Chopin: the Man and His Music

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(2.9 stars; 4 reviews)

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. (Summary by Julie VW) (9 hr 30 min)


01 I. Poland: Youthful Ideals 45:46 Read by Julie VW
02 II. Paris: In the Maelstrom 55:02 Read by Neeru Iyer
03 III. England, Scotland and Père La Chaise 28:46 Read by Julie VW
04 IV. The Artist 49:03 Read by MJ Franck
05 V. The Poet and Psychologist 31:28 Read by Julie VW
06 VI. The Studies: Titanic Experiments (Part I) 46:29 Read by Linda Andrus
07 VI. The Studies: Titanic Experiments (Part II) 30:06 Read by Julie VW
08 VI. The Studies: Titanic Experiments (Part III) 28:54 Read by Robert Hoffman
09 VII. Moods in Miniature: The Preludes 35:21 Read by Robert Hoffman
10 VIII. Impromptus and Valses 17:44 Read by Elizabeth Klett
11 IX. Night and its Melancholy Mysteries: The Nocturnes 32:38 Read by Christopher Smith
12 X. The Ballades: Faery Dramas 23:26 Read by Joy S Grape
13 XI. Classical Currents 42:52 Read by doonaboon
14 XII. The Polonaises: Heroic Hymns of Battle 24:08 Read by pklipp
15 XIII. Mazurkas: Dances of the Soul 57:22 Read by MJ Franck
16 XIV. Chopin the Conquerer 21:02 Read by Robert Hoffman


(2 stars)

Valuable for musicians and music lovers, although the perspective and scholarship is now very dated. A majority of the book is musical examples and should be read along with listening to the music: easily done since all of Chopin is readily available online. BUT - Only 2 stars and A large caveat: the readers vary greatly in quality, and too many are hampered by an inability to pronounce composers, basic musical terminology, European place-names, etc. Very frustrating to hear standard composers’ names mangled - like Wagner and Berlioz! Readers should know how to pronounce what they are reading: it does not help the comprehension of this complex subject.

Too much detail

(2 stars)

The first part is a biography, which is interesting, but a bit short. The second part is about all the compositions of Chopin. This part can hardly be read (or listened to) if one is not familiar already, in great detail, with all these compositions. Although I have listened quite often to the music by Chopin, I could not follow the detailed analysis. The reading is very good.