Key: C-sharp Minor
Year: 1834 (publ. 1855)
Period: Early Romantic
Piano score: PS Urtext
Piano score: Scanned score
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Sweeping brilliance, saved from the fire
The Fantaisie-Impromptu is a piece in ABA form. The A section has a sweeping melody of sixteenth notes running up and down the keyboard, accompanied by triplet arpeggios in the left hand. It's very fast and sounds almost a little chaotic, while the softer middle section with its wonderful cantilena provides a good overall balance to the piece. The coda begins passionately, but calms down little by little, reintroducing the theme from the middle section in the left hand. The three-against four cross-rhythm of the fast section may initially seem daunting to less experienced pianists, but becomes easier as each hand acquires the necessary speed. The hairpins in bar 5 and 6 of the otherwise sketch-like original text of the first version underline the importance of giving expressive shape to the cascade of right-hand notes.
Fantasie Impromptu was composed around 1834, but published only after the composer's death, contrary to his express wish that all unpublished works and sketches should be burned. Until 1962, when Arthur Rubinstein published a new edition, based on an autograph which he had sensationally found, the piece was known only in the form of Julian Fontana's 1855 edition, which contained significant alterations and additions to the composer's text. All modern Urtext editions, including the Polish National Chopin Edition, base their editions on Rubinstein's find.
It is interesting to note that the middle section was used in the song I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, which was a very popular song in 1918.
Practice & Performance Tips:
The cross-rhythms (sixteenth-notes against triplets) and the incredibly fast right hand figurations in the first section of this piece may seem daunting, and this is certainly not a piece for the beginner or even intermediate player. However, the Fantaise-Impromptu is not one of Chopin's most difficult pieces. The piano writing makes amazing use of very natural movements, and there is no great awkwardness for anyone with a normal-sized hand. As for the coordination problem, it also more or less solves itself if each hand is mastered separately and the pianist keeps focusing on a flowing alla breve pulse.
Note that the Largo marking only applies to measures 41 and 42; the rest of the middle section is marked Moderato cantabile, which should mean a rather flowing tempo. Of course this lyrical and reflective section needs some time and flexibility, but take care to avoid a... Sign up for a Gold membership to read the practice tips.
Forum posts about this piece:
what piece should I tackle next? by tox1234
Hello, I need help finding the next piece I am going to play, I have played liebestraum no 3, fantaisie impromptu, nocturne op 9 no 2, waltz...
defining student progress by juanpianista
hi, so its my first time here though I have read this forum in the past a lot. I am a professional (though more jazz based) and I feel that ...
Is this plan feasible? by henk de potvis
My (advanced) repertoire is the third movement of the moonlight sonata, and fantasie impromptu. I finished Fantasie impromptu in a month aft...
I love to learn Fantaisie-Impromptu by drhosseinzadeh
Hi there I love to learn Fantaisie-Impromptu . Would you please suggest some etude to help me learn this beautiful piece? Thanks...
What piece should I learn next? by thepianolad
Hi, I am wondering if anyone has any piece recommendations for me to learn next. I have learnt so far: Fantaisie Impromptu, Clair de Lune, R...
3 against 4 polyrhythms by romanticperiod
Hi, I am an amateur who has recently started. Does anyone have some good practice material for 3 against 4 polyrhythms like there are in the...
What level is Fantaisie Impromptu? by nick.25
Hi! I am an (I would say) intermediate pianist. I used to go to music school but now play by myself. Some of my repertoire is: Chopin - Noct...
fantasie impertru by annaa joy
hi, i wonder of someone could give me advice. i play piano for 6 years in music school, and that can sound a lot but i must say that im not ...
Pieces to improve technique by pianoman2
Hello, I am a 13-year-old student with ~3 years of experience playing piano. Of course, when I started I wanted to play all the ear-candy pi...
Need help for Liebesleid!! by dungtangtri
Hi all, I just finished practicing Fantasie Impromptu and I have started learning Liebesleid for almost 2 weeks. I have already finished abo...
Choosing a new piece to learn by thepianolad
Hey I'm interested in learning a new piece and I find that choosing a piece and sticking to it is harder than learning it, so I'm ...
Member's recordings of piece:
Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu by lucascpiano
Hi friends, hope to share my recording of Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu. Thank you ❤️ youtu.be/upyebn6w5oA...
[Video] Fantaisie Impromptu - Chopin by samwitdangol
Hello, youtu.be/ja3IxB-liHE This is an informal recording of me playing Fantaisie Impromptu by Chopin. It is not as good as it could be th...
[Video] Chopin - Fantaisie Impromptu by jacobson
Piano for me has been an on and off thing for a while. Since I'm busy with other things I need to find time (and motivation) to return ...
Members who like this piece have also downloaded:
Chopin: Fantaisie-Impromptu Op. 66 in C-sharp Minor (published in 1834) . DOWNLOAD piano sheet music from Piano Street digital sheet music library.
Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-sharp Minor Op. 66 by the composer Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849). This piano piece was composed in 1834 and is part of Chopin's Impromptus.