What did Chopin do with his hearbreak? Wrote more music, including the ethereal Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, no. 2. The ending disappears in think air, just like the smell of violets.
LISTEN: Chopin's Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2 - Artur Rubinstein (with the score)
LISTEN: Chopin's Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2 - Yuja Wang (her 2006 graduation)
LISTEN: Chopin's Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 64, No. 2 - Yuja Wang (a 2013 encore)
On 21 November 1848, while getting ready to return to Paris from London, exhausted after a long trip, and much sicker than he was before leaving, Chopin wrote to his friend, Wojciech Grzymala, a letter of instructions. He wanted his home to be fresh and comfortable, as he was sure he would not be leaving it any time soon.
How does the rose named Anna Czartoryska look like? See below. According to rose historian, Yuta Arbatskaya, the rose “Anna Czartoryska” was created in 1845 by Jean Pierre Vibert (1777-1866), an expert rosarian and a wounded veteran of Napoleonic army, who received a rose collection with its records from another famous gardener, Jacques Louis Descemet (1761-1839). Descemet, in turn was forced off his land by the British troops and went to live in Russia; his rose will soon make an appearance.
As Arbatskaya writes, the Czartoryska rose belonged to the family of “Gallica/Provins.” It had red flowers with a violet tint, and full corollas of up to 40 petals. Unfortunately, this rose did not survive. It may have been similar to the rose reproduced below. With "magnificent purple-red semi-double" flowers the Provins roses (Rosa gallica) have earned the most unusual description by Thory (in Redouté's Les Roses): "The finely dentate, pointed leaflets grow on hispid leafstalks on which some glands and a few small hooked thorns may be seen, and which have at their base pointed, denticulate, glandulous bifid stipules. The penduncles of the flowers are hispid." Yes, hispid, indeed...
It is perhaps the same Gallica-variety roses (Sultanas, Bengal, India, of May?) that enchanted Chopin’s friend, painter Eugène Delacroix in June 1842 at Nohant, as he listened to Chopin’s music: “At times, through an open window overlooking the garden, mixed with the singing of nightingales and the fragrance of rose blossoms the melodies of Chopin’s music reach me, because he never stops working here…” [“Par instants, ilvous arrive par la fenêtre entr' ouverte sur le jardin des bouffées de la musique de Chopin qui travaille de son côté; cela se mêle au chant des rossignols et à l'odeur des rosiers.”] (Letter of Eugène Delacroix of 7 June 1842 from Nohant to J.B. Pierret in Paris)
What joy it would have been to join Delacroix and listen to Chopin’s music among the nightingales and roses of Nohant… Perhaps he'd be playing his Nocturnes op. 55? A perfect Valentine's Day dream for the lovers of music and roses!
- Yuta Arbatskaya, "Rose Anna Czartoryska" online entry, atwww.kajuta.net/node/2791
- Chopin's Letter on the Website of the National Institute of Fryderyk Chopin, Poland www.nifc.org. In Polish, English translation by Maja Trochimczyk.
- Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1816-18), Les Roses, 168 plates with descriptions by Thory. The originals burned with the Louvre in 19th century. Copies were published and continue to be reproduced. The text quoted above is attributed to Delanuay and translated into English, in an album P.-J. Redouté – Roses, Liber, 1986.
- Frank J. Anderson, ed. The Complete Book of 169 Redouté’s Roses, New York: Abbeville Press, 1979.