COMPOSITIONS compositions

Mazurka in B major, Op. 56 No. 1 incypit

Genre: Mazurka

Key: B major

Opus/WN: Op. 56 No. 1

Creation date: 1843

Acc. to Paderewski: X/33

Acc. to Turło: 83

Instruments: piano

Composition dedicated to:

Catherine Maberly


In 1843, Chopin composed three new mazurkas and set them together in opus 56. Each one of them can be listened to with rapt attention. Each is capable of both delighting and astonishing. They are imbued with a nostalgic tone, though also a certain audacity and strangeness. They seem to bring echoes of moments very different from one another. Fragments of memories bound together. This is particularly true of the first piece in the set, in B major, which begins with a dialogue. First, in a low voice, questions are posed… timidly, hesitantly. The response in the upper part strives decisively upwards. And thus is born the phrase of a mazur, which grows in strength with each bar that passes. It becomes the principal motif of the B major Mazurka, expressive of its inner energy. But then we hear music that seems strange in this context: neither oberek nor waltz – a kind of ritornel (in E flat major) that breaks up the narrative’s dramatic flow; movement on the spot. And then the intertwining of the mazur with the waltz-oberek ritornel, and in the concluding stretto the two kinds of dance movement seem to compete. At the very end, it is the vigour, boldness and obstinacy of the mazur that gains the upper hand.

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


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Mazurka in B major, Op. 56 No. 1 Op. 56 No. 1
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