"How will gravity array itself, if wit is already cloaked so darkly?", asked Robert Schumann in his review of Chopin's Scherzo in B minor, Op. 20. His astonishment is easily understood, since the name "scherzo" (It.) literally means "joke", whereas Chopin's scherzos are almost never humorous or light-hearted. Quite the contrary: the four expansive one-movement works to which Chopin gave the title scherzo are marked with a drama and form which were unprecedented in the genre. They are given here in chronological order: Scherzo in B minor, Op. 20, published in 1835 (date of composition difficult to establish precisely) Scherzo in B flat minor, Op. 31, completed 1837 and published the same year Scherzo in C sharp minor, Op. 39, composed 1839, published the following year Scherzo in E major, Op. 54, composed 1842-1843, published 1843
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