Chopin’s First Composition

Chopin wrote this piece when he was seven years old. It’s very typical of the music that was being written at that time in Warsaw . . . a little Polonaise . . . with even a little virtuosic flourish in it. But Chopin was too young to write the notes down on the page — his father wrote it for him. He had probably written some things before this, but this is the first surviving piece we have.” 

Arthur Greene — remarks from the stage at a live concert at the University of South Florida on February 25, 2007
Frederic Chopin depicted at age seven

Listen to Chopin’s first composition: Polonaise in G Minor, by Arthur Greene

A Concert Souvenir Video

Watch and enjoy Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 1 transcribed and performed by Rhiannon Banerdt and Matthew Graybil. This “Concert Souvenir” was taken from the live stream of our March 13, 2022 Chopin Project concert at St. Boniface Episcopal Church, in Siesta Key, Florida. Please leave a comment here.

Chopin’s Last Prelude — Opus 45

“If the stars should appear but once every thousand years
how man would marvel and stare”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we know, Chopin, like Mozart and Beethoven before him, and Liszt among his contemporaries, was one of the greatest improvisers before the public. How his improvisations sounded, either public or private, in the darkness of his music salon, we will never know. It always seems to me that the closest we will ever come to hearing his musings at the piano is this single five minute Prelude, composed in 1841 in Nohant, and assigned the separate opus number 45. Sending his copyist, Julian Fontana, his manuscript (neither the autograph nor Fontana’s copy are extant), Chopin attached a note that this time (unlike in the case of the Tarantella, Op. 43) expressed a rarely shown satisfaction: “it is well modulated, isn’t it?” In this constant stream of modulations, with no specific form, the main theme and the accompaniment are intertwined. Toward the end comes a cadenza, with double notes in both hands, that a lead to an ecstatic culmination. The opening theme then reappears, and the piece dies away. Its character could be mistaken for that of a nocturne. The work was dedicated to one of Chopin’s female students, Countess Elizabeth Czernyszew. It is puzzling that this marvelous work is performed relatively rarely, although it almost invariably appears in complete recordings of the preludes. It might be worth noting that this work was a obligatory composition during the Fifth International Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1955.

Listen to Chopin’s Last Prelude, Op. 45 in C-sharp Minor, performed by Arthur Greene:

A Beautiful Chopin Birthday Tribute

Happy 212th Birthday “Frycek.” Enjoy this beautiful and moving video that brings to life Chopin’s early years in 19th century Warsaw. You see where the young “Frycek” lived and hear details of his family, friends, personality and musical progress. Produced by the City of Warsaw for Chopin’s Bicentennial Year in 2010, the video interweaves scenes from past and present, the effect showing you how Chopin’s story and city, like his music, live on today.

Tap on the video image to view it in YouTube. When you watch it full screen, you’ll be able to engage the Closed Captioned subtitles and read translations in English and many other languages.

The Chopin Project®: An Introduction

The Chopin Project® strives to connect a global community focused on the work of composer Fryderyk Chopin. It began and continues as the evolving blueprint of its founder, Frederick Slutsky, who is determined to make Chopin’s music more accessible to listeners and music students worldwide, through a variety of web and social media sources, a host of free listening platforms, live concerts, and especially student outreach events.

This website devotes its central effort to making Chopin’s timeless music easily available in one place and free of charge to anyone, virtually anywhere on the planet. The ability to Search, Sort, and Listen to all his music — from classic favorites to underperformed rarities and even “lost” editions — is becoming ever more attainable as we add to the Complete Works and Playlist library. Our opportunity to offer a curation of all of Chopin’s works performed by stellar living performers as well as revered, dead masters, will gain, we hope, a continuing or renewed — perhaps even a first — appreciation of his magical music.

Chopin Project® is a unique component of the continuing worldwide celebration of Fryderyk Chopin’s life and legacy. It has grown to offer several robust, interactive online destinations as well as a live concert series largely centered on Florida’s west coast, dedicated to promoting the discovery, research, inspiration and pure enjoyment of Chopin’s complete works, those of his contemporaries, those who influenced his work, and those he influenced.

Since its genesis in 2007, where it began as an ambitious live concert and symposium series, The Chopin Project® has become a comprehensive, interactive user-focused enterprise. It fulfilled a unique role in the worldwide Chopin bicentennial celebration in 2010. The Chopin Project Facebook community is open to all.  Those preferring Twitter can follow @chopinproject, and those on Instagram can follow @thechopinproject. Also available is something unique: I Can Play Chopin,” ten new arrangements of Chopin’s music for late beginner to late intermediate piano students, offering very early accessibility to music Chopin never intended for players of modest ability.

Enjoy the music!!

P. S. We welcome your ideas!!