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fantasia ; but the public must have been pleased, for
I was overwhelmed with applause. One reason for
this may have been that the Germans know how to
appreciate free improvisation. I am now doubly
obliged to Wiirfel, for without his support and
encouragement I should never have accomplished
the daring stroke which has succeeded so well.
I shall be able to relate my experiences and
impressions by word of mouth better than I can now.

-'' Charlotte Veltheim was one of the most celebrated bravura
singers of her time (1821 — 1840), and a much valued member
of the Dresden Hof Theatre. She was a thorough musician,
and played the piano very well.


I was not hissed, so don't be uneasy about my
artistic reputation. The newspapers have been very
favourable to me ; if some of them should pick holes
in me I am prepared for it. My compositions have
received Count Gallenberg's undivided approbation.
The theatrical manager, Herr Demar, was very
kind and pleasant ; he did his best to encourage me
before I appeared, so I went to my piano without
much anxiety.

My friends were scattered about that they might
hear the observations of the critics, and the various
opinions of the public. Celinski can tell you th-at he
heard nothing unfavourable. Hube reports the most
severe criticism, and that, too, from a lady : "A pity
the youth has so little presence." If this is the only
sort of blame I am to receive I cannot complain.
My friends swear they heard nothing but praise, and
that, until the spontaneous outburst of applause, not
one of them had clapped or uttered a bravo. The
manager was so pleased with my Rondo that he
came up after the concert, shook hands with me, and
made some very flattering remarks.

I improvised from " La Dame Blanche," and, that
I might have a Polish theme, chose " Chmiel." * The
public, to whom this kind of national melody is
quite unknown, seemed electrified. My spies in the

* " Chmiel" is a song in the mazurka measure, sung by the
Poles at marriage ceremonies at the moment when the bride's
sisters place the cap on her head.


pit say the people began a regular dance on the

Wertheim, although only arriving yesterday with
his wife from Carlsbad, went to the theatre ;
he could not imagine how I came to play there.
He was here just now to congratulate me on my
good success. At Carlsbad he saw Hummel who
remembered me very kindly. He writes to him
to-day, and will inform him of my performance.

Haslinger is to print my works ; I have kept the
programme of the concert. It was most interesting
to me to become personally acquainted with
Gyrowetz, Lachner, Kreutzer, and Seyfri^d ; with
Mayseder I have had a very long conversation.
There is an almost unanimous opinion that I play
too softly, or rather, too delicately for the public
here. That is to say, they are accustomed to the
drum beating of their own Piano virtuosi. I am
afraid the newspapers will say the same thing,
especially as the daughter of one of the editors drums
dreadfully ; but never mind, if it is to be so, I would
much rather they said I played too gently than too

Count Dietrichstein, one of the personages nearest
to the Emperor, came on to the stage yester-
day, and had a long talk with me in French,
complimented me and requested me to stay longer
in Vienna.

The Orchestra execrated my badly written score,
and were not at all favourable to me up to the


moment of my improvisation ; then, in concert with
the pubhc, they applauded heartily, which showed
their good opinion of me. I do not know yet what
the other artists think ; but why should they
especially be against me ? They see that I do
not play for pecuniary advantage.

So my first performance, unexpected as it was, has
passed off successfully. Hube thinks that one never
succeeds in anything by ordinary means and according
to preconceived plans, but must trust somewhat
to chance. So I trusted to my good fortune
and allowed myself to be persuaded to give the
concert. If the newspapers cut me up so much that
I shall not venture before the world again, I have
resolved to become a house painter ; that would be
as easy as anything else, and I should, at any rate,
still be an artist !

I am curious to hear what Herr Eisner will say to
all this. Perhaps he disapproves of my playing at
all ? But I was so besieged on all sides that I had
no escape, and I do not seem to have committed a
blunder by my performance.

Nidecki* was particularly friendly to me yester-
day ; he looked through and corrected the orchestral

^' Thomas Nidecki, one of the best pupils at the Warsaw
Lyceum, was sent to Vienna, in 1822, at the public expense to
complete his education. He became bandmaster at the
Leopoldstadter Theatre. From 1841 he was bandmaster at
the Grand Theatre, in Warsaw, in which City he died in 1853.


parts, and was sincerely pleased at the applause I
received. I played on one of Graff's pianos. I am
at least four years wiser and more experienced.

