Chopin and Schumann at 200

BACK IN 2010, I recall presenting a mini-piano recital devoted to the works of two of the greatest composers to rise in the shadow of Beethoven Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann.
The raison d’être for it was that in 2010 the classical music world was celebrating their 200th birth anniversaries: The Pole was born in Zelazowa Wola on February 22, 1810; the German was born in Zwickau, Saxony, on June 8, 1810.

Each of them was a pioneer of Romanticism, each an icon of the era.

Neither rocked like Lady Gaga nor rapped like Jay-Z in the United States. But each Central European made exquisite music that still fills concert halls today – over an astonishing two centuries of public performances!

Indeed, the compositions of Chopin and Schumann are imbued with madness, passion, and poetry. But that’s where the similarities end, as we will explore here through some of their best known solo works for the piano:

                                                  CHOPIN AND SCHUMANN AT 200

                                                           Mini-Piano Recital
                                                           February 23, 2010
                                                       Azim Mayadas soloist

Frédéric Chopin                                                  Robert Schumann
Prelude in C minor, Op. 28, No. 20                Romance in F sharp, Op. 28, No. 2
Prelude in A, Op. 28, No. 7                               Traümerei in F, Op. 15, No. 7
“Minute” Waltz in D flat, Op. 64, No. 1        Intermezzo in G flat, Op. 26
Mazurka in B flat, Op. 7. No. 1                       “Chopin” (from Carnaval), Op. 9
“Military” Polonaise in A, Op. 40, No. 1      Arabesque in C, Op. 18

The recording of an earlier 2009 recital of mine of light classical pieces Spring Music Recital Update celebrating my 76th birthday may be heard above. The first two works are Chopin’s Prelude in C minor, Op. 28, No. 20, which opened the program and Schumann’s Arabesque in C major, Op. 18, which closed it.

Afterword: For the record, in 2010, a wax figure of Lady Gaga was installed at the  Madame Tussauds museum.

References: My Diary, Wikipedia

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