This year is the 200th anniversary of the births of Fryderyk Chopin and Robert Schumann. Both men knew each other and esteemed each other highly. Despite their friendship, each man openly admitted by being puzzled by the other man’s work at times. Schumann didn’t quite know what to make of Chopin’s Sonata in B-flat Minor, Op. 35. He called it a collection of Chopin’s four most unruly children. Despite Schumann’s criticism, it is very much a staple of the solo piano repertoire. The third movement is particularly famous. It is Chopin’s funeral march. If I’m not mistaken, an orchestrated version of this might have been played at his funeral. I do know that Mozart’s Requiem was performed. Except for his own music, Chopin treasured the works of Mozart and Bach above all others.
Here is the Italian pianist Arturo Benedetto Michelangeli performing Chopin’s famous Marche funèbre.