This one was a book I noticed a lot of time ago but that I didn't buy at first, in the second hand book store of the charity association Books for Dogs located in Umbertide, because of the title. I attended too many funerals, I had seen too many people dying during these past years: I thought that it wasn't the case. Last wednesday I won my fear for the topic because when a book whispers to you, when it attracts you, it means that it wants to be read.
I brought home so Chopin's Funeral
I start to saying that I want to read also the rest of biographies written by Eisler because, this one is a masterpiece; the other ones can't be different.
Said that, follow me in this trip in the past, music, passions, sufferances, experienced by Chopin.
The book opens from the end. Chopin's funeral in Paris October 30 1849 when he was just 41. You musn't imagine a big funeral open to everyone, including poor people. No. Chopin was born very poor, a child of peasants, but all his life he loved to spend time with the elite of the various places he went in, avoiding with all himself common people. When, for example, George Sand, his companion, would have adopted a girl, to him a real horror, considering the social status of the girl and her family.
He didn't like the friends of George Sand, writers, journalists, because sometimes not of their same social status.
It's a weird behavior this one, but maybe, after that he became rich, prestigious, he didn't want to have anything to do with the world he was part of, once; it couldn't offer to him anything; that people, maybe thought thistwouldn't understand him. Who knows?
Chopin's funeral was attended so, by princes and only important people. Invitations were sent just to them.
George Sand for a reason or another wasn't there, but there was Solange, Sand's daughter. Close to his death Chopin asked in fact, for the presence of reassuring Solange and Solange would have been there in that final terrible moments of his departure.
He was that "dad" in grade to give her stability, reassuring her, presenting her a best world; George Sand hasn't never been in grade to be a good mother for Solange.
Sand, if with her first son Maurice was after all a mother, developed pretty soon conflictual sentiments for the daughter, and Solange has always lived a conflictual relationship with her mother as well, although both these children experienced conflictual relationhips with the mother.
Chopin fought with tubercolosis and other problems most of his life, and his character because of this reason wasn't the happiest one of this world. His parents didn't want to "monetize" the genius of their son, as done by Mozart and Beethoven's parents (aspects these ones that I didn't know); they loved to seeing him composing, and of course playing. They didn't want to use him for making money, but for let him appreciate the beauty of music. Fryderyk started to playing music soon. At 6 years his teacher was a 60 years old eccentric man in love for Bach, Mozart and Haydn.
Not having too much money for attending the so-called Grand Tour, Chopin went to Vienna once teenager a place that stimulated a lot him musically. Once back to Warsaw he gave various concerts, but then the political situation of his homeland constricted him of going away. Paris would have been his destination. Princesses, princes, everyone wanted to see him playing the piano. Chopin became soon a prestigious and requested character in the right bank of the city and started also of giving piano lessons. One lesson given by him was paid as three weeks' wages for a laborer with family precises the author.
When he met George Sand along his way, Chopin was sexually frustrated.
He sunspected of having contracted a sexual infection, but at the same time he was like sexually blocked. In love for a girl, the parents of this girl strongly disgreed at their union.The engagement broken, Chopin devastated.
Anyway, Sand and Chopin became lovers.
George Sand understood pretty soon that her companion was frail, and needed more attentions. Once they left for an exotic country but it was stressing because Chopin fell sick; local people understanding that it was tubercolosis didn't want to have anything to do with them; plus that two didn't go at the mass, so they were not religious. They were seen and lived with sunspect and where possible Chopin's health condition deteriorated much more because of unhealthy food.
The love-story with George Sand would have taken many more years of his existence, although some facts, including a book by Sand where she portrayed the bad character sometimes of his partner, let thinks to Choping of moving away. Just...Losing the familiar nest he had created and loved and where, anyway he lived in, to him meant a deterioration of his health. Not only: the progression of his bad health meant also a lack of creativity. The last months of his existence were pretty hard.
Delacroix, one of the most affectionate friend of the couple once created a portrayed of Sand and Chopin. Later this portrait was divided in two and a part went to the Louvre, another somewhere else. Benita remarks how this portrait, divided, separated gave the idea of two people seen as an unique part of the whole, but also like two portraits.
Listz would have been a remarkable friend of Chopin and also when their friendship was over because according to Chopin Liszt wrote a bad review, Liszt remained affectionate to him and once in Warsaw he met Chopin's parents. In a letter sent to the son, Chopin's dad added that he misunderstood Liszt, but for Chopin the friendship with Listz was over.
Please if you have the chance of reading this book, goes for it. This biography is simply fantastic, wonderful, captivating, written with love, passion, devotion, and great competence of the topic. The reader will be surely captivated by the life, existence of Chopin and his entourage. When a book is very good will add curiosity and other books for exploring the existences of other characters as well.
Anna Maria Polidori