Chopin is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest piano composers, with more than 200 songs. Frederic Chopin who was born a Polish but later changed his citizenship to French lived between 1810 and 1849. He was a child prodigy and his exemplary piano technique surprised everyone.
Chopin lived in the romantic era which was popular for unique and rich compositions. His pieces cover a wide spectrum from Joy and sorrow and focused on the solo piano. His music is described as having a poetic spirit and expresses varied emotions.
Chopin’s pieces cut across various niches such as nocturnes, waltzes, mazurkas, polonaises, impromptus, etudes, preludes, scherzos, and sonatas. Below is a list of 5 famous Chopin pieces that you need to know.
Etudes op. 10, which is considered to be the last creation of his main work, was juicy at the end of 1831 and published according to coincidence during the Polish November Uprising as a sign of disobedience against the Against Bolshevik authorities. In this piece, Chopin lamented “All this has caused me much pain. Who could have foreseen it!”.
From the piece, its clear Chopin used stormy harmonies to depict a troubled mind because of what was going on in his country. It is evident in this piece he dedicated it to a famous Hungarian composer and close friend, Franz Liszt. Till today, Etudes Op.10 remains one of the most favorite and popular pieces that clearly demonstrates the musical talent Chopin had.
Chopin was very fond of Polish folklore, and he wanted to make his own contribution, creating music with the introduction of Polish classical poetry.
This piece is a perfect example and is a poem by Stefan Witwicki telling a story of how a young pleasant girl in love with a man said she wished she could be the sun to permanently shine outside his window or a bird that always sang for him. “A Young Girl’s Wish” sang in quasi-opera tone rose to popularity and even attracted Franz Liszt who incorporated it into his “Harvest at Woronince” (1847).
It is known that Waltz in D-flat major, without a doubt, is one of the most successful and famous waltzes that were written by Frederic Chopin. The piece has a lively molto vivace tempo with the inclusion of the sustain pedal throughout the piece making it an upper-class salon and dreamy piece. Interestingly, the name Minute means the waltz composition is a shorter version of the form.
If you want the piece to complete playing within a minute’s time, you’re required to play 420 quarter notes every minute. As a result of evoking the imagery of a little dog that is chasing its tail, the waltz was popularly known as “The Little Dog Waltz.”
Polonaise in A flat major, closely related to the themes of autonomy, patriotism, and national pride. The composition is technically advanced and needs someone with good piano skills to do the proper interpretation.
The polonaise gets its nickname from French novelist George Sand’s writings captioned The Vigor! The Strength! The Inspiration! It is evident such a spirit and determination needed to be present during the 1848 French Revolution. From then onwards, the polonaise is regarded as a symbol of heroism.
Chopin’s preludes have prevailed in piano music for many decades and continue to be famous even now. Henry Finck, a popular musicologist admitted: “if all piano music in the world were to be destroyed, excepting one collection, my vote should be cast for Chopin’s Preludes.”
The Opus 28 Preludes were a great force to reckon within the music industry immediately they were released. Preludes then were used as short introductory pieces to bigger projects but Chopin’s pieces exceeded expectations and performed excellently.
Mixed reactions have been fronted regarding Chopin’s Preludes. However, the fact remains they continue to be used extensively by the present-day generation of pianists. The variety is beautiful and exciting even for shorter ones that last less than 90 bars.