He was quite willing to do so but discovered to his surprise that the piano had no pedals.
Chopin did display remarkable originality at the very beginning, but the apparent maturity of his first published works is due to the fact that he destroyed his earliest efforts and disowned those works which are known as posthumous, and which may have created confusion in some minds by having received a higher "opus" number than his last works.
Schucht calls attention to the fact that in his very opus 1 Chopin permits himself a freedom of modulation which Beethoven rarely indulged in. The English in the days of Elizabeth, as Chappell tells us, "had music at dinner, music at supper, music at weddings, music at funerals, music at night, music at dawn, music at work, music at play.
Whether he would have gone so far as to rank him with the greatest of the German composers, I cannot say, for he avoids direct comparisons. I venture to differ from this opinion. To gain more light on the subject, let us take a few specific cases. As he refused to take any but talented pupils, teaching was not so irksome to him as it might have been.
Visions of female loveliness and patriotic reminiscences inspired many of his best works. Other instances might be added to those given by Prof. Chopin took this admonition to heart sufficiently to ask a friend to prepare for him a libretto; but that is as far as the project ever went.
Finally, as regards the moral character and temper of composers, it should be remembered that, if some of them occasionally gave way to their angry pa. Karasovski relates that Chopin, a mere boy, used to amuse himself by searching on the piano for harmonies of which the constituent notes were widely scattered on the keyboard, and, as his hands were too small to grasp them, he devised a mechanism for stretching his hands, which he wore at night.
There are among Chopin's preludes a few which breathe the spirit of contentment and grace, or of religious grandeur, but most of them are outbreaks of the wildest anguish and heartrending pathos. But how rampant vulgarity still is, and how rare aesthetic culture, is shown by the fact that two-thirds of the so-called news in many of our daily papers consist of detailed reports of crimes in all parts of the world, which are eagerly read by hundreds of thousands, while our concert halls have to be filled with dead-heads.
Though they are full of genius, like everything he composed, he did not write them con amore. The two principal means by which he accomplished these reforms were the constant employment of the pedal, and the use of extended and scattered chords, in place of the crowded harmonies and the massive movements of the older accompaniments.
Fortunately he allowed it a free rein instead of trying to check and crush it, as teachers are in the habit of doing.
He defended him in a letter against his sister's criticisms, and a. Chopin not able to master the sonata form. This seems to indicate that Chopin is popular. Heine is the most elegant and graceful writer of his country, and Chopin the most elegant and graceful of all composers.
This is Teutonism, pure and simple. He adds that Chopin had just completed "a most graceful little nocturne," of which he remembered much, and was going to play it for his brother Paul. In it he would no doubt have given many valuable hints regarding the correct use of the rubato.
A rich Parisian one day invited him to dinner, with the intention of getting him to entertain the guests afterward. Our tastes naturally differed on many points, but in one thing we all agreed: I was taking a fortnight's tramp, all alone, and one day I came near the summit of a mountain pa.
When the late lamented Jumbo was in New York he attracted so much attention that his colleagues, although but little inferior in size, had "no show" whatever.
On his first visit to Vienna he was greatly petted, and he found it easy to get influential friends who took care that his concerts should be a success, because he played for their benefit, asking no pecuniary recompense. At his first concert in Vienna, he writes, "The first allegro in the F minor concerto not intelligible to all was indeed rewarded with 'Bravo.
To give only one instance. It includes, to a large extent, the frequent unexpected changes of time and rhythm, together with the ritardandos and accelerandos. Occasionally he played for the select aristocratic circles into which he had been introduced; but even here he did not often meet with the genuine appreciation and sympathy which the artist craves.
Take the case of poor Robert Franz, for instance, who lost his hearing through the whistle of a locomotive, and thereby lost his professional income, and was brought to the verge of starvation because his stupid contemporaries I mean ourselves refused to buy his divine songs. If savages were not utterly devoid of sympathy, they would not take such strange delight in witnessing the cruel tortures they inflict upon their prisoners.
And in his article on Heller, he asserts, more pointedly still, that "the time will undoubtedly come when the world will recognize that Heller, much more than Chopin, is the modern poet of the pianoforte.
And his third love, George Sand, after apparently reciprocating his attachment, for a few years, not only discarded him, but tried to justify her conduct to the world, by giving an exaggerated portraiture of his weaknesses, in her novel "Lucrezia Floriani.
Fetis, author of the well-known musical dictionary, states in his article on Chopin, that this composer is overrated to-day, and his popularity largely due to the fact that he is fas. He adds that Chopin had just completed "a most graceful little nocturne," of which he remembered much, and was going to play it for his brother Paul.
Karasovski relates that Chopin, a mere boy, used to amuse himself by searching on the piano for harmonies of which the const.
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