Friday, August 9, 2013

Celine Gaurier-Joubert of London Piano Institute Discusses Chopin’s Musical Contributions

London Piano Institute
Q: Who was Frédéric Chopin?

Celine Gaurier-Joubert, London Piano Institute: Frédéric Chopin was a Polish virtuoso pianist and composer. In fact, he is widely heralded as one of the most brilliant piano composers in history. Chopin was born just outside of Warsaw, where he also received his musical education. Chopin composed many of his finest works before he left Poland at age 20, right before the November Uprising of 1830.

Q: Was there a common thread in Chopin’s work?

Celine Gaurier-Joubert, London Piano Institute: Most of Chopin’s pieces are arranged for solo piano. However, he wrote a few chamber pieces and two piano concertos as well. Plus, he composed some songs with Polish lyrics. Chopin is noted for his invention of the instrumental ballad, along with making several advancements in the art of piano music.

Q: Where did Chopin go after he departed Poland?

Celine Gaurier-Joubert, London Piano Institute: After the Russians combated the Uprising, Chopin settled in Paris along with a number of native Poles. Strangely enough, Chopin rarely performed in public. In his lifetime, he presented only 30 or so public performances. He much preferred the intimate environment of the salon. Instead of public concerts, he supported himself by teaching piano and selling his compositions.

Q: What successes did Chopin achieve in the later stages of his career?

Celine Gaurier-Joubert, London Piano Institute: Chopin’s music reached new heights during the late 1930s when he met writer George Sand. Their relationship inspired some of Chopin’s finest works. In the winter of 1838-1839, the pair traveled to Majorca, living in an abandoned monastery.

Q: What prevented Chopin from being more prolific?

Celine Gaurier-Joubert, London Piano Institute: For much of his life, Chopin experienced poor health. Chopin suffered from his first significant bout with tuberculosis during his time in Majorca. Although he was seriously ill, he managed to finish the 24 Preludes, Op. 28. Chopin eventually died in 1849 while he was residing in Paris.

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