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The Mazurka in A minor was published in the collection ‘Six morceaux de salon’, issued by the magazine Notre Temps, along with genuinely ‘salon’ works by Thalberg, Rosenheim and Czerny. Chopin’s piece has little in common with music of a salon character. It is reflective and nostalgic. The voices carry on a dialogue. Here, the top voice utters the melody’s phrases with seriousness and consideration; a moment later, it is the lower voice that seems more important.

The middle section proceeds in the parallel key (A major), and Chopin has a single rhythmic formula repeated endlessly, obsessively. Then the opening part returns, before gradually fading away.

The Mazurka written for Notre Temps could not be described as cheerful. The Chopin monographer Tadeusz Zieliński sees its ‘simple and gloomy’ melody as evocative of ‘melancholic’ or even ‘mournful’ content. That might be a slight exaggeration, but this A minor Mazurka, born of nostalgic meditation, does certainly incline one to reverie.

Author: Mieczysław Tomaszewski
[Cykl audycji "Fryderyka Chopina Dzieła Wszystkie"]
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Mazurka in A minor (Notre temps)
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