Etude in A minor, Op. 25 No. 4 Op. 25 No. 4
After the lively, buoyant third Etude comes a change: the tone of the next Etude, in A minor, is darkened. In some interpretations, it is even seen as gloomy and wild, defined with the term given to it by Chopin, instructing the pianist to play agitato. Here, too, a substantial role is played by the shifting of accents, typical of an etude, determined by the technical goal. But what lends this Etude a very peculiar profile of its own is the tension-filled play of the syncopations. Throughout the piece, the chords that underscore the melody fall with a wilful delay – exactly a quaver too late. Then there is also the shifting play of the dynamics: now an explosive forte, now a descent into silence.