Chopin was born in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw in 1810, and this territory became a part of the Kingdom of Poland five years after his birth (Bellman & Goldberg, 2017). A son of an immigrant and a Polish aristocrat, Chopin attended the University of Warsaw (Bellman & Goldberg, 2017). As a boy, he demonstrated incredible talents in music composition, which allowed him to attend classes at the Warsaw Conservatory where he wrote some of his first works (Bellman & Goldberg, 2017). After becoming famous, he traveled a lot and created more than a hundred compositions for piano and other musical instruments before his death at the age of thirty-nine.
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Chopin’s Minute Waltz: Background and Analysis
The composer’s “Valse du Petit Chien” also known as the “Minute Waltz” is a waltz for piano created two years before his death. In 1847, he wrote the work and dedicated it to Delfina Potocka, a countess getting personal lessons from him – Chopin and Potocka had special relationships, and he considered her to be his muse (Palmer, 2018). When creating the work, Chopin was inspired by a little and restless dog Marquis who was running near his work-room – this is why a very lively tempo was utilized (Palmer, 2018). The waltz’s popular nickname is not reflective of its key features since the work typically takes from 1.5 to 2 minutes to play; at the same time, it resembles other Chopin’s works due to frequent changes in loudness making the composition more dynamic (Palmer, 2018).
Frederic Chopin can be justly listed among the most well-known and productive composers whose impact changed the world of music. His historical and cultural influence includes the popularization of mazurkas, Polish folk music, and folk-inspired classical works (Wojtkiewicz, n.d.). Chopin’s musical genius inspired many of his contemporaries and even modern composers to imitate his unique and romantic style (Wojtkiewicz, n.d.). In the 1830s, his works heavily impacted the repertoire used by private teachers giving lessons to the bourgeoisie. They also gave inspiration to many composers in Imperial Russia and Hungary such as Liszt and writers, including George Sand (Wojtkiewicz, n.d.).
Bellman, J. D., & Goldberg, H. (Eds.). (2017). Chopin and his world. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Palmer, E. (2018). Here’s what you may not have known about Chopin’s ‘Minute’ Waltz. Web.
Wojtkiewicz, M. (n.d.). The impact of Chopin’s music on the work of 19th and 20th century composers (J. Ossowski, Trans.). Web.