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Observations placeholder

Chopin - Sonata in B minor Op. 58



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Charles Richard-Hamelin – Sonata in B minor Op. 58 (third stage)

Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina/ The Fryderyk Chopin Institute
The Fryderyk Chopin Institute, Polish Television TVP

From 1842 onwards, Chopin showed signs of serious illness. After a solo recital in Paris on 21 February 1842, he wrote to Grzymała:

"I have to lie in bed all day long, my mouth and tonsils are aching so much."

Late in 1844, Charles Hallé visited Chopin and found him "hardly able to move, bent like a half-opened penknife and evidently in great pain", although his spirits returned when he started to play the piano for his visitor. Chopin's health continued to deteriorate, particularly from this time onwards.

As the composer's illness progressed, George Sand became less of a lover and more of a nurse to Chopin, whom she called her "third child". In letters to third parties, she referred to him as a "child," a "little angel", a "sufferer" and a "beloved little corpse."  In 1847 he did not visit Nohant, and he quietly ended their ten-year relationship following an angry correspondence which, in Sand's words, made "a strange conclusion to nine years of exclusive friendship."

The two would never meet again.

Chopin's output as a composer throughout this period declined in quantity year by year. Whereas in 1841 he had written a dozen works, only six were written in 1842 and six shorter pieces in 1843. In 1844 he wrote only the Op. 58 sonata. 1845 saw the completion of three mazurkas (Op. 59). Although these works were more refined than many of his earlier compositions, Zamoyski concludes that "...... his inspiration was beset by anguish, both emotional and intellectual."


The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps