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Fryderyk Chopin

A Life and Times
Narrated by: Corrie James
Length: 23 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A landmark biography of the Polish composer by a leading authority on Chopin and his time.

Based on 10 years of research and a vast cache of primary sources located in archives in Warsaw, Paris, London, New York, and Washington, D.C., Alan Walker's monumental Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times is the most comprehensive biography of the great Polish composer to appear in English in more than a century. Walker's work is a corrective biography, intended to dispel the many myths and legends that continue to surround Chopin. 

Fryderyk Chopin is an intimate look into a dramatic life; of particular focus are Chopin's childhood and youth in Poland, which are brought into line with the latest scholarly findings, and Chopin's romantic life with George Sand, with whom he lived for nine years. Comprehensive and engaging, the biography wears its scholarship lightly: This is a book suited as much for the professional pianist as it is for the casual music lover. Just as he did in his definitive biography of Liszt, Walker illuminates Chopin and his music with unprecedented clarity in this magisterial biography, bringing to life one of the 19th century's most confounding, beloved, and legendary artists.

©2018 Alan Walker (P)2018 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Packed with information and insightful analyses of Chopin's major works that will interest professional musicians, and even nonspecialists will be entranced by Walker's piquant storytelling and graceful prose." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book is a masterpiece

This book is a masterpiece that I could not put down. Scholarly yet entertaining, detailed yet not excessively so, read beautifully with perfect pronunciation. His early life, the love of his father and family, details of his training with Józef Elsner were particularly interesting. I learned for the first time Chopin had a delightful sense of humor. His long affair with Sands was nuanced and detailed and the platonic devotion of Jane Sterling also detailed. Discussions of the music and how to perform it were the most meaningful to this musician. Long lived hoaxes are analyzed and put to rest. Thank you to Alan Walker who created this masterpiece for his depth of insight, even handed approach, and pure enjoyment to discover more about this compassionate, authentic, courtly well mannered, thoughtful, kind and ground breaking composer. Buy this enjoyable and insightful biography without a second thought.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book, annoying reader

This is a well-reserached and well-written book undone by a most annoying reader who pauses to over-prounounces every "foreign" name and phrase. Are there not editors who listen to these things before committing a whole book to such a terrible presentation? Buy the book, it is great. I did finish it and kind of blocked out the terrible reading, but it should never have been recorded with Corrie James.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too much for someone with a passing interest..

If someone has a passing interest in music, like myself, this is not the book for you. "Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times" is geared toward a person who has a most vested interest in the subject. I bought this book hoping to learn. But it's honestly too tedious to gain a great deal of knowledge because you have no frame of reference. Maybe an hourly history on the subject is a a better place to start. The book is VERY detailed and delves into every possible facet of Chopin's life. It lags in many places. If it was half as long it would be much better. Corrie James's narration is as always the high point.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

I was so disappointed. Didn't learn much about who Chopin really was or how he thought. It was more about the people around him.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful