Chopin: The Women Behind the Music

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It is undeniable that Chopin revolutionised the nature of music composed for the piano, but his greatest source of inspiration was the female voice.

To mark the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth, this 2010 BBC 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.

WikiPedia: Frédéric Chopin