This etude by Frédéric Chopin is third in a larger collection published in 1833. The primary focus of this particular etude is the legato playing of multiple (polyphonic) lines.
One of the main section I want to highlight in this work is mn. 16-17
Measure 15 and before have started a build to measure 16 where, due to motion in the bass, a V/V moves to an Augmented sixth chord before moving on to a I 6/4 in the following measure, which oddly enough creates more stability for a second inverson triad than expected. This motion could seem out of place to some due to the nature of augmented sixths going to dominants rather than the other way around.
Another observation from this piece is the constant use of thirds, sixths, or two or more notes in the right hand at any given time. This right away can point to this work being an etude due to the increased difficulty.
ComparisonEditI would like to compare this work to an etude by Franz Liszt from 1849. The third etude of Liszt's concert etudes presents a challenger drastically different than Chopin's.
While both pieces have a "simple" melody each have their own characteristic elements that help differentiate the two.
Much of the challenger of Liszt's etude is the constant massive arpeggio found in the left hand that eventually moves to the right hand throughout the piece.
The harmony for both pieces is similar, but different. The Liszt piece seems to move from harmony to harmony slower than Chopin, who does have his own harmonically static momments. With that said both compose tend to utilize a linear bass line rather than larger leaps to create harmony.
This is one of my favorite Chopin piano pieces, possible one of my all time favorite pieces in general. So I jumped at the chance to write about it.
"Chopin - Etude Op. 10 No. 3 (Pollini)" YouTube video, 2:25. Posted by "ClassicalScores," upload September 23, 2008. video.
"Liszt Three Concert Etudes S.144 No.3 "Un Sospiro" (Hamelin)" YouTube video, 2:25. Posted by "ardiem," upload May 29, 2009. video.