Tablet - Portrait

Tablet - Landscape


Frédéric Chopin

This Mazurka, along with its sibling, the B flat major, also written in 1826, share a somewhat unusual history. Chopin did not seek publication of most of his early mazurkas, thus leaving to posterity their appearance in print. Now, some musicologists have assigned numbers to 11 early Mazurkas, adding them to the previously "official" 51, creating a new total of 62. These two were in fact published in 1826, but not included by the composer in his works list, apparently because he was not fully satisfied with them.

As many already know, the mazurka often represented Chopin's nationalistic side, and this G major effort, from his Warsaw student years, stands as a prime example of the composer divulging his Polish roots. The hearty joy and peasant-stomping bounce of the main theme are charming in their sassiness, and if Chopin's usual elegance is missing here, the subdued and playful middle section theme -- played in the upper ranges of the keyboard by the right hand -- balances out the gaucherie of the preceding music for a time. The main theme returns, however, and ends the piece in a mood of great fun. This Mazurka, though simply constructed and quite brusquely folk-like in character, is one of the composer's better early mazurkas and deserves greater attention than it has generally received.