You must, indeed, have wondered at my sealing
my last letter with a strange seal. I was absent-
minded and took the first and best that came to



Your fondly loving


Thursday J Atigust 13^/j, 1829.

If ever I longed to be with you I do so now.

To-day I have become acquainted with Count
Lichnowski. He did not know how to praise me
enough, he was so delighted with my playing.
Wiirfel took me to him. He was Beethoven's best
friend, to whom the great master was much indebted.

Everyone says that I have especially pleased the
noblesse here. The Schwarzenberg's, Wrbna's, and
others were quite enthusiastic about the delicacy and
elegance of my execution ; in proof of this take
Count Dietrichstein's coming on the stage to me.
Countess Lichnowski and her daughter, with whom
I drank tea to-day, are quite delighted that I am

* The seal belonged to the waiter, and bore the word


going to give a second concert on Tuesday. They
invited me to visit them if I passed through Vienna,
on my w^ay to Paris, then they wished to give me
a letter to a certain Countess, sister to Count
Lichnowski. A great deal too much kindness.
Czerny, Schuppanzigh, and Gyrov^tez have also
paid me many compliments.

To-day a stranger looked at me in the ante-room,
and, asking Celinski if I was Chopin, rushed up to
me. He spoke of the pleasure he should have in
becoming acquainted with such an artist, and said,
" You really delighted and enchanted me the day
before yesterday." It was the same gentleman who
had sat beside Maciejowski and seemed so delighted
with my improvisation on " Chmiel."

Under no circumstances will I give a third concert ;
I only give a second because I am forced to, and I
thought that people might say in Warsaw, '' He only
gave one concert in Vienna, probably he was not
much liked." To-day I was at the house of one of
the newspaper critics, who is very well disposed
towards me, and is sure to write a favourable
critique. I cannot tell you how kind and pleasant
Wiirfel is. I shall play gratuitously the second
time also, for the sake of obliging Gallenberg, whose
finances are not very flourishing. (But this is a
secret.) I shall play the Rondo, and then improvise.
For the rest, I am in good health, and eat and drink
well. Vienna pleases me much, and I am not with-
out the society of my countrymen ; there is one in


the ballet, who took charge of me at my debut, and
brought me emt sucree.

Please relate all I write to Eisner, and beg him to
pardon me for not writing to him, but my time is
really so filled up that I have not a moment to spare.
I wish to thank M. Skarbek, who was one of the
foremost in persuading me to give a concert ; and
this is, indeed, the artist's first step in life.

Your ever affectionate


Vienna, August igth, 1829.

If on the first occasion the public were favourable,
my reception, yesterday, was still more hearty. I
was greeted, when I came on to the stage with three
long rounds of applause. The financial manager —
whose name I cannot remember — thanked me for
the receipts, and said that the house could not have
been so full on account of the ballet, for that had
been given several times.

The profession praise my Rondo, one and all,
from the bandmaster, Lachner, to the piano-tuner.
I know I have pleased the ladies and the musicians.
Gyrowetz, who sat next Celinski, called, " Bravo,"
and made a tremendous noise. The only people not
satisfied were the out-and-out Germans. Yesterday,
one of them, who had just come from the theatre,
sat down" to eat at the table I w^as sitting at.


His acquaintances asked, him how he Hked the per-
formance. "The ballet is pretty," was his answer.
" But the concert, what of that ? " they asked.
Instead of replying he began to talk of something
else, from which I conclude that he recognized me,
although my back was towards him. I felt bound to
relieve him from the restraint of my presence, and
went to bed, saying to myself, " The man has not
been born yet who does everything right." *

I am glad to be able to say that my popularity
increases. As I depart at 9 o'clock this evening, I
must spend all the forenoon in farewell visits.
Schuppanzigh said, yesterday, that as I was leaving
Vienna so quickly, I must come again soon. I
answered that I should gladly return for the sake
of further improving myself, to which the Baron
replied, " that for such a reason I should never need
to come, for I had nothing more to learn." This
opinion was confirmed by the others. These are,
indeed, mere compliments, but one does not listen to
them unwillingly. For the future I shall at any
rate not be regarded as a student.

Blahetka tells me that what he most wonders at
is that I could learn it all in Warsaw. I answered
that the greatest donkey must learn something with
Messrs. Zwyny and Eisner.

