“Chopin Mazurka Op. 17 No. 4”
One of the most beautiful pieces ever written is the Chopin Mazurka Op. 17 No. 4. The one piece just out of reach that I can never tire of. That melancholy and reflective melody. And that mazurka beat representing hope — so long as that pulse exists, it is impossible to abandon all hope. I sometimes think it’s about loss; you have left someone you love because you live in different places, and your heart yearns. It aches. You have no one to talk to about it…and this piece of music comes out of hiding to tell you that Chopin understands perfectly. The piece ends with the same four measures it started with, and it fades rather than coming to a proper end-point. Just like that pain and yearning will, eventually, fade too. I have not posted about this one in the past because I could not find the perfect performance to reference. But my own two cents is to go with someone who plays it pretty straight, like Rubenstein, and avoid flashier performances where it’s no longer about Chopin or even the music, like Horowitz.