It’s hard to believe that it’s almost one year since Chopin’s 200th birthday! But here’s a treat for you as we approach his 201st. This BBC documentary is now available in eight parts. Watch the first part here and find the rest on YouTube.
To mark the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth, this film follows young pianist James Rhodes on a journey to Warsaw, Paris and London to discover the real women who had such a powerful influence on the composer.
Exploring the events of Chopin’s life, Rhodes encounters the singers who enchanted the composer with their voices: Konstancja, a young soprano and the object of his teenage affections; Delfina, the sexually notorious Polish Parisian emigre countess; fellow composer and opera singer Pauline Viardot; and, during the final few months of his life, the Swedish operatic superstar Jenny Lind.
Threaded through the narrative of the film is a selection of Chopin’s piano music performed by Rhodes, while rising young opera singer Natalya Romaniw performs some of the signature arias that thrilled Chopin.
Featuring contributions from Chopin experts including the interpreters Emanuel Ax and Garrick Ohlsson, his biographer Adam Zamoyski and piano guru Jeremy Siepmann.