Chopin In Modern Song

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Over the centuries Chopin’s music and melodies have been incorporated in various, often beautiful ways, in modern song. Here are few examples, beginning with my favorite, Tino Rossi singing “Tristesse,” from the Étude Op. 10, no. 3 in E major, which ends with the romantic pledge, “Cher amour je t’aime / Éperdument / Éperdument.” Full lyrics here

Serge Gainsbourg, “Lemon Incest,” another modern take on the Étude Op. 10, no. 3 in E major. This one comes with a trigger warning, as both the words and images could upset some people.

Jo Stafford, “No Other Love,” yet another love song set to Chopin’s Étude Op. 10, No. 3.

Perry Como, “Till The End of Time,” with lyrics by Buddy Kaye, based on Chopin’s Polonaise Op. 53.

Barry Manilow, “Could it be Magic,” from Chopin’s Prélude Op. 28, no. 20 in C minor.

Jane Birkin, “Jane B.,” a 1969 collaboration with Serge Gainsbourg from the album “Je t’aime….moi non plus,” set to the melody of Chopin’s Prelude Op. 28, No. 4 in E minor. 

Judy Garland, “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows,” from the film “Zeigfeld Girls.” The melody comes from the middle section of Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu, op. 66 (Posth.). Click here or see below to watch Daniil Trifonov play the original work at the Yellow Lounge in Berlin. 

Daniil Trifonov playing the Fantaisie-Impromptu, op. 66 (Posth.), at the Yellow Lounge in Berlin; the melody quoted in “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” (above) begins at 1:34

Roy Eaton playing the Fantaisie-Impromptu, op. 66 (Posth.), in the Green Space at NPR. The melody quoted in “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” begins at 1:00.