It is very unfortunate for me that I cannot

^ An old Polish proverb.


confirm what I have told you by sending you the
opinions in the press. I know that the critique is
in the hands of the Editor of the paper to which
I have subscribed, and which Bauerle * will send
to Warsaw. I expect they waited for my second
performance before giving a notice. This paper
comes out twice a week, Tuesdays and Saturdays,
possibly therefore you may read what is favourable
or the contrary about me before I do.

I have on my side the learned, and those who have
poetic temperaments. We shall have a great deal
to talk over. I would have written of something
quite different, but my head is so full of yesterday
that it is quite impossible to collect my thoughts.
My finances are still in the best order.

I have just paid my farewell visit to Schuppanzigh
and Czerny. Czerny was warmer than any of his
compositions. I have packed up, but must go again
to Haslinger's, and then to the cafe opposite the
theatre, where I am to meet Gyrowetz, Lachner,

* The "Wiener Theater Zeitung," published by Adolph
Bauerle, from 1828 to 1848, was to every artist an important
and. dreaded publication. There were then but few papers
devoted to art matters, and this journal was to be found in the
clubs and coffee-houses of every town in Germany. Whoever
M^as praised by the " Wiener Theater Zeitung," was a made
man. Bauerle was the composer also of " Staberl, Staberl's
Hochzeitstag," " Aline, Queen of Golconda, or, Vienna in
another quarter of the world," and " The false Catalini,"
pieces which were performed an immense number of times.


Kreutzer, Seyfried, and others. In two nights and a
day we shall be at Prague ; the mail coach goes at
nine. It will be an agreeable journey with such
pleasant companions.


Prague, Saturday, August 22nd, 1829.

After an affecting parting, which indeed it was, for
Fraulein Blahetka* gave me as a souvenir, a copy
of her compositions, with her autograph, and united
with her father in sending warmest regards to you
my good Papa, and to you my dear Mamma, with
congratulations to you both on having such a son ;
young Stein wept, and Schuppanzigh, Gyrowetz,
in short all the artists were deeply moved : after
this tender farewell, and giving a promise of return-
ing soon, I got into the diligence. Nidecki and two
other Poles, who were to start for Trieste in half an
hour, accompanied us a little way. One of them,
Niegolewski by name, comes from Great Poland, and
is travelling with his tutor, or rather, companion,
a student from the Warsaw University ; we had met
and conversed several times in Vienna.

'^ Leopol'da Blahetka, born in Vienna, Nov. 15th, 181 1,
a distinguished pianoforte virtuoso, pupil of Czerny and
Moscheles. She made several artistic tournees, winning
everywhere the highest approbation. Her amiability was
also much noted.


Countess Hussarzweska (she and her husband are
both excellent people) wanted to keep me to dinner
when I paid my farewell visit, but I had not time to
stay, having to go to Haslinger's. After many hearty
wishes for a speedy meeting, Haslinger promised,
most solemnly, to bring out my variations in five
weeks, that he may have something new to offer
the musical world in the autumn. Although a
stranger to you, my dear Father, he wished to be
kindly remembered.

When we were taking our places in the coach, a
young German got in, and, as we were to sit together
for two nights and a day, we scraped an acquaintance.
He was a merchant from Danzig, knew Pruszaka,
Sierakowski, of Waplew, Jaurek, Ernemann, Gresser,
and others. He was in Warsaw two years ago,
; and had now just come from Paris. His name is
Normann. He was a very agreeable gentleman
and a capital travelling companion. We are in the
same hotel with him, and have resolved, when we
have seen Prague, to go on together to Teplitz and
Dresden. It would be inexcusable to miss seeing
Dresden when we are so near, especially as our
finances will permit of it, and the journey for four
persons is easily managed, and not expensive.

After a good shaking in the coach, we reached
Prague at noon, yesterday, and went at once to
table-d'hote. Then we called upon Hanka,* to whom

^ Waclaw Hanka, a celebrated philologist and Slavonic
linguist, founder of the reviving Czech national life; born in
1791, died in Prague, 1861.


Maciejowski had a letter of introduction ; I regretted
afterwards that I had not asked Skarbek to furnish
me with one to this famous savant. As we had
stayed some time at the Cathedral and Castle we
did not find Hanka at home.

The town, viewed from the castle hill, is large and
old-fashioned, but handsome in the general ; formerly
it was an important place.*

Before leaving Vienna I had six letters given me,
five from Wiirfel and one from Blahetka, to Pixis,
asking him to show me the Conservatoire here.

