Chopin's Polish Ballade: Op. 38 as Narrative of National by Jonathan D. Bellman

By Jonathan D. Bellman

Chopin's moment Ballade, Op. 38 is often played, and takes merely seven or so mins to play. but the paintings is still very poorly understood--disagreement prevails on concerns from its tonic and two-key constitution to its posited courting with the poems of Adam Mickiewicz. Chopin's Polish Ballade is a reexamination and shut research of this recognized paintings, revealing the Ballade as a bit with a robust political tale to inform. in the course of the basic musical kinds and particular references within the Ballade, which use either operatic innovations and methods built in programmatic piano items for amateurs, writer Jonathan Bellman strains a transparent narrative thread to modern French operas. His cautious ancient exegesis of formerly overlooked musical and cultural contexts brings to mild a number of recent insights approximately this outstanding piece, which, as Bellman indicates, displays the cultural preoccupations of the Polish ?migr?s in mid-1830s Paris, pining with sour nostalgia for a place of origin now less than Russian domination. This very important connection to the extramusical tradition of its day types the foundation for a believable dating with the nationalistic poetry of Mickiewicz. Chopin's Polish Ballade additionally solves the long-standing conundrum of the 2 extant models of the Ballade, making a tremendous aspect in regards to the versatile suggestion of "work" that Chopin embraced.

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More on this genre will follow in chapter 2. 27. See Annette Richards, The Free Fantasy and the Musical Picturesque (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), a brilliant disquisition on the free fantasy genre. 28 Too often, perhaps because of the relatively small number of such pieces, we accord the tonic key the irrevocability of the basic laws of physics. James R. Gaines, writing specifically about the Baroque concerto but with much more in mind, put it this way: “The knowledge that in the end we would always return to the place, or key, where we began offered a kind of reassurance that the tension .

William Kinderman and Harald Krebs (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996), 42. Programmatic piano pieces of the time likewise could end in different keys from those in which they began (The Battle of Waterloo begins in G major and ends in D major). More on this genre will follow in chapter 2. 27. See Annette Richards, The Free Fantasy and the Musical Picturesque (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), a brilliant disquisition on the free fantasy genre. 28 Too often, perhaps because of the relatively small number of such pieces, we accord the tonic key the irrevocability of the basic laws of physics.

49 and 61). Joel Sheveloff describes op. 38 as a work that prolongs F major stubbornly for forty-five measures, before suddenly shifting to A minor. It circles back to F in measure 82, but that merely teases. ”25 The inescapable corollary to that statement, of course, 22. , Johannes Brahms: Life and Letters (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 533. 23. Murray Perahia, notes to his Chopin: 4 Ballades (1994), CD, Sony Classical SK 64399, 6. 24. Joel Sheveloff, “A Masterpiece from an Inhibition: Quashing the ‘Inquisitive Savage,’” in Witten, Nineteenth-Century Piano Music, 286.

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