Classical Music Online: Chopin

Chopin at 25, by his fiancée Maria Wodzińska, 1835
  1. Etude op.10 No.1 C-Dur - Allegro Frédéric Chopin 1:48
  2. Op. 15 No. 2 - Nocturne, F majeur Frédéric Chopin 4:27
  3. Op. 37 No. 1 - Nocturne in G minor Frédéric Chopin 5:03
  4. Op. 69 No. 1 - Valse, As majeur Frédéric Chopin 4:07
  5. Polonaise No.6 As-Dur op.53 Frédéric Chopin 6:54
  6. The Maiden's Wish Frédéric Chopin 2:12
  7. Waltz Frédéric Chopin 2:48

Frédéric François Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for the solo piano. He gained and has maintained renown worldwide as a leading musician of his era, whose “poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation.”

Chopin was born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin in what was then the Duchy of Warsaw and grew up in Warsaw, which in 1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising. At 21 he settled in Paris. Thereafter, during the last 18 years of his life, he gave only some 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon. He supported himself by selling his compositions and by teaching piano, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his musical contemporaries, including Robert Schumann. In 1835 he obtained French citizenship. After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska from 1836 to 1837, he maintained an often troubled relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin (known by her pen name, George Sand). A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand in 1838–39 was one of his most productive periods of composition. In his last years, he was financially supported by his admirer Jane Stirling, who also arranged for him to visit Scotland in 1848. Through most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health. He died in Paris in 1849, at the age of 39, probably of tuberculosis.