Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Chopin Mazurka in A minor, Op. 17, No. 4
There is a very symmetrical look and feel to this piece. It begins and ends with 4 identical measures and is in an overall ternary form. Following this, we are introduced to the A section, which functions as expository. The first part of it consists of two nearly identical periods. They are both symmetrical and contrasting and the key remains in a minor. The second part of the A section begins in bar 37. It is very brief compared to the length of the A section as a whole - this part only lasts eight bars. It sounds like it remains in a minor but there are lots of accidentals all over. This part definitely sounds like a development of the motive. Following this, there is a return of the motive in the same way we first saw it but there is only one period instead of two, and then a picardy third before the piece progresses into the B section. There is a very clear switch in tonality to the parallel major, A major, right at this point. The density changes in the piano part's right hand in the B section, but the left stays generally the same. It feels less structured than the A section and I found it more difficult to pick out the cadences. Measures 68 and 84 both include PACs but then it progresses on to a HC instead, which is very interesting and deceiving to the ear. A similar thing can be heard in measure 78. The return to the A section (and the original key of a minor) occurs in measure 93. Here we have very similar periods that we saw in the beginning, but it tapers off in the end and includes some material that transitions to the end.