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Chopin's Polish Ballade Op. 38 as Narrative of National Martyrdom
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Chopin's Polish Ballade Op. 38 as Narrative of National Martyrdom

Jonathan Bellman


Chopin's Second Ballade, op. 38, composed in the late 1830s and published in 1840, is a well‐known yet poorly understood work. Not only was the piece rumored to exist in an alternate version and to derive—somehow—from the poetry of Adam Mickiewicz, there has even been disagreement on matters as basic as tonic key, form, and narrative content. The ballade is generally understood to relate in some way to Poland's increasingly precarious political status in the early nineteenth century and Russia's eradication of the last vestiges of Polish independence in 1831—turmoil that affected Chopin deeply ... More

Keywords: Chopin, ballade, ballades, narrative process, programmatic music, Mickiewicz, Polish Pilgrims

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195338867
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195338867.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jonathan Bellman, author
The University of Northern Colorado

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