While there is no composition by Chopin that does not involve the piano, the cello is the only other instrument for which he wrote any significant music. His first effort was a polonaise written in 1829 when he was visiting the home of Prince Radziwill, governor of the Principality of Poznan and himself a composer and cellist of sorts. Writing to his friend Tytus Woyciechowski in November, he is rather dismissive of his ‘alla polacca’ describing it as ‘nothing more than a brilliant drawing-room piece suitable for the ladies’. He hoped that the Prince’s daughter, Wanda, would practise the piano part (he was supposed to be giving her lessons) in which case she must have been an accomplished pianist, though her father would not have found the cello part over-taxing. The following year Chopin added an introduction, inspired by his friendship in Vienna with the cellist Joseph Merk. The Introduction and Polonaise brillante in C major for piano and cello Op 3 was dedicated to Merk. Carl Czerny (1791–1857) produced a piano solo version of the work but in the 1980s an arrangement by Chopin himself was unearthed.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2010