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Chopin: Polonaise Op. 53 in A-flat Major

Piano Sheet Music to Download and Print or to View in Mobile Devices

ID:167
Frédéric Chopin - Polonaises :
Polonaise, Op. 53
Polonaise Op. 53  in A-flat Major by Chopin piano sheet music
Key: A-flat Major Year: 1843
Level: 8+ Period: Early Romantic
piano sheet music Piano score: Scanned score (2865 kB)


A vision of Polish glory

The Polonaise Op. 53 in A-flat major has long been considered one of Chopin's most technically difficult yet most popular works. It remains a favorite among classical pianists not just for the technical challenge it represents, but for its satisfyingly triumphant and heroic tone. In fact, it is called the Heroic Polonaise. During the German invasion of Poland at the outset of World War II, Polish Radio broadcast this piece daily as a patriotic protest.

The first theme, after a brief introduction that sets the majestic tone of the piece, is suitably poised and noble for a Polonaise. It is later contrasted with a fanfare-like theme in E major, starting softly and growing into a fortissimo. This E-major theme is accompanied by a bass ostinato of descending octaves in the left hand. These continuous left hand octaves, which easily stiffen the arm if not played with a proper technique, are perhaps what most pianists consider the most technically difficult feature of this piece. However, it may be helpful to remember the fact that, according to Chopin’s friend, the pianist Charles Hallé, the composer always “felt very unhappy when he heard the grande polonaise in A flat major played fast, as it spoilt the whole grandeur and majesty of that noble inspiration."

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