Category Archives: The Ubiquitous Prelude

When I was in Leipzig – Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues

  Do you ever wish that you’d asked more questions of your teachers? I do. When we’re children, sometimes we are too shy, or too timid, or  we don’t know which questions to ask. Looking back, I wish I’d spoken up … Continue reading

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A Plethora of Preludes – Prokofiev, Kabalevsky, Scriabin, Shostakovich

The year is slipping away – there are so many Preludes to discover! And so little time to write about them all … So here is a quick canter through a few more Russian composers’ offerings. Prokofiev’s charming Prelude in … Continue reading

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Preludes – and All That Jazz. Preludes by Gershwin and Kapustin

Following on from 1910 Preludes by Rachmaninoff and Debussy in a recent post, here are two twentieth century composers whose Preludes reflect the influence of jazz. Jazz seeped into the classical mainstream in the music of Millhaud, Stravinsky and Ravel, and … Continue reading

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1910 – A Vintage Year for Preludes by Debussy and Rachmaninoff

In 1910 , George V (above, centre) became King of England, the Zeppelin took its first commercial flight and  E.M. Forster published Howard’s End. There were Champagne  Riots in France (below), caused by the failure of the grape harvest. But it was a … Continue reading

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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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