Michael Henry Zimmerman | Ballade No. 2 in F Major, Op. 38

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Classical: Piano solo Classical: Chopin Moods: Mood: Virtuoso
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Ballade No. 2 in F Major, Op. 38

by Michael Henry Zimmerman

Chopin's second Ballade is at one moment eerily placid and another frighteningly catastrophic: imagine a quiet waterfront suddenly engulfed by a horrific storm. It eventually passes, leaving hope for renewal in the wake of utter destruction and havoc.
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
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1. Ballade No. 2 in F Major, Op. 38
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Album Notes
To me, Chopin's second Ballade, Opus 38, evokes images of one at calm sea, the water's surface resting with mirror-like stillness simply reflecting its surroundings - disturbed only occasionally by a gentle wisp of wind - at first...

Subtle hints begin to foreshadow a coming storm and mar the reflection of the placid waterscape. Soon, one notices a slightly impatient set of octaves with progressively diminished seventh chords moving in opposite directions in left and right hands - suggesting the gathering of heavy clouds and bolts of lightening.

The calm returns.... perhaps the eye of the hurricane. But the serenity and dreamlike vision is abruptly shattered by a violent storm; our world is tossed back and forth by massive cresting waves. The furious wind, rain and gusts, punctuated by the tumultuous roar of uprooted trees, ravages everything in sight while building to a crashing climax... and then the storm passes.

With the full force of its havoc having been wreaked in its path, an eery stillness returns in the Ballade's final notes, perhaps representing the futile aftereffects of the storm's destruction yet offering hope for growth anew.


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