Chopin was yet another child prodigy. He completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland for Paris at the age of 21. Thereafter—in the last 18 years of his life—he gave only 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon!
This beautiful little piece was published after his death. Just think – Chopin could never listen to this masterpiece as we can, because the pianos that we play now were not yet made. Chopin died in 1849, and it was not until 1855 that Steinway & Sons introduced the first square piano with a new scale that revolutionized the sound quality and was adopted by all future manufacturers.
Once the most successful components of the various grand piano designs were established, many manufacturers began patenting their own combinations and changes to construction. In 1859, Steinway & Sons contributed to this evolution of the grand piano with the introduction of their full iron frame with fan-shaped strings and overstrung scale.
In my mind, Chopin prefigured the impressionists who revolutionized painting starting shortly after Chopin’s death. I have the following impressions in my mind as I’m playin this song: a fluttering candle, the music fading in and out like a caliope on a carousel, or watching a tipsy uncle tottering off to bed. As you listen to this short piece, what do you envision?
Some information from Wikipedia.