Year after year, Chopin’s music appears in more piano recitals than any other composer. We will try to find out why he is still so popular. The man and his music is our project, including his short, but exciting life. He was a complex person, outwardly very sociable, intelligent, cultivated, and with exquisite taste, but also arrogant, intolerant, egocentric – a veritable snob. He was, in addition, the best and most sought-after piano teacher in Paris – patient, understanding, and affectionate. From the 1820s to the1840s, the city attracted some of our greatest artists and intellectuals, all bumping into each other at the same dinner parties. There was (and the list is incomplete) Victor Hugo, Franz Liszt, Balzac, Alfred de Musset, Lamartine, Delacroix, and Chopin’s muse and lover, George Sand. The composer was closest to the last two and they both exerted a major influence on his thinking and artistic development. Their lives and work will be examined as a counterpoint to that of their great friend.
Our guide to Chopin’s music will be the mazurka, that emblematic Polish dance form. A dozen or so will be performed and anatomized. (Vodka will be passed around at the end – JUST KIDDING!)