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A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand in —39 would prove one of his most productive periods of composition. In his final years, he was supported financially by his admirer Jane Stirling , who also arranged for him to visit Scotland in For most of his life, Chopin was in poor health. He died in Paris in at the age of 39, probably of pericarditis aggravated by tuberculosis. All of Chopin's compositions include the piano.

Frédéric Chopin

Most are for solo piano, though he also wrote two piano concertos , a few chamber pieces , and some 19 songs set to Polish lyrics. His piano writing was technically demanding and expanded the limits of the instrument: his own performances were noted for their nuance and sensitivity. Chopin invented the concept of the instrumental ballade. Among the influences on his style of composition were Polish folk music , the classical tradition of J.

Bach , Mozart , and Schubert , and the atmosphere of the Paris salons of which he was a frequent guest. His innovations in style, harmony , and musical form , and his association of music with nationalism , were influential throughout and after the late Romantic period. Chopin's music, his status as one of music's earliest superstars, his indirect association with political insurrection, his high-profile love-life, and his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era.

His works remain popular, and he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying historical fidelity. The parish baptismal record gives his birthday as 22 February , and cites his given names in the Latin form Fridericus Franciscus [4] in Polish, he was Fryderyk Franciszek.

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Fryderyk's father, Nicolas Chopin , was a Frenchman from Lorraine who had emigrated to Poland in at the age of sixteen. In October , six months after Fryderyk's birth, the family moved to Warsaw, where his father acquired a post teaching French at the Warsaw Lyceum , then housed in the Saxon Palace. Fryderyk lived with his family in the Palace grounds. The father played the flute and violin; [12] the mother played the piano and gave lessons to boys in the boarding house that the Chopins kept.

By the age of seven Fryderyk had begun giving public concerts, and in he composed two polonaises , in G minor and B-flat major. In the Saxon Palace was requisitioned by Warsaw's Russian governor for military use, and the Warsaw Lyceum was reestablished in the Kazimierz Palace today the rectorate of Warsaw University. Fryderyk and his family moved to a building, which still survives, adjacent to the Kazimierz Palace. During this period, Fryderyk was sometimes invited to the Belweder Palace as playmate to the son of the ruler of Russian Poland , Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich of Russia ; he played the piano for Constantine Pavlovich and composed a march for him.

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Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz , in his dramatic eclogue , " Nasze Przebiegi " "Our Discourses", , attested to "little Chopin's" popularity. He was engaged by the inventors of the "aeolomelodicon" a combination of piano and mechanical organ , and on this instrument in May he performed his own improvisation and part of a concerto by Moscheles. The success of this concert led to an invitation to give a recital on a similar instrument the "aeolopantaleon" before Tsar Alexander I , who was visiting Warsaw; the Tsar presented him with a diamond ring.

At a subsequent aeolopantaleon concert on 10 June , Chopin performed his Rondo Op. This was the first of his works to be commercially published and earned him his first mention in the foreign press, when the Leipzig Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung praised his "wealth of musical ideas". During —28 Chopin spent his vacations away from Warsaw, at a number of locales. Here for the first time he encountered Polish rural folk music.

In letters to Woyciechowski, he indicated which of his works, and even which of their passages, were influenced by his fascination with her; his letter of 15 May revealed that the slow movement Larghetto of his Piano Concerto No. In September Chopin, while still a student, visited Berlin with a family friend, zoologist Feliks Jarocki , enjoying operas directed by Gaspare Spontini and attending concerts by Carl Friedrich Zelter , Felix Mendelssohn and other celebrities. For the prince and his pianist daughter Wanda, he composed his Introduction and Polonaise brillante in C major for cello and piano , Op.

He gave two piano concerts and received many favourable reviews—in addition to some commenting in Chopin's own words that he was "too delicate for those accustomed to the piano-bashing of local artists". Later that month, in Warsaw, the November Uprising broke out, and Woyciechowski returned to Poland to enlist.

Chopin, now alone in Vienna, was nostalgic for his homeland, and wrote to a friend, "I curse the moment of my departure.

You are there, and yet you do not take vengeance! When he left Warsaw in late , Chopin had intended to go to Italy, but violent unrest there made that a dangerous destination. His next choice was Paris; difficulties obtaining a visa from Russian authorities resulted in him getting a transit permission from the French. Chopin arrived in Paris in late September ; he would never return to Poland, [36] thus becoming one of many expatriates of the Polish Great Emigration. In France he used the French versions of his given names, and after receiving French citizenship in , he travelled on a French passport.

