What society could and did appreciate in Chopin was his virtuosity, his elegance, and his delicacy. It is not my intention to attempt an enumeration of Chopin's aristocratic friends and acquaintances, but in the dedications of his works the curious will find the most important of them.
Klindworth's texture is more closely chromatic and it sounds better, the chromatic parallelism being more carefully preserved. Yet I fancy that Kullak has tradition on his side. The seventeenth prelude Niecks finds Mendelssohn-ian. I do not. It is suave, sweet, well developed, yet Chopin to the core, and its harmonic life surprisingly rich and novel. The mood is one of tranquillity.
"Beethoven, when I want to clear up my head while I'm working. He is how one would always like to work. Sometimes Chopin and those others, but Beethoven. Beethoven mainly. Yes." Silence again between us. She spoke with an effort. "Play me something." She turned from me and explored the rack of music rolls, became interested and took a piece, the first part of the Kreutzer Sonata, hesitated.
Only once I saw Chopin angry, it was at this moment. It was beautiful to see how a light red coloured his pale cheeks. "These are three crotchets," he said with a loud voice, he who spoke always so low "These are three crotchets," Chopin almost shouted, and played it himself. He played the mazurka several times, counted aloud, stamped time with his foot, was beside himself.
'Polonaise in A flat major: Chopin' what rot! As if working people cared about Chopin! Miss Elinor McQuinch is a fool, I see. 'Song: The Valley: Gounod. Of course: I knew you would try that. Oho! Here's something sensible at last. 'Nigger melody. Uncle Ned. Mr. Marmaduke Lind, accompanied by himself on the banjo. Dum, drum. Dum, drum. Dum, drum.
Philip Hale mentions a letter from Balzac to his Countess Hanska, dated March 15, 1841, which concludes: "George Sand did not leave Paris last year. She lives at Rue Pigalle, No. 16...Chopin is always there. Elle ne fume que des cigarettes, et pas autre chose" Mr. Hale states that the italics are in the letter. So much for De Lenz and his fidibus! I am impelled here to quote from Mr.
Chopin, a neurotic being, met the polyandrous Sand, a trampler on all the social and ethical conventions, albeit a woman of great gifts; repelled at first he gave way before the ardent passion she manifested toward him.
"Exactly so; you are really remarkable, madam," he added, in a tone of cold astonishment. After dinner the guests took their coffee in the music room, where Schemetzkin sat down at the piano to drum ragtime, and give his celebrated imitation of the boardingschool girl's execution of Chopin.
Becoming impatient, and being quite at a loss as to what was going on, I said at last to him: "But, my dear friend, you have no cause to torment yourself, you can wait for the return of your health, you have money now!" "I, money!" exclaimed Chopin; "I have nothing." "How! and these 25,000 francs which were sent you lately?" "25,000 francs? Where are they? Who sent them to me?
I laid aside my cigar, approached the piano, and sat down. I struck a few chords and found the instrument to be in remarkably good order. I played a Chopin Polonaise, I tinkled Grieg's Papillon, then I ceased. "That is to pay for my supper," I explained. Next I played Le Courier, and when I had finished that I turned again, rising. "That is to pay for my horse's supper," I said.