Polonaise No.9

Frédéric Chopin

Polonaise No.9 in Bb major

Op. 71/2, B. 24

About this work

This polonaise and the Polonaise in F minor, Op. 71/3, were both composed in 1828, three years after the youngest sibling in the Op. 71 group, the D minor. All were posthumously published in Berlin (in 1855), grouped together under one opus number. Thus the composer did not consider the trio as a set, and while the last two came in the same year, they can hardly be considered together since about a half dozen compositions were written between them.

This B flat major polonaise begins with a short, stately introduction, followed by a delicate, elegant theme whose ornamental aspects impart an air of grace and freshness. The lengthy middle section is more serious in its fiery and dramatic manner, the melody turning dark and even angry. The contrast is most effective, and when the main theme reappears following a repeat of the introductory material, it sounds even more innocent and fresh, though its makeup is essentially the same. While this polonaise may lack the heroic and more emotionally kinetic properties of the famous ones that would come a decade or so later, it is nevertheless a fine work. Like most of Chopin's works in this dance genre, it is a large composition, lasting nine to ten minutes in a typical performance.