Mazurka in D Major, Op. 33, No. 2 - Fryderyk Chopin

The Mazurka in D Major, Op. 33, No. 2 by Fryderyk Chopin stands as a significant contribution to the solo piano repertoire, embodying the unique blend of Polish folk music with sophisticated classical forms. Composed in the early 1830s, this piece exemplifies Chopin's unrivaled capability to infuse nationalistic elements into the cosmopolitan tapestry of European music. Its melodic charm, coupled with intricate rhythmic patterns, reveals the depth of Chopin's musical innovation. This Mazurka is not just a dance piece but a profound musical statement that offers insight into Chopin's artistic evolution.

Historical Background and Release

The composition of the Mazurka in D Major, Op. 33, No. 2 falls within a period of intense creativity for Chopin during his early years in Paris. By integrating the traditional Polish dance form into the salon culture of Paris, Chopin was able to create a unique genre that was both intimate and expressively powerful. Published in 1838, this work is part of a set of four Mazurkas that showcase his innovative approach to rhythm and melody.

Chopin's mazurkas were well-received by both critics and the public, cementing his reputation as a composer who could artfully transform national dance forms into sophisticated musical compositions. The publication of Op. 33 played a pivotal role in popularizing the mazurka and demonstrated Chopin's deep connection to his Polish heritage while resonating with the wider European musical sensibilities of his time.

The influence of Polish folk music, particularly the mazurka's traditional rhythmic patterns, is evident throughout Op. 33, No. 2. Chopin's adaptation of these patterns not only pays homage to his roots but also expands the expressive possibilities of the piano.

Analysis of the Composition

Harmonic and Melodic Structure

The Mazurka in D Major, Op. 33, No. 2 features a lively tempo and a bright, major key signature that contributes to its joyous character. Harmonically, Chopin employs a rich palette of major and minor harmonies to create contrasts and color within the piece. The A-B-A-C-A structure facilitates a varied yet cohesive melodic narrative, with each section offering distinct thematic material.

Rhythmically, the piece is characteristic of the mazurka genre, with its emphasis on the second or third beat of the measure, creating the signature "mazurka rhythm" that Chopin perfected. This rhythmic innovation gives the piece an infectious, dance-like quality while allowing for expressive rubato.

The use of chromaticism and unexpected modulations in the B and C sections adds complexity and emotional depth, showcasing Chopin's mastery of the piano and his creative harmonic language. These features not only demonstrate Chopin's technical prowess but also his ability to evoke a range of emotions within a compact form.

The Enduring Popularity of the Piece

The Mazurka in D Major, Op. 33, No. 2 remains one of Chopin's most beloved solo piano works, celebrated for its technical brilliance and emotional depth. Its popularity can be attributed to the combination of accessible melodies, innovative rhythmic patterns, and the rich harmonic language that speaks both to the intellect and the emotions.

Moreover, the piece's embodiment of Polish national character, mixed with a universally appealing musical language, has ensured its lasting position in the concert repertoire. Pianists and music enthusiasts are drawn to its technical challenges and expressive potential, making it a staple of piano performance and pedagogy.


The legacy of Chopin's Mazurka in D Major, Op. 33, No. 2 is a testament to his genius in transforming folk elements into high art. This piece not only provides insight into Chopin's innovative compositional techniques but also reflects the broader cultural and historical contexts of 19th-century Europe. Through its enduring popularity, the mazurka continues to captivate audiences and performers alike, securing its place in the pantheon of great piano literature.

Publication date: 28. 02. 2024