Music and postage stamps: philatelic Chopiniana

Music and postage stamps: philatelic Chopiniana

Music and postage stamps: philatelic ChopinianaEveryone knows the name Chopin. He is idolized by connoisseurs of music and beauty, including philatelists. Times two hundred years ago, the Silver Age. Creative life was then concentrated in Paris; Frederic Chopin also moved there at the age of 20 from Poland.

Paris conquered everyone, but the young pianist quickly “conquered the capital of Europe” with his talent. This is how the great Schumann spoke of him: “Hats off, gentlemen, we have a genius before us!”

The romantic halo around Chopin

The story of Chopin’s relationship with George Sand deserves a separate story. This Frenchwoman became a source of inspiration for Frederick for nine long years. It was during this period that he wrote his best works: preludes and sonatas, ballads and nocturnes, polonaises and mazurkas.

Music and postage stamps: philatelic Chopiniana

USSR post stamp for the 150th anniversary of F. Chopin

Every summer, Sand took the composer to her estate, to the village, where he worked so well, far from the bustle of the capital. The idyll was short-lived. Breakup with his beloved, revolution of 1848. Due to deteriorating health, the virtuoso cannot hold concerts in England, where he went for a short while. He died at the end of the same year, and three thousand fans saw him off at the Père Lachaise cemetery. Chopin’s heart was transported to his native Warsaw and buried in the Church of the Holy Cross.

Chopin and philately

Music and postage stamps: philatelic Chopiniana

French stamp with a portrait of the composer by Georges Sand

Hundreds of the world’s postal departments responded to the magic of this name. The most touching was the stamp depicting a cameo made of white agate, and in it – a portrait of the composer on a grave monument.

The apotheosis was the anniversary year, when the pianist’s 200th birthday was celebrated. By decision of UNESCO, 2010 was declared the “Year of Chopin”; his music “lives” in philatelic series of postage stamps from different countries. The publications of the 20th century are interesting; let’s present them in chronological order.

  • 1927, Poland. On the occasion of the 1st Warsaw Chopin Competition, a stamp with a portrait of the composer is issued.
  • 1949, Czechoslovakia. To mark the centenary of the virtuoso’s death, a series of two stamps was issued: one features his portrait by Chopin’s contemporary, the French artist Schaeffer; on the second – the Conservatory in Warsaw.
  • 1956, France. The series is dedicated to figures of science and culture. Others include a dark purple stamp paying tribute to Chopin.
  • 1960, USSR, 150th anniversary. On the stamp there is a facsimile of Chopin’s notes and against their background his appearance, “descended” from Delacroix’s reproduction of 1838.
  • 1980, Poland. The series was created in honor of the piano competition named after. F. Chopin.
  • 1999, France. This stamp is especially valuable; it bears a portrait by J. Sand.
  • 2010, Vatican. The famous post office issued a stamp in honor of Chopin’s 200th birthday.

Music and postage stamps: philatelic Chopiniana

Stamps issued for the 200th anniversaries of Chopin and Schumann

Listen to these names that sound like music: Liszt, Heine, Mickiewicz, Berlioz, Hugo, Delacroix. Frederick was friendly with many of them, and some became truly close to him.

The composer and his creations are remembered and loved. This is evidenced by performers who include works in concerts, competitions named after him and… brands that forever capture the romantic image.

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