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Fryderyk Chopin

A short presentation on Chopin

Josh Harris

on 23 October 2009

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Transcript of Fryderyk Chopin

Chopin Biography
Born Near Warsaw Poland in 1810
A child prodigy compared to Mozart finishing his 1st two polonaises at age 7
Established performer, a virtuoso on piano, he moved to Paris in 1831
Chopin met the leading composers in Paris, including Liszt
Gave lessons to wealthy women
He died from tuberculosis in 1849
Composed almost exclusively for piano
Around 200 solo piano pieces
6 works for piano and orchestra
Around 20 songs
4 chamber works Etudes
Composed 27
Each addressed a specific skill
Chopin's etudes were the 1st with significant artistic content and can be called concert etudes Preludes
Chopin composed 24 preludes
Like Bach's well-tempered clavier, they are in all the major and minor keys
The rich chromatic harmonies and the varied textures influenced many later composers Dances
The dances are idiomatic for the piano and are often only moderately difficult
Composed waltzes, mazurkas, and polonaises for his students
The waltzes evoke the ballroms of Vienna Polonaises
The polonaise is a Polish dance in 3/4 meter
It often has an 8th note and two 16th notes on the first beat
Some are vigorous and suggest a militaristic national identity Mazurkas
The mazurka was a Polish folk dance that had become popular in Paris ballrooms
In triple meter, the mazurka features two 8th notes (or a dotted eighth-sixteenth) on the downbeat followed by two quarter notes
This rhythmic pattern emphasizes the second beat of the measure Nocturnes
Nocturnes are short pieces with beautiful, embellished melodies and sonorous accompaniments
Chopin's conception of the nocturne is indebted to the nocturnes of the Irish pianist-composer John Field
The genre, a type of song without words, is similar to the nocturne for voices and is indebted to the embellished singing style of Italian opera
Chopin composed 18 nocturnes Ballades and Scherzos
The ballades and scherzos are longer and more demanding than Chopin's other one-movement piano works. Ballades
Chopin was one of the first to use the name for an instrumental work
The ballades capture the spirit of the Polish narrative ballads and are infused with fresh turns in harmony and form Scherzos
The scherzos are not playful, but serious and passionate
The scherzos are also tricky and quirky, particularly in their rhythm and thematic material Sonatas
Chopin composed 3 piano sonatas, all of which have 4 movements: sonata form, minuet or scherzo, slow movement, finale Angular Melody with embellishments Accompaniment spans two octaves Mix of virtuosity and elegant lyricism Concentration on piano music only Incorporated Polish nationalistic traits Originality in melody, harmony, and pianism Appeal to amateurs and connoisseurs Creation of an idiomatic piano sound
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