Posts Tagged ‘John Philip Sousa’

And happy 200th birthday, Chopin!

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

In the celebratory brouhaha over Richard Wilbur‘s 90th birthday yesterday, I neglected another important nativity — the 200th anniversary of Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, who was born in Żelazowa Wola, Poland in 1811. My longstanding fondness is something I blushed to confess in Poland — where it’s somewhat akin to an American announcing John Philip Sousa as a favorite composer. Chopin, whose name was Frenchified to Frédéric François, is a national institution, and therefore a little kitschy among the intelligentsia.

This very languorous Venetian piece of music is my personal favorite. Enjoy Claudio Arrau‘s perfect rendition, and celebrate with me one day late. After all, what’s a day in two centuries?