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Giorgi Latso Problems playing these files? See media help. Chopin wrote them between and , partly at Valldemossa , Majorca , where he spent the winter of —39 and where he had fled with George Sand and her children to escape the damp Paris weather.

He thus imparted new meaning to a genre title that at the time was often associated with improvisatory "preluding". C major, A minor, G major, E minor, etc. Since this sequence of related keys is much closer to common harmonic practice, it is thought that Chopin might have conceived the cycle as a single performance entity for continuous recital.

Alfred Cortot was the next pianist to record the complete preludes in As with his other works, Chopin did not himself attach names or descriptions to any of the Op. Reputation and legacy[ edit ] Prelude No. The brevity and apparent lack of formal structure in the Op. But each works best along with the others, and in the intended order The Chopin preludes seem to be at once twenty-four small pieces and one large one.

As we note or sense at the start of each piece the various connections to and changes from the previous one, we then feel free to involve ourselves — as listeners, as players, as commentators — only with the new pleasure at hand.


Alfred Cortot

Between and he was a choral coach and subsequently an assistant conductor at the Bayreuth Festival. His courses in musical interpretation were legendary. For his many notable students, see here. As a leading musical figure, Cortot traveled for many international music events. The French government sponsored two promotional tours to the United States, and one to the new Soviet Russia in He conducted several orchestras and was often called upon to provide piano accompaniment for touring artists when in Paris. Involved in music until his health failed, like Franz Liszt in his advanced years he taught master classes in piano.


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At times his recordings are surprising to modern ears that are used to clinical perfection, as the pianist would drop the odd note here and there. But at the time that Cortot made his legendary recordings, commercial discs were not considered permanent statements and there was no sense that they would be listened to decades later — rather, they were provisional accounts, certainly not a replacement for a concert experience. As such, note-perfect playing was not the goal but musical insight was, and Cortot delivered this in spades. It is all the more miraculous that, with this timetable and the antiseptic nature of a recording studio, Cortot was able to deliver such musically inspiring performances that continue to be held as benchmark readings over eight decades later, and it is little wonder that there are occasional dropped notes! This was not the first reading of the Etudes on record: Wilhelm Backhaus recorded his glorious cycle in and the vastly underrated Robert Lortat left an incredible set of both books in

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