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Chopin: Prelude Op. 28 No. 4 in E Minor

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Frédéric Chopin - Preludes :
Prelude, Op. 28 No. 4
Prelude Op. 28 No. 4  in E Minor by Chopin piano sheet music
Key: E Minor Year: 1834
Level: 5 Period: Early Romantic
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Instructive - all parts (184 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext (46 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: Scholtz edition (395 kB)
piano music mp3 recording Prelude Op. 28 No. 4 - FREE SAMPLE (mp3 file)

Farewell music?

Perhaps the most well-known of Chopin's preludes is this prelude in E minor. Chopin requested that it should be played at his funeral, and even a casual listener can see why. It's a very sad, mournful piece that sounds not unlike a funeral dirge. With its minor key, descending chords and the fact that it's intended to "die away" as per Chopin's notation, it conveys an almost overwhelming sense of despair. It's a short, depressing yet beautiful piece that sounds like it was all but meant for a funeral.

Chopin's set of 24 preludes were first published in 1839 and dedicated to the composer Joseph Christoph Kessler. They received quite some criticism for their brief length and lack of any traditional structure; they were seen as more like sketches or brief notes as opposed to fully-formed ideas. However, there were also some, more forward-looking contemporaries, among them Robert Schumann, who admired them intensely.

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Posts in the piano forum about this piece by :

xx How to play the Turn in Chopin Prelude Op. 28 - 4?
January 29, 2011, 12:25:48 PM by lars_o

I'm working on this prelude and there is this turn in measure 16 which in my (Henle) edition has a double-sharp accidental in parentheses printed below it (see attached image). I'm unsure how this is supposed to be played:
First of all does it apply to the A# or to the G?
Since the double sharp is below the turn symbol I guess it applies to the lower auxiliary note.
So if it applies to the A#, and I read the double-shap correctly, the lower auxiliary note would be A-natural (G raised by two half notes) that could mean the sequence should be A#-B-A#-A-A#.
If it applies to the G, I wouldn't think the double sharp applies to the upper note which is already raised once to A# and would become B making the sequence B-G-F#-G. Which seems really strange. So I think it must apply to the A#.

It would be great if someone who knows this a little better could confirm this or help me out with the correct interpretation of this sequence.

Thanks a lot!

xx 24 Préludes, Op. 28: IV. In E Minor - Chopin
January 10, 2011, 12:34:49 AM by aonelas

My teacher just handed me this, I could wait two days and ask him, but I'm getting impatient, and would like to meet the mark he set for me by my next lesson. When I get to the first wavier in the melody, "A, B, D, C, E, A, F#," there's no pedaling for the baseline. Consequently, the chord in the left hand sounds like "BONK BONK BONK BONK BONK BONK BONK," until the pedaling kicks back in. Pedaling that measure soothes it quite a bit, but you have to pedal each note, and besides, it's not written that way (at least not on the copy I have).

I was hoping for some advice and correction.



question Chopin's prelude op 28 no 4 with short choppy chords?
December 22, 2010, 05:27:40 AM by supapiano225

Hi! im learning prelude in e minor op 28 no 4 and my sheet music says no pedal untill
measure 16,17 and 18.
though without the pedal it does'nt sound right
 and not a bit like the recording.

    Please help!!!! Cry Cry Cry Cry Cry Cry Cry

xx Chopin Prelude in E Minor
September 23, 2010, 09:38:53 AM by andrewedwardly

I have been practicing Chopin's Prelude in E Minor for some time now. I can play it without any mistakes but I feel that I am not playing it correctly. Can anyone tell me how to play this prelude correctly?

xx Prelude in E minor Op 28 nº 4 - Frederic Chopin
May 07, 2010, 09:31:26 AM by rubanetti

Here i show you my performance of this great piece of Chopin:

You can obtain more info in this article (Spanish)

xx Op.28 No.4 Chopin Prelude
August 31, 2009, 09:25:19 PM by arpeggiated_chopin

Hello everyone! This is my first post on this website, and I wanted it to be one of a question of mine. Recently, I've fallen in love with the 'clicking torture device' and I have been using it religiously when practicing exercises and pieces I'm working on. Recently I've been working on Chopin's Op.28 No.4 prelude, an easy one...Until measure seventeen! I was wondering if anyone else had ever encountered difficutly keeping in time with the big jump from b-b left hand octave to a-c natural-#d-f#.
The suggested metronome marking in the Schirmer performance edition is 54-58 (Largo).
When I slow it down to a snails pace of 45, I can manage it just fine, so I suppose the best thing to do is to practice the jump while incrementially increasing the metronome speed.
Any suggestions, or past experiences studying this piece? Thanks a bunch.  Grin

xx Chopin - Op.28 n.4
June 01, 2009, 04:20:38 PM by pianist_on_the_ocean

This is a piece that I LOVE but unfortunately some hammers of my piano have to be changed, so I recorded it with all my heart altough the result. I hope you like it anyway.

p.s. I don't want to destroy Chopin beacause he'is my favourite composer, so if I did, advise me please!  Wink

xx Chopin prelude no.4 opus.28
May 24, 2009, 05:25:36 PM by thinker2k7

Im an amatuer pianist. I have started and have been playing for almost two years  without a teacher; forgive my poor reading skills xD.

