogs the lungs with excess thick, sticky mucus. "From childhood he was weak, prone to chest infections, wheezing, coughing." As an adult weighing 40 kg at a height of five feet, seven inches, Chopin was chronically underweight – another symptom of cystic fibrosis. It has been proposed that Chopin's heart be retrieved from its alcohol-filled crystal urn, which reposes inside a pillar at Warsaw's Holy Cross Church, and be tested for the CFTR gene that is a marker for cystic fibrosis.
  52. Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, p. 399.
  53. Frederick Niecks, The Life of Chopin, vol. II, London, Novello, Ewers & Co., 1888, p. 325.
  54. Fryderyk Chopin 1810–1849: A Chronological Biography. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  55. Crocks Newsletter. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  56. A "progone" is the opposite of an "epigone" – the latter being "an undistinguished imitator or follower of an important writer, painter, [composer] etc." The word "progone" (also written "progon") comes from the Ancient Greek progonos, meaning "born before."
  57. 57,0 57,1 57,2 57,3 57,4 Zdzisław Jachimecki, p. 425.
  58. Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, pp. 197–198.
  59. Letter of 12 December 1853 from Camille Pleyel to Chopin's sister, Louise Jedrzejewicz, cited in Chopin – Nocturnes, with note by Ewald Zimmermann, winter 1979/1980, published by G. Henle Verlag (ISM N M-2018-0185-8).
  60. Percy Scholes, (1938), The Oxford Companion to Music, "Ballade".
  61. Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, pp. 112–113.
  62. Zdzisław Jachimecki, p. 421. Arthur Hedley, Encyclopaedia Britannica, p. 264.
  63. Kornel Michałowski, Grove
  64. Hedley writes: "From the great Italian singers of the age he learned the art of 'singing' on the piano, and his nocturnes reveal the perfection of his cantabile style and delicate charm of ornamentation." Hedley, Encyclopaedia Britannica, p. 264.
  65. Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, p. 115.
  66. Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger (1986). Chopin: Pianist and Teacher as Seen by His Pupils. Cambridge University Press. p. 52. ISBN 0-521-36709-3.
  67. Friederike Müller-Streicher (1994). Aus dem Tagebuch einer Wiener Chopin-Schülerin [1839–1841, 1844–1845]. Wiener Chopin-Blätter (International Chopin Society). Retrieved 2007-10-09.
  68. 68,0 68,1 Tempo Rubato by Ignacy Jan Paderewski; Polish Music Journal, Vol. 4; No. 1; Summer 2001. ISSN 1521-6039.
  69. Constantin von Sternberg (1852-1924) (c. 1920). "Tempo rubato, and other essays".
  70. John F. Strauss. The puzzle of Chopin's Tempo Rubato. Clavier 22, no. 5 (May–June 1983).
  71. Arthur Hedley et al., "Chopin, Frédéric (François)," Encyclopaedia Britannica, p. 263.
  72. See e.g. Charles Rosen, The Romantic Generation, chapters 5-7, Harvard University Press 1995. ISBN 978-0-674-77933-4
  73. Zdzisław Jachimecki, pp. 425–426.
  74. Dominique Bosseur Histoire de la musique occidentale sous la direction de Brigitte et Jean Massin Fayard p. 787 (1985)
  75. Franz Liszt Chopin (1852) p 163
  77. Piano Society. Piano Society. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  78. Classical Archives. Classical Archives. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  79. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  80. Eternal Sonata Official Website. Retrieved 2010-03-01.

Bibliography[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  • Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris: the Life and Times of the Romantic Composer, New York, Scribner, 1998, ISBN 0-684-82458-2.
  • Zdzisław Jachimecki, "Chopin, Fryderyk Franciszek," Polski słownik biograficzny, vol. III, Kraków, Polska Akademia Umiejętności, 1937, pp. 420-426.
  • Arthur Hedley et al., "Chopin, Frédéric (François)," Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., 2005, vol. 3, pp. 263–264.
  • Gerald Abraham, "Chopin Frédéric," Encyclopedia Americana, 1986 ed., vol. 6, pp. 627–628.
  • Adam Zamoyski, Chopin: a Biography, New York, Doubleday, 1980, ISBN 0-385-13597-1.
  • Kornel Michałowski and Jim Samson, Chopin, Fryderyk Franciszek, Grove Music Online, edited by L. Macy (accessed October 31, 2006), (subscription access)
  • Benita Eisler, Chopin's Funeral, Abacus, 2004.
  • Hans Werner Wuest (2001). Frédéric Chopin, Briefe und Zeitzeugnisse. Cologne: Classic-Concerts-Verl.. ISBN 3-8311-0066-7.
  • The Book of the Second International Musicological Congress, Warsaw, 10–17 October 1999: Chopin and His Work in the Context of Culture, studies edited by Irena Poniatowska, vols. 1-2, Warsaw, 2003.
  • Frédéric L. Bastet (1997). Helse liefde: Biografisch essay over Marie d'Agoult, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, George Sand. Amsterdam: Querido. ISBN 90-214-5157-3.
  • Samson, Jim (1996). Chopin. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-816495-5.
  • Jeremy Siepmann (1995). Chopin: The Reluctant Romantic. London: Victor Gollancz. ISBN 0-575-05692-4.
  • Jim Samson, The Cambridge Companion to Chopin. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
  • Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, Chopin: Pianist and Teacher, as Seen by His Pupils, Cambridge University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-521-36709-3.
  • Jim Samson, The Music of Chopin. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1985.
  • André Maurois, Leila: the Life of George Sand, translated by Gerard Hopkins, Penguin, 1980 (c 1953).
  • Jan Zygmunt Jakubowski, ed., Literatura polska od średniowiecza to pozytywizmu (Polish Literature from the Middle Ages to Positivism), Warsaw, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1979, ISBN 83-01-00201-8.
  • George R. Marek and Maria Gordon-Smith, Chopin: A biography, New York, Harper & Row, 1978.
  • Chopin's Letters, collected by Henryk Opieński, translated by E.L. Voynich, New York, 1973.
  • The Book of the First International Musicological Congress Devoted [to] the Works of Frederick Chopin, Warsaw, 16–22 February 1960, edited by Zofia Lissa, Warsaw, PWN, 1963.
  • Selected Correspondence of Fryderyk Chopin, collected and annotated by B.E. Sydow, translated and edited by Arthur Hedley, London, 1962.
  • Krystyna Kobylańska, Chopin in His Own Land: Documents and Souvenirs, Kraków, P.W.M., 1955.
  • David Ewen, Ewen's Musical Masterworks: The Encyclopedia of Musical Masterpieces, 2nd ed., New York, ARCO Publishing Company, 1954.
  • Artur Szklener, "Fryckowe lato: czyli wakacyjne muzykowanie Chopina" ("Fritz's Summers: Chopin's Musical Vacations"), Magazyn Chopin: Miesięcznik Narodowego Instytutu Fryderyka Chopina (Chopin Magazine: Monthly of the Fryderyk Chopin National Institute), no. 4, 2010, pp. 8–9.
  • Maria Barcz, "Etiuda paryska" ("Paris Étude"), Gwiazda Polarna (The Pole Star), vol. 101, no. 17 (14 August 2010), pp. 15–16.
  • Chopin and Other Musical Essays (1889) by Henry Theophilus Finck.
  • Jeffrey Kallberg, “Chopin in the Marketplace: Aspects of the International Music Publishing Industry in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century,” Notes 39, no. 3 (March 1983): 539.

