Chopin wrote his famous set of preludes in a burst of creativity one fortuitous winter. Hear them on WCRB's CD of the Week!
“Anton Rubinstein called them the pearls of Chopin’s work. Robert Schumann, though bemused by their form (‘ruins, eagles’ feathers, all wildly, variegatedly intermingled’), recognized ‘even in the pauses’ that each of them said unmistakably ‘this is by Frédéric Chopin’.”
Given our arctic start to 2018, it’s not too difficult to picture Chopin fleeing the Parisian winter of 1838-39 to the warm embrace of the Spanish island of Majorca. This winter escape was not spent lazing on the beach - he spent it writing his set of twenty-four piano preludes.
On top of his success as a pianist and composer, Chopin was also a teacher. His set of twenty-four preludes, no doubt an homage to Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, explores all major and minor keys, and to this day remains a staple in piano instruction. Chopin's collection, in comparison to Bach's, carries more of a winding narrative between the short pieces. Though each prelude does stand on its own, Chopin’s interweaving of the pieces has earned the collection, as a whole, a place as one of his most beloved masterpieces.
In his newest release, French pianist Cédric Tiberghien brilliantly navigates through Chopin’s winding narrative. And maybe, if you picture those warm waters of the Mediterranean for just a moment, this album will be the perfect musical escape while we batten down the hatches for the next storm.
Listen to a sampler from the album:
For more information and to purchase this recording, visit ArkivMusic.
1-24. 24 Preludes
25-28. Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor
29. Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor