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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 392 pages of information about Frederick Chopin, as a Man and Musician Volume 1.
the work already in Vienna.  Although Baron von Friesen received our friend most politely, he seems to have been of no assistance to him.  Chopin fared better with his letter of introduction to Capellmeister Morlacchi, who returned the visit paid him and made himself serviceable.  And now mark this touch of boyish vanity:  “Tomorrow morning I expect Morlacchi, and I shall go with him to Miss Pechwell’s.  That is to say, I do not go to him, but he comes to me.  Yes, yes, yes!” Miss Pechwell was a pupil of Klengel’s, and the latter had asked Morlacchi to introduce Chopin to her.  She seems to have been not only a technically skilful, fine-feeling, and thoughtful musician, but also in other respects a highly-cultivated person.  Klengel called her the best pianist in Dresden.  She died young, at the age of 35, having some time previously changed her maiden name for that of Madame Pesadori.  We shall meet her again in the course of this biography.

Of the rest of Chopin’s journey nothing is known except that it led him to Breslau, but when he reached and left it, and what he did there, are open questions, and not worth troubling about.  So much, however, is certain, that on September 12, 1829, he was settled again in his native city, as is proved by a letter bearing that date.

CHAPTER VIII

THE WORKS OF CHOPIN’S FIRST PERIOD.

The only works of Chopin we have as yet discussed are—­if we leave out of account the compositions which the master neither published himself nor wished to be published by anybody else—­the “Premier Rondeau,” Op. 1, the “Rondeau a la Mazur,” Op. 5, and “Variations sur un air allemand” (see Chapter III).  We must retrace our steps as far back as 1827, and briefly survey the composer’s achievements up to the spring of 1829, when a new element enters into his life and influences his artistic work.  It will be best to begin with a chronological enumeration of those of Chopin’s compositions of the time indicated that have come down to us.  In 1827 came into existence or were finished:  a Mazurka (Op. 68, No. 2), a Polonaise (Op. 71, No. 1), and a Nocturne (Op. 72); in 1828, “La ci darem la mano, varie” for piano and orchestra (Op. 2), a Polonaise (Op. 71, No. 2), a Rondo for two pianos (Op. 73), a Sonata (Op. 4), a Fantasia on Polish airs for piano and orchestra (Op. 13), a Krakowiak, “Grand Rondeau de Concert,” likewise for piano and orchestra (Op. 14), and a Trio for piano, violin, and violoncello (Op. 8); in 1829, a Polonaise (Op. 71, No. 3), a Waltz (Op. 69, No. 2), another Waltz (in E major, without opus number), and a Funeral March (Op. 726).  I will not too confidently assert that every one of the last four works was composed in the spring or early summer of 1829; but whether they were or were not, they may be properly ranged with those previously mentioned of 1827 and 1828.  The works that bear a higher opus number than 65 were published after the composer’s death by Fontana.  The Waltz without opus number and the Sonata, Op. 4, are likewise posthumous publications.

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