This Sunday, we have Chopin’s complete Nocturnes, played by Brigitte Engerer.
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) was born near Warsaw, the only son of a French father and Polish mother. Chopin’s Polishness was immensely important to him. He started studying at the Warsaw Conservatoire at twelve, and in 1830 he travelled to Vienna. In 1831 he headed for Paris, the scene of his greatest artistic successes and where he was to make his home for the remaining eighteen years of his life. He died of tuberculosis, aged 39.
John Field invented the piano nocturne as a lyrical and dreamy short piece in which the expressive melody in the right hand was gently supported by the broken chords of the left hand. Chopin extended the nocturne into a greater emotional range. These pieces established Chopin’s reputation in the aristocratic salons of Paris and they remain the most popular of his works to this day.