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Quatre mazurkas pour le piano, Op. 24

(Paris: Schlesinger, [1835])


Purchased with income from the Ralph Kirkpatrick Fund
Gilmore Music Library

mazurkas op. 24 chopin

The mazurka, a traditional Polish dance, takes its name from Mazovia, a region that includes Warsaw, where Chopin grew up. Many other composers have written mazurkas, but today the genre is known chiefly because of Chopin. It was one of his favorites; he composed dozens of mazurkas. They are typically not as long or virtuosic as his efforts in some other genres, and often have simple waltz-like accompaniments, but they include some of his most experimental music, with modal harmonies, ambiguous tonalities, unconventional dissonance treatment, and irregular rhythms.

Chopin probably composed the four mazurkas of Op. 24 in 1833, and he published them in 1836 with a dedication to the Count de Perthuis. They have been favorites of pianists ever since, but the third piece in the set had a more surprising fate; the renowned soprano Jenny Lind (1820–1887) produced a vocal arrangement with Italian words beginning “Mi pover cor.”