Acquaintances and friends: Cherubini, Baillot, Franchomme, Liszt, Miller, Osborne, Mendelssohn.—Chopin and Kalkbrenner.—Chopin’s aims as an artist.—Kalkbrenner’s character as A man and artist.- -Chopin’s first Paris concert.—Fetis.—Chopin plays at A concert given by the prince de la Moskowa.—His state of mind.— Loss of his polish letters.—Temporarily straitened circumstances and brightening prospects.—Patrons and well-wishers.—The “Ideal.”—A letter to Hiller.
Chopin brought only a few letters of introduction with him to Paris: one from Dr. Malfatti to Paer, and some from others to music-publishers. Through Paer he was made acquainted with Cherubini, Rossini, Baillot, and Kalkbrenner. Although Chopin in one of his early Paris letters calls Cherubini a mummy, he seems to have subsequently been more favourably impressed by him. At any rate, Ferdinand Hiller—who may have accompanied the new-comer, if he did not, as he thinks he did, introduce him, which is not reconcilable with his friend’s statement that Paer made him acquainted with Cherubini—told me that Chopin conceived a liking for the burbero maestro, of whom Mendelssohn remarked that he composed everything with his head without the help of his heart.
The house of Cherubini [writes Veron in his “Memoires d’un Bourgeois de Paris”] was open to artists, amateurs, and people of good society; and every Monday a numerous assembly thronged his salons. All foreign artists wished to be presented to Cherubini. During these last years one met often at his house Hummel, Liszt, Chopin, Moscheles, Madame Grassini, and Mademoiselle Falcon, then young and brilliant in talent and beauty; Auber and Halevy, the favourite pupils of the master; and Meyerbeer and Rossini.
As evidence of the younger master’s respect for the older one may be adduced a copy made by Chopin of one of Cherubini’s fugues. This manuscript, which I saw in the possession of M. Franchomme, is a miracle of penmanship, and surpasses in neatness and minuteness everything I have seen of Chopin’s writing, which is always microscopic.