CHOPIN by Herbert Weinstock


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A sane and conscientious biography dealing with both the man and his work. As Poland's major composer, Chopin traveled in other parts of Europe, although he centred his musical interests mainly in Paris, where his most successful concerts were given to small select gatherings. However, a deep patriotic concern for Poland and her political difficulties, plus his own guilt feelings, for not joining her army, brought Chopin to incorporate much of his country's folk music into his work. A thin, blond, aesthetic looking youth, Chopin seemed to function only in the medium of music, becoming vague and unsure elsewhere. Evidently this dependency- together with his recessive characteristics-appealed to George Sand, as the strong, maternal, domineering companion. Despite the biographer's insistence to the contrary, it would seem that Chopin spent his life dying, thin and sickly as a very young man, then tubercular, up to his death at 39. In the second part of his book, Mr. Weinstock gives technical resumes of Chopin's compositions...There are interesting excerpts from Chopin's correspondence, but the interest is focussed almost wholly on the musical values- and outside that market, the book would make rather tedious reading.

Pub Date: March 7th, 1949
Publisher: Knopf