A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS
March 1, 1810: Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin is born in a house on the estate of the Skarbek family near Zelazowa Wola in the Duchy of Warsaw, part of the Russian Empire, 47 km west of the capital, second of four children born to Nicholas Chopin, Alsatian tutor to the children of Countess Ludvika Skarbek, and Tekla Justyna Krzyzanowska, personal attendant to the countess, the daughter of an impoverished nobleman who works as steward for the Skarbek estate.
February 24, 1818: Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (7) makes his first appearance in public playing a piano concerto in e minor by Czech composer Adalbert Gyrowetz at a concert organized by Countess Zofia Zamoyska to benefit her Warsaw Charitable Society. The performance takes place in the French Theatre of the Radziwill Palace, Warsaw.
April 23, 1821: A Polonaise in A flat by Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (11) is performed for the first time, by the composer and his teacher, Wojciech Zywny.
May 27, 1825: Tsar Alyeksandr I, in Warsaw to open the Polish Diet, hears Fryderyk Chopin (15) perform on the aeromelodicon (or eolomelodicon or eolipantalion). The monarch gives the boy a diamond ring.
June 2, 1825: Rondo in c minor op.1 becomes the first work of Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (15) to be commercially published, courtesy of Brzezina & Co.
June 10, 1825: Fryderyk Chopin (15) plays at a charity concert in Warsaw where he engages in lengthy improvisations on his newly published Rondo in c minor op.1. A critic for the Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung is present. His review marks the first time that Chopin’s fame travels outside of Poland.
February 12, 1826: Fryderyk Chopin (15) receives a cure for swollen lymph glands: application of leeches to the neck.
August 3, 1826: Fryderyk Chopin (16) travels to Bad Reinerz in Lower Silesia accompanied by his sisters Emilia and Ludwika and his mother. They are there for treatment, especially for Emilia, who is showing symptoms of tuberculosis and is probably contagious. Fryderyk, although ill himself, possibly contracts the disease from her. They will remain here for five weeks.
January 15, 1827: Maria Szymanowska (37) performs before 1,200 people in the National Theatre, Warsaw. It is likely that Fryderyk Chopin (16) is in the audience.
April 10, 1827: Fryderyk Chopin’s (17) sister Emilia dies of tuberculosis. It is possible that he caught the disease from her.
February 28, 1828: Fryderyk Chopin’s (17) Rondo à la Mazur is published by Andrea Brzezina, Warsaw as op.5.
September 9, 1828: Fryderyk Chopin (18) boards a stagecoach in Warsaw to accompany a friend of his father on a trip to Berlin.
July 20, 1829: Fryderyk Chopin (19) completes his studies at the Skola Glówna Muzyki.
July 21, 1829: As soon as exams at Warsaw Conservatory are over, Fryderyk Chopin (19) leaves for Vienna.
July 31, 1829: Fryderyk Chopin (19) arrives in Vienna for the first time.
August 8, 1829: As Fryderyk Chopin (19) is standing outside the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna, speaking with friends, Count Gallenberg walks up to him and asks if he would play for him three days hence. Chopin says yes.
August 11, 1829: Fryderyk Chopin (19) plays his first concert in Vienna, to enthusiastic reviews. Among other things, the young Pole gives the first performance of his Variations Brillantes on a Theme by Mozart (Là ci darem la mano). He later remembers, “I was overwhelmed by bravos.”
August 18, 1829: Due to the success of his 11 August concert, Fryderyk Chopin (19) plays a second successful concert in Vienna, premiering his Rondo á la Krakowiak.
August 25, 1829: After travelling from Vienna to Prague to Toeplitz to Dux, Fryderyk Chopin (19) and his companions arrive in Dresden.
September 12, 1829: Fryderyk Chopin (19) arrives back in Warsaw from his two triumphant performances in Vienna. Unfortunately, the local papers have misrepresented his success as a failure.
November 18, 1829: The Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung calls Fryderyk Chopin (19) “one of the brightest meteors on the musical horizon.”
February 7, 1830: Fryderyk Chopin (20) plays his Piano Concerto no.2 in f minor for the first time, in a private performance in the Chopin home, Warsaw.
March 3, 1830: Fryderyk Chopin (20) gives the first performance of his Piano Concerto no.2 in f minor before a select audience in his father’s home in Warsaw.
March 5, 1830: Reporting on the performance of two days ago, the Kurier Warszawski calls Fryderyk Chopin (20) the “Paganini of the Piano.”
March 17, 1830: Fryderyk Chopin (20) makes his official debut performance in Warsaw, in the National Theatre, playing his f minor Piano Concerto publicly for the first time and the premiere of his Fantasia on Polish Airs op.13. The anticipation is so great that the seats were sold out three days ago.
May 20, 1830: Tsar Nikolay I arrives in Warsaw to open the Polish diet. Many entertainments are planned but the brightest Polish musical star is not invited to participate. Fryderyk Chopin (20) believes he has been blacklisted as a radical and Polish nationalist.
October 11, 1830: At his last performance in Warsaw, Fryderyk Chopin (20) premieres his Piano Concerto no.1 in e minor.
November 2, 1830: Fryderyk Chopin (20) leaves Warsaw for Vienna intending to find performances outside Poland. Unknown to him now, he will never return.
