It was precisely on 20th April 1848 that Frederic Chopin arrived in London to begin his tour of the British Isles. And it was precisely 175 years later on 20 April 2023 that Anna Dębowska performed a number of Chopin's compositions to commemorate this event organized as part of the April Conference by the Jagiellonian Univerity's Institut of English Studies.
During the event, the international audience listened to, inter allia, the two Nocturnes which he dedicated to Jane Stirling. Normally fragile and fearful, Anna became a musical sovereign when she tamed the grand piano through Chopin's music. She calmed the audience with her subtle rendition of the composer's nocturnes, but at the same time she rolled through the keyboard like a hurricane with demanding passages as she interpreted his revolutionary etude.
Anna's performance fused the past and the present, as it provided the audience with a unique opportunity to commune with sounds that so clearly carried a message. Combined with readings from Chopin's letters, it offered a musical voyage in time back to 1848, when Caledonian soil hosted the dying Chopin, impoverished by his declining lot, enriched by numerous tokens of hospitality and genuine friendship.
Contextualized by Marcin Jaroszek's narration, the concert span a story of love, devotion, disillusionment and unconditional respect for this somewhat whimsical Romantic genius. It told the story of Jane Wilhelmina Stirling, who gave so much and received so little. It told a story that had rested dormant for nearly two centuries - a story that will now unfold...