Frédéric Chopin's illness[edytuj | edytuj kod]

The illness of Frédéric Chopin and the reasons of his premature death at the age of 39 remain unclear. Despite the fact that during his lifetime Chopin was diagnosed with tuberculosis and treated accordingly, since his death in 1849 a number of alternatives diagnoses of his state of health have been put forward.

Case history[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Frédéric Chopin, a delicate person most susceptible to diseases, since his early years was under constant medical control. Lack of tolerance for fat meals, especially based on pork, was discovered in him – those caused stomachaches, diarrhea and loss of body weight. Later on, he avoided such symptoms through an aprropriately balanced diet. Large improvements came when he altered his diet to be based on e.g. honey and oat bran. Chopin reached 170 centimetres in height (25th centile) and at the age of 28 he weighed 45 kilograms (below the 3rd centile).

It is known that at the age of 22 Chopin had no facial hair: as he himself wrote in the winter of 1832, he grew sideburns only at one side of his face.[1] In 1826 he was sick for six months, suffering from enlarged cervical lymph nodes and severe headaches. In 1830, a chronic cold caused a swelling of the nose, which was one of the reasons for canceling the composer's concerts in Vienna. In 1831, the 21-year-old Chopin, while on his stay in Paris, suffered from his forst hemoptysis. In 1835, he underwent a severe two-month-long laryngitis and bronchitis, and the interruption of the correspondence he sent to Warsaw became reason for gossips about his death.[2] In his early youth, he administered himself the treatment with belladonna. In his last ten years he treated coughing fits of varying intensity, which were present throughout his whole life, with a mixture of sugar and opium. Chopin coughed out a lot of mucus, especially in the mornings, at about 10 a.m.[3] He drank alcohol occasionally, sometimes smoked and – as a few autors observed – was prone to consequences of inhaling others' smoke while enjoying the company of his Parisian friends.[1] In the last year of his life, he suffered from incurable diarrheas, caused either by cor pulmonale or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (see below).

On October 17th, 1849, at 2 a.m., after a sudden coughing fit, Chopin died in his 39th year of life. Jean Cruveilhier confirmed the death of the composer, holding a mirror to his mouth and illuminating the pupils with light of a candle. Under the will of the deceased, he carried out an autopsy. The report from the postmortem examination was destroyed during World War Two or in the fire of Paris in 1871; it is known, however, that the death certificate gave the tuberculosis of lungs and larynx as the causes of Chopin’s death. The conclusions from this report are second-hand. Wojciech Grzymała in his letter to Auguste Leo dated October 1849 wrote that the autopsy did not confirm the tuberculous changes in the lungs and that the disease of the composer was not known to contemporary medicine. The results of post-mortem examination were communicated also to Ludwika Chopin, Adolf Guttmann and Jayne Sterling, and their later letters on this were consistent with the conclusions cited above.[4]

Chopin's physicians[edytuj | edytuj kod]

The number of physicians taking care of Chopin is not certain; various authors put forward the number of 14,[5] 31[6] or "nearly 50"[7] doctors. Besides, the composer had friendly relations with some other physicians, which may have ocassionally provided him with professional assistance on a friendly basis.[6]

In Warsaw the physicians of Chopin were Jan Fryderyk Wilhelm Malcz, Franciszek Girardot and Fryderyk Adolf Roemer. In Vienna the medical care was provided to Chopin by Johann Malfatti. Among the physicians taking care of Chopin in Paris were Aleksander Hofman, Jean-Jacques Molin, Andre Francois Cauviere, Jan Matuszyński, Adam Raciborski, Pierre Gaubert, Gustave Papet and Coste. During his 1848 stay in London – Mallan and James Clark. In Paris in the years 1848 and 1849 he was treated by Léon Simon, Fraenkel, David Koreff, Louis and Roth.[1] The last physician of Chopin was Jean Cruveilhier.

Family history[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Little is known about the health of Frédéric’s father. Mikołaj Chopin lived up to the age of 74, and suffered from respiratory infections several times. The composer's mother had no chronic illnesses and reached the age of 87. Of three Frédéric’s sisters, Izabela died at the age of 70 and had no illnesses; Ludwika suffered from recurrent respiratory infections and died at the age of 47; the youngest Emilia was of frail health since the earliest age. She suffered from recurrent coughs and dysponea. Since the age of 11 she started having haemorrhages from the upper gastrointestinal tract and died because of a massive haemorrhage at the age of 14.

Hypotheses on the cause of Chopin's death[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Tuberculosis[edytuj | edytuj kod]

During his life, Chopin was diagnosed with tuberculosis and treated for this disease according to the contemporary views: with bloodletting and purging, among others. The diagnosis of tuberculosis figured in his death certificate, despite (allegedly) the lack of typical organ changes. The critics of the alternative hypotheses regarding the disease of Chopin point out the abundant evidence for tuberculosis.[8][9][10] Chronic coughs and haemoptysis are common symptoms of tuberculosis; its complications may be both pericarditis, causing right-heart insufficiency, and bronchiectasis, manifesting in productive cough and respiratory failure.

A 20-year history of haempotysis is rarely observed in tuberculosis, but not impossible; similiarly, cavernous tuberculosis is rare in childhood, but cannot be excluded in the case of Emilia Chopin. Frédéric could contract tuberculosis from his younger sister.[11] Against the diagnosis of hypothesis stands the fact that some physicians taking care of Chopin did not diagnose him with that common and well-known disease. The argument against this hypothesis would be also lack of organ manifestations typical for tuberculosis in Cruveilhier’s report and coexisting gastrointestinal symptoms that could not be explained with tuberculosis.[12]

In the monograph on the historical methods of treatment of tuberculosis, individual treatments were discussed on the example of Frédéric Chopin, since his history of disease well illustrated the contemporary views on tuberculosis treatment in the mid-19th century.[13]

Cystic fibrosis[edytuj | edytuj kod]

The hypothesis that Chopin suffered from cystic fibrosis was presented for the first time by O’Shea in 1987.[14] It was supported and popularised by physicians from the Medical University of Poznań.[15] Arguments for cystic fibrosis as the main cause underlying Chopin’s complaints are: the onset of the condition in early childhood, possible familial occurence (Emilia), gastrointestinal symptoms, intolerance of fat-rich meals, recurrent infections of lower respiratory tract, also suppurative, with exacerbations in the winters, recurrent infections of the upper respiratory tract (laryngitis, sinusitis), barrel-shaped thorax (visible on some photographs and cariactures), low tolerance for physical exercise, an episode of heatstroke (more frequent among the people with CF), caries (more pronounced in the course of this disease), putative infertility.[16] There is no evidence for clubbed fingers – a symptom of hypertrophic osteoarthropathy, frequent in the cystic fibrosis – but the arthralgia of hands and ankles in his last year of life may be related to this condition.[17] It was suggested that Chopin suffered from a milder form of CF, with the course worsened by coexisting tuberculosis or other mycobacteriosis.[18] A confirmation of this hypothesis could be obtained after an exhumation and genetic tests of preserved body tissues, but so far scientists have not been granted the permission to obtain samples of the composer's heart, which is kept in the Warsaw Church of the Holy Cross.[19]

Alfa 1-atitripisin deficiency[edytuj | edytuj kod]

A hypothesis on Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency was presented by Kuzemko in 1994.[1] According to this hypothesis, the deadly hemorrhage of Emilia was caused by ruptured esophageal varices secondary to liver cirrhosis in the course of alfa1-antitripsin deficiency. Frédéric's symptoms of liver insufficiency would be hypoproteinemia, feminisation features (no facial hair) and gastrointestinal bleedings. His death would be explained by liver failure and respiratory failure due to a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Supporters of the cystic fibrosis hypothesis argued against some of Kuzemko's statements, showing that cystic fibrosis explains Chopin’s symptoms as well.[20][21] Kuzemko himself admitted that typical symptoms of liver cirhosis in the course of alfa1-antitripisin deficiency would be jaundice and ascites.

