Chopin News, Views, and Reviews:

‘The Spies of Warsaw’ by Alan Furst
Los Angeles Times – CA,USA

Furst’s books are like Chopin’s nocturnes: timeless, transcendent, universal. One does not so much read them as fall under their spell and to fall in love with those Romantic impulses that compel men and women to act beyond their self-interests.”

And, like Chopin, Furst is a Romantic. Regardless of their gender or nationalities, his characters share one immutable trait: a heroic belief in the transformative power of love, whether for a nation, an ideal or another human being.

“The Spies of Warsaw” is Furst’s 10th novel. Like the others, it involves the work of European spies in the 1930s and ’40s. Few writers tread such a narrow path so often. Fewer still do it without repeating themselves. Furst’s genius is to revisit the same era and character types while making each journey new and fascinating.

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Author Q&A
Wall Street Journal – USA

No reference to Chopin, but a fascinating Q & A with author Alan Furst

In Alan Furst’s newly published espionage novel, “The Spies of Warsaw,” he paints a convincing portrait of Europe in 1937, told in part through the eyes of a French military attaché. That Mr. Furst’s book is atmospheric, convincing and filled with twists and turns will hardly surprise readers of his nine earlier spy books such as “Night Soldiers” and “Kingdom of Shadows.”

Mr. Furst, 67 years old, turned to espionage after writing four earlier novels that didn’t sell. A Manhattan native, Mr. Furst lives in Sag Harbor, N.Y., and periodically in Paris. He estimates he has lived in France for roughly 10 years of his life.


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A Night for Robbins to Give Chopin a Twirl or Three
New York Times – United States

This seems to be shaping up as the Year of Jerome Robbins…

Jerome Robbins would remain one of the most diverse, successful and appealing choreographers of all time if he had never set anything to the music of Chopin. Yet to imagine ballet without Robbins’s Chopin works is to imagine a painful diminution. Though the current Robbins retrospective from New York City Ballet has been successfully under way for over a month, its “Definitive Chopin” program, which opened on Wednesday night at the State Theater, brings us closer to the choreographer’s heart than any other evening this season.

The program contains just three ballets. (Robbins’s “In the Night,” to Chopin nocturnes, was part of a separate bill that went out of repertory Thursday night.) It begins with a film clip of Robbins in 1990 rehearsing Darci Kistler in his first Chopin work, “The Concert” (1956). She’s really good, but he’s much better, wonderfully funny in the way the music makes him go weak at the knees: not an immediate collapse, but a rich, rippling-through-the-body plunge…

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