Frederick Niecks' meticulous biography of Chopin is praised to this day as one of the finest accounts of the legendary composer's life ever written.
In Niecks' painstakingly assembled work, we behold a chronologically arranged narrative of the upbringing, rise to fame, prominence, illness and death of Frederick Chopin. His tumultuous, strained relationship with French author George Sand is recounted, with the regular quotation of correspondences between the couple and others included in abundance.
Frederick Chopin as a Man and Musician is a meticulous and voluminous work, perfect for fans and students of the composer who wish to gain intimate insights into Chopin's personal nature, habits, friends, family and the world in which he lived. His travels and struggle with a disease generally suspected to be tuberculosis, are much discussed. Tragically we hear accounts of the mental anguish suffered by the composer, as he grappled with both popular recognition and his worsening respiratory condition.
Together with his difficult personal life, we also hear accounts - many supported by first-hand journalism and recollections of attendees - of the awe-inspiring performances Chopin conducted on the piano. In love and thrall to his music, Chopin would persistently perform against the advice of doctors, even when his illness rendered him weak. By most accounts his skill upon the piano was exquisite to behold, although attendees of his later performances would comment on the contrast between the vigorous passion of Chopin's virtuosity, and how sickly he appeared.
This edition contains the original illustrations of musical staves appended to the volumes, allowing the reader maximum insight into the compositions of the legendary composer. All of the original appendices are likewise included; these mainly consist of personal recollections, several of which were gathered by Niecks himself. At the time this biography was composed between 1900 and 1903, some associates of the composer were alive and able to recount their personal memories of Chopin.