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Chopin, Piano Prelude No. 24 in D minor, Op. 28 (2'15'')

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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. This piece opens with a thundering five-note pattern in the left hand. Throughout the piece, the left hand continues this pattern as the right hand plays a powerful melody punctuated by trills, scales (including a rapid descending chromatic scale in thirds), and arpeggios. The piece closes with three booming unaccompanied notes - the lowest D on the piano. It’s mood and/or theme is characterized by visions of blood, of earthly pleasure, of death, of the storm.

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