The life story of the great Polish composer Frederic Chopin touches to the depths of the soul. This extraordinarily gifted, charming romantic with refined manners and sensitive heart for all the short years of his life allotted to him by the heavens never really experienced a feeling of real happiness. He was always a favorite of the public and the object of adoration of many fans, who continually showered him with expensive gifts. However, in his personal life, this inspired lyric was deeply unhappy - his heart was torn by pain, homesickness, anguish from a terrible disease and unhappy love ...
A brief biography of Frédéric Chopin and many interesting facts about the composer can be found on our page.
Short biography of Chopin
Frédéric Franciszek Chopin was born near Warsaw in the family of an emigrant from France, Nikolay Chopin, and a Polish girl, Justina Krzyzanowska. There are still heated discussions about the date of his birth - some historians believe that the future composer was born on March 1, 1810, others are convinced that he saw this world a few days earlier - February 22. The mother of the future composer became for him the first musical teacher who instilled in the boy a taste for the beautiful. According to the memoirs of contemporaries, she came from a well-born family, received an excellent education, knew French, had a beautiful voice, knew how and loved to sing.
From childhood, Chopin was spoken of as a little miracle. And many even compared him to Mozart, because he had an ideal ear for music, skillfully improvised and finely felt the instrument. Frederick was always emotional, he could cry, listening to the focused melody that takes over the soul. In a fit of musical inspiration, he jumped out of bed in the middle of the night and ran to the instrument to play the piece he had dreamed. At the age of seven, the little composer composed his first work - a small polonaise in G minor. The news about this even got into the issue of the Warsaw newspaper, where the music was rated as a professional work of a talented master, and the boy was called a genius.
At the same time, Chopin was sent to study for the outstanding Czech pianist Wojciech Zyłnuy. The boy seriously began his studies, although he combined them with studies at the school. His success was so great that when he reached the age of 12, Zhivy refused to teach Frederick further, saying that he could not give him anything else. The fame of Frederick Chopin as a wonderful performer has already gone through Warsaw, it is not surprising that the boy had influential patrons who opened the door for him to high society. There he immediately became his own: contemporaries described him as a young man of an exceptionally pleasant appearance, with an excellent sense of humor and a sharp tongue, which from the first words when they met, could endear him to the interlocutor. At that time Frederick travels a lot in Europe, attends concerts of famous musicians, which contributes to the definition of his personal musical style.
Such a rich life does not interfere with education, and according to Chopin’s biography in 1823, he becomes a student of the Warsaw Lyceum, and in 1826 - a student at the High School of Music.
Farewell, Motherland ...
From the biography of Chopin, we learn that since 1829 begins the period of his active tour. Ferenc planned to linger a little in Kalisch, then go to Berlin, Dresden, Vienna, and finally, take a ride through the cities of Italy and France. In 1830, he left his native Poland forever, and he was no longer to return to his homeland. He has no choice but to preserve his love for his country throughout his life, and bequeath to her his yearning heart.
About the uprising that broke out in Warsaw, Chopin learned, while in Austria, and immediately decided to go home. But in the letter, Frederick's father insisted that he remain abroad, and he had to obey. The news of the fall of the Polish capital was a big blow to him. Impressed by this terrible event, he created his best tragic creations - the “Revolutionary Study”, the prelude d-moll, and the final preludes op.28.
Chopin decides to settle temporarily in Paris, where he gives his first piano concerto. Success comes to him immediately, he becomes the public's favorite. In the wake of the popularity that has fallen on him, he gains many admirers, enjoys female attention, and makes friendly relations with famous composers - F. Mendelson, G. Berlise, F. Liszt and V. Bellini. He preserved his friendship with many of them for life.
Frederic Chopin early discovered his love of teaching. Unlike many of his colleagues, he devoted himself entirely to this craft, many later famous musicians were his students.
The story of great and tragic love
They were not destined to become a husband and wife, and she was not able to give him heirs. It seemed that fate laughed, pushing them together: the pale, sickly Frederick, a handsome young man of 26 years old with impeccable manners and burning eyes, and a divorced coarse husbandly woman who could not be imagined without a cigarette gripped in his teeth. Nevertheless, the novel, which lasted almost ten years, gave both not only pain and disappointment, but also love, a lot of sincere feelings and creative powers. He wrote his brilliant music, she is books, they inspired each other every day, which is probably why they continue to talk about their novel to this day.
At the moment when George Sand and Frédéric Chopin first met, she was a divorced, independent woman with two children, and he was engaged to Maria Vodzinskaya. Perhaps the reason for the passion that erupted in the heart of a woman was the fact that at the time of her acquaintance, Chopin was sick and weak, and she had feelings for all her lovers that were similar to those of her mother. Anyway, Sand drew attention to the unfortunate young man, and his engagement soon ended, as Maria’s parents considered him unworthy of their children.
When he first met an extravagant Georges Sand dressed in a coarse men's outfit, Chopin didn’t pay any attention to her, only a few days later he noticed in passing: "What kind of disgusting woman is this Sand? Is she a woman at all?" Nevertheless, it was in her arms that Frederick found solace, painfully experiencing a break in relations with the bride. Sand knew the surest and shortest path to the man’s heart; she quickly conquered him with her big expressive eyes and controversial kind.
Chopin settled in the next house next to his beloved. They carefully guarded their relationship from prying eyes, and it happened that when they met at a reception with mutual friends, they kept themselves aloof and did not betray their feelings. Later, the lovers rented a cozy house in one of the sleeping districts of Paris, but, accepting guests, they pretended that Chopin was only a guest in their common home. In 1838, Sand with her two children and Frederick went to Majorca to take a break from the bustle of the city and improve the composer's health. Periodically, they returned to Noana, where the writer's estate was located. There, Sand had to take on all the household chores, because Frederick was practically useless because of his constant illnesses in everyday life. The children of George Sand were very unhappy with the fact that they had to live under the same roof with Chopin. Son Moritz painfully jealous of the mother to the man, and Solange built intrigues and even tried to seduce Frederick to destroy the relationship of the mother. Unhealthy atmosphere in the house adversely affected Chopin's mood. Tired of the endless squabbles, moritz’s morbid jealousy of Solange’s mother and intrigues, who didn’t die down at home, he told Sand that he intended to visit his homeland, but she didn’t obstruct him. Frederick leaves Noan forever and leaves for Paris.
For a while, George Sand and Frederic Chopin continued to keep in touch by letters. However, regularly bumping into Solange in Paris, he listened to her stories about new love affairs and intrigues of her mother, mostly fictional. As a result, the girl got her way: Chopin hated the former girlfriend and broke off the correspondence. The last time they encountered in 1848, a year before the composer's death. Sand, seeing Chopin, wanted to talk to him, but he turned away and went out.
Forget these failed relationship Chopin decides in London. It is there that he gives his last concert. The British climate finally broke the composer, in the last months of his life he could not compose and play music, and tuberculosis and persistent depression took him to the grave when he was only 39 years old. On October 17, Frederic Chopin passed away.
After Chopin's death, Sand settled down. Until her 15 years old, she lived with one man, Alexander Manso, devoting herself to home, family and favorite work.
- Two early works by Chopin have survived. This is the polonaise B-dur and "Military March", which were written by him at the age of 7 years. The march was often performed at military parades in Warsaw.
- Since 1927, in the capital of Poland, every 5 years, the Chopin Piano Competition has been held.
- Chopin suffered all his life from the fact that the width of his palm was not enough to take complex chords. As a boy, he invented a special device for stretching his fingers and wore it, without removing it even in a dream, although he caused unbearable pain.
- The composer has kept his habit of playing in the dark throughout his life. That is, he argued, inspiration comes to him. When the composer played his music at a party, he always asked to dim the lights in the room.
- Several objects are named after Chopin - the airport and the university in Warsaw, the Irkutsk College of Music, and a crater on Mercury.
- The composer did not like to spread about his personal life. Friends have never heard from him a word about his heart matters, but he himself always enjoyed discussing their love affairs with them.
- Outwardly, Chopin was very attractive: he was fair-haired, blue-eyed, distinguished by a slender physique and had success all his life among ladies, but for ten years he loved that which he did not even look like a woman at the first meeting.
- After meeting with the composer, George Sand sent him a note consisting of one phrase: "I bow to you. J. S.". This note was put by Chopin in a personal album and kept to the end of his life.
- The only picture in which the composer and Sand are shown together, after his death, was found torn into two parts.
