Richly illustrated and impeccably presented, Opus111's outstanding series of Muses sets its sights on Chopin's contact with the opposite sex. The composer has been handed down over the years as a rather effeminate individual, sickly and frail in the extreme and this image is quite faithfully conveyed here.
Weber's narrative is intrinsically detailed but does not actually shed any new or controversial light on an already well-publicized sector of Chopin's life. The book is straightforward in its divisions with his close family first, lovers and friends next and a sizeable chunk devoted to his students and inspirations not to mention dedicatees. There is also time for an intensive look at some Chopiniana together with the first collectors of this highly sought after form of memorabilia. I was obviously very much taken with the stupendous illustrations and photographs that dot the pages with a certain grace and charm.
Obviously one must not overlook the 78-minute CD which is jam packed with the most popular Chopin works and which makes a very intriguing background music to the proceedings. Not an authoritative reference book, then, but certainly a highly entertaining and very gracious addition to your bookshelf.
Copyright © 2001 by Gerald Fenech