They’re all cousins here,

They’re all cousins here, male and female, belonging to great families with great names which no one on the continent has ever heard of. The whole conversation is conducted along genealogical lines; it’s just like the Gospel – such a one begat so-and-so, and he begat another who begat still others – and so on […]

A strange adventure befel

A strange adventure befell me while I was playing my Sonata in B flat minor before some English friends. I had played the Allegro and the Scherzo more or less correctly. I was about to attack the March when suddenly I saw arising from the body of my piano those cursed creatures which had appeared […]

I was traveling in a coup

I was traveling in a coupe, with a very handsome pair of young thoroughbred English horses. One horse began to rear; he caught his foot and then started to bolt, taking the other horse with him. As they were tearing down a slope in the park, the reins snapped and the coachman was thrown from […]

Stuttgart. How strange! T

Stuttgart. How strange! This bed on which I shall lie has been slept on by more than one dying man, but today it does not repel me! Who knows what corpses have lain on it and for how long? But is a corpse any worse than I? A corpse too knows nothing of its father, […]

You can enjoy yourself, g

You can enjoy yourself, get bored, laugh, cry, do anything you like, and no-one takes any notice because thousands here are doing exactly the same…You find here the greatest splendor, the greatest filthiness, the greatest virtue, the greatest vice..They really are a queer lot here! As soon as it gets dark all you hear is […]

As this cough will choke

As this cough will choke me, I implore you to have my body opened, so that I may not be buried alive. (Chopin’s last written words)

But when he asked Chopin

But when he asked Chopin whether he was still in pain, we quite distinctly heard the answer: ‘No more.’ These were the last words heard from his lips. – Charles Gavard, witness to Chopin’s death

When one does a thing, it

When one does a thing, it appears good, otherwise one would not write it. Only later comes reflection, and one discards or accepts the thing. Time is the best censor, and patience a most excellent teacher.

Having nothing to do, I a

Having nothing to do, I am correcting the Paris edition of Bach; not only the engraver’s mistakes, but also the mistakes hallowed by those who are supposed to understand Bach (I have no pretensions to understand better, but I do think that sometimes I can guess).

Every difficulty slurred

Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on.