"Chopin's Handwriting" - On Chopin's Calling Card
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The "Wizytówka Chopina" (Chopin's visiting card) exhibition at the National Library at the Krasiński Square provides a rare opportunity to see the world's largest collection of the composer's manuscripts. They were last on public display in the early 1960s.
The range of items is remarkable for both its breadth, encompassing 21 of the composer's opuses, and its value. Among them are: Fantasy in F minor, Op 49, Sonata in B minor, Op 58, Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat major, Op 61, Mazurkas Op 24, Op 33 and Op 56, Allegro de Concert, Op 46, and the most unique of all, the score of the Piano Concerto in F minor, Op 21.
The wealth of Chopin's music was a theme and inspiration for the exhibition. Touch screens are situated around the hall, allowing visitors to view all the pages of the manuscripts. Headsets are provided for listening to expert commentary about the works on display, as well as Chopin's letters, and the music is performed by some of its greatest exponents, from Ignacy Jan Paderewski to Rafał Blechacz.
The exhibition's visual setting has been created by renowned opera-set designer Boris Kudlička and WWA Architects studio. It transports visitors to a world of Chopin's music, presented in an abstract, but evocative way. This installation was conceived to illustrate the composer's creative process.
Singular ribbons of light, tangled and chaotic, symbolise melodic seeds, which then combine to form a smooth and ultimately perfect complete work: a liquid shape that fills a nine-meter-high hall. Strips of curved plywood, suggest both the process of building a musical instrument and the painstaking art of composition.
The exhibition's website, www.wizytowkachopina.pl provides a fascinating view of the Chopin's manuscripts and correspondence, as well as an opportunity to listen to his music.
Author: Mikołaj Baliszewski
- "Wizytówka Chopina"
A multimedia exhibition of the composer's works
open: from September 25 until November 11, 2010
Pałac Rzeczypospolitej, plac Krasińskich 3/5
exhibition is open daily from 12:00-20:00
Admission free, complimentary exhibition catalog and CD/MP3 disc
This article comes from the Chopin Express gazette published for the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Gramophone magazine.
View the audition recitals online at chopin2010.pl/en/competitions/xvith-chopins-competition.html
Other articles of interest in Chopin Express No. 16:
"Chopin in concert" - by Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone