COMPOSITIONS compositions

Etude in C minor, Op. 10 No. 12 incypit

Genre: Etude

Key: C minor

Opus/WN: Op. 10 No. 12

Creation date: 1829-1832

Acc. to Paderewski: II/12

Acc. to Turło: 25

Instruments: piano

Composition dedicated to:

Ferenc Liszt


The twelfth Etude, in C minor, which closes the set, strikes one with its power and passion, and it is commonly called, since the times of Liszt, the ‘Revolutionary’. Its first chord sounds – as Tadeusz Zieliński aptly put it – like a gunshot. And thereafter a mass of agitated, angry sonorities rumbles along con fuoco and con forza, beneath huing and crying motives that fire off energico and appassionato into a dispassionate sky, with the utmost fervour and increasing persistence.

Attention was drawn long before now to the parallel between the musical cries of this Etude and the verbal entries in Chopin’s nocturnal diary written in Stuttgart in September 1831: ‘Oh God, You are! You are and You take no revenge?! Have you not yet had enough of the Muscovite crimes – or – or you are Moscow yourself!’

The musical logic induced Chopin to give this minor-mode Etude a Picardian, major-mode ending as well. However, one may surmise that the appearance of a triumphant sonority at the end of the cycle – that bright and emphatic C major – has also a deep extra-musical sense.

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


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Etude in C minor, Op. 10 No. 12 Op. 10 No. 12
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