This Polish composer’s /kəm’pozɚ/beautiful piano music plays to the heart (touch heart)
Frédéric (François)(1810–49), French composer and pianist; born in Poland; Polish name Fryderyk Franciszek Szopen. Writing almost exclusively for the piano, he composed numerous mazurkas and polonaises inspired by Polish folk music, as well as nocturnes, preludes, and two piano concertos (1829;1830)
[Chelsea & Chip]
On a winter night in 1810, a boy with exceptional (extraordinary, great) talent was born in a village in Poland. Son of a French father and Polish mother, Frédéric François Chopin (1810-1849) would end up writing expressive piano music that still moves audiences today.
The youth in Poland
Chopin began studying the piano at home when he was 5. His prodigious /prə‘dɪdʒəs/ (extreme great) talent quickly became obvious. Before he was 10, Chopin was composing music and performing in public. He published his first composition at the age of 7. At 11, he performed his own music for Alexander I, the tsar of Russia. The pleased tsar gave Chopin a diamond ring.
Chopin benefited from studying under teachers that encouraged his original style and didn’t push him to follow traditional conventions. Chopin’s teachers emphasized classical composers such as Beethoven and Mozart without neglecting to introduce Chopin to contemporary (live in the same time) romantic composers. By age 20, Chopin had already composed many piano pieces鋼琴小品, including Polish folk dance called polonaises and mazurkas. In 1830, Chopin embarked /ɪm’bɑrk/ on a music tour that eventually took him to Paris.
A few musical terms to help us understand Chopin’s music include:
Etude: a piece of music made to help students practice a specific skill.
Mazurka: a type of Polish dance that is written in triple meter and has a lively tempo.
Nocturne: a style of music that is inspired by the night and played for an evening party.
Polonaise: a slow dance of Polish origin that is written in triple meter三拍子.
[Ashley & Ken]
A: Sorry, Ken. I didn’t mean to leave my guitar here. I hope it wasn’t in your way.
K: Ashley, this is your guitar? I didn’t know you played.
A: Well. I can play a little. (Ashley is playing guitar)
K: Well, not bad. But why is there a guitar in the library?
A: Because we had a talent show today.
K: A talent show?
A: Yes, if you have a talent for something you can show everyone at a talent show.
K: Oh, I see.
A: I have a little talent as a singer. So I decided to sing and play guitar.
K: Wait. You said 「talent as」 but earlier you said 「talent for」, which one is correct?
A: Both are correct. When you have a talent as something it is followed by an occupation or way of living. For instance, you have talent as a writer or talent as a speaker.
K: Or I have a talent for a writer.
A: No, you can’t say that. You have to change writer into writing.
K: Oh, then I have a talent for writing.
A: That’s better. You can have a talent for singing, dancing and acting, then you would have a wealth of talents.
K: A wealth of talents? Does that mean you have many talents like you are rich?
A: Right, you have many talents, a wealth of them.
K: I don’t have any talents, certainly not a wealth of them.
A: Sure you do. You’re a man of many talents.
K: Hmm, a man of many talents. Hey, I used to play the accordion. Maybe I’ll join the next talent show.
A: See, I knew you had talents. I can’t wait to hear you.
今天的課文提到a boy with exceptional talent was born in a village in Poland，talent就是才能或者天才。如果要表達某一個領域或者某方面的才能，可以用短語have talent as某種職業的人，比如說Ashley has talent as a singer（要是做歌手，她很有才華），He has talent as a writer（身為作家他很有才華）。另外一種表達方式是have a talent for某一種工作，比如說He has a talent for writing（他有寫作的才華），writing用動名詞。也可以接名詞，He has a talent for music（他有音樂方面的才華）。若是一個人有許多的才華，我們可以說He has a wealth of talents，wealth表示豐富，a wealth of talents就是豐富的才能。
But since the vehicle’s top speed is 45 kilometers per hour, you won’t be breaking any speed records.
breaking speed records going very fast (exaggerate or making something appear greater)
Before you start planning concerts, why don’t you finish your homework?
I like basketball and I play it a lot, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be joining the NBA.
prodigious (adj) 非凡的,驚人的
The little boy has a prodigious memory of numbers.
The editor’s prodigious taste in fashion always comes through on the pages of his magazine.
composition (n) 作曲,作文
This serenade is one of his earliest compositions.
She went to Austria to study music composition.
convention (n) 傳統的手法或技巧;慣例,習俗
The architect broke with convention and designed a one-of-a-kind building.
In Chinese culture, convention states that during meals the host sits facing the door.
embark on/upon something
1. to start to do something new or difficult 從事，着手，開始（新的或艱難的事情）
- She is about to embark on a diplomatic career. 她即將開始外交生涯。
[Vocabulary & phrase]
exceptional (adj) 優異的,傑出的
prodigious (adj) 巨大的,驚人的
composition (n) 作品,樂曲
tsar (n) 沙皇
convention (n) 協定,慣例
neglect (v) 忽視,忽略
contemporary (adj) 當代的,同時期的
romantic (adj) 浪漫的,浪漫主義的
exceptional, composer, composition, prodigious, a wealth of talents, a man of many talents, Alexander, follow traditional conventions, Beethoven, neglect, contemporary composer, piano pieces, embark on a music tour, one-of-a-kind building.