Although Domenico Scarlatti did not confine himself to the harpsichord as much as Chopin did to the piano, it is his works for keyboard instrument that were of huge significance for the development of music. His collection of Essercizi per gravicembalo (commonly known as sonatas), containing more than five hundred compositions, can be mined at will, and something unusual will invariably turn up. Chopin does not appear to have been familiar with them, unlike the works of Mozart or Bach, for which he had the utmost regard and unwaning admiration. Schumann’s famous Kreisleriana, Op. 16, meanwhile, expresses the adoration he held for the music of Chopin, to whom he dedicated this remarkable collection of pieces, emblematic of his piano style.
Simply... Philharmonic! Project 1
Fryderyk Chopin and his art – what place do they really hold in music history? The answer could not be simpler: at the pinnacle of European romanticism, among other composers who devoted particular attention to the piano. But we might look for similarities beyond the chronological framework, reaching further and deeper, not restricted to the chapter in music history labelled ‘romanticism’. Then perhaps, seeking associations with distant times – be it only with a world in which modern-day pianos did not yet exist – Chopin’s music might gain new, interesting and not so obvious contexts? It is worth trying, boldly exploring the realm of chamber music as well.