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Published on Feb 27, 2010
Fantaisie Impromptu, Op. 66
Arthur Rubinstein, piano
The Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor, Opus posthumous 66, is a solo piano composition and one of his most well-known pieces. It was composed in 1834 and dedicated to Julian Fontana. Fontana published the piece in spite of Chopin's request not to do so. The piece uses many cross-rhythms (the right hand plays sixteenth notes against the left hand playing triplets) and a ceaselessly moving note figuration and is in cut time. The opening tempo is marked allegro agitato. The tempo changes to largo and later moderato cantabile when the key changes to D-flat major, the enharmonic equivalent of the more obscure tonic major key of C-sharp major, that is, the parallel major of C-sharp minor. The piece then changes to presto (although some versions of the score incorporate a coda, meaning that the original tempo of allegro agitato is repeated) where it continues in C-sharp minor as before. It ends off in an ambiguous fantasy-like ending, in a quiet and mysterious way, where the left hand replays the first few notes of the moderato section theme, while the right hand continues playing sixteenth notes. The piece resolves and gently ends on a C-sharp major rolled chord.