A new radio programme has claimed that Frédéric Chopin’s biographers and archivists have deliberately ignored the composer’s interest in men. The Polish classical composer and piano virtuoso lived from 1810 to 1839, becoming famous for his solo piano works, including his Nocturnes, many of which are still widely recognisable today.
Chopin’s Men, a two-hour-long radio show broadcast by Switzerland’s SRF arts channel, details how heteronormative studies of the composer have covered up evidence of his sexuality, as ‘Independent’ reports.
Music journalist Moritz Weber said he had come across “a flood of declarations of love aimed at men” while poring over letters written by Chopin, some of which were overtly erotic. It was also suggested that Chopin’s letters had been purposefully mistranslated in the past.
Chopin’s romantic affairs with women have also been exaggerated, claimed the report, and suggestions that the composer pursued an interest in soliciting relations with men have been ignored. In one of 22 archived letters to school friend and political activist Tytus Woyciechowski, Chopin wrote: “You don’t like being kissed. Please allow me to do so today.”
“You have to pay for the dirty dream I had about you last night.”
Letters to Woyciechowski would conclude with Chopin writing: “Give me a kiss, dearest lover.”
A spokesperson for the Fryderyk Chopin Institute said during the programme that the erotic language in the letters was the product of Chopin’s lifetime and social milieu.
“If you read them in the Polish original, it sounds a little bit different,” they said.
However, the spokesperson also admitted that there was no evidence of Chopin’s supposed romantic infatuations with women to be found in the letters.
Read related myGwork articles here: