In the time of Bach, preludes were a genre of small musical pieces for the keyboard intended to introduce a larger work. However, in 1815 the German composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel published a set of piano preludes that were meant to stand on their own, one written in each of the 24 possible key signatures. This practice may well have inspired Frédéric Chopin some 20 years later, when he wrote his set of preludes that demonstrated the Polish composer’s small-scale brilliance. Each of these miniatures (the longest clocks in around three minutes) captures a single mood or idea, whether it’s a simple dance-like tune (No. 7 in A major), an ebullient flourish of color (No. 3 in G major), an enigmatic rumination (No. 10 in C-sharp minor), or a stormy tragedy (No. 24 in D minor).
Van Cliburn Piano Competition finalist Fei-Fei Dong brought the Bass Hall crowd to its feet when she played this work at last year’s contest. You can hear her again when she comes to the Fort Worth Library to play a free concert that also includes Ravel’s Sonatine and Liszt’s Réminiscences de Don Juan, a transcription of themes from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. She’s part of a Cliburn retrospective weekend that also includes gold medalist Vadym Kholodenko playing with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
Fei-Fei Dong plays at 6:30pm Thu at 500 W 3rd St, FW. Admission is free.