Residence of Józef Reinschmidt’s parents
Józef Reinschmidt was a close friend of Fryderyk Chopin from the Warsaw Lyceum, where they attended classes V and VI together. That Reinschmidt was friends with the young composer is evident from references in correspondence (Chopin, writing to Jan Matuszyński from Vienna in 1829 or 1831, tells him at the end of the letter to kiss and hug Reinschmidt), and from the fact that Reinschmidt and Dominik Magnuszewski organised one of the farewell banquets for Chopin, who was leaving for a long trip abroad, in August 1830. Reinschmidt described this banquet in his memoirs, preserved by Anna Wóycicka, née Magnuszewska, his sister-in-law and wife of the future historian Kazimierz Władysław Wóycicki, who specialised in Warsaw. That banquet was held in the residence of Reinschmidt’s parents on ul. Dzielna. Fryderyk’s by then distinguished father, the seventy-year-old Mikołaj, was there, as was ‘Doctor Ludwik Köller’, who was a friend of the Chopins, Konstanty Gaszyński, Julian Fontana, Tytus Woyciechowski, Wiktor Chełmicki and many others not mentioned by name. There were plenty of delicacies (‘with jelly and ice cream’), moving speeches (e.g. Dr Köller ‘wished Chopin, on behalf of Warsaw, not only fame and fortune abroad, but also that he never expunge from his memory the friends and fatherland he was leaving behind’) and plenty of good fun and artistic experiences. There was group singing to the accompaniment of Julian Fontana, poetic improvisations in which Magnuszewski and Gaszyński especially excelled, and a concert by Chopin, so riotously bidden farewell: ‘Chopin sat down at the piano and so many wonderful melodies flowed from beneath his fingers that we listened at times with tremors in our hearts and tears in our eyes. That evening, he composed the music to the song “Szynkareczko, Szafareczko – bój się Boga, stój…” [‘Hulanka’ [Drinking song]], and then we all sang it in chorus a couple of times.’ After the party, the exhilarated youth took Chopin home to his apartment on Krakowskie Przedmieście, all the while frolicking along the road, changing clothes and mocking and jeering.
Chopin left Poland in 1832. Reinschmidt married Klara Anna Bibianna, a sister of Dominik Magnuszewski, with whom he had six children and who left him a widower in 1848. Reinschmidt studied on the Faculty of Law and Administration of Warsaw University. He was an advisor to the Covered Bond Owners Committee in the 1840s and later worked as a magistrate’s clerk in Warsaw.