2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

Rachmaninoff Preludes For Piano: The Tradition Continues
Seymour G. Apregilio
Dr. David McKamie, Faculty Mentor

The tradition of writing preludes dates back to the Renaissance when short pieces for lute were used to introduce a larger, more complex work. In the most important set of preludes and fugues from the Baroque era, Johann Sebastian Bach composed in The Well-Tempered Clavier, a series of preludes in every major and minor key, demonstrating the superiority of the new, well-tempered tuning system. Chopin continued this tradition of writing a series of preludes in all 24 keys; however, they were arranged according to a circle of fifths progression, unlike Bachs organization. Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) takes this process a step further by writing a series of 24 preludes which were not published as a single set. Instead, he published his preludes in three sets: Op. 3, Op. 23, and Op. 32. This presentation concludes with a performance of two Rachmaninoff preludes.

Keywords: Piano, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Bach, Preludes, Tradition, 24, Well-tempered tuning

Art - Art History

Presentation Type: Performance Art

Session: 1-1
Location: OPPH
Time: 9:30

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