About this work
This is a lovely mazurka that has generated a fair share of controversy. After a performance of it in the late 1830s, Chopin and Meyerbeer got into a discussion over it, which soon developed into a heated argument, apparently because of the latter's misunderstanding of the meter of the piece, which is triple, not duple as Meyerbeer had claimed. The irony to this story is that the work itself is as gentle and serene as almost anything the composer wrote.
This C major mazurka, marked Semplice, opens with an elegant, gentle theme that, like so many of the composer's melodies, is tinged with a slight melancholy. The brief middle section is by contrast robust and assertive, though in actuality it is hardly vigorous or muscular in its livelier demeanor and moderately louder dynamics. The main theme returns and the piece ends quietly, its melancholy overtones more prominent. While this is certainly a work of high quality, it is not the most popular mazurka in the Op. 33 set, that honor falling to No. 25, the B minor, which, at about five minutes, is also the longest in the group. This C major mazurka lasts a mere two minutes in a typical performance.