Past into Present

"Past into Present: Gargunnock House 2019" - a concert restaging Chopin's matinée musicale held on 27 September 1848 in the Merchants' Hall, Glasgow. 

On the 12th of October 2019 at Gargunnock House, Stirlingshire, Anna Dębowska performed Valses, Mazurkas, Nocturnes, and other compositions on the Broadwood Grand Piano on which Chopin played in 1848. Joined by an Australian soprano - Karina Bligh - she performed a few vocal compositions by Guglielmo and Niedermeyer, which were also part of the original concert in Glasgow. In the audience, as ususal, members of the Scottish aristocracy, including Patrick and Susan Stirling-Aird of Kippenross and Lord and Lady Stirling.

The matinée musicale given by Chopin on the 27th of September 1848 in the Merchants? Hall, Glasgow, attracted many a music-lover. In fact, the organizer of the concert - John Muir Wood -  was told that "so many private carriages had never been seen at any concert in the town." The performance enjoyed favourable reviews from the various music critics in attendance. Chopin himself, though close to death, was lifted by its success.

Notwithstanding its eventual success, preparations for the concert were not easy. It was difficult to  obtain from Chopin precise information regarding what he was going to play, which is the reason why the programme was tantalizingly vague with just suggestions of the compositions to be performed. It is certain though that two of the compositions that Chopin included in the programme and which were performed during the concert were 2 Nocturnes op. 55 which he had dedicated to Jane Stirling in 1844.

It was  Jane Stirling who encouraged him to tour Scotland in 1848. In that tour, which was arranged by Jane, he played at some large public venues and also held some smaller country house concerts, often in the homes of Jane?s relations. It has always been understood that one of these informal recitals was at Gargunnock House and that Chopin played the very Broadwood piano that is here in the drawing room today.


Part 1
Chopin           Andante, Berceuse, Mazourkas
Guglielmi       Romanza: "La Camelia"
                       Barcaruola: "La notte - bella"
Chopin            Nocturnes et Impromptu

Part 2
Chopin             Ballade et Nocturnes
Niedermeyer    Mélodie et Romance: "Le Lac" - Meditation poetique de Lamartine
Chopin              Valses, Prelude, Etude 



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