One evening recently, while watching tv, I heard the music of a Chopin prelude during a commercial. The music immediately took me back to my childhood. Hours and hours of piano lessons and practice have left me, sadly, still unable to play well. I have no musical talent and even the most patient teacher could not help me. However, those hours of practice did instill in me a love of Chopin. I can’t play his pieces, but I love to listen to them.
My very favorite Chopin prelude is Op. 28 No. 4. Here it is
I find this piece to be so beautiful and full of emotions. I love to listen to it when I have strong feelings – anger, sadness, joy, frustration. The music seems to mix with my own emotions and helps me to make sense of whatever is going on inside of me.
Chopin published his Op 28 preludes in 1839. The 24 preludes are wonderful as individual pieces and even more glorious together. Franz Liszt said that, in these preludes, Chopin is like a great “poet, who cradles the soul in golden dreams.” The short, poetic pieces are in sync with the contemporary mood. To me, No. 4 seems especially current. Haunting, deep, poignant – the perfect soundtrack for America now, as we approach the ten year anniversary of the 911 tragedy.
Do you have a song that you love to listen to? A song that cradles your soul in golden dreams? A song that you can go to for comfort, for exhileration, for answers to the questions in your heart? If so, please share your song in the comments section. If not, I encourage you to find such a song. Op. 28 No. 4 has been my traveling companion for most of my life. I am grateful for this song. And, because they introduced me to this prelude, I would not erase all those hours of seemingly fruitless piano practice.