"Mais ce que je voudrais ce serait de vous l'entendre jouer": Frédéric Chopin's admiration for the pianist Anna Caroline Oury

Chopin, Frédéric, Polish composer (1810-1849). Autograph letter draft signed twice ("Ch").

Paris, [1841].

8vo. 1½ pp. In French.


Highly interesting and charming draft for a letter to the German pianist Anna Caroline Oury, concerning the dedication of his Waltz in F minor, op. posth. 70, no. 2, to her. Oury had apparently contacted Chopin on behalf of the English music publisher Beale, inquiring about new compositions. While Chopin could not give her a positive answer in that respect, as Christian Rudolph Wessel & Co held the exclusive publishing rights to his works in Britain since 1836, he asked her to keep for herself "the small waltz" that he would include with the letter. A great admirer of Oury, Chopin only expresses the wish to hear her perform the piece at one of her "elegant reunions" during which she interpreted "the masters of us all, the great composers like Mozart, Beethoven and Hummel". In closing, he is enthusiastic about Oury's performance of an adagio by Hummel several years earlier in Paris that "still rings" in his ears and to him remains unsurpassed: "The Hummel adagio that I heard you play a few years ago in Paris at Mr Érard's still rings in my ears, and I assure you that there is no piano, despite the great concerts here, that can make me forget the pleasure of having heard you this evening".

Chopin had first heard the young Anna Caroline Oury (1806-80) perform in Warsaw in 1829 and was immediately delighted by her. Between 1831 and 1839 she toured Europe with her repertoire of Beethoven, Henri Herz, Hummel, Mendelssohn Bartholdy, and Ignaz Moschels, among others. In 1839 she settled in London with her husband, the violinist Antonio James Oury, to whom Chopin sends greetings in this letter. Together with several other works not intended for publication, the Waltz in F minor was published posthumously in 1855 by Chopin's close friend and collaborator Julian Fontana, with the permission of Chopin's family but against the composer's wish, stated in the draft at hand, that it might not see "the light of day".

Several words stricken out and other corrections. The half page on the verso is a slightly different version of the second half of the letter. Traces of folds and minimal browning.

Art.-Nr.: BN#63102 Schlagwort: