COMPOSITIONS compositions

Polonaise in B flat major [Op. 71 No. 2] incypit

Genre: Polonaise

Key: B-flat major

Opus/WN: [Op. 71 No. 2]

Creation date: 1828

Acc. to Fontana: 71 nr 2

Acc. to Paderewski: VIII/9

Acc. to Turło: 158

Instruments: piano


Little is known about the Polonaise in B flat major from 1828. It is familiar to us because it was copied out from the manuscript by Chopin’s sister Ludwika, and it was published among the posthumous works by Julian Fontana, as the Polonaise, Op. 71 No. 2. The composer himself did not earmark the work for publication.

This Polonaise seems to be one of the documents of an imminent breakthrough. It was composed in the virtuosic brillant style, but in its chamber, rather than concert hall, variety. Importantly, as Frederick Niecks noted, in Chopin’s music from that time ‘The bravura character is still prominent, but, instead of ruling supreme, it becomes in every successive work more and more subordinate to thought and emotion’. This work admirably reconciles the conventional with the original, the coquetry of the salons with the approaching Romantic watershed. It is designed with a remarkable, precise, Classical symmetry. Within that framework appear accents of a dramatic dialogue – as yet rather timid, but presaging what would become so important for Chopin’s mature style: a dynamism resulting from contrast and opposition. That dialogue of textures and registers is perhaps more clearly audible in the polonaise’s trio.

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


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