When Chopin left with George Sand for his oft-cited winter sojourn on Mallorca in autumn 1838, he also took his second ballade with him, which was not yet finished. Chopin’s health and other unfavourable circumstances had interfered with his work on the composition; he only completed it in winter 1839. (We have a facsimile of the wonderful autograph; HN 3212.) The printing process was also delayed – not least because of the composer’s considerable financial demands. Following his emigration from Warsaw and his full acceptance into Parisian musical circles, Chopin was apparently aware of the value of his music. We now present this work dedicated to Robert Schumann in an affordable single edition, taken from the recently revised edition of the “Ballades”.
Read more about this edition in the Henle Blog.
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“Chopin was the first to apply the word ‘Ballade’ to music”, wrote Robert Schumann in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik of 25 October 1842 (vol. 34, no. 17, p. 142). For him and his contemporaries, “ballade” in the first half of the nineteenth century first and foremost denoted a literary genre. Above all, they understood by this term the “folk ballade”, a … more
About the composer
Pianist and composer. His work is concentrated around piano music that enjoys extraordinary popularity and has become an integral part of the concert repertoire. His music influenced subsequent generations in France (Franck, Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Debussy) as well as Smetana, Dvořák, Balakirev, Grieg, Albéniz.
|1810||Born in Żelazowa Wola near Warsaw on March 1. First compositions at age seven, his first public performance at eight.|
|1822||Private instruction in composition.|
|1825||Rondo in C minor, Op. 1, his first published work.|
|1826–29||Studies at the Institute of Music in Warsaw.|
|1829||“Fantaisie sur des airs nationaux polonaise” in A major, Op. 13; Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 8. Travels to Vienna, where he gives two concerts of his compositions and improvisations.|
|1829–33 and 1835–37||Etudes, Opp. 10 and 25 -- a new type of virtuosic etude that also makes aesthetic demands.|
|1830||Premieres in Warsaw of his two piano concerti, Op. 21 in F minor and Op. 11 in E minor.|
|1831||Unable to return to Warsaw due to the Polish uprising, he goes to Paris, where he will remain until the end of his life.|
|1832||Debut concert in Paris to great acclaim.|
|1835/38||“Trois valses brillantes,” Op. 34.|
|1836/39||“24 Preludes,” Op. 28, in a cyclic succession: compactly-designed short pieces.|
|1835/39||Piano Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 35, with the funeral march.|
|1842/43||Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52; “Grande Polonaise brillante” in A-flat major, Op. 53; Scherzo No. 4 in E major, Op. 54.|
|1844||Piano Sonata in B minor, Op. 58|
|1849||Completion of the mazurkas in G minor and F minor. Death in Paris on October 17.|