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Polonaise in A flat major, Op 53

1842; nick-named 'Heroic'

‘Héroique’, the Polonaise in A flat Major, Op 53, took form at the same time (1842-43) as the fourth ballad and the fourth scherzo. Already the contemporary accounts of its performance invoked images of patriotism, nationalism and the call to arms. Chopin seemed to be unhappy when the piece was played fast and did not increase volume much in the octaves (Gutman/Niecks). According to Liszt, the composer often played the episode in F minor (bars 138-151) ‘like the muffled rumbling of a distant cannon’. In this polonaise, Chopin no longer used the form of the early Warsaw ones and instead reinterpreted it as an evocation of past splendour and a symbol of Poland, a true agent of cultural nationalism. Indeed, works like this one became a model for composers who referred to their own native folk music and thus launched the so-called ‘national schools’.

from notes by Robert Andres 2005


Chopin: Reminiscences
Studio Master: CKD248Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Chopin: The Complete Works
CDS44351/6616CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Chopin: The Great Polonaises
Grigory Ginzburg – His early recordings – 2
APR5672Download only
Paderewski – His final recordings
APR5636Download only
Percy Grainger – The complete 78-rpm solo recordings
APR7501Download only
Walter Gieseking – The complete Homocord recordings and other rarities
APR6013for the price of 1 — Download only


Track 6 on CDH55382 [7'00]
Track 4 on CDS44351/66 CD7 [7'00] 16CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 10 on CKD248 [7'26] Download only
Track 11 on APR5636 [7'22] Download only
Track 12 on APR5672 [6'41] Download only
Track 10 on APR6013 CD1 [5'41] for the price of 1 Download only
Extract: Abridged
Track 12 on APR7501 CD1 [4'32] Download only

Track-specific metadata for APR7501 disc 1 track 12

Extract: Abridged
Recording date
2 January 1918
Recording venue
Columbia Records America, USA
Recording producer
Recording engineer
Hyperion usage
  1. Percy Grainger The complete 78-rpm solo recordings (APR7501)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: February 2011
    Download only
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