by Adam Zamoyski
Editor: HarperCollins Publishers
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A new edition of Adam Zamoyski’s definitive biography of Chopin, first published in 1979 and available in English for many yearsFew composers arouse such strong emotions as ChopinSome have been more revered and cherishedAnd some have had such sentimental nonsense written about themPublished on the occasion of the bicentenary of Chopin’s birth, Adam Zamoyski’s fascinating new biography cuts through the mass of anecdote and myth that emerged around the life of the composer and the exuberant and striking Parisian Romantic personalities among whom he lived, including Liszt, Berlioz, Victor Hugo and George Sand, in search of the real ChopinZamoyski brings to the subject an unequalled knowledge of the historical, social and cultural background of the Polish-born composer and of the France in which he spent most of his creative life.He scoured the archives of Warsaw, Krakow, Paris and London, in his search for the truth, and based his account exclusively on primary sources and accounts of the timeThe result is a biography of authority, perception and spiritChopin emerges from the sweet romantic mist in which he bathed as a real, palpable personality, a man of intelligence and humour; in music an innovator of genius; in business, an irresponsible spendthrift, in love, waiting and bidding; in friendship passionately faithful but often intolerably demandingThrough a careful reading of his letters and the everyday use of detail, Zamoyski draws the reader into the private world of this most complicated and reluctant of men – “a man makes intimacy”, as the poet Heinrich Heine called – and reveals the true passions, suffering and ultimate tragedy of his life.
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