Frederic Chopin: A Life to Remember was produced, presented, and performed by Alan Kogosowski, concert performer and Chopin authority.
A visual and aural celebration
This lavish four-and-a-half-hour production features Alan Kogosowski in concert at London’s Gibson Hall, performing over 30 of Chopin’s most loved Etudes, Mazurkas, Nocturnes, Waltzes, Polonaises, and Ballades with engaging introductions about each work–what to listen for musically and technically as well as the context of the piece in Chopin’s life, combined with beautiful and historically authentic images, which add another dimension to this unique “Chopin Experience.”
Here is the introduction to the TV series:
Frederic Chopin: A Life to Remember presents Chopin’s works in 6 episodes that reveal the story of his life and elucidate the development of his art:
- A Slavic Soul – begins with Chopin’s national origins and youth, expressed in his Mazurkas.
- Master of the Piano – deals with the revolutionary and political developments of the time, events that accompanied the major transitions in the composer’s life, as seen through the Etudes.
- Spirit of a Poet – illustrates the poetic characteristics of Chopin’s music, prominent in his Nocturnes, Berceuse, and Scherzo No. 2.
- Grace and Charm – demonstrates the brilliance of life in Paris and introduces the women who played a major role in the composer’s life, and this is demonstrated by the Waltzes.
- Dream Visions – explains the darker undercurrents in Chopin’s life, his illness, exile, and disappointments, which find their expression in the Preludes and the Ballade No. 1.
- A Hero’s Heart – explores the heroic spirit that permeates Chopin’s work, transcending the ordinary and leaving a lasting body of work, which is relevant and inspirational today, symbolized by the “Heroic” Polonaise and the Fantasy in F minor.
- Chopin’s biography
- Comprehensive list of Chopin’s works
- Photo gallery of Alan’s career from child prodigy to concert performer around the world
- Alan’s much-lauded performance of Chopin on the Ed Sullivan TV show as a 14-year-old
Highlighted as “outstanding” by the New York Times when broadcast over six weeks, Frederic Chopin: A Life to Remember is now available as a double-DVD set. The production gives the audience a virtuoso performance combined with carefully selected imagery, visually choreographed to illustrate the themes and places that inspired the composer’s music, together with brief colorful introductions by Kogosowski. Filmed in London’s Gibson Hall by camera and sound crew from the BBC, and with the cooperation of the Frederic Chopin Society in Warsaw, combining evocative imagery with concert footage and spoken introductions, the series glows with a sense of splendor.
Kogosowski’s piano performances of the music of Chopin have been recognized since his first world tour at age 13, when he performed the Polonaise in A flat on the Ed Sullivan Show, an episode recently rebroadcast on PBS. He is described as “a master of Chopin’s music” by the Chicago Sun-Times. His CD, Kogosowski Plays Chopin, was chosen by the Polish Government as a symbol of Polish culture for the millennium. In London, Kogosowski caused a sensation with his recreation of Chopin’s final performance, which took place in the historic Guildhall, 150 years before. This event was filmed for television.
Kogosowski has followed up his many performances of Chopin’s music with a completed version of the composer’s unfinished Third Piano Concerto. This work was premiered by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of maestro Neeme Jarvi, who commissioned the orchestration from Kogosowski.
In 1999 the classical performer and Chopinist was awarded the Order of Merit of the Knights of Malta from the Vatican in recognition of his many all-Chopin concerts in London on behalf of Poland. Many of Kogosowski’s Chopin concerts in London have been supported and attended by members of the royal family, including H.M. the Queen Mother, Princess Diana, Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Kent and the Duke of Kent, and the president of the Anglo-Polish Association.