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.
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.
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!