CHOPIN Frédéric, Three Mazurkas Op.56

The mazurka was the Polish dance form Chopin chose for some of his most experimental pieces, combining nostalgia with innovation. The set of Three Mazurkas Op.56 was published in 1844. The B major mazurka begins with a restless theme in the left hand, answered with more confidence by the right hand. There are two contrasting sections (in different keys, E flat and G) before the last return of the opening idea brings resolution. The C major mazurka is boisterous and rustic, with bare open fifths in the bass and a theme full of Polish inflections. The third mazurka has been described as a kind of ‘dance poem’: the musical elements of the mazurka are pared down to produce something which one commentator described as ‘the music of memories rather than of reality’ while another saw its audacious harmonies as providing ‘the foundations for the music of the future.’ 

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