Leipzig, market place

Leipzig, market place in 1835, reproduction of an engraving by Wagner, photographic print from the collection of Maria Mirska. Collection: Photographic collection of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, Warsaw [F.3883].


After a month spent with his parents in Karlsbad and Tetschen, the time came for a tender and tearful farewell. His parents returned to Poland, and Fryderyk travelled to Dresden, where he spent a few days with the Wodzińskis. Towards the end of September, he left Dresden for Leipzig, where he stayed at the Hôtel de Saxe. ‘From 28 September a series of meetings with Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, Friedrich Wieck and his daughter Clara. Chopin plays nocturnes and etudes, they play together, he admires the playing of Clara Wieck: “The only woman in Germany who can play my works”.’ [Tomaszewski, Chopin…].


A year later, from 11 to 13 September 1836, Fryderyk again stayed in Leipzig. ‘In Leipzig. Meets with Schumann and his circle. Chopin plays, among other pieces, the Ballade in F major, Op. 38, in an initial (or shortened) version, as well as etudes, nocturnes and mazurkas. On 12 September [1836], Robert Schumann in his diary: “at 12 noon Chopin, Nowakowski and Raymund Härtel. His Ballade is dearer to me than anything […] He listens reluctantly when one speaks of his works. An all-penetrating warmth […] New etudes in C minor, A flat major, F minor, old mazurkas in B flat, two new ballades, a nocturne in D flat… I present him with my Sonata and etudes and he – his [the Ballade]. [...] I took him to Eleonora [Henrietta Voigt]. He played a nocturne and etudes from arpeggios alone. Farewell. Departed, departed.” Voigt also describes the meeting in her diary, the following day.’ [Tomaszewski, Chopin…].