„A Winter on Mallorca – the Truth“

Texts by George Sand and piano works by Frederic Chopin

 

Piano: Sebastian Knauer

Compilation of text and concept: Sebastian Knauer

 

This programme, “A Winter on Mallorca – the Truth” tells the story of the journey to Mallorca in the winter of 1838 by the composer Chopin and his eccentric, exotic lifelong companion, the authoress George Sand.

It was hoped that through a milder island climate the health of Chopin could be improved. George Sand took the ailing composer and her two children Solange and Maurice on this trip.

 

It had been Chopin’s friends and doctors who had pleaded with George Sand to undertake this journey because the composer himself would never have entertained the idea to leave Paris with its important social life, so vital to his existence.

 

Despite the panoramic beauty of Mallorca and the enormous anticipation neither Chopin nor Sand felt well during their stay on the island. They could not get on with the local inhabitants, their lodgings left a lot to be desired and the cool, rainy weather worsened the composer’s condition, yet to this day the abbey at Valdemossa has remained a famous place to visit where once upon a time the travellers had stayed under adverse conditions.

 

It may well have been his deep melancholy that enabled Chopin to write some of his most beautiful and famous compositions during this winter, such as the Preludes op. 28 with the celebrated “Raindrop Prelude”, the Polonaises op. 40, the Mazurkas op. 41 and the Scherzo No. 3 op. 39.

 

The works appear together with spoken texts by George Sand that have been taken from her novel entitled “A Winter On Mallorca” as well as from her autobiography “L’ Histoire de ma vie”. In it she writes: “I have already said much about our stay on the island, however, now, so many years after that journey and after Chopin’s death, I am telling the whole truth….”