Frederick Chopin, as a Man and Musician — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about Frederick Chopin, as a Man and Musician — Volume 1.
which make an individual style—­the absolutely new being, generally speaking, insignificant compared with the acquired and evolved.  The opinion that individuality is a spontaneous generation is an error of the same kind as that imagination has nothing to do with memory.  Ex nihilo nihil fit.  Individuality should rather be regarded as a feminine organisation which conceives and brings forth; or, better still, as a growing thing which feeds on what is germane to it, a thing with self-acting suctorial organs that operate whenever they come in contact with suitable food.  A nucleus is of course necessary for the development of an individuality, and this nucleus is the physical and intellectual constitution of the individual.  Let us note in passing that the development of the individuality of an artistic style presupposes the development of the individuality of the man’s character.  But not only natural dispositions, also acquired dexterities affect the development of the individuality of an artistic style.  Beethoven is orchestral even in his pianoforte works.  Weber rarely ceases to be operatic.  Spohr cannot help betraying the violinist, nor Schubert the song-composer.  The more Schumann got under his command the orchestral forces, the more he impressed on them the style which he had formed previously by many years of playing and writing for the pianoforte.  Bach would have been another Bach if he had not been an organist.  Clementi was and remained all his life a pianist.  Like Clementi, so was also Chopin under the dominion of his instrument.  How the character of the man expressed itself in the style of the artist will become evident when we examine Chopin’s masterpieces.  Then will also be discussed the influence on his style of the Polish national music.


Paris in 1831.—­Life in the streets.—­Romanticism and liberalism.- -Romanticism in literature.—­Chief literary publications of the time.—­The pictorial arts.—­Music and musicians.—­Chopin’s opinion of the galaxy of singers then performing at the various opera-houses.

Chopin’S sensations on plunging, after his long stay in the stagnant pool of Vienna, into the boiling sea of Paris might have been easily imagined, even if he had not left us a record of them.  What newcomer from a place less populous and inhabited by a less vivacious race could help wondering at and being entertained by the vastness, variety, and bustle that surrounded him there?

Project Gutenberg
Frederick Chopin, as a Man and Musician — Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook