Tablet - Portrait

Tablet - Landscape


Frédéric Chopin

The mazurkas comprising Op. 30, published in 1837, depart somewhat from the more tender, intimate mazurkas heard in earlier collections. Especially the last three of the four pieces in the set have a grand, flashy character only hinted at previously. The first is filled with rich, subtle harmonic coloring and a playful dialogue between the two octaves of the melody line. It has a rustic, feel with its many grace-note figures and its accented second beats. The second piece is dramatic, with several dynamic outbursts. The tragic and the hopeful seem to be interwoven and easily interchanged. The third mazurka is highly flamboyant, with a thick gypsy flavor reminiscent of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies. The strong dotted rhythm and the parallel thirds evoke a passionate, frothy feel. The contrasting section provides some respite, with a lighter and friendlier texture. The fourth piece in the set keeps with the essence of the other works, although it seems more approachable by the timid listener. The unusual introduction leads to a melody with a triplet trill-like figure, which, like the grace notes of the first mazurka, creates a more native sound. The middle section brings a grand and patriotic commentary before returning to the more good-natured opening theme.