Frédéric Chopin composed a considerable number of preludes in his prolific body of piano repertoire. Notably, his cycle of Préludes, Op. 28 consists of 24 works covering all major and minor keys of the whole chromatic range and represent a formidable collection along with his three others preludes No. 25, Op. 45 in C-sharp minor, No. 26 in
A-flat major, and the unfinished No. 27 in E-flat minor. Chopin’s numerous pieces for prelude set the precedent and gave meaning to the new trend. The Polish author turned generic introductory music into unique, small-sized jewels, each one evoking a precise emotion and a specific musical idea. It was a true game-changer, a challenge to the musical tastes of his time! “Even on their own, the 24 Preludes would have ensured Chopin's claim to immortality” has declared the biographer Jeremy Nicholas!
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Welcomed by an enormous success to their publication in Paris in 1839, Chopin’s Préludes were composed during his stay in Mallorca in the company of the writer George Sand, where he went to treat his chronic tuberculosis. The result was a musical paradigm shifter, composed and received with mixed feelings, partly melancholic, partly joyful. It was no accident that, according to Chopin’s last will, the Prélude No. 4 was interpreted on organ for his funeral—as if, during its composition, he had put in it part of his soul. Although, not all understood the intention behind these 24 little pieces of introductory music, some less than a minute, as Schumann testified, “these are [...] sketches, the beginnings of studies, or, if you will, ruins; eagle feathers in a rag-tag jumble.” But Liszt may have had the right instinct, stating, “they are poetic preludes, analogous to those of a great contemporary poet, who cradles the soul in golden dreams.” Come and discover all the colors of Chopin: on medici.tv—the first classical music streaming channel—you can find many great interpretations of his Préludes, Op. 28, whenever you want!