They wanted me to play ; but I shall only stay
three days, and I have no desire to forfeit the renown
I won in Vienna. As Paganini even was sharply
criticised, I shall take care not to perform in this
place. The five letters from Wiirfel are to the
Theatre director, the bandmaster, and other musical
celebrities. I shall deliver the letters, for he asked
me to very earnestly ; but I will not perform. The
excellent Wiirfel has also given me a letter to
Klengeljt in Dresden.

* Especially in the time of Otto the Great the last indepen-
dent King of Bohemia, who was conquered by Rudolph of
Habsburgh, and died on the field of March. From 1790 to
1848 the Royal Theatre at Prague was one of the best and
most celebrated in Germany.

f August Alexander Klengel, one of the most celebrated
pianoforte virtuosi, born January 27th, 1783, was a pupil of
Clementi. The pianoforte studies which he wrote are un-
surpassed. He composed besides ninety-six Canons and
Fugues. In i8ig he went as organist to the Royal Catholic
Church in Dresden, and died there in 1853.


I must now conclude, as it is quite time to go to
Hanka's. I shall introduce myself as godson of
Count Skarbek, and I hope that no further recom-
mendation will be necessary.


Dresden, August 26th, 1829.

I am merry and well. When I was in Vienna, a
week ago, I did not dream I should be in Dresden
to-day. Our stay at Prague was very short, but not
without profit. Herr Hanka was very pleased to
receive news from Skarbek. Like all visitors to the
Prague Museum who have received any special atten-
tion from Herr Hanka, we had to write our names in
a book kept for the purpose ; we found among others
the names of Brodzinski, Mocawski,* &c. Each of
us wrote whatever occurred to him in poetr}^ or
prose. What could I, a musician, write that would
be worth reading ? The thought happily struck
Maciejowski to write four strophes for a Mazurka,
and I set them to music ; so I think we have both
immortalized ourselves in the most characteristic

Hanka was delighted with this idea, for the
Mazourka contained a reference to him and to his
efforts for the elevation of the Slavs. He has given

* Two famous Polish poets.


me several views of Prague for Skarbek. I cannot
possibly tell you by letter all that Herr Hanka
showed us. I must describe, verbally, the lovely
views, the majestic cathedral, with the figure of
St. John, in silver, the beautiful chapel of St.
Wencelaus, inlaid with amethysts and other precious
stones, and many other things.

I -am indebted to Blahetka's and Wiirfel's letters
for the friendly reception which I had from Pixis.
He gave up his lessons, kept me at his house, and
asked me about all sorts of things. I noticed
Klengel's visiting card on his table, and asked if
it belonged to a relative of the famous Klengel, of
Dresden. " Klengel himself is here," replied Pixis ;
" he called while I was out."

I was delighted at the prospect of becoming ac-
quainted with this artist, to whom I had letters
from Wiirfel. I spoke to Pixis about it, and he
invited me to come in the afternoon, if I. wished to
meet Klengel, as he was expected then. We met by
accident on the steps of Pixis's house, and effected
our first acquaintance there. I listened to his fugues
for more than two hours ; I did not play, as 1 was
not asked. Klengel's playing pleased me, but, to
speak candidly, I had expected something still
better. (I pray you not to mention this to anyone.)
He gave me an introductory letter with the following
address : " Al ornatissimo Signore Cavaliere Mor-
lacchi, primo Maestro della Capella Reale ; " in which
he begs this gentleman to make me acquainted



with the whole musical world of Dresden, and
in particular to present me to Fraulein Pechwell.
This lady is a pupil of Klengel's and, in his opinion,
the first pianist in Dresden. He was extremely
affable towards me. Before his departure — he is
going to Vienna and Italy — I spent a couple of
hours with him, and our conversation never flagged.
This has been a very agreeable acquaintanceship,
and I value it more highly than Czerny's ; but not a
word of this either, my dear ones.

The three delightful days in Prague were over
before we were aware.

I am, as you know, very absent-minded, and on

the day we left rushed suddenly into a strange

room without knowing. "Good morning," said a

cheerful voice. " I beg your pardon, I mistook the

the number," I answered, and ran away as fast

as possible. We left Prague at noon in a private

carriage, and arrived at Teplitz towards evening.

