Frederic Chopin was in many ways a contradictory figure: a passionately patriotic Pole, he left his country for good at the age of 21; frail and almost sexless, he was famous for a seven-year love affair with the novelist George Sand; shy, lonely, and retiring, he was inevitably surrounded by friends and admirers. In Chopin in Paris, biographer Tad Szulc has produced a dishy account of Chopin's most creative and tempestuous period, his 18-year sojourn in France. It's also a portrait of a unique time, when musical and artistic luminaries such as Chopin, Balzac, Hugo, Liszt, Berlioz, Delacroix, and Schumann ran in the same heady Parisian circles.
What it's not is a detailed study of Chopin's music. The author of critically praised books about Fidel Castro and Pope John Paul II, Szulc sets out in search of Chopin the man, "the human dimension" he finds missing in other, more musically oriented biographies. What he finds is not always attractive; tortured through much of his life by physical and psychological illness, Chopin emerges as an often fussy, distant, manipulative man, as well as something of a snob. It's a tribute to his genius as a composer, Szulc writes, that he was befriended by some of the greatest minds of his age, including the larger-than-life figure of George Sand: "Fryderyk Chopin gave the world a treasure in music. The world gave Chopin a treasure in human beings." Commendably, Szulc refrains from editorializing about the composer's life and habits, in particular Chopin's break with Sand. Instead, he allows his wealth of primary sources--including diaries, memoirs, letters, and Chopin's own brief journal--to speak for themselves. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The definitive biography of Chopin, by one of the finest of contemporary European historians. Two centuries have passed since Chopin's birth, yet his legacy is all around us today. The quiet revolution he wrought influenced the development of Western music profoundly, and he is still probably the most widely studied and revered composer. For many, he is the object of a culThe definitive biography of Chopin, by one of the finest of contemporary European historians. Two centuries have passed since Chopin's birth, yet his legacy is all around us today. The quiet revolution he wrought influenced the development of Western music profoundly, and he is still probably the most widely studied and revered composer. For many, he is the object of a cult. Yet most people know little of his life, of the man, his thoughts and his feelings; his public image is a sugary blur of sentimentality and melodrama. Adam Zamoyski cuts through the myths and legends to tell the story of Chopin's life, and to reveal all that can be discovered about him as a person. He pays particular attention to recent revelations about the composer's health, and places him within the intellectual and spiritual environment of his day....more
Unknown Binding, 374 pages
Published January 1st 1980 by Doubleday (first published September 13th 1979)