Ending his famous and dynamic relationship with Geogres Sand in 1847, Fryderyk Chopin was on the verge of deciding to set out for Britain. It was August 1848 when mentioned decision had been concluded. That year brought another wave of revolutions called the Spring of Nations. Winds of change brought Chopin to The United Kingdom. It was exactly in that juncture that Chopin made his one and the only visit to Manchester and thus begun the unknown story of Mysterious Chopin in Manchester.
Poland was at that time under the rule of Russia, Prussia and Austria. There was a deep need to reinforce Polish cause and the Polish people’s perennial dream of independence. Chopin’s music became the ideal ambassador for Poland and Polish culture.
News of Chopin’s magnificent performance spread fast. Word of mouth was by no means most crucial factor. Despite that advertisement appeared in the Manchester Guardian on 9 August 1848.
The concert took place at Manchester’s Gentleman Concert Hall which was the place used by Gentleman’s Concert Society established in Manchester 1777. Unfortunately the building was demolished in 1887-1898 so currently we must switch on our creative mode to imagine magnificent architectural beauty of this venue. Today the astounding building of the Midland Hotel stands at this point.
The piano played by Chopin during his concert in Manchester was the Broadwood Patent Repetition Grand Pianoforte No. 17047 (London, 1847).
The instrument has a rosewood case, veneered on laminated oak, and is now owned by the Royal Academy of Music, on permanent loan to the Cobbe Collection Trust.
Chopin was widely known for carefully choosing the pianos he used to play. Mentioned Broadwood Piano apparently he had chosen with the companionship of Jane Stirling.
The Manchester concert was by no means special if not unique bearing in mind that event gathered the largest audience for the Chopin ever performed. Public was amazed by the miniscule precision of the Chopin’s creativity.
“By setting up our virtual exhibition we wanted to remind about the unparalleled creative talent of Fryderyk Chopin and ignite a spark of curiosity pertaining to Chopin’s mysterious story in Manchester” said Patryk Gowin, Vice Consul and Head of Public and Cultural Diplomacy Section at Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Manchester.
Link to the exhibition: http://polishconsulatemanchester.com/likechopin/
Not for nothing The Chopin Monument nowadays is placed in the very centre of Manchester.
Thanks to combined effort of British admirers of Chopin music, fans of highbrow culture and Polish Community Members this is one of the largest Chopin’s monument in the world except that one in Warsaw, of course. This unique sculpture stands 2.5 meters tall and 2.1 meters wide. The vision of the sculptor Robert Sobociński was inspired by Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude in C minor. The monument envisage Fryderyk Chopin playing one of the earliest models of piano, whilst gazing across the keyboard at his Muse. Whether it is George Sand or Delfina Potocka or Jane Sterling or maybe perhaps Jane Lind, the viewer is left to come to decision by his own. After all, Mysterious Chopin.
Source: Press Office of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Manchester