The formation of Chopin’s instrumental style

The influence of Field and Hummel, distinguished pianists, in the genesis of the Chopinian musical style has been widely examined by musicologists. Instead, it is interesting to research the  tradition of instrumental style  - the musical schools - that Chopin got to know in his formative years. 

Chopin's first teacher was Wojciech Zywny, Bohemian. His musical education seems to be discreet. His specific knowledge of piano technique did not go beyond the most common level, and he certainly could not transmit much, in this field, to his great pupil. 

But in Warsaw, between 1820 and 1830, Chopin knew and attended assiduously some pianists of quite other value. 

Maria Szimanowska

Having lived in St. Petersburg for several years he had known Field and had assimilated its executive style so perfectly to be called "the female Field". Chopin listened to her several times between 1825 and 1828. 

Wilhelm Wurfel 

He settled in Warsaw and become a piano teacher in the local Conservatory in 1815. In 1825 he moved to Vienna where he was in very friendly relations with Beethoven; he even performed in public his Concerto Op. 37. Chopin studied briefly with him the organ. 

Mauricy Ernemann 

He had studied in Berlin with Ludwig Berger. He was a magnificent pianist and Chopin had intimate friendship with him. Chopin repeatedly cited in his letters the colleague's reasoned judgments about his two concerts. 

Joseph Kessler 

Viennese, he had managed to fully assimilate the most advanced piano technique of his time. He lived in Warsaw for a few years and organized 'musical Fridays' to which Chopin participated several times. 

Alexander Rembialinsky

An exceptionally talented pianist, he studied in Paris for six years and; on his return to Warsaw, he met Chopin, whose compositions he also studied. Chopin wrote to a friend: “I have never heard anyone play like him. You can imagine our joy - we've never listened to anything so perfect." 

Chopin therefore had the opportunity to get to know at least two of the main European schools: the French school and the Clementi school secundum Field and Berger. 

We could therefore assume that the "Mozartian" characters, often noted in Chopin's style, were favored by the circumstances of his education, as well as by his natural artistic inclination.  

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