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Program Notes & Synopses

Enhance your patrons’ experience with notes that highlight the music’s humanity and illuminate its depth. Choose from our wide selection of pre-written pieces or commission custom notes that complement your concert story.

Program Notes & Synopses

Enhance your patrons’ experience with notes that highlight the music’s humanity and illuminate its depths.

Custom Notes

Tell your own concert story by commissioning synopses and program notes that fit you needs. Just tell us what you’d like to have, and we'll get back to you with a quote.

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Choose from dozens of ready-to-print program notes and synopses which you can download instantly as a digital file, including a license to reproduce the notes in programs and on your website.*

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Ready-to-Print notes and synopses are priced by length. Need something longer or shorter? Submit a Quote Request for Custom Notes to ask for a modified version, and we'll make it happen!

Chopin: Piano Concerto No 2 in F minor, op. 21

Chopin: Piano Concerto No 2 in F minor, op. 21

50.00

465 words
note by Chris Myers

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Excerpt:

In the early 19th century, it was traditional for soloists to compose their own virtuoso showpieces—works that would best display their mastery of the instrument. As Frédéric Chopin began preparing for his move to Paris from his native Poland, he knew that he needed such pieces at the ready if he was to be taken seriously. The two resulting piano concerti— opus 21 in F minor and opus 11 in E minor— would be the only pieces Chopin ever composed for orchestra. The F minor concerto was actually composed several months before the E minor concerto; the discrepancy in numbering stems from the fact that the E minor concerto was the first to be published.
 
These two pieces are often dismissed by musicians and audiences as being inferior in construction to the great concerti of Mozart and Beethoven. It’s doubtful that even Chopin would question his awkward handling of instrumentation and orchestration (he certainly showed no further interest in the orchestra). However, it is unfair to compare the structure of these pieces to the grand classical architecture of his predecessors. Chopin gives no indication of attempting to elevate the form to new levels in these works. Rather, these pieces are written in
the contemporary stile brillante tradition, in which the point is not to develop a musical idea through dramatic transformation, but to showcase the performer’s skills, stunning the audience with virtuosic displays through the presentation of loosely-connected musical ideas. On these terms, the work is considerably more successful.

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