Chopin - Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 31
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 31 is a scherzo by Frédéric Chopin. The work was composed and published in 1837, and was dedicated to Countess Adèle Fürstenstein. Robert Schumann compared this scherzo to a Byronic poem, "so overflowing with tenderness, boldness, love and contempt."
According to Wilhelm von Lenz, a pupil of Chopin, the composer said that the renowned sotto voce opening was a question and the second phrase the answer.
Huneker exults, "What masterly writing, and it lies in the very heart of the piano! A hundred generations may not improve on these pages”.
Jonathan Bellman writes that modern concert performance style—set in the "conservatory" tradition of late 19th- and 20th-century music schools, and suitable for large auditoria or recordings—militates against what is known of Chopin's more intimate performance technique.
The composer himself said to a pupil that "concerts are never real music, you have to give up the idea of hearing in them all the most beautiful things of art."
J. Barrie Jones suggests that "amongst the works that Chopin intended for concert use, the four ballades and four scherzos stand supreme".