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Piano Lesson: Chopin Prelude in B minor, Op. 28 (Video) and playing through

This is a very funereal composition, with a sighing if not sobbing right hand motif that permeates the musical mosaic.

The left hand has a cello line that provides the solo melodic thread in the course of the Prelude, though a few brief measures in the right hand should be fleshed out. I highlight these in the video.

Separate hand practice is recommended, and shaping of the arpeggiated melody in the bass is a significant challenge against the sobbing treble.

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Piano Instruction: Chopin Prelude No. 4 in E minor, Op. 28, Teacher, Shirley Kirsten

Chopin composed 24 Preludes in Op. 28 exploring 24 different keys (Major and minor) with each Prelude having its own mood and character.

In my step-by-step practicing of the E minor Prelude, I start with the Left Hand with its chordal mosaic, and listen attentively for descending chromatic movement between chords. In the foundational learning process, I want to be aware of common tones and those voice or voices within the sonorities that move. (Note that there are some progressions that are not chromatic)

I also need to use a supple wrist so I don’t enter the chords too fast, or with unnecessary impact. Listening across the chords helps to avoid a vertical rendering.

Next, I shape the right hand, which is especially challenging with its long notes in Largo tempo. The Alla breve indication of cut time, or a feeling in two helps move the melody along.

Finally, I play hands together trying to keep a nice balance between chords and melody, listening for how the passing, chromatic and other harmonies nourish the expressive line above.