Piano Concerto No.1 in e minor, Op.11
For Piano, 2 Violins, Viola Cello & Bass
Chopin's Piano Concerto No.1 is dedicated to Friedrich Kalkbrenner (1785-1849) a piano virtuoso, composer-and teacher. It is interesting to note that Chopin himself made arrangements of both of his piano concertos for piano solo, piano duo, for piano and string quartet and for piano and string quintet. This is attributed to the fact that he did not like giving public concerts in a large venue, which would have been necessary if an orchestra had been present. He performed the concertos both with a quartet and a quintet from time to time in various Paris salons. Chopin was never particularly comfortable nor accomplished in his writing for strings and the arrangements were not particularly well done. However, the fact that he had done it encouraged many others, who were far more adept at arranging than he, to try their hands. Richard Hofmann (1844-1918), the arranger of our edition, was a famous teacher and Professor of composition at the famous Leipzig Conservatory.
Piano Concerto No.1 in e minor, Op.11 is actually the second of two he wrote but was published before his actual first concerto (in f minor, Op. 21). This was due to a delay in the orchestral parts of the e minor concerto, which Chopin had trouble composing. Chopin himself premiered the concerto in 1830 during his final Warsaw concert before leaving Poland to which he never returned. The reason for his departure is usually attributed to the fact that Polish audiences were bored with him as he was no longer a child prodigy. And although he made several frequent extended trips abroad, he never resided any place else but Paris.
Since Chopin himself performed the work in this version more frequently than in the full orchestral version, it is certainly valuable not only from an historical perspective but also as insight into the composer's ideas.