Homosexual love letters written by Polish composer Frédéric Chopin have been deliberately mistranslated by historians to cover up his sexuality, said a music journalist.
According to The Guardian, Swiss music journalist Moritz Weber had researched letters written by Chopin during the lockdown earlier this year when he discovered a “deluge of declarations of love directed at men.”
His findings were explored on the two-hour radio show Chopin’s men, aired on Swiss broadcaster SRF’s arts channel, and Weber insisted that some of the composer’s writings must have been intentionally mistranslated.
In a letter, Chopin said the rumors about her romantic relationship were a “cloak for hidden feelings,” and her writing also hints at an interest in the “cottage” or seeking sex in a public bathroom.
In a letter to a school friend, he wrote: “You don’t like to be kissed. Please allow me to do this today. You have to pay for the dirty dream I had of you last night.
There are 22 recorded letters from Chopin to the same friend, Tytus Woyciechowski, and he often started them with “my dearest life”, and signed: “Give me a kiss, my dear lover.”
But English-Canadian biographer Alan Walker insisted in his 2018 book Fryderyk Chopin: a life and times that the homoerotic love letters written by Chopin were the result of “psychological confusion”, and added that Woyciechowski was a “close friend”.
Chopin’s gay love letter has been edited to suggest it was a woman.
In an 1829 letter to Woyciechowski, Chopin wrote: “My ideal, which I faithfully serve, […] I dream of.
However, a translation of letters published by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, Poland, described her “ideal” as a woman, despite the original letter using the male version of the Polish name.
A spokesperson for the institute spoke on the radio show and admitted that there was no real evidence that Chopin had had relations with women, only rumors and testimonials from members. of the family.
The translator of the 1829 letter said The Guardian: “He was a romantic who definitely did not discriminate between men and women in his expressions of love. But to say that there is some sort of plot behind the “missing” letters in the various critical editions is absurd.
“The institute is indeed a politically conservative organization, but I did not find any bowdlerization in the Polish edition, nor any ‘correction’ of my notes at passages where Chopin’s sexuality was concerned.”
Whether the montage of Chopin’s love life is intentional or not, Weber said he hopes shedding light on his sexuality will help people understand his music better.
In a letter to Woyciechowski, Chopin wrote: “I entrust to the piano the things that I sometimes want to tell you.
Weber added: “The fact that Chopin had to hide part of his identity for a long time, as he himself writes in his letters, would have left an imprint on his personality and his art.
“Music allowed him to express himself fully, because piano music has the advantage of not containing any words.