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« Chopin – The Women Behind The Music »
BBC TV documentary 2010 on Chopin / Jenny Lind

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Chopin (1810-1849) in 1839.  Fragment of painting by Eugène Delacroix, at Musée du Louvre.BBC Four TV documentary
« Pianist James Rhodes explores Chopin’s lifelong passion for female singers, culminating in the untold story of his relationship with the greatest diva of the age, Jenny Lind. »

Rupert Edwards, director
Fiona Morris, executive producer

YouTube (90 min.): premiere 15 October 2010

BBC screenshots | Last scene | BBC review

Film credit by BBC:
"Jenny Lind material based on original research
by Cecilia and Jens Jorgensen, Icons of Europe, Brussels".

Chopin –

The Women Behind The Music

[... notably Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale]

« Frederic Chopin is known for his technically demanding and expressive piano compositions, but he was also passionate about the female voice.

Chopin – The Women Behind The Music follows maverick young pianist James Rhodes on a journey to Warsaw, Paris and London to discover the women whose voices had such a powerful influence on the composer.

Exploring Chopin's life, James encounters the singers who enchanted the composer with their voices – Konstancja, a young soprano and the object of his teenage affections; Delfina, the sexually notorious Polish Parisian émigré countess; fellow composer and opera singer Pauline Viardot, and the Swedish opera star Jenny Lind, who so affected Chopin in the final years of his life. » [and even earlier¹]

James Rhodes and Natalya Romaniw (photo © BBC Four).  Performing in the BBC4 documentary "Chopin - The Women Behind The Music".

James Rhodes and Natalya Romaniw (photo © BBC Four).
Screenshots of performers and commentators in the film
James Rhodes plays Ballade N° 4 in F minor, Op. 52.  Voice-over:  "The main thing we should be sure of in Chopin's personal life is that we do not know the whole story" [....but a new book will tell more].

« James performs a selection of Chopin's piano music, while rising young opera star Natalya Romaniw sings some of the arias that inspired the composer.  There are also musical contributions and comments from the great Chopin practitioners Emmanuel Ax and Garrick Ohlsson, biographer Adam Zamoyski and Chopin expert Jeremy Siepmann. »

Last telling scene of the documentary
Source of the announcement | More
A Prospect Wales/Cymru production

DVD may be released later

Chopin - The Women Behind The Music
BBC Music Magazine (15 October 2010)
The Guardian (16 October 2010)

Jenny Lind singing at Chopin's deathbed in 1849, noted in the BBC TV film "Chopin - The Women Behind The Music".

Jenny Lind singing
at Chopin's deathbed¹

(not Delfina Potocka).

Cecilia and Jens Jorgensen of Icons of Europe provided the initial idea for this BBC film.  Their participation and advice are visible in scenes at Brussels, London and Paris:

- 0:51:00 - 0:54:25
- 0:55:30 - 0:56:02
- 1:03:00 - 1:04:13
- 1:05:40 - 1:07:00
- 1.17:10 - 1:18:35
- 1.26:40 - 1.27:30
- 1:28:30 - 1:28:58

At the end, Icons of Europe is credited for its Jenny Lind material.

Chopin + Jenny Lind
Monument Chopin / Jenny Lind par Jacques Froment-Meurice, Parc Monceau, Paris (1906).  Icons of Europe a identifié Jenny Lind et propose que le monument sera intitulé:  "Le rêve du rossignol".
Hint at their legacy:
last scene of the film

¹ Among
Icons of Europe's

research findings:

« To fulfill a dream after she met Chopin in 1841, Jenny Lind became his musical and financial benefactor in 1848-1849 and tried three times to marry him in 1849. »

« Jenny Lind later masterminded a cult to enshrine the legacy of the composer. »

The whole story is fully researched in our new book soon to appear.

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