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Prelude Details

Chopintown Preluders

A New Cosmic Underleague Team
Created January 2, 2002


2002 Preluders Position
A Major, 28-7 Leftfield
A Minor, 28-2 Catcher
Ab Major, 28-17 Pitcher
B Major, 28-11 Pitcher
B Minor, 28-6 Shortstop
Bb Major, 28-21 Outfield
Bb Minor, 28-16 Pitcher
C Major, 28-1 Pitcher
C Minor, 28-20 Infield
C# Minor, 28-10 Pitcher
D Major, 28-5 Thirdbase
D Minor, 28-24 Catcher
Db Major, 28-15 Pitcher
E Major, 28-9 Rightfield
E Minor, 28-4 Secondbase
Eb Major, 28-19 Outfield
Eb Minor, 28-14 Pitcher
F Major, 28-23 Infield
F Minor, 28-18 Pitcher
F# Major, 28-13 Pitcher
F# Minor, 28-8 Centerfield
G Major, 28-3 Firstbase
G Minor, 28-22 Infield
G# Minor, 28-12 Pitcher
Pleyel, Camille Outfield
Sand, George Infield
 
Jan Kleczynski Manager
Vladimir de Pachmann Coach
Hans von Bulow G.M.
Frederic Chopin Owner
Prelude Park 24
Music historians generally agree that Frederic Chopin's 24 Preludes essentially redfined the form. Emotionally evocative they span a wide range of feelings including joy, melancholy, humor and passion. These small Romantic musical compositions have combined to form a potentially awesome cosmic baseball team. The Preluders have been assigned to the cosmic Underleague.

The musical prelude form appears during the Baroque period in the 15th century. From the Italian word preludiare "playing before playing" preludes originated from the improvisations musicians created while warming up with their instruments prior to playing a main piece of music. These informal "warmups" by lutists, organists and other keyboardists evolved into the early preludes marked by primary keys and simple forms.

The 24 Preludes from Chopin's Opus 28 were written in the 1830s while he was living with his paramour, the writer George Sand, on the island of Majorca . There is a Prelude for every major and minor key. Several of the Preludes have become popularized by their use in various Hollywood-style films. In 1970 the E-Minor Prelude (28-4, Secondbase) was used in the Bob Rafelson film starring Jack Nicholoson, Five Easy Pieces. The movie Shine (1996) used the D Flat Major Prelude (28-15, Pitcher). The C Minor Prelude (28-20, Infield) can be heard in the dark 1977 film Looking for Mr. Goodbar.

Fransz Liszt, a contemporary of Chopin's, was impressed with his friend's work when he referred to them as:

poetic preludes, analogous to those of a great contemporary poet, who cradles the soul in golden dreams, and elevates it to the regions of the ideal.
This new cosmic baseball team honors these capitivating works by Chopin who is himself a cosmic baseball player for the Paradise Pisces in the Overleague. He is, as well, the spiritual owner of these Preluders. Thematically the Preluders are related to the Delta Dragons in the cosmic Middleleague.



Note
The links in the player roster are to midi music files suggestive of the selected Prelude.





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Additional Details About the Preludes

1 Agitato, in C Major Composed on Majorca in January 1839, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel and Johann Kessler. Vladimir de Pachmann: "The first one is in a style that reminds one very forcibly of Schumann. "

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Reunion"


2 Lento, in A Minor Composed on Majorca, November/December 1838, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. Some say this Prelude is composed in Stuttgart. The Polish pianist Jan Kleczynski (1837-1895) prefered to play the first Prelude two times, and then skip this prelude because he felt this prelude was too bizar to play. Vladimir de Pachmann:"The second is, I think, somewhat poor and I remember that Liszt himself once told me that he thought it a little weak. "

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Presentiment of Death"


3 Vivace, in G Major Composed between 1836-1839, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. Vladimir de Pachmann"The third, though it has not a very high meaning, is a delightful little prelude. The melody is so smooth that it reminds me of oil floating on water, while a sort of zither accompaniment is running. "

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Thou Art So Like a Flower"


4 Largo, in E Minor Composed on Majorca, November/December 1838, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. Walter Gieseking recommend pedaling for the opening of this Prelude: "The right-hand upbeat is very important. Pedal first on the second note and hold the same padal into the first measure." This Prelude is played on organ at Chopin's funeral.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Suffocation"


5 Allegro molto, in D Major Composed between 1836-1839, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Uncertainty"


6 Lento assai, in b Minor Composed between 1836-1839, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Tolling Bells"


7 Andantino, in A Major Composed in 1836, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. DencausseFederico Mompou(1893-1987) composed a "Variaciones sobre un tema di Chopin" based on this Prelude.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "The Polish Dancer"


8 Molto Agitato, in F Sharp Minor Composed between 1836/1839, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. Some say this one is composed on Majorca during a thunderstorm.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Desperation"


9 Largo, in E Major Composed between 1836-1839, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. This Prelude uses 48 different chords!

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Vision"


10 Allegro Molto, C sharp Minor Composed on Majorca November/December 1838, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. A little cappricio. Vladimir de Pachmann:"In the tenth Chopin seems to me to point at and imitate his master, Hummel"

"A night moth is flying around the room-there! it has suddenly hidden itself (the sustained G Sharp); only its wings twitch a little. In a moment it takes flight anew and again settles down in darkness - its wings flutter (trill in the left hand). This happens several times, but at the last, just as the wings begin to quiver again, the busybody who lives in the room aims a stroke at the poor insect. It twitches once . . . and dies."