Kuzemko’s hypothesis was recalled by Reuben[22] and Eriksson[23] in 2003.

Mitral stenosis[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Mitral stenosis was a possible, but not a very likely cause of the artist’s complaints and was discussed by Kubba and Young in 1998.[24] The most important argument against this hypothesis is the lack of evidence that Chopin suffered from rheumatic fever in his childhood, which is the most common cause of mitral valve stenosis.

Other diseases[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Kubba and Young pointed out a number of diseases, besides cystic fibrosis and alfa1-antitripsin deficiency, which could have served as possible but unlikely diagnoses: Churg-Strauss syndrome, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, hypogammaglobulinemia, idiopathic pulmonary haemosiderosis, lung abscesses and pulmonary arteriovenous malformations.[24]

Infertility[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Chopin was sexually active since his early adulthood, however, he left no descendant. Some authors consider this as a premise to his infertility which would strengthen the cystic fibrosis hypothesis.[21]

Depression and other mental conditions[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Biographers of the artist often wrote about his depression, however, this issue was rarely undertaken by psychiatrists. One of the few studies on Chopin’s mental condition is Onuf-Onufrowicz's 1920 work. The author presented statements of the composer’s biographers concerning his character and psyche and pointed out some symptoms which may indicate a manic-depressive disease (today's bipolar disorder) and dementia praecox (today's schizophrenia), emphasizing, however, lack of information on the symptoms of severe psychosis and the fact that the singular symptoms may only suggest a predisposition to these mental ilnesses.[25]

References[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  1. 1,0 1,1 1,2 1,3 J.A. Kuzemko (1994): Chopin's illnesses. "Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine". 1287, pp. 769-72,
  2. John O'Shea: Music & Medicine: Medical Profiles of Great Composers. London: Dent, 1990, p. 144. ISBN 0-460-86106-9
  3. John O'Shea: Music & Medicine: Medical Profiles of Great Composers. London: Dent, 1990, p. 143. ISBN 0-460-86106-9
  4. John O'Shea: Music & Medicine: Medical Profiles of Great Composers. London: Dent, 1990, p. 149. ISBN 0-460-86106-9
  5. Barry K: Chopin and his fourteen doctors. Sydney Austral Med Publish Co, 1934, Cited from: Sielużycki, 1976
  6. 6,0 6,1 C. Sielużycki (1976): Lekarze Chopina. Archiwum Historii Medycyny 39, 3 pp. 305-332
  7. E. Stocki (1956): Zapomniani lekarze-przyjaciele Fryderyka Chopina. Polski Tygodnik Lekarski 24, pp. 1102-1104 (1956) Cited from: Sielużycki, 1976
  8. T.O. Cheng (1998): Chopin's illness. "Chest". 2114, pp. 654-5
  9. M.L. Margolis (1998): The Long Suffering of Frederic Chopin, revisited. "Chest". 2114, p. 655 .
  10. E.R. Carter (1998): Chopin's Malady. "Chest". 2114, pp. 655-6
  11. John O'Shea: Music & Medicine: Medical Profiles of Great Composers. London: Dent, 1990, p. 142-143. ISBN 0-460-86106-9
  12. A. Kubba (1998): To the Editor. "Chest". 114 (2), p. 654
  13. Long Esmond Ray: A History of the Therapy of Tuberculosis and the Case of Frederic Chopin. University Press of Kansas 1956
  14. J.G. O'Shea (1987): Was Frédéric Chopin's Illness Actually Cystic Fibrosis?. :Medical Journal of Australia". 11-12147, pp. 586-9.
  15. L. Majka, J. Goździk, M. Witt (2003): Cystic fibrosis – a probable cause of Frédéric Chopin's suffering and death. "Journal of Applied Genetics". 144, pp. 77-84.
  16. John O'Shea: Music & Medicine: Medical Profiles of Great Composers. London: Dent, 1990, p. 152. ISBN 0-460-86106-9
  17. John O'Shea: Music & Medicine: Medical Profiles of Great Composers. London: Dent, 1990, p. 141. ISBN 0-460-86106-9
  18. H. Persson, B. Wikman, B. Strandvik (2005): Frederic Chopin – The Man, His Music and His Illness. "Przegląd Lekarski". 62 (6), pp. 321-5
  20. P.D. Phelan (1995): Chopin's Illnesses. "Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine". 888, pp. 483-4.
  21. 21,0 21,1 L. Majka, J. Goździk, M. Witt (2003): Cystic fibrosis – a probable cause of Frédéric Chopin's suffering and death. "Journal of Applied Genetics". 144, pp. 77-84.
  22. A. Reuben (2003): Chopin's Serpin. "Hepatology". 237, pp. 485-8.
  23. S. Eriksson (2003): Led Chopin av antitrypsinbrist? Försvunnet obduktionsprotokoll har gäckat sentida läkares försök att fastställa diagnosen. "Lakartidningen". 30-31100, pp. 2449-54
  24. 24,0 24,1 A.K. Kubba, M. Young (1998): The Long Suffering of Frederic Chopin. "Chest". 1113, pp. 210-6.
  25. B. Onuf (Onufrowicz) (1920): Frederick Chopin’s Mental Makeup. "Dementia Praecox Studies: A Journal of Psychiatry of Adolescence", pp. 199–204

Żelazowa Wola[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Żelazowa Wola [ʐɛlaˈzɔva ˈvɔla] is a village in Gmina Sochaczew, Sochaczew County, Masovian Voivodeship, in east-central Poland.[1] It lies on the Utrata River, some 8 kilometres (5 miles) northeast of Sochaczew and 46 kilometres (29 miles) west of Warsaw. Żelazowa Wola has a population of 65.

The village is the birthplace of pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin, and of violinist Henryk Szeryng. It is known for its picturesque Masovian landscape, including numerous winding streams surrounded by willows and hills.

In 1909, in celebration of Chopin's centenary, Russian composer Sergei Lyapunov wrote the symphonic poem, Zhelazova Vola (Żelazowa Wola), Op. 37 (Russian: Жeлaзoвa Вoлa), "in memory of Chopin".[2]

Housed in an annex to the Chopins' home, surrounded by a park, is a museum devoted to Frédéric Chopin. In the summer, concerts of his music are performed by pianists from all over the world, who play inside the family home. In an adjacent park is a monument to the pianist, designed by Józef Gosławski.

