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Scriabin 150: A Genius under the Magnifying Glass
Last December, in preparation for the Scriabin 150th anniversary (2022), the new complete edition of Alexander Scriabin’s works was published, in twelve volumes. Eric Schoones spoke to the pianist and musicologist Pavel Shatskiy, who was responsible for publishing the piano works. They talked about the composer and pianist Scriabin, his piano, the influence of Chopin and the A.N. Scriabin Memorial Museum in Moscow. Read more >>

Topic: Chopin Polonaise in Aflat Cadence  (Read 1333 times)

Offline billybraga

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Chopin Polonaise in Aflat Cadence
on: December 06, 2020, 06:19:29 PM
Hi, im very curious about certain patterns of some compositions, one of them is this strange cadence of Chopin's Heroic Polonaise that i want help to understand. What type of scale is this? He wrote an upward Ab major scale, but with the A natural. This A Isn't supose to be a half tone below?  :o

Offline pianowhisper

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Re: Chopin Polonaise in Aflat Cadence
Reply #1 on: December 06, 2020, 11:04:57 PM
The A is by all means supposed to be played natural! ;D
The scale falls into an ascending B-flat melodic minor scale (it has all the notes of a B-flat major scale, except for its 3rd (D-flat) which obviously is minor). Notice how it ends on a B-flat and it has a certain feel of resolution. Of course, it doesn't really "sound" like a resolution since all the piece is being played in A-flat major.

Offline quantum

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Re: Chopin Polonaise in Aflat Cadence
Reply #2 on: December 06, 2020, 11:23:04 PM
Think of the scale as B-flat minor (melodic ascending), that starts on an A.  The chord that precedes the scale is B-flat minor and further enforces the harmony of B-flat minor, so we can think of the overall tonality of the measure as being in B-flat minor. 

Take the grouping of five bars, starting at the measure that precedes the scale, up till the arrival on the A-flat chord.

Bar 1: B-flat minor and E-flat minor chords
Bar 2: B-flat minor scale
Bar 3: E-flat major
Bar 4: embellishment
Bar 5: A-flat major

We can see in this way:

Bar 1: embellishment of B-flat minor, by alternating with it's iv, E-flat minor
Bar 2: embellishment of B-flat minor, by using the B-flat minor scale
Bar 3: arrival at E-flat major, and subsequent chordal embellishment
Bar 4: embellishment continues
Bar 5: arrival at A-flat major

These five bars represent an expansion of the ii, V, I progression in A-flat major.
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

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