Chopin's biographer Adam Zamoyski writes that he never considered himself to be French, despite his father's French origins, and always saw himself as a Pole.

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In Paris, Chopin encountered artists and other distinguished figures, and found many opportunities to exercise his talents and achieve celebrity. Two Polish friends in Paris were also to play important roles in Chopin's life there. At the end of , Chopin received the first major endorsement from an outstanding contemporary when Robert Schumann , reviewing the Op. A genius. Later that year he was introduced to the wealthy Rothschild banking family, whose patronage also opened doors for him to other private salons social gatherings of the aristocracy and artistic and literary elite.

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He no longer depended financially upon his father, and in the winter of he began earning a handsome income from publishing his works and teaching piano to affluent students from all over Europe. Chopin seldom performed publicly in Paris. In later years he generally gave a single annual concert at the Salle Pleyel, a venue that seated three hundred.


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He played more frequently at salons, but preferred playing at his own Paris apartment for small groups of friends. The musicologist 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.

Examples include a concert on 23 March , in which Chopin, Liszt and Hiller performed on pianos a concerto by J. Bach for three keyboards ; and, on 3 March , a concert in which Chopin, his pupil Adolphe Gutmann , Charles-Valentin Alkan , and Alkan's teacher Joseph Zimmermann performed Alkan's arrangement, for eight hands, of two movements from Beethoven 's 7th symphony. Chopin's music soon found success with publishers, and in he contracted with Maurice Schlesinger , who arranged for it to be published not only in France but, through his family connections, also in Germany and England.

They spent what Mendelssohn described as "a very agreeable day", playing and discussing music at his piano, and met Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow , director of the Academy of Art, and some of his eminent pupils such as Lessing , Bendemann , Hildebrandt and Sohn.

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He had made the acquaintance of their daughter Maria in Poland five years earlier, when she was eleven. This meeting prompted him to stay for two weeks in Dresden, when he had previously intended to return to Paris via Leipzig. Paul , and who considered him "a perfect musician". Chopin went on to Leipzig, where he presented Schumann with his G minor Ballade.

Although it is not known exactly when Chopin first met Franz Liszt after arriving in Paris, on 12 December he mentioned in a letter to his friend Woyciechowski that "I have met Rossini , Cherubini , Baillot , etc. You would not believe how curious I was about Herz , Liszt, Hiller, etc. The first, on 2 April , was at a benefit concert organised by Hector Berlioz for his bankrupt Shakespearean actress wife Harriet Smithson , during which they played George Onslow 's Sonata in F minor for piano duet.

Although the two displayed great respect and admiration for each other, their friendship was uneasy and had some qualities of a love-hate relationship. Harold C. Schonberg believes that Chopin displayed a "tinge of jealousy and spite" towards Liszt's virtuosity on the piano, [59] and others have also argued that he had become enchanted with Liszt's theatricality, showmanship and success. Most biographers of Chopin state that after this the two had little to do with each other, although in his letters dated as late as he still referred to him as "my friend Liszt". Is she really a woman? I have still not recovered from my astonishment, and if I were a proud person I should be feeling humiliated at having been carried away This compelled the group to take lodgings in a former Carthusian monastery in Valldemossa , which gave little shelter from the cold winter weather.

On 3 December , Chopin complained about his bad health and the incompetence of the doctors in Majorca: "Three doctors have visited me The first said I was dead; the second said I was dying; and the third said I was about to die. I finished them on your little piano, which arrived in the best possible condition in spite of the sea, the bad weather and the Palma customs. Although this period had been productive, the bad weather had such a detrimental effect on Chopin's health that Sand determined to leave the island. To avoid further customs duties, Sand sold the piano to a local French couple, the Canuts.

In autumn they returned to Paris, where Chopin's apartment at 5 rue Tronchet was close to Sand's rented accommodation at the rue Pigalle. He frequently visited Sand in the evenings, but both retained some independence. Chopin was reportedly unimpressed with the composition.

During the summers at Nohant, particularly in the years —43, Chopin found quiet, productive days during which he composed many works, including his Polonaise in A-flat major , Op. Among the visitors to Nohant were Delacroix and the mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot , whom Chopin had advised on piano technique and composition. The hosts could not be more pleasant in entertaining me. When we are not all together at dinner, lunch, playing billiards, or walking, each of us stays in his room, reading or lounging around on a couch. Sometimes, through the window which opens on the garden, a gust of music wafts up from Chopin at work.

All this mingles with the songs of nightingales and the fragrance of roses.

From onward, Chopin showed signs of serious illness.