Author Archives: Christine Stevenson

Raindrops on Roses? Three Preludes by Chopin from Op 28

  Chopin’s Prelude Op 28 No 4 is barely a page in length, but a wealth of emotion is crammed into its short span. Above a throbbing, chordal accompaniment which changes harmony agonisingly slowly, inch by inch, note by note, sits a melody … Continue reading

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Setting the Scene – a Prelude to Disaster

So here we are at the Real Cartuja in the hillside town of Valdemossa. The video below gives some idea of the atmosphere. What brought Chopin, Sand, her two children and a French maid to this extraordinary place? In part, it was the nineteenth … Continue reading

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A Winter in Majorca. Chopin – Preludes Op 28

Planning a winter holiday on the island of Majorca? Accommodation – a deserted monastery, the Real Cartuja, in the village of Valdemossa (above). Perhaps Bach’s Preludes and Fugues wouldn’t be on your list of must-haves, but they were on Chopin’s, when … Continue reading

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A family affair. Bach – Prelude in C

There are times when a sudden discovery on the internet stops us in our tracks. For me, the image below is one of those moments, as I come face to face (albeit digitally)  with the manuscript of JS Bach’s Prelude in C from … Continue reading

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The Ubiquitous Prelude

When researching Chopin’s Preludes for a presentation at 2016’s Summer School for Pianists, I was struck by the widespread use of the title –  from before Bach, to Kapustin and beyond. Preludes pop up everywhere, sometimes singly, sometimes in sets … Continue reading

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All Hands on Deck – including Liszt’s and Rachmaninoff’s. The Paraphrases, and Two Pieces for Piano 6 hands.

It’s New Year’s Eve, 6.50am, and time to write the final post of 2016. Thank you, dear Reader, for sharing this journey through Mussorgsky’s Pictures and other Russian musical curiosities with me. The penultimate work in this series of blogposts … Continue reading

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A Show of Hands – Rachmaninoff – for Four Hands

Following on from Scriabin’s pieces for left hand alone, let’s look now at his friend Rachmaninoff’s works for four hands at one piano, and for four hands at two pianos. The Six Morceaux Op 11, for piano duet, were written … Continue reading

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