The concept of The Life You Give, and why Frédéric Chopin

As a pianist, Chopin was unique in acquiring a reputation of the highest order on the basis of a minimum of public appearances—few more than 30 in the course of his lifetime. His original and sensitive approach to the keyboard allowed him to exploit all the resources of the piano of his day. He was inexhaustible in discovering colourful new passage work and technical figures; he understood as no one before him the true nature of the piano as an expressive instrument, and he was able to write music that is bound up with the instrument for which it was conceived and which cannot be imagined apart from it. His innovations in fingering, his use of the pedals, and his general treatment of the keyboard form a milestone in the history of the piano, and his works set a standard for the instrument that is recognized as unsurpassable.

Arthur Hedley — Secretary, British Chopin Society. Vice President, Jury of International Chopin Competitions, Warsaw, 1949–65.
Leon Plantinga — Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Music, Yale University. Author of Romantic Music: a History of Musical Style in Nineteenth-Century Europe and Beethoven’s Concertos: History, Style, Performance.

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