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The Etude Magazine March 1921

Appreciating Classical Music:

Chopin Sheet Music

Chopin's Definite Path

If Mendelssohn's character may be called rich by its inclusiveness, Chopin's may be called rich by exclusiveness; he early realized what was his chief talent, and confined his energies within one narrow but deep channel, with wonderful results producing great sheet music.

Though born in Poland (of a French father and Polish mother), he lived most of his life in Paris, where he mingled in a circle of high society more distinguished for graceful manners and witty conversation than for fastidious morality.

Unlike other great composers of his day and earlier, he did not attempt every field of sheet music composition, but confined himself almost exclusively to piano solos in sheet music form, developing a new and characteristic idiom for that instrument - an intrinsic piano style, free from the influences of orchestral or choral music. He wrote several really beautiful songs in sheet music form, which are less known than they deserve to be, but his few excursions into the realms of orchestral music (as in the orchestral parts of his two concertos) show that he was not thoroughly at home except at the keyboard. Aside from the returns from his work as a composer of piano sheet music, he supported himself as a piano teacher, having a fashionable clientele and charging high prices, but experiencing some difficulty in meeting the expenses involved by living among extravagant people.

He seldom wrote letters, and mingled so little among other professional musicians that many of them regarded him as simply a sort of inspired amateur. He did, however, produce some impressive sheet music  Liszt, however, respected him greatly, as did Schumann, and the latter did much to spread the vogue of his compositions in Germany, in the face of strong opposition.

Chopin's very evident maxim was to confine himself to the development of the piano as a medium of expression. In this he succeeded so admirably as to remain \a model unexcelled even to the present day as evidenced by his prodigious sheet music.




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