He Left Poland for Paris
But His Heart is Still There

Frederic François Chopin (1810 - 1849)

Polish composer and pianist of the romantic school, regarded by some as the greatest of all composers of music for the piano. Chopin was born on March 4, 1810, in Zelazowa Wola, near Warsaw, of a French father and a Polish mother, Chopin began to study the piano at the age of four and when eight years old played at a private concert in Warsaw. Later he studied harmony and counterpoint at the Warsaw Conservatory. He was precocious also as a composer; his first published composition is dated 1817. He gave his first concerts as a piano virtuoso in 1829 in Vienna, where he lived for the next two years. After 1831, except for brief absences, he lived in Paris, where he became noted as a pianist, teacher, and composer. He formed an intimate relationship in 1837 with the French writer George Sand. In 1838 Chopin began to suffer from tuberculosis and she nursed him in Majorca in the Balearic Islands and in France until continued differences between the two resulted in an estrangement in 1847. Thereafter his musical activity was limited to giving several concerts in 1848 in France, Scotland, and England. He died in Paris on October 17, 1849, of tuberculosis.

Nearly all of Chopin's compositions are for piano. Although an expatriate, he was deeply loyal to his war-torn homeland; his mazurkas reflect the rhythms and melodic traits of Polish folk music, and his polonaises are marked by a heroic spirit. The Italian opera composer Vincenzo Bellini also influenced his melodies. His ballades, scherzos, and études exemplify his large-scale works for solo piano. His music, romantic and lyrical in nature, is characterized by exquisite melody of great originality, refined—often adventurous—harmony, subtle rhythm, and poetic beauty. Chopin greatly influenced other composers, notably the Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt, the German composer Richard Wagner, and the French composer Claude Debussy. Chopin's many published compositions include 55 mazurkas, 27 études, 24 preludes, 19 nocturnes, 13 polonaises, and 3 piano sonatas. Among his other works are the Concertos in E minor and in F minor, both for piano and orchestra, the cello concerto, and 17 songs.

"Chopin, Frederic Francois," Microsoft (R) Encarta. Copyright (c) 1994 Microsoft Corporation. Copyright (c) 1994 Funk & Wagnall's Corporation.

Chateau De Bouesse: History and Guestbook
Chateau De Bouesse - 36570 Bouesse - France

Joan of Arc

The legendary French military leader, Joan of Arc, used the Chateau de Bouesse as an outpost when she would visit the builder, and her top commander, Raoul de Beaucourt.

Frederic Chopin

It is said that Chopin had composed many popular classical music and notes while staying at the Chateau de Bouesse. It is rumored that Ms. Dupin ( George Sand below ) would check into the hotel as a man, to be with Chopin, a famous pianist-composer, who had also stayed at the Chateau. Each year, a competition is held in honor of Chopin and his classical music to discover new stars among a very large group of promising music composers.

George Sand

George Sand (a famous French novelist of the early 19th century) was also a visitor to the Chateau. George Sand was really an alias for a woman by the name of Aurore Dupin, the friend and mistress of the infamous Chopin. Since it was deemed 'inappropriate' for Mme. Dupin and M. Chopin to be in contact, Aurore Dupin would check into the Chateau under the guise of a man, George Sand. This would allow the two lovers to maintain a veil of friendship, while allowing them to pursue their forbidden love. The name would also provide a vessel for Mme. Dupin to achieve the male permissive success she so desired.

Ghostly Visitors

Not fulfilled by satisfying the needs of visitors from this world, it seems that the Chateau has been attracting visitors from 'another' world. Having cut into the walls to make space for the added bathrooms, the owner of the castle thinks that they may have liberated some poor spirit of times gone by.

"The first indication we had of this was, one day we had a very fine gentleman staying with us, a judge from Australia, not the kind of person who you expect to have a colorful imagination, at least, to invent things. And he came down and he announced to me in the morning just the way he would as if the window was broken or something, he said, Mr.____, he said I have to tell you that you've got some sort of a ghost or something in your room. And of course I looked at him in complete amazement and I didn't know what to say and he went on and explained that he's been in the bath and that 'something' or 'somebody' had pushed him. He thought it was his wife and he said "don't be silly dear", and turned out she was on the other side of the room and he had been quite severely pushed."

"We were quite amazed by this, but we didn't really go any more deeply unto it until a few months later, we had a French couple stay with us. And as they came down one morning in a highly agitated state it was the same story.. As he got into the bath, 'somebody' or 'someone' got out of the bath and a split-second later, this somebody got into the bed with his wife, who had stayed in the bed. They were quite disturbed."

"But still, I come back to the point that I don't believe in ghosts. Until about a year later, we had a couple staying with us two or three days. And first morning they came down to breakfast and they were not pleased at all. They said, "you know who has been doing silly things in our room?" They said that "our suitcase was overturned and everything was on the floor." I said "I'm sure nobody in the staff did that. Our cleaning ladies are very careful and they won't do such a silly thing". Well, it happened again, and the guy got even more annoyed. Again we excused ourselves, assured him that we were not responsible. The third time it happened, he wasn't annoyed. He too began to wonder what was happening and realized that it wasn't us that were causing the problem. So he and his wife decided that night, when they went to bed, not to go to sleep, but to stay awake and to keep their hand on the table lamp at the side of the bed. They heard a noise, and switched on the lamp and they saw their suitcase rise, move, turn over and depart all their goods and affairs on the floor. And they swore to that."

Chopin at the age of 19- and by now recognized
as a national composer playing before
distinguished guests in the salon of
Prince Radziwill in Berlin.