Frederick Chopin, as a Man and Musician — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 995 pages of information about Frederick Chopin, as a Man and Musician — Complete.
You know how the Prince loves music; he showed me his “Faust” and I found in it some things tnat are really beautiful, indeed, in part even grandly conceived.  In confidence, I should not at all have credited the Namiestnik [governor, lord-lieutenant] with such music!  Among other things I was struck by a scene in which Mephistopheles allures Margaret to the window by his singing and guitar-playing, while at the same time a chorale is heard from the neighbouring church.  This is sure to produce a great effect at a performance.  I mention this only that you may form an idea of his musical conceptions.  He is a great admirer of Gluck.  Theatrical music has, in his opinion, significance only in so far as it illustrates the situation and emotion; the overture, therefore, has no close, and leads at once into the introduction.  The orchestra is placed behind the stage and is always invisible, in order that the attention of the audience may not be diverted by external, such as the movements of the conductor and executants.

Chopin enjoyed himself so much at Antonin that if he had consulted only his pleasure he would have stayed till turned out by his host.  But, although he was asked to prolong his visit, he left this “Paradise” and the “two Eves” after a sojourn of eight days.  It was his occupations, more especially the F minor Concerto, “impatiently waiting for its Finale,” that induced him to practise this self-denial.  When Chopin had again taken possession of his study, he no doubt made it his first business, or at least one of the first, to compose the wanting movement, the Rondo, of his Concerto; as, however, there is an interval of more than four months in his extant letters, we hear no more about it till he plays it in public.  Before his visit to Antonin (October 20, 1829) he writes to his friend that he has composed “a study in his own manner,” and after the visit he mentions having composed “some studies.”

Chopin seems to have occasionally played at the Ressource.  The reader will remember the composer’s intention of playing there with Fontana his Rondo for two pianos.  On November 14, 1829, Chopin informs his friend Titus that on the preceding Saturday Kessler performed Hummel’s E major Concerto at the Ressource, and that on the following Saturday he himself would perhaps play there, and in the case of his doing so choose for his piece his Variations, Op. 2.  Thus composing, playing, and all the time suffering from a certain loneliness—­“You cannot imagine how everywhere in Warsaw I now find something wanting!  I have nobody with whom I can speak, were it only two words, nobody whom I can really trust”—­the day came when he gave his first concert in his native city.  This great event took place on March 17, 1830, and the programme contained the following pieces:—­


   1.  Overture to the Opera “Leszek Bialy,” by Elsner.

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Frederick Chopin, as a Man and Musician — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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