3The Life of Frederic Chopin Early LifeBorn on March 1, 1810 in Zelazowa Wola, PolandStudied piano with Wojciech Zwyny in Warsaw, as a childAge Six: he could play the piano and compose songsAge Eight: Gave first piano concert and outgrew abilities of his piano teacher1826: Chopin had composed many pieces that caused hos name to be well known1829: Parents sent him to Vienna for a broader musical experienceOn March 1, 1810, In Zelazowa Wola, Poland, Frederic Franciszek Chopin was born to Mikolaj Chopin and Tekla Kryzanowska. He was the second of four children and the only boy born to his parents. In 1810, when Frederic Chopin was just seven months old, his family moved to Warsaw, 29 miles East of his birthplace, where his father took a position at the high school. Because of his father's position at the academy, the Chopin family began to mingle with the elite circles of Warsaw's society.Chopin's knowledge of the piano began because of his mother, who played the piano and gave lessons to boys in the boarding house that the Chopins kept. Chopin began studying piano as a child and studied piano in Warsaw with Wojciech Zywny and harmony and counterpoint with Jozef Elsner. It became apparent at a very early age that he was very gifted and talented when it came to music and the piano. By age 6, Chopin was able to play the piano and even compose songs. In 1817 he composed two polonaises in G minor and B-flat major. At age 8, Chopin gave his first piano concert and it did not take long for him to outgrow the abilities of his teacher. By 1826, Frederic Chopin had composed many piano pieces, on his own, causing his name to become well known, in as well as outside of Poland. In 1829, his parents felt as if he might need a broader musical experience. Because of this, they sent Chopin's to Vienna where he made his performance debut.
4The Life of Frederic Chopin Early Adulthood1832: Settled in Paris, center of European culture and RomanticismHis music became highly regarded among elite Parisian performersBecame friends with other artists such as, Franz Liszt and Hector BerliozFocused on teaching, composing, and private performancesOver the next few years, he performed in Poland, Germany, Austria, and Paris. He eventually settled in Paris in 1832.In the 1830s, Paris had risen to become the center of European culture. It was also the main area of romanticism as far as music was concerned. The work that Chopin was recognized for during his first few years in Paris include the Nocturnes of Opp. 9 and 15 ( ), the 12 Etudes, Op. 25 ( ), the Scherzo in B-flat minor, Op. 31 (1837), the Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 35 (1837), and the G minor Ballade, Op. 23. While in Paris, Chopin's music and his performances quickly became highly regarded among the elite of Parisian performers and he soon became friends with other young artists of the time such as, Franz Liszt and Hector Berlioz. Because of his various social connections, Chopin's career path began to change as there was great demand for him as a teacher and by 1833 he had a consistent routine of teaching, composing, and private salon performances. By 1835, Chopin performed two major concerts of his works. Although these concerts were very well received, he chose to turn down many invitations for public concerts as he preferred to view himself as a composer.
5The Life of Frederic Chopin Adult Years1835: Engagement to Maria Wodinski1837: Engagement broken off by Wodinski family1838: Began relationship with George Sand1839: Diagnosed with Tuberculosis, relationship grew turbulent, music became more rich and complex.In the Summer of 1835, Chopin, who was missing his family, decided to spend the Summer with them in Karlsbad. On his way home from this visit, he made a stop in Dresden to visit with family friends. During this five week visit, he fell in love with sixteen-year-old Maria Wodzinski. Although he was not given consent from the family, on the last night of his visit Chopin proposed to Maria. Maria accepted and Chopin assumed the marriage would take place, however, in 1837 he received a letter from the Wodzinski family which stated that the marriage would not take place and the engagement was broken. It is believed that the family broke off the engagement because of Chopin's health as well as his rumored relationships with other women, such as George Sand.Chopin met George Sand, a writer, at a party hosted by Marie d'Agoult, the mistress of Franz Liszt, in October of Although she was strongly attracted to Chopin, he was not immediately attracted to George Sand. George Sand destroyed his relationship with Maria Wodzinski. In April of 1838, the two were reacquainted and this time, there was a mutual attraction. Chopin and Sand became lovers by that Summer.In the winter of 1839, Chopin and George Sand took their first vacation together, along with Sand's two children from a previous marriage. They traveled to Majorca in order to get away from the city and to avoid some unpleasantness from Sand's previous lover. While in Majorca, Chopin did not have a decent piano to practice and struggled with renting a poor rental piano. Along with the cold, wet conditions, along with his unhappiness, Chopin fell ill on this vacation. He was diagnosed with tuberculosis and he received enough help from local doctors to recover to fair health.
