Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/362

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350
CHORAGUS.
CHOPIN.

friendships, early training, and the dawn of his career as a player and composer, was not known till the publication of Moritz Karasowski's recent and trustworthy biography (Dresden 1877, Ries). A Polish emigrant, 'Grzymala,' who was amongst Chopin's early acquaintances at Paris, seems answerable for the various mis-statements in the contemporary Dictionaries, and in Liszt's essay. The assertion for instance that Prince Radziwill, the composer of tolerable music to Goethe's 'Faust,' had defrayed the expenses of Chopin's schooling, is as much without foundation as the sentimental talk about Chopin's extreme feebleness and continuous ill-health. Both Liszt, and George Sand (in her memoirs), chose to paint Chopin as a feeble youth continually at death's door, living in an atmosphere of moonshine and sentimentality. The truth was quite the reverse. He was not a robust person, but he did not know a moment's illness before the last ten years of his life, when the germs of bronchitis and consumption developed rapidly under the late hours and excitement of Parisian life.

As a young man he was fresh and lively, ready for all kinds of fun and frolic, a good mimic and caricaturist, and quite strong enough to stand long journeys in rough German stage-coaches. There are records of his visits to Berlin, Dresden, Dantzig, Leipzig, Vienna, &c., ere he was twenty. Nicolas Chopin, his father, a Frenchman by birth and extraction, a native of Nancy, came to Warsaw as a private tutor. He became professor at the Lycée of Warsaw, and kept a select private school of his own, where young men of good families were brought up, together with his son Frederic. The mother, Justine Kryzanowska, was of a pure Polish family, and seems to have transmitted to her son the peculiar sensitiveness of her Sclavonic temperament. In 1818, when barely nine, Frederic played a concerto by Gyrowetz, and improvised in public. His first, very early compositions, were dances: Polonaises, Mazurkas, and Valses. A native of Bohemia, Zwyny, and a learned German, Joseph Eisner, director of the school of music at Warsaw, composer of much mediocre church music, &c., a sound musician, and it is always said a devoted student of Bach (i.e. of what little was then and there known of Bach), were his masters and subsequently his friends. At nineteen, a finished virtuoso, equal if not superior to all contemporaries except Liszt, Chopin started with his two concertos and some minor pieces, via Vienna and Munich, where he gave concerts, for Paris, ostensibly on his way to England. But he settled in Paris, and rarely stirred from thence. He used to say that his life consisted of an episode, without a beginning and with a sad end. The episode was this: at Liszt's instigation, in 1836, he made the acquaintance of Madame George Sand, and was completely fascinated and absorbed. In the autumn of 38, when he had begun to suffer from bronchitis, Madame Sand took him to Majorca, where they spent the winter, and where she nursed and loved him, for which kindness he was profuse in expressions of gratitude to the end of his days. Soon after their return to Paris she put him into one of the least attractive of her novels, 'Lucrezia Floriani,' under the name of Prince Karol, whom she depicts as a highflown, consumptive, and exasperating nuisance, and left him after some eight years of sentimental amenities to his cough and his piano. Barring a couple of [1]short visits to England, and one to Scotland shortly before his death in 49, he lived a retired yet far from quiet life in Paris, giving lessons, practising, and at intervals composing—the spoiled child of a small circle of sympathising admirers. But it was no ignoble retirement, as the names of some of his Parisian friends, such as Liszt and Berlioz, Balzac and Bellini, Adolph Nourrit and Heine, Ernst, Delacroix, and Meyerbeer, sufficiently attest.

Chopin's works include 2 Concertos for Piano and Orchestra; 1 Trio for Piano and Strings; 2 Duos for Piano and Cello. For Piano Solo 3 Sonatas; 27 Etudes; 52 Mazurkas; 25 Preludes; 19 Nocturnes; 13 Waltzes; 12 Polonaises; 5 Rondos; 4 Scherzos; 4 Ballades; 4 Fantaisies; 3 Eccossaises; 4 Impromptus; 4 sets of Variations; a Barcarole; a Berceuse; a Krakoviak; a Bolero; a Tarantelle; a Funeral March; an Allegro de concert, also a Rondeau for 2 Pianos, and 16 Polish songs, in all 74 numbered and 7 unnumbered works. By far the best edition is Carl Klindworth's, published at Moscow. There is a Thematic Catalogue, published by Breitkopf & Härtel.