November 22, 1830: Fryderyk Chopin (20) arrives in Vienna from Warsaw with his friend Tytus Woyciechowski.
December 5, 1830: In Vienna, Fryderyk Chopin (20) and Tytus Woyciechowski learn of the uprising in Warsaw. Tytus returns to participate, but he convinces Chopin to stay in Vienna. Chopin apparently changes his mind and tries to catch his friend as he is leaving, but is unable to do so.
June 11, 1831: Fryderyk Chopin (21) plays at the Kärntnertortheater, his last performance in Vienna.
July 20, 1831: Fryderyk Chopin (21), seeing no future in Vienna, leaves for Munich. His real goal is Paris, but the Russian ambassador will not grant him a passport for Paris so he gets one for London, knowing that this will take him through Paris. He is travelling with a young friend, Norbert Kumelski.
August 28, 1831: Fryderyk Chopin (21) performs a morning concert in Munich. He is well-received in the press.
September 8, 1831: As he arrives in Stuttgart on his way to Paris, Fryderyk Chopin (21) hears news of the fall of Warsaw.
September 10, 1831: Around this date, Fryderyk Chopin arrives in Paris after a two-week trip from Stuttgart.
December 7, 1831: Robert Schumann’s (21) review of Fryderyk Chopin’s (21) Variations on La ci darem op.2 appears in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung. Florestan and Eusebius declare, “Hats off gentleman, a genius!”
December 12, 1831: Frédéric Chopin (21) writes from Paris about a conversation he has had with Frédéric Kalkbrenner (46), “After studying me closely, he advised me to study with him for three years, and he will make of me someone really--really...” He also writes that he has seen Robert le Diable and was overwhelmed.
February 21, 1832: Clara Wieck (12) and her father meet Frédéric Chopin (21) for the first time, in Paris. Chopin is very complementary of her talent and will send her a manuscript copy of his Piano Concerto in e minor.
February 26, 1832: Frédéric Chopin (21) gives his first concert in Paris, in the Salle Pleyel. The performance is organized by Frédéric Kalkbrenner (46) and Camille Pleyel and praised by Franz Liszt (20) and Felix Mendelssohn (23). The program includes Beethoven’s (†4) Quintet op.29, Chopin’s e minor piano concerto and Introduction March and Grand Polonaise for six pianos by Kalkbrenner (Chopin and Kalkbrenner take part). Antoni Orlawski will write, “All Paris was stupefied!” Chopin “mopped up the floor with every one of the pianists here.” In fact, the hall is only one-third full, and many of the patrons are Polish emigrés.
February 27, 1832: The publisher Aristide Farrenc meets Frédéric Chopin (21) and obtains the copyright to five of his compositions: the two piano concertos, the Trio in g op.8, the Rondo á la Krakowiak op.14, and the Fantasy on Polish Airs op.13.
December 9, 1832: Le retour à la vie, mélologue en six parties for orchestra by Hector Berlioz (28) is performed for the first time, in the Paris Conservatoire. The work is intended as a sequel to Symphonie fantastique and will be renamed Lélio, ou Le retour à la vie. Berlioz sends tickets to Harriet Smithson through a British journalist. It is not until she enters a cab to go to the Conservatoire that her companion, the journalist Schutter, gives her the program, and she finds out whose music she will hear. Among those present are Nicolò Paganini (50), Franz Liszt (21), Frédéric Chopin (22), George Sand, Heinrich Heine, Alexandre Dumas, and Victor Hugo. Symphonie fantastique is also presented but in a much better performance than 1830. Harriet “felt the room reel about her; she heard no more, but sat in a dream, and at the end went home like a sleepwalker, hardly aware of what was happening.”
April 2, 1833: In a program organized by Hector Berlioz (29) in Paris to benefit Harriet Smithson, Frédéric Chopin (23) and Franz Liszt (21) play Liszt’s Sonata for four hands op.22. Nicolò Paganini (50), however, refuses to take part.
June 20, 1833: Frédéric Chopin (21) writes to Ferdinand Hiller, “at this moment Liszt (21) is playing my Studies, and putting honest thoughts out of my head: I should like to rob him of the way to play my own Studies.”
July 6, 1833: Publication of the Etudes op.10 by Frédéric Chopin (23) is advertised in the Paris press.
December 15, 1833: Frédéric Chopin (23), Franz Liszt (22), and Ferdinand Hiller perform JS Bach’s (†82) Concerto for three keyboards, at the Paris Conservatoire. Although reviews are positive, Hector Berlioz (30) will write, “It was heartrending, I swear, to watch three astonishing talents, full of energy, glittering with youth and vitality, apply themselves to the execution of this absurd and ridiculous psalmody.” (Zamoyski, 2010, 109)
October 2, 1834: While in Leipzig, Felix Mendelssohn (25) visits Friedrich Wieck who presents his daughter Clara (14). She plays some of her own music, some Chopin (24) and some music by a student of Wieck, Robert Schumann (24). Mendelssohn is favorably impressed by Clara.
December 7, 1834: Andante spianato for piano by Frédéric Chopin (24) is performed for the first time, by the composer at a Berlioz (30) concert in the Paris Conservatoire.
December 25, 1834: Franz Liszt (23) and Frédéric Chopin (24) appear jointly at Stoepel’s Music School, Paris, playing Moscheles Grand Duo for piano four hands and Liszt’s own Grosses Konzertstück über Mendelssohns Lieder ohne Worte.
