Chopin’s best known work in the sonata genre is his second Sonata in B-flat minor, perhaps mostly because of its haunting third movement, the Funeral March. But it has also attracted quite a lot of criticism, beginning with Robert Schumann, who remarked that Chopin here had yoked together four of his maddest children under the same roof. The ghostly finale, devoid of melody and clear key, Schumann could only describe as “a jeer, but not music”. The work certainly brings a far reaching modification to the classical idea of a sonata, but the accusation that it is merely an assemblage of four pieces more or less forced together is perfectly unjust. The third sonata is formally more traditional, and ends in a vigorous and quite optimistic finale. The 1828 first sonata, written while the composer was still a student in Warsaw, is clearly the least impressive effort, but still an attractive and interesting work.