References[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  1. Central Statistical Office (GUS) – TERYT (National Register of Territorial Land Apportionment Journal) (in Polish). 2008-06-01.
  2. Crocks Newsletter

George Sand[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Amantine (also "Amandine") Aurore Lucile Dupin, later Baroness (French: baronne) Dudevant (1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876), best known by her pseudonym George Sand, was a French writer. She is considered a feminist by some, though she refused to join the movement. She is regarded as the first French woman writer to gain a major reputation.[1]

Early life[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Sand's father, Maurice Dupin, was the grandson of the Marshal General of France, Maurice, Comte de Saxe, himself an illegitimate son of Augustus II the Strong, King of Poland and a Saxon elector, as well as a cousin to the sixth degree to the kings of France Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X.[2] Sand's mother, Sophie-Victoire Delaborde, was a commoner. Sand was born in Paris but raised for much of her childhood by her grandmother, Marie Aurore de Saxe, Madame Dupin de Franceuil, at her grandmother's estate, Nohant, in the French province of Berry. She later used the setting in many of her novels. It has been said that her upbringing was quite liberal. In 1822, at the age of nineteen, she married Baron Casimir Dudevant (1795–1871), illegitimate son of Baron Jean-François Dudevant. She and Dudevant had two children: Maurice (1823–1889) and Solange (1828–1899). In early 1831, she left her prosaic husband and entered upon a four- or five-year period of "romantic rebellion." In 1835, she was legally separated from Dudevant and took her children with her.

Contemporary views[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Sand's reputation came into question when she began sporting men's clothing in public – which she justified by the clothes being far sturdier and less expensive than the typical dress of a noblewoman at the time. In addition to being comfortable, Sand's male dress enabled her to circulate more freely in Paris than most of her female contemporaries, and gave her increased access to venues from which women were often barred – even women of her social standing.

Also scandalous was Sand's smoking tobacco in public; neither peerage nor gentry had yet sanctioned the free indulgence of women in such a habit, especially in public (though Franz Liszt's paramour Marie d'Agoult affected this as well, smoking large cigars). These and other behaviours were exceptional for a woman of the early and mid-19th century, when social codes – especially in the upper classes – were of the utmost importance.

As a consequence of many unorthodox aspects of her lifestyle, Sand was obliged to relinquish some of the privileges appertaining to a baroness – though, interestingly, the mores of the period did permit upper-class wives to live physically separated from their husbands, without losing face, provided the estranged couple exhibited no blatant irregularity to the outside world.

Poet Charles Baudelaire was a contemporary critic of George Sand: "She is stupid, heavy and garrulous. Her ideas on morals have the same depth of judgment and delicacy of feeling as those of janitresses and kept women... The fact that there are men who could become enamoured of this slut is indeed a proof of the abasement of the men of this generation."[3]

Other writers of the period, however, were more favourable in their assessments of Sand. The later novelist Flaubert, who was by no means an indulgent or forbearing critic, held unabashed admiration for her, as did Marcel Proust. Honoré de Balzac, another French novelist who knew Sand personally, once said that if someone thought George Sand wrote badly, it was because their own standards of criticism were inadequate. He also noted that her treatment of imagery in her works showed that her writing had an exceptional subtlety, having the ability to 'virtually put the image in the word'. [4]

Relationships[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Sand conducted affairs of varying duration with Jules Sandeau (1831), Prosper Mérimée, Alfred de Musset (summer 1833 – March 1835), Louis-Chrystosome Michel, Pierre-François Bocage, Félicien Mallefille and Frédéric Chopin (1837-1847).[5] Later in her life, she corresponded with Gustave Flaubert. Despite their obvious differences in temperament and aesthetic preference, they eventually became close friends.

She was engaged in an intimate friendship with actress Marie Dorval, which led to widespread but unconfirmed rumors of a lesbian affair.[6] Letters written by Sand to Dorval mentioned things like "wanting you either in your dressing room or in your bed."

In Majorca one can still visit the (then abandoned) Carthusian monastery of Valldemossa, where she spent the winter of 1838-1939 with Chopin and her children.[7] The trip to Majorca was described by her in Un Hiver à Majorque (A Winter in Majorca), published in 1855. Chopin was already ill with incipient tuberculosis at the beginning of their relationship, and spending a winter in Majorca – where Sand and Chopin did not realise that winter was a time of rain and cold, and where they could not get proper lodgings – exacerbated his symptoms.

They split two years before his death, for a culmination of reasons. Sand's insecurities at forty probably contributed to her boredom and sexual dissatisfaction with Chopin. In Lucrezia Floriani, a novel, Sand used Chopin as a model for a sickly Eastern European prince named Karol. He was cared for by a middle-aged actress past her prime, Lucrezia, who suffered a great deal by caring for Karol.[8] Though Sand claimed not to have made a cartoon out of Chopin, the book's publication and widespread readership may have exacerbated their apathy to each other. However, the tipping point in their relationship involved her daughter Solange. Chopin continued to be cordial to Solange after she and her husband, Auguste Clesinger, had a vicious falling out with Sand over money. Sand took Chopin's support of Solange as outright treachery, and confirmation that Chopin had always "loved" Solange.[9] Sand's son Maurice also disliked Chopin. Maurice wanted to establish himself as the 'man of the estate,' and did not wish to have Chopin as a rival for that role. Chopin was never asked back to Nohant. In 1848, he returned to Paris from a tour of the UK and died at the Place Vendôme. Chopin was penniless at that point; his friends had to pay for his stay there, as well as his funeral at the Madeleine. The funeral was attended by over 3,000 people, including Delacroix, Liszt, Victor Hugo and other famous people. George Sand, however, was notable by her absence.

Writing career[edytuj | edytuj kod]

A liaison with the writer Jules Sandeau heralded her literary debut. They published a few stories in collaboration, signing them "Jules Sand." Her first published novel, Rose et Blanche (1831), was written in collaboration with Sandeau. She subsequently adopted, for her first independent novel, Indiana (1832), the pen name that made her famous – George Sand.[10]

Drawing from her childhood experiences of the countryside, she wrote the rural novels La Mare au Diable (1846), François le Champi (1847-1848), La Petite Fadette (1849) and Les Beaux Messieurs Bois-Doré (1857). A Winter in Majorca described the period that she and Chopin spent on that island in 1838-1839.

Her other novels include Indiana (1832), Lélia (1833), Mauprat (1837), Le Compagnon du Tour de France (1840), Consuelo (1842-1843), and Le Meunier d'Angibault (1845).

Further theatre pieces and autobiographical pieces include Histoire de ma vie (1855), Elle et Lui (1859) (about her affair with Musset), Journal Intime (posthumously published in 1926), and Correspondence. Sand often performed her theatrical works in her small private theatre at the Nohant estate.

In addition, Sand authored literary criticism and political texts. She wrote many essays and published works establishing her socialist position. Because of her early life, she sided with the poor and the working class. When the 1848 Revolution began, women had no rights and Sand believed these were necessary for progress. Around that time Sand started her own newspaper which was published in a workers' co-operative.[11] This allowed her to publish more political essays. She wrote "I cannot believe in any republic that starts a revolution by killing its own proletariat."

Her most widely used quote is "There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved."

She was known well in far reaches of the world, and her social practices, her writings and her beliefs prompted much commentary, often by other luminaries in the world of arts and letters. A few excerpts demonstrate much of what was often said about George Sand:

"She was a thinking bosom and one who overpowered her young lovers, all Sybil – a Romantic."
V.S. Pritchett, writer
"What a brave man she was, and what a good woman."
Ivan Turgenev, novelist
"The most womanly woman."
Alfred de Musset, poet

George Sand died at Nohant, near Châteauroux, in France's Indre département on 8 June 1876, at the age of 71 and was buried in the grounds of her home there. In 2004, controversial plans were suggested to move her remains to the Panthéon in Paris.

