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Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Fantasy Impromptu of Stamps

You are sitting in your library on a rainy day, your company consisting of a dusty, old radio and a hot cup of jasmine tea. You turn the dial to your favorite classical music station. As you close your eyes and take in the magic which begins to embrace your very existence in that room, your ears are captivated and consumed by a whirlwind of notes and rhythms and harmonies and dissonances. That which hypnotizes you in all of its wonder and genius is none other than Frédéric Chopin’s breathtaking Nocturne Opus 72 no.1, and you instantly become whisked away to a romantic ballroom where the prodigy, himself, is caressing and pounding out each and every measure, with the precision of a savant, as your soul waltzes to the dark and intricate melody. Each note is significant to the whole, with every crescendo and decrescendo sending chills up your spine; you truly appreciate the great murder that is modern music. Such an experience is fairly typical for the average sophisticate with a refined taste in music. This feeling of complete and total enthrallment is most likely the reason why Chopin is considered to be one of the most talented and innovative musical geniuses in the vast history of piano.

Frédéric Chopin was born in the village of Zelazowa Wola, in Warsaw, Poland, on March 1, 1810, to a French father and a Polish mother. During the duration of his musical life, after he was recognized as a child prodigy at the age of eight, he grew in popularity as a master Polish composer of piano music during the Romantic period (1820 – 1869) and is still considered to be one of the greatest piano composers of all time. He proved to be quite the innovator, in many respects, including the invention of the ballade music form for piano and the innovation of structures, such as the nocturne, the sonata, the waltz, the impromptu, the etude, and the prelude. It was an unfortunate day when the keys of the grand piano grew silent, on October 17, 1849. Chopin died in Paris, of what some claim to have been a broken heart, resulting from an affair he’d had with the French novelist, Madame Dudevant, more commonly known as "George Sand." One must take into consideration, though, that the life of such a passionate being rarely ends in anything other than heartache and tragedy. The era of a great musical master had come to the end of its chapter, but the spirit of his passion, lived out through each note, was left to haunt the ears and souls of generations to come.

Commemorate one of the greatest musical prodigies of the nineteenth century with the 25th Piano Contest Musical Score stamp, featuring none other than Frédéric Chopin. It is certain to stand out in the harmony of your stamp collection.

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