Other Works

Among Chopin’s miscellaneous works, mention should be made of the Variations brillantes on an air from an opera by Herold, Op.12, which shows how Chopin applied his art to the then popular custom of composing variations on opera themes. Arthur Loesser called it “a masterpiece in its way.

A Bolero in C major, Op. 19, dates from 1833. Chopin turns this Spanish form into a rather Polish-sounding affair. In the proper hands, it can be elegant and gallant. The Tarantelle in A-flat, Op. 43, has spirit, though it lacks the native frenzy of the dance. Schumann praised it too highly when he found it “in Chopin’s most daring manner.” But the work has always been played.

In the Introduction and Rondo in E-flat, Op. 16, a Weber-like opening leads to a brilliant and engaging rondo, which is overly long. Perhaps more characteristic is the 1827 Rondo a la mazur, Op. 5, with its florid passages exuding a Slavic flavor.