What it's not is a detailed study of Chopin's music. The author of critically praised books about Fidel Castro and Pope John Paul II, Szulc sets out in search of Chopin the man, "the human dimension" he finds missing in other, more musically oriented biographies. What he finds is not always attractive; tortured through much of his life by physical and psychological illness, Chopin emerges as an often fussy, distant, manipulative man, as well as something of a snob. It's a tribute to his genius as a composer, Szulc writes, that he was befriended by some of the greatest minds of his age, including the larger-than-life figure of George Sand: "Fryderyk Chopin gave the world a treasure in music. The world gave Chopin a treasure in human beings." Commendably, Szulc refrains from editorializing about the composer's life and habits, in particular Chopin's break with Sand. Instead, he allows his wealth of primary sources--including diaries, memoirs, letters, and Chopin's own brief journal--to speak for themselves. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Many things detract from the effort, however, firstly his use of purple ink.
With that being said, I learned just as much about Chopin from the Wikipedia article, and in far less time, with far less hair-pulling boredom!
I hope not only Chopin's music will last for thousands of years, his life story will also be carefully preserved.
This is a must for anyone interested in Chopin. It kind of "humanized" him for me. I really enjoyed it.Published 9 days ago by Sharon Jones
Excellent read. A nice biography about Chopin but it's hard to decipher what is truly factual. Some of the 'psychoanalyzing' by the author is ridiculous. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jeffrey R. Karp
To me, a great biography brings the subject to life, a rarity in the genre and no simple task. Doris Kearns Goodwin succeeded in doing so with Lincoln in "Team of Rivals;"... Read morePublished 7 months ago by John Blumenthal
You will learn a lot about a romantic genius and Paris in the19th century, the heart of all artistic movements and new political ideas. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Elena Savilo
Goodness this is terrible. Again it was not available at my library and because it was a selection of my book club I ordered it from amazon. Dreadful. Do not read it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jane
This book is a treat. Not only authoritative, but engrossing, as Tad Szulc delves into the characters and motives of the personnages involved. Read morePublished on January 14, 2013 by Margarita Bowman
I have read a few biographies on Chopin and this one is my favorite. Very detailed with letters, family history, and even his love affair with George Sand. Read morePublished on December 22, 2012 by jessie
Tad Szulc is a journalist who is also the author of books such as Pope John Paul II, Fidel: A Critical Portrait, etc. Read morePublished on September 10, 2012 by Steven H Propp
This book tells the story of Chopin's relationship with the author, George Sand (a female forced to use a man's name in order to get her works published), and how their intimacy... Read morePublished on August 30, 2009 by Philip Alper