A solo piano work, Chopin [1810-1849] composed this work around 1831, making this the last in his first set of a dozen Études (“Douze Grandes Études”), which were dedicated “à son ami Franz Liszt” (“to his friend Franz Liszt”). The 12 Études were written when Chopin was between the ages of 19 and 23. As Fred Yu in a music site dedicated to Chopin notes:
The Revolutionary Etude holds its place as one of the most eminent and well recognized of all of Chopin’s compositions. Beginning with the first dramatic chord all the way to the impassioned conclusion, this piece is an outpouring of emotion. It is immediately apparent that most of the technical difficulty is in the left hand, with rapid runs and frequent turns. However, this difficulty is perhaps easier to resolve than those in many other etudes, as finding a comfortable fingering wins half the battle with this piece. (If, by any chance, one wishes to seek a greater challenge with this etude, perhaps one could do what Alexander Dreyschock did – learn to play the left hand in octaves, without losing any tempo!) Other difficulties include polyrhythms and cross-rhythms that are used more and more to convey a sense of conflict and struggle towards the end of the piece.
|Frédéric Chopin [1810-1849]: At age 25. This is an 1835 watercolor portrait of Polish composer Frédéric Chopin, painted by then-16-year-old Maria Wodzinska (1819-96). The artist and her sitter became engaged the following year but never married each other. The portrait is described in Tad Szulc’s book Chopin in Paris as “one of the best portraits of Chopin extant—after that by Delacroix—with the composer looking relaxed, pensive, and at peace” (p. 137). It is found in the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland.|
Credit: pl:Maria Wodzińska, copied by Nihil novi: June 24, 2010