Online concerts: Chopin’s music on his own piano

Online concerts at Hatchlands Park

Chopin’s music on his own piano

Krzysztof Moskalewicz

Chopin’s ‘Own’ Grand Piano, No. 13819, by Pleyel & Compagnie, Paris, 1848
Adopted for 2020 by The Chopin Society, London

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Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849):
Ballade in G minor op.23
Étude in C sharp minor op.25 no 7
Barcarolle op.60
Scherzo op.39
Waltz in A flat op.34 no 1
Ballade in F minor op.52

Pleyel pianos were Chopin’s instruments of choice from his arrival in Paris in 1831 until his death. While the firm normally lent Chopin any piano he wanted without charge, this was only provided they remained in France. The piano played in this recital, Pleyel No. 13819, is, however, one of two Pleyel pianos that Chopin had actually to pay for, because he wished in April 1848 to take it to England. He had already had it for some months in his home at Square d’Orléans, and had almost certainly used it for his public concert in the Salle Pleyel in February. Pleyel No. 13819 travelled with him to London and he slept his first few nights in a London lodging along with it still in its packing case. It was a source of considerable pleasure to him that in his drawing-room in his second London lodging, 48 Dover Street, there were three piano by the three dominant piano-makers of his era – Camille Pleyel, Pierre Erard and John Fowler Broadwood – all three of whom Chopin knew and who experienced his friendship, comments, praise or criticism. He made proud allusion to the three pianos in several of his letters, always referring to the Pleyel as ‘his own’.

The one other Pleyel instrument for which he had had to take financial responsibility, was the pianino he asked to be sent to Majorca for his celebrated sojourn there ten years earlier.

The making of Pleyel 13819 took a year, with it being finally varnished on 8th January 1848. By the 11th February it had been delivered to the composer. On it Chopin composed and performed some major works, including Barcarolle op. 60 and the Cello Sonata op. 65.

Polish pianist, Krzysztof Moskalewicz, started his musical education in Warsaw at the age of seven. In 2016 Krzysztof became an artist of the Talent Unlimited Trust and was awarded the Derek Butler Award from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the James Gibb Award Scholarship. In 2017 he completed a Master’s in Piano Performance with first class honours, studying with Ronan O’Hora at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, having graduated there with a first class degree in 2015. Subsequently, he was offered a prestigious Guildhall Artist Fellowship in 2017/2018.

Krzysztof has won prizes in major piano competitions and has taken part in many international music festivals and piano courses. He often plays in masterclasses with distinguished musicians including Richard Goode, Angela Hewitt, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Jonathan Biss and Kevin Kenner.

He has performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and with orchestra, at many prestigious venues including Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Purcell Room, Milton Court Concert Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, Palacio de Festivales de Santander, Casa da Musica in Porto, Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio in Warsaw, as well as in Germany, France, The Netherlands, Japan and United States. He has appeared as soloist with the Opole Philharmonic Orchestra, Radom Chamber Orchestra, Frederic Chopin State School Symphony Orchestra and the Hornton Chamber Orchestra.