excerpt from 'Selected Correspondance of Fryderyck Chopin' pp. 30-31 (331 words)

excerpt from 'Selected Correspondance of Fryderyck Chopin' pp. 30-31 (331 words)

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Selected Correspondance of Fryderyck Chopin

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In the evening, instead of going to the theatre, I got dressed, pulled on the white gloves I had worn at my last concert in Vienna, and at half past eight went off With Lempicki to the princely house. In we went; a small but cultivated assembly: a kind of Austrian prince, a general whose name I forget, an English sea-captain, a few young fashionables, and also, it appears, some Austrian princes and a Saxon general called Leiser, frightfully bemedalled and with a scarred face. After tea, during which I had a long talk with the Prince himself, his mother asked me to deign to take my seat at the piano (a good Graff). I deigned, requesting for my part that they would deign to give me a theme for an improvisation. At once among the fair sex, who sat around a large table, embroidering, knitting or weaving, there ran a murmur; "A theme!" Three charming little princesses put their heads together; then one of them referred the matter to Mr Fritsche (young Prince Clary's tutor, I imagine) and he with general approval proposed a theme from Rossini's Moses. I improvised and so successfully, as it appears, that General Leiser had a long talk with me afterwards, and, hearing that I was going to Dresden, he at once wrote the following letter to Baron von Friesen [in French]: "Mr Frederic Chopin is recommended by General Leiser to Baron von Friesen, Grand Chamberlain to H.M. the King of Saxony, who is requested to assist him during his stay in Dresden and to favour him with the acquaintance of a number of our principal artists." Underneath he added in German; "Mr Chopin is himself one of the most eminent pianists I have ever heard". Such is an exact copy of General Leiser's note, written in pencil and left unsealed. That evening I played four times, and the princesses wanted me to stay longer in Teplitz and come to dinner the next day.

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excerpt from 'Selected Correspondance of Fryderyck Chopin' pp. 30-31 (331 words)


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