“[Annik LaFarge’s companion] website raises the bar on how music-themed books will be expected to incorporate multimedia henceforth.” — Chronogram Magazine
This website is an online companion to my book Chasing Chopin, published by Simon & Schuster in August 2020. It was designed more like a book than a traditional website: each chapter has its own page, which consists of links to each piece of music I mention in the book, in the order in which it appears in the text, including a page number for easy reference. I selected the works in a spirit of wide-ranging diversity, including both classical performances and modern interpretations by 20th and 21st century artists. It was built as a “responsive” site that will adapt to whatever screen you’re using: a mobile phone, tablet or desktop computer. The goal was to make it as easy as possible for a reader to quickly find and listen to good — and in some cases inaccessible — recordings of the many works I discuss in the text. Each work by Chopin includes a link to the Fryderyk Chopin Institute website, along with the composition date(s) recorded by the Institute as well as background information about each work. There are discrepancies in the scholarship regarding composition dates, and for precise information please consult the most recent and authoritative sources.
Most of the links are to YouTube videos, while some are audio files that are hosted on the site, with copyright and permission information included. You can watch the videos without leaving WhyChopin.com. In some cases I’ve noted in the descriptive text the moment where a particular passage begins, along with a linked timestamp. If you click the timestamp link you’ll be taken to that recording on YouTube, to the exact place where the passage begins. If you prefer to watch the videos on YouTube’s larger video player, first click the arrow to launch the video, then click the YouTube logo at the bottom right. This will open a new window on YouTube.com where you can watch the video. All the Quick Links (on a desktop computer they appear on the right side of each chapter page; on a mobile phone they appear at very bottom of the page; see screenshots below) go directly to the specific passage I have referred to in the book. You may download a hyperlinked PDF with all the links here.
Links on websites sometimes get broken, so each page includes a contact form to report a broken link. You can also use that form, or the regular contact form, so send me an email recommending a performance or new recording of Chopin’s works, original music that was inspired by him, an insightful book or scholarly article you’ve read, or any other comment you wish to make.
Quick Links on desktop computers:
Quick Links on mobile devices: