Chopin News, Reviews, & Previews:
Three out of four stars in this review in the UK Spectator of Michael Moran's much-discussed new book A Country in the Moon: Travels in the Heart of Poland.
Spectator - The Magazine - http://www.spectator.co.uk
The author’s uncle was a concert pianist who harboured a passion for Chopin. He extracted a deathbed promise from his nephew to ‘visit those places Chopin frequented as a young man . . . to better understand the patriotic roots of Chopin’s music’ and implored him ‘to scatter his ashes over the Mazovia plain near Chopin’s birthplace’. This was the genesis of the author’s engagement with Poland. [...]
There is so much to admire in this well-researched and hugely entertaining book, and so much to learn. Certainly, I did not know that Poles regard their country as ‘the reincarnation of the suffering Christ’. That Schumann described Chopin’s music as ‘cannons hidden among flowers’. That the national composer of Poland left Poland at the age of 20, never to return. That Polish aristocrats once claimed descent from nomadic archers of Iranian stock related to the Scythians. That under communism, Poles could buy half a cup of coffee if they were too poor to afford a full cup. That many Poles hold that entry into the European Union was ‘the onset of moral decay’.
Alfred Cortot - Great Interpreter of Chopin
From a new video-sharing site called Videosift: "He looked for the opium in music"
Chopin in the Blogosphere:
Blog entry from a guitarist-turned-webucator regarding our man Chopin...
The first concerts that he gave abroad were in Vienna, Austria. He was charmed by life outside his country and eventually ended up leaving Poland for good, settling in France in 1831. His father was originally a Frenchman, hence the name he was given Frédéric Chopin.
(*His name is pronounced by correctly reading the following in English accenting the bold print: fre der eek – shou pa)