The Storm

Chopin’s 24th prelude is one of my favourite piano compositions, brief, but packed with powerful and gripping emotion. Like most of his other works Chopin did not name his preludes and prelude 24 was christened “The storm” by Hans Bulow. There are several interpretations and imageries that this composition invokes, but I feel that Bulow’s characterization of the Storm is most fitting.

The composition begins with a 5 note pattern played by the left hand which establishes a dark foreboding mood that is characteristic of this piece. These notes also serve as harmony and bind the melodies played by the right hand while projecting a constant feeling of impending misfortune. In my mind this conjures up the image of a seasoned sailor engaged in his duties aboard a ship with a nagging perception of a looming tempest at the back of his mind. In the video presented here, the dominant melody begins at 0:06 and lasts till 0:34. It resurfaces again at 0:38. The storm clouds are gathering and man can do nought but labour on, as he is wont to do during such calamities. But this piece isn’t about man’s fortitude, but about the storm itself, magnificent in its unbridled fury; a fury for its own sake.

1:22 is the lull before the storm, and the piece climaxes in the melody that follows, powerful and explosive; like the vengeance of God Himself. The storm runs its ravaging course and then subsides with 3 lugubrious D notes which conclude the piece. Chopin had a reputation of frailty and daintiness that pursued him his entire life. It is therefore quite satisfying to experience a composition that packs in raw emotion like this one. The performance presented here is by the gifted Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz, however I’d love to listen to Evegeny Kissin’s interpretation if I could find it on youtube.

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11 Responses to The Storm

  1. Damn. Since school started I had to cut my Classical Music time by like 7 or 8 hours. I used to listen all day….now I can only get my after school hours. I have been listening to some Nat King Cole at lunch and recess, my grandpa introduced to Arethra Franklin and Frank Sinatra. They are all great…but I miss Classical Music time.

    • Dota says:

      Classical music is great. Try and make time for it. Studies show that it also improves concentration.

      • coward says:

        I am on my school computer right now listening to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Lately I have been listening to this once a day. It is so good man! Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is the magnum opus of all Classical Music. Also good are the string quartets and quintets of Beethoven. However, the 9th Symphony is unlike any other, no piece even remotely touches this. I have listened to it over 100-130 times in the past two months alone, more than twice each day.

    • batterytrain says:

      This is better than that though, I swear Wagner is 100x bettter than Chopin and most mainstream classical musicians.

      0:53-0:58, 1:01-1:01:36 , 1:21-1:27
      Edvard Greig

  2. coward says:

    Hey Dota, have you heard of Chevalier de Saint-George? I know the blog is all about preservation of Western Anglo culture, but if you can tolerate a bit of Black music, look him up on YouTube. He is a mulatto Frenchman and preety great violinist.

    • Dota says:

      Sounds good. And we don’t mind acknowledging the accomplishments of non whites on here, it doesn’t diminish the achievements of western civilization.

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