Showing posts from February, 2023

Fryderyk Chopin 213th Birthday Concerts 1st.March 2023 - Birthplace at Żelazowa Wola and the Warsaw Philharmonic - Szymon Nehring and Yulianna Avdeeva

Memorial to Chopin in Cuba  Why Cuba ? Julian Fontana, his close friend, composer, copyist and editor of the posthumous edition of Chopin's works left for Cuba in the spring of 1844 and settled in Havana. He was artistically successful there, introduced the music of Chopin to the Caribbean and wrote many works influenced by its folklore. He had an illicit 'love of my life' relationship with the 26 year old Cuban woman Camila Dalcour and wrote his marvelous fantasy La Havanne on the island . The love was impossible to bring to fruition in Cuba at that time and in despair Fontana left in 1848 for New York.  Destiny fortuitously arranged another meeting and they finally married in 1851 and returned to France. Camila, whilst pregnant, died in 1855 from a common cold and Fontana's life continued increasingly tragically. His inheritance from Camila was misappropriated by her family, he went profoundly deaf and ultimately committed suicide just before Christmas 1869. (For more

On the First Anniversary of the Outbreak of the Invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the town of Berdychiv and its legendary association with Fryderyk Chopin

Today is the first anniversary of the eruption of yet another inhuman conflagration in Ukraine at the heart of Europe. A reminder, as if we needed it after World War II, of how little does humanity learn from history. Rather than add to the cacophony of talking heads and the flood of 'informed opinion' that has erupted like magma from a volcano in the media this year, both movingly positive and nauseatingly negative, I post once again without apology, my own initial reflections of a year ago on the birthday of Fryderyk Chopin. I have nothing to add apart from increasing disillusionment. That remarkable genius Stephen Hawking ( A Brief History of Time ) was asked shortly before his death what he thought would destroy life on earth. He answered with one word: 'stupidity'.  Precisely. Chopin's 213th birthday is fast approaching (March 1st.) and I shall be thinking and attempting to reconcile the two contradictory sides of the human coin, sublime creation and brutal des