Chopin - Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20, is a composition for solo piano written by Frédéric Chopin between 1831 and 1832 (which is Chopin's first scherzo) and dedicated to Thomas Albrecht. The tempo marking is Presto con fuoco. The piece is dark, dramatic, and lively. It is complex and considered to be one of Chopin's more difficult works.
Contemporary accounts indicate that in performance, Chopin … was concerned with expressive phrasing, rhythmic consistency and sensitive colouring. Berlioz wrote in 1853 that Chopin "has created a kind of chromatic embroidery ... whose effect is so strange and piquant as to be impossible to describe ... virtually nobody but Chopin himself can play this music and give it this unusual turn".
Hiller wrote that "What in the hands of others was elegant embellishment, in his hands became a colourful wreath of flowers."
Friederike Müller, a pupil of Chopin, wrote: "[His] playing was always noble and beautiful; his tones sang, whether in full forte or softest piano. He took infinite pains to teach his pupils this legato, cantabile style of playing. His most severe criticism was 'He—or she—does not know how to join two notes together.' He also demanded the strictest adherence to rhythm. He hated all lingering and dragging, misplaced rubatos, as well as exaggerated ritardandos ... and it is precisely in this respect that people make such terrible errors in playing his works."