COMPOSITIONS compositions


We are not certain of the origins of the song ‘Pierścień’. It is believed to have been composed as a postscript to Chopin’s proposal to Maria Wodzińska. Fontana, however, when publishing the song, gave the wrong date (1841). A manuscript was written into Maria’s album on 8 September 1836, including the words from Witwicki’s poem: ‘Fine musicians at your wedding, with me as the singer, and so married you my rival, my ring on your finger’.[i]

The melody of ‘Pierścień’ sways along in a kujawiak rhythm. Intuition bade Chopin contrast here two categories of expression: the melancholy song of the jilted young man and the playing of a wedding band in a different rhythm (oberek) and mode (E flat major).

[i] English words by Joanna Urban, reproduced in The National Edition of the Works of Fryderyk Chopin, ed. Jan Ekier, series B, x: Songs (Warsaw, 2008), Eng. suppl. p. 15.

Author: Mieczysław Tomaszewski
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