2. Allegro from the Concerto
in F minor, composed and played
by F. Chopin.
3. Divertissement for the French
horn, composed and played by
4. Adagio and Rondo from the
Concerto in F minor, composed
and played by Chopin.
1. Overture to the Opera “Cecylja
2. Variations by Paer, sung by Madame Meier.
3. Pot-pourri on national airs,
composed and played by
Three days before the concert, which took place in the theatre, neither box nor reserved seat was to be had. But Chopin complains that on the whole it did not make the impression he expected. Only the Adagio and Rondo of his Concerto had a decided success. But let us see the concert-giver’s own account of the proceedings.
The first Allegro of the F minor Concerto (not intelligible to all) received indeed the reward of a “Bravo,” but I believe this was given because the public wished to show that it understands and knows how to appreciate serious music. There are people enough in all countries who like to assume the air of connoisseurs! The Adagio and Rondo produced a very great effect. After these the applause and the “Bravos” came really from the heart; but the Pot-pourri on Polish airs missed its object entirely. There was indeed some applause, but evidently only to show the player that the audience had not been bored.
We now hear again the old complaint that Chopin’s playing was too delicate. The opinion of the pit was that he had not played loud enough, whilst those who sat in the gallery or stood in the orchestra seem to have been better satisfied. In one paper, where he got high praise, he was advised to put forth more energy and power in the future; but Chopin thought he knew where this power was to be found, and for the next concert got a Vienna instrument instead of his own Warsaw one. Elsner, too, attributed the indistinctness of the bass passages and the weakness of tone generally to the instrument. The approval of some of the musicians compensated Chopin to some extent for the want of appreciation and intelligence shown by the public at large “Kurpinski thought he discovered that evening new beauties in my Concerto, and Ernemann was fully satisfied with it.” Edouard Wolff told me that they had no idea in Warsaw of the real greatness of Chopin. Indeed, how could they? He was too original to be at once fully understood. There are people who imagine that the difficulties of Chopin’s music arise from its Polish national characteristics, and that to the Poles themselves it is as easy as their mother-tongue; this, however, is a mistake. In fact, other countries had to teach Poland what is due to Chopin. That the aristocracy of Paris, Polish and native, did not comprehend the whole Chopin, although it may have