"I wasn't meant to play in public... crowds intimidate me, their breath stifles me, their stares petrify me, their strange faces throw me into confusion."
No other great composer concentrated so exclusively on one instrument as Chopin did on the piano. Moreover, most of his output for the piano was confined to relatively short pieces. But within these limits, Chopin poured out a steady stream of wonderfully inspired music--passionate, stormy, happy, sad, dreamily reflective, and rich in melody. At the same time, his music is always perfectly judged in terms of form and technical style.
No one understood the piano better than Chopin . He could make the piano sound more truly romantic and poetic than anybody else. He also wrote for it more sympathetically than any other composer.
Chopin was born in Poland and he always looked upon that country as his homeland. His love for his homeland is seen in his mazurkas (Polish folk dances) and polanaises (Polish processional dances). At the age of 21 he settled in Paris, and his music displays the refinement and clarity that mark all the best French keyboard music. In this context, we can see Chopin as a link between the old French keyboard masters of the 18th century, Couperin and Rameau, and the great French composers of piano music of our own century, starting with Debussy and Ravel.
contributed by Gifford, Katya