Frederic Chopin

WRTI Arts Desk
11:07 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Listen To This: The Dreamiest Chopin You've Ever Heard

Pianist Chad Lawson's "The Chopin Variations," performed with violinist Judy Kang and cellist Rubin Kodheli, presents the music of Chopin in a whole new way.

After being featured on NPR's All Things Considered, Chad Lawson's CD, The Chopin Variations, shot to No. 1 on iTunes Classical before it was even released in September, 2014. Lawson's interpretation of Chopin's nocturnes, preludes, and waltzes involves a surprising reconfiguration of the piano, and offers a sense of intimacy with the music that is likely new to most listeners.

WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston learns about the power of simplicity in her conversation with pianist Chad Lawson.

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WRTI Spotlight
11:35 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Gregg Whiteside Explains Why Frederic Chopin Was One Of the Greatest Composers Who Ever Lived

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)

Do you want to know what made the composer Frederic Chopin so special? I'll tell you. Chopin (March 1, 1810 - October 17, 1849) was one of the greatest pianists and composers who ever lived. Aside from revolutionizing the piano itself, enlarging its scope, the genres it lent itself to, and its breadth of color, Chopin essentially invented the scherzo and instrumental ballade as virtuoso piano movements, and reinvented the etude as a musically engaging genre, rather than a mere exercise.

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Latest Jazz from NPR Music
4:47 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Uncovering The Heart Of Chopin — Literally

Composer and pianist Frederic Chopin, who died in 1849.
General Photographic Agency Getty Images

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Creatively Speaking
11:33 am
Mon October 13, 2014

What Do Frederic Chopin and Abraham Lincoln Have In Common?

From the Raab Collection: a receipt for payment from Frederic Chopin's publisher, Schlesinger, for Opus 74 - what would end up being his final number opus. It's 17 songs composed by Chopin over his lifetime for piano and voice, set to Polish texts.

A family-owned business in Ardmore, PA is based upon a shared appreciation of one-of-a kind messages from the past. At any given moment, The Raab Collection contains letters, memos, signed photos, and other writings by some of the nation's, and the world's, most prominent historical figures.  

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:02 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

A Pianist Hears Chopin From Inside His Instrument

Chad Lawson's new album is The Chopin Variations.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 11:23 am

Even if you're not a fan of classical music, you have heard of Frédéric Chopin: His music has appeared in countless movies, TV shows and commercials, even video games. But it's almost certain you haven't heard the Polish composer performed the way Chad Lawson plays him.

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Creatively speaking
12:42 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Frededric Chopin's 40-Year Legacy

It’s not settled whether 19th-century pianist and composer Frederic Chopin was born on February 22nd, or March 1st, 1810.  But as Susan Lewis reports, one thing that’s clear is that he made a significant mark on music in his short life of just under 40 years.    

LEWIS:  Born in Poland and raised in Warsaw, Frederic Chopin’s virtuosity was recognized early. As a young man, he went to Paris and joined a community of like-minded performers and artists, including the female writer who took the name George Sand, with whom he had an extended love affair. University of Pennsylvania Music Professor Jeffrey Kallberg says Paris was a mecca for pianists who typically performed their own music.

KALLBERG: Liszt being one, but people like Frederick Kaltbrenner, Theodore Durler, people we tend to forget these days.  Chopin fit in with these, but what really set him apart was the extraordinary quality of what he composed.

LEWIS: Kallberg says Chopin preferred the craft and counterpoint of Bach and Mozart to the styles of his musical contemporaries, many of whom were writing program music that followed a story line.  Instead of writing for the piano as a pure melodic instrument, Chopin, would allow it to blur sounds together.

KALLBERG: ...and to produce a sort of sonic haze that looks forward to a composer like Debussy, for example. I’m thinking of  in a work like  the Nocturne in c sharp minor , which is a work unlike most nocturnes seems not to have a lyrical melody at the beginning, what you have is a melody that moves scarcely at all. 

What you hear is just chords undulating and a mood being set without any melody to hang onto.. so he was rethinking what forms and genres were about by putting emphasis on new kinds of sounds.

LEWIS: Kallberg is author of Chopin at the Boundaries: Sex, History and Musical Genre.

Creatively Speaking
11:52 am
Sat March 13, 2010

Chopin and Ballet--Curtis Opera Theatre's Antony and Cleopatra--Philadelphia on Stone

Susan Lewis considers why Chopin's music appeals to ballet choreographers, as Pennsylvania Ballet stages a trio of works on March 13 and 14, 2010 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the 19th-century composer's birth.

As part of celebrations of Samuel Barber's centenary, David Patrick Stearns looks ahead to performances of Antony and Cleopatra by the Curtis Opera Theatre.

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Crossover
3:20 pm
Sat January 16, 2010

Pianist Garrick Ohlsson

Pianist Garrick Ohlsson will perform an all-Chopin program at the Kimmel Center on Tuesday, January 19th at 8 pm

Join Jill Pasternak for a candid interview with the distinguished pianist Garrick Ohlsson. Since his triumph as winner of the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. In celebration of Chopin's 200th Birthday that's coming up on March 1, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society will host a performance by Ohlsson on January 19th at 8 pm at the Kimmel Center with an all-Chopin program.

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