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We have produced a Style Guide to help editors follow a standard format when editing a listing. If you are unsure how best to edit this programme please take a moment to read it.
Five Preludes, Nos. 20, 21, 22, 23 and 19 Impromptu in G Flat, Op. 51 Ballad in A Flat, Op. 47
Nocturne in C Sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 1 Study in G Flat, Op. 25
Waltz in E Minor (Posthumous)
WHEN Chopin was nearly thirty he published a book of twenty-four Preludes, one in each key, major and minor. They are very varied in length and character, some being simple expressions of single ideas and others well-wrought expositions of extended trains of thought.
They were written when he was staying with George Sand at Valdemosa, in Majorca, ' in a great abandoned Carthusian monastery, in one of the cells with doors bigger than the gates of Paris,' as he wrote to a friend. ' The cell is in the shape of a coffin, high, and full of dust on the vault..... Before the window orange, palm and cypress trees..... Quietness.... one may shout and r obody will hear.
In these Preludes we have every type of emotion-now gay, now feverish, even morbid, and again restful and introspective.
The name ' Impromptu ' has never been more truly applied than to the four works which Chopin calls by this name. They are shapely works, but they have much of the spontaneity of improvizations.
The Third Impromptu, in G Flat, is one of the least familiar of his pieces. More than one of his commentators finds in it that melancholy, bordering on morbidity, which was one of his characteristics. The first section is a flowing, perpetual motion section.
In the middle there is a long tenor melody.
A Ballad is generally, of course, a definite story put into the form of a song. Many people seem to have agreed that Chopin meant to convey definite stories by the instrumental pieces which he called Ballads. Chopin told Schumann that the poems of the writer Mickiewicz, greatest of Poland's national poets, inspired him.
The Third Ballad is by turns brilliant and graceful.
Many poetical interpretations have been imposed on the Nocturnes. This one in C Sharp Minor has provoked imaginative flights ranging from comparison with the song of a monk to a picture of a murder at sea !


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2LO London, 3 October 1928 19.45

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