[App. p.588 adds "the following list of works (for PF. solo, unless otherwise stated). The works marked with an asterisk were published posthumously.

Op.
 1. Rondo, C minor.
 2. 'La ci darem' Variations (with Orchestra).
 3. Introduction and Polonaise. in C (PF. and Cello).
 4. *Sonata, C minor.
 5. *Rondeau à la Mazur.
 6. Four Mazurkas.
 7. Five Mazurkas.
 8. Trio (PF. and Strings).
 9. Three Nocturnes.
10. Twelve Studies.
11. Concerto, E minor.
12. Variations (with Orch.), 'Ludovic' (Hérold).
13. Fantasia on Polish airs.
14. Krakovlak Rondo (with Orch.)
15. Three Nocturnes.
16. Rondo, E♭.
17. Four Mazurkas.
18. Valse, E♭.
19. Bolero.
20. Scherzo, B minor.
21. Concerto, F minor (with Orch.)
22. Polonaise, E♭ (with Orch.)
23. Ballade, G minor.
24. Four Mazurkas.
25. Twelve Studies.
26. Two Polonaises.
27. Two Nocturnes.
28. Twenty-four Preludes.
29. Impromptu, A♭.
30. Four Mazurkas.
31. Scherzo, B♭ minor.
32. Two Nocturnes.
33. Four Mazurkas.
34. Three Valses.
35. Sonata. B♭ minor.
36. Impromptu, F♯.
37. Two Nocturnes.
38. Ballade. F.
39. Scherzo, C♯ minor.
40. Two Polonaises.
41. Four Mazurkas.
42. Valse, A♭.
43. Tarantella.
44. Polonaise, F♯ minor.
45. Prelude, C♯ minor.
46. Allegro de Concert.
47. Ballade. A♭.
48. Two Nocturnes.
49. Fantasia, F minor.
50. Three Mazurkas.
51. Impromptu, D♭.
52. Ballade. F minor.
53. Polonaise. A♭.
54. Scherzo, E.
55. Two Nocturnes.
56. Three Mazurkas.
57. Berceuse.
58. Sonata, B minor.
59. Three Mazurkas.
60. Barcarolle.
61. Polonaise Fantaisie.
62. Two Nocturnes.
63. Three Mazurkas.
64. Three Valses.
65. Sonata, G minor (PF. and Cello).
66. *Fantalsle Impromptu.
67. *Four Mazurkas.
68. *Four Mazurkas.
69. *Two Valses.
70. *Three Valses.
71. *Three Polonaises.
72. *Nocturne, E minor, Marche funebre in C minor, and three Écossaises.
73. *Rondo for two PFs. in C.

        Without opus-number.
 * Seventeen Songs with PF. acct.
 Three Studies.
 * Mazurkas In G, B♭, D, C, and A minor.
 * Valses, E major and minor.
 * Polonaises, G♯ minor and B♭ minor.
 * Variations in E, 'The Merry Swiss Boy.'
Duet Concertante, on 'Robert' (for PF. and Cello, written with Franchomme)."]

[ E. D. ]

CHORAGUS. A titular functionary in the University of Oxford, who derives his name from the leader of the chorus in the ancient Greek drama (χοραγὸς). In the year 1626, Dr. William Heather, desirous to ensure the study and practice of music at Oxford in future ages, established the offices of Professor, Choragus, and Coryphæus, and endowed them with modest stipends. The Professor was to give instruction in the theory of music; the Choragus and the Coryphæus were to superintend its practice. 'Twice a week,' say the ordinances of Dr. Heather, 'is the Choragus to present himself in the Music School and conduct the practice, both vocal and instrumental, of all who may choose to attend.' The instruments to be used by the students at these performances were furnished out of Dr. Heather's benefactions; provision was made for obtaining treble voices, and everything requisite to the regular and practical cultivation of music as one of the academic studies appeared to have been devised. Yet Dr. Heather must have had certain misgivings as to the future of his institutions, for he enacts that 'if no one shall attend the meetings in the Music School, then the Choragus himself shall sing with two boys for at least an hour.' Little as Dr. Heather asked of posterity, he obtained still less. The

  1. One of these was during the Revolution of ’48. He gave two concerts in London, at the houses of Mr. Sartoris and Lord Falmouth, and played at Guildhall at the Polish Ball in November.