Anton de Kontski was a Polish pianist and composer born October 27, 1817, in Kraków and deceased in Ivanychi, Ukraine December 7, 1889. In polish language, his name is written: Antoni Kątski and in French, Antoine de Kontski. Sometimes he was also called “Chevalier.” Anton was a student of John Field in Moscow and was considered a child prodigy. An unknown fact from his life is that he performed a concert together with Chopin in 1845 in Paris.
“Les ruines de Hapsal” piece is a Meditation about the history of the Ungru Castle Ruines.
The history of Ungru Castle Ruins
The Ungru manor was founded in 1523 and was given as a gift to Otto von Ungern-Sternberg by Swedish King Gustav II Adolf in 1629. The surrounding park is considered one of the most beautiful parks in the whole of Estonia. In 1830 the manor was bought by Magnus de la Gardie and after his death, a certain gentleman named Evald Ungern-Sternberg bought the manor. Some rumours said that his son, Count Ewald Adam Gustav Paul Constantin von Ungern-Sternberg had visited the renaissance style castle of Merseburg in Germany at the beginning of the last decade of the 19th century, where he fell in love with the daughter of the castle’s owner.
One day the man asked the woman to marry him, but she answered to be so much in love with her father’s castle that she would never go away. Nevertheless, she promised to marry him only if he built an identical castle. In 1893 the construction was begun. When the frame and the roof of the house were ready, he received a message informing him about the death of the beloved lady. The Count himself fell ill during a trip to St.Petersburg and in 1908 he died as well. His last wish was to be brought to Haapsalu so his body would be transported to the manor where he could spend, even if dead, his only night at the castle.