  • Voyage en Auvergne (autobiographical sketch, 1827)
  • Compagnon du tour De France (1840)
  • La Petite Fadette (1848)
  • Château des Désertes (1850)
  • Histoire de ma vie (autobiography up to the revolution of 1848; 1855)

Novels[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  • Rose et Blanche (1831, with Jules Sandeau)
  • Indiana (1832)
  • Valentine (1832)
  • Lélia (1833)
  • Andréa (1833)
  • Mattéa (1833)
  • Jacques (1833)
  • Kouroglou / Épopée Persane (1833)
  • Leone Leoni (1833)
  • Simon (1835)
  • Mauprat (1837)
  • Les Maîtres mosaïtes (1837)
  • L'Oreo (1838)
  • L'Uscoque (1838)
  • Spiridion (1839)
  • Un hiver à Majorque (1839)
  • Pauline (1839)
  • Horace (1840)
  • Consuelo (1842)
  • La Comtesse de Rudolstadt (1843, a sequel to Consuelo)
  • Jeanne (1844)
  • Teverino (1845)
  • Le Péché de M. Antoine (1845)
  • Le Meunier d'Angibault (1845)
  • La Mare au diable (1846)
  • Lucrezia Floriani (1846)
  • François le Champi (1847)
  • La Petite Fadette (1849)
  • Les Maîtres sonneurs (1853)
  • La Daniella (1857)
  • Elle et Lui (1859)
  • Jean de la Roche (1859)
  • L'Homme de neige (1859)
  • La Ville noire (1860)
  • Marquis de Villemer (1860)
  • Mademoiselle La Quintinie (1863)
  • Laura, Voyage dans le cristal (1864)
  • Le Dernier Amour (1866, dedicated to Flaubert)
  • La Marquise (1834)

Plays[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  • Gabriel (1839)
  • François le Champi (1849)
  • Claudie (1851)
  • Le Mariage le Victorine (1851)
  • Le Pressoir (1853, Play)
  • French Adaptation of As You Like It (1856)[12]
  • Le Marquis de Villemer (1864)
  • L'Autre (1870, with Sarah Bernhardt)

In literature[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Frequent literary references to George Sand can be found in Possession (1990) by A. S. Byatt. The American poet Walt Whitman cited Sand's novel Consuelo as a personal favorite and the sequel to this novel La Comtesse De Rudolstady contains at least a couple of passages that appear to have had a very direct influence on him. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861), an English poet, produced two poems "To George Sand: A Desire" and "To George Sand: A Recognition". The character, Stepan Verkhovensky, in Dostoevsky's novel The Possessed took to translating the works of George Sand in his periodical, before the periodical was subsequently seized by the ever-cautious Russian government of the 1840s. George Sand is referenced a number of times in the play Voyage, the first part of Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia trilogy. And in the first episode of the "Overture" to Swann's Way – the first novel in Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time sequence – young, distraught Marcel is calmed by his mother as she reads from François le Champi, a novel which it is explained was part of a birthday package from his grandmother which also included La Mare au Diable, La Petite Fadette, and Les Maîtres Sonneurs. As with many episodes involving art in À la recherche du temps perdu, this reminiscence includes commentary on the work. George Sand also makes an appearance in Isabel Allende's Zorro, going still by her given name, as a young girl in love with Diego de la Vega (Zorro).

In music, film, TV[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  • A Song to Remember (1945), directed by Charles Vidor, starring Merle Oberon as George Sand and Cornel Wilde as Chopin;
  • Song Without End (1960), also directed by Vidor (who died during the production and direction was assumed by George Cukor), in which Dirk Bogarde starred as Franz Liszt; Patricia Morison played a cameo role of George Sand;
  • Notorious Woman (1974), a 7-part BBC miniseries starring Rosemary Harris as George Sand and George Chakiris as Chopin;
  • In 1976, the band Ambrosia recorded the song "Danse With Me, George (Chopin's Plea)", based on Sand and Chopin's romance. It appeared on Ambrosia's Album "Somewhere I've Never Travelled;"
  • Impromptu (1991), starring Judy Davis as George Sand and Hugh Grant as Chopin;
  • Les Enfants du siècle (1999), starring Juliette Binoche as George Sand and Benoît Magimel as Alfred de Musset;
  • Chopin: Desire for Love (2002), directed by Jerzy Antczak starring Danuta Stenka as George Sand and Piotr Adamczyk as Chopin;
  • Gossip Girl (2008), where Blair Waldorf plans to astonish the dean of Yale University by answering 'George Sand' to his question of whom she would have dinner with, dead or alive. In another episode, Blair Waldorf says "Why rip off a page of your life when you can throw the whole book into the fire? George Sand, she understands me;"
  • In 2007, Céline Dion recorded a song based on a love letter sent from George Sand to Alfred de Musset for her album D'Elles;
  • The game Eternal Sonata mentions the relationship between George Sand and Chopin;
  • The band Meg & Dia recorded a song based on Sand's novel Indiana;
  • A song from Cole Porter's 1933 London show, "Nymph Errant" was entitled "Georgia Sand" in reference to Sand.

References[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  1. Gillian Tindall: The Countryside of Balzac and Sand. The New York Times; June 2, 1991.
  2. Musée de la Vie Romantique, Paris (family tree).
  3. Charles Baudelaire, My Heart Laid Bare. Ed. Peter Quennell, trans. Norman Cameron. Publ. Haskell House, 1975, pp. 184. ISBN 0-8383-1870-3
  4. Allan H. Pasco, "George Sand" p. 161 in Nouvelles Françaises du Dix-Neuviéme Siécle: Anthologie. 2006 Rookwood Press.
  5. Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris, pp. 160, 165, 194–195.
  6. George Sand by Belinda Jack – Books – Random House
  7. Museum in Valldemossa
  8. Tad Szulc. Chopin in Paris, p. 326
  9. Tad Szulc. Chopin in Paris, p.344 (From the correspondence of Sand and Chopin)
  10. Jean-Albert Bédé, "Sand, George", Encyclopedia Americana, 1986 ed., vol. 24, p. 218.
  11. George Sand The Story of Her Life
  12. French Adaptation of As You Like It

Bibliography[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  • Jean-Albert Bédé, "Sand, George", Encyclopedia Americana, 1986 ed., vol. 24, pp. 218–219.
  • Correspondence (letters) by George Sand and her contemporaries (see "Writings by George Sand" below – some of the letters are available in English translation); Autobiographical writings as mentioned above (several of these also available from Gutenberg website).
  • Tad Szulc, Chopin in Paris: the Life and Times of the Romantic Composer, New York, Scribner, 1998, ISBN 0-684-82458-2.
  • René Doumic – George Sand, some aspects of her life and writings in Project Gutenberg
  • In French:
  • Micheline Paintault (Director), Claudine Cerf (Author). George Sand: The Story of Her Life. DVD. FRANCE 5 ; SCEREN-CNDP, 2004.
  • Jim Yates. Oh!Père Lachaise:Oscar's Wilde Purgatory, Édition d'Amèlie 2007: ISBN 978-0-9555836-1-2 Oscar Wilde dreams of George Sand and is invited to a soirée at Nohant.

