excerpt from 'Selected Correspondance of Fryderyck Chopin' pp. 59-60 (452 words)

excerpt from 'Selected Correspondance of Fryderyck Chopin' pp. 59-60 (452 words)

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Selected Correspondance of Fryderyck Chopin

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I hasten to let you know that yesterday's concert went off very well. I can inform Your Lordship that I was not the least bit nervous and I played as I do when I am alone. The hall was full. We started with Corner's symphony, then My Highness played the Allegro of the E minor Concerto which I reeled off with ease on a Streicher piano. Deafening applause. Soliva was delighted - he conducted on account of his "Aria with chorus" which Mlle Wolkow sang charmingly, dressed in blue like an angel. After this aria came my Adagio and Rondo and then the interval. When my friends had had their refreshments and came down from the stage where they had been posted in order to give me a useful account of the effect produced, the second half began with the William Tell overture. Soliva conducted it well and made a great impression. The fact is that on this occasion the Italian showed himself so amiable that I cannot be too grateful to him. Then he conducted Mlle Gladkowska's aria. She was dressed in white, with roses in her hair, which suited her admirably, and she sang the cavatina with recitative from the Donna del Lago. Apart from the aria from Angela she has never sung anything better. You remember "O quante lagrime per te versai". She delivered the "Tutto detesto" down to the low B in such a way that Zielinski declared that that B alone was worth a thousand ducats. I must tell you that the aria had been transposed to suit her voice, which gained greatly by it. When Mile Gladkowska had been led from the stage we got on with my Pot-pourri on Polish Airs. This time I understood what I was doing, the orchestra understood what it was doing and the audience realised it too. This time, as soon as they heard the first bars of the Mazurka in the Finale, they burst into applause and at the end the usual silly business I was called back. Not a soul hissed and I had to come back and bow four times this time in a civilised manner, for Brandt had taught me how to do it. If Soliva had not taken my scores home to look over them and had not conducted in such a way that I was not allowed to run on at breakneck speed, I don't know how it would have gone last night; but he succeeded so well in keeping us together that I can assure you I have never before managed to play so well with orchestra- The audience enjoyed my piano-playing and still more Mlle Wolkow: she looks marvellous on the stage.

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excerpt from 'Selected Correspondance of Fryderyck Chopin' pp. 59-60 (452 words)


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