Chopin Scherzo No 4 in E Major

Chopin's Scherzo No 4 in E Major Opus 54 was written in 1842, and in contrast to the other four scherzi, is more tranquil in character and temperament. Although there is an element of passion and intensity, it does not pervade the scherzo nearly as much as the first three.

The fourth scherzo is rather long and particularly challenging to the performer. On recording the CD of these four scherzi, the fourth certainly took me the most time! The overall form of this work is sonata-rondo. The central theme of the middle section is in the relative minor of E Major (C Sharp Minor) and, like many of Chopin's works, is based on a Polish folk song.

Chopin's Scherzo No 4 is an ethereal composition, light in character, and relects Chopin in a blessed, improvisatory and happy moment. Gone is the fury and passion of the first scherzo. Here, Chopin is clam, and his deadly disease is under control. Even the middle section, while slow, is not morbid - on the contrary it is extremely beautiful and simple. The overall passagework of this scherzo one would call elegant, and not flashy (like the previous three scherzi). The coda is majestic, and beautiful, not fast and furious. In short, this is the mature, relaxed Chopin.

Listen to Chopin's Scherzo No 4 in E Major played by Jonathan Oshry




©2010 Jonathan Oshry • joshry@hotmail.com