6The Life of Frederic Chopin Final Years1847: Relationship between Chopin and Sand Ends1848: Began teaching lessons and giving private performances1848: Declining health, Sister moves in with himOctober 17, 1849: Dies at age 38Chopin and Sand's relationship was turbulent and the two grew very unhappy in their relationship. Despite his relationship, he remained productive by teaching and composing music. During this period, Chopin refocused on composing and produced a higher quality of music than ever before. During this time, his music became more rich and complex. In 1844, Chopin's health began to decline rapidly. Chopin's poor health and declining relationship brought his relationship with George Sand to an end by 1847.Chopin began to give lessons and occasional private performances, while his health continued to grow worse. in 1848, Chopin left Paris to tour England and Scotland, performing concerts as he made the rounds. The stress of this took a toll on his already poor health. When he returned to London from a trip to Scotland, Chopin's health was so bad that he weighed less than 100 pounds. His doctors urged him to return to Paris as soon as possible. Chopin performed a few more concerts in London, then went back to Paris. Frederic Chopin passed away on October 17, 1849, at the age of 38. Upon his death, he was in the company of his sister, Ludwika, and her family who came to live with him in his final year. His body was laid to rest in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France.
7Works 20 Nocturnes 25 Preludes 17 Waltzes 15 Polonaise 58 Mazurkas 27 EtudesOne of the unique aspects of Frederic Chopin was the fact that every one of his works was written for the piano, either as a solo instrument or in combination with other instruments. He is credited with originating the modern piano style. Most of his solo pieces are in shorter forms and improvisatory by nature. His works include 20 nocturnes, 25 preludes, 17 waltzes, 15 polonaises, 58 mazurkas, and 27 etudes.
8Accomplishments Credited with originating the modern piano style Reinvented a form, the ScherzoInvented the BalladeInvented the SonataContributed more significant works to piano’s repertoire than any other person in historyMuch of Chopin's success came because he reinvented a form, the scherzo. He invented the genres, the ballade and the sonata. Frederic Chopin was well known for his matchless genius in the realm of keyboard music. No other person in history has contributed as many significant works to the piano's repertoire than Frederic Chopin. His life showed his love for the piano and for music.
9Mazurka in B-Flat Minor Music HistoryBallade No. 1 in G MinorMazurka in B-Flat Minor
10Music History Ballade No. 1 in G Minor Ballade: Associated with French poetry, as a music formSometimes called Chopin’s greatest musical compositionFirst version written in 1831, during early years in ViennaFinal version not finished until 1835 or 1836Reflection of Chopin's loneliness and longing for familyInspired by the poem, Konrad WallerodDifferent structure than other balladsFrederic Chopin, one of the creates masters of the Romantic Era, composed Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23. It is assumed Chopin was the leading composer to use ballades, a type of composition associated with French poetry, as a music form. Frederic Chopin is credited with creating this music genre. Chopin's ballades each have a unique form and tells a story. He believed that music should tell a story. Ballade No. 1 is sometimes called Chopin's greatest musical compositions.The first version of this ballade was written in 1831, during his early years in Vienna. Frederic Chopin did not finish the final version until late 1835 or early Chopin did not give explanation for the delay in finishing the ballade. It is assumed that he may have laid it aside because he did not like the first version and preferred to work own other compositions, or that he kept rewriting it until he got to the final version that he approved of.Ballade No. 1 was a reflection of Chopin's loneliness in a city far away from his family and his home, where a war was happening against the Russian Empire's oppression. According to some literary sources, Ballade No. 1 was inspired by the poem Konrad Wallerod, which was written by Adam Mickiewicz, a Polish poet. Konrad Wallerod describes a battle between Lituanian pagans and Christian knights. Frederic Chopin composed a total of four Ballades. Of the four, Ballad No. 1 conveys a more narrative nature than the other three. The theme of Ballad no. one is "anguished'.Ballade No. 1 is structured differently than Chopin's other three ballades. A key difference is the time signature of Ballad No. 1. His other Ballades are written in strict compound duple time, while Ballad No. 1 deviates from this form. This piece begins with an introduction that transitions into the first theme. There are two themes in this piece and both themes return in different keys throughout the piece.Frederic Chopin's Ballade No. 1 in G minor Op. 23 is a beautiful piece of music and you can almost feel the emotion and the story while listening to it.
