Frédéric Chopin

Mazurkas (3) for piano, Op. 50, CT. 80-82

    Description by Kristen Grimshaw

    Of the piano works of Chopin, the mazurka, perhaps more than his works in other genres, allowed him to experiment with different harmonic and melodic colors, unusual rhythmic patterns, and individualized, personal expressive traits. The genre draws upon the music of the composer's native Poland, including the dance forms of the Mazur (strong, irregular accents, moderate tempo), the Kujawiak (slow, flowing tempo, singing in nature, more subtle accents), and the Oberek (strong, irregular accents, fast tempo, spontaneous in nature). Just as each dance form has its own character, it also has a specific rhythmic formula. Some of Chopin's mazurkas are references to a specific dance, but many are something of a collage, assembling elements which sound like fragments of waltzes and nocturnes. The result is a richly varied repertoire of 57 pieces, each with its own individual traits. The later mazurkas show the development of Chopin's compositional ability, as more space for expansion and development is provided in the longer pieces. Op. 50 begins with a grand and noble mazurka, rich in melodic and harmonic invention. The Aeolian mode which Chopin uses adds to a feeling of mystery and impending danger. What follows is an introspective, tender waltz, with a rhythmically stable, lighthearted middle passage. The third mazurka employs the rhythmic and characteristic traits of the Mazur, the Oberek, and the Kujawiak. In weaving the three together, Chopin uses several contrasting contrapuntal and accompanimental figures, including fugal imitation, thicker chordal textures, and waltz pattern bass lines. The piece appears to fade away, but it ends with two surprising and accented cadence chords.

    Parts/Movements

    1. No. 30 in G major
    2. No. 31 in A flat major
    3. No. 32 in C sharp minor

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Continuo Classics 116
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95215BR
    2016 Steinway & Sons STNS 30071
    2015 Thorofon
    2014 LP Classics 1021A/B
    2014 ATMA Classique ACD 22682
    2013 Broken Audio BRAU 0942
    2013 Warner Classics
    2013 CD Accord ACD 1892
    2012 Avie AVR 2262
    2011 RCA Red Seal 886919369120
    2011 Bridge BRIDGE 9359
    2011 Newton Classics 8802076
    2011 Newton Classics 8802038
    2011 Steinway & Sons 30003
    2011 K&K Verlagsanstalt KuK 103
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099945533
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon / DG Deutsche Grammophon 002894778445
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099996711
    2010 RCA Red Seal 88697686922
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099945535
    2010 Decca 4782282
    2010 Hyperion 55392
    2009 Sony BMG / Sony Classical 88697577072
    2009 Dux Records 650
    2008 Bridge 9276
    2008 Altara Classic 1030
    2008 EMI Classics 5754432
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93217
    2008 Hyperion 44351
    2007 Centaur Records 2098/2099
    2006 Brilliant 99802
    2004 EMI Classics 85767
    2003 Harmonia Mundi 2907352/53
    2003 Forlane 126817
    2003 Aura Classics 0251
    2003 Dorian 93258
    2003 Centaur Records 2601
    2002 Classica d'Oro 3030
    2002 Challenge Classics CC72028
    2001 T-Rax 53
    2001 Rca Red Seal 63027
    2001 Rca Red Seal 63006
    2000 Harmonia Mundi 907247/48
    2000 Centaur Records 2707
    2000 Arkadia 78590
    1999 Helicon Records 1047
    1999 DG Deutsche Grammophon 463 047-2GCE17
    1999 DG Deutsche Grammophon 463 054-2
    1999 Naxos 501501
    1999 RCA Red Seal 63000
    1997 Sony Music Distribution 63237
    1997 London 443738
    1996 Concord 42036
    1996 Decca / London 448 086-2DF2
    1996 London 448086
    1995 London
    1994 Philips 442 574-2PM2
    1993 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0777764933
    1993 Naxos 8505015
    1991 Naxos 550359
    1991 RCA Victor GD60822
    Dante 060
    Finnadar 91071
    Dux 647
    Forlane 16808
    EMI Music Distribution 74457
    EMI Music Distribution 74457
    The Piano Library 242
    Arabesque 6730
    Zephyr Records Z 14514
    Brilliant 99802/10
    London 417584
    Compose Records 9141
    RCA Victor 60822
    Connoisseur Society 4182