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Bicentenary - Chopin y Schumann SI

Bicentenary - Chopin y Schumann

In 1810, with only three months in between, two important persons in classical music of all times were born: Frédéric Chopin was born in Zelazowa-Zola, a small village near Warsaw while Robert Schumann was born in Zwickau, a town not far from Leipzig, in East Germany.

Pioneers and outstanding paradigms of romantic music, in a transitional period when classicism still prevailed in its various forms of expression, we owe them for the creation of a number of compositions with innovative formal characteristics and for the exploration of new sentiments and experiences, fruit of a more passionate relation with art, which was also typical of contemporaneous painters like Delacroix, or poets like Goethe and Heine, whose words inspired Schumann.

Born to a French father and Polish mother, Chopin soon showed to be a genial piano player, having become one of the greatest composers for this particular instrument. Influenced by Bach’s music and by his friend Bellini’s operas, his greatest influence, however, were the popular songs and dances of his homeland, Poland. At the age of 20 he moved to Paris where he became one of the most popular interpreters among the aristocracy and also one of the highest paid. There he met, in 1837, the novelist George Sand, with whom he lived for ten years and who was the main inspirer of the most prolific periods of his musical creation. He died two years after their separation, only 39 years old, victim of a long term chronic lung disease. His legacy includes 170 compositions, most of which for piano, and has influenced musicians like Brahms, Fauré and Debussy, and still delights music lovers today.

Robert Schumann, one of the admirers of Chopin’s music, is said to have exclaimed when commenting his Variations on La ci darem la mano, of 1827: “Gentlemen, hats off! He is a genius!” The son of a writer and editor, Schumann inherited the taste for reading the romantic novelists of his time, a feature that would show itself through his taste for the word, both as a composer of lyrical songs based on poems by authors of his time, as well as a music critic in a magazine founded by him in 1834 and which he directed for ten years. After his father’s death, Schumann studied law in Leipzig, but was fascinated by music, especially piano music, an instrument that he started to play, having taken lessons from Friedrich Wieck. However, he soon had to give up interpretation because of a damaged finger, where after he devoted himself exclusively to composing, mainly for piano, an instrument that enabled him to express his inner thoughts with sublime perfection. In 1833 he suffered a severe depression, which bouts would manifest themselves recurrently throughout his life and which, after a suicide attempt, led to his confinement to an asylum where he died in 1856 at the age of 46.

The cultural heritage of mankind, the long-lasting work of universal scope of these two musical geniuses, fully justifies that the Portuguese Postal Services dedicate this commemorative philatelic issue to these two masters of music.

Technical Details

Issue Date: 01.03.2010
Designer: Jose Brandao / Elizabete Rolo
Printer: CARTOR Security Printing
Size: 40 x 30,6 mm, 125 x 95 mm
Values: EUR1.36, EUR2.00, EUR2.00, EUR2.18, EUR3.14, EUR3.
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