Music

Frédéric Chopin: On the Wisdom of Life and the Heart of Man

Bach is an astronomer, discovering the most marvellous stars.

Beethoven challenges the universe.

I only try to express the soul and the heart of man.

“Nothing is more odious than music without hidden meaning. Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties.

How strange! This bed on which I shall lie has been slept on by more than one dying man, but today it does not repel me! Who knows what corpses have lain on it and for how long? But is a corpse any worse than I? A corpse too knows nothing of its father, mother or sisters or Titus. Nor has a corpse a sweetheart. A corpse, too, is pale, like me. A corpse is cold, just as I am cold and indifferent to everything. A corpse has ceased to live, and I too have had enough of life. Why do we live on through this wretched life which only devours us and serves to turn us into corpses? The clocks in the Stuttgart belfries strike the midnight hour. Oh how many people have become corpses at this moment! Mothers have been torn from their children, children from their mothers – how many plans have come to nothing, how much sorrow has sprung from these depths, and how much relief!… Virtue and vice have come in the end to the same thing! It seems that to die is man’s finest action – and what might be his worst? To be born, since that is the exact opposite of his best deed. It is therefore right of me to be angry that I was ever born into this world! Why was I not prevented from remaining in a world where I am utterly useless? What good can my existence bring to anyone? But wait, wait! What’s this? Tears? How long it is since they flowed! How is this, seeing that an arid melancholy has held me for so long in its grip? How good it feels – and sorrowful. Sad but kindly tears! What a strange emotion! Sad but blessed. It is not good for one to be sad, and yet how pleasant it is — a strange state.

Man is never always happy, and very often only a brief period of happiness is granted him in this world; so why escape from this dream which cannot last long?

Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, and pour out my despair at the piano.

When one does a thing, it appears good, otherwise one would not write it. Only later comes reflection, and one discards or accepts the thing. Time is the best censor, and patience a most excellent teacher.

I wish I could throw off the thoughts which poison my happiness, but I take a kind of pleasure in indulging them.

Time is the best of critics; and patience the best of teachers.

Simplicity is the final achievement. After having gone through all the difficulties, having played an endless number of notes, it is simplicity that matters, with all its charm. It is the final seal on Art. Anyone who strives for this to begin with will be disappointed. You cannot begin at the end.

A long time ago I decided that my universe will be the soul and heart of man.”

Quotes from Chopin’s Letters

***

~Frédéric François Chopin, born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for solo piano.

©Excellence Reporter 2020

Categories: Music, Wisdom of Life

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