- Only a small part of the composer's epistolary heritage reached us. The beloved composer K. Gladkovskaya and J. Sand chose to destroy almost all the letters Chopin sent them. Frederick's letters to his relatives, and with them his beloved grand piano, turned the fire in the apartment of his sister I. Bartsinska into dust.
- In the heritage of Chopin there is a "Waltz of a Little Dog", which is listed under No. 1 op.64. Many people mistakenly believe that this piece is the very famous simple “Dog Waltz” that almost every inhabitant of the planet heard. In fact, these are two completely different works, and the authorship of the latter has not been reliably established.
- Due to health problems in the last years of his life, the composer practically did not compose. The most famous work of that time can be called the “Mazurka” f-moll, which Chopin did not have the opportunity to perform on his own.
- Frederic Chopin had no children of birth.
- All his life, Chopin loved his homeland - Poland, in his own words, wherever he was, his heart was always at home. These words are reflected in his will. He asked his sister, Louis, after his death, to give his heart to the Motherland, and that’s what happened. The heart of the composer was buried in the wall of the Church of the Holy Cross in the Polish capital, and the body was buried in Paris. During the funeral, a handful of the land of his native country was poured into the grave, which Chopin tremblingly kept and carried with him in endless journeys.
- During his lifetime, Chopin admired Mozart, considered him a genius, and his music incredible. In accordance with the will, at Chopin's funeral, at which several thousand people were sincerely saddened by the composer’s death, the famous Mozart's Requiem.
- In Warsaw, you can find 15 "Chopin" shops, which are installed in places that are somehow connected with the composer's life. By clicking on a special button, you can listen to a 30-second excerpt of the most famous works of the composer.
- Comics have recently been released in Berlin that tell about the life of Chopin as if he lived in our day. In the story, the composer arrives with a concert in the prison, accompanied by a gangster-type skinhead guy. In Poland, these comics found offensive and demanded to ban their distribution, but the author himself explained that he did not want to touch on anyone's feelings, but only decided to acquaint the youth with the composer's work in an accessible form.
- Franz Liszt described the art of Chopin in one Polish word - zal. Translated into Russian, it means "tender pity."
- The speech, which marked the beginning of fame musician abroad, took place at the age of 15 years. The audience did not remember the game at a charity concert because it was brilliantly playing the piano. He attracted attention by masterfully improvising on Eolopantaleone, a musical instrument that is a combination of organ and piano.
- Chopin's game was not only admired, but also criticized. For example, the Viennese public did not like his performances, because, in her opinion, he played too quietly. Frederic, telling his friends about this in his letters, wrote that listeners in Vienna were simply accustomed to the “pounding of local pianists”.
- Biographers are still puzzled over what actually happened between Chopin and Countess Delphine Potocki, whom he met during his stay in Dresden. He dedicated part of his writings to her, and a few days before his death, he preferred to hear her singing. The composer often wrote letters to her, although no one saw them. It is believed that most of these unknown documents are still kept by the heirs of the Dolphins.
- In Poland, since 1995, there is the Academy of Recording Frederick Music Prize, which is a peculiar analogue of the American Grammy.
- In 1983, many European charts were headed by the song "I Like Chopin" by the Italian singer Gazebo. The basis of this musical composition is the piano theme, which has no relation to the Polish composer.
- In 2007, Japanese developers released the computer game "Eternal Sonata". The main character of the game is Chopin, who 3 hours before his death ends up in a fabulous country, where he will have to find a cure for his illness. The game has Chopin music played by Russian pianist Stanislav Bunin.
Liszt and Chopin - friends or rivals?
Researchers living the two geniuses of the XIX century and found a single answer to this question. Some are convinced that Chopin and Liszt privately competed with each other. By this they explain the fact that pianists often performed a duet, thereby trying to avoid comparison. At large-scale concerts, the virtuosos went on stage together, and sometimes connected other famous performers to their ensemble - this was the case, for example, in 1833, when Sheet, Chopin and the Hertz brothers played an ensemble for two pianos of eight hands. Historians suggest that Liszt was haunted by the elegant game of the opponent, from which he was very far away, and that is why with the advent of the Pole in Paris, he chose to go into the shadows. A contemporary of composers, pianist F. Giller, later explained the act of Ferenc - according to him, during this period he worked hard to master everything that Chopin showed to the Parisian public.