External links[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Paris[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Paris (/paʁi/ in French, /ˈpærɪs/ in English) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region (or Paris Region, French Région parisienne). The city of Paris, within its administrative limits largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2,193,031 (January 2007), but the Paris metropolitan area has a population of 11,836,970 (January 2007),[1] and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe.[2]

In 2009[3] and 2010[4][5] Paris has been ranked among the 3 most important and influential cities in the world, among the first 3 "European cities of the future" – according to a research published by Financial Times[6] and among the 10 cities in the world "where to live in" according to the British review Monocle (June 2010).[7] An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris is one of the world's leading business and cultural centres, and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.[8] Paris ranks also among the top 10 wealthiest cities in 2020[9] and estimated for 2025[10] together with Shanghai, São Paulo, Tokyo, New York City and London.

Paris and the Paris Region, with €552.7 billion in 2008, produces more than a quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP) of France.[11] According to 2007 estimates, the Paris urban agglomeration is Europe's biggest city economy[12] and the sixth largest in the world. The Paris Region hosts 38 of the Fortune Global 500 companies[13] in several business districts, notably La Défense, the largest purpose-built business district in Europe.[14] Paris also hosts many international organisations such as UNESCO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the informal Paris Club. According to a survey from Economist Intelligence Unit in 2010, Paris is the world's most expensive city to live in.[15]

Paris is the most popular tourist destination in the world. The Paris region receives 45 million tourists annually, 27 million of whom are foreign visitors.[16] The city and region contain numerous iconic landmarks, world-famous institutions and popular parks.

Paris in the 19th century[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Under Napoleon's rule, Paris became the capital of an empire and a great military power. He crowned himself Emperor in a ceremony held in Notre-Dame on 18 May 1804. Like his royal predecessors, he saw Paris as a "new Rome" and set about building public monuments befitting the capital of an empire. Some of these were conscious copies of great Roman buildings, such as the Église de la Madeleine.

Napoleon's military campaigns against the British, Austrians and Russians initially met with great success but hubris, overconfidence and poor planning caused the annihilation of his army in 1813 in the depths of a Russian winter. Russian and Austrian armies invaded France in 1814 and on 31 March 1814, Paris fell to the Russians – the first time in 400 years that the city had been conquered by a foreign power.

19th century revolutions[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Napoleon's brief return from exile ("Hundred Days") in 1815 saw him pass through Paris, en route to destiny at Waterloo on 18 June. His replacements, the restored Bourbon monarchs Louis XVIII (1814, 1815–1824) and Charles X (1824–1830), managed between them to provoke yet another revolution in Paris, confirming the saying that the Bourbons could "learn nothing and forget everything."

The powers of the monarchy were in theory confined by a Charter of Liberties but in practice both Louis and Charles ran an authoritarian regime reliant on Church support. On 25 July 1830 Charles issued the repressive Ordinances of St-Cloud, abolishing the freedom of the press, dissolving the Chamber of Deputies and restricting voting rights to the landed gentry only. A general uprising in Paris followed with three days of fighting between loyalists and rebels, including whole regiments of the Paris garrison. The king was forced to abdicate, being replaced by the more acceptable Louis-Philippe.

The arrival in Paris of the Industrial Revolution prompted the city's breakneck growth, with migrant workers arriving from the countryside on newly-constructed railway lines. By then its population was over 900,000 people, making it the second largest city in Europe after London, the third largest city in the world and far surpassing any other city in France (the next largest, Lyon and Marseille, had only about 115,000 inhabitants each). The city's status was reflected in the construction of grandiose new monuments, such as the Arc de Triomphe and the Eglise du Dome in which Napoleon's body was interred. Much of the population, however, lived in appalling conditions in diseased slums; a cholera outbreak in 1831 killed over 19,000 people.

Haussmann's renovation of Paris[edytuj | edytuj kod]

The discontented Parisian population was ripe for an uprising, and on 22 February 1848 it duly came when troops fired on demonstrators. Louis Philippe abdicated and was replaced by a Second Republic. Nationwide elections returned a conservative government which opposed any reforms. The Parisian workers rose again only to be massacred by General Cavaignac, with some 5,000 people being killed in the fighting and subsequent reprisals. Fresh elections were held at the end of 1848.

The victor was, to the surprise of many, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte – the nephew of the late Emperor. He won by an overwhelming majority (receiving 75% of the votes cast) but was not content with being a mere president. On 2 December 1851 he seized power in a coup, declared himself the Emperor Napoleon III and settled in the Tuileries Palace.

It was under Napoleon's rule that Paris in its modern form was created. In 1853 he appointed Baron Haussmann as Prefect, charged with modernising the city. This Haussmann did to a drastic extent, demolishing much of the old city and replacing it with a network of wide, straight boulevards and radiating circuses. The Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes were both transformed into large public parks. Although Haussmann was forced to resign in 1869 after financial irregularities, his scheme is largely responsible for the present-day look and layout of Paris.

The Siege of Paris and the Commune[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Napoleon's rule came to an abrupt end when he declared war on Prussia in 1870, only to be defeated and captured at Sedan. He abdicated on 4 September, with a Third Republic proclaimed that same day in Paris. On 19 September the Prussian army arrived at Paris and besieged the city. Major city landmarks were pressed into military service, with the Louvre being turned into an arms factory, the Gare d'Orléans (now the Gare d'Austerlitz) into a balloon workshop and the Gare de Lyon into a cannon foundry.

The city finally surrendered on 28 January 1871 with punitive terms being inflicted on the defeated French. They were, in fact, unacceptably punitive in the eyes of many Parisians, who saw the peace treaty signed by the government of Adolphe Thiers as a betrayal. A revolt broke out on 18 March when government forces were driven out of Montmartre. The government regrouped at Versailles, while on 26 March the Commune of Paris – effectively a miniature socialist republic – was proclaimed in the city. Fierce fighting broke out a few days later as government troops retook the city district by district. It only ended on 28 May, by which time an estimated 4,000–5,000 people on both sides had been killed. In the aftermath, another 10,000 Communards were shot, 40,000 were arrested and 5,000 were deported.

The Belle Époque[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Although the Third Republic was widely disliked for its political instability and corruption, it did manage to deliver a golden age – a belle époque – for Paris. The city acquired many distinctive new monuments and public buildings, foremost among them the Eiffel Tower, constructed for the World Exhibition of 1889. It was renowned as a center for the arts, with the Impressionists taking their inspiration from its new vistas. At the same time, Paris acquired a less savoury reputation as the "sin capital of Europe", with hundreds of brothels, revues and risqué cabarets such as the famous Moulin Rouge. The city also acquired its metro system, opened in 1900.

In January 1910, the Seine flooded 20 feet above normal, drowning streets throughout the city of Paris and sending thousands of Parisians fleeing to emergency shelters. The 1910 Great Flood of Paris was the worst the city had seen since 1658 when the water reached only a few centimeters higher.[17]

Monuments and landmarks[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Three of the most famous Parisian landmarks are the twelfth-century cathedral Notre Dame de Paris on the Île de la Cité, the Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe and the nineteenth-century Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower was a "temporary" construction by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Universal Exposition, but the tower was never dismantled and is now an enduring symbol of Paris. The Historical axis is a line of monuments, buildings, and thoroughfares that run in a roughly straight line from the city-centre westwards: The line of monuments begins with the Louvre and continues through the Tuileries Gardens, the Champs-Élysées, and the Arc de Triomphe, centred in the Place de l'Étoile circus. From the 1960s, the line was prolonged even further west to the La Défense business district dominated by square-shaped triumphal Grande Arche of its own; this district hosts most of the tallest skyscrapers in the Paris urban area. The Invalides museum is the burial place for many great French soldiers, including Napoleon, and the Panthéon church is where many of France's illustrious men and women are buried. The former Conciergerie prison held some prominent Ancien Régime members before their deaths during the French Revolution. Another symbol of the Revolution are the two Statues of Liberty located on the Île des Cygnes on the Seine and in the Luxembourg Garden. A larger version of the statues was sent as a gift from France to America in 1886 and now stands in New York City's harbour. The Palais Garnier, built in the later Second Empire period, houses the Paris Opera and the Paris Opera Ballet, while the former palace of the Louvre now houses one of the most renowned museums in the world. The Sorbonne is the most famous part of the University of Paris and is based in the centre of the Latin Quarter. Apart from Notre Dame de Paris, there are several other ecclesiastical masterpieces including the Gothic thirteenth-century Sainte-Chapelle palace chapel and the Église de la Madeleine.

