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Chopin spends more than three months in London

20 April 1848 - 5 August 1848

It was on 21 April 1948 that Chopin crossed the English Channel and arrived in London, thus beginning fis second visit to London. Ha has already been here in 1837 invited by Ignacy Pleyel. His first lodging, arranged by Jane Stirling and her older sister - Katharine Erskine, was 10 Bentinck Street, but he did not stay there long. As the rents were high, he decided to move to 48 Dover Street.

Chopin's arrival in the capital had been regarded as a remarkable event, though. As his music was thought to be nationalistic in its character, it fell under suspicion in certain circles. The Times' music critic, a sworn enemy of Chopin, took every opportunity to disparage him. Chorley in the Athenaeum in the issue of 8 April heralded two other arrivals in London from Paris, those of the violinist Friedrich Hermann and the pianist George Osborne. Still, mentions Chopin's arrival commenting that

the amateurs and professors of the pianoforte will hear with still greater interest that M. Chopin is expected, if not already here, -- it is even added, to remain in England.... M. Chopin's visit is an event for which we heartily thank the French Republic.

the Straford House - now the Lancaster House
the Straford House - now the Lancaster House

A number of concerts were organised in an attempt to introduce Chopin to the world of London's aristocracy. One of them was given at Straford House for Queen Victoria, who must have been mourning the recent death of Mendelson rather than enjoyed the music of the Polish composer.

Seeing that the season was about to end, Chopin decided to accept Jane Stirling invitotation to stayed embark on a twelve-hour journey by train to her motherland.It was on 5 August when his journey stay on Caledonian soil commenced.

 

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