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After quite a lengthy silence he replied with emphasis, 'I am happy to hear this since I too like it most and hold it dearest.'" The piece begins with a brief introduction which, contrary to popular belief, is not unrelated to the rest of the piece.Written in first inversion of the A-flat major chord, it is a Neapolitan chord that implies a majestic aura, ending in a dissonant, questioning left hand chord D, G, and E-flat that is not resolved until later on in the piece.

The main section of the Ballade is built from two main themes.

The brief introduction fades into the first theme, introduced at measure 8.

After some elaboration, the second theme is introduced softly at measure 68. Both themes then return in different keys, and the first theme finally returns again in the same key, albeit with an altered left hand accompaniment.

A thundering chord introduces the coda, marked Presto con fuoco, to which the initial Neapolitan harmony re-emerges in constant dynamic forward propulsion, which eventually ends the piece in a fiery double octave scale run down the keyboard. While the other three are written in strict compound duple time with a 6/8 time signature, Ballade No. The introduction is written in 4/4 time, and the more extensive Presto con fuoco coda is written in 2/2. It is prominently featured in the 2002 Roman Polanski film The Pianist, where an approximately four-minute cut is played by Janusz Olejniczak.

As a whole, the piece is structurally complex and not strictly confined to any particular form, but incorporates ideas from mainly the sonata and variation forms. The rest of the piece is written in 6/4, rather than the 6/8 which characterizes the others. It is also played in the 1944 film Gaslight and heard in the 2006 satire Thank You for Smoking. 38, was composed from 1836 to 1839 in Nohant, France, and on the Spanish island of Majorca. It opens quietly on the dominant of the F major key, with repeated Cs in both the left and right hands.

It is the music for the "Black" pas de deux, the final, climactic pas de deux in John Neumeier's staging of the ballet The Lady of the Camellias, based upon the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. Robert Schumann, who had dedicated his Kreisleriana, Op. This quickly progresses to a melody and development with the performance instruction sotto voce – literally "under the voice", or "quietly".

16, to Chopin, received the dedication of this Ballade in return. This section fades out with several repeated As in the right hand.

The piece has been criticized by prominent pianists and musicologists, including its dedicatee Schumann, as a less ingenious work than the first. The next section of the ballade, in stark contrast to the first, opens with the performance instruction Presto con fuoco – literally "very fast with fire".

There is some degree of disagreement as to its inspiration, with the claim often made that it was inspired by Adam Mickiewicz's poem Świtezianka, the lake of Willis, but this claim is unsubstantiated, and the Ballade No. It is in an unusual key for a secondary melody; instead of being in the parallel minor of F minor, it is instead in A minor.

The term ballade was used by Chopin in the sense of a balletic interlude or dance-piece, equivalent to the old Italian ballata, but the term may also have connotations of the medieval heroic ballad, a narrative minstrel-song, often of a fantastical character.

There are dramatic and dance-like elements in Chopin's use of the genre, and he may be said to be a pioneer of the ballade as an abstract musical form. Though they do not conform exactly to sonata form, the "ballade form" created by Chopin for his four ballades is a distinct variant of sonata form with specific discrepancies, such as the mirror reprise (presenting the two expositional themes in reverse order during the recapitulation).

The four ballades are said to have been inspired by poet Adam Mickiewicz. The ballades have directly influenced composers such as Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms who, after Chopin, wrote ballades of their own.