Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28, are a set of short pieces for piano, one in each of the twenty-four keys, originally published in 1839. The Prelude in C-sharp minor, Op. 45 (sometimes listed as Prelude No. 25), was composed in 1841. Although the term "prelude" is generally used to describe an introductory piece, Chopin's preludes stand as self-contained units, each conveying a specific idea or emotion. Kalmus Editions are primarily reprints of Urtext Editions, reasonably priced and readily available. They are a must for students, teachers, and performers.
This new volume incorporates all entries from the previous editions by Arthur Wenk, expanding to cover writings drawn from periodicals, theses, dissertations, books, and Festschriften from 1940 to 2000. Over 9,000 references to analyses of works by over 1,000 composers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are included.
Chopin's twenty-four Préludes remain as mysterious today as when they were newly published. What prompted Franz Liszt and others to consider Chopin's Préludes to be compositions in their own right rather than introductions to other works? What did set Chopin's Préludes so drastically apart from their forerunners? What exactly was 'the morbid, the feverish, the repellent' that Schumann heard in Opus 28, in that 'wild motley' of 'strange sketches' and 'ruins'? Why did Liszt and another, anonymous, reviewer publicly suggest that Lamartine's poem Les Préludes served as an inspiration for Chopin's Opus 28? And, if that is indeed the case, how did the poem affect the structure and the thematic contents of Chopin's Préludes? And, lastly, is Opus 28 a random assortment of short pieces or a cohesive cycle? In this monograph, richly illustrated with musical examples, Anatole Leikin combines historical perspectives, hermeneutic and thematic analyses, and a range of practical implications for performers to explore these questions and illuminate the music of one of the best loved collections of music for the piano.