Entertainment and performing arts[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Paris's largest opera houses are the nineteenth-century Opéra Garnier (historical Paris Opéra) and modern Opéra Bastille; the former tends towards the more classic ballets and operas, and the latter provides a mixed repertoire of classic and modern. In the middle of 19th century, there were active two other competing opera houses: Opéra-Comique (which still exists to this day) and Théâtre Lyrique (which in modern times changed its profile and name to Théâtre de la Ville).

Theatre traditionally has occupied a large place in Parisian culture. This still holds true today; and many of its most popular actors today are also stars of French television. Some of Paris's major theatres include Bobino, Théâtre Mogador, and the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse. Some Parisian theatres have also doubled as concert halls. Many of France's greatest musical legends, such as Édith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier, Georges Brassens, and Charles Aznavour, found their fame in Parisian concert halls: Legendary yet still-showing examples of these are Le Lido, Bobino, l'Olympia, la Cigale, and le Splendid.

The Élysées-Montmartre, much reduced from its original size, is a concert hall today. The New Morning is one of few Parisian clubs still holding jazz concerts, but the same also specialises in 'indie' music. In more recent times, the Le Zénith hall in Paris's La Villette quarter and a "parc-omnisports" stadium in Bercy serve as large-scale rock concert halls.

Several yearly festivals take place in Paris, such as Rock en Seine.

Parisians tend to share the same film-going trends as many of the world's global cities, that is to say with a dominance of Hollywood-generated film entertainment. French cinema comes a close second, with major directors (réalisateurs) such as Claude Lelouch, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Luc Besson, and the more slapstick/popular genre with director Claude Zidi as an example. European and Asian films are also widely shown and appreciated. A specialty of Paris is its very large network of small cinemas: on a given week, a film fan has the choice between around 300 old or new productions from all over the world.

Many of Paris's concert/dance halls were transformed into cinemas when the media became popular from the 1930s. Later, most of the largest cinemas were divided into multiple, smaller rooms: Paris's largest cinema today is by far le Grand Rex with 2,800 seats, whereas other cinemas all have fewer than 1,000 seats. There is now a trend toward modern multiplexes that contain more than 10 or 20 screens.

References[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  1., Aire Urbaine '99 – pop totale par sexe et âge, Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques, accessed 2006-04-10
  2. Stefan Helders, World Metropolitan Areas, World Gazetteer,, accessed 2007-01-18
  3. Global Power City Index 2009
  7. Monocle, Issue June 2010
  8. Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group and Network, Loughborough University, The World According to GaWC 2008,, accessed 2010-04-19
  11. Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques, Produits Intérieurs Bruts Régionaux (PIBR) en valeur en millions d'euros,, accessed 2010-02-10
  12. The United Nations, World Urbanization Prospects: The 2007 Revision Population Database,, accessed 2009-11=21
  13. Fortune: Global Fortune 500 by countries: France,, accessed 2008-07-28
  14., Vertical Mail: Paris Île-de-France, a head start in Europe,, accessed 2007-10-04
  15. Economist Intelligence Unit: The cost of living in cities, Trop Cher?,, accessed 2010-03-10
  16. Île-de-France Regional Council, Tourism,, accessed 2009-01-19
  17. See Jeffrey H. Jackson, Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition[edytuj | edytuj kod]

The International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition, often referred to as the Chopin Competition, is a prestigious piano competition taking place in Warsaw, initiated in 1927 and held every five years since 1955. It is one of few competitions devoted entirely to the oeuvre of a single composer.[1]

The first competition was founded by the eminent Polish pianist and pedagogue Jerzy Żurawlew. Subsequent editions were organised in 1932 and 1937; the post-war fourth and fifth editions were held in 1949 and 1955. In 1957 the competition became one of the founding members of the World Federation of International Music Competitions in Geneva.

Traditional special awards include the Polish Radio prize for the best Mazurka performance (since 1927), the Fryderyk Chopin Society in Warsaw prize for the best Polonaise (since 1960), and the National Philharmonic prize for the best performance of a Concerto (since 1980).

The tenth edition, in 1980, entered the history of music competitions as a result of heated arguments between members of the jury. The controversy arising from a difference in opinion about a contestant, 22-year-old Yugoslavian pianist Ivo Pogorelić, and his openly provocative style of interpretation and behaviour on the stage, developed into a worldwide scandal. The jury divided into two groups: those who found his playing unacceptable, and those who were enthusiastic or at least approving of his performance, most notably Martha Argerich, Paul Badura-Skoda and Nikita Magaloff. Finally, when Pogorelić did not reach the final fourth stage, Martha Argerich ostentatiously left the jury, announcing that she felt ashamed for having taken part in the judging process. This followed another scandal a few days earlier, when another member of the jury, Louis Kentner, had resigned because of his disapproval of the assessment. However, while Kentner never returned to Warsaw, Martha Argerich has been a juror in subsequent editions of the Chopin Competition up to 2010. After the affair Ivo Pogorelić gained great popularity in Poland and abroad.

Past members of the jury have included such names as Martha Argerich, Stefan Askenase, Wilhelm Backhaus, Paul Badura-Skoda, Nadia Boulanger, Dang Thai Son, Philippe Entremont, Nelson Freire, Arthur Hedley, Mieczysław Horszowski, Marguerite Long, Lazare Levy, Nikita Magaloff, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Heinrich Neuhaus, Vlado Perlemuter, Arthur Rubinstein, Emil Sauer, Magda Tagliaferro, and many distinguished Polish pianists, teachers, conductors, as well as composers (for instance Witold Lutosławski).

Chairman[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Traditionally the chairman of the board is a Polish musician:

  • composer Witold Maliszewski (1927)
  • composer Adam Wieniawski (1932 and 1937)
  • pianist and teacher Zbigniew Drzewiecki (1949, 1955, 1960, 1965)
  • composer and theoretician Kazimierz Sikorski (1970 and 1975)
  • conductor Kazimierz Kord (1980)
  • pianist and teacher Jan Ekier (1985, 1990, 1995)
  • pianist and teacher Andrzej Jasiński (2000, 2005, 2010)

Arthur Rubinstein has also acted as honorary chairman.

