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Chopin: the Man and His Music

James Huneker

Book Overview: 

A biography of the Polish composer and virtuoso pianist Frédéric Chopin and a critical analysis of his work by American music writer and critic James Huneker.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Scotchwoman heard of Chopin's needs through Madame Rubio, a pupil, and the money was raised. That packet containing it was mislaid or lost by the portress of Chopin's house, but found after the woman had been taxed with keeping it.

Chopin, his future assured, moved to Place Vendome, No. 12. There he died. His sister Louise was sent for, and came from Poland to Paris. In the early days of October he could no longer sit upright without support. Gutmann and the Countess Delphine Potocka, his sister, and M. Gavard, were constantly with him. It was Turgenev who spoke of the half hundred countesses in Europe who claimed to have held the dying Chopin in their arms. In reality he died in Gutmann's, raising that pupil's hand to his mouth and murmuring "cher ami" as he expired. Solange Sand was there, but not her mother, who called and was not admitted—so they say. Gutmann denies having refused her admittance. On the other hand, if she had called, Chopin's friend. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A musician trying to write a biography of a famous composer doesn't work; author thought more of his own connections

A fairly flowery account of the life of Chopin. He does not go in chronological order, but rather according to subject. It starts with his life in Poland, then his love life with George Sand, then an analysis of his music and others viewpoints, including audience members and other composers.


An interesting account of Chopin's life and work with analyses of most, including comparisons of versions.

the book is about the music ,not much about him .

This book was ok but lacked in biographical details. There were no illustrations or scores and it was more of a critique of other 19c writings on Chopin and his music then a standalone study.

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