Hello ! My name is
Anh. My major is not
music but the piano has come
along with my life since I was six years old. My passion for music helped me
keep playing during the busiest times. I have been
collecting classical CDs for many years, including both piano and orchestral music,
especially piano music of Bach, Mozart,
Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms,
Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, and Rachmaninoff. My greatest Chopin collections
are the Rubinstein Chopin Collection 11CDs (released in 1991) by RCA and
the Complete Chopin Edition 17CDs (released in 1999) by Deutsche Grammophon. Besides, I
interested in comparing different versions of a
masterpiece played by various pianists. I also like searching and reading articles
about classical music.
My most favorite
composer is none other than Frederic Chopin. No composers' music has ever
enjoyed such lasting and continuous popularity with so wide a range of people
as Chopin's. In Rubinstein's words:
a genius of universal appeal. His music conquers the most diverse
audiences. When the first notes of Chopin sound through the concert hall
there is a happy sigh of recognition. All over the world men and women
know his music. They love it. They are moved by it. Yet it is not
"Romantic music" in the Byronic sense. It does not tell stories or paint
pictures. It is expressive and personal, but still a pure art. Even in
this abstract atomic age, where emotion is not fashionable, Chopin
endures. His music is the universal language of human communication.
When I play Chopin I know I speak directly to the hearts of people!" My first attempt
to Chopin's world was the Nocturne Op.9 No.2 when I was 15 years old. Since
then, his music plays an important part in my repertoire. My most favorite
work of Chopin has been the Barcarolle Op.60 in F sharp major. Since
2008, I have been the editor for the Chopin category of the
Directory Project, the largest and most comprehensive web directory acting
as the basis for search engines.
I launched this
website on the 150th anniversary of Chopin's death (October 17, 1999) in memory of the great composer.
At that time, the online resources about Chopin and his music were extremely
limited. I tried to gather information from different sources, especially
through the great contribution of visitors in the "Questions" section and
the old discussion board to create a
place where visitors can find information about Chopin for school projects,
further reading, and enjoyment of Chopin's music. The website gained its
popularity in a short time and has been a favorite place for Chopin's music
lovers all over the world. I am grateful for continued contribution, support,
and participation from visitors and friends.
With this site, I hope
having interest in Chopin's music can exchange their ideas, play the games and
above all discover the world of Chopin. If you have any suggestion, please
feel free to contact me at
fredericchopin at yahoo dot com. Please also bring to my attention any error or
controversial issue you found at this website. Thank you for visiting and please do not
forget to sign my guestbook.
Paying homage to Chopin, I have
visited several historic sites related to the composer in Warsaw and Paris
during my European conference travels. Chopin spent the first half of his
life in Poland and the second half in Paris. It has been a worthwhile
experience for me as I feel closer to Chopin and more appreciative of his creation.
Park (a.k.a. Park Łazienkowski, Łazienki Królewskie)
Also called the
Royal Baths Park, Łazienki Park is the largest park in
Warsaw and maybe one of the most beautiful in Europe. Built
in the 17th century by Tylman van Gameren and later by
Stanisław August, it is located south of downtown on Ujazdów
Avenue, Agrykola Street, and the Royal Route. Although
famous for its Palace on the water (Pałac na Wodzie) and the
historical bathing pavilion, the Park nowadays attracts many
visitors because of Chopin statue.
Chopin Statue in Łazienki Park
this statue the best of all Chopin monuments in the world.
It was designed by sculptor Waclaw Szymanowski in 1926. The
monument shows Chopin sitting under a willow tree and
listening to the sound of nature in the wind while composing
his masterpieces. It is interesting to know that the willow
tree represents five fingers of Chopin's hand. The wind
blows from the west into his right ear and the music comes
out to the east from his left ear. Standing near the statue,
I felt like I could hear his music somewhere in the wind!
Church (a.k.a. Kościół św. Krzyża, Kościół
Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, this Roman Catholic church
is one of the most notable baroque churches in Warsaw.
Construction started in 1682 and completed in 1757.
Originally designed by Józef Fontana, it was destroyed
during World War II and rebuilt in a similar style by B.
Zborowski. The Church has a statue of Christ bearing his
Cross in the front designed by Pius Weloński. The Church has
pillars containing urns of many famous Polish artists'
Chopin's Heart in the Holy Cross Church
buried in Paris in 1849. According to his wish, his sister
Ludwika brought his heart to his homeland and placed in this
church. The pillar dedicated to Chopin was located on the
left of the main entrance. His heart has been kept in an urn
above the bouquet near the pillar bottom. There have always
been flowers in memory of the maestro.
Visitationist Church (a.k.a. Kościół Wizytek w
Warszawie, Church of the Nuns of the Visitation)
Located on the
Krakowskie Przedmieście Street in Warsaw, this church is one
of the oldest in town that was not destroyed during World
War II. Construction started in 1664. In front of this
church stands the statue of cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. One
of the most notable structure inside is the boat-shape
pulpit above the ground on the left.
