Recorded on 05/02/2012, uploaded on 05/02/2012
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Although “scherzo” means “jest” or “joke” in Italian, one would be hard pressed to find jocularity in this Scherzo from 1835. Chopin dedicated the work to the wine merchant Tomas Albrecht, a friend so close he would be in attendance at the composer’s deathbed. Two bold chords grab the attention, and then it’s an agitated race. The trio section in B major features one of Chopin’s rare references to existing folk material, the Polish carol “Sleep, little Jesus.” This calm is ended by a return to the opening chords and main theme, followed by a wild coda. Chopin’s London publisher made the mistake of issuing the Scherzo, op. 20 under the title “The Infernal Banquet.” Chopin despised such literal-mindedness as applied to his music, but many listeners since have considered the moniker apt.
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
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