Prelude No. 2 in A minor starts with a G major progression. The A minor key does not appear until the very last measures. Here are the first measures:

Robert Ståhlbrand, piano. Courtesy of Piano Society

Chromatic neighbor notes (A# in measures 1 to 4 and G# in measure 5) hide the simple harmonic plan of these measures. Chopin adds the major (E) and minor thirteen (Eb) to the tonic chord in measures 5 and 6.

Follows the basic harmonic plan of this section:

Measures 8 to 12 are very similar to the previous version but transported to the D major key. Chopin avoids the expected resolution to the tonic chord in measure 11. Chopin uses a half diminished seventh chord that changes into a diminished seventh chord in measure 12. This chord is a VII/V of A minor:

Robert Ståhlbrand, piano. Courtesy of Piano Society

The VII/V changes into an Italian augmented sixth chord in measure 14 and then an A minor tonic chord in second inversion (or a V 6/4 if you prefer). The expected dominant chord is never heard. A somewhat ambiguous chord appears in measure 16: A minor with an F as appoggiatura or an F major seventh chord in third inversion?

The absence of chords in some of the measures that follow makes the harmonic analysis somewhat uncertain. Finally, we arrive at the A minor key in the last three measures:

Robert Ståhlbrand, piano. Courtesy of Piano Society

Complete Prelude:

Robert Ståhlbrand, piano. Courtesy of Piano Society

© 2019 José Rodríguez Alvira. Published by teoria.com


  

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