Celebrate Chopin's 200th with the SPCO

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
February 24, 2010

St. Paul, Minn. — Frederic Chopin wasn't even out of school when he wrote his first piano concerto.

It's called the second, but that's only because that's the order in which his two concertos were published.

It was written first, and by a 19-year-old Chopin. It's truly amazing the depth of emotion he was capable of.

Not to mention the virtuosic fireworks. Chopin even quotes his own nocturnes in the concerto - pieces his friends and a lot of the public - already knew.

Chopin turns 200 on Monday.

His reputation as a pianist is based on about thirty concerts. He would be a publicist's nightmare - he didn't like advertising a concert or hated program notes, and especially detested playing for big crowds.

He only played about twice a year in public, but like the paucity of concerts just increased his popularity.

You can celebrate Chopin's birthday early with a performance of one of his most celebrated works fro piano and orchestra, the second piano concerto. Christian Zacharias is both soloist and conductor of the SPCO in this concert recording from 2008.

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