Chopin's Piano Turns Up in England

The piano that classical-music great Chopin played during his final tour in 1848 has been rediscovered at an English country house. It was sold — and then lost — after the Polish composer died more than 150 years ago.

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(Soundbite of song "Fantasy Impromptu")

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

We're listening to "Fantasy Impromptu" by the Polish composer Frederic Chopin. He was sometimes known as the poet of the piano, and now the piano on which he played his poetic melodies has been found.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Chopin lived most of his adult life in Paris, where he played on a piano made by a friend. In 1848, he brought that piano with him to London for what would be his last concert tour. Rather than ship it back home again, he sold it. And after his death it was lost somewhere in England.

INSKEEP: That might be the end of the story except that Chopin's friend, Camille Pleyel, made pianos with serial numbers. So when an old Pleyel piano turned up in an English country house, it could be identified as the same instrument that Chopin played and then let go a century and a half ago.

(Soundbite of song "Fantasy Impromptu")

INSKEEP: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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