Chopin’s Legacy

Chopin at 25, by Maria Wodzinska, 1835

Chopin is, undoubtedly, the pianist’s composer. Although he composed two concertos for piano and orchestra and some ensemble pieces, his best-loved compositions are for piano solo.

His larger scale works such as the sonatas, the four scherzi, the four ballades, the Fantaisie in F minor, opus 49 and the Barcarolle in F sharp major, opus 60 have cemented a solid place within the piano repertoire, as have his shorter works: the polonaises, the mazurkas, the waltzes, the Impromptus and the nocturnes.

Chopin invested all these works with deep feeling and emotion. His distinctive style conveys a musicality and beauty unsurpassed and the range of his work demonstrates versatility and virtuosity.

In order to illustrate this, I have selected three pieces which demonstrate the melodic and emotional depth of his work. I hope my recordings do some justice to these beautiful works.

Chopin Waltz in A flat major, opus 69, No.1
Chopin Polonaise in G minor, opus.posthum
Chopin Waltz in A minor, opus 34, No.2

Piano: John McGuinness

Chopin’s music is still very popular today and has been an inspiration to later pianists, composers and audiences. Indeed, contemporary piano composers are very much influenced by his romantic style and many refer to themselves as the new romantics. Major outlets for this music are to be found in film, theatre and the concert hall. These composers will be the subject of future blogs and include Ludovico Einaudi, Dario Marianelli, Yiruma and many more.

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