Piano Sonata no. 3, Op. 58

Chopin’s Piano Sonata no. 3 in Bm was composed in 1844, when Chopin was thirty-four years old and his health was growing ever more fragile. Chopin was not able to give adequate time to composition while teaching and maintaining his status in Parisian society, so he composed mostly during summers at George Sand’s estate in Nohant. The Piano Sonata in B minor, one of the works from Nohant, is a large-scale work in four movements. Although Chopin’s composition was intimately tied to his playing, this was one work not premiered by Chopin, nor did he ever play it in a public performance. It has an emotional and noble opening movement, a light Molto Vivace second movement, a graceful Largo and an astounding virtuosic finale. All of the hallmarks of Chopin’s style are here: tumultuous and talented playing, shifting moods, lyrical melodies, and an almost unbearable sense of longing. It is a true masterpiece and represents the culmination of a lifetime (albeit short) of piano playing. As his last sonata for solo piano, it has been suggested that this was his attempt to address the criticisms of his earlier sonata Op. 35.

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