The Chopin Etude

adapted/arr. Karl Hitzemann

March 1, 2010, marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frédéric Chopin, one of the great masters of music from the Romantic period. To help you commemorate this event we have created "The Chopin Etude." Not only does this piece hint at several of Chopin's well-known works (they're each noted in the piano/vocal score), but the lyrics also tell a brief story of his life and character. This would work very nicely as an opening to a lesson on Chopin and his music.

Since Chopin wrote almost exclusively for solo piano, we decided that the accompaniment for this song would also be solo piano. The introduction includes themes from three of Chopin's works and then goes into a fourth piece which becomes the melody of the song. The piano accompaniment features adapted and slightly simplified versions of his original works. You can use the recorded track on the Performance/Accompaniment CD for this issue, or, if you have a pianist who is able to play the accompaniment, it would make for a very exciting "live" performance. Note that the recorded accompaniment is not performed at a set tempo. But it ebbs and flows where you would expect it to, and once you and your choir have heard it a few times, it will become very familiar. (FYI, Karl played the piano himself on the recording for this one. Not bad, eh?)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.