How swiftly time slips away! I had intended to post a blog on yet another great experience at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in September of 2010, but never got that “round tuit.” Of course, being the piano lover, the recital was piano. The guest artist was Henri-Paul Sicsic, a Canadian pianist. My friend Beda, who shares with me a love of sports cars, and I went straight from work in the Medical Center (very near Rice), sashayed into the Lillian H. Duncan Recital Hall and took our seats.

I wish I could YouTube this performance for everyone to hear. The program was all-Chopin, beginning with the Mazurka in C-sharp Minor, Op. 41, no.1. When the pianist played Sonata No. 2, in B-flat Minor, Op. 35, Marche funebre: Lento, I learned something new. This is the traditional funeral march. It was so eerie, played first hand, on a concert stage that I actually shivered. This link will take you to a YouTube performance by the master pianist, Arthur Rubenstein playing the March funebre: The Funeral March.

Being a writer of dark paranormal fiction, this piece resonated with me. Though my vampires never died in the traditional sense, they were transformed from normal meat-and-potatoes kind of folk to eternal hunters by a blood-borne pathogen (another story). I could imagine my British lord, concert pianist and vampire playing Chopin’s Funeral March on a dark, lonely night when eternity weighed too heavily on his shoulders. If you’d like to meet Morgan, please visit my web site for a free read, called Vampyre Hunt. http://www.lindanightingale.com/

As I pen these words, I am listening to Mr. Rubenstein’s rendition, and even now, I shiver, thinking that the young Chopin, who died at 39, wrote his own funeral march. His grave monument in Clesinger is Euterpe (Greek muse of music) weeping over a broken lyre.

On a happier note, maybe in my next blog, I’ll write about the romance between the immortal Chopin and the novelist George Sand (Aurore Lucile Dupin, later Baroness of Dudevant, 1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876).

There are several movies about this love affair, none of them historically accurate, but my favorites are Impromptu and Chopin: Desire for Love. Don’t expect a history lesson. These films are romantic fantasies, but both feature his music.

11 comments

  1. Beth Trissel // April 8, 2011 at 11:01 AM  

    I also appreciate the works of this brilliant composer and much enjoyed your post. The concert sounds wonderful, as much as I can hear in my mind, anyway.

  2. Mona Risk // April 8, 2011 at 11:19 AM  

    I am not good in music--actually I am lousy--but I love to listen to classics. And Chopin is the best.

  3. Mona Risk // April 8, 2011 at 11:25 AM  

    Linda-- I would love a blog about George Sand and Chopin. I read her work in French , and saw a movie about her romance with Litz, after she dropped Chopin.

  4. Mary Marvella // April 8, 2011 at 12:25 PM  

    I have always loved Chopin, even when I was a nerdy teen. We called ourselves squares back then and were proud of it! One favorite was and is Etude in E flat minor(I think) The popular name in the dark ages was "A Dream of Love".

  5. Nightingale // April 8, 2011 at 1:59 PM  

    I dug my George Sand book out of storage. I thought it was about Sand and Chopin, but it is a book written by Sand. I'll have to do some research for that post.

    I also love Liszt.

  6. Mary Marvella // April 8, 2011 at 6:40 PM  

    List is also a fav of mine! Hauntingly romantic music! Perfect for movie tracts.

  7. M.Flagg // April 8, 2011 at 7:34 PM  

    Great post, Linda! I love Chopin, and even visited his grave years ago. His music touches my heart as well as my soul like non other. I've incorporated Chopin into my vampire trilogy becaue there's just something about the sad beauty of his music that lends itself to a paranormal theme. And I have Sand's book too :)
    Mickey

  8. Nightingale // April 8, 2011 at 7:43 PM  

    Mickey, I agree that his music lends itself to the paranormal but never actually thought of it that way. I write paranormal too, though lately I've been trying my hand at erotica under the pen name Bianca Swan. My May 20 release from TWRP, Celestial Sin, is a paranormal.

  9. Scarlet Pumpernickel // April 8, 2011 at 8:11 PM  

    Linda, thanks for the link to the music. I didn't realize that the funeral march was from Chopin. It really sets the mood for writing about a dark stormy night and a castle that is home to a vampire, doesn't it?

  10. Josie // April 10, 2011 at 2:12 PM  

    I'm a piano teacher, and love Chopin's music. Several of my piano students performed some easier Chopin waltzes for our National Guild of Piano Teacher auditions on Friday. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Judy // April 10, 2011 at 2:43 PM  

    Wonderful! You're so lucky that you have such an opportunity to go to concerts like that. I heard Rubinstein play in San Juan, Puerto Rico many years ago and it will always remain one of my wonderful experiences.