This is a piece ive learned yesterday, its the first entry in my new weekly musical journal =] .

xx Chopin prelude in e minor op.28. no.4
April 29, 2009, 12:41:54 PM by quaver

Does anyone have any suggestions how to play the left hand effectively.  The chords are difficult to make each note sound.  They mostly have three or four notes to a chord and I find that some will sound and others will not.  Is arm weight the key here or constant practice to form the hand in the correct position for each note to sound. Perhaps a low wrist will do it.  I dont know.  Any suggestions on that one.  Also measures 11 and 19. the grace note.  Is that an appoggiatora or an accacciatora.  Do I play the note as a crushed note or keep it longer.  Thanks

xx Two questions on Chopin Op 28 No 4 in e minor
February 26, 2009, 11:37:49 PM by b0mbtrack

These are probably two really dumb questions but oh well.  I'm doing pretty good reading and playing this one at the same time which is a real accomplishment for me but I just have two questions on it.

1) In measure 13 there is that triplet starting on D.  Is the 4th beat on that D or is it mixed in there between the D and the C?

2) Why is the time signature is cut in half? Does that mean there are only two beats per measure and everything is 16th notes?  That sounds like it would be really fast, but I don't play it like that.

xx Chopin's Prelude op.28 n.4 - advice, please
January 17, 2009, 12:17:50 PM by end


I'm a beginner (less than a month with my piano), and I don't have a teacher (can't have one right now for several reasons).

I'm doing Suzuki book 1 and Czerny op. 599l as well as some Hanon exercises.

I was searching this forum for suggestions of easy pieces. Somebody suggested this prelude and I've taken a look. I fell in love with it and it didn't seem too difficult (the notes, because interpretation's something else!) and I got started right away.

I found really nice the fact that it's easy to sight read (I know a bit of music theory, because I study other instruments - classical guitar and violin), and sight reading I can "play" half of it already. I don't look at my hands and I try to listen to what I'm doing. Playing the notes is easy. However...

I know there's more to music than playing the notes...

I don't want to butcher the piece. I know, being a beginner, I'll do it, anyway, but I want to limit the damage.

So, would you please help me? I'm trying my best to respect the written music (all the details on the score) and I've been listening to it a lot to try and grasp the "music behind the notes". I'm paying attention to phrasing, listening to what I'm playing. But if you'd give me some tips, things a beginner wouldn't  think of, wouldn't even see, I'd be most grateful.

How to do justice to this piece?

Some of you'll certainly feel offended I've even dared to think I could play it. If you feel this way, would you please suggest something else? Real music, only, please.

Thank you very much for any help at all.

xx Chopin Prelude #4 (Em) fingering
November 04, 2007, 08:12:12 PM by geschema

Is it mandatory to play the left hand chords legato?

I understand that one should look at the left hand notes not as chords but as three voices. While it's probably possible to find a fingering for the LH that enables legato playing, it will make the piece technically much harder to play. So, should I strive for it?

Also I would be very grateful for any online/book references about the Chopin Preludes.

Many thanks,

xx Pedal help for Chopin E Minor Prelude Op. 28, No. 4
August 07, 2007, 07:47:56 PM by scrumhalf

I am learning this beautiful piece and am having a bit of trouble
preventing the left hand from sounding choppy.  I am using the pedal
exactly as the sheet music markings indicate I should - for the
measures where pedal use is indicated, I of course have no trouble
making the repeated chords sound smooth and flowing, but for the
measures where no pedal use is indicated, try as I might, I am having
a hard time not making the chords sound choppy with gaps between them.

I never hear this when I hear recordings of this piece and while I
have no illusions about my own skill level, I wonder if this is
because others use the pedal more liberally than what the sheet music
indicates.  If I basically use the pedal everywhere, just release/
clarify at each chord change, it sounds much better, but I don't know
if I am just using the pedal to cover up my lack of technique.

