Chopin's Mazurkas - Part 9

This article is part 50 of 52 in the 2022 music project series.
This article is part 9 of 9 in the Reviewing Chopin's mazurkas series.
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Opus 63 brings a close to this series. Technically there are the posthumous mazurkas but after this I'll have listened to and vaguely analyzed 41 of Chopin's mazurkas and frankly, that's enough for a lifetime.

Trois Mazurkas

For à Madame la Comtesse L. Czosnowska.

Op. 63, No. 1 in B major

Starts off very minuet-ish with lots of passing tones in 3rds.

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Main theme of Op. 63, No. 1

The beginning is fairly straightforward until a little modulation into E and then E♭, which ends with another one of those "spelling ties" that I enjoy so much.

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Modulation to E♭ and a fun enharmonic tie

The B section kind of reminds me of Return to the Heart by David Lanz 1, since the first beats match rhythm and tone and are in the same key. Op. 63 No. 3 also starts very similarly.

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B section in Op. 63, No. 1
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Opening to David Lanz's Return to the Heart
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Opening to Op. 63, No. 3

The coda has a nice little vibe with switching the beat from 3 → 2 and a little chromaticism in the right hand.

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Descending chromatics in the coda

Op. 63, No. 2 in F minor

I liked the parallels in the main theme between the first eight measures and the last eight measures. The first eight in C and the second eight end in F minor with similar passages.

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Ending of the first eight bars
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Ending of the second eight bars

The B section has a nice little fugue-esque countermelody as it kind of almost rotates around the circle of fifths (G → D → G → C → F).

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A little countermelody in the right-hand

Overall very short and sweet. This was like the perfect length for a mazurka: very little monotony or repetition. Just some nice melodies.

Op. 63, No. 3 in C♯ minor

The main theme features the classic V of the V progression, going D♯ → G♯ → C♯m.

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V of the V (D♯ → G♯ → C♯m) in the A section

The return to the A section throws in a little deceptive cadence/picardy 3rd with a transition to C♯ instead of C♯m. Which then of course leads to the V of the V to get us back to the tonic.

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Deceptive cadence with some more V of the V

And it comes to a close with some truly Liszt-esque jumps. And also a left-hand crossover just to impress your audience, I guess.

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Chopin does a La campanella to end his collection of mazurkas 2

  1. Earlier this year I recorded some of his pieces
  2. The ones published while he was alive, anyway.