11Music History Mazurka in B-Flat Minor, Op. 24, No. 4 Mazurka originated in Mazovia Province of Northern PolandLively folk danceIn triple time with syncopated first beatOne of Chopin's 69 Mazurkas published in 1835Long with clearly defined sectionsIn triple meterThe mazurka is a lively folk dance in triple time with a syncopated first beat. The mazurka originated in the Mazovia province of Northern Poland, which is Frederic Chopin's home district in Poland. Much of Chopin's piano music looks back to his Polish roots. Throughout his life, Frederic Chopin wrote wrote at least 69 Mazurkas, 58 of which have been published. He started composing his mazurkas in 1825, and continued composing them until his death in During his life, Mazurkas became popular in Paris ballrooms.Chopin's Mazurka in b-flat minor, Op. 24, No. 4 was published in This was in the middle period of Chopin's short life. It was one of a set of four mazurkas written by Chopin in It is a type of musical poem that is elusive in mood. Most mazurkas have a simple ternary form, but this one was written differently. It is longer with clearly defined sections, each with a new and different emotion or feeling.Mazurkas are in triple meter. The for of the Mazurka is as follows: two eighth notes on the downbeat followed by two quarter notes. This pattern of rhythm allows the second beat of the measure to be emphasized. Robert Schumann, a German composer and influential music critic parsed the expressive depth of Chopin's Mazurka, suggesting he was a "poet".
12Listening Guides Ballade No. 1 in G Minor 0:00- The piece begins with introduction0:11- ascending melody0:24- Introduction to Theme A. Calm mood. Monophonic texture.0:36- Dynamics of music is very soft. Mood is soft. Texture is monophonic.0:51- Changes to Homophobic texture. Mood is calm.
13Listening Guides Ballade No. 1 in G Minor (cont.) vi. 1:00- Theme B Begins. The melody is smooth with calm mood. Homophonic texture.vii. 1:30- The Dynamics change from soft to loudviii. 2:00-The texture is homophonic. Mood is calm.ix. 2:25- A descending melody is repeated several times. The tempo speeds up.
14Listening Guides Ballade No. 1 in G Minor (cont.) x. 2:37- The dynamics change from soft to loud. The tempo becomes very fast. The dynamics become loud. The mood feels angry and chaotic.xi. 2:58- The tempo becomes slow. The texture is homophonic. The mood is sad or confused.xii. 3:07- Ascending melody. The tempo is moderate. The mood is calm. The texture is Homophonic.xiii. 3:30- The mood is calm. The tempo is very slow.
15Listening Guides Ballade No. 1 in G Minor (cont.) xiv. 3:58- The tempo quickens. The dynamics are soft. The mood is calm. There is a wide melodic range.xv. 4:15- Theme A repeats.xvi. 4:35- Dynamics are louder than softer. The tempo is fast. The texture is homophonic.xvii. 5:00- The melody repeats itself several times. The texture is homophonic. The tempo is fast. The dynamics are loud.
16Listening Guides Ballade No. 1 in G Minor (cont.) xviii. 5:17- Series of descending scales.xix. 5:23- The melody is a long descending scale.xx. 5:40- The tempo is very fast. The mood is angry and hectic. The dynamics are more soft than loud.xxi. 5:55- The dynamics change from moderate to loud. The tempo is very fast. The texture is homophonic.xxii. 6:15- Theme B is re-introduced. The tempo slows.
