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Click to enlargeChopin - 24 Preludes (Palmer) [Alfred Publishing Co.]

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Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) was a pianist's composer - his love, passion and devotion to the piano was paramount, and all efforts to prod him into composing for other instruments were in vain. As a pianist, Chopin was practically self-taught, and out of his lack of reverence for tradition sprung an inventive and ingenious approach to the instrument. His sweeping, lush melodies and innovative harmonic structures are prevalent in all of the preludes in this collection. Additionally, the teaching side of Chopin is revealed in these pieces. Generally of only moderate difficulty, the preludes make the most of a pianist's technical capacity with passages for supple, nimble fingers and ample opportunities for expression. Vivid and emotional, the music in this volume is some of Chopin's greatest.

Willard A. Palmer's deliberate and methodical research is based on several sources including microfilms of Chopin's autograph manuscripts, and the important early editions. The preludes are reproduced with accuracy and devotion to the composer's intention, and presented in an easy-to-read manner from new engravings, making this edition of Chopin's Preludes, the favored practical edition of pianists.

Paris was as loved by the master Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) as it was by Chopin. Painted in 1872, Pont Neuf, Paris, is a typical example of, the beauty and expressiveness of Renoir's work. Like Chopin, his genius lies in the unconventional, with an emphasis on capturing the emotional significance of the moment. It was chosen for this cover because, like Chopin's preludes, it has an appealing aura and understated elegance.

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