COMPOSITIONS compositions

Mazurka in A minor (Gaillard) incypit

Genre: Mazurka

Key: A minor

Creation date: 1839 (?) - 1840

Acc. to Paderewski: X/42

Acc. to Turło: 105

Instruments: piano

Composition dedicated to:

Emile Gaillard


Among the works published by Chopin – albeit without an opus number – is a Mazurka in A minor dedicated to Emile Gaillard, composed in 1840. This distinctive piece is devoid of clear references to rustic, folk music, and it also displays none of the sharpened rhythms that are characteristic of the mazurka. The body of the A minor Mazurka is filled with a dialogue: the melody appears in alternation in the bottom and top registers, and in the left and right hands.

The middle section, in the parallel key of A major, contains music that is strange and even shocking. A single kind of rhythm extends over its thirty-six bars, without the slightest variation. In addition, the melody of this section, continuing without a moment’s pause, is presented by a single kind of texture, namely parallel octaves.

There is no question of primitivism here. The music seems to express an obsession, an idea that circulates endlessly, according to a single pattern. The opening bars of the dialogue return, then at the end the dialogue fades away in nostalgic reverie.

Author: Mieczysław Tomaszewski
[Cykl audycji "Fryderyka Chopina Dzieła Wszystkie"]
Polish Radio, program II


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