Frédéric Chopin

Mazurka for piano No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 6/1, CT. 51

    Description by Robert Cummings

    Of the 51 numbered mazurkas -- and over 60 altogether, counting early and "orphaned" efforts -- the four comprising Op. 6 stand as strong early mazurkas that established this genre's pattern of wide-ranging modes of expression and a seemingly ever-expanding view of the color possibilities on the keyboard. True, these four are generally light and do not quite plumb the depths encountered in the A minor Sixth or A flat major Twelfth, to mention just two other early efforts. Still, they are worthwhile pieces, and this F sharp minor First is probably the strongest entry in the group.

    Certainly it offers variety in moving from its elegant yet melancholy main theme to the jolting alternating material, which seems bent on sabotaging the somber character of the piece, but only temporarily succeeds in doing so. The work carries no textual tempo instruction but bears the metronomic marking of a quarter note equals 132. It is a lively piece then, but one whose mood is rooted in darker realms. In the end, this must be assessed as one of the composer's finer early mazurkas. A typical performance of it lasts about three-and-a-half minutes.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Hyperion CDA 68137
    2016 Erato 0190295974961
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795404
    2014 Linn Records CKD 475
    2014 Lawo Classics LAW 1049
    2013 Melodiya MYD 1002093
    2013 Steinway & Sons 30016
    2010 Decca
    2010 Hyperion 55391
    2010 Berlin Classics 0016662
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Classics and Jazz 001382602
    2009 Hungaroton 32469
    2008 Sony Classical Essential Classics 731846
    2007 Melodiya MELCD 1001150
    2006 Brana Records 0033
    2004 Brana Records 0018
    2003 Ambassador 1026
    2003 Virgin 545574
    2001 Sony Classical 89610
    2001 Rca Red Seal 63050
    2000 Amadis 7108
    1996 Essay Recordings 1048
    1995 Connoisseur Society 4181
    1994 ESS.A.Y. 1026
    1993 EMI Music Distribution 764697-2
    Meta/F. Afuera
    Lydian 18108
    Pickwick 1159
    Donau 8108
    Dante 9652
    Arkadia 909
    RCA 5614