“Hats off gentlemen! A new genius!”

Robert Schumann relates, in his writings about “Music and Musicians” that at one of the gatherings of a certain circle of youthful enthusiasts of music in Leipzig, one of their members, pale and breathless threw some music on the table and exclaimed, “Hats off gentlemen! A new genius!” and began to play. These were the variations on the theme of “Don Juan” and when they ended none of those connoisseurs knew whose they were. “They are not Beethoven’s, nor Schubert’s and if not their’s , then who can compose like that?” On the title page stood “La Ci Darem la Mano Varie pour le piano par Fr. Chopin. Op.2” A second work! Their astonishment was without limits. “Something good at last! Chopin! Who is he? A genius.”

from “Chopin: As Revealed by Extracts from his Diary” by Count Stanislas Tarnowski