Frédéric Chopin

Mazurkas (4) for piano, Op. 33, CT. 72-75

    Description by Kristen Grimshaw

    The nineteenth century saw the emergence of several new forms and genres, in some part as a departure from the great sonata form enlarged and expanded by Beethoven. As a result, many composers, especially for the piano, were turning towards more intimate character pieces. These miniatures allowed for the brief exploration of an idea, whether technical or emotional. Among the new genres appearing at the time was Chopin's Mazurka, a fusion of three Polish dance forms with the classical traditions of the composer's homeland. The three dance forms, the Mazur, the Kujawiak, and the Oberek, are sometimes found in their pure form, but often are merged with each other or with other genres or styles. The Mazurka enabled Chopin to explore many different dynamic, harmonic, and melodic colors, and to create many different personalities and characteristics. The result is a genre that can't be described universally, each piece being unique.

    The Mazurkas of opus 33 each present distinct traits and characteristics. The first, marked Lento, has a lyrical, expressive melody line over a waltz pattern in the bass. The mood shifts effortlessly between mournful and hopeful, with a cherished and delicate intimacy. The second Mazurka is a true Oberek, impetuous, fast, and with strong, irregular accents. The mood is joyous, with playful, comic tremolo figures. The coda is free and full of flurries. The third piece of the collection, marked Semplice, is truly a simple and innocent approach to the genre. The sweet, tender melodic line is supported by subtly accented second beats, keeping the flavor of the dance. The final Mazurka adds rhythmic interest to the set, with the grace notes and trills bringing a rustic, native feel. The piece is written in rondo form, with several different characters appearing in the episodes between the recurring original theme.

    Parts/Movements

    1. No. 22 in G sharp minor. Lento
    2. No. 23 in D major. Vivace
    3. No. 24 in C major. Semplice
    4. No. 25 in B minor. Mesto

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95215BR
    2016 Continuo Classics 116
    2016 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD 625
    2016 Fryderyk Chopin Institute / Nardowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina NIFCCD 617
    2016 Steinway & Sons STNS 30071
    2016 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4795404
    2014 LP Classics 1021A/B
    2014 ATMA Classique ACD 22682
    2013 Maguelone MAG 111191
    2013 Broken Audio BRAU 0941
    2013 Warner Classics
    2012 Zephyr Records Z 14311
    2012 Avie AVR 2262
    2011 RCA Red Seal 886919369120
    2011 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4779908
    2011 Newton Classics 8802076
    2011 Newton Classics 8802038
    2011 Steinway & Sons 30003
    2011 Parnassus Records PACD 960512
    2011 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD000020
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099963163
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099945533
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon / DG Deutsche Grammophon 002894778445
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099996711
    2010 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 RCA Red Seal 88697686922
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099945535
    2010 Decca 4782282
    2009 Sony BMG / Sony Classical 88697577072
    2009 Dux Records 650
    2009 Fryderyk Chopin Institute 002
    2009 X5 Music Group 15582
    2008 EMI Classics 5754432
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93217
    2008 Mirare 075
    2008 Hyperion 44351
    2008 DG Deutsche Grammophon 001193902
    2008 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4777626
    2007 ATMA Classique 2560
    2007 Centaur Records 2098/2099
    2006 Brilliant 99802
    2006 Takt 1501/15
    2005 Cambria 1149
    2005 Resonance R202
    2004 EMI Classics 85767
    2003 Harmonia Mundi 2907352/53
    2003 Forlane 126817
    2003 Aura Classics 0251
    2003 Dorian 93258
    2002 Classica d'Oro 3030
    2001 Rca Red Seal 63027
    2001 Rca Red Seal 63006
    2000 Harmonia Mundi 907247/48
    2000 Arkadia 78590
    1999 DG Deutsche Grammophon 463 047-2GCE17
    1999 DG Deutsche Grammophon 463 054-2
    1999 Naxos 501501
    1999 Naxos 554529
    1999 RCA Red Seal 63000
    1997 Sony Music Distribution 63237
    1997 London 443738
    1996 Concord 42036
    1996 London 448086
    1996 Decca / London 448 086-2DF2
    1995 London
    1994 Philips 442 574-2PM2
    1994 Naxos 550358
    1993 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0777764933
    1993 Naxos 8505015
    1991 RCA Victor GD60822
    Finnadar 91071
    Dux Records 645
    Brilliant 99802/8
    Forlane 16793
    EMI Music Distribution 74457
    EMI Music Distribution 74457
    Decca 410122
    The Piano Library 242
    Arabesque 6730
    Forlane 16729
    London 417584
    RCA Victor 60822