FredericChopin was a polish virtuoso pianist and a composer born on March1810 and later died on October 1849. He was born Fryderyk FranciszekChopin to a polish mother and mainly composed for solo piano. He isconsidered one of Poland’s greatest composers and was a greatinfluence as a predecessor to the followers who followed him. He grewup in a middle class family and made his first publication when hewas 7 years old. A year later he began to perform where he moved toParis to become an excellent piano teacher. By 1818 he was alreadyplaying in higher places and in the process writing his owncompositions that included Polonaise in G minor. By the year 1826,Chopin had already composed many piano pieces with a varied range ofstyles. His parents seeing his great skills enrolled him in theConservatory Music of Warsaw. He was later sent to Vienna where hemade a debut in 1829 with his technical and yet poetic expressiveperformance (Editors 2016).
Whilein Paris, he discovered that his audience were not enthralled by hismusic because they were used to Ludwig Van Beethoven and FranzSchubert’s works. He later joined the Rothschild family as arecitalist and a teacher. With increased income, he was able to livewell and compose such pieces like the Scherzo in B flat minor, Sonatain B-flat minor, Op. 35, and Nocturnes of Opp. 9 and Opp. 15. Duringthis time, he had several affairs none of which lasted more than ayear and at some point in 1839 he started dating a French novelistGeorge Sand, also known as Amantine Aurore Dupin. They spent a harshwinter in Majorca Island where Chopin became ill and was taken toMarseille for medical attention. After the treatment of hiscondition, his doctor advised him to take a holiday where he wentback to Majorca and composed the Prelude No. 15. It is in this piecethat the notes repeat throughout the work to represent the persistentrain drops in Majorca. As a result, the piece is nicknamed theRaindrop prelude.
Theprelude No. 15 has been marked as sostenuto meaning sustained andshould have a slow but held back tempo. When playing it, the pianistmust continuously use the pedal so as to sustain its notes. Thesustained Raindrop note appears in its first bar and is continuousthroughout the whole piece. The first phrase is melodic and lastsfour bars and then marked by the piano as quiet. As the first notesare melodic, they descend like raindrops but in the third bar, itsmelody is harmonized in 6ths. The other four bars repeat with nochange to the rhythm apart from the last beat that leads to a newphrase (Storey 2013).
ThePrelude in D major, Op No. 15 has several bars with three levels ofdifficulty namely easy, medium, and difficulty. In bar 2, the CM, MS,GE and the FE are written as undotted minims at the start andthroughout. On the other hand, bar 3 has a quaver while in bar 4 MStakes the form of a small quaver without the dot. However, for bar 5,all the bars have plain minims. The manuscript is located in theMM.28-30 and 44-46 where Chopin uses a hairpin to create thecrescendo. In MM 33 and 49, there is a final beat in the left hand asan octave in the manuscript.
Bars39 and 55 have the grace note and take the small crochet form while aquaver appears in CM and GE. There is a new pedal in bars 60-63 onthe crotchet of bar 60 while the 73rd to the 75th bar have no pedalsfrom the last crotchet. If I were the performer, I would suggest thata performer plays both the demonic Prelude 14 and the colossus of the16th preludes to fully appreciate the prelude 15. It is the bestbecause it comes out as tender and heartfelt among all the otherpreludes.
Thesignificant difference between M22 and M3 lies in the bassextensions. Whereas M22 lacks bass extension, the same cannot be saidfor M3 which has a higher bass extension. Additionally, the otherfactor that is taken into consideration is the tightness and balancedsound. M3s are known to have a midbass spike. For this reason the M3usually has a relatively significant hump in the 80-200Hz region.Additionally, it exhibits a broad dip in the 1.5-10 kHz. This can befelt extensively in the region between 3-8 kHz. It is based on thisanalysis that several conclusions can be made by individuals whobelieve that the M3s are recessed, laid-back, relaxed and mellow. Onthe other hand, the M22 exhibits a flatter response above 80Hz,regular with its impression of an accurate, more detailed sound. Itis for this reason that the M22s have a much more natural and smoothsound when compared to the M3s whose bass sounded receives far manyemphasis.
Accordingto Yu (2016) the Raindrop prelude is indisputably the mostlyrecognized set as it is recognized worldwide even by people who havenever heard of Chopin. This is mainly because of its melody and thecontrast it exhibits amongst other preludes. The raindrop exhibitsinternal contrast, for instance, the main theme is the D-flat major.It is soft and gentle with an almost ephemeral melody. The middlesection is a C-sharp minor with a heavier and darker dramatic themewhere it proceeds to climax twice and continues in dramaticharmonies. Some pianist consider this prelude technical but the mainproblem it exhibits is the A-flat which appears as the G-sharp in itsmiddle section and demands unique attention it ought to be playedskillfully and convincingly while ensuring that it does not overpowerthe prelude’s melody.
Thereare three distinct sections of the piece the sinister nightmare inthe C-sharp section, the D-Flat prelude and its melody. As the piecebegins, the melody caressingly sings while the left hand reduced tosoftest piano. It is played very softly without articulating theD-flat in measure 2. In the hands of a novice, the D-flat preludecan get dull and should be played t too lame a piece. The sinisternightmare reaches two climaxes in the 40th and 42nd and the 56th and58th measures. Other pieces in the prelude 28 include vision, thenight moth, dragonfly and duel among others (Joel & Higgins,1975).
Editors,Biography. 2016. Biography.Com.http://www.biography.com/people/frederic-chopin-9247162.
Paterson,Jim and Jim Paterson. 2016. "Frederic Chopin : Prelude Op.28 No.15 In Db – The Raindrop : Classical Piano Sheet Music – Free DownloadPDF, MIDI & MP3". Mfiles.Co.Uk.http://www.mfiles.co.uk/scores/prelude15.htm.
Sachs,Joel and Thomas Higgins. 1975. "Frederic Chopin: Preludes, Opus28 An Authoritative Score: Historical Background, Analysis, Views,And Comments". Notes31 (3): 565. doi:10.2307/896211.
Storey,Thomas. 2013. "Raindrop Prelude No. 15 – Chopin – GCSE RevisionNotes". Prezi.Com.https://prezi.com/-lsn6r3vrqh8/raindrop-prelude-no-15-chopin-gcse-revision-notes/.
Yu,Fred. 2016. "Chopin : Complete Music Analysis – Preludes".Ourchopin.Com.http://www.ourchopin.com/analysis/prelude0916.html.