Berlin, Königliche Bibliothek [Royal Library]

Berlin, Königliche Bibliothek [Royal Library], lithograph by Carl Ludwig Frommel after a drawing by Johann Heinrich Hintze. Collection: Biblioteka Narodowa, Warsaw [shelf-mark Z. 50].

The license is accorded by the owner.


At the beginning of September 1828, Professor Feliks Jarocki, a friend of Chopin’s father, proposed taking Fryderyk with him on a journey to Berlin. Fryderyk had already spent the first part of the summer holidays in the Mazovian town of Sanniki, at the home of his friends, the Pruszaks, and so a trip of a completely different character—to Berlin, in order to acquaint himself with the local musical life—proved a splendid idea. The main purpose of the professor’s journey was to take part in a naturalists’ congress, but most important for Fryderyk was the Berlin Opera, where ‘they have something new every day’, including Spontini, Onslow, Cimarosa and Winter, as well as Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz. Fryderyk also dashed around the most beautiful streets and bridges of Berlin and visited the library and two piano factories. Further musical sensations came with a visit to the Singakademie, where he listened to Handel’s oratorio Cäcilienfest: ‘it approached the ideal I had formed of great music’. Towards the end of September, he informed his parents: ‘I’m doing nothing, just wandering to the theatre. […] I’m in good health, I’ve seen all there was to see. I’m coming home to you.’