COMPOSITIONS compositions

Mazurka in G major, Op. 50 No. 1 incypit

Genre: Mazurka

Key: G major

Opus/WN: Op. 50 No. 1

Creation date: 1841-1842

Acc. to Paderewski: X/30

Acc. to Turło: 80

Instruments: piano

Composition dedicated to:

Henry Field
Leon Szmitkowski


We do not know when Chopin began work on the new set of mazurkas that he completed and published in mid 1842 as opus 50, dedicated – in a spontaneous gesture of friendship – to Leon Szmitkowski, who took part in the November Uprising. Each of the three works brings music of a different tone, yet they are linked by a mazurka idiom that is no longer so directly dependent on music previously heard, on music brought from home.

The new mazurka idiom was characterised by a personal tone of hushed intimacy. There is a distinct trace – greater than the echo of rural music – of inner experiences. Chopin’s mazurkas become more expressive than reflective, and it is expression of an increasingly nostalgic tone. Even the shortest mazurka is now a little poem with its own dramatic structure, though the first of the three that comprise opus 50, in G major, brings the most numerous echoes and folk references of that kind.

Mazur-derived motives are followed by phrases of a kujawiak provenance, an elegiac dialogue of questions and answers. Then the light, colouring and expression suddenly change, before a climax and stretto in one – an attempted surge, in mazur rhythm and chromatic sonorities. But this mazurka does not end briskly or risoluto. It softens and fades, tinging the major with minor sonorities.

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


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Mazurka in G major, Op. 50 No. 1 Op. 50 No. 1
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