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This musical tour of France starts in Paris with scenes that reflect the modenisation of the city in the 19th century under Baron Haussmann. From Paris the tour passes to Burgundy, with its vineyards, to Provence, with its Fête des Gardiens in Arles and Roman aqueduct, thence to the Loire, with its great castles and country-houses. The tour ends with a visit to Brittany and Normandy, the northern coasts and the great monastery of Mont Saint-Michel. Music for the tour is taken from Fryderyk Chopin's two piano concertos. The son of a French émigré and a Polish mother, Chopin left his native Warsaw in 1830, settling in the following year in Paris, where he lived until his death in 1849. His piano concertos were written and first performed in Warsaw in 1830, and seemed a necessary part of his stock-in-trade for a planned career as a virtuoso. In the event Chopin found a more congenial role in Paris as a performer in private society salons and as a fashionable teacher.
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