This Mazurka is in B minor. It has a peculiar music character that combines a minor key with a moderate tempo. The opening theme is based on a play of dynamics, alternating between piano and forte. In its wake, a curiously breathless motif comes to the forte, repeated insistently, on ever-higher degrees of the scale. Some listeners were put in mind of the voice of a cuckoo – a bit of musical fun that had been used many times before, from Couperin and Daquin to Haydn and Beethoven.
The poet Kornel Ujejski, who wrote what he called ‘translations’ of Chopin, lent the B minor Mazurka a sentimental anecdote. The cuckoo tells a girl when she will wed: ‘Ile więc razy kukułeczka kuknie,/To za wiosen tyle wezmę ślubną suknię’ [So, however, many times the little cuckoo sings,/You’ll don your wedding dress in that many springs], according to professor Mieczysław Tomaszewski.
Thanks for your attention and good listening!