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Beacon Lights of History, Volume 14 The New Era  A Supplementary

Beacon Lights of History, …

John Lord
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Chopin is another composer who, although he died in 1849 (Schubert died in 1828), is as modern as the masters just named. He was as boldly original as Schubert, and as great a magician in the art of arousing deep emotion by means of novel, unexpected modulations. As an originator of new harmonic progressions he has had only three equals,--Bach, Schubert, and Wagner. Harmonies as ultra-modern as those of Wagner's "Parsifal" may be found in some of the mazurkas of Chopin. He was, as Rubinstein called him, "the soul of the pianoforte." No one before or after him knew how to make that instrument speak so eloquently. By ingeniously scattering the notes of a chord over the keyboard while holding down the pedal, he practically gave the player three or four hands, and greatly enlarged the harmonic and coloristic possibilities of the pianoforte. Liszt, Rubinstein, Paderewski, and others have gone farther still in the same direction, but he showed the way, and most of his pieces are as delightful and as modern now as they were on the day when they were written. He wrote a few sonatas, but the majority of his works are short pieces such as are characteristic of the modern romantic school.
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