February 1, 1835: The Scherzo for piano op.20 by Frédéric Chopin (24) is published in Paris.
April 26, 1835: Grand Polonaise op.22 for piano and orchestra by Frédéric Chopin (25) is performed for the first time, at the Paris Conservatoire, the composer at the keyboard.
August 16, 1835: Frédéric Chopin (25) meets his parents for the first time since leaving Poland, in Karlsbad. They stay together for three weeks.
September 6, 1835: Frédéric Chopin (25) and his parents travel from Karlsbad to the estate of Count Bedrich Thun-Hohenstein in Cieszyn, Silesia. While in Paris, Chopin taught the count’s two sons.
September 13, 1835: Felix Mendelssohn (26) is introduced to the members of the Gewandhaus, Leipzig, and conducts his first rehearsal. Later, he is guest of honor at the 16th birthday party for Clara Wieck. He entertains the assembled by doing imitations of Chopin (25) and Liszt (23) at the piano, then plays his own music alone and with Clara. At Clara’s request Mendelssohn plays the scherzo from Schumann’s (25) new Piano Sonata. Clara receives her presents, a new Capriccio, a birthday ode, and a gold watch from the Davidsbund.
September 14, 1835: At the estate of Count Thun-Hohenstein in Cieszyn, Silesia, Frédéric Chopin (25) says goodbye to his parents for the last time. After spending a month together, in Karlsbad and Cieszyn, his parents are returning to Poland.
September 19, 1835: Frédéric Chopin (25) arrives in Dresden from seeing his parents in Cieszyn. He is on his way to Leipzig.
September 27, 1835: Frédéric Chopin (25) arrives in Leipzig and spends the day making music with Mendelssohn (26). During his stay, he visits Robert Schumann (25) and the Wiecks, and declares that Clara Wieck (16) is the only person in Germany to properly play his compositions.
October 16, 1835: After a stressful, emotional trip of two months to Karlsbad, Cieszyn, Dresden, Leipzig, and Heidelberg, where he saw his parents, former students, met Felix Mendelssohn (26), Robert Schumann (25), and Clara Wieck (15), Frédéric Chopin (25) returns to Paris.
July 28, 1836: Frédéric Chopin (26) arrives in Marienbad (Mariánské Lázne) from Paris. His sweetheart, Maria Wodzinska, and her mother are staying there.
July 31, 1836: Publication of the Nocturnes op.27 by Frédéric Chopin (26) is advertised in the Paris press.
September 9, 1836: Frédéric Chopin (26) proposes marriage to Maria Wodzinska, the sister of his boyhood friends, in Dresden. He is given some grounds for hope. (This may not have happened)
September 10, 1836: Frédéric Chopin (26) departs Marienbad (Mariánské Lázne) where he saw Maria Wodzinska and her mother. He may or may not have proposed to her. Chopin’s destination is Leipzig. He will never see Maria Wodzinska again.
September 12, 1836: A surprise visit by Frédéric Chopin (26) to Robert Schumann (26) today in Leipzig inspires Schumann to complete his Études symphoniques. Chopin presents Schumann with a copy of his new Ballade in g minor. Chopin, Schumann, and Clara Wieck (15) spend most of the day at the piano.
October 24, 1836: A soiree takes place at the Paris apartment of Franz Liszt (25) and his mistress Marie d’Agoult to celebrate their recent return from Switzerland. Among the guests are Frédéric Chopin (26) and Aurore Dupin Dudevant (George Sand) who meet for the first time. It was Sand who repeatedly asked Liszt to arrange the meeting. She appears in men’s clothing, as is her wont. Their first impressions are quite different. Chopin finds Sand “repulsive” while Sand finds Chopin “noble.”
November 5, 1836: At the home of Frédéric Chopin (26) in Paris, Franz Liszt (25), Marie d’Agoult, Adam Mickiewicz, Albert Gryzmala, and Ferdinand Denis gather for an evening of music.
November 9, 1836: Frédéric Chopin (26) again spends an evening in the company of George Sand, Franz Liszt (25), and Marie d’Agoult, this time at the home of Count Marliani in Paris.
November 10, 1836: George Sand, Franz Liszt (25), and Marie d’Agoult again dine at the home of Frédéric Chopin (26) in Paris.
December 13, 1836: Frédéric Chopin (26) sees George Sand for the third time, at a social gathering in his Paris home. Instead of her usual men's clothes, she wears a dress of white and red, the Polish colors. Chopin and Franz Liszt (25) play a Sonata for piano-four hands by Moscheles. Also attending are Marie d’Agoult, Eugène Delacroix, and Heinrich Heine.
April 9, 1837: Franz Liszt (25) gives a “farewell” concert in Paris before leaving on a tour of Switzerland and Italy. He plays some of Fryderyk Chopin’s (27) new etudes op.25.
July 7, 1837: Frédéric Chopin (27) arrives incognito in London with Camille Pleyel. They will stay for three weeks. Chopin comes to love the city very much but he will cough for most of his stay owing to the effects of soot on his delicate lungs.
July 25, 1837: Frédéric Chopin (27) and Camille Pleyel return to Paris after a three-week stay in London.