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "The Night Moth"


11 Vivace, B Major Composed between 1836-1839, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "The Dragon Fly"


12 Presto, G Sharp Minor Composed between 1836-1839, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "The Duel "


13 Lento, F Sharp Major Composed between 1836-1839, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Loss"


14 Allegro, E Flat Minor Composed between 1836-1839, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. Tamas Vasary about this prelude: "This is a torturous, frustrated piece. It wants to go in a certain direction, starting as if to go forwards. Then it falters and falls back. It is a very chromatic work, alternating between minor and major. At the end you fall on the tonic without a preceding dominant. You are here but no solution.This is the atmosphere I find. therefore I don't play it quickly becouse I would lose this torturous, frustrated, faltering, condtradictory quality."

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Fear"


15 Sostenuto, D Flat Major Composed between 1836-1839, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. Also known as 'Raindrop-Prelude' George Sand wrote: "There is one that came to him through an evening of dismal rain--it casts the soul into a terrible dejection. Maurice and I had left him in good health one morning to go shopping in Palma for things we needed at our "encampment." The rain came in overflowing torrents. We made three leagues in six hours, only to return in the top of a flood. We got back in absolute dark, shoeless, having been abandoned by our driver to cross unheard of perils. We hurried, knowing how our sick one would worry. Indeed he had, but now was as though congealed in a kind of quiet desperation, and, weeping, he was playing his wonderful Prelude. Seeing us come in, he got up with a cry, then said with a bewildered air and a strange tone, "Ah, I was sure that you were dead." When he recovered his spirits and saw the state we were in, he was ill, picturing the dangers we had been through, but he confessed to me that while waiting for us he had seen it all in a dream, and no longer distinguishing the dream from reality, he became calm and drowsy. While playing the piano, persuaded that he was dead himself. He saw himself drowned in a lake. Heavy drops of icy water fell in a regular rhythm on his breast, and when I made him listen to the sound of the drops of water indeed falling in rhythm on the roof, he denied having heard it. He was even angry that I should interpret this in terms of imitative sounds. He protested with all his might--and he was right to--against the childishness of such aural imitations. His genius was filled with the mysterious sounds of nature, but transformed into sublime equivalents in musical thought, and not through slavish imitation of the actual external sounds. His composition of that night was surely filled with raindrops, resounding clearly on the tiles of the Charterhouse, but it had been transformed in his imagination and in his song into tears falling upon his heart from the sky. "

Sand does not specify the key or number of the prelude written on this occasion, and, although the Db major Prelude is usually given the informal title "Raindrop", in fact the story could apply to any of the melancholy preludes with a repetitive figure (A minor, E minor, and B minor come to mind, as well as Db major).

Hans von Bulow also called this Prelude "Raindrops"


16 Presto Con Fuoco, B Flat Minor Composed between 1836-1839, published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. If you play this Prelude in the desired whirlwind tempo"presto con fueco" you will fnd that the prime difficulty of this Prelude is not the obvious difficulty of the right hand's 16th-notes, but the follow-through motion required to play the three-note left-hand groups all in one sweep. Vladimir De Pachmann:"The sixteenth is my great favorite! It is la plus grande tour de force in Chopin. It is the most difficult of all the preludes technically, possibly excepting the nineteenth. In this case presto is not enough. It should be played prestissimo, or, better still, vivacissimo. "

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Hades"


17 Allegretto, A Flat Major Composed in 1836 , published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. A little Romance, in which Chopin introduces some harmonies not previously found in other compositions. This one was the favorite of Clara Schumann and Anton Rubinstein.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "A Scene on the Place de Notre-Dame de Paris"


18 Allegro Molto, F Minor Composed between 1836-1839 , published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Suicide"


19 Vivace, E Flat Major Composed between 1836-1839 , published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Heartfelt Happiness"


20 Largo, C Minor Composed between 1836-1839 , published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. Chopin did originally ended this piece at bar 9. Based on this prelude Rachmanninov composed his "Variations on the Theme of Chopin" These variations scares off even the best pianists - they lasts more than half an hour and they are both technically and musically demanding.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Funeral March"


21 Cantabile, B Flat Major Composed on Majorca, november / december 1838 , published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel.

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Sunday"


22 Molto Agitato, G Minor Composed between 1836 - 1839 , published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. Vladimir de Pachmann:"In the twenty-second Prelude, Chopin created energetic modern octave play. It was the first prelude of its kind in the world"

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "Impatience"


23 Moderato, F Major Composed between 1836 - 1839 , published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. Vladimir de Pachmann: "In the twenty-third Prelude pretty well all the editions indicate short legato passages. Chopin never played such passages. He sometimes introduced a long legato passage, but never short ones of a few notes only."

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "A Pleasure Boat"


24 Allegro Appassionato, D Minor Composed between 1836 - 1839 , published in 1839 , dedicated to Camille Pleyel. Vladimir de Pachmann: "In the twenty-fourth the amateur would do well to remember that the whole beauty of this prelude is generally spoilt by the left-hand notes being banged. The should be masque the whole time and should never be allowed to drown the right hand."

Hans von Bulow called this Prelude "The Storm "




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Chopintown Preluders Season 2002 Official Cosmic Team Roster
URL: http://www.cosmicbaseball.com/02cpr.html
Published: January 2, 2002
Copyright © 2002 by the Cosmic Baseball Association
email: editor@cosmicbaseball.com
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