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Chasing Chopin: A Musical Journey Across Three Centuries, Four Countries, and a Half-Dozen Revolutions



by
Annik LaFarge

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Simon & Schuster
Imprint
Simon & Schuster (Adult)
ISBN
9781501188718
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Mild Language , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes
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The Frédéric Chopin Annik LaFarge presents here is not the melancholy, sickly, romantic figure so often portrayed. The artist she discovered is, instead, a purely independent spirit: an innovator who created a new musical language, an autodidact who became a spiritually generous, trailblazing teacher, a stalwart patriot during a time of revolution and exile.

In Chasing Chopin she follows in his footsteps during the three years, 1837–1840, when he composed his iconic “Funeral March”—dum dum da dum—using its composition story to illuminate the key themes of his life: a deep attachment to his Polish homeland; his complex relationship with writer George Sand; their harrowing but consequential sojourn on Majorca; the rapidly developing technology of the piano, which enabled his unique tone and voice; social and political revolution in 1830s Paris; friendship with other artists, from the famous Eugène Delacroix to the lesser known, yet notorious in his time, Marquis de Custine. Each of these threads—musical, political, social, personal—is woven through the “Funeral March” in Chopin’s Opus 35 sonata, a melody so famous it’s known around the world even to people who know nothing about classical music. But it is not, as LaFarge discovered, the piece of music we think we know.

As part of her research into Chopin’s world, then and now, LaFarge visited piano makers, monuments, churches, and archives; she talked to scholars, jazz musicians, video game makers, software developers, music teachers, theater directors, and of course dozens of pianists. The result is extraordinary: an engrossing, page-turning work of musical discovery and an artful portrayal of a man whose work and life continue to inspire artists and cultural innovators in astonishing ways.

Author’s note about companion website with relevant musical performances. Note about sources. Selected bibliography. Notes. Index.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Mild Language , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

240

Trim Size

8 2/5" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

B

AR

0: points 0

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Oct 2020

Book Genres

Narrative Nonfiction

Topics

Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849). Frédéric Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 35. "Funeral March." George Sand (1804–1876). Music history. Music and musicians. Composers. Nineteenth-century history of France.

 


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