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Piano Recital @ Reitoria da Universidade do Porto

13th of December, 18h

 

The Sonata op.35, also known as "Sonata of the Funeral March", was completed in 1839 and published in 1840. It is considered one of the most important works of the nineteenth century piano literature.

The fulcrum of the Sonata is the third tempo, the Funeral March (Chopin later changed the title to only "March").

This move was made two years before the rest of the Sonata, and the other three moves seem to be built around them. It is likely that Chopin's suffering for the fate of his country, Poland, and his precarious health, which foreshadowed his premature death, were the inspiring motifs for the composition of the March, which today is one of the best known songs of Chopin.

Following its publication, Sonata attracted many comments. Initially, several musical critics attributed its seemingly "fragmentary" structure to Chopin's inability to deal with the Sonata form. Only from the second half of the twentieth century did the analysis of op.35 show its extreme originality and modernity.

In this respect, the Finale deserves special attention: the almost "atonal" writing used by Chopin shocked many listeners of the time, such as Schumann, who wrote: "... we have heard how hypnotized until the end, but also without praise, because it is not music. The Sonata ends as it began, enigmatic, as a sketch with an ironic smile."