Chopin – Piano Concerto No. 2 in F-Minor, Op. 21

by Max Derrickson

Frédéric Chopin   (Born near Warsaw, Poland, on March 1, 1810; died in Paris, on October 17, 1849)

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F-Minor, Op. 21


Fryderyk (he preferred the French spelling we recognize) Franciszek Chopin was born nearWarsawin 1810. By the age of 6 he was mastering the piano on his own. His talents were so instinctive and remarkable that, even with 4 years of private instruction, he was considered to have taught himself, and was quickly expected to become “Mozart’s successor.” After his 19th year, and after several successful concert debuts in Warsaw and abroad, Chopin was searching for a fortuitous career. And although Poland was divining him as their national composer, financial support was scant.  Thus, he set out for “England by way of Paris” to seek his fortune.

“By way of Paris” became Paris and no further. Chopin’s arrival there in 1831 met him with accolades. His reputation preceded him, especially garnished by Robert Schumann’s universal endorsement of him as a genius. The Parisian Romantic ideal and its elitist circles appealed to Chopin, as did the woman author George Sand. And so Chopin quickly found fame, fortune, romance and a comfortable place for himself in Paris.

[. . .]

Chopin composed the f-minor piano concerto in Warsaw between 1829-30 at the age of 19. Though published as his second, it is actually his first chronologically.  His two concerti, as well as a set of variations for piano and orchestra, were written chiefly to gain notoriety as a composer; seldom, in Chopin’s day, were composers championed outside the orchestral realm.

[. . .]