Prize winners[edytuj | edytuj kod]

Table showing: top 6 prize winners since 1927
::Year:: 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1927 Lev Oborin, USSR Stanisław Szpinalski, Poland Róża Etkin-Moszkowska, Poland Grigory Ginzburg, USSR  
1932 Alexander Uninsky, France Imré Ungár, Hungary Bolesław Kon, Poland Abram Lufer, USSR Lajos Kentner, Hungary Leonid Sagalov, USSR
1937 Yakov Zak, USSR Rosa Tamarkina, USSR Witold Małcużyński, Poland Lance Dossor, United Kingdom Agi Jambor, Hungary Edith Picht-Axenfeld, Germany
1942 No competition due to World War II
1949 Bella Davidovich, USSR

Halina Czerny-Stefańska, Poland (Ex aequo et bono)

Barbara Hesse-Bukowska, Poland Waldemar Maciszewski, Poland Georgy Muravlov, USSR Władysław Kędra, Poland Ryszard Bakst, Poland
1955 Adam Harasiewicz, Poland Vladimir Ashkenazy, USSR Fou Ts'ong, China Bernard Ringeissen, France Naum Shtarkman, USSR Dmitry Paperno, USSR
1960 Maurizio Pollini, Italy Irina Zaritskaya, USSR Tanya Achot-Harutunian, Armenia Ming-Qiang Li, China Zinaida Ignatyeva, USSR Valeri Kastelsky, USSR
1965 Martha Argerich, Argentina Arthur Moreira Lima, Brazil Marta Sosińska, Poland Hiroko Nakamura, Japan Edward Auer, USA Elzbieta Glabówna, Poland
1970 Garrick Ohlsson, USA Mitsuko Uchida, Japan Piotr Paleczny, Poland Eugene Indjic, USA Natalya Gavrilova, USSR Janusz Olejniczak, Poland
1975 Krystian Zimerman, Poland Dina Joffe, USSR Tatyana Fedkina, USSR Pavel Gililov, USSR Dean Kramer, USA Diana Kacso, Brazil
1980 Dang Thai Son, Vietnam Tatyana Shebanova, USSR Arutyun Papazyan, Armenia Not awarded Akiko Ebi, Japan

Ewa Poblocka, Poland (Ex aequo et bono)

Eric Berchot, France

Irina Pietrova, USSR (Ex aequo et bono)

1985 Stanislav Bunin, USSR Marc Laforet, France Krzysztof Jabłoński, Poland Michie Koyama, Japan Jean-Marc Luisada, Tunisia Tatyana Pikayzen, USSR
1990 Not awarded Kevin Kenner, USA Yukio Yokoyama, Japan Corrado Rollero, Italy

Margarita Shevchenko, USSR (Ex aequo et bono)

Anna Malikova, USSR

Takako Takahashi, Japan (Ex aequo et bono])

Caroline Sageman, France
1995 Not Awarded Philippe Giusiano, France

Alexei Sultanov, Russia (Ex aequo et bono)

Gabriela Montero, Venezuela / USA Rem Urasin, Russia Rika Miyatani, Japan Magdalena Lisak, Poland
2000 Li Yundi, China Ingrid Fliter, Argentina Alexander Kobrin, Russia Sa Chen, China Alberto Nosè, Italy Mika Sato, Japan
2005 Rafał Blechacz, Poland Not awarded Dong-Hyek Lim, South Korea

Dong-Min Lim, South Korea (Ex aequo et bono)

Shohei Sekimoto, Japan

Takashi Yamamoto, Japan (Ex aequo et bono)

Not awarded Colleen Lee, Hong Kong

References[edytuj | edytuj kod]


Bibliography[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  • Jerzy Waldorff, Wielka gra: rzecz o konkursach chopinowskich ("Great playing: about Chopin Competitions"), Warsaw, Iskry, 1985, ISBN 83-207-0719-6.
  • Janusz Ekiert, The endless search for Chopin: the history of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competention in Warsaw, MUZA SA, 2000. ISBN 978-83-7495-812-7.

External links[edytuj | edytuj kod]

The Frédéric Chopin Monument in Warsaw[edytuj | edytuj kod]

The Frédéric Chopin Monument in Warsaw is a statue of Frédéric Chopin which stands in the Łazienki (Royal Baths) Park in Warsaw. It is a bronze cast of the composer sitting under a stylised Masovian willow tree. Apart from the statues of the Warsaw Siren, Sigismund's Column, the Łazienki Palace and the Palace of Culture and Science, the monument is one of Warsaw's most recognisable sights. The monument has been depicted on numerous occasions in calendars, postcards, post stamps, etc., but it has also been copied into other statues, of which the most widely known is a full-scale replica in Hamamatsu, Japan.

Design and first production[edytuj | edytuj kod]

The monument was the work of Wacław Szymanowski, who won a contest for the design, announced in 1909. It was to be erected on the 100th anniversary of the composer's birth, in 1910. Proposed designs were assessed by a jury made up of figures from the world of art and culture such as Antoine Bourdelle, Józef Pius Dziekoński and Leopold Méyet. Because the design aroused a lot of controversy, and its execution was interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War, it was not completed until the interwar period. Individual parts of it were cast in France, where there was a plaster model, and then transported to Poland and assembled in the Łazienki of Warsaw. The ceremony of the unveiling of the monument took place on 27 November 1926. The surroundings of the statue – the pedestal and the pool – were both designed by an architect from the Department of Architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology, Professor Oskar Sosnowski. Stone working was carried out by the Urbanowski stoneworks in Łódź.

Destruction of the monument during World War Two[edytuj | edytuj kod]

On 30 May 1940 the monument was blown up by German forces and cut to pieces with burners. The resultant scrap metal was shipped west by rail, where the fragments were used as raw material, to be melted in a German steel mill. The Germans also tried to destroy all replicas of the monument which were stored or exhibited in Polish museums. One of the employees of the Wielkopolska Museum in Poznań managed to conceal a copy of the head from the composer's monument in his cellar. The Germans succeeded, however, in destroying all the plaster replicas, as well as a half-scale wooden copy of the statue which had been given to the museum by the designer of the monument.

Post-war reconstruction[edytuj | edytuj kod]

After the war it was proposed to reconstruct the monument. There was a search for replicas and copies of the monument, to be used as models for the reconstruction. In 1945, employees of an oil-refining and processing company in Wrocław came across the head of Frédéric Chopin among the heaps of scrap metal deposited around the company premises. It was not, however, the original head of the monument, but one of the trial casts, on a much smaller scale. A complete copy of the whole monument was discovered when the remains of Karol Szymanowski's house in the Mokotów district of Warsaw was being cleared of debris. Based on this copy, an attempt to build a replica of the destroyed monument was undertaken. Frédéric Chopin's reconstructed statue was unveiled in 1958. It now stands next to a pond in the Łazienki Park. Around the monument and the pond are a number of benches, and since 1959 Chopin music concerts have been held at the spot during the summer season. The music is played on a grand piano placed at the foot of the monument, on a specially-designed platform. The park's management permits spectators to occupy the lawns of the park during such events.

The inscription on the pedestal of the statue translates as: The monument to Frédéric Chopin, demolished and seized by the Germans on 31 May 1940 shall be rebuilt by the Nation. 17-X-1946. Additionally, a quote from Adam Mickiewicz's Konrad Wallenrod has been inscribed on the pedestal:

The flame devoureth story's pictured words,
And thieves with steel wide scatter treasured hoards.
But scatheless is the song the poet sings.

References[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  1. Konrad Wallenrod, translated by M. A. Biggs, 1882

Bibliography[edytuj | edytuj kod]

  • Hanna Kotkowska-Bareja, Pomnik Chopina ("Chopin's Monument"). Warsaw, PWN, 1970.
  • Tadeusz Łopieński, Okruchy brązu ("Bronze Remains"). Warsaw, PWN, 1982.