THE CHOPINESQUE MINIATURE
On the miniature extreme, no composer ever exceeded Chopin's mastery of the romantic fragment, the most suggestively romantic statement of all. No one ever thematized the idea as vividly as did Chopin when he invented a new genre, the freestanding prelude, to embody it. A prelude, after all, is by definition incomplete. The New Harvard Dictionary of Music defines it as “a composition establishing the pitch or key of a following piece.”8 So far we have encountered the prelude only as the first item in a keyboard suite, or as paired with a fugue. Before Chopin, several pianist composers had provided books of preludes for practical concert use, mere modulatory transitions between recital items for pianists who were incapable of improvising their own. Collections of this kind had been published by the Italian-born London-based Muzio Clementi, not only a virtuoso but a piano manufacturer (1787); by the Slovakian-born Johann Nepomuk Hummel (24 Präludien, op. 67, 1814); and by Ignaz Moscheles (1794–1870), a Bohemian-born pianist based in London, whose celebrated book of didactic models for improvisations, 50 Präludien, op. 73 (1827), Chopin probably knew and took (along with the Well-Tempered Clavier) for a model.
- Citation (MLA):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 7 Self and Other." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-007005.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 7 Self and Other. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Nineteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 25 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-007005.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 7 Self and Other." In Music in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 25 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-007005.xml