Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op. 28, are a set of short pieces for the piano, one in each of the twenty-four keys, originally published in 1839. As in each of Bach’s two sets of preludes and fugues, his Op. 28 set comprises a complete cycle of the major and minor keys, but in a different order.
Chopin wrote them from 1835 to 1839.
At that time he was between the age of 25 and 29. Some of the preludes were written at Valldemossa, Mallorca, where he spent the winter of 1838–39 with George Sand and her children to escape the damp Paris weather.
He suffered from tuberculosis, the disease that ended his life at the age of 39.
This B minor Prelude is extremely dismal. There is nothing happy, optimistic or hopeful about it. Not all these preludes are dark, but several of them are and we have to wonder how much of the unhappiness came from his ill health and perhaps the knowledge that he did not have long to live.
For pictures once again I have picked things that are only black and white because they seem appropriate. You might notice that I turned the color on for one long extended chord, the C major chord that lasts for around a line. At that moment it appears that the gloom and doom is about to end. But it is false hope because the dark, minor feeling immediately returns and then the whole thing ends in just a whisper.