For the immense love of Frédéric Chopin

Author of numerous works, in particular on Martha Argerich, Schubert or Brahms, Olivier Bellamy is back in the “Dictionary of love” collection, seven years after the success of his book devoted to the piano, with a volume in which he details all that Chopin can bring us the good, the beautiful, the great. “He turns our hearts, our Chopinek, and scares us. A fear as blue as the note. His art is so evanescent, singular, perfect, pure”, writes Olivier Bellamy in the preamble. Questions entered, the critic dares to open the ball with “Airport, music of”, evoking that of Warsaw where one finds oneself “drowned in a sea of ​​icing sugar dripping from all the loudspeakers” which is a “shame for his author”. By way of conclusion, Bellamy takes us to Zelazowa Wola, “pleasant village” where is the “solemn manor where Chopin was born to a peasant from Lorraine, a violinist in his spare time, and a woman of lower nobility, good, sensitive. and playing the piano well “. Before this “place of memory where kitsch took power”, the author was interested in many personalities, including Bach, Arrau, Debussy, Fauré, Gide, Horowitz and of course George Sand (“free and modern woman” who “took the direction of operations” for eight years “taking an oath to devote himself body and soul to the poor angel”). This “Dictionary of love” is not just a “Who’s who” of high flight, one will find there food for reflection as for the emotion, the faith; tears, illness and death (which remains a mystery concerned Chopin, who died in 1849, at age 39). And so many other things which make the salt of a collection which invites to the greedy vagrancy.

For complete pleasure, we will come and listen to the pianists Evgeni Kissin and Hélène Grimaud, invited by the Great Interpreters, on January 18 and 21, 2022 respectively at the Halle aux grains (prices: from 20 to 66 euros). On the program: mazurkas, nocturnal and big waltz.

“Chopin’s love dictionary”, by Olivier Bellamy (Plon, 532 p., 25 euros).