Chopin - Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp minor, Op. 39
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Scherzo No. 3, Op. 39, in C-sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin, completed in 1839, was written in the abandoned monastery of Valldemossa on the Balearic island of Majorca, Spain. This is the most terse, ironic, and tightly constructed of the four scherzos, with an almost Beethovenian grandeur.
Frédéric Chopin dedicated this composition to one of his closest pupils, Adolphe Gutmann.
The piece begins in the key of C-sharp minor, then moves to D-flat major, and returns to C-sharp minor, concluding with a Picardy third. The composition opens with an almost Lisztian introduction, leading to a subject in octaves of pent-up energy. The key changes to D-flat major, with a chorale-like subject, interspersed with delicate falling arpeggios. Louis Kentner thinks of it as "a Wagnerian melody of astonishing beauty, recalling the sound of tubas, harps and all the apocalyptic orchestra of Valhalla.”