October 22, 1837: Publication of the Etudes for piano op.25 by Frédéric Chopin (27) is advertised in the Paris press.
October 29, 1837: The Impromptu for piano op.29 by Frédéric Chopin (27) is published in Paris.
February 4, 1838: In today’s issue of Revue et Gazette Musicale, Heinrich Heine calls Frédéric Chopin (27) “a poet of sound.”
February 16, 1838: Frédéric Chopin (27) plays for the royal family in Paris. He is very well received.
February 24, 1838: Frédéric Chopin (27) plays before King Louis-Philippe in Paris, to great success. The monarch presents the pianist with a gift.
March 3, 1838: Frédéric Chopin (28), Charles-Valentin Alkan (24), Joseph Zimmermann, and Adolphe Gutmann perform Alkan’s eight-hand arrangement of Beethoven’s (†10) Seventh Symphony, in Paris.
March 25, 1838: A review by Ernest Legouvé of a performance by Frédéric Chopin (28) in Rouen appears in the Revue et Gazette musicale, Paris. Referring to the contest a year ago he writes, “In future when the question is asked, ‘Who is the greatest pianist in Europe, Liszt (26) or Thalberg (26)?’, let the world reply ‘It is Chopin!’” See 31 March 1837.
April 25, 1838: Frédéric Chopin (28) and George Sand are thrown together again at a reception at the home of Manuel Marliani, the Spanish consul in Paris.
April 26, 1838: George Sand sends a note to Frédéric Chopin (28) in Paris: One adores you—George.
May 8, 1838: At a dinner at the house of Astolphe, Marquis de Custine, Frédéric Chopin (28) and George Sand fall in love. Sand will remember, “...I was confused and amazed at the effect this little creature wrought on me. I have still not recovered from my astonishment, and if I were a proud person I should be feeling humiliated at having been carried away by my emotions...when I had thought that I had settled down for good.”
June 6, 1838: George Sand and her children return to Paris from Nohant. It is at this point that she becomes the lover of Frédéric Chopin (28).
October 18, 1838: George Sand, her two children and maid leave Paris for Mallorca. Few people know that she is gone and Chopin (28) tells only four close friends that he will soon join her.
October 27, 1838: Frédéric Chopin (28) departs Paris to meet George Sand in Perpignan. Their ultimate goal is Mallorca.
October 28, 1838: The Mazurkas op.33 by Frédéric Chopin (28) are published in Paris.
October 31, 1838: Frédéric Chopin (28) arrives in Perpignan where George Sand has been since yesterday. They will board ship for Barcelona.
November 1, 1838: Frédéric Chopin (28), George Sand, her children, and maid board ship in Vendres making for Barcelona.
November 2, 1838: Frédéric Chopin (28), George Sand, her children and maid arrive in Barcelona.
November 7, 1838: Frédéric Chopin (28), George Sand, her children and maid board ship in Barcelona making for Mallorca.
November 8, 1838: Frédéric Chopin (28), George Sand, her two children, and maid arrive in Palma, Mallorca where he intends to finish the Preludes op.28.
November 15, 1838: With the help of the French consul, Frédéric Chopin (28) and George Sand are able to rent lodgings in Establiments, near Palma, Mallorca.
December 1, 1838: The three waltzes op.34 by Frédéric Chopin (28) are published in Paris.
December 15, 1838: Frédéric Chopin (28), George Sand, and her two children are forced to leave their lodgings in Palma. The proprietor has learned that doctors have diagnosed Chopin’s constant coughing as tuberculosis. The couple are not married either. They traverse the rocky road, with furniture, to Valldemosa some 16 km away.
December 21, 1838: Frédéric Chopin (28), George Sand, and her two children arrive in Valldemosa.
January 22, 1839: Frédéric Chopin (28) finally receives shipment of his piano on Mallorca after it took three weeks and a great deal of money to clear customs. He may now complete revision of his Preludes op.28.
February 11, 1839: After barely two months in Mallorca, Frédéric Chopin (28), George Sand, and her children leave Valldemosa. Their stay was generally disappointing and caused injury to Chopin’s health. He is coughing blood on a regular basis.
February 13, 1839: Frédéric Chopin (28), George Sand, and her children leave Palma aboard a boat with 100 pigs making for Barcelona. Due to an enormous export duty, they have sold Chopin’s Pleyel piano in Mallorca.
February 14, 1839: In the harbor of Barcelona, George Sand manages to get Frédéric Chopin (28) and her children on to a French ship. There the ship’s doctor succeeds in stopping his hemorrhaging from the lungs.
February 22, 1839: Frédéric Chopin (28), George Sand, and her children board ship in Barcelona for Marseille.
February 24, 1839: Frédéric Chopin (28), George Sand, and her children reach Marseille. Writes Sand, “A month more and we would have died in Spain--he of melancholy and disgust and I of rage and indignation.” They will stay in Marseille for three months to give him time to recuperate.
May 22, 1839: After three months in Marseille, Frédéric Chopin (29), George Sand and her children depart the city and head for her estate in Berry.
June 1, 1839: Frédéric Chopin (29), George Sand and her children arrive from Marseille at her chateau Nohant in Berry. It is the first time he has seen it.
October 11, 1839: Frédéric Chopin (29) and George Sand arrive in Paris from Nohant. He will stay here for the next 16 months.
