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The Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin, photo: Marek Dusza

The grand opening of the new permanent exhibition at Fryderyk Chopin’s Birthplace was held on 31 May at 12:00 PM.The exhibition was officially opened by Małgorzata Omilanowska – Minister of Culture and National Heritage, together with Artur Szklener – Director of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute.

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Portret Fryderyka Chopina, fot. ©Rue des Archives/Varma

A mobile application intended for tourists and the capitol’s citizens will follow the Warsaw-based trails of the famous composer.

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Chopin died in 1849 and was buried at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. His heart, however, was taken out and taken to Warsaw. Was it because he wanted part of him to rest eternally in his lost homeland, or was there a more macabre reason?

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Pauline Viardot (1821-1910), a singer, performed Chopin's songs in Polish, in six mazurkas she sang the text in French. Photo: press materials

Why didn't Chopin use literary masterpieces for his song texts, like Schumann did? The answer to that question might at first seem obvious, but doubts soon start to arise. What are the facts?

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Aleksander Janicki's Fallen Piano. Photo: Michał Lepecki / Agencja Gazeta

When you consider that any professional pianist today would hope to have a minimum of 30 engagements a year - and a busy one perhaps more than 100 - it comes as something of a surprise to learn that Chopin gave only 30 public concerts in the whole of his career. Chopin was that strange anomaly: the pianist who actively dislikes performing in public.

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Chopin's hand model. Photo: Grzegorz Kozakiewicz / Forum

Paris, 1842. No. 9 Place d’Orleans. Every week of the "season", from around the beginning of October to the end of March, a steady stream of piano pupils would come to study with Fryderyk Chopin... - an essay by Kenneth Hamilton, a concert pianist and author of After the Golden Age: Romantic Pianism and Modern Performance...

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Robert Schumann on a litograph by Josef Kriehuber, 1839

Chopin's music seemed to be a guiding spirit in Schumann's journalism. Schumann made his debut with an article about the Variations, Op 2, while a review of Tarantella, Op 43, published in 1843, was his last statement about Chopin and one of his last articles ever, prior to him leaving Neue Zeitschrift für Musik in 1844...

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Teofil Antoni Jaxa Kwiatkowski, Chopin's Polonaise. Photo: CC / Wikimedia

Like all true pioneers, Chopin paid a heavy, albeit temporary, price for his audacity. In "Nocturnes" Ludwig Rellstab found little beyond travesty and distortion ("where Field smiles Chopin makes a grinning grimace, where Field sighs Chopin groans... we implore Mr Chopin to return to nature".)

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Photograph of Fryderyk Chopin taken by Louis-Auguste Bisson (1849). Source: National Library Digital Database, www.polona.pl

The novel sound of this composer's music comes from a special approach to the instrument, utilizing brilliant piano technique and from employing his signature harmonies.

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Fryderyk Chopin's Museum in Żelazowa Wola. Photo: Franciszek Mazur / Agencja Gazeta

Tadeusz Andrzej Zielinski writes on the phenomenon of the Frederic Chopin's music.

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