This Breakdance Duet to Chopin’s ‘Fantaisie-Impromptu’ Will Send You Spinning

When Frédéric Chopin composed his Fantaisie-Impromptu, he probably didn’t expect for the work to serve as the music for a breakdance duet. But at Arabesque 2014, an international ballet competition hosted by the Perm Ballet Opera Theatre, one entry in the “modern choreography” category used Fantaisie-Impromptu for just that purpose. Fantaisie-Impromptu was written in 1834, but it wasn’t published until …

Help Us Decide if Chopin’s ‘Marche Funèbre’ Played Backwards Is More Morose Than the Original

The third movement of Frédéric Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 in B Flat Minor, Op. 35 – better known as his “Marche funèbre,” or funeral march – is one of the most iconic pieces of music ever written about death. Historians believe this somber movement was inspired, at least in part, by the November Uprising, a Polish rebellion against the Russian …

Pianist Vassily Primakov Plays Chopin and Rachmaninoff

The Pregnant Buffalo Lounge, a subterranean space at the Chopin Theatre, was home to the second WFMT Cabaret on Monday, January 23, 2017. A variety of performers gathered to warm audience members up with a live performance and broadcast on a chilly evening including folk group Foiled Again, actress McKenzie Chinn, vocalists Christine Mild and Alexis J. Roston, and pianist Vassily Primakov, a …

Why Chopin Composed Fewer Works for Piano and Orchestra Than You Can Count on Your Two Hands

The majority of Chopin’s surviving works are for the piano. Surprisingly, however, the composer only left us with two piano concertos and a handful of other works for piano and orchestra. Polish-Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki, who recorded Chopin: Works for Piano and Orchestra for Deutsche Grammophon, reflected on these works and why Chopin didn’t write more of them. Expanding the …

Watch WFMT Listener Favorite, Pianist Vera Gornostaeva, Play 12 Chopin Mazurkas

One of Russia’s greatest pianists, Vera Gornostaeva, was virtually unknown outside of her native country for most of her career. She taught at the Moscow Conservatory, earned the title of Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, had a popular television program, Open Piano, and trained dozens of prize-winning pianists. Yet for most of her life, she was never permitted to …