Episode 82: Chopin in Fantasyland

Fantasy in F minor, Op. 49

rc-fantasyland-200"Here is the world of imagination, hopes and dreams. In this timeless land of enchantment, the age of chivalry, magic, and make-believe are reborn, and fairy tales come true.”

Walt Disney came up with those words to describe one of the biggest attractions in his Magic Kingdom: Fantasyland. In a similar vein, Fryderyk Chopin’s Fantasy in F minor is filled with chivalry and fanfare, and quickly ventures into the realm of magic and make-believe. Which in 19th-century Paris meant the Opera house.

“It’s very operatic music. In this piece we can really find that Chopin was an opera lover, an Italian opera lover of course, and this you can find in all of his works, especially after he came to Paris.”

French pianist Jean-Frédéric Neuberger discovered Chopin’s Fantasy when he was ten years old. Like Peter Pan, it has never grown old:

“You can really work with the Fantasy on the Character you want for every different passage. Like a short drama. Like a short Italian drama. What is very magic is the very end. When you have the left hand, just like a bird, singing, without any accompaniment. More and more slow and more and more soft... Then it goes to the silence. Then just one chord. And then just everything like an explosion. To all the keyboard, with all the pedal. It’s magic.” - Benjamin K. Roe

Radio Chopin Episode 82: Chopin in Fantasyland

Fantasy in F minor, Op. 49