Chopin: The Four Ballades
Chopin's four ballades are widely regarded as being amongst the most significant extended works for solo piano of the nineteenth century. In an illuminating discussion, Jim Samson combines history and analysis to provide the reader with a comprehensive picture of these popular piano works. He begins by investigating the social and musical background to Chopin's unique style. He describes the manuscript sources and evaluates the many subsequent printed editions, then considers the critical reception of the ballades and the differing interpretations of well-known nineteenth- and twentieth-century pianists. The final two chapters examine the music of all four works analytically. There is a clearly presented formal synopsis of each ballade in turn, followed by a discussion of the works collectively which explores Chopin's own conception of the title 'ballade' and how it may be understood as a musical genre.
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Abbate aesthetic analysis analytical archetype autograph Ballade bars barcarolle bravura closing section Breitkopf brilliant style century character characteristic Chopin Ballades Chopin playing Chopin Studies Chopin's music composer contrapuntal contrast conventional counterpoint critical development section deviations dominant dramatic duple metre early nineteenth-century Ekier elements episode established Example exposition expressive F major figuration formal Fourth Ballade Frederic Chopin French edition Fryderyk Chopin function G minor Ballade genre title German edition harmony Heinrich Schenker Hugo Riemann interpretation Jan Ekier Jeffrey Kallberg Jim Samson Julian Fontana Kallberg later Liszt London main theme manuscript material melody Mickiewicz's mirror reprise motive narrative norms notably Paris pedal performance phrasing pianists piano pieces pupils relation repertory reprise of Theme rondos rubato Scherzo Schlesinger Schumann Second Ballade siciliano sonata sonata-form specific stages Stephen Emmerson stylistic subdominant synthesis tempo thematic Theme I bar Third Ballade tonal tonal structure tonic transformation two-key scheme waltz Warsaw Witten