Chopin Concerto #1 in e-minor Essay Example

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Concerto refers to a work which displays two different possibilities of instruments, both individually as well as together. Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor was written by Frederic Chopin in 1830. He created his musical output with piano at the core of his musical thoughts. There was a strong correlation between his musical composition and playing. He was considered among the musical geniuses of the century. At the age of 17 years, he composed his first music on “La ci darem la mano”. The second of these is the Krakowiak, for piano and orchestra (Roeder, Pp 221- 225)

. (Roeder, Pp 221- 225)Chopin completed F minor concerto first, but he identifies it as No. 2 since it was published after E Minor concerto. His first public performance took place in the year 1830 in Warsaw before leaving to Paris in the year 1831Krakowiak. In the year 1829-1830, barely 20 years old, Chopin had completed two of his concertos. It was among the first concertos to be published. E minor concerto comprises of three themes, which are introduced by orchestra. E Minor concerto is based on the


Classical music refers to the number of forms that dominates during this period. The opening movement of E Minor concerto is cast in combined tutti/soloist. It is one of the greatest works in the genre, standing shoulder to shoulder with violin concertos of Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Brahms. The tonic key is maintained throughout the opening ritornello providing no relief in E minor. The concerto uses tonal tension and use of dominant as a means of articulating formal division. Rather than a dialectic tonal contrast and synthesis, Chopin favored a single impulse and return to tonal stability – a process of resolution as well as harmonic intensification (Chopin Pp 112).

Chopin’s cantilena responded then to various musical stimuli, but its most obvious ancestry lies in a traditional of piano writing rather different from the Viennese style of Mozart and Hummel. The concerto in F minor was composed in the style of romantic western tradition. The concerto is much improved in terms of the compositional style of the piano writing, exhibiting various kinds of harmonies, and more interesting relationship between orchestra and the piano. The beginning of the piano entrance is much similar to the to Chopin concerto in E minor in that it features both strong right and left hands with dotted rhythmic octaves followed by running sixteenth broken cords; the first theme is presented after the left hands

Classical concerto

. The highly decorative slow movement of the E-flat concerto anticipates the style of Chopin. Hummel a classicist employed a highly decorative style of the Viennese piano. (Szulc Pp 64-65)His E minor concerto seems to promise classical first movement although it turned out to be a formality. Chopin’s concertos were truncated with contemporary morals. In one of the Chopin concert, he had chosen in preference those of his work which swerve more from the classical form. His drama represents an early attempt to throw off the yoke of classical harmonic system of composition. Sir Donald Francis made a remark that concerto No. 2 is a master piece in a form which Chopin or any other composer reproduced later

Chopin concerto in E minor has unusual characteristic that are clearly evident in his melody. F minor concerto was composed in the year 1829, a year before E minor concerto was composed. Nevertheless, E minor concerto was published first as compared to F minor. The first movement which puffs out «an epic breath” makes use of 3 themes, in addition, the second movement (Romance) «is a kind of consideration on the stunning springtime, but to moonlight», and the Rondo culmination this time comprises a stylization of another Polish national dance, that is the krakowiak. E Minor concerto lacks the characteristic chromaticism of Chopin’s later music however unquestionably it shows his bent toward thoughtful pianistic amplification of fundamentally light genres (Chopin and Chopin Pp 42). The audience reacted coldly to Chopin concerto No. 1 in E minor despite the fact that it was the first concerto to be published.

Role of the soloist

There is a quite interesting give- and-take between the soloist and the orchestra. This pattern of alternation between the soloist and the orchestra continues into the repeat of modulatory section. After some time, the soloist soon introduces new virtuosic figuration that is mostly accompanied by the orchestra. The soloist role was to take true genus as accompanied solo. The presentation of the sets follow a similar pattern with each of the themes elaborated melodically by the soloist and then ‘worked’ by the orchestra while the piano engages in non-thematic configuration. The main theme of the kujawiak was presented by the soloist in a manner which foreshadows the episodes of the E- minor concerto.

Ideas with clear cut as well as self contained themes were to be repeated more or less by the soloist. No sooner had the soloist presented the opening material than he moves into an unexpected new theme (Samson Pp 64-112).The soloist offers a completely fresh trinity of the themes, each of which returns in the tonic in the recapitulation. The orchestra’s primary theme is never uttered by the soloist, and vice versa. The soloist contributes on its own melody, thus the soloist has an essential material to add to the equation. At the approach to the final trill, the soloist initiates a deceptive resolution to a digression, thus closing the passage just before the commencement of the ritornello. The soloist then interpolates statements into the third ritornello. The soloist and the orchestra seem to be competing for supremacy. At the end of it all, the soloist comes to control the work in the mid-portion. The soloist and the orchestra are responsible in making musical statement cooperatively. Rarely will orchestra interjects solo sections; on the other hand, solo never state any independent thematic material.


Chopin, édéric and Fr D Ric Chopin. Concerto No 1 in E Minor. New York: BiblioBazaar, 2010.

Roeder, Michael Thomas. A history of the concerto. Hal Leonard Corporation, 1994.

Samson, Jim. The music of Chopin. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Szulc, Tad. Chopin in Paris: The Life and Times of the Romantic Composer. New york: Simon and Schuster, 1999.