Frederick Chopin, as a Man and Musician — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about Frederick Chopin, as a Man and Musician — Volume 1.
took place at or near the age of ten.  Of course it does not matter much whether we know or do not know the year or day of the adoption of the practice, what is really interesting is the fact itself.  I may, however, remark that Chopin’s love of wide-spread chords and skips, if marked at all, is not strongly marked in the Variations on the German air and the first Rondo.  Let the curious examine with regard to this matter the Tempo di Valse of the former work, and bars 38-43 of the Piu lento of the latter.  In the Rondeau a la Mazur, the next work in chronological order, this peculiarity begins to show itself distinctly, and it continues to grow in the works that follow.  It is not my intention to weaiy the reader with microscopical criticism, but I thought the first manifestations of Chopin’s individuality ought not to be passed over in silence.  As to his style, it will be more fully discussed in a subsequent chapter, where also the seeds from which it sprang will be pointed out.


Frederick works too hard.—­Passes part of his holidays (1826) in
Reinerz.—­Stays also at Strzyzewo, and pays A visit to prince
Radziwill.—­He terminates his studies at the lyceum (1827). 
Adoption of music as his profession.—­Excursions.—­
Folk-music and
the polish peasantry.—­Some more compositions.—­Projected travels
for his improvement.—­His outward appearance and state of health.

The art which had attracted the child took every day a stronger hold of the youth.  Frederick was not always in that sportive humour in which we have seen him repeatedly.  At times he would wander about silent and solitary, wrapped in his musical meditations.  He would sit up late, busy with his beloved music, and often, after lying down, rise from his bed in the middle of the night in order, to strike a few chords or try a short phrase--to the horror of the servants, whose first thought was of ghosts, the second that their dear young master was not quite right in his mind.  Indeed, what with his school-work and his musical studies, our young friend exerted himself more than was good for him.  When, therefore, in the holidays of 1826 his youngest sister, Emilia, was ordered by the physicians to go to Reinerz, a watering-place in Prussian Silesia, the parents thought it advisable that the too diligent Frederick should accompany her, and drink whey for the benefit of his health.  The travelling party consisted of the mother, two sisters, and himself.  A letter which he wrote on August 28, 1826, to his friend William Kolberg, furnishes some information about his doings

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