The Life and Music of Chopin
1 day, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Chopin’s music has delighted music lovers for nearly two centuries. Perhaps no other composer is so closely associated with the piano, newly finding its voice in Chopin’s time. His too-short life had its own drama and turmoil, with his exile from Poland, his battle with illness, and his relationship with French author George Sand. This one-day music course explores the life and music of Chopin, delving into the story of his life, and listening to some of his greatest works, including some lesser-known and under-appreciated ones. No prior musical knowledge is necessary.
- What do we think of when we think of Chopin?
- Chopin’s Place in History
- Chopin’s Musical Style: what makes Chopin sound like Chopin
- The Romantic Period: social and historical background
- Chopin’s early years in Poland
- Trips to Berlin and Vienna
- Early love: Constantia Gladkowska
- Making a name in Paris
- Engagement to Maria Wodzinski
- Chopin and Liszt
- Relationship with George Sand
- Chopin’s illness
- Chopin’s last years
Music we will listen to includes:
- Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2
- Preludes, Op. 28
- Prelude No. 15, "Raindrop"
- Etude in C minor, "Revolutionary"
- Etude in A flat major
- Waltz No. 9, "Farewell"
- Waltz No. 6, "Minute Waltz"
- Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major
- Fantasie-Impromptu in C# minor
- Polonaise No. 3, "Military"
- Polonaise No. 6, "Heroic"
- Berceuse in D flat major
- Mazurka No. 23 in D major
- Ballade No. 4 in F minor
- (and many others)
Buy the course notes for this class
About Susan Deas
Susan Deas is a professional musician, lecturer and teacher. She has been teaching music appreciation courses for more than twenty years, through Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, WEA Sydney and at other venues. Her training includes a Bachelor of Music with a major in Performance (Piano) and Musicology, a Master of Music Studies (Studio Pedagogy), a Bachelor of Arts (Communications), and an A.Mus.A in Musicianship. Susan teaches piano and music theory to adults and children, and plays piano and organ at various venues around Sydney. Susan is an accredited piano teacher and musicianship teacher, and is on the Council of the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW.