chapter  1
20 Pages

London

Summer 1837
ByPeter Willis

London musical life was a draw in itself: Camille Pleyel had already experienced it in 1815, when he performed as a pianist before royalty and at the London Philharmonic Society, and in a two-piano recital with Frederic Kalkbrenner. Architecturally, London had just experienced the dramatic changes brought about by the great architects and speculators of the Georgian period: Shepherd's engraved views, in his Metropolitan improvements of 1829, demonstrate the character of recent building. Chopin's visit to London coincided with a period during which music flourished in the city. The 'professionalization of music' in London during the 1830s and 1840s was balanced by the social changes which saw the waxing and waning of such organisations as the Philharmonic Society and the Concerts of Ancient Music. Chopin established good relations with the Broadwoods, and played again for the family when he returned to London in 1848.