Monday, April 4, 2016

C is for Chopin and Question of the Month

 
              I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and my theme this year is classical music. Check out the list of other participants by clicking here! Today is a dual-post with letter C and the Question of the Month.
              C is for Chopin. Frédéric Chopin (pronounced SHōˌpan) was a Polish composer who lived from 1810 to 1849.  He is considered the poet of the piano because of the genius of his techniques for solo piano. He has so many excellent pieces and I had a hard time narrowing down which ones to feature. I decided to go with two videos I found played by two great pianists, Arthur Rubinstein and Vladimir Horowitz. We will start with Rubinstein playing Chopin’s Waltz Op. 64 No. 2 in C Sharp Minor. This is one of Arthur Rubinstein’s favorites to play.
 

 
   ·   Chopin was a child prodigy and began giving public piano concerts and composed two polonaises (Polish dances) by the age of 7.
 
   ·   He suffered from weak health most of his life and died at the age of 39 possibly from tuberculosis.
 

Portrait of George Sand
   ·   He was engaged to Maria Wodzinska, but the engagement was broken off by her parents because of Chopin’s health and social status. He then entered into a love affair with author, George Sand. When they first met, Chopin remarked: “What an unattractive person la Sand is. Is she really a woman?” His feelings for her changed. They’re affair was “the stuff of legend” according to The Chopin Project, and I could probably write an entire post about it, in fact I might come back to it sometime (after April).
 
·      Here’s a great quote from Chopin that could apply to music, writing, or whatever other projects we may choose to take on: “When one does a thing, it appears good, otherwise one would not write it. Only later comes reflection, and one discards or accepts the thing. Time is the best censor, and patience a most excellent teacher.”
              And now the answers to my trivia questions from Saturday! The other two composers that I’m featuring this month that have last names that start with B are Brahms and Bach. But there are two composers that have first and last names that both start with B, and they are Béla Bartók and Benjamin Britten.
              For this challenge, I'm keeping a playlist of the videos I'm using plus some extras for anyone who wants to hear more. I will update with the latest letter each day. The second piece I added to the playlist today is Vladimir Horowitz playing Chopin’s Mazurka in B minor Opus. 33 No. 4. I love the way he plays this; it has a beautiful flow to it.


 


 

            The Question of the Month is a bloghop that occurs the first Monday of each month. This month, our host, Michael G D'Agostino decided to pick a question to go along with the A to Z Challenge.
“What’s your favorite thing that begins with C?”
            C is a cool letter and there are countless things that I like that commence with it. To keep this clean and clear-cut I made a complete list of my chosen things that begin with C!
Favorite foods and beverages: coffee, chocolate, and chicken enchiladas
Favorite animal: cats
Favorite holiday: Christmas
One of my favorite places to be is church.
And, of course, some of my favorite music is classical!


Pianist Garrick Ohlsson also enjoys playing Chopin’s work. Does anyone know where he played in celebration of Chopin’s 200th birthday a few years ago? Answer tomorrow! What are your favorite things that start with C?
 

26 comments:

  1. Chopin is just a genius. His work on the piano....I just don't know how he did it but so very glad he did. Rubenstein is one of my favourites for interpreting the music. I love Christmas, chocolate, cats, Cougars, colours, clothes as they keep me warm.

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    1. Birgit, I'm glad you enjoyed! And, clothes are important, great C word :)

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    2. A good film that I enjoyed was Impromptu starring Hugh Grant as Chopin

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    3. I bet Hugh did well with that, another one for the watch list :)

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  2. Christmas is my favorite holiday!
    Shame he died so young. Just think of what other music he would've produced.

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    1. Alex, it is a shame that many of these composers were so young, who knows what epic masterpieces never came to be.

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  3. You are coming up with such great trivia questions! This is a pretty piece of music, not sure I had heard it before. It was sad he died so young; I didn't realize that, but I guess at that time it might have been more "common" to die younger than older.

    I like your list of C things that you like; I agree with church and yum on the chocolate!

    betty

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    1. Thanks Betty! I must admit that some of my trivia questions come from listening to my classical radio station, they have so many interesting facts to share.

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  4. love your theme- I listen while reading!

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  5. Hello from A to Z. I'm a new follower. I played a little Chopin when I was a kid. And as a goofy kid, I'd always been tempted to pronounce his name as "Choppin" and wondered why it wasn't written as "Showpan."

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    1. Cynthia, I used to think it was pronounced Choppin, too :) Thank you for the follow!

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  6. Lovely Chopin. Time is definitely the best thing to view a new poem from - sometimes I think 'what the heck were you thinking'!! ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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  7. Ditto on the favorites, and Chopin, lovely!

    Happy April 4th!
    Ninga Minion @YolandaRenee from
    Defending The Pen
    Parallels
    Murderous Imaginings

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  8. I adore Classical music-a lovely post~

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  9. Coffee and chocolate...I would have had those at the top of my list, as well!

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    1. Stephanie, coffee and chocolate are my fuel for each day :)

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  10. Very respectable list there and the Chopin track was lovely.

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  11. Replies
    1. Michelle, Chopin's Nocturnes are beautiful!

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