Mazurkas, Op. 41 (Chopin)

Frédéric Chopin, 1835

Mazurkas, Op. 41 is a set of four mazurkas for piano by Frédéric Chopin, composed and published between 1838 and 1839. A typical performance of the set lasts about nine and a half minutes.[1] The set is dedicated to Chopin's friend Stefan Witwicki, a minor poet, ten of whose poems Chopin set to music as songs.

CompositionEdit

[2]

StructureEdit

The order here is the order in the first German edition. The first French and English editions placed the A flat major mazurka first rather than last.[3]

Mazurka in C# minor, Op. 41, No. 1Edit

DescriptionEdit

The first mazurka is in C-sharp minor and has a time signature of 3/4. It also has the tempo marking: Maestoso.

The Mazurka op.41 no.4 in C sharp minor should really have a subtitle: in the Phrygian mode for this is the special quality of its main theme and the crowning climax at the end. How Chopin incorporates the mode into the piece is fascinating: The mazurka starts with an outlining of the Phrygian scale as a solo right hand melody, only then repeating it with harmonization and then subjecting it to harmonic development in E major. Various episodes introduce new key areas, all very clearly marked off from one another, many developing the dotted rhythm idea from the main theme. The big dominant build-up to the climax is quite awe-inspiring both in its length (14 bars) and its ubiquitous use of dotted rhythms. In the 13 bar coda Chopin takes us back to C sharp minor and we enjoy the minor scale without the characteristic flattened supertonic of the Phrygian mode.

Musical analysisEdit

Mazurka in E minor, Op. 41, No. 2Edit

DescriptionEdit

The second mazurka is in E minor and has a time signature of 3/4. It also has the tempo marking: Andantino.

Musical analysisEdit

Mazurka in B major, Op. 41, No. 3Edit

DescriptionEdit

The third Mazurka is in B major and has a time signature of 3/4. It also has the tempo marking: Animato.

Musical analysisEdit

[4]

Mazurka in A-flat major, Op. 41, No. 4Edit

DescriptionEdit

The final mazurka in the set is in A-flat major and has a time signature of 3/4. It also has the tempo marking: Allegretto.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit