The ingenious composer Frederic Chopin in many respects differed from the majority of his predecessors and even his contemporaries. He wrote works only for pianoforte.
Crying to the sound of music
On March 1, 1810, a few dozen kilometers from Warsaw, in the village of Żelazowa Wola, a boy was born to the Polish and French family, who was named Frederick. The family lived in the count’s estate. There, Chopin’s father worked as a teacher for his children. Soon, Nicolas Chopin was offered to go to work at the Warsaw Lyceum, so the family moved to the capital.
Little Frederic grew up to the sound of music – my father played the flute and violin, and my mother sang beautifully and sometimes accompanied herself on the piano. Without uttering another word, Chopin began to cry when he heard music or singing at home. Parents are upset, they believed that the child does not like music. Very soon they were convinced of the opposite, because at the age of five, Frederic was already doing fine light plays that had been learned with Ludwik’s older sister. Known in the Polish capital, a musician from the Czech Republic Wojciech Zhivny agreed to become a teacher of the boy. An experienced teacher could instill in his talented pupil a love for classical music, especially for the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Little virtuoso Frederic Chopin
The debut of a small pianist took place in Warsaw. Then he was barely seven years old. The first concert was successful, and the news of the young talent quickly spread through the city. Chopin’s performing talent developed so rapidly that at a young age Frederic was on par with the best Polish pianists.
Teacher Alive even refused lessons with a small virtuoso. He said that he could teach Frederic nothing. In parallel with music studies, Chopin received an excellent general education. He spoke fluently in French and German, studied the history of Poland and absorbed volumes of fiction. The young man drew well, differed sharp mind, observation and surprising mimic talent, which could guarantee him a theatrical career. But since childhood he has chosen for himself the only way – music.
Best pianist of the country
After graduating from the Lyceum, Frederic entered the music school. There, his formation continued under the guidance of an experienced teacher and composer Joseph Elsner. He quickly realized that before him was not just talent, but a real genius. He even wrote about this in a characterization given to a young performer. By this time the young man had already been recognized as the country’s best pianist. In those years, his compositional talent became mature. This is confirmed by two concerts for piano and orchestra, written in 1829-1830. Now pianists from different countries invariably include these works in their repertoire.
Then Chopin fell in love for the first time. Tender feelings he experienced for the young singer Constance Gladkovskaya from the Warsaw Conservatory. It was under the influence of this that Frederic created the song “Desire”.
Farewell to the Motherland
The young musician visited Vienna, where he gave several concerts that were successful with the public. His family understood that a virtuoso pianist can go to a real concert tour. But Chopin did not dare to take this step for a long time. Bad apprehensions prevailed over him. It seemed to the composer that he left his homeland forever. After lengthy meditations in the autumn of 1830, Frederic left Warsaw, taking with him a cup with Polish friends presented with friends.
Unfortunately, his premonitions were not deceived. Chopin parted with his native land forever. Remembering the wonderful reception that had been given him in Vienna, Frederic decided from there to begin his tour. But, despite all the trouble, the musician never managed to organize an independent concert, and the publishers did not hurry to buy his works for publication.
Suddenly, from Poland came the disturbing news. Polish patriots organized an uprising against Russian tsarism. Frederic decided to suspend his tour and return to his homeland, but his relatives insisted that he did not come to avoid persecution. Reluctantly, Chopin submitted to his family and left for Paris.
On the way to the French capital, Frederic, another news came: the insurrection was brutally suppressed, its leaders were thrown into prisons and exiled to Siberia. In Paris he came with his famous etude, which was later called “revolutionary.” There he spent the rest of his life, although France could not become a second home for the composer. In all his attachments, as well as in his work, Frederic remained a true Pole.
Hats off, before you Chopin!
At first he conquered Paris with performing arts – listeners were amazed by his unusual manner of playing the piano. Against the background of the technically perfect performing skills of other pianists, his play was surprisingly spiritual and poetic. To this day, the memories of the eminent Hungarian pianist virtuoso and composer Franz Liszt on the first Parisian concert of Chopin have reached. He wrote that the growing applause could not fully express the admiration for the talent of young Frederick.
Everyone was fascinated by Chopin, only publishers took a wait-and-see attitude. They agreed to publish his works, but only for free. Frederic was forced to give daily hours of music lessons to earn his living. This work brought him income, but took a lot of energy and so much precious time. Even being a world-famous composer, Frederic Chopin could not leave these debilitating occupations.
With thoughts of Poland
The popularity of the composer and pianist helped to expand the circle of acquaintances. His friends were Franz Liszt, the French composer Hector Berlioz, the painter Eugene Delacroix and the German poet Heinrich Heine. But no matter how interesting he was with his new comrades, he never forgot about his compatriots. For example, for the sake of a guest from his homeland, Chopin could radically change the strict order of his day and go with him on a tour of Paris. Frederic listened to the stories about Poland and the Poles for hours. And when the poet Adam Mickiewicz came to see him, the composer sat down at his instrument and played favorite works of a close friend for a long time. Only Chopin’s music helped Mickiewicz to ease the pain of separation from his homeland. Thanks to Adam, Frederic was born the first ballad. The second ballad of the musician is connected with the images of Mickiewicz’s works.
Love is poison
Meetings with friends and compatriots were very dear to the composer, because he did not have his own family. He wanted to marry Maria Vodzinskaya from a noble Polish family, but her parents were categorically against this marriage. For many years, Chopin linked his fate with the French writer Aurora Dudevan, who is better known under the pseudonym of George Sand.
It is worth noting that there is not much reliable information about the history of their relations preserved. For example, Ferenc Liszt in his book quite unequivocally expressed that it was the writer who caused the early death of the composer. One of Frederik’s close friends – Wojciech Gjimala – also said that Aurora poisoned the existence of Chopin and was guilty of his sudden death. His pupil Wilhelm Lenz and did call her a poisonous plant. He was outraged by George Sand’s disdainful attitude toward the composer, even in the presence of strangers.
Famous, but alone
Over the years, Frederic Chopin rarely gave concerts, he limited himself to playing music in a narrow circle of close people. This allowed him to give himself entirely to creativity. He wrote sonatas, impromptu, scherzo, ballads, a new series of sketches, nocturnes, preludes, favorite polonaises and mazurkas. But along with the lyrical plays from the composer’s pen, dramatic and even tragic works have increasingly appeared. For example, Second Sonata with a funeral march. It became one of the most significant achievements of Chopin and all Polish music.
The composer’s last years were also bleak. His father died, followed by a break with Aurora. He became lonely and did not bear the blows of fate. From his youth, he suffered from lung disease, and now it has only worsened. During the last two years of his life, Frederic Chopin wrote almost nothing. At the invitation of friends, he went in the spring of 1848 with concerts in London, but the raw climate there only worsened his condition. He returned to Paris and on October 17, 1849, died in the arms of his sister, who came to him from Poland.
At the funeral of Frederic sounded “Requiem” of his beloved Mozart performed by the best artists of the French capital. He was buried in Paris, but Chopin’s heart bequeathed to send to Poland, where it is still kept in the Warsaw Catholic Church of the Holy Cross.