- Chopin, Frédéric
- Fine large autograph album-leaf of the opening of the Étude in A-flat major op.25 no.1, signed and dated ("Fr. Chopin. Paris, 10 Mai 1844")
1 page, large oblong 4to (c.24 x 32cm), on a fine album-leaf with decorative gilt borders, verso blank, Paris, 18 May 1844, a few light stains
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
This Étude was composed in 1836 and published the following year as the first of the op.25 set in Leipzig, Paris and London. In the autograph manuscript in Warsaw, and in all three first editions, the tempo marking is "Allegro sostenuto", rather than "Allegro moderato" as here. Schumann reviewed the op.25 Études and characterized this first number as a poem rather than a study, describing the extraordinary effect of a melody appearing from a continuous stream of arpeggios.
"...Imagine an Aeolian harp possessing all the scales, and an artist's hand combining these with all kinds of fantastic embellishments, but always with an audible deep ground bass, and in the treble, a softly flowing cantilena...it would be a mistake to suppose that he allowed us to hear every one of its small notes. It was rather an undulation of the A-flat major chord...But, exquisitely entangled in the harmony, there ensued a wondrous melody in the large notes..." (Robert Schumann, On Music and Musicians, edited by Konrad Wolff, London, 1947, p. 136)