The Embodiment of the Romantic Era A Valentine Treat
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sonia Rykiel -- yes, that Sonia Rykiel, the fashion designer, but a many-talented personality, apparently -- takes the part of George Sand, reading excerpts from their famous correspondence to the accompaniment of selections from Chopin's piano music, which gains from being heard in a context.The French is ennunciated to perfection and the generous booklet provides translations in several other languages for listeners who would like to improve their French comprehension. The music gains authenticity and fire from being interpreted by a variety of artists of Polish descent. As befits the French sensibility, which believes terrestial love to be magnificent but transient, and finds happy endings simplistic, the story has a bittersweet ending that is perfectly in keeping with Chopin's music -- that strains toward the limits of the possible. Listening to this album -- a very apt Valentine gift from my significant other of several decades -- was an unalloyed pleasure. I hope to continue my quest for more of George Sand's wonderful novels to read (a rather late in life discovery) and will now listen to Chopin's music with deepened appreciation."
Romantic Music For A Romantic Couple
Rudy Avila | Lennox, Ca United States | 05/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is perfect for Valentines, as already mentioned and music to establish a romantic mood. The music of Frederic Chopin combined with the letters of Chopin and George Sand written to each other when they were in love. Among the many fine works are Chopin's Nocturnes, Preludes, Mazurkas, Polonaises and Waltzes. Frederic Chopin first met George Sand, whose real name was Aurora Dudevant, at a country estate in France through his pianist/composer friend Franz Liszt. He wa not impressed by her at first. Her bizarre lifestyle and radical ideas clashed with his conservative, gentle nature. She was brazen, dressing in men's clothes, a free-thinking, liberal feminist and he was a sickly dreamer and composer of piano music. No two people could ever be so different and yet they became a couple. They never married, but perhaps they intended to. After a while, it was Chopin who became the more amorous partner. George Sand, however, was forced to break up with him after many quarrels and through the influence of her own children who opposed the relationship. This magnificent album is sure to fill you with romance as the French voice of the actress playing George Sand and the Polish accent of the actor in the role of Chopin read the passionate, romantic love letters of music history's most beloved partnership."