1 page. Small octavo (131 x 100 mm). Dated "Paris 10 avril" [?1845]. In French.
Chopin plans to leave Paris within three weeks, most probably for Nohant, George Sand's summer estate, and tells his correspondent that he will be back in September or October. He thanks the addressee for the "good memories" and sends compliments to her aunt:
"Je pars dans 10 ou 20 jours - Je reviens au mois de 7-embre ou 8-bre. Je vous remercie pour votre bon souvenir - et croyez-mois toujours dévoué Chopin Mille compliments à Mme votre tante."
Very slightly worn; light vertical crease; minor remnants of adhesive to blank lower left corner; very slight staining to blank lower margin.
A bust-length portrait etching of the composer by the German artist Wilhelm Pech (1876-?), image size 120 x 95 mm., sheet size 199 x 150 mm. Signed ("W. Pech") in pencil at lower right, below image. Upper margin slightly abraided and with remnants of adhesive to recto and verso.
Sydow: Correspondance de Frédéric Chopin La Gloire 1840-1849, no. 579.
The year of this letter saw the publication of opp. 57 (the Berceuse for piano) and 58 ((the Sonata for piano). "The Sonata no. 3 in B minor, op. 58 - dedicated to Countess Emilie de Perthuis, a friend and wife of the royal aide-de-camp - and the Berceuse were published to great critical and public acclaim. The Third Piano Sonata, the last of this genre, represented, in the words of musicologist Anatole Leikin, Chopin's reconsideration 'not only of sonata form, but of the sonata genre as well' because 'his sonatas, like his mazurkas or nocturnes, are marked by a special musical idiom.' Zieliński believes that the Sonata no. 3 is Chopin's 'deepest' work." Szulc: Chopin in Paris, pp. 302-303.
"Most of the winter of 1845 was a time of acute illness for Fryderyk. George Sand wrote Stefan Witwicke in Freiwald (Germany) late in March that between Chopin's 'coughing fits and his lessons, it is difficult to find a moment of peace and silence.' About the same time she informed Ludwika [Chopin's sister] in Warsaw that 'our dear little one was greatly tired by the severe winter ... but since the weather improved, he has been completely rejuvenated and revived. Two weeks of warmth helped him more than all the medicines ... "
" ... By mid-May, heat in Paris became oppressive, and George and Fryderyk began to think about moving to Nohant for the summer. George had started on a new novel, Isidora, and hoped to complete it in peaceful Berry. Chopin, too, was ready to go, purchasing a calèche, a vehicle with a folding top, to make their journey more private and pleasant than by diligences. But Dr. Papet warned them that a typhus epidemic had broken out in the region and urged a delay. Finally, they left Paris on June 12, with Pauline Viardot, just back from a Russian tournée, joining them in Nohant a few days later." op. cit., pp. 303-305.
The year 1845 was important to Chopin for another reason, as it marked the beginning of a major rift in his relationship with George Sand:
"When Chopin and Sand returned to Paris in August 1842 they moved to new accommodation in the Square d’Orléans, close to their friends the Marlianis, and also incidentally to Kalkbrenner and Alkan. It was a satisfactory domestic arrangement. But Chopin’s health was giving cause for real concern, and the relationship with Sand was deteriorating, partly due to growing tensions within the family. All of this, together with his inability to recapture his earlier fluency in composition, contributed to his low spirits in the winter of 1843–4. But the hardest blow of all came in May 1844, when he learnt of the death of his father. Sand immediately whisked him off to Nohant, but he refused to be consoled until his sister Ludwika, to whom he had always been close, announced her intention to visit France with her husband that summer. They met in Paris in July and the visitors divided their time between there and Nohant until they departed for Poland in early September. ‘We are mad with happiness’, Chopin wrote. But it was not to last. The winter season brought further strains in his relationship with Sand, and when they set out for Nohant in June 1845 tensions within the family circle were beginning to come to a head." Kornel Michałowski, revised by Jim Samson in Grove Music Online.
Chopin's correspondent may very well be his pupil, the Austrian pianist Friederike Müller.
Friederike Müller (1816-1895) lived with three of her father's sisters in Vienna following the death of her mother. She arrived in Paris in 1839 to study with Chopin and was his pupil until 1841 and then again in the winter of 1844-1845. "She wrote a kind of diary in the form of approximately 230 letters to her Viennese aunts about her stay in Paris and her encounters with Chopin. They are an extremely valuable source for his biography ... " Wikipedia.
Müller often passed Chopin's best wishes on to her aunt/s in her letters. Chopin dedicated his Allegro de Concert, op. 46, to her. Grabowski & Rink p. 356.
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