Organ of Visitationist Church
Chopin used to
play this organ often during service for school pupils. It
was said that only young Chopin was clever enough to play
Presidential Palace (a.k.a. Pałac Prezydencki, Pałac
Koniecpolskich, Lubomirskich, Radziwiłłów, or Pałac
The Palace is
also located on the Krakowskie Przedmieście Street in
Warsaw. It was built starting 1643 and redesigned many
times. During 1674-1818, the Palace belonged to the
Radziwiłł family. Chopin gave his first concert in this
Palace. Nowadays the Palace is the place for the president of Poland. In front of the Palace stands the statue of prince Józef Poniatowski.
(a.k.a. Pałac Krasińskich, Pałac Rzeczypospolitej)
The Palace is
located on Krasiński Square in Warsaw. It was designed in
baroque style by Tylman of Gameren and built starting 1677.
Chopin moved to this place at 17 and lived there until the
day he left for Paris. Nowadays the Palace holds old
collections of prints and manuscripts for the National
Pierogi is a
traditional Polish food that visitors to Poland should not miss. It is
similar to dumpling but the inside fillings are various such
as potatoes, cheese, onions, mushroom, or meat, etc. It is often
served with sugar, butter, or bacon bits, making the dish
from sweet to salty. I really enjoyed
the meal with a hot zurek soup.
Żelazowa Wola - Chopin's Manor House
Żelazowa Wola is
a village of Gmina Sochaczew district about 30 miles west of
Warsaw. The village has a beautiful Masovian setting with
willow trees along the roads. It is a very quiet and
relaxing place and especially famous for the manor of Chopin's family.
The Chopin's house was located in a park with four chestnut
trees in the front, a spring on the side, and a garden on
the back. It was in this house that Chopin was born and
spent his childhood summers with friends. I could hardly
believe that I myself finally stepped into this peaceful
land of the maestro's birthplace.
Żelazowa Wola - Chopin
monument by Józef Gosławski stands in the backyard of the
manor. It is probably the most familiar one among the three
in the park since the bronze statue's right knee has been
worn out through visitors' touch (and mine too!)
Chopin Monument in Monceau Park, Paris
This is another
famous Chopin monument not in Poland but in France.
Parc Monceau is located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris
with the main entrance on boulevard de Courcelles. The park
was made possible by Phillippe d'Orléans in English style
with curvy paths, shaded walks, Roman columns and archways,
hence one of the most beautiful and charming in Paris.
Scattered across the park are statues of prominent French
artists. Sculpted by Jacques Froment Thomas in 1906, the
Chopin monument is situated on the right side of the main
entrance where Chopin was said to come to meditate. The
statue shows Chopin playing the piano with an angel flying
in the background and a woman seating with hands covering
her eyes and deeply affected by the music.
Salle Pleyel is
also located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris with the
main entrance on rue du faubourg Saint-Honoré. The original
hall was open in 1830 on rue de Cadet. Chopin performed his
first and also last concert in Paris at this concert hall.
In 1927, the Pleyel manufacturer decided to construct a new
concert hall at the current location and this concert hall
has been attracting great names of classical music.
Place Vendôme is
situated in the 1st arrondissement of Paris between l'Opéra
Garnier and Le Jardin des Tuileries. It was established in
memory of the grand monarch of Louis IV in 1699. Napoleon
later ordered to build the column to celebrate the victory
of Austerlitz in 1805. It has been famous for luxurious
hotels and fashion shops.
Place Vendôme, nb 12
Chopin lived at
number 12 of this square and spent the last moments of his
life there. On the top left corner of the entrance reads
"Frédéric Chopin [...] est mort dans cette maison le 17
octobre 1849. At his bedside, Countess Potocka sang to him
at his request. "Play Mozart in memory of me" were his last
Lachaise Cemetery (a.k.a. Cimetière du
Père-Lachaise, Cimetière de l'Est)
Located in the
20th arrondissement of Paris, it is one of the most visited
cemetery in the world due to its resting place of many of
the world's celebrities. The main entrance is on boulevard
de Ménilmontant. It first opened as a cemetery in 1804 in
response to the Paris government's decision to relocate most
cemeteries near city churches out of the city center. Being
the largest cemetery in Paris, it has been the home of over
300,000 people and the ultimate symbol for the rich and
eminent class in the society. Over 3000 mourners saw Chopin
off to this cemetery in October 1849.
burial at Père Lachaise Cemetery, the Funeral March from his
Sonata No.2 in B flat minor Op.35 was played in memory of
the great composer. The monument on the top of the grave was
designed by Auguste Clésinger. I visited the cemetery on a
late Friday afternoon and as I expected there were many
visitors paying tribute to the composer. I felt that
Chopin's marble grave provoked a sense of simplicity like
the composer himself. I did not feel the usual cold cemetery
atmosphere when standing at his grave surrounded by lots of
fresh flowers and visitors. As I was leaving the cemetery, I
rest assured that Chopin would forever live in the heart of
music lovers from all over the world.