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Chopin: The Pianist

A Music History Presentation

Peter Ki

on 20 February 2013

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Transcript of Chopin: The Pianist

The Pianist "Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art." Frédéric Chopoin The Musical Aspect
of Chopin Polonaise in
A Flat Major, op. 53 Some Background The "B" Section The "A" Section Genres and Titles
by Chopin The
Man Who is Chopin? By Peter Ki Frédéric Chopin:
Żelazowa Wola, Poland Nicolas
French Family Background Move to Warsaw ...Child Prodigy!
(Like Mozart) Musical Talent... First published work:
Polonaise in G Minor Obtained lessons; studied harmony, counterpoint, composition after high school Spent summers in rural Poland, the spark of nationalism Justyna
Polish Warsaw Paris The Early Years... Played in salons of Polish
aristocrats in Warsaw Vienna: Performed his op. 2 Variations on Mozart's "Là ci darem la mano" with success Return to Warsaw...
More success!! Departed for an extended concert tour... Polish
Sovereignty Russian
Dominance Invasion of Warsaw The devastated Chopin
was in Vienna... Nationalistic
for Poland, yet did not return due to political instability Created nationalistic
works such as
mazurkas and polonaises Creation of the "Revolutionary"
Etude, op. 10, no. 12 Perhaps inspired by the events
that have occurred in Warsaw Important people in Paris Artists:
Eugène Delacroix Musicians:
Franz Liszt and
Hector Berlioz Writers:
Victor Hugo and
Heinrich Heine Primary Source
of Income Publishing piano
compositions Teaching members
of aristocracy Involved in romance;
began a love affair with George Sand (Aurore Dudevant) for ten years Majorca: Very ill, but
recovered; created
several opus 28 preludes France: Happy, productive years at George Sand's summer home in Nohant Romance unfortunately
ended bitterly... England
/Scotland Performances with
the help of student
Jane Stirling Very weak,
poor health at the end of the trip Chopin passed away on October 17, 1849 He was buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery and his heart was returned to Poland, resting at the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw Performed few
public recitals Played frequently
in salons
of nobility Melodic lines
inspired by the bel canto style Long filigree
passages Extended
embellishments Ornamental
passages New Harmonic
Language Modal
inflections Unexpected
modulations Chromaticism Unusual
juxtapositions Prominent in
nocturnes and other
lyrical works Cast iron frame (Thicker strings = fuller tone) With new
of the piano... The Advances of the Piano Employed
virtuosity Nationalism in his
Polish Dances (Poloanise, Mazurka, and Krakowiak) Improvisatory
qualities in
his Preludes
and Impromptus Bach's
counterpoint Mozart's
lyricism Bellini and
bel canto style Chopin's Influences Solo Piano:
Etudes, dances (waltzes, mazurkas, polonaises), nocturnes, preludes, ballades, scherzos, sonatas, "Berceuse", "Barcarolle", and "Fantaisie in F Minor" Piano and Orchestra:
Concertos in E minor and F minor, variations, "Krakowiak" Chamber Music:
Cello sonata,
piano trio Songs for Voice
and Piano:
With Polish texts! - A solo piano work created in 1842 - ABA structure (with introduction and coda) - A flat major - 3/4 time with a Maestoso tempo The piece opens boldly
with octave dominants, chromatically ascending and expanded
through sequential repetition - Proud, polonaise section is heard in the principal
theme with its dotted 16th notes
- Harmonization of the theme in thirds; ornamented with grace notes and appoggiaturas
- Left hand plays octaves that involve great leaps
- Virtuosity and brilliance is added with the inclusion of
sweeping ascending scales in three instances Return to "A"
and Coda - Return of the "A" section, this time with bigger chords, and the theme in octaves
- Coda: Based on the "A" section, a dramatic conclusion with more virtuosic writing and a majestic close that utilizes an unusual harmonic progression Chopin's diverse style is revealed with his polonaise melodies reflecting his proud Polish heritage and also his use of the bel canto style in the "B" section. His harmonic language is also found with his unusual chromaticism and unexpected juxtapositions; he has clearly raised the bar for piano music! More on Chopin's Style - Unusual key progression to the flattened 6th,
respelled as E Major
- Proud, military sense is maintained with left hand ostinatos, right hand dotted rhythms, and chordal
- Dramatic shift to D# (Eb) Major, the dominant key
- Very lyrical style, revealing Chopin's exposure to
the bel canto style
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