This biography of Frederick Chopin, with commentary on his works, including beautifully played samples of the pieces under discussion, is a near perfect use of the audio format. Siepmann writes with acumen and sympathy about both the man and the music, and reads the narration with equal skill. When dialogue is taken verbatim from letters or journals, four skillful actors are used to bring long dead personalities to life and add texture to the narrative.
(P)2001 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.; ©2001 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.
Narrator's voice 5/5
Additional Voices 5/5
Dialog or story 5/5
This was my first audiobook purchase and it certainly raised my expectations. The narrator and author has done an excellent job. The pace is natural and Chopin's music enters in a timely manner. Just as important as the main narrator's voice is that of the additional voices (heard as letters). They are superb and beyond what you would expect from an audiobook in terms of quality. A very good listen.
A little better than Cliff notes. If you love the music and want to get into what moved the man to create, you will only get a glance. A chronological review of his life with readings of his and other?s letters. Music is included, but I would have preferred much more depth in how the pieces were inspired. The presentation is more a history book than a passionate tale of a great artist. The book could have, and should have been twice as long.
Authors just shouldn?t narrate their own work, although Siepmann does better than most. The music was noticeably poorer in sound quality than the spoken word.
I very much enjoyed this audiobook. It glides effortlessly from snippets of stories to short musical exerpts. The readers are very adept. The only minor drawback is this book only scratches the surface of this genius of the piano. I wanted more.
An eloquent and powerful story of personal struggle and courage to live a life of an artist. This extraordinary work extends human sympathy to the composer personality beyond the point where it normally comes to his music alone. A moving , eccentric and unforgettable experience of Chopin's world supported by numerous well-selected examples of his musical genius.
Jeremy Siepmann has a rare feeling for music, language and an understanding of character which few can rival.
What a delightful book. It was so pleasant hearing Chopin's music along with his life story and seeing how events in his life inspired certain pieces.
This is such an interesting way to learn about the masters.
The narrators voice was pleasant.
When I first downloaded this I has a player that only supported a format 2 download, which is entirely inadequate for playing music. With format 4, the sound is excellent.
Beyond being an excellent primer on Chopin, this audiobook is an model for taking audiobooks beyond recitations of words on a page. Besides the addition of music samples, I so enjoyed having other voices added to that of the narrator's, something I would love to see done in fiction audiobooks, at least a male and a female narrator.
I now realize that I am quite possibly the only girl in the world who grew up with a mom who played Chopin just as easy as she tossed a salad. I now realize what an incredible gift that was. I think I realized it at the time, I just didn't realize that we were the very few blessed with that gift. This book is the ultimate listening experience on the master, with life details mixed in with piano pieces. I absolutely loved it.
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