Chopin course 7 – Mazurka in D major, Op.33, No.2

Today I will play another of Chopin's joyous mazurkas. There are not many of these - a few, but not many. The predominant mood of the 59 Mazurkas is bittersweet and rather melancholy. Not over-indulgent melancholy! - Chopin was a Pole, not a Russian, and he had a naturally aristocratic spirit which would never allow him to immerse himself in sentimentality. Sentiment, yes, and in Chopin's case always noble sentiment; but never sentimentality. Nevertheless, the prevailing atmosphere of the mazurkas is undoubtedly bittersweet. He was, after all, recreating the impressions of earliest childhood - of a landscape of weeping willows, of national costumes and of villages he would never see again, spending as he did most of his short life in the big cities of Warsaw, Vienna, Paris and London. In general, there is a veiled sadness which pervades the majority of the mazurkas. Not so today's selection - this one is all joie de vivre. I learnt it - in a slightly simplified form - when I was ten years old, and it still gives me unalloyed pleasure to play it today, every time - even though it's a bit tricky and almost impossible to get through without a wrong note or two. There's a physical pleasure in the way the hands bounce up and down on the keyboard as the melody bounces up and down. And at the end if flies off the top of the keyboard like a carefree butterfly. No melancholy here.

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