October 16, 1839: The first documented public performance of the music of Frédéric Chopin (29) in North America takes place when a German immigrant named Ludwig Rakemann plays a nocturne and two mazurkas in his debut in New York.
October 21, 1839: Giacomo Meyerbeer (48) attends a gathering in Paris where Frédéric Chopin (29) performs some “new mazurkas” and the Polonaise op.53. Meyerbeer calls the polonaise “heavenly.”
October 29, 1839: Frédéric Chopin (29) and Ignaz Moscheles provide the entertainment for the French royal family and their guest, United States Minister Lewis Cass.
May 10, 1840: Publication of the March from the Piano Sonata op.35, Impromptu op.36, and Nocturnes op.37 by Frédéric Chopin (30) is advertised in La France Musicale, Paris.
December 15, 1840: The remains of Emperor Napoléon I, having been retrieved from St. Helena by the Prince de Joinville (son of King Louis-Philippe), arrive in Paris. The remains are paraded through the city in a four-story high vehicle, viewed by an estimated 800,000 people. In the presence of the royal family and many others (including Frédéric Chopin (30)), the Requiem of Mozart (†49) is performed in the chapel of Les Invalides. The remains are then are lowered into the vault.
April 26, 1841: Frédéric Chopin (31) is the featured artist at the Salle Pleyel, Paris performing mostly his own music including the Mazurkas op.41, the Ballade op.38, the Scherzo op.39 and the Polonaise op.40/1. The evening is an unequalled triumph. Eugène Delacroix has stayed in bed the last two days to get over a sore throat just so he can attend. Also present are Hector Belioz (37), Franz Liszt (29), Heinrich Heine and, of course, George Sand.
May 2, 1841: Franz Liszt’s (29) review of Fryderyk Chopin’s (31) 26 April concert appears in the Gazette musicale. “All criticism of him is silenced, as though posterity had already spoken. And the glittering audience which flocked to the concert to hear the poet who for far too long had been silent showed no opposition, no reservations: unanimous praise was on everyone’s lips.”
June 18, 1841: Frédéric Chopin (31) and George Sand travel from Paris to her chateau in Berry to spend the summer. It is the first time they have been there in almost two years.
November 2, 1841: Frédéric Chopin (31) and George Sand arrive in Paris from Nohant, where they have been since June.
December 2, 1841: Frédéric Chopin (31) performs at a musical soiree given by the king’s son, the Duc d’Orleans at his residence, the Pavillon de Marsan. 500 people attend, including the King Louis Philippe and Queen Marie Amalie, three other of their children, Queen Maria Cristina of Spain, the ambassadors of Prussia, Sweden, and Saxony, former French Prime Minister Adolphe Thiers, and Eugène Delacroix. The program is conducted by Fromental Halévy (42), the duke’s music director. The featured work is Chopin’s Ballade op.47.
January 19, 1842: An advertisement for a new “Beethoven-Album” for piano by the Vienna music publisher Pietro Mechetti appears in the Wiener Zeitung. Intended to raise money for a monument to Beethoven (†14) in Bonn, Mechetti has secured contributions from many of the most important living composers: Nocturne in E flat op.647 by Carl Czerny (50), L’echo! Scherzo brillant by Frédéric Kalkbrenner (46), 17 Variations sérieuses op.54 by Felix Mendelssohn (32), Prélude in c sharp minor op.45 by Frédéric Chopin (31), Marche funèbre de la Symphonie héroique by Franz Liszt (30), Romance sans paroles op.41/1 by Sigismond Thalberg (30), Wiegenlied op.13/1 by Adolf von Henselt (27), as well as music by Theodor Döhler, Ignaz Moscheles and Wilhelm Taubert.
February 21, 1842: Frédéric Chopin (31) is the featured performer at the Salle Pleyel, Paris. He plays the Andante spianato, Ballade no.3, Nocturnes opp.48/2, 27/2 and 15/1, Prelude op.28/15, three etudes from op.25, the Impromptu op.51 and others. It is his last performance for six years.
May 6, 1842: Frédéric Chopin (32) and George Sand arrive back at Nohant from Paris, where he will complete the Mazurkas op.50. He is looking for some peace two weeks after the death of his friend Jan Matuszynski.
September 14, 1842: The Mazurkas for piano op.50 by Frédéric Chopin (32) are published in Paris.
September 28, 1842: Frédéric Chopin (32) and George Sand move into separate but nearby apartments on the Square d’Orleans, Paris.
December 23, 1842: The artistic elite of Paris gather at the Hôtel L’Empire to bid farewell to Giacomo Meyerbeer (51) the night before he departs for Berlin. Among those present are Frédéric Chopin (32), Gaetano Donizetti (45), Adolphe Adam (39), and Heinrich Heine. Those sending messages include George Sand, Eugéne Scribe and Daniel Auber (60).
March 12, 1843: After three years in western Europe, primarily Paris where he met Chopin (33), Kalkbrenner (57), and Liszt (31), Anton Rubinstein (13) arrives in St. Petersburg.
May 8, 1843: Impromptu for piano op.51 by Frédéric Chopin (33) is published in Paris.
May 22, 1843: Frédéric Chopin (33) and George Sand leave Paris for another summer at her chateau Nohant in Berry.
