For Chopin. La Madeleine

Play Mozart in memory of me.

– Frédéric Chopin.

Even though we had to make a detour, on the day we did Paris by bicycle, there was one place that I had deemed necessary for me to visit: La Madeleine church. I had wanted to visit La Madeleine for a long time. The reason being is that if I had to choose only one classical music composer that I most love, he is Chopin, and when Chopin died his funeral was held in La Madeleine.

La Madeleine did not let me down. In real life it was way more opulent than I had imagined. Plus it was enormous, just take note of the size of the people in my photos compared to the building! The emotion I felt there upon arrival was tremendous.

Pillars of La Madeleine Church - Paris

This Roman Catholic temple was built between 1763-1842, in the most pompous Napoleonic style. Its beauty and glory gave me such an intense feeling of awe. That, combined with the fact that I was always conscious of the fact that I was finally visiting the place where the farewell to Chopin took place, made it a truly emotive moment for me.

Awe inspiring Madeleine Church Paris

Glowing lights of La Madeleine Church - Paris

The Virgin Mary and Jesus - La Madeleine, Paris

Paris - La Madeleine Church

Chopin was born in Warsaw in 1810, Poland, and lived most of his childhood and early adult years in Poland, then carried on most of his later adult life in Paris. His roots with France begin with the fact that his father, Nicolas Chopin, was French. His notes are for me the most beautiful miserable feelings for the piano. He battled with pulmonary illness during all his life, which most probably influenced his sad melodies. Chopin died in Paris when he was 39 years old. Should he have been able to carry on living for many more years, I cannot fathom what more genius music he would have created. I guess he would have been ended up making the most amazing masterpieces like Liszt.

His funeral was held on 30th October, 1849, in La Madeleine at 11 o’clock in the morning. In accordance to the last wishes of Chopin, Mozart’s Requiem was performed. At that time women were prohibited to sing in churches, so the soprano Jeanne Anaïs Castellan and mezzosoprano Paulina García-Viardor were made to hide behind a big black cloth during the performance. The Funeral March from his 2nd Sonata for piano and his Preludes Opus 28 No. 2 and 6 were also performed.

Here is one of my favourite nocturnes, the Opus 48 No.1 by Chopin played by Valentina Lisitsa. If you listen to it, please also read what she has written about it in the description. I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you for visiting!

19 Comments

    1. Sofia 2013-10-21 at 21:02

      Thank you Jalal, I’m glad you like them. Regards!

      Reply
    1. Sofia 2013-10-21 at 21:03

      I’m happy to now that you love Chopin too Shanna!

      Reply
      1. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward 2013-10-21 at 22:37

        Oh, I do. I can listen to all of his MANY pieces on Spotify – it makes for heavenly evenings. 🙂

        Reply
  1. dalo2013 2013-10-20 at 06:19

    Beautiful post Sofia, thank you so much for writing and sharing the photographs (and the link to Chopin’s Opus 48 No.1). The music and the last four photos play-off each other so well.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2013-10-21 at 21:05

      Hello! I’m glad you liked the photos AND that you enjoyed the piece to go with it 🙂

      Reply
  2. Rosa M Lillo 2013-10-20 at 09:14

    Awesome pictures and astonishing music for this beautiful post. Paris by bicycle? Oh, that’s cool!
    Bss

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2013-10-21 at 21:06

      Gracias Rosa. Yeah, Paris by bicycle was a cool day. Besos

      Reply
  3. Laura Lynn 2013-10-20 at 16:23

    Nicely done! That music, wow! Thanks for the share, Valentina Lisitsa is fabulous, as are your photos.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2013-10-21 at 21:07

      Hi Laura! Valentina’s videos are really well done, so when I learn a piece and she’s uploaded the same one, I’ll probably watch it about 150 times, lol.

      Reply
  4. pianolearner 2013-10-21 at 10:54

    Really informative. I knew nothing about the church, or Chopin’s life. Great photos as well! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2013-10-21 at 21:08

      I have a big thick book on Chopin’s life 🙂

      Reply
        1. Sofia 2013-10-21 at 23:53

          Its just called “Chopin”, by Justo Romero. Its in Spanish. I actually like reading a lot more in English, but seeing I live where I live, ofcourse sometimes I can’t find what I want in English. (and I know, thats when Amazon is supposed to come into my life…).

          Reply
  5. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2013-10-23 at 13:59

    A lesson in music and an ode to aestheticism…on this wonderful blog, Sofia! I live for aesthetics, how else could you bear life? I doff my hat to you.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2013-10-24 at 00:55

      Thank you Guillermina, while we are at it, we should enjoy life to the maximum and take note of what we find as beautiful, like music or this architecture which is a work of art. Besos!

      Reply

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