Frédéric Chopin

Mazurkas (4) for piano, Op. 41, CT. 76-79

    Description by Kristen Grimshaw

    Of all the genres that Chopin wrote in, perhaps the most personal is the mazurka, which recalls the rhythms, modes, and characteristics of Polish music, allowing the listener to experience a sense of the composer's native land. Combining the influences of classical Polish music with the traditional dances -- namely, the Mazur, the Kujawiak, and the Oberek -- the mazurka allowed for a variety of compositional approaches and combinations. The result is a collection of 57 distinct short pieces, each with its own personality and flavor. The collection as a whole stands as an important part of the modern piano repertoire.

    Op. 41 marks the halfway point in the compositional development of Chopin's mazurkas, and in it we can see more daring experiments in mode, form, and character. The opening piece of the collection is in the Phrygian mode, and the form is enlarged to a rondo. A recurring theme includes a subtle melody line that expands and soars by the end of each phrase. This mazurka's contrasting sections include a more lively and dance-like passage and a more dramatic and frenzied portion. Ending with a coda, the piece simply melts away. Hymn-like in its beginning, the second mazurka develops into an expression of pure joy. Chopin maintains a rich chordal texture throughout the piece. The third piece of the set is rather brief, with a contrast between the recurring opening rhythmic chordal figure and the energetic, arching melody. The final mazurka is very much a waltz, friendly and warm in character.

    Parts/Movements

    1. No. 26 in C sharp minor, Maestoso
    2. No. 27 in E minor, Andantino
    3. No. 28 in B major, Animato
    4. No. 29 in A flat major, Allegretto

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95215BR
    2016 Continuo Classics 116
    2016 Steinway & Sons STNS 30071
    2016 Delos DE 3520
    2015 Thorofon
    2014 LP Classics 1021A/B
    2014 ATMA Classique ACD 22682
    2013 Broken Audio BRAU 0941
    2013 Warner Classics
    2012 Zephyr Records Z 14311
    2012 Avie AVR 2262
    2011 RCA Red Seal 886919369120
    2011 Newton Classics 8802076
    2011 Newton Classics 8802038
    2011 Steinway & Sons 30003
    2011 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD000020
    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 Fryderyk Chopin Institute 15
    2009 Sony BMG / Sony Classical 88697577072
    2009 Dux Records 650
    2009 Harmonia Mundi 501721
    2009 X5 Music Group 15582
    2008 Bridge 9276
    2008 EMI Classics 5754432
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93217
    2008 Hyperion 44351
    2007 London Independent 70013
    2007 Centaur Records 2098/2099
    2006 Brilliant 99802
    2005 DG Deutsche Grammophon 002894775242
    2004 EMI Classics 85767
    2003 Harmonia Mundi 2907352/53
    2003 Forlane 126817
    2003 Aura Classics 0251
    2003 Dorian 93258
    2002 Classica d'Oro 3030
    2002 Dynamic 632725
    2001 Harmonia Mundi 901721
    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 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 Classical Heritage 1214
    1995 London
    1994 Philips 442 574-2PM2
    1993 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0777764933
    1991 RCA Victor GD60822
    Finnadar 91071
    Dux Records 646
    Forlane 16802
    Brilliant 99802/8
    EMI Music Distribution 74457
    EMI Music Distribution 74457
    The Piano Library 242
    Arabesque 6730
    London 417584
    RCA Victor 60822
    Connoisseur Society 4182