The Strauss music is pretty good but now it is time to move on to
something different. Let's try some solo piano.
The piano is the instrument of choice for composers. Elton John
uses the piano to compose his music as does almost every composer has
for the last few hundred years. One of the most prolific and
talented of the Classical
pianists was Frederick Chopin who originally was from
One of the greatest classical composers of the romantic era was a
pianist by the name of Frederick Chopin. He kept a portfolio of
works that he did not consider finished or good enough for publication.
Lying on his deathbed he begged his sister Ludwika to promise to
burn the whole lot and she did promise to do just exactly that.
After his death Ludwika looked at the contents of his portfolio.
Starting up at her was a piece of untitled music. Ludwika
was enough of a musician herself that she instantly recognized the
significance of her brother's work. She struggled for the next 10
years whether she should honor her promise to her dying brother or to
have that work and others published anyway. Finally,
she decided to have the works published. It was a huge hit back
then and then after a hiatus of over 100 years it was resurrected
(borrowed) into a popular tune. Words were put to it. Judy
Garland sang it and it sold millions of copies. Perry Como sang
it too. Several years after Garland and Como had their way with the
song, Alice Cooper sang it on his album Alice Cooper - Going to Hell.
The title given by the publisher to this work by
Chopin? Fantasie Impromptu.
The title of the borrowed tune with lyrics? I'm Always Chasing Rainbows. We
owe Louise a large debt of gratitude for
not destroying her brother's "unfinished" works. The Fantasie is a wonderful piece and
I believe it's significance will be felt for a long time to come.
Frederick Chopin and his mother left Poland when he
young. He was never to return. Years later, Poland suffered
invasion and lost, and then suffered a revolution. These event
quite traumatic for both him and to the people of Poland. These events
did affect his music. There are two pieces that immediately come
to mind when recalling that bit of history. One is a lament
regarding the fall of his
country into the hands of the invaders, and the other is a subtle or
not too subtle call
to arms. These pieces are called Polonaises for obvious
reasons. I am sure you are wondering what an etude is. The
meaning is actually quite simple. It is a study piece for musicians to
practice so that they may learn a particular
technique. Etude - Estudia - Study are words in different
languages that mean close to the same thing. Valse - Waltz is
another set of words like that. Listen to his Etude #??? and his
Heroic and hear the message Frederick is sending to his fellow patriots.
recommend the recording pictured above because it has many of Chopin's
best pieces and I think you will find it great music as well.
One of his most famous pieces is is Sonata #2 Op. 35, funeral
march. It has been played countless times in movies, computer
games, etc., and was performed at Chopin's funeral.
A very somber piece and one that is very moving.
*Louise was not her real name. It was Ludwika which I believe is
the Polish version of the same name.