Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) composed The Four Seasons as violin concerti, but the timeless beauty of the music and its broad popular appeal have resulted in musicians of all kinds appropriating it for their own use. This arrangement for classical guitar of the Largo from “Winter” is by Russian guitarist Daria Semikina.
Fred arrived at the movie theater a few minutes late, after the movie had already started. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he noticed a dog sitting next to its owner in the row ahead of him. The dog seemed to be watching the movie with great interest, wagging its tail during the happy parts, drooping its ears during the sad parts, and covering its eyes with its paws during the scary parts.
After the movie, Fred approached the dog’s owner and said, “Your dog really seemed to enjoy the movie. I’m amazed.”
“So am I,” replied the dog’s owner. “He hated the book.”
Frédéric Chopin was born near Warsaw on March 1, 1810. The son of a French father and a Polish mother, he spent his first twenty years in Poland and most of his adult life in France. Although he was one of the greatest pianists of his time, he disliked performing in concert halls, preferring to play for small groups of friends in more intimate settings. He supported himself primarily by selling his compositions, which were always in demand, and by giving piano lessons. He suffered from chronic poor health throughout his life, and he died in Paris in 1849, when he was only 39 years old.
Chopin composed his Étude Op. 10, No. 12 in C minor, known as the “Revolutionary Étude,” in 1831. He had left Warsaw in early November of 1830, just weeks before the outbreak of what came to be known as the November Uprising — an attempt by Polish nationalists to oust their Russian occupiers. The uprising went on for almost a year, ending with the Poles and their allies being crushed by the numerically superior Russians. The Polish defeat devastated Chopin, whose emotions found expression in this étude.