July 17, 1843: Eugène Delacroix travels from Paris to Nohant in Berry to be with Frédéric Chopin (33) and George Sand. He has made the trip before, but for the first time he goes from Paris to Orléans by train.
October 28, 1843: Frédéric Chopin (33) and Maurice Dudevant (son of George Sand) return to Paris from Nohant in Berry. She wants to remain to attend to her literary and journalistic work.
December 14, 1843: Three works for piano by Frédéric Chopin (33) are published in Paris: Ballade op.52, Polonaise op.53, and Scherzo op.54.
April 29, 1844: Valentin Alkan (30) gives his only known solo recital, at Salle Erard, Paris. He plays the premieres of his Nocturne op.22, Saltarelle op.23, Alleluia op.25, and Air de ballet op.24/2. It is wildly successful with an audience that includes Frédéric Chopin (34), Franz Liszt (32), George Sand, and Alexandre Dumas.
May 25, 1844: Frédéric Chopin (34) receives a letter in Paris informing him of the death of his father in Warsaw on 3 May. He dissolves into a deep depression and refuses to come out of his room for days, seeing no one.
May 30, 1844: Frédéric Chopin (34), George Sand, and her two children arrive at her estate Nohant in Berry. Instead of recovering from his father’s recent death, Chopin immediately contracts a dental infection, restricting him to bed for a week with fever and hallucinations.
June 15, 1844: Frédéric Chopin (34) meets his sister Ludwika and her husband in Paris. They will be together for ten days and again later in the summer at Nohant. It is the happiest time of his life. George Sand tells her, “you are the best doctor he ever had.”
August 21, 1844: Works for piano by Frédéric Chopin (34) are published in Paris: Nocturnes op.55 and Mazurkas op.56.
November 25, 1844: Frédéric Chopin (34) arrives back in Paris from Nohant. George Sand will follow in a few days.
April 2, 1845: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (15) gives his first performance in Paris at the Salle Pleyel. He plays Chopin’s (35) e minor piano concerto and two unaccompanied works: Thalberg’s (33) transcription of airs from Rossini’s (53) Semiramide and Liszt’s (33) Fantasy on Meyerbeer’s Robert le diable. The performance is very successful. Chopin (35) and Kalkbrenner (59) are present. After the performance, Chopin meets the precocious American but no two people agree on exactly what he said to him.
June 12, 1845: Frédéric Chopin (35) and George Sand travel from Paris to Nohant for the summer. Pauline Viardot (23) also travels with them.
June 23, 1845: Works for piano by Frédéric Chopin (35) are published in Paris: Berceuse op.57 and Sonata op.58.
April 6, 1846: Mazurkas op.59 for piano by Frédéric Chopin (36) are published in Paris.
May 27, 1846: Frédéric Chopin (36) leaves Paris for Nohant and his seventh summer with George Sand and her children.
November 11, 1846: Frédéric Chopin (36) arrives in Paris from Nohant alone. His relationship with George Sand is, for all intents and purposes, over.
November 13, 1846: Works for piano by Frédéric Chopin (36) are published in Paris: Barcarolle op.60, Polonaise-Fantasy op.61, and Nocturnes op.62.
January 1, 1847: Robert (36) and Clara (27) Schumann give their third concert in Vienna. Clara plays Schumann’s piano concerto, conducted by the composer, as well as music of Chopin (36) and Mendelssohn (37). Eduard Hanslick reports, “Attendance was very poor, the applause cool and obviously only directed to Clara.” It is the first time that a concert involving Clara Schumann loses money.
February 17, 1847: Frédéric Chopin (36) and August Franchomme perform Chopin’s Sonata in g minor for cello and piano op.65 for the first time, in his Paris apartment before George Sand and her daughter, Eugène Delacroix and two others. See 23 March 1847.
March 23, 1847: Frédéric Chopin (37) and August Franchomme perform Chopin's Sonata in g minor for cello and piano op.65 for the first time in a semi-public setting, at a reception in his Paris apartment. See 17 February 1847.
April 1, 1847: Eugène Delacroix takes Frédéric Chopin (37) and George Sand to see his work on the ceiling of the Palais de Luxembourg. Delacroix has painted Dante in the likeness of Chopin and Aspasia in the likeness of Sand.
May 1, 1847: Frédéric Chopin (37) suffers a severe respiratory attack in Paris including coughing and blood.
May 4, 1847: The upcoming wedding of Solange Dudevant, the daughter of George Sand, appears in Paris newspapers. It is the first that Frédéric Chopin (37) has heard of it.
May 12, 1847: Frédéric Chopin (37) suffers a debilitating asthma attack lasting four days. George Sand writes from Nohant, “...the one I love with an absolutely chaste and maternal affection is dying, victim of the insane attachment he bears me.”
July 24, 1847: Following serious disagreements and accusations, Frédéric Chopin (37) writes his last letter to George Sand. He uses the formal “vous”.
September 8, 1847: Breitkopf and Härtel, Leipzig announce the publication of three mazurkas op.63 by Frédéric Chopin (37).
October 17, 1847: Mazurkas op.63 and Waltzes op.64 by Frédéric Chopin (37) are published in Paris.
February 16, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (37) makes his first appearance in almost six years in a program which includes the public premiere of his Cello Sonata op.65. One critic calls him “the Ariel of pianists.” Among the 300 in attendance at the Salle Pleyel is an interested American named Louis Moreau Gottschalk (18). Unknown to all present, this is Chopin's last performance in Paris.
