Chopin - Mazurkas Op. 63 Nos. 1-3
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Over the years 1825–1849, Frédéric Chopin wrote at least 59 mazurkas for piano, based on the traditional Polish dance:
- 58 have been published
- 45 during Chopin's lifetime, of which 41 have opus numbers
- 13 posthumously, of which 8 have posthumous opus numbers
- 11 further mazurkas are known whose manuscripts are either in private hands or untraced (at least 9).
The serial numbering of the 58 published mazurkas normally goes only up to 51. The remaining 7 are referred to by their key or catalogue number.
Chopin's mazurkas and waltzes are all in straightforward ternary or episodic form, sometimes with a coda. The mazurkas often show more ‘folk’ features than many of his other works, sometimes including modal scales and harmonies and the use of drone basses. However, some also show unusual sophistication, for example Op. 63 No. 3, which includes a canon at one beat's distance, a great rarity in music.
The Op. 63 mazurkas were written in 1846 and published in 1847.
- No. 1 in B major
- No. 2 in F minor
- No. 3 in C-sharp minor
The soprano and composer Pauline Viardot was a close friend of Chopin and his lover George Sand, and she made a number of arrangements of his mazurkas as songs, with his full agreement. He gave Viardot expert advice on these arrangements, as well as on her piano playing and her other vocal compositions.