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Chopin, Piano Prelude No. 21 in B-flat major, Op. 28 (1'46'')

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Belongs to Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28, a set of short pieces for the piano, one in each of the twenty-four keys, originally published in 1839. Chopin wrote them between 1835 and 1839, partly at Valldemossa, Majorca, where he spent the winter of 1838-39 and where he had fled with George Sand and her children to escape the damp Paris weather. In Majorca, Chopin had a copy of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, and as in each of Bach's two sets of preludes and fugues, his Op. 28 set comprises a complete cycle of the major and minor keys, albeit with a different ordering. In this piece, while the right hand sings a simple melody, the left plays continuous doubled quavers characterized by chromatic movement, including chromatic nonharmonic tones, taken up by the right hand also in the latter half of the piece. It’s mood and/or theme is characterized by a solitary return, to the place of confession, Sunday.

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