COMPOSITIONS compositions

Mazurka in A flat major, Op. 24 No. 3 incypit

Genre: Mazurka

Key: A-flat major

Opus/WN: Op. 24 No. 3

Creation date: 1833-1836 (1834-1835?)

Acc. to Paderewski: X/16

Acc. to Turło: 66

Instruments: piano

Composition dedicated to:

Luiza Linde


Third place in the set of mazurkas published as opus 24 is occupied by a Mazurka in A flat major, one of five that Chopin composed in this preferred key of his. One might say of this piece that it is rather humble. It has not won any great popularity. Within the Op. 24 set, its function might be deemed that of an intermezzo between two particularly distinctive, and indeed famous, mazurkas: the C major and the B flat minor.

The Mazurka in A flat major received an exceedingly simple, yet quite specific, form. The dance melody, derived from a kujawiak, proceeds in a twelve-beat rhythm, instead of the usual eight-beat pulse. One might say that this mazurka is monothematic, as only the opening theme plays a crucial role, appearing four times. There is also a different melody, perhaps not even a melody, but merely a motif, repeated many times. For a moment, it interrupts the measured rhythm of the dance, knocking it out with a new rhythm – a duple rhythm, unexpected in a mazurka.

It seems this mazurka could be played endlessly, entwining the basic theme with a couple of a couple of bars of that quasi-duple vignette. The A flat major Mazurka also ends unusually, the melody dissolving in spontaneously fading and softening figuration.

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


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Mazurka in A flat major, Op. 24 No. 3 Op. 24 No. 3
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