FREDERIC CHOPIN

Chopin is one of my personal favorites. His music is refined and thoroughly gorgeous. 

 
Highlights for M:
  • Name: Frédéric Chopin
  • Image: 
  • Lived: 
    • Poland, 1810 – 1849
    • During the “Romantic” era
  • Known for: 
    • Virtuoso pianist, composer
    • Wrote many pieces for solo piano in many forms: nocturne, ballade, waltz, etude, and more.
    • Wrote for orchestra as well – but it always featured a piano
  • Influences:
    • Classical tradition of Mozart, Schubert, and Bach
    • Polish folk music
  • His personality:
    • He never played in large concert halls, only for small audiences (mostly in “salons” – small events in the homes of aristocracy) 
    • He was thin, and “dandy” – he had thin long fingers
    • Sickly throughout most of his life 😦
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V60USaluxGA This link supposedly has all of his piano nocturnes. I only listened to the first few minutes – but it does start with one of my favorites. Nocturne in B-flat minor. 
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myRTkyWejfo Here is a pianist playing Nocturne in B-flat minor where you can see his hands. M should notice how his wrists are level. His hands are relaxed and “dancing” just like a ballet. You can do amazing things on the piano if your hands arerelaxed and you have good technique!
 
http://youtu.be/RR7eUSFsn28?t=3m52s Here is a pianist playing one of my favorites ever: Ballade in No.1 G minor. At 3:52 M can see really great technique (better than above) close up. By minute 4:50, the piece really starts to get cooking (it sounds like M likes the big dramatic pieces)… don’t let her miss the dramatic ending either! She should also notice how he’s able to go “piano” (soft) and “forte” (loud) and by so doing, it makes the piece emotional, and tell a story.
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