Mazurka in B minor, Op. 33 No. 4 Op. 33 No. 4
The last Mazurka, in B minor, which closes opus 33, is one of Chopin’s great wonders. In it, we hear a synthesis of the heard and remembered with the personally experienced and profoundly true. Lyrical contemplation and dialogue, eruptions of passion, rocking and calming. ‘Where did Chopin hear and catch red-handed the plaintively graceful melodies of kujawiaks, the fiery rhythms of the mazur and the dizzy arabesques of the oberek?’ asked Stefan Kisielewski semi-rhetorically in his beautiful essay on Chopin, written in 1957. ‘How did he transport them out of Poland’, he went on to ask, ‘like that symbolic clod of native soil? How did he preserve them, not eroded, not sullied, on the market of the world – in faraway Paris? It is a mystery, just as the extraordinary unity of his musical personality, made up of so many contradictions, is a mystery. But let us allow Chopin’, concludes Kisielewski, ‘a few mysteries, let us not try to account for everything’.