The Life and Works of Chopin (Unabridged Non-Fiction) (Naxos Audio Books: NA445612)
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in 2010, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Chopin is celebrated. Regarded as one of the most mesmerising performers of his day, Frederic Chopin, the pianist-composer, lives on in his music - his waltzes, mazurkas, etudes, preludes, nocturnes, three piano sonatas and two piano concertos. Here, his life, from his birth in Poland, his famous affair with the French writer George Sand, to his death at the age of 39 in Paris, is told with his music featuring prominently. We think of Chopin as a 'frail, sheltered genius' but this forthright portrait demonstrates he was far more boisterous than that. Cheerful as a youth, it was only later that the glare of publicity, the change from local to national celebrity, made Chopin guard his privacy more carefully. This is clearly presented in Jeremy Siepmann's sympathetic account of the life of one of the key figures in Romantic music.