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.

The space which I give to George Sand is, I think, justified by the part she plays in the life of Chopin.  To meet the objections of those who may regard my opinion of her as too harsh, I will confess that I entered upon the study of her character with the impression that she had suffered much undeserved abuse, and that it would be incumbent upon a Chopin biographer to defend her against his predecessors and the friends of the composer.  How entirely I changed my mind, the sequel will show.

In conclusion, a few hints as to the pronunciation of Polish words, which otherwise might puzzle the reader uninitiated in the mysteries of that rarely-learned language.  Aiming more at simplicity than at accuracy, one may say that the vowels are pronounced somewhat like this:  a as in “arm,” aL like the nasal French “on,” e as in “tell,” e/ with an approach to the French “e/” (or to the German “u [umlaut]” and “o [umlaut]"), eL like the nasal French “in,” i as in “pick,” o as in “not,” o/ with an approach to the French “ou,” u like the French ou, and y with an approach to the German “i” and “u.”  The following consonants are pronounced as in English:  b, d, f, g (always hard), h, k, I, m, n, p, s, t, and z.  The following single and double consonants differ from the English pronunciation:  c like “ts,” c/ softer than c, j like “y,” l/ like “ll” with the tongue pressed against the upper row of teeth, n/ like “ny” (i.e., n softened by i), r sharper than in English, w like “v,” z/ softer than z, z. and rz like the French “j,” ch like the German guttural “ch” in “lachen” (similar to “ch” in the Scotch “loch"), cz like “ch” in “cherry,” and sz like “sh” in “sharp.”  Mr. W. R. Morfill ("A Simplified Grammar of the Polish Language”) elucidates the combination szcz, frequently to be met with, by the English expression “smasht china,” where the italicised letters give the pronunciation.  Lastly, family names terminating in take a instead of i when applied to women.

April, 1888.


The second edition differs from the first by little more than the correction of some misprints and a few additions.  These latter are to be found among the Appendices.  The principal addition consists of interesting communications from Madame Peruzzi, a friend of Chopin’s still living at Florence.  Next in importance come Madame Schumann’s diary notes bearing on Chopin’s first visit to Leipzig.  The remaining additions concern early Polish music, the first performances of Chopin’s works at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, his visit to Marienbad (remarks by Rebecca Dirichlet), the tempo rubato, and his portraits.  To the names of Chopin’s friends and acquaintances to whom I am indebted for valuable assistance, those of Madame Peruzzi and Madame Schumann have, therefore, to be added.  My apologies as well as my thanks are due to Mr. Felix Moscheles, who kindly permitted a fac-simile to be made from a manuscript, in his

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