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Chopin Opus 35

In an inquiry conducted some years ago, a number of great pianists, speaking independently of each other, gave the Chopin Opus 35—the great Sonata in B flat as their favorite composition—the piece they liked to play best of all. Probably a similar inquiry to-day might bring a similar response. There seems to be a fashion of the recital hall that gives vogue for a few years to a certain set of piano pieces, but the Chopin Opus 35 is something that survives fashion, for it is classically greater than fashion.
While the famous Marche funebre from this sonata is one of the most liked of all the Chopin compositions, the beautiful first movement, the Scherzo, with its intense dramatic force and the magic presto which ends the work, makes this masterpiece consummately interesting. Demanding the resources of an advanced technic, its interpretative responsibilities are so great that, although students love to dabble with it, only the mature artist who has spent years in fathoming its artistic possibilities ever succeeds in giving a satisfying performance.

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