However, most biographers are inclined to believe that these two greatest musicians were close friends. They often met, discussed the latest world events and played their compositions. In 1836, Chopin took part in the Liszt concert. That evening they performed each other's works - Ferenc played Frederick's etudes, and then they performed his “Brilliant Waltz” together.
Whatever their creative union actually was, it did not last long. Why this happened is not known for sure. As a possible reason for the cooling of the relationship between two geniuses, musicologists call the influence of women who were close to them. Thus, it is known for certain that the passionate fan of Liszt, the writer Marie D'Agu, was the worst enemy of George Sand. It is believed that these two feather sharks tuned up pianists against each other, and in many ways contributed to the consolidation of their friendship. According to another version, the virtuosos divorced life itself - with age, their views and characters began to change, which inevitably alienated them.
Other roles of the great composer
According to contemporaries, Chopin had not only outstanding musical abilities. So, many argue that he had a terrific acting talent, and if he had devoted himself to the theater, he would have been able to write his name in his story. Фредерик обладал способностью удивительно точно имитировать жесты, походку, голос и даже интонации разных людей. Он регулярно играл в домашних спектаклях, и чувствовал себя на сцене очень свободно. Часто случалось так, что он выручал своих товарищей по сцене, когда они забывали текст - Фредерик начинал импровизировать, тем самым спасая спектакль от провала.The well-known Polish drama artist Pyasetsky and the comedian Herve in one voice predicted a great future for the boy in a theater career.
In addition, Frederick had a great gift draftsman. In addition to the usual pictures, Chopin painted the most interesting caricatures that his friends throughout the lyceum remembered throughout his life. Visual art musical genius engaged in the hated lessons in mathematics. The most famous work of the composer is a caricature of the rector of the Lyceum S. Linde.
It is also known that Chopin was very fond of dancing, and always willingly did it in the company of friends. According to the memoirs of contemporaries, he was especially smartly dancing the mazur, the charm and the Cossack. But it often happened that the dancers did not like the invited pianist, and then Chopin himself took his place.
Films about Chopin and his work
Biography Chopin inspired many filmmakers to create films and documentaries about him. In many of them, the leading theme is the connection between the composer and George Sand. The most significant in the cinema are:
- Biographical drama "Song of the Memory", filmed by director Charles Widor in 1945. It tells about the life of a famous composer and his novel with a scandalous writer. The main idea in the film is Chopin's patriotism. The picture was nominated for an Oscar in six categories at once.
- Romantic drama "The Youth of Chopin" (1951), created on the basis of the story by G. Bachner and Jerzy Broshkevich. The focus of the director Alexander Ford was five years from the life of the composer - from 1825 to 1830. The authors of the film portray the musician as an ardent revolutionary and bring his patriotic feelings to the fore.
- The 36th feature film “Blue Note” (the second title is “Farewell Message”), directed by Andrey Zhulavsky, was released in 1991. It tells about the composer's personal life, his feelings for the Sand and relationships with loved ones.
- Romantic musical comedy "Improvisation". This work by theater director James Lapine was released in 1991. It highlights the events that take place in the country house of the Duchess d'Antan during the ceremonial reception. This evening George Sand meets not only Chopin, but also many famous people of that time - Liszt, Delacroix, de Musset and others.
- The drama "The Mystery of Chopin, or the Strange Story of the Dolphins Potocka" (1999), directed by Tony Palmer, tells of the last years of Frederick’s life and feelings for the Polish Countess Potocki.
- Jerzy Antchak's feature film "Chopin. Desire for Love" (2002) tells about the life of the composer, starting in 1830. The plot focuses on the composer’s complex relationship with Sand and her two children.
- In the documentary film "Following Chopin's Footsteps" (2008), viewers are given the opportunity to travel to those historical places where the great maestro used to be. His music in the film is performed by the famous pianists of our time, Janusz Olejniczak and Yves Henri.
Despite the fact that the life and work of Chopin has been investigated, what is called, far and wide, for many his personality remains a mystery today. And the main paradox is this: this poetic composer was a prominent representative of the romantic era, however, as a pianist, he did not fit into it at all. Unlike the performers of his time, he didn’t touch the large concert halls, theatrical pomposity, or the crowds of fans. He was more attracted to the confidential, intimate atmosphere in which he could tell in his playing on the piano about the most intimate. Liszt talked a lot about the phenomenon of this musician and his play - he considered his art to be inexplicable and elusive, which only a select few can comprehend.