17Listening Guides Ballade No. 1 in G Minor (cont.) xxiii. 6:36- The melody has a wide range.xxiv. 6:45- The mood changes to clam. The Tempo becomes very slow. The dynamics change to soft.xxv. 7:23- The dynamics are soft. The texture is homophonic. The tempo is slow. The mood is calm.xxvi. 7:40- The melody repeats itself several times. The texture is homophobic.
18Listening Guides Ballade No. 1 in G Minor (cont.) xxvii. 7:58-The tempo increases to very fast. The dynamics become very loud. The mood is angry or upset. The texture is homophonic.xxviii. 8:22- There is a wide melodic range. The tempo is fast. The dynamics are loud. The texture is homophonic.xxix. 8:30- The melody is an ascending scale.xxx. 8:33- There is a long, melodic descending scale. There is a wide melodic range. The tempo is moderate
19Listening Guides Ballade No. 1 in G Minor (cont.) xxxi. 8:43- The mood changes to calm. The texture is homophonic. The tempo is very eslow. The dynamics are very soft.xxxii. 8:57- The tempo is very slow. The texture is homophonic.xxxiii. 9:14- The piece ends. The texture is monophonic. The tempo is very slow.
20Listening Guides Mazurkas in B-Flat Minor, Op. 24, No. 4 i. 0:00- Piece Begins.ii. 0:01- Introduction. The melody decreases chromatically. The texture is monophonic.iii. 0:09- The texture shifts to homophonic. The tempo is slow. The mood is calm.iv. 0:14- The harmony shifts from minor to major. The mood remains calm. The dynamics are moderate, but more soft than loud.
21Listening Guides Mazurkas in B-Flat Minor, Op. 24, No. 4 (cont.) v. 0:18- The harmony shifts back to minor. The tempo speeds up and becomes quite fast.vi. 0:30- The tempo slows. The texture is homophonic. Moderate triple meter.vii. 0:40- The tempo speeds up. The mood becomes more lively/happy.viii. 0:55- There is a descending melodic scale along with the tempo slowing. The dynamics are more soft than loud. The texture is homophonic.ix. 1:22- The harmony shifts from minor to major. The texture is homophonic. The tempo becomes quick. The mood is calm.
22Listening Guides Mazurkas in B-Flat Minor, Op. 24, No. 4 (cont.) x. 1:58- There is a wide melodic range. The mood is lively/happy. The texture is homophonic. The dynamics is loud.xi. 2:05- The tempo slows drastically.xii. 2:10- The texture is monophonic. The tempo is very slow. The mood is calm. Very soft dynamics.xiii. 2:34- The dynamics shifts from soft to loud. The tempo shifts from slow to fast. This pattern repeats itself several times.xiv. 3:00- The texture is homophonic. The tempo is moderate. The dynamics repeatedly shifts from soft to loud several times.
23Listening Guides Mazurkas in B-Flat Minor, Op. 24, No. 4 (cont.) xv. 3:22- The dynamics grows louder. The texture is homophonic.xvi. 3:30- The tempo rotates from slow to fast and repeats the pattern several times. The dynamics shift from soft to loud repeats the pattern several times.xvii. 3:53- The harmony shifts to minor from major. The mood is lively/happy.xviii. 4:00- Moderate triple meter with accents on the 3rd beat.
24Listening Guides Mazurkas in B-Flat Minor, Op. 24, No. 4 (cont.) xix. 4:16- The tempo becomes very slow. The texture is homophonic. The mood is calm and almost sad.xx. 4:40- The tempo is very slow. The Dynamics are soft.xxi. 5:00- Homophonic texture. The tempo slows down greatly.xxii. 5:06- The piece ends.
25Works Cited1. Baker, Theodore. The Concise Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. 8th edition. New York: Schirmer Books, 1994.2. Libbey, Ted. "The Life and Music Of Frederic Chopin". NPR Music, 2 March3. "Frédéric Chopin." The Biography Channel website. Feb htp://www.biography.com/people/frédéric-chopin.