ALS in Polish, signed “F. Chopin,” one page, 4 x 5, no date. Brief letter to his friend Albert Grzymala. In full (translated): “My life, I cannot refuse you anything, so I am at your service on Friday. But as far as playing is concerned, please leave me alone should you see me too tired.” The recipient is identified at the top in another hand. Attractively double-matted and framed with an image and descriptive plaques to an overall size of 20.5 x 21.5. In fine condition. According to the April 14, 1978, edition of the Nowy Dziennik [New Daily] newspaper, this letter was passed down through the family of former Polish diplomat Jerzy Lasocki, whose family owned a church near Chopin’s birthplace, where the composer had been baptized.
Wojciech [Albert] Grzymala (1793–1871) was a Polish soldier, politician, and banker who was a close associate of Frederic Chopin, serving him as an advisor and ‘older brother’ figure. This is an especially interesting letter as Chopin apologizes for his potential inability to play—he was stricken with illness for his entire life, leaving him fragile and weak. At times he was so exhausted after long piano performances that he had to be carried to bed. A remarkable letter in its intimate association with Chopin's close friend as well as its biographical importance as a firsthand acknowledgment of his weakness and how it affected his performance.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.