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Click to enlargeChopin - Mazurkas (Palmer) [Alfred Publishing Co.]

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Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) was a pianist's composer-his love, passion and devotion to the piano made him one of the most prolific and influential composers of the 19th century. As a pianist, Chopin was practically self-taught and, out of his lack of reverence for tradition, cultivated an inventive and ingenious approach to the instrument. The mazurka, a Polish national dance in triple meter, was first introduced to the realm of art music by Chopin. He composed many works in this form, all with his sweeping melodies and innovative harmonic structures. These bright, entertaining dances are vivid and emotional, and the music in Chopin's Mazurkas (Complete) is some of his finest.

Willard A. Palmer's deliberate and methodical research is based on the original manuscripts and the first German, French and English editions. This complete edition includes all the mazurkas presently known to be the authentic works of Chopin, a total of 57. Accurate, dependable, clearly engraved and spaced for easier reading, this Alfred edition ensures that Chopin's diligent pedagogy and melodic genius are faithfully represented.

Paris was as loved by master Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) as it was by Chopin. Painted around 1868, this detail from Le Pont des Arts, Paris, i s a typical example of the beauty and expressiveness of Renoir's work. Like Chopin, his genius lies in the unconventional, with an emphasis on capturing the emotional significance of the moment. It was chosen for this cover because, like Chopin's mazurkas, it has an appealing, spirited texture and understated elegance.

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