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Royalty Free Music - Frederic Chopin

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Frederic Chopin- Biography

Frederic Chopin was an influential Polish composer of the "romantic" era. He developed the art of classical piano composition in both form and style, introducing elements of Polish dance and folk music, and his music is expressive and communicates readily with the listener.

Chopin was born in Spring, 1810 in Zelazowa Wola, near Warsaw, Poland. The family moved almost immediately to Warsaw, and lived in an apartment at the former Saxon Palace where his Father was newly employed as a teacher. His talent for the piano was obvious, and he took lessons and had his first piece (a Polonnaise in G minor) published in 1817, to much local acclaim. In 1826 he began studing at the Warsaw Conservatory, and his family moved to another palace in Warsaw. Chopin certainly had wonderful surroundings in which to grow up. He heard the violinist Paganini play in 1829, and also met the composer Hummel.

On November 11th 1830, Chopin left Poland to embark on a tour of concerts around Europe, and encountered some of the tremendous performers and composers of the time. He took lodgings in Paris and became part of a circle of artists including Mendlessohn, Lizst and Osborne - all pianists, and made his debut there in 1832. His compositions however, took up much more of his time than his performances, indeed he only made 30 public performances thoughout his life.

In October 1836, Lizst's partner introduced Chopin to the novellist George Sand. She was to become the main love of his life, and they travelled together, Sand providing a great deal of strength for the sometimes emotionally frail Chopin. Their relationship lasted until 1847, and has been the basis for a number of films. It's conclusion coincided with the deterioration of Chopin's health, and during a trip to play in London and tour Scotland he became seriously ill. He returned to Paris in November 1848, but following the composition of his last two mazurkas, his friends feared for his health to the point of moving him to Chaillot just outside Paris. His sister Ludwika came out to be with him, but he died on October 17th 1849. His funeral at the Madeleine, Paris atrracted 3000 mourners, and he was buried at Pere Lachaise cemetary. His sister returned to Poland, carrying with her Chopin's heart, and all his letters from George Sand.

The Polish composer who brought so much to the developement of classical piano form and style, and whose music was such an inspiration to those around him, was probably best descibed by the pianist Artur Rubinstein - "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!"

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