You can hardly imagine [he writes]
how everything here makes
me impatient, and bores me, in consequence of the commotion
within me against which I cannot struggle.
The third and last of his Warsaw concerts was to be of a more perfect type than the two preceding ones; it was to be one “without those unlucky clarinet and bassoon solos,” at that time still so much in vogue. To make up for this quantitative loss Chopin requested the Misses Gladkowska and Wolkow to sing some arias, and obtained, not without much trouble, the requisite permission for them from their master, Soliva, and the Minister of Public Instruction, Mostowski. It was necessary to ask the latter’s permission, because the two young ladies were educated as singers at the expense of the State.
The programme of the concert was as follows:—
1. Symphony by Gorner.
2. First Allegro from the Concerto
in E minor, composed and
played by Chopin.
3. Aria with Chorus by Soliva, sung by Miss Wolkow.
4. Adagio and Rondo from the
Concerto in E minor, composed
and played by Chopin.
1. Overture to “Guillaume Tell” by Rossini.
2. Cavatina from “La
Donna del lago” by Rossini, sung by Miss
3. Fantasia on Polish airs, composed and played by Chopin.
The success of the concert made Chopin forget his sorrows. There is not one complaint in the letter in which he gives an account of it; in fact, he seems to have been enjoying real halcyon days. He had a full house, but played with as little nervousness as if he had been playing at home. The first Allegro of the Concerto went very smoothly, and the audience rewarded him with thundering applause. Of the reception of the Adagio and Rondo we learn nothing except that in the pause between the first and second parts the connoisseurs and amateurs came on the stage, and complimented him in the most flattering terms on his playing. The great success, however, of the evening was his performance of the Fantasia on Polish airs. “This time I understood myself, the orchestra understood me, and the audience understood us.” This is quite in the bulletin style of conquerors; it has a ring of “veni, vidi, vici” about it. Especially the mazurka at the end of the piece produced a great effect, and Chopin was called back so enthusiastically that he was obliged to bow his acknowledgments four times. Respecting the bowing he says: “I believe I did it yesterday with a certain grace, for Brandt had taught me how to do it properly.” In short, the concert-giver was in the best of spirits, one is every moment expecting him to exclaim: “Seid umschlungen Millionen, diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt.” He is pleased with himself and Streicher’s piano on which he had played; pleased with Soliva, who kept both soloist and orchestra splendidly in order; pleased with the impression the execution of the overture made; pleased with the blue-robed, fay-like Miss Wolkow; pleased most of all with Miss Gladkowska, who “wore a white dress and roses in her hair, and was charmingly beautiful.” He tells his friend that: