He spent his summer holidays in estates belonging to the parents of his school friends in various parts of the country.The young composer listened to and noted down the texts of folk songs, took part in peasant weddings and harvest festivities, danced, and played a folk instrument resembling a double bass with the village musicians; all of which he described in his letters.
Chopin became well acquainted with the folk music of the Polish plains in its authentic form, with its distinct tonality, richness of rhythms and dance vigor. Aware of the exceptional nature of Chopin’s talent, Elsner allowed him, in accordance with his personality and temperament, to concentrate on piano music but was unbending as regards theoretical subjects, in particular counterpoint.
When composing his first mazurkas in 1825, as well as the later ones, he resorted to this source of inspiration that he kept in mind until the very end of his life. Chopin, endowed by nature with magnificent melodic invention, ease of free improvisation and an inclination towards brilliant effects and perfect harmony, gained in Elsner’s school a solid grounding, discipline, and precision of construction, as well as an understanding of the meaning and logic of each note.
Several days after their arrival in Vienna, the two friends learned about the outbreak of the uprising in Warsaw, against the subservience of the Kingdom of Poland to Russia and the presence of the Russian Tsar on the Polish throne.
This was the beginning of a months-long Russo-Polish war.
Even if so, as an artist, I am still in my cradle, as a Pole, I am already twenty; I hope, therefore that, knowing me well, you will not chide me that so far I have not thought about the program of the concert”.
The performance ultimately took place on 11 June 1831, in the K?
This was also the period of the first nocturne, etudes, waltzes, and mazurkas.
During the last months prior to his planned longer stay abroad, Chopin gave a number of public performances, mainly in the National Theatre in Warsaw where the premi? Originally, his destination was to be Berlin, where the artist had been invited by Prince Antoni Radziwill, the governor of the Grand Duchy of Poznan, who had been appointed by the king of Prussia, and who was a long-standing admirer of Chopin’s talent.
Traces of these experiences are encountered in the so-called Stuttgart diary: “The enemy is in the house (…) Oh God, do You exist? – Have You not had enough of Moscow’s crimes or are You Yourself a Muscovite [...] I am here, useless! At times I can only groan, suffer, and pour out my despair at my piano!
” In the autumn of 1831 Chopin arrived in Paris where he met many fellow countrymen. In Paris, his reputation as an artist grew rapidly.