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Topic: Biiographies of Chopin and Rachmaninov  (Read 1419 times)

Offline tinctoria88

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Biiographies of Chopin and Rachmaninov
on: August 15, 2017, 05:24:58 AM
Can anyone offer favorite biographies of Chopin and of Rachmaninov?  Both composer/pianists wrote some of the most intense and distinctive "romantic" music which I'm familiar with.  I would like to read  biographies that describe their life in general, but with detail about their compositional development. Please let me know if you've actually read the book you recommend or have heard of it.  Thanks for any titles!

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Biiographies of Chopin and Rachmaninov
Reply #1 on: August 15, 2017, 10:15:01 AM
Chopin has many, I think the most known for his being

Chopin: Pianist and Teacher: As Seen By His Pupils

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Chopin-Pianist-Teacher-As-Seen-His-Pupils/0521367093

I may have a PDF copy depending on how you want to acquire the book ;)

"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline mjames

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Re: Biiographies of Chopin and Rachmaninov
Reply #2 on: August 15, 2017, 01:04:28 PM
Prince of Romantics

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Chopin-Adam-Zamoyski/0007341857/ref=pd_sim_14_2/262-2687102-1035345?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=H1R5A4CHEQDTG84T8HY0

No myths, no legends...in here everything's accounted for through first hand sources. Very reliable.

Offline toughbo

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Re: Biiographies of Chopin and Rachmaninov
Reply #3 on: August 15, 2017, 07:31:18 PM
I can vouch for the Zamoyski book as well, I highly enjoyed it!

Offline tinctoria88

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Re: Biiographies of Chopin and Rachmaninov
Reply #4 on: August 15, 2017, 10:51:46 PM
Thanks for the 2 biographies of Chopin recommended.  I just put them in my Amazon chopping cart.   Has anyone read Liszt's biography of Chopin?

Do I remember there are very few biographies offered for Rachmaninov?

Offline mjames

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Re: Biiographies of Chopin and Rachmaninov
Reply #5 on: August 15, 2017, 11:08:47 PM
No I haven't read it, but although Liszt was a contemporary he is very well known for embellishing stuff to the point of fiction. It's probably worthwhile to get an insight into Liszt's mind, it just isn't reliable if you want an accurate historical account. Many of the myths surrounding Chopin (like the mazurkas and polonaises being statements of nationalism) can be traced back to Liszt himself, not Chopin.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Biiographies of Chopin and Rachmaninov
Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 11:32:03 PM
Chopin has many, I think the most known for his being

Chopin: Pianist and Teacher: As Seen By His Pupils

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Chopin-Pianist-Teacher-As-Seen-His-Pupils/0521367093

I may have a PDF copy depending on how you want to acquire the book ;)




I would not describe this book as biographical,   But rather information supplied by Chopin's students on how he taught them to play, a few anecdotes from his contemporaries, and a great deal of reference material.  Interesting reading and a very good resource material but very little actual biography

Offline outin

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Re: Biiographies of Chopin and Rachmaninov
Reply #7 on: August 16, 2017, 03:28:09 AM
Thanks for the 2 biographies of Chopin recommended.  I just put them in my Amazon chopping cart.   Has anyone read Liszt's biography of Chopin?

Yes...not the most objective one. But the way these old books are written reveal something about the culture of the past that the composer lived in and are interesting as such.

There's another old one and you can read it free from several internet sources: Huneker, Chopin the man and his music. Better read than Liszt's imo.

Offline adodd81802

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Re: Biiographies of Chopin and Rachmaninov
Reply #8 on: August 16, 2017, 08:43:00 AM
I would not describe this book as biographical,   But rather information supplied by Chopin's students on how he taught them to play, a few anecdotes from his contemporaries, and a great deal of reference material.  Interesting reading and a very good resource material but very little actual biography

True. I guess I was referencing the book as it has a lot of information about Chopin but you're right in saying it's not a biography as such.
"England is a country of pianos, they are everywhere."

Offline chrisbutch

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Re: Biiographies of Chopin and Rachmaninov
Reply #9 on: August 16, 2017, 06:41:57 PM
Jim Samson's The Music of Chopin is primarily about the music, but also focuses constantly on the biographical context - which seems to be the sort of balance you're looking for. Samson is one of the most authoritative contemporary Chopin scholars.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-Chopin-Clarendon-Paperbacks/dp/0198164025/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502908579&sr=1-3
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