The Prince of Romantic Music: Frédéric Chopin

Bach is an astronomer, discovering the most marvellous stars. Beethoven challenges the universe. I only try to express the soul and the heart of man.

~ Frédéric Chopin

Frédéric François Chopin (1810-1849), Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period

The Romantic composer Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) is best known for his piano works, with their sumptuous melodies, delicacy, and elegant character. His musical compositions also tell us a great deal about the composer himself. Having emigrated to Paris to escape political turmoil in his native Poland, Chopin poured his patriotism and homesickness into his music, composing traditional dances, such as mazurkas and polonaises, and incorporating Polish folk melodies into many of his works. His nocturnes form a central part of his repertoire. Numbering twenty one pieces, the set includes some of Chopin’s most gloriously melodic pieces, timeless in their display of memorable tunes and rhythmic accompaniment. Here are two of Chopin’s Nocturnes. The first is his dreamlike Nocturne in E Flat Major Op. 9, No. 2 (composed when he was about twenty years old) and the second piece is his posthumous Nocturne in C-sharp minor, No. 20 completed in 1830 but published only in 1870. This was the piece played by Holocaust survivor and famed Polish pianist Władysław Szpilman, the central figure of the 2002 Roman Polanski film The Pianist, during the last live broadcast of Polish radio on September 23, 1939. when Warsaw was besieged by the German army.


Chopin, Nocturne in E Flat Major Op. 9 No. 2

Chopin, Nocturne in C-sharp Minor No. 20

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