March 4, 1848: At the home of Charlotte Marliani in Paris, Frédéric Chopin (38) accidentally meets George Sand. They speak politely. He tells her that her daughter has just given birth. Sand will remember, “I pressed his trembling and icy hand, I wanted to speak to him; he fled. It was my turn to say that he no longer loved me. I spared him that suffering...” Chopin writes “She asked how I was--I said I was well, and then I called for the concierge to open the door. I raised my hat and walked back home to the Square d’Orléans...” Edmond Combes, who was with Chopin will recall that he was “very sad, very depressed.” Chopin and Sand will never see each other again.
April 18, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) leaves Paris for London.
April 20, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) arrives in London and, as before, his lungs are affected by the coal smoke. Admirer and pianist Jane Stirling has provided him with an apartment in Bentinck Street.
May 12, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) attends a dinner at the home of Jenny Lind in London. She sings Swedish songs for him until midnight.
May 13, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) writes from London of his dismay at the failure of the Polish insurrection. “Disaster on disaster! My soul feels no more desire.”
May 15, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) gives his first London performance in Stafford (Lancaster) House at a dinner given for attenders of the christening of Alexandrina, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland. Illustrious personages present include Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, the Duke of Wellington, and the Prince of Prussia (later Kaiser Wilhelm I). The Queen notes in her diary that “some pianists” played.
June 23, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) plays at the home of the retired singer Adelaide Kemble Sartoris in Eton Place. Pauline Viardot (26) sings her arrangements of his mazurkas. Among the 150 people present are William Makepeace Thackeray and Jenny Lind.
July 7, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) is the principal performer at the residence of the Earl of Falmouth, London.
August 6, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) arrives at Calder House in Edinburgh.
August 28, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) is the principal performer at the Gentlemen’s Concert Hall, Manchester. The critics, as Chopin predicted, are disappointed. His music and style are lost in the large hall. As a featured work, Chopin plays his Sonata in B flat minor. He will later write, “I had played the allegro and the scherzo successfully, and I was going to attack the march when, suddenly, I saw the cursed creatures that one lugubrious night appeared to me at the monastery rising from the case of the piano. I had to go out for a moment to collect myself, after which I resumed playing without saying a word to anyone...”
September 27, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) is the featured performer at The Merchant’s Hall, Glasgow. He performs the Andante op.22, Impromptu op.36, some Etudes op.25, Nocturnes opp.27 & 55, Berceuse op.57, Preludes op.28, Ballades op.38, Mazurkas op.7, and Waltzes op.64 to a less than full house.
October 4, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) appears in the only solo recital he will ever give, in the Hopetown Rooms, Edinburgh. It is solo only because he is too ill to go out and find other musicians. The program is two hours long and, despite his ill health, he captivates the audience.
October 31, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) leaves Edinburgh for London.
November 16, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38), ill and exhausted, plays at a charity ball for the relief of Polish refugees at the Guildhall, London. It is his last public performance.
November 23, 1848: As Frédéric Chopin (38) leaves London by train he suffers a brief seizure, a cramp below his ribs on the right side. Later, he crosses the Channel heading for Paris.
November 24, 1848: Frédéric Chopin (38) arrives in Paris from his sojourn in Great Britain. He is very ill.
April 16, 1849: Le prophète, a grand opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer (57) to words of Scribe and Deschamps, is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra. Pauline Viardot (27) takes the part of Fidès. Among the singers is a young chorister named Léo Delibes (13). It features the first use of electric light at the Opéra, in creating the illusion of a sunrise. In the audience is Hector Berlioz (45) (who calls it “matchless magnificence”) and a very ill Frédéric Chopin (39). Over the first ten days of the production, the Opéra will take in 9,000-10,000 francs per performance, an unprecedented amount. The composer will receive from his publisher the highest amount ever paid for a score.
June 21, 1849: Frédéric Chopin (39), in Paris, suffers two hemorrhages.
August 9, 1849: Ludwika Jedrzejewicz arrives in Paris to nurse her brother, Frédéric Chopin (39), through his final illness.
August 30, 1849: Dr. Jean Cruveilher, France’s foremost authority on tuberculosis, calls in two other specialists and all three forbid Fryderyk Chopin’s (39) planned trip to Nice.
September 9, 1849: On the advice of his doctor, Frédéric Chopin (39) moves to a new apartment in Paris on the Place Vendôme.
October 12, 1849: At the suggestion of Alexander Jelowicki, an acquaintance from Warsaw, Frédéric Chopin (39) receives the Last Rights of the Roman Catholic Church, in his rooms at the Place Vendôme, Paris.
October 16, 1849: On his deathbed, Frédéric Chopin (39) orders that all his unfinished manuscripts be burned, that his notes for a proposed Method be turned over to Charles-Valentin Alkan (35), and that the Requiem of Mozart (†57) be performed at the funeral.
October 17, 1849: 02:00 Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin dies at 12 Place Vendôme, Paris, French Republic, probably of tuberculosis, aged 39 years, seven months, and 16 days. He is attended by his sister, Ludwika, Princess Marcelina Czartoryska, Solange Dudevant (George Sand’s daughter), Thomas Albrecht, and his student Adolphe Gutmann.