The next day I found in the list at the Baths

Ludwig Lempicki's name ; I immediately went to

call on him. He was very glad to see me, and

told me there were several Poles here ; among

others he mentioned old Pruszack, Joseph Kohler,

and Kretkowski, from Kamiona. Lempicki told

me that they generally all dined together in the

" German hall," but that to-day he was invited to

Prince Clary's Castle. This Prince belongs to one

of the most distinguished of the Austrian princely

families. He is very wealthy, and owns the town


of Teplitz. Princess Clary, nee Countess Chotek*
is sister of the present Oberstburggraf of Bohemia.
Lempicki said he was quite at home in Prince
Clary's house, and would introduce me there in
the evening when the Princess always gave recep-
tions ; he would mention my name to them at
dinner. Having no engagement for the evening,
I accepted the proposal with pleasure.

We have seen all that is worth seeing here, and
have also been to Dux, the residence of the Count
Waldsteins. We were shown the halberd with
which Albrecht Waldstein (or Wallenstein) was
stabbed, a piece of his scull, and other relics.
In the evening, instead of going to the theatre,
I dressed and went with Lempicki to the Castle.
I put on my white gloves which had already done
duty at the Vienna concert. The company was
not numerous, but very select : an Austrian prince ;
an Austrian general, whose name I forget ; an
English naval captain ; two or three elegant dandies
(Austrian princes or counts, I believe) ; and the
Saxon General von Leiser, who bore the uncommon
decoration of a scar on his face.

I talked most to Prince Clary. After tea Countess
Chotek, mother of the Princess, asked me to play.

* Princess Aloysia von Clary was an extremely amiable
lady. She was an excellent pianist, and to rare culture united
true goodness of heart. Artists and poets met with the most
cordial reception in her hospitable house, and to extreme old
age the Princess took a warm interest in all artistic matters.


The instrument was a good one, by Graff. I took
my seat at the piano, and asked the company to
give me a theme for improvisation. The ladies, w^ho
had established themselves at a table, immediately
whispered to each other " un theme, un theme."
Three pretty young princesses, after some consulta-
tion, referred to a Herr Fritsche,* tutor to Prince
Clary's only son, and he suggested the chief theme
in Rossini's " Moses," which was unanimously
approved of. I improvised, I suppose with some
success, for General von Leiser had a long talk
with me afterwards. When he heard I was going
to Dresden, he at once wrote the following to Baron
von Friesen.

" Monsieur Frederic Chopin est recominande de la part
du General Leiser a Monsieur le Baron de Friesen, Maitre
de Ceremonie de S. M. le roi de Saxe, pour lui etre utile
pendant son sejour a Dresde, et de lui procurer la connaissance
de plusieurs des premiers artistes."

Below was written in German : " Herr Chopin is
one of the best pianists I have heard." I copied
this literally for you, my dearests, from the general's
pencil letter.

I had to play four times. The Prince and
Princess asked me to prolong my stay at Teplitz,
and dine with them the next day. Lempicki offered
to accompany me to Warsaw, if I remained a

* Composer of several short comedies which were per-
formed successfully in Dresden and Vienna, between the
years 1836 and 1848.


day or two here, but I could not hear of being
separated from my companions, so, with many
thanks, I decHned both proposals.

We left yesterday morning, at 5 o'clock, in a
carriage, for which we paid two Thalers, and arrived
at Dresden at four in the afternoon, when we met
Lewinski and Lebecki. Everything has happened
very fortunately for me throughout the journey.
The first part of " Faust '\ is to be given to-day, and
Klengel tells me that the Italian opera will be on

This letter was begun last night. Now I must
dress for calling on Baron von Friesen and Morlacchi,
so have no time to spare. We intend leaving in
a week, but, weather permitting, not without seeing
the Saxon Switzerland. We hope to spend a few
days in Breslau, and go direct home from there.
I am longing so much to see you again, my dear
parents, that I do not at all care to go to Wiesio-
lowski's first. Oh, how many stories and adventures
I shall have to relate, and each more interesting
than the last.

P.S. — Baron von Friesen, maitre de ceremonie,
received me very kindly. He asked me where I was
staying, and regretted that the Chamberlain, who
was also director of the royal band, was not at
Dresden just now, but he would find out who was
his deputy, and do all he could to show me
something worth seeing during my short sojourn.

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