Any advice would be helpful!!

xx Help on Chopin Prelude Opus 28 No 4
May 29, 2007, 09:47:51 PM by piano_monkey

I just started this piece (Chopin Prelude Opus 28 No 4) today and i'm a little stuck.
In measure 16 there is a stop (I think that's what it is called)
I have no experience in reading stops and don't  know what to play.
So the main point of the topic is how do you read stops (or whatever they're called)

Thanks in advance for your help

xx Bernhard on Chopin's prelude op. 28 no. 4
May 21, 2007, 07:15:10 PM by geschema

I just came across this post, where a user called Bernhard gives some very interesting explanations on how to analyze this piece:
he also state that harmonic analysis is a dead end, but unfortunately the thread stops before he gives us the "real" way of analyzing it. Anyone knows if this thread is continued elsewhere? What was it, that he was about to reveal?
Many thanks,

xx Prelude Op. 28 no.4 -Chopin
March 02, 2007, 01:09:05 PM by ail

Another prelude I recorded yesterday. I have much less practice with this one, and I'm only coming to terms with it now. I have some difficulty in making the LH sound right,whether it be tempo or dynamic wise. Also, there's a passage marked 'stretto'. I'm not sure what this means, but I've been assuming it must mean 'rigorous', 'somewhat fast'. I had never paid much attention to it, until I heard some recordings in the forum and noticed people slowed down here. I'm not sure, I play it as I've always tried to play it, which is trying to keep the rhythm.
Anyhow, that's why I'm posting it here. To learn, and to hear suggestions for improvement.Oh, and I'm going to check that 'stretto' now anyway.


xx chopin prelude #4 and #7
February 02, 2007, 03:51:43 AM by pianistimo

#4 #7

xx Chopin Preludes 4 and 20 (the easy ones!)
October 31, 2006, 12:33:13 AM by steve jones


Made recordings of the two easiest preludes. My piano sounds awful so please try to ignore how bad it sounds!

In particular Id like comments on the interps. I tried to really up the tension and drama with No4 without going over the top. I think I rushed the stretto passage unfortunately, it sounds too quick. But other than that Im pretty happy with it.

No20 I find a difficult one to work with. Other than the tempo and dynamics there is little to play with it seems! If I could improve on this I think its in the voicing. I have trouble bringing out melody lines above chords. You can hear it a bit, but not as well as you should during the p and pp sections.

Again, thoughts would be much appreciated!



xx Chopin op28 no4 (prepare to be shocked!)
May 31, 2006, 10:33:37 PM by xinox

I was a little bored so I played chopin the way noone ever did:)
I played both guitars, first accoustic background with some poor old guitar and then solo with my new fender:)
Just to cheer you up Smiley

Oh yes, this prelude totally rocks.. It is so *** depressing.. I hear like someone crying when playing this(on piano offcourse).. Every note one tear..  so cool Smiley


xx Video: Chopin Prelude No.4
April 27, 2006, 11:54:13 PM by instromp

I did this today at school. I dont play this fast as others do. Umm the file was kinda too big for this website, so i had to convert it with this program, it made the vid out of sync with the audio and cuts the vid short about 15 seconds.But i think necessary part of the piece is covered.
Comments and/or advice on how to improve is greatly appreciated




xx Chopin Preludes 4&6 + friends composition
March 09, 2006, 07:14:02 PM by henrah

Here are three videos that I recorded yesterday in response to the topic 'Practise Videos' in the misc forum:

Serenade by Barnaby Southgate (school friend)

Chopin Prelude No.4

Chopin Prelude No.6 (is bigger resolution because I was testing out the quality...turned out not so good Tongue)

Comments and crits highly appreciated, and also your own interpretations (i.e. crescendos/diminuendos, more expression etc etc), I'd love to hear them!

xx Fingerings in Chopin's prelude n°4
February 06, 2006, 01:58:34 PM by stormx


i am starting to learn Chopin's prelude n°4. Roll Eyes
I have a good edition, but with very few fingerings indicated...
Can you point out to a (free) score to download, with good and complete fingerings (specially for all those LH chords).

I am not coming back to my piano classes until march, and i do not want to use bad fingerings  Undecided

Thanks in advance !!

xx Question about Chopin's Prelude Op 28 no. 4
November 27, 2005, 10:26:15 PM by xire

Hello all,

I'm new to the forums and I'm glad to be here.  Wink

I'm playing the piano for about 4 months now and I like it a lot. But I'm not taking lessons, so I'm trying to learn it by myself. Anyway, since I'm not that good in reading notes, I have a question about a part of Chopin's Prelude op 28 no. 4. In one of the parts (see screenshot), I'm hearing something else than how I play it, when I hear a recording of it. When I hear a recording of it, I hear more notes in that part and when I play that part on the piano myself, it doesn't sound like how it's played on the recording. It probably has something to do with the word "Stretto" but since I don't know what that means, it's kinda hard for me to understand.

Can someone tell me how I should play it?

The screenshot:

Thanks in advance.

xx chopin prelude
July 12, 2005, 09:46:46 PM by nixo1000

Can you guys listen to this and critique my interpretation.


xx chopin prelude
July 12, 2005, 08:53:45 PM by nixo1000

Can you guys listen to this and critique my interpretation.


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