October 19, 1849: An autopsy is performed on the body of Fryderyk Chopin. His heart is removed to be transported to its resting place in the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw.
October 30, 1849: A funeral in memory of Fryderyk Chopin takes place in the Church of the Madeleine attended by 3,000 people by ticket only. The crush of carriages stretches as far as the Place de la Concorde. A special dispensation is received from the Archbishop to allow women to sing in the Madeleine in order that Mozart’s (†57) Requiem may be performed. The soprano is Pauline Viardot (28). There is no elegy. Pallbearers include Giacomo Meyerbeer (58) and Eugène Delacroix. Chopin’s heart has been removed and transported in a funeral urn to the Church of the Holy Cross, Warsaw, while the rest of his mortal remains are laid to rest in the Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris before 4,000 people who walk the five kilometers from the church.
October 17, 1850: Exactly one year to the day after his death, a monument is unveiled at the grave of Fryderyk Chopin. A small amount of Polish earth is brought for the occasion and sprinkled over the final resting place.
February 5, 1851: A series of articles about Fryderyk Chopin (†1) written by Franz Liszt (39) begins appearing in La France musicale. They will run through 17 August. Next year they will be put together into the first biography of the composer called simply Frédéric Chopin.
September 9, 1863: During the Polish uprising, many souvenirs from the life of Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (†13) collected by his sister Isabella are burned by Cossacks.
October 24, 1883: Amy Marcy Cheney (16) makes her public performing debut as one of several soloists at the Boston Music Hall. She performs a Rondo in E flat by Chopin (†34) and Moscheles’ Piano Concerto in g minor. Critics are effusive in their praise.
November 6, 1885: Erik Satie (19) enters the intermediate piano class of Georges Mathias, a pupil of Chopin (†36), at the Paris Conservatoire. The Certificate of Admission is signed by the director, Ambroise Thomas (74).
May 24, 1888: In a concert of Conservatoire students at the Salle Erard, Ricardo Viñes and Enrique Granados (20) play the Rondo op.73 of Frédéric Chopin (†40).
November 4, 1889: Of 46 pianists auditioned for acceptance into the Paris Conservatoire, 19 are accepted. Among them is Maurice Ravel (14) who played an excerpt from a Chopin (†40) concerto.
April 20, 1890: Enrique Granados (22) makes his official debut at Barcelona’s Teatre Líric, premiering Arabesca, selections from Danzas españolas, and Serenata española. He also plays music of Saint-Saëns (54), Bizet (†14), Mendelssohn (†42), Chopin (†40), Beethoven (†63), Mozart (†98), and Schubert (†61). The critics are enthusiastic about his compositions and his playing.
April 6, 1906: A ballet to the music of Chopin (†56) entitled Chopiniana is performed for the first time, at the Imperial Opera House, St. Petersburg. It will be produced in Paris by Dyaghilev as Les Sylphides. See 2 June 1909.
June 6, 1909: The body of Isaac Albéniz is born by a horse-drawn hearse from the estació de França through the streets of Barcelona. It is attended by a military band playing excerpts from Götterdämmerung, the Requiem of Gabriel Fauré (64), and the Funeral March of Frédéric Chopin (†49), and a multitude of people including many city and Catalonian officials. At the Cementiri del Sud-Oest (Cementiri de Montjuïc), the mayor and the composer’s son speak, and the remains are laid to rest.
December 18, 1915: Kurt Weill (15) plays a Chopin (†66) nocturne and Liebestraum nr.3 by Franz Liszt (†29) at a concert to benefit the Society for Germans Abroad in the palace of Duke Friedrich II of Anhalt in Dessau.
June 20, 1918: Ruth Crawford (16) gives a public performance of the Variations Brillantes op.12 by Frédéric Chopin (†68), in Duval Theatre at a recital of the advanced students of the School of Musical Art, Jacksonville, Florida.
May 20, 1922: Karol Szymanowski (39) presents a concert of his own music at the Théâtre du Vieux Colombier, Paris. The critics are ecstatic and hail him as the new Chopin (†62).
September 25, 1929: A Theremin is heard on the radio for the first time when the inventor, Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (33) plays music of Chopin (†80) and Rubinstein (†34) from the Radio World’s Fair in Madison Square Garden, New York over the WJZ network.
January 18, 1930: The National Broadcasting Company begins a series of syndicated programs featuring the Theremin. In the opening episode, the inventor, Lev Sergeyevich Termen (Leon Theremin) (33), plays music of Rakhmaninov (56), Brahms (†33) and Chopin (†78).
April 7, 1937: A funeral in memory of Karol Szymanowski takes place in Warsaw. The body lies in state in the Conservatory and is then taken through the streets, past the opera house and Philharmonic before throngs, to the railroad station. The coffin is then taken to Krakow where it is interred in the crypt of the Skalka church. His heart, intended to be placed beside that of Chopin (†87), will be unintentionally destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising.
September 17, 1945: The heart of Frederic Chopin (†95) is returned to its place of honor in the wall of the Holy Cross Cathedral, Warsaw from its wartime hiding place.
May 11, 1958: A reproduction of Waclaw Szymanowksi’s monument to Chopin (†108) is unveiled in Warsaw. The original was destroyed by the Germans in World War II.