From the Library: Chopin and the French Classics

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by Elrik Merlin on Saturday, 13 March, 2010

This month almost certainly marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frédéric François Chopin, who is believed to have been born on 1 March 1810, in a village near Warsaw in Poland (though the parish record says 22 February, it’s likely incorrect) to a French father and Polish mother. At the age of 20 he left Poland a short time before the start of the November Uprising and, travelling via Vienna, he ended up in Paris, where, as a virtuoso pianist and composer, he came to be regarded as one of the great masters of Romantic music. He sadly died early, at the age of just 39, of pulmonary tuberculosis.

Today we’ll hear a significant selection of his works along with those of other French composers from the Baroque period to the early 20th Century. We will be including works by Rameau, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, Fauré, Satie and Berlioz, among others.

Most of the performances are traditional, but there will be some modern interpretations too, such as the music of Isao Tomita and some light jazz.

Read more about Chopin.

From the Library is produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium of Second Life. You can listen to the programme now at — or click here to link straight to your player if your browser is set up to do so. Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin.

For more information on the Alexandrian Free Library, current exhibits and the work of Consortium members in general, please visit the Alexandrian Free Library website, or one of their branches in-world.


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