Recorded on 11/09/2008, uploaded on 02/28/2010
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
In addition to the 24 preludes of opus 28, Chopin completed two other preludes, each published individually. The first of these, dating from 1841, is the Prelude in C-sharp minor, op. 45. The following prelude, No. 26 in A-flat major, was in fact Chopin’s inaugural prelude, composed in 1834 and predating those of opus 28. It was written as a gift for Pierre Wolf and remained unpublished throughout the composer’s lifetime. In 1918, it was published in Geneva and assumed erroneously the position of Chopin’s last prelude.
Bright and good-humored, the 26th Prelude can be seen as somewhat of a stepping stone to the opus 28 preludes. Chopin is known to have studied the preludes of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier before composing his own and in the A-flat major Prelude one can discern a subtle Baroque influence, notably in the piece’s continuous sixteenth note figuration. Yet, the tunefulness and fleeting melodic line, as well as its interesting harmonic turns, is unmistakably Chopin and looks forward to the succeeding preludes. Joseph DuBose
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