Preludes (Chopin) facts for kids

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Franz Xaver Winterhalter-Frédéric Chopin
Chopin by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Preludes, Op. 28 is a collection of short pieces for piano. These pieces were written by Frédéric Chopin between 1837 and 1838. They were published in the middle of 1839, just after the composer's winter sojourn (stay) on the isle of Majorca with George Sand. Chopin was greatly influenced by Johann Sebastian Bach in the composition of these preludes. The title may have been a tribute to Bach's 24 preludes and fugues in The Well-Tempered Clavier. Like Bach, Chopin journeys through the circle of fifths. The preludes begin in C major and end in D minor. One of the well-known ones is Prelude No. 15, nicknamed "Raindrop". This nickname refers to the monotonous repetition of one note in the accompaniment. It reminded early music lovers of the dripping of raindrops. Another well-known number is Prelude No. 4 with its melancholy descending chords in the accompaniment. The Preludes are all very different. Many are very short, so the atmosphere changes quickly, and this can make the overall structure seem disorganized and uncontrolled.

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