Mazurka No.39

Frédéric Chopin

Mazurka No.39 in B major

Op. 63/1, B. 162/1

About this work

By the time Chopin wrote the Op. 63 set of mazurkas, his relationship with his mistress George Sand had become precarious, owing to the intrigues of her grown children, Maurice and Solange, who were bent on driving the composer out of their mother's life. Moreover, Chopin's health, fragile for years, was now declining rapidly. Yet, none of the three mazurkas in the Op. 63 collection quite reflect the tension and pain then plaguing his personal life, and this B major effort would, in fact, suggest a rather happy frame of mind.

This piece opens up with a robust theme that radiates freshness and vitality. Many of Chopin's mazurkas are not dance-like in their forlorn or restless character, but this one, graceful and elegant, vigorous and upbeat, surely is. The alternate theme is subdued and playful, and contrasts nicely with the main material. Near the close the mood relaxes and the piece serenely fades, but the composer crowns the ending with an emphatic chord. This is one of Chopin's more vital and optimistic creations in this form. A performance of this B major mazurka typically lasts about two minutes.