Frédéric Chopin

Rondo à la Mazur for piano in F major, Op. 5. CT. 193

    Description by Robert Cummings

    This was the second of the four rondos that Chopin wrote, coming during his student years at the Warsaw Conservatory. Whether he attached significance to the number four is not clear, but the fact he stopped writing rondos after 1832 and turned out exactly four scherzos, four ballades and four impromptus makes one wonder. This Rondo à la Mazur(ka) is similar in spirit to the Op. 1 Rondo, but is subtler in its manner, for, while one may notice derivative traces here and there, the music has almost arrived at the composer's mature style now.

    The Rondo à la Mazur is one of the composer's earlier examples of adapting Polish folk music styles to the keyboard. In a sense, it is often hard to discern these folk elements in Chopin's music since his style became so inextricably identified with the sounds of his homeland. Indeed, some of his mazurkas and polonaises could often be taken as folk music adaptations but they typically involved original thematic and harmonic ideas used within Polish dance forms. This Op. 5 Rondo is graceful and somewhat exotic in its lively main theme, which is supported by a colorful mazurka rhythm. A second theme, in B flat, marked tranquillamente e cantabile, provides splendid contrast with its dreamy yet playful melody. Further key changes mark the reappearance of the main thematic material, and the music's variety holds the listener's interest until the brilliant ending. Even though it is not a major masterpiece, this sparkling Rondo still deserves greater attention than it has received over the years.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 IBA [Idil Biret Archives] 8501503
    2017 Claves
    2017 Claves 50170204
    2016 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD 624
    2013 Decca
    2013 Decca 001827102
    2013 Decca
    2012 Entertainment Group 1142
    2012 The Entertainment Group 1164
    2012 Tall Poppies TP 219
    2011 Newton Classics 8802076
    2011 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD606
    2011 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD602603
    2011 Fryderyk Chopin Institute NIFCCD000020
    2010 Deutsche Grammophon 002894778445
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099996711
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94066
    2010 Brilliant Classics 94048
    2010 Decca
    2010 Decca 4782282
    2010 Fryderyk Chopin Institute 17
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music Classics and Jazz 001382602
    2009 Dux Records 650
    2009 Zephyr 132-09
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93217
    2008 Hyperion 44351
    2007 Centaur Records 2098/2099
    2007 Melodiya MELCD 1001150
    2006 EMI Music Distribution / Warner Classics 0946371472
    2006 Brilliant 99802
    2004 VAI Audio 12372
    2003 Forlane 126817
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 463 047-2GCE17
    1999 Naxos 501501
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon 463063
    1999 Naxos 554537
    1999 Philips 454987
    1999 Philips 456898
    1997 Harmonia Mundi 907201
    1997 London 443738
    1995 London
    1992 Naxos 550367
    1992 Arabesque 6629
    Pyramid Records 13507
    London 421035
    Dux Records 640
    Ades 20311
    Forlane 16767
    Brilliant 99802/1
    Philips Classics 426828