In 1848, the penultimate year of his life, Chopin visited England and Scotland at the instigation of his aristocratic Scots pupil, Jane Stirling. In the autumn of that year, he returned to Paris. The following autumn he was dead. Despite the fascination the composer continues to hold for scholars, this brief but important period, and his previous visit to London in 1837, remain little known. In this richly illustrated study, Peter Willis draws on extensive original documentary evidence, as well as cultural artefacts, to tell the story of these two visits and to place them into aristocratic and artistic life in mid-nineteenth-century England and Scotland. In addition to filling a significant hole in our knowledge of the composer’s life, the book adds to our understanding of a number of important figures, including Jane Stirling and the painter Ary Scheffer. The social and artistic milieux of London, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh are brought to vivid life.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Paris 1830s: Prologue 1. London: Summer 1837 2. Paris 1840s: Interlude 3. London 1848: Chopin in London 4. London 1848: Recitals 5. Edinburgh 6. Scottish Country Seats 7. Manchester: Concert in Gentlemen’s Concert Hall, Monday 28 August 1848 8. Glasgow: Concert in Merchants’ Hall, Wednesday 27 September 1848 9. Edinburgh: Concert in Hopetoun Rooms, Wednesday 4 October 1848 10. London: Concert in Guildhall, Thursday 16 November 1848 Conclusion. Paris 1849: Epilogue
Peter Willis was an architect and Reader in the History of Architecture at Newcastle University. He completed a PhD in Music at Durham University in 2010. His publications include Charles Bridgeman and the Landscape Garden, New Architecture in Scotland, and Chopin in Manchester.