I can’t stop listening to this!! At 7 years old, Frédéric Chopin (Sho-pon) had composed his first two Polonaises (Polish dancing music).  As I browsed the $1 sale walls of Book Off, I had recognized Chopin’s name, but had no real idea of the incredible genius he was. A child piano Prodigy, Chopin’s works were highly influenced mostly by the legendary composers Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.The Polish musician lived most of his life in France. Due to illness,  he passed at the age of 39 years old, his work being the only children he left behind. In his will, he asked his heart be removed from his body. His heart is immured in a pillar at the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw, Poland with an inscription that reads, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21) –A true testament to the musicians’ artistry and personality.

       I appreciate early musicians like Chopin for their concern with creating music not simply acting for fame. Chopin stayed away from the fancy names for his works. My favorite piece on this disc is  “Nocturne #2 in E Flat; Opera 9 No.2, CT 109″ (above). I literally just swayed across the house cleaning. This piece is simply beautiful and sounds to me like exactly what the piano should sound like. Justly so, Chopin dedicated this piece to Camille Pleyel, fellow composer and owner of the Pleyel piano company.  My second favorite piece is Étude Opera 10 No. 3, which is sometimes called “Tristesse” (Sadness) or “L’Adieu” (Farewell). The piece was composed in 1832. While it does have a little bit of a somer tone, it still moves so happily. Personally, it just calms me a bit. During this time, Chopin was dealing with his lady friend Maria Wodzínska, to whom he had been engaged. The music calms sometimes, then speeds up.. there are just so many variations of tome, which I assume would be common for any relationship. Not too long after, he composed the Waltz in A Flat Major; Opera 69 No. 1., also known as The Farewell Waltz, and formally dedicated it to Maria.  Listen to both below!

        I popped the CD in because, honestly, I was tired of hearing people talk. I just wanted to hear music. I’d picked up The Best of Chopin to find a bit of inspiration and expand my understanding of music. I suppose I’m trying to find out where art comes from as well as what exactly defines greatness. I chose the CD because I find it interesting to figure out the beginnings of music to see where it has gone today. I watched this Ted Talk on the power of classical music and how it helps us tap in on true “love” and Chopin is a fascinating example of this. Many of the details left behind describe how the young man composed each of his pieces with explicit feeling, dedicating songs to his lovers and particular moments of his life. Chopin was said to have employed the rubato tempo almost effortlessly, allowing him to inject his music with feeling, energy and improvisation. Some say this rubato energy was what helped Chopin reach greatness, since the passion in his pieces is nearly inimitable.

Just something new… or something really old, I guess. Learning rules. #LongLiveArt 🙂

Joyous listening! ❤