Category Archives: The Ubiquitous Prelude

A farewell to Preludes from the Square d’Orleans – Chopin, and his neighbour, Alkan

Two further Preludes by Chopin end this year’s series of posts; but before writing about them,  I couldn’t say farewell to 2017’s  topic, The Ubiquitous Prelude, without a mention of the Preludes by Alkan, who lived near Chopin for a … Continue reading

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Cesar Franck – Prelude, Chorale and Fugue

Imagine a vast, darkened church, built on a huge scale, with candles flickering in the gloom before statues in alcoves along the aisles. A slight whiff of incense lingers in the air. Far up in the organ loft at the … Continue reading

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Happy St Cecilia’s Day – Preludes by Clara Schumann, Cecile Chaminade and Lili Boulanger

It is November 22nd – birthday of W F Bach, Benda, Britten and Kapustin among others, and it is St Cecilia’s day, patron saint of music.  I’ve written elsewhere about Raphael’s painting of St